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Travel Blog


Latest Luxury travel articles

Silver Whisper, which hosts Silversea's iconic World Cruise, will be the first to face an upgrade later this year.

Silversea announces $170 million fleetwide upgrade

August 3, 2016

The luxury cruise line Silversea has announced that its fleet of small ships will undergo a $170 million refurbishment that will upgrade them to the high standards its upscale passengers have grown accustom to.

“We are thrilled to be moving ahead with these major refurbishments and look forward to welcoming guests aboard and sharing our unique vision of ultra-luxury cruising, both in terms of service and physical environment”, Manfredi Lefebvre, chairman of Silversea, said in a statement. “We pride ourselves on being the reference when it comes to ultra-luxury cruising and this investment reflects our long-term commitment in this regard toward our ships, our guests and our crew.”


Visit pretty Sorrento, Italy, on SeaDream II.

SeaDream adds new wine-themed voyages in 2017

July 23, 2016

From o.canada.com via Scoop.it:

Whenever I talk about cruises, people get a wistful look in their eyes when I mention SeaDream Yacht Club. Founded 15 years ago by Norwegian cruise pioneer Atle Brynestad, SeaDream Yacht Club has made a point of sending its two 112-guest luxury yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, where other lines can’t — or simply won’t — go.

Now, SeaDream is rolling out a number of new itineraries for 2017, including seven special wine-themed voyages. Sailing through the sun-splashed Mediterranean, these dedicated wine sailings provide guests with premium tastings from celebrated wineries such as Château Gassier, Tenuta San Guido and Taittinger Champagne.

Walter Christen's insight:

In the cruises I have been on, I have always enjoyed the wine tasting classes onboard. I love learning more about the different types of wine and the places they are produced.

I like SeaDream Yacht Clubs business model of going to smaller ports that the large cruise lines cannot go to. Sometimes it is nice to get off the beaten path and explore the lesser know ports.  The SeaDream I and SeaDream II are fantastic ships to accomplish this.

 

London-based Molton Brown has partnered with Seabourn to create a collection of signature scents distributed free of charge on all its ships.

Molton Brown creates signature scents for Seabourn

July 14, 2016

Seabourn has always provided passengers with top products in their suites. The cruise line even lets you choose your own from a variety of top-shelf selections. And now the company has teamed up with one of the most exclusive labels, London-based Molton Brown, to create a collection of signature scents distributed free of charge on its three ships — and on the new Seabourn Encore when it debuts in December.

"Our new Seabourn Signature Scents are the result of genuine collaboration with Molton Brown, with several months spent developing distinctive scent combinations that will serve to remind guests of the experience of their Seabourn cruise long after they've returned home," said Christopher Prelog, vice president of hotel operations for Seabourn.


Seven Seas Explorer, dubbed "the most luxurious ship ever built," sails the Mediterranean in summer and Caribbean in winter.

Seven Seas Explorer amps up its shore excursions

July 13, 2016

Already popular for the fine cuisine served across its fabulous fleet of luxury liners, Regent Seven Seas is taking the flavors farther with culinary-inspired shore excursions on its sparkling new Seven Seas Explorer inaugural season in the Mediterranean, which begins tomorrow, July 13.

Each tour is a wine and food lover’s dream come true

The one-of-a-kind, flavorful epicurean adventures ashore will feature several exquisite gourmet restaurants and the hands-on Culinary Arts Kitchen. The new collection of Gourmet Explorer Tours will enhance and expand upon the curriculum offered at the Culinary Arts Kitchen aboard the ship by providing adventures that allow guests to explore the destination and local culture through its epicurean offerings. Each tour, which will be escorted by the chef instructor from the Culinary Arts Kitchen and a local guide, is a wine and food lover’s dream come true.


Seven Seas Explorer, dubbed "the most luxurious ship ever built," sails the Mediterranean in summer and Caribbean in winter.

Over the top opulence: First look at Regent's Seven Seas Explorer

July 12, 2016

From www.travelpulse.com via Scoop.it:

When you call your newest cruise ship “the most luxurious ship ever built,” you must be able to back it up. So what sets Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 750-guest, 55,254-ton Seven Seas Explorer apart … and is it truly above and beyond?

There are the obvious features. Consider that the Regent Suite, the biggest and most opulent on the ship, measures a whopping 4,443 square feet. Not only does it boast a $250,000 custom-designed Steinway Arabesque grand piano, the bed is worth more than many homes. It has a Savoir No. 1 mattress worth $90,000, and between linens, the duvet, pillows and installation, the bed alone ended up costing about $150,000.

While those are over-the-top luxury features, the important thing is that the luxurious feel extends throughout the ship, not just in the fanciest suite.

Walter Christen's insight:

With all of the pictures I have seen and the articles describing the amenities aboard the new Regent Seven Seas Explorer, I can see why this new ship is being touted as the "most luxurious cruise ship". Adding to this is Regent Seven Seas all inclusive cruising which includes such things as  round-trip air, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, and all gratuities. Luxury cruising at it's best.

 

 

Get close-up views of the Manhattan skyline when Queen Mary 2 sails through New York Harbor.

Queen Mary 2 shows off $132 million makeover

July 7, 2016

Cunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 arrived in Brooklyn, New York, on July 6 all spruced up after a $132 million facelift that gave her new contemporary interior designs and passenger experiences — many of which take their design inspiration from the original Queen Mary, which debuted in New York 80 years ago.

There was much pomp and circumstance at her arrival with a VIP guest list that included Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp., who spoke at the occasion. “More than any other ship in our Carnival Corporation fleet of more than 100 ships, Queen Mary 2 is the most famous, the most recognizable and certainly the most unique. It was the dream of our chairman Micky Arison to build the Queen Mary 2 almost 15 years ago. He aspired to recreate that luxurious ocean liner experience from the past and Queen Mary 2 is the glorious result.”


Booking a select ocean voyage on Silver Cloud by July 31 will score you a $1,500 shipboard credit.

Silversea expands Silver Select offer

July 5, 2016

Super luxury line Silversea is expanding its popular Silver Select platform to a dozen more voyages during 2017. The creative program allows passengers to personalize their voyage with a choice of three savings options such as a $1,500 per suite on board spending credit that you use for spa treatments, shore excursions or boutique buys (tips and drinks are included in Silversea fares). You can also score a two-category suite upgrade, or 50% off a second suite. For select expedition voyages, the line is offering the choice of a two-category suite upgrade or 50% off a second suite.


Digital rendering of the river ship Crystal Mozart.

Crystal unveils details about 7 super-elegant river yachts

July 1, 2016

It’s not your grandpa’s riverboat, no siree. Luxury travel company Crystal Cruises has revealed the latest wow factors of the first of seven super-elegant riverboats, the highly innovative Crystal Mozart.

The new ships, set to launch in spring and summer of 2017, is expected to set a new standard for luxury river cruising experiences. Crystal River Cruises' new river yachts will showcase stylish and elegant design, creative itineraries and experiences ashore, and unmatched genuine service, the cruise line says. 


Explore the world in luxurious style aboard Seven Seas Navigator.

This is the most epic, luxurious round-the-world cruise

June 23, 2016

From www.travelandleisure.com via Scoop.it:

Better start saving that vacation time: Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a new 137-night Navigate the World cruise for 2018 on the luxe 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator. 

Beginning and ending in Los Angeles, the 38,528-nautical-mile, five-continent voyage departs on January 18, 2018, and is focused on the southern hemisphere, with stops in 28 countries and 64 ports of call.

After a gala at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, the ship will sail for Hawaii, French Polynesia, American Samoa, and Fiji; hit several ports in Australia and New Zealand; and then head to Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Next up are several stops in South Africa, followed by Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil in South America, and Aruba and Curacao in the Caribbean. Finally, the ship will make its way through the Panama Canal and up the Central American coast to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala before docking in L.A on May 25, 2018.

Walter Christen's insight:

2018 may sound a long way off but if you are thinking of taking a cruise of this length, there is a lot of planning that needs to be done.  This around the world cruse aboard Regent Seven Seas ship the Seven Seas Navigator sounds fantastic and quite luxurious.

If you are going to go you may as well go in style and comfort. I agree this will be one epic journey.

 

Feel the wind fill the sails of Royal Clipper during the sailing in the Caribbean. The ship switches on its engines now and then but mostly relies on wind power.

Luxury cruise ships that aren't floating hotels

May 3, 2016

From edition.cnn.com via Scoop.it:

It may have been the best night's sleep I've ever had. Setting sail aboard the Star Flyer out of Athens in the middle of the night was serene and dreamy.

A gourmet meal, a cocktail (or two) and I was ready to collapse in my quarters.
The Star Flyer -- a four-masted, 16-sail luxury sailing ship -- holds only 170 passengers maximum (and there weren't that many on my trip).
But it offers the deluxe amenities of the larger cruise ships combined with the romance and adventure of a time-tested, fully rigged vessel that draws its power from the wind.
Walter Christen's insight:

 Cruising on a cruise ship with sails is my ideal luxury cruise vacation. There is something special being on a ship that is powered by the wind.  Also being smaller, these luxury cruise ships can gain access to ports that the larger ships cannot. of the 8 ships presented, all but 2 are cruise ships with sail power. The exceptions are The La Estrella Amazonica which cruises the Amazon River in Peru and the Queen of the West which is a Mississippi sternwheeler.

My wife and I do plan (someday) on taking a cruise on a cruise ship with sails.  Right now we are looking at Windstar Cruises (Wind Spirit, Wind Star and Wind Surf) and Star Clippers (Star Clipper, Star Flyer and Royal Clipper).

 

 

Wind Spirit, a computer-controlled yacht-style sailing ship, now sails to Tahiti.

Onboard Wind Spirit's Tahiti itinerary

April 20, 2016

From www.travelagewest.com via Scoop.it:

Windstar Cruises has reinstated a year-round ship in Tahiti

I stood waist-deep in the ocean while several stingrays silently glided by; one even brushed my leg. I wasn’t afraid, though — I was captivated.

I was in Bora Bora, participating in one of Windstar Cruises’ special shore excursions during the seven-day “Dreams of Tahiti” itinerary onboard the Wind Spirit sailing yacht. Our guide, Roberto, informed us that stingrays don’t sting unless they are provoked. As he assuaged our fears and encouraged me to pat one, Roberto slowly broke off pieces of tuna and suet to give to the rays, who were behaving like puppies looking for a snack.

I reached out to touch a passing stingray and felt its sleek, wet skin.

“You see?” Roberto said. “They are very friendly.”

So is the entire crew of Wind Spirit, a 440-foot-long, four-masted ship that doubled as my home for the week.

Walter Christen's insight:

What better way to cruise Tahiti than on a Windstar Cruise sailing yacht.  Windstar Cruises' Wind Spirit is a fantastic looking ship and the "Dreams of Tahiti" itnerary sounds fantastic.

 

 

Silver Whisper explores an exotic route with its trademark ambience. Guests  enjoy amenities usually found only on larger ships.

World's 5 most incredible around-the-world cruises

April 17, 2016

From edition.cnn.com via Scoop.it:

There are few more aspirational travel experiences than a six-month vacation that hits upward of 30 countries.

Sure, the first round-the-world sailing trip back in 1521 didn't go as planned -- legendary Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan died, along with 50 of his crew during the 1,082-day voyage.

Thankfully, today's global journeys are infinitely safer and more comfortable.

In fact, on many ships, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've checked into a five-star hotel suite, such are the levels of luxury on offer.

Walter Christen's insight:

If you are really into cruising and travel, a world cruise may be what you aspire to embark upon.  These are not inexpensive cruises and I imagine that there would be a huge amount of planning required to spend 6 months at sea, but to see and experience upwards of 30 countries around the world, I think would be worth the effort.

Cruiseable has done two recent comprehensive looks at world cruises:

The five around the world luxury cruises mentioned:

Silversea, Silver Whisper

Cunard, Queen Elizabeth

Crystal Cruises, Crystal Serenity

Oceania Cruises, Insignia

Regent Seven Seas, Navigator