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Travel Blog

Latest Luxury travel articles

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.

Cruise ship tours: The charm of the Royal Clipper

January 20, 2016

From via

The 227-passenger vessel is a fully rigged, five-masted tall ship.

Looking for something different 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 passenger vessels afloat: sailing line Star Clippers' Royal Clipper.

Measuring 439 feet long and 54 feet at the beam, the five-masted, fully rigged sailing ship is billed as the largest square-rigger at sea and, as can be seen in the tour, it's a sight to behold. With room for 227 passengers, the 5,000-ton vessel is based on the design for Preussen, a legendary German windjammer built in 1902.

Designed as a research tool for vacationers considering a voyage, the Royal Clipper photo tour -- by veteran cruise writer and ship photographer Peter Knego

Walter Christen's insight:

Star Clippers'  Royal Clipper is a beautiful ship. If you were looking for a different type of cruise ship for your next adventure, this maybe the ship for you.  Although it looks like a sailing ship from the early days it has all the amenities of the best luxury cruise ships.  I for one would love to sail on this amazing ship.


Can you say wanderlust? Great sightseeing abounds for Paul Gauguin guests visiting Bora Bora.

Paul Gauguin Cruises announces 2017 voyages featuring new itineraries in Fiji and Bali

January 12, 2016

From via

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, m/s Paul Gauguin, announces 2017 voyages that feature popular favorites along with new, exotic 16- and 17-night Fiji & Bali itineraries and a collaborative program with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The 16-night Fiji to Bali voyage departs April 29, 2017, from Lautoka, Fiji, and visits Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Merauke, Indonesia; Dili, Timor-Leste; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Lembar, Lombok Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia. The reverse itinerary, Bali to Fiji, is 17 nights and departs June 7, 2017. 

In 2017, The Gauguin will also be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 7-night Tahiti, the Society Islands & Tuamotus; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands. Also in 2017, the popular 12- and 13-night Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga & Fiji itineraries return. In addition to sailing to beautiful islands in the South Pacific, and showcasing Polynesian culture and hospitality, these voyages feature complimentary access to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ two exclusive retreats - Motu Mahana, an islet off the coast of Taha’a, and a private beach in Bora Bora. At Motu Mahana, guests enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a barbecue feast, and cocktails from full-service and floating bars. In Bora Bora, guests can relax on a white-sand beach and enjoy refreshments, a game of volleyball, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

Walter Christen's insight:

If you wanted to cruise the South Pacific in style,  Paul Gauguin Cruises would be my recommendation.  The itineraries look fantastic and the collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society is a added bonus. 


Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf sails off the coast of Capri, Italy.

Windstar Cruises to add James Beard chefs to 3 themed itineraries

January 1, 2016

From via

Gourmet dining at sea just keeps getting better and better. Like a perfect wine-pairing at a Michelin-star restaurant, award-winning Windstar Cruises has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to serve elevated culinary experiences aboard three 2016 themed cruises to France, Morocco, Portugal and Spain. The James Beard Foundation Collection will offer a trio of bespoke small-ship sailings catering to food and wine aficionados, and guiding passengers to the best culinary experiences at each port.

“It’s very important to us to expose our guests to local culture and cuisine throughout their time on board, creating a more intimate connection to the world around them,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “Our new James Beard Foundation Collection takes Windstar’s commitment to local food culture a step further and is perfect for any traveler who approaches a new city with their next meal in mind.”

The 2016 James Beard Foundation Collection by Windstar itineraries includes three sailings with two itineraries. Embarking on April 24, 2016, the eight-day “Culinary & Wine Delights of Southern Spain & Morocco” sails on Wind Surf from Lisbon to Barcelona, docking in Tangier, Morocco, and Málaga, Granada, Cartagena, Ibiza, and Tarragona, Spain. On June 10 and August 9, 2016 the 10-day “Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain & France” cruise aboard Star Legend, sails from Dublin to Lisbon in June. The reverse occurs in August with ports including Saint-Malo, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux in France, Gijon and El Ferrol in Spain, and Porto in Portugal.

Walter Christen's insight:

A big part of the cultural experience on a cruise I believe is the tasting of foods from the region.  What better way to do this is on a Windstar cruise and the James Beard Foundation.   


A luxury cruise renaissance begins

December 30, 2015

From via

A luxury cruise renaissance is on its way as Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises all expand their operations from now into 2018 and beyond.

Crystal Cruises

No single line in the group is growing as much as Crystal Cruises as the company, recently purchased by Genting Hong Kong, prepares to introduce entirely new brands and new ships. Until now, the line has consisted primarily of two ships, but now it has three new Exclusive-class vessels on order. Illustrating the magnitude of the company’s growth is Genting HK’s decision to buy the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany where they will be built.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

As for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the luxury line is coming out with the new Seven Seas Explorer, which the line is calling "the most luxurious ship ever built,” on July 20, 2016. Onboard will be an impressive set of decadent features including 375 total suites, sporting the largest verandas in the cruise industry, the crème de la crème of which will be a 3,975-square-foot, two-room Regent Suite situated at the top front of the ship with its own spa and Vista Garden glass-enclosed observation area

Seabourn Cruise Line

Later in 2016, Seabourn Cruise Line’s newest Seabourn Encore will set sail with an inaugural itinerary scheduled for January 2017. The more intimate 600-guest luxury liner will be just 40,350-gross-tons in size and feature a second sister ship, the Seabourn Ovation, to be introduced in 2018. Both are based on the country-club style Odyssey-class vessels with one extra deck and expanded public areas this time around.


