Cruising is synonymous with luxury. Certainly, whether it be exquisite food, attentive service, or sumptuous accommodation, most cruises have an air of luxury about them. However, while some cruise lines offer mega-ships and competitive pricing to lure passengers in, others choose to take the concept of luxury cruising to a whole new level, instead promising a unique and intimate experience that raises the bar on cruising. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular luxury cruise lines and what they have to offer. But first, let’s see why you might want to consider upgrading your next cruise experience.
The truth about luxury cruising
If we’re honest, not everyone is in a position to splash out on ultimate luxury. Although often great value, mainstream cruising can be expensive enough and so many of us (myself included) wouldn’t even contemplate booking with a luxury cruise line. There’s no denying that luxury cruising comes with a heftier price tag. But there’s something you should consider before assuming that luxury cruising automatically equals budget-busting prices.
It all adds up
While per person fares and upfront costs of luxury cruising are undoubtedly more expensive, in reality, they can work out good value for money when you consider what’s included. In mainstream cruising, there are often hidden costs that need to be factored into the overall cost of your cruise. Admittedly, many of these are optional extras and whether luxury cruising is good value for you will depend on your personal preferences and what you like to do (and spend) when you’re on board.
However, it is worth noting that luxury cruise lines often include extras such as beverage packages, speciality restaurant, spa access, shore excursions, WIFI and laundry services (to name but a few) in the per person fare that you pay upfront. In comparison, mainstream lines tend to charge extra for these at a later date and in addition to your cruise fare. Therefore, if you want to try a luxury cruise line, it’s worth considering the overall cost of your cruise. If you like an alcoholic beverage or five, splashing out on speciality dining, staying connected at sea, or losing yourself in some organised shore excursions, you may be surprised to find that the difference in cost isn’t as huge as you think.
So why choose luxury cruising?
- Often smaller, more intimate ships that sail to unique and off-the-beaten-track destinations
- Sumptuous and luxury accommodation with many lines comprising entirely of suites
- Outstanding, attentive service that makes you feel unique, individual and valued
- World-renowned fine dining
- Can be all-inclusive, including drinks, speciality restaurants, WIFI, shore excursions and even gratuities.
Offering luxury at sea
We’ve briefly looked at why you might choose to cruise in luxury, so let’s take a look at who you might want to cruise with. There are a fair few luxury lines to choose from but here are several in particular that I would like to experience someday. We’ve all got to have dreams, right?!
Azamara Club Cruises
Stay Longer. Experience More. This is Azamara Club Cruises overriding ambition. Moreover, Azamara promises immersive itineraries, experiential travel and boutique style hotels at sea. That is why every Azamara voyage features longer and overnight stays in port, so you can experience your ports of call at every hour possible. Experience the world’s wonders in style. Never crowded, you’ll experience a community atmosphere emphasised by attentive and friendly staff. Everything is taken care of with a host of unmatched inclusive amenities, including drinks, wifi and even your tips. Find out more and what Azamara have to offer you at Azamara Club Cruises.
Cuisine, comfort, service and outstanding value are the pillars that define Oceania Cruises highly acclaimed product. Their intimate and luxurious ships allow you to explore the world in unequalled style and comfort. Sophisticated, stylish and mid-size, you’ll find the onboard atmosphere extremely friendly, with an unrivalled level of personalised service.
Describing themselves as the leader in destination cruising, Oceania Cruises sails to more than 330 ports around the globe. Itineraries are unique and wide-ranging calling on the perfect mix of must-see boutique, tourist, and off-the-beaten-path ports. Multiple overnight calls provide enriching destination experiences and allow travellers to immerse themselves in the cuisine, culture and history of the ports. Oceania Cruises appeals to travellers in search of world-class cuisine, unparalleled personal service, and an enriching, in-depth, destination-oriented experience. Check out the whole fleet and what they have to offer at Oceania.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Live life luxuriously with the all-inclusive Regent experience. ‘A sumptuous world where your every wish, your every whim and your every want are met with personalised service, luxurious comfort and complete fulfilment of your passion for travel’. Moreover, with everything included, you can enjoy every day, the exact way you want to.
Their club-like ships exude modern elegance inspired from the world. A relaxed atmosphere emphasised by attentive and friendly staff, Regent offers an exclusive country club feel and aren’t overly pretentious with strict formal dress codes. Instead, you’ll find casual elegance and like-minded travellers who want to travel in comfort and style to unique locations across the world. With their ships having a larger passenger capacity than they have actual passengers, there’s room for comfort and relaxation among a whole host of activities. See what’s on offer at Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
With their unmatched sense of style and grace, Seabourn ships beckon you to travel beyond the bounds of the imagination. Onboard, every desire is met promptly and with a welcoming smile. Whether it’s a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate as you drift along the Norwegian Fjords or a relaxing neck massage poolside, you’ll feel that you’re a member of a very exclusive club. Each ship offers all-suite accommodations, and an open-bar policy serving premium wine, champagne and spirits, and menus and renowned menus.
With destinations encompassing the globe, you’re sure to find your perfect itinerary. And an exclusive to Seabourn? On select cruises, the captain will anchor and deploy a water sports marina where guests can enjoy a selection of water sports. Furthermore, a steel-mesh enclosure allows guests a safe swimming area in the sea. See what delights are on offer with Seabourn.
Silversea Cruises presents sumptuous ocean-view suites and the tantalising freedom of an all-inclusive lifestyle. Furthermore, each all-inclusive cruise reflects distinctive European styling in every detail, from uncompromising service to exquisite gourmet dining. Intimate spaces and well-travelled, international guests foster a warm and friendly onboard ambience. And in each fascinating destination, Silversea provides access to exclusive explorations and uniquely enriching cultural connections.
The name “Silversea” was chosen because it signifies quality and luxury while capturing the romance of the sea. Gastronomic excellence is guaranteed thanks to Silversea’s partnership with the prestigious Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux. No matter where you dine, their influence is readily apparent in the great diversity and presentation of culinary selections on board your all-inclusive cruise. With endless opportunities for you to explore the 7 continents, discover what sets them apart at Silversea.
Would you choose luxury cruising?
I hope this gives you a brief insight into the world of luxury cruising and how it isn’t always as budget-busting as you might believe (although it certainly can be!). Luxury cruising isn’t for everyone though, and if you’re cruising on a budget or prefer the modern-day mega-ships, a luxury line might not be for you.
Would you like to sail with any of the lines I’ve mentioned? If not, why? I’d love to hear your thoughts! It’s no secret that I’d love to cruise ‘The Viking Way’, but that’s a story for next time!