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Latest Luxury travel articles

Silver Spirit is at the top of the Silversea cuise  experience, featuring enhancements such as a substantial spa and the largest stateroom suites in the fleet.

Silversea unveils another epic South America cruise

September 29, 2015

From via

Luxury line Silversea plans another epic sailing from Florida to South America and back for 2017.

The 63-day voyage on the 540-passenger Silver Spirit will kick off Jan. 16, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale and feature a complete circumnavigation of the continent.

Highlights of the trip will include a crossing of the Panama Canal; two days cruising Chile's majestic fjords; a two-day stopover in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during Carnival; and multi-day calls in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Callao, Peru (gateway to Lima and Machu Picchu).

Walter Christen's insight:

Silversea's circumnavigation of South America in early 2017 will be a fantastic voyage and will be making ports of call in some great destinations.  I especially like the stopover in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.

Silversea cruise line also has a similar cruise for early 2016


  Queen Mary 2 in Sydney Harbour.

Latest epic cruise: New York to Australia and back

September 15, 2015

From via

Want to travel from New York to Australia and back without ever getting on an airplane? It'll be doable in 2017 for those willing to hop on a Cunard ocean liner.

The storied line plans to send its flagship Queen Mary 2 on an epic, 132-day voyage from the Big Apple to Australia that also includes stops in Africa, Asia and Europe.

The unusual itinerary will kick off Jan. 3, 2017 with a trans-Atlantic crossing to Southampton, England followed by a trip down the west coast of Africa to Namibia and South Africa. From there, the ship will head east across the Indian Ocean to Australia for an extensive stay that includes 14 port calls.

Walter Christen's insight:

This is a epic cruise. I for one would be able to tick off many of the destinations on my bucket list with this one cruise on Cunard's Queen Mary 2.  2017 may seem quite a way off but I would imagine that there would be many plans and details to work out to be able to cruise for 132 days.


Crystal Serenity cruises through Sorrento in southern Italy.

Woman pays $164K per year to live on luxury cruise ship

September 10, 2015

From via

Lee Wachtstetter, an 86-year-old Florida widow, took her daughter's advice. She sold her five-bedroom Fort Lauderdale-area home on 10 acres and became a permanent luxury cruise ship resident after her husband died.

Mama Lee, as she's known aboard the 11-year-old Crystal Serenity, has been living on the 1,070-passenger vessel longer than most of its 655 crewmembers — nearly seven years.

"My husband introduced me to cruising," she recalled. "Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage we did 89 cruises. I've done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises."

Walter Christen's insight:

What a fantastic way to spend your retirement years. Nice choice of ships also. Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity is a beautiful luxury cruise ship.


Cruise Watch: Seabourn follows Fathom & Crystal, with luxury launch news

September 8, 2015

From via

More premium cruise news: After the recent Fathom "social impact cruise experience" due next spring, and the Crystal announcement of new ultra-luxury sea and air transportation, we can now anticipate another exciting upscale launch due in 2016. Seabourn has revealed design renderings of the luxurious all-suite, all-veranda accommodations on Seabourn Encore, the line’s newest, ultra-luxury ship.

Like everything on board the Seabourn Encore, the suites are envisioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, who blended modern design elements and innovations consistent with understated elegance. In 2014, Seabourn began phasing out the three original ships that started it all, more than two decades before. Their departure, and the arrival of Seabourn Encore in 2016 and Seabourn Ovation in 2018, prepares a new era.

The ship will feature 300 suites with private verandas. The majority range from nearly 300 square feet for the standard veranda suite, plus a private veranda that is up to 74 square feet, to upwards of 1,300 square feet for the Wintergarden suites, which also feature verandas of nearly 200 square feet. "As on every one of our ships, guests will feel right at home when they enter their suite aboard Seabourn Encore," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn’s President. "The suites will offer many thoughtful amenities and personal touches that we are known for, and will be designed with the style and elegance our guests have come to love and expect."

Walter Christen's insight:

Ultra luxury cruise line Seabourn has unveiled design renderings of their newest ship Seabourn Encore due to arrive late in 2016.  The amenities of this 300 suite all veranda ship are impressive.


Tranquil seas and beautiful, sunny days await you aboard Crystal Serenity.

