When choosing a cruise, the overall cost is a deciding factor, but what if money was no object? Jo Hall helps us to dream with the top five luxury cruise lines
At the luxury end of cruising there’s plenty on offer, with small ships, bigger ships, all-inclusive fares and perks including balcony suites and butlers from which you can choose. So what bang do you get for your buck when you go five-star? Here’s our top five in a snapshot.
One. Crystal Cruises
Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony
It has the biggest ships at the luxury end of the scale, and since 2012 has been all-inclusive, including gratuities. However, unusually for a luxury line, it operates a mix of fixed seating and flexible dining, and attracts families looking for something a little special. Highlights