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Travel Blog


Latest Luxury travel articles

Mareel's redesigned hydro-pool on the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth.

Cunard launches luxurious new spa concept

December 5, 2018

There's nothing like spoiling yourself during a cruise with massages, facials and other special treatments. Just about every ship worth its sea salt now boasts a spa offering head to toe services and more. 

So to up the ante, Cunard Line has developed a new, luxurious spa called Mareel Wellness & Beauty. It will debut at the end of December on the newly redone Queen Elizabeth and then on Queen Victoria followed by Queen Mary 2 in November 2020.


Save up to $2,000 per suite on 2018-19 voyages aboard the lavishly redesigned Crystal Serenity (in Venice, above) or Crystal Symphony.

Black Friday cruise sales on Crystal Cruises

November 21, 2018

Tempted by a luxury cruise but think you can't afford it? Check out Crystal Cruises’s Black Friday sale specials. 

Swank de la swanky Crystal, the top purveyor of high-end experiences on riverboats, ships and even air, is carving out exceptional deals to book after the turkey and trimmings are all gone. And remember, Crystal is all-inclusive, so all fares include tips, wine, spirits and other potables, fine food, seamless service, activities galore and even butlers to enhance the experience.


Silver Muse is the newest ship from Silversea, offering luxurious cruises around the world.

Royal Caribbean takes over Silversea

June 14, 2018

The cruise industry woke up to some pretty big news today. It was a shocker for many. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has agreed to buy a 66.7 percent stake in Silversea Cruises, the tony independent cruise line that operates intimate luxury and expedition ships designed for discerning travelers.

While the news surprised many, some industry insiders were anticipating this would happen. The family owned and operated Silversea was ripe for a takeover, especially with two new ship builds on the horizon.

For Royal Caribbean, Silversea adds a crown jewel in the luxury market, going up against Norwegian Cruise Line's Regent Seven Seas and the smaller Seabourn, owned by Carnival Corp.


Small ship, big visual treats: Pacific Princess gives guests an exotic experience through the lavish isles of Bora Bora.

Princess Cruises offers awesome world cruise for 2020

April 25, 2018

This is definitely designed for folks who enjoy long cruises that visit many ports. On Jan. 5, 2020, Pacific Princess will set out on a 111-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale, stopping in Los Angeles to pick up more guests on Jan. 20. 

The 670-passenger Pacific Princess is the perfect size if you are not a fan of mega-ships. Short segments will be offered for those who don’t have the time, money or inclination to do the whole enchilada.


A look at the dining experience on Magic Carpet, the movable shipside platform on Celebrity Edge (digital rendering).

Celebrity Edge: 29 options for ‘dining wow’

April 17, 2018

Wow! I just got an update from Celebrity Cruises about Celebrity Edge, the cutting-edge ship set to debut in November. The update was all about dining options, one of my favorite topics, and all the cuisines, spices and tools under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher.

They even sent heady cooking spices, a spoon, a denim apron, cake tester, palette knife and Swiss peeler to show how the chef works. Only wish they’d sent along the chef to cook for us.


Silver Spirit alights in pretty St. Lucia.

Silversea rolls out free Wi-Fi for all

March 29, 2018

Finally! A cruise line has come to its cyber senses and is providing all passengers with unlimited Wi-Fi. Super luxe Silversea just made the announcement that will bring cheers from just about everybody booked on one of its spiffy ships.

Beginning in April, all passengers on Silversea's nine luxury ships will be hooked up with Internet access at no extra charge.


Silver Spirit lights up at dusk in St. Kitts.

Silversea to upgrade its award-winning Silver Spirit

February 22, 2018

When the now 540-passenger Silver Spirit (see JD's review) sails again on May 6, 2018, she will be 49 feet longer and even more attractive. Small luxury ship operator Silversea is making over the ship adding 34 new luxury suites, as well as a Balsorano suite.

Each of the accommodations will be adorned with decorative items that are of personal value to Silversea’s chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio di Balsorano de Clunieres. The best existing suites on Silver Spirit will grow in their appeal with the addition of handmade Savoir mattresses, horse hair toppers and new HD screens for guests’ comfort.

The Spirit, which debuted in 2009, goes into dry dock at Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Italy, on March 5, where she will remain until May 1. She will undergo large-scale refurbishment works, which will include the insertion of a prebuilt 15-meter-long (49-feet-long) segment into the ship’s midsection, making her the first luxury ship to be lengthened in this manner.

Aboard Silver Spirit, La Terrazza offers Italian dishes with the freshest ingredients. It's also open for breakfast and lunch with seating indoor or al fresco.
Michel Verdure / Courtesy of Silversea CruisesAboard Silver Spirit, La Terrazza offers Italian dishes with the freshest ingredients. It's one of four existing restaurants on board getting an upgrade.

With the aim of augmenting the onboard experience for Silversea guests, the project will dramatically enhance each of the ship’s public spaces with beautiful interior design, taking inspiration from the cruise line’s flagship vessel, Silver Muse, which was delivered by Fincantieri in April last year.

"Based on the wonderful feedback from guests sailing aboard our beautiful Silver Muse, we believe the comprehensive makeover we have planned for Silver Spirit will enrich the onboard experience and be equally appreciated by guests. They will see many of Silver Muse's innovations and elevated comforts embodied by our reimagined Silver Spirit," says Christian Sauleau, executive vice president of fleet operations for Silversea.

Music to my ears is that Silversea will be enlarging the pool deck and adding a much-needed new health and fitness center (the old one is too small) along with more spa facilities. The casino will also get a transformation. 

They will also be following in the wake of the Silver Muse’s added culinary concepts with more dining options such as  Atlantide, Indochine, Spaccanapoli and Silver Note, which will be installed to complement the existing Seishin, La Dame, The Grill and La Terrazza – each of which will undergo refurbishment. Inspired by guest feedback, menus will be altered and refined across the ship’s prevailing restaurants.

New public spaces inspired by Italian heritage

New public spaces will elevate the overall comfort of the ship such as the Arts Café, an innovative, modern, multi-faceted area on deck 8 that will provide a relaxed setting for readers and tea/coffee lovers. The Arts Café will display exhibitions and performances.

Inspired by Silversea’s Italian heritage, Dolce Vita will occupy pride of place on Silver Spirit. It will be an elegant venue in which sophisticated travelers will gather, interact and make friends. Cool cocktails will provide the perfect accompaniments to the smooth sound of live piano. Guests also stand to benefit from the installation of the Zagara spa — a blissful sanctuary that proved to be extremely popular on Silver Muse — and a fitness center that will boast state-of-the-art facilities.

On May 6, Silver Spirit will go back into service with a seven-day cruise between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Barcelona, calling at Porto-Vecchio, Corsica; Livorno; Portofino; Cannes and Marseilles. Fares start from $4,900 per person with special savings for those bookings made before March 31.

View the full itinerary.

Silversea offers a fleet of small luxury vessels that provide seamless service, fine cuisine, an uptown atmosphere and fares that include gratuities, all beverage from Champagne and beyond and butlers to tend to the needs of its discerning passengers in all staterooms.

Want to sail on Silver Spirit?

As always, if you're interested in a cruise on Silver Spirit, you can't do better than talking with a travel advocate in Cruiseable's Business Department. Send them an email or call toll-free at 1-877-322-3773.


Silver Muse will offer classic ballet recitals on voyages in August 2018 and March 2019.

Silversea brings ballet & opera to high seas

February 8, 2018

While just sailing in the lap of luxury on any Silversea vessel is a trip in itself—with personal butlers, fine food, attractive suite-size accommodations, gratuities, WiFi and wine and spirits all included in the fare—being able to enjoy ballet and opera takes the experience to another level.

Silversea has announced it's offering a superb suite of theme cruises called Enriched Voyages, featuring opera performances by the world-renowned Accademia Teatro alla Scala and classic ballet recitals by soloists from such legendary companies as the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Russia. Along with lectures and Q&A sessions, guests will have the chance to mingle with the artists at a signature cocktail party.


Silversea to offer guests rare access to Ghana's royal Festival of Akwasidae

January 22, 2018

From www.cruiseandferry.net via Scoop.it:

Cruise guests will have a rare opportunity to attend the Festival of Akwasidae in Ghana next March as part of Silversea Cruises’ latest land tour.

Offered as part of a new six-day, pre-cruise ‘Accra & the Ashanti Kingdom’ land tour before Silver Cloud’s 16 March 2016 West Africa voyage, the centuries-old festival is held within the walls of the royal palace in Kumasi. It is presided over by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th ruler of the Ashanti people. During the ceremony, griots tell stories of past Ashanti rulers while drum and ivory horn players accompany traditional dance performances.

“In addition to being an amazing journey, this unique programme provides our guests with the exclusive opportunity to participate in the Akwasidae Festival in Kumasi,” said Darius Mehta, Silversea’s vice president of air and land programmes. “Like all of our overland adventures, this exciting programme has been hand-crafted to enhance our guests' experiences ashore, and to provide them with cultural immersion opportunities that would simply not be possible otherwise.”

Walter Christen's insight:

This pre cruise land tour being offered by Silversea looks to be a unique and once in a lifetime experience. This is a six day land tour before boarding the Silver Cloud on it's West Africa itinerary.


Photo tour: The charm of a Windstar sailing ship

January 22, 2018

From www.usatoday.com via Scoop.it:

Looking for something out of the ordinary for your next cruise? Our latest Cruise Ship Tour, in the carousel above, offers a deck-by-deck look at one of the most unusual and alluring small ships afloat, upscale line Windstar's Wind Spirit.

As can be seen in the tour, the 148-passenger Wind Spirit is a motor sailing vessel that can operate on both wind and diesel power -- one of three in the six-ship Windstar fleet. Originally built in 1988, it recently received a major makeover in dry dock that brought significantly revamped public spaces and cabins, and it now sails year-round in the South Pacific (a nearly identical sister ship, the Wind Star, operates in the Caribbean and Mediterranean).

Walter Christen's insight:

I have always loved the looks of the Windstar cruise ships that can also use sail power in addition to the more traditional diesel. Windstar's Wind Spirit and sister ship Wind Star only have capacity for 148 passengers while the bigger Wind Surf can have up to 312 passengers. Windstar also has three traditional cruise ships, Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride each with a capacity for 212 passengers.

Windstar is known as a luxury cruise line that feels more like your on a yacht. Smaller ships mean they can go to smaller and often more interesting ports of call.


Windstar Cruises to celebrate Panama Canal deckside festival

January 22, 2018

From www.travelagentcentral.com via Scoop.it:

Guests sailing on Windstar Cruises' Costa Rica & Panama Canal itineraries have a new way to celebrate: The Canal Celebration, a deck side festival, invites guests to experience the sights and sounds of the Panama Canal while enjoying amenities and activities that highlight the Panamanian culture.

New for 2015 and 2016, Windstar guests can enjoy a nighttime passage through the Panama Canal, during which lights illuminate the inner workings of the waterway, during the Canal Celebration. As the ship approaches the first locks in the early evening, a speaker from the Panama Port Authority comes on board to introduce guests to the complex lock system.

As the yacht navigates the passage, guests can drink local beverages, beers, and cocktails from a mobile drink cart while listening to local festive music from various regions around the country.

In the evening, guests can dine on a custom-made Panamanian menu, curated by Windstar’s Executive Chef Michael Sabourin. Upon completion of the passage, guests find in their stateroom a certification of The Order of the Ditch, a Navy tradition that recognizes “sailors” who have passed through the Panama Canal.

Walter Christen's insight:

Windstar Cruises is really making a Panama Canal transit very intriguing.  Looks like this luxury cruise would be fun and very informative cruise. In addition to the Panama Canal transit, Windstar stops at some of the most beautiful areas in the region where you will see sloths, howler monkeys and other wildlife that make this part of the world their home.

Windstar also has some pretty amazing land packages for either before or after your cruise. 


Star Clippers to offer free yoga and meditation classes

January 22, 2018

From www.porthole.com via Scoop.it:

Star Clippers has announced it will offer complimentary yoga and meditation classes aboard select sailings on all three of its ships in the Mediterranean in 2016. The classes will be open to all fitness levels and will be conducted in English as well as various other languages based on the instructor’s fluency. Yoga classes will be open to all guests and will be available in the mornings and afternoons, contingent on the port schedules.

Walter Christen's insight:

What a great way to decompress and relax on your Mediterranean cruise. Nice to see that Star Clippers will have classes for all fitness levels as I would be a rank beginner although would love to give thisa try.