New perk at luxury line Crystal Cruises: Free Wi-Fi

September 1, 2015

From via

Crystal Cruises today announced a new perk for repeat customers: Free Wi-Fi.

The two-ship line says members of its frequent cruiser club, the Crystal Society, will receive 60 minutes a day of free Internet access starting this fall.

The new policy will take effect on the line's Crystal Serenity starting with the ship's Sept. 19 sailing in New England and Canada. It'll kick off on the Crystal Symphony with the Oct. 15 sailing to the Panama Canal.

Walter Christen's insight:

Crystal Cruises has upgraded their Wi-Fi systems on both of their ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Crystal Society members are eligible for the free Wi-Fi time. You automatically become a member after your first Crystal Cruise.

In this day and age it is getting harder and harder to disconnect completely.  This is a welcome upgrade.


At 821 to 918 total square feet, the Seven Seas Suite on Seven Seas Explorer features a spacious bedroom, 1 1/2 marble bathrooms, a large living room and private balcony.

First look: The swanky suites on 'most luxurious cruise ship ever'

August 26, 2015

From via

What will the cabins be like on what's being billed as the most luxurious cruise ship ever? See for yourself with a scroll through the photo tour above, which offers a first look at the accommodations planned for luxury line Regent Seven Seas' next ship, Seven Seas Explorer.

USA TODAY on Tuesday got a sneak peak at mock-ups of the cabins planned for the 750-passenger vessel at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy where it is under construction.

Scheduled to debut in July 2016, the Seven Seas Explorer will have the highest ratio of space to passengers in the history of cruising, and Regent is promising to set a new benchmark in luxury cruising with the ship.

Walter Christen's insight:

Although the Regent Seven Seas new ship Explorer will not be setting sail until July 2016, the mock ups of the suites are outstanding.  This new luxury ship is all suites and I agree, will be setting a new benchmark in luxury cruising.

First sailings will be in the Mediterranean.


Book a romantic cruise to the Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean introduces new luxury experience

August 17, 2015

From via

Royal Caribbean Cruise line is stepping up their luxury game with a brand new set of offerings for guests looking for that extra special touch on their cruise vacation. When vacationing in one of a range of innovative accommodations, guests will enjoy an experience like no other featuring a wide-range of benefits and amenities that they expect from a world-class luxury vacation.  

Along with well-appointed accommodations, Royal Suite Class will offer a range of exclusive amenities based on three tiered service levels. Premium features include a Royal Genie, certified by the British Butler Institute to meet guests every need; free VOOM, the fastest internet at sea; complimentary specialty dining; an ultimate beverage package; inclusive gratuities; preferred seating at select onboard venues, and upgraded room amenities.

The Royal Suite Class will be available for sailings beginning May 2016 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis- and Quantum-class ships, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas, as well as Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas when they debut in spring 2016

Walter Christen's insight:
I like what Royal Caribbean is adding with their new Royal Suite Class. There are three tiers to be offered.  I would love to cruise using the Aqua Theater suite.
On the highest class, there is also  all-day access to Royal Caribbean's Coastal Kitchen, a specialty restaurant the focuses on healthy California-Mediterranean foods.

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

Windstar Cruises welcomes solo travelers

July 29, 2015

From via

For the first time, Windstar Cruises offers solo travelers the chance to experience the trip of a lifetime with waived or reduced rates on select voyages booked by September 18, 2015.


Windstar extends this more affordable style of single cruising on more than 130 voyages including itineraries in Panama, Costa Rica, Tahiti, , the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. The Single Supplement is completely waived on 43 itineraries, with a 10-25% discount on 94 voyages.

Walter Christen's insight:

Windstar Cruises has waived or reduces the single supplement on many of their most popular cruises. Windstar's ships are smaller having a private yacht feel and offer gourmet cuisine and exceptional service.


The Paul Gauguin in Moorea. The Gauguin has three restaurants, a luxury spa and a staff of 217.

Paul Gauguin offers fall voyages to Fiji

July 29, 2015

From via

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, and the 88-guest m/v Tere Moana, offers exotic fall Fiji sailings on The Gauguin that feature optional shore excursions celebrating the destination’s culture, history, and traditions.

