6 of the best luxury Cruises

Our top six luxury lines include Silversea, Seabourn, SeaDream, Crystal Cruises, Ponant and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Here’s what they do to ensure a high-end holiday for the most discerning traveller

The best dining

Cruising has lured world famous chefs to create remarkable restaurants at sea. The US proprietor of Per Se in California and The French Laundry in New York has opened The Grill by Thomas Keller across the Seabourn fleet. Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the star behind Crystal Cruises’ Umi Uma and Sushi Bar, trains the culinary team to prepare his Japanese-Peruvian fusion.

Silversea’s destination-inspired Sea and Land Taste (SALT) concept is set to debut on Silver Moon. Silver Muse, which spends most of summer in Australia, is also notable for her eight exceptional restaurants for 600 guests. Foodies will love Kaiseki with seating around the teppanyaki hotplate or alfresco dining at Le Terrazza.

The best shore excursions

With only a few hours or an overnight stay in each port, it’s important to plan ahead to explore a destination’s culture and heritage. Regent has the largest collection of included shore excursions, with immersive experiences such as fishing with the residents of Portofino or spending a day at a family-owned goat farm in Andalusia.

On Silversea’s 2020 World Cruise, options include a candlelit Bedouin dinner in Egypt’s Red Sea Desert after a jeep safari across the sand, or in Edinburgh, UK, an exclusive visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia with the last serving Admiral.

The best itineraries

The beauty of luxury cruising is that small ships can sail where megaships can’t. Ponant is unsurpassed in its variety of expeditions to remote regions, from the Kimberley to New Zealand’s Subantarctic islands.

SeaDream Yacht Club will debut SeaDream Innovation in September 2021, the 70-day maiden voyage travels through four continents, from London to Ushuaia, Argentina, via Antarctica. The 220-passenger, ice-class megayacht, with a one-to-one guest to crew ratio, will also sail to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Norwegian fjords and Northwest Passage.

The best entertainment

Entertainment is low-key on these intimate ships, with most passengers preferring live jazz at Silversea’s Silver Note supper club or dancing under the stars at SeaDream’s Top of the Yacht bar.

The best spa and wellness

Every luxury ship has a sublime spa for guests to indulge in pampering afloat. SeaDream has the only Thai-certified spa service at sea with therapists providing traditional massage and Sisley Paris treatments. There’s also sunrise yoga and tai chi, and a ‘raw food’ menu in which all ingredients are organic and vegan.

Seabourn specialises in mindful living with a program of daily meditation, yoga and health seminars.

The best enrichment

Ponant has a partnership with Musée du Louvre, highlighted on sailings such as a Persian Gulf cruise that includes a visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi and onboard talks by its curators. Crystal Cruises offers lectures by authors and celebrities, art classes and computer lessons. Through its partnership with UNESCO, Seabourn has speakers with special knowledge about World Heritage sites, as well as historians, naturalists and marine biologists.

On Regent’s Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer, the Culinary Arts Kitchen hosts cooking classes. Regent also has excellent theme cruises, such as the Spotlight on Heritage, where senior officers share stories about their hometowns that the ship visits in the Mediterranean.

The best of luxury cruise food

Consider yourself a foodie? Then a gourmet cruise experience aboard a luxury ship is not to be missed. Boasting acclaimed chefs and exciting menus, these are the hottest tables on the water

Cruising has lured some of the world’s most renowned chefs to create remarkable restaurants at sea. The US proprietor of Per Se in California and The French Laundry in New York, has opened The Grill by Thomas Keller across the Seabourn fleet. Steakhouse classics such as Lobster Thermidor and tableside preparations of ice cream sundaes are served in an elegant dining room at no extra cost.

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the star behind Crystal Cruises’ Umi Uma and Sushi Bar, trains the culinary team to prepare his Japanese-Peruvian fusion. Nobu will be aboard the new Crystal Endeavor’s Indonesian Immersive & Great Barrier Reef cruise from Bali to Cairns in October 2020, hosting the Ultimate Vintage Connoisseur dinner (limited to nine diners, for US$1,000 per person) paired with wines and sake.

Silversea’s destination-inspired Sea and Land Taste (SALT) concept is set to debut on Silver Moon. Silver Muse, which spends most of summer in Australia, is also notable for her eight exceptional restaurants for 600 guests. Foodies will love Kaiseki with seating around the teppanyaki hotplate or alfresco dining at Le Terrazza.

   

The best luxury cruise itineraries

Awe-inspiring sights and intrepid adventures with all the comforts you could dream of on the side is with these incredible luxury cruise itineraries offer

The beauty of luxury cruising is that small ships can sail where megaships cannot go. Ponant is unsurpassed in its variety of expeditions to remote regions, from the Kimberley to New Zealand’s Subantarctic islands. Exceptional itineraries include a 12-day journey from Osaka to Guam, discovering Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, and Russia to Alaska via the Aleutian Islands.

SeaDream Yacht Club has commenced the two-year countdown until the debut of SeaDream Innovation. Departing September 2021, the 70-day maiden voyage travels through four continents, from London to Ushuaia, Argentina, via Antarctica. The 220-passenger, ice-class megayacht, with a one-to-one guest to crew ratio, will also sail to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Norwegian fjords and Northwest Passage.

The best luxury cruise shore excursions

Shore excursions are a wonderful way to see the world and add a layer of adventure to your cruise

With only a few hours or an overnight stay in each port, it’s important to plan ahead to explore a destination’s culture and heritage. Regent has the largest collection of included shore excursions, with immersive experiences such as fishing with the residents of Portofino or spending a day at a family-owned goat farm in Andalusia.

On Silversea’s 2020 World Cruise, options include a candlelit Bedouin dinner in Egypt’s Red Sea Desert after a jeep safari across the sand, or in Edinburgh, UK, an exclusive visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia with the last serving Admiral.

The best luxury enrichment cruises

Enrichment programs available on luxury cruises give passengers an opportunity to fire up their minds and creativity between ports

Luxury cruise lines understand that many travellers want stimulating activities alongside poolside lounging and offer insightful and interesting enrichment programs to fill that gap.

Ponant has a partnership with Musée du Louvre, highlighted on sailings such as a Persian Gulf cruise that includes a visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi and onboard talks by its curators. Crystal Cruises offers lectures by authors and celebrities, art classes and computer lessons. Through its partnership with UNESCO, Seabourn has speakers with special knowledge about World Heritage sites, as well as historians, naturalists and marine biologists.

On Regent’s Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer, the Culinary Arts Kitchen hosts cooking classes. Regent also has excellent theme cruises, such as the Spotlight on Heritage, where senior officers share stories about their home towns that the ship visits in the Mediterranean. In June 2020, Spotlight on Broadway features producer, pianist and conductor Seth Rudetsky (Les Misérables, The Producers, Phantom of the Opera), Stephanie J Block, currently headlining The Cher ShowHouse of Cards’ actor Sebastian Arcelus and Cheyenne Jackson from 30 Rock, Glee and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The best luxury cruise entertainment

Cruise entertainment departments, but sure to be surprised and delighted by the entertainment on offer on a luxury cruise

Entertainment is low-key on these intimate ships, with most passengers preferring live jazz at Silversea’s Silver Note supper club or dancing under the stars at SeaDream’s Top of the Yacht bar. Crystal’s bigger ships allow multiple shows each night so passengers can go to the main production in the theatre and then a comedian in the lounge or an Irish folk music gig in the pub.

Seabourn presents ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’, narrated by the British musical theatre lyricist. Showcasing his most loved work, from Evita to The Lion King, the concert is enhanced through anecdotes and photos from Rice’s private collection.