Walter Christen's insight:

There are exciting new luxury cruising ships coming from the three big names in luxury cruising, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Seabourn Cruise Line.

These new ships are beautiful and offer a class of amenities that are sure to please even the most discerning of cruise traveler.


Sail to your chosen destination in luxury and style aboard Seven Seas Mariner, the world's first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship.

Smooth sailing on Regent Seven Seas Mariner

December 27, 2015

From via

On the night of our sail-away from Lisbon on Regent Seven Seas Mariner, my husband and I joined a small group of fellow passengers in an intimate lounge for a “first-timers-to-the-line” orientation. Regent cruise consultant, Brian O’Brien, hosted the get-together over cocktails and led off with a weather forecast, of sorts.

“If you are running into foul weather on a Mediterranean cruise, it means the Captain has taken a wrong turn,” said O’Brien.

Everyone chuckled but his comment was spot-on. During peak season—which runs from May through August—cruisers can usually count on near-perfect weather. Each time we’ve sailed the Med, sunshine has been abundant, temperatures hovered around the 70s and 80s, and cool sea breezes made it appealing to relax on the deck.

Walter Christen's insight:

The luxury 700 passenger cruise ship, Regent Seven Seas Mariner, sounds like it is the perfect size ship to cruise the Mediterranean.  I like the port-intensive cruise aspect where you can go to many different locations without packing and unpacking. Also the all inclusive nature with many sight seeing tours included makes budgeting easier. 

The Western Mediterranean is on my bucket list and Regent Seven Seas may be the perfect cruise line to satisfy this want 


On Silver Whisper, you'll be able to take advantages of such amenities as a full spa, a wellness shop and boutique shopping.

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

December 13, 2015

From via

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:

An around the world cruise is the pinnacle of a diehard cruiser.  Not sure if even I could afford one on of these trips (price for only the top accommodations are shown), I could be away for such a long time.  I am willing to try, though.

Here is Cruiseable's recent coverage of world cruises:

Is a world cruise right for you?

• World Cruise Roundup for 2016 and 2017

The 5 cruise lines/ships mentioned in the article:

Silversea - Silver Whisper

Cunard - Queen Elizabeth

Crystal Cruises - Crystal Serenity

Oceania Cruises - Insignia

Regent Seven Seas - Navigator



Sail to your chosen destination in luxury and style aboard Seven Seas Mariner, the world's first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship.

10 things we love about sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

December 11, 2015

From via

Cruising with all-inclusive Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a very comfortable, social experience. You get the luxury of space to hang out sans crowds, lots of perks and fancy accouterments, but it's all on a pleasingly subtle scale — as we learned on a recent cruise in the Mediterranean on the all-suite, all-veranda 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner.

Walter Christen's insight:

Luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas although more expensive than the mega ships do offer a lot more for the money spent. All inclusive means just that. Drinks, specialty dining, airfare and transfers, shore excursions, and Wi-Fi are just the start. The cabins are suites and provide more room to spread out in than normal. In addition, the ships are smaller and can go to smaller ports of call which can provide a more immersive experience. Less crowding and interesting places to visit.

With all the amenities and perks, a cruise on Regent Seven Seas Seven Seas Mariner may be the perfect way experience luxury cruising.


A capuchin monkey spotted near the Panama Canal.

Windstar Cruises to celebrate Panama Canal deckside festival

December 8, 2015

From via

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.  Windstar's Costa RicaPanama Canal luxury cruise will be a 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

December 8, 2015

From via

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.


Star Pride: The first in a trio of Windstar Cruises’ new 'star class' yachts

November 30, 2015

From via

Can affordable luxury cruising get any better? We’re splashing out in a suite – all 106 staterooms are outside suites that come with huge picture windows or balconies plus living areas (where we can order multi-course dinners if we wish). There’s even a walk-in closet. We have deluxe L’Occitane bath products, his-and-hers sinks and a full-size bathtub too in the marble bathroom. And, oh, the food! How are we going to zip up our pants with the food being this scrumptious?

Welcome to the Star Pride – the first in a trio of Windstar Cruises’ new “star class” yachts. Windstar prides itself on their ports-of-call being the chief attraction. We fondly recall our Tahiti and Amalfi Coast cruises on Windstar’s tall ships – intimate enough to nose into hidden bays and secluded villages the big ship contenders can only dream about. But if the new Star Pride is any indication, the “star class” yachts can boast star power themselves.

Until recently, Windstar was known for its three motorized, tall-ship yachts (Wind Surf, Wind Spirit and Wind Star). The line then acquired the 440-foot Pride from the luxury Seabourn fleet, which set sail as the Star Pride under the Windstar flag in 2014. Two sister ships were also plucked from Seabourn, and after a multi-million dollar transformation (double the upgrades of the Star Pride), the Star Legend and Star Breeze were launched by Windstar in May, 2015. The three “star class” yachts offer a new level of luxury for port-hopping Windstar guests.

Walter Christen's insight:

Windstar "Star Class" ships are small luxury ships that can go to ports of call that the large mega ships cannot go to. I especially like the concept of casual elegance and the lack of need for a jacket or tie.

You can read more about these three fantastic ships right here on Cruiseable:

Star Pride

Star Legend

Star Breeze


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

Photo tour: The charm of a Windstar sailing ship

November 25, 2015

From via

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.



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

November 19, 2015

From via

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 Cruises 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.