Walter Christen's insight:

Specialty cruise line Paul Gauguin announced new 10 ,12 and 13 night sailings to exotic Fiji in the South Pacific on the M/S Paul Gauguin.  Also the list of optional excursions at the various ports of call are quite interesting. 


Oceania Insigina comfortably carries 684 passengers and 400 crew for the cruise of a lifetime.

Oceania plans another epic 180-day cruise

July 25, 2015

From via

Got six months to spare to travel the world? Upscale line Oceania Cruises just announced another epic 180-day voyage that includes stops in South America, Asia and Europe.

The unusual around-the-world sailing on the 684-passenger Insignia will kick off Jan. 6, 2017 in Miami and include calls in 98 ports on six continents.

The 13-year-old line is rolling out the new itinerary in the wake of heavy demand for three other recently announced 180-day world cruises that began taking place this year

Walter Christen's insight:

Oceania Cruises 180 day cruise around the world makes ports of call in 6 continents.  The Insignia cruise ship will be the venue for this over the top cruise experience. The number of must see ports of call on the itinerary is amazing.

 I particularly liked that there were some over night stops so that you do not feel like you are being rushed from port to port.


Crystal Cruises expansion includes three new ocean ships, yacht and river cruising, jet tours

July 21, 2015

From via

Crystal Cruises announced an expansion plan under new owners Genting Hong Kong that includes three 1,000-passenger vessels, its first new ships in decades.

Plus, Crystal will expand into adventure, yacht and river cruising, and luxury jet trips.

The line has signed a letter of intent with Lloyd Werft to build the ocean ships, which will have an unprecedented space ratio of 100 gross tons of space per guest, Crystal said. The minimum size of the cabins on the ships will be 400 square feet.

The first ship is due for delivery in late 2018. The ships will be built to sail in polar waters, Crystal said.

Patti Pietschmann, National Cruise Correspondent for, adds this in her spot-on coverage:

And there’s more, in late 2018 Crystal will introduce Crystal Exclusive Class” launching three new “Crystal Exclusive Class,” cruise ships that will make Crystal the first-ever cruise line to deliver expedition-capable ships with all the signature features and amenities of a luxury ship or private yacht. The all-suite, all balcony ship will accommodate 1,000 guests ...

Hans Kiendl, pastry chef, Crystal Symphony

July 15, 2015

From via

He’s the swami of sweets. The master of meringue. The guru of ganache. He is Hans Kiendl, pastry chef of Crystal Symphony. And his delectable creations are served at every meal, daring even the staunchest dieter to have just one bite.

The Germany-born chef, who has been with Crystal almost since the luxury cruise line launched its first ship 25 years ago, is serious about his work. And it shows in his beautifully presented desserts, using the freshest, purest ingredients. “It only tastes good when you use good ingredients,” he says, adding that he doesn’t use alternatives, like corn syrup. And everything is made from scratch.

 That’s quite a feat for Kiendl and his staff, who start preparing early in the morning for the day’s meals, which start with the Early Risers Continental Buffet in the Lido Café at 6:30 a.m. Pastries and other baked goods are also served at the full buffet breakfast, as well as in the Crystal Dining Room and The Bistro. After breakfast, his staff supplies sweets for lunch, afternoon tea in the Palm Court, dinner, and late-night snacks in The Bistro. And then, there’s 24-hour room service. “The food operation is the biggest entertainer on board,” he says.

Walter Christen's insight:

Yes, food is a important part of cruising.  I was amazed at some of the creations presented here and my mouth watered.  Luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises knows how to prepare and present delectable pastries from fresh ingredients.

I especially liked the observation that "The food operation is the biggest entertainer on board."  

 Hans Kiendl is the pastry chef for the Crystal Symphony cruise ship.  Some Crystal facts:

  • Crystal’s hotel and dining staff are schooled in the fine art of European service.
  • Cuisine by renowned chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, included at no extra charge.
  • Recently emerged from a two-week, $20 million-plus dry dock redesign
  • All-inclusive cruissing that includes specialty restaurants, all beverages and pre-paid gratuities
  • Engaging onboard enrichment programs
  • Impressive wine cellar including Crystal's exclusive "C" label
  • One of the highest space per guest ratios at sea, offering Crystal Cruises' unparalleled service in luxurious comfortable surroundings
  • The only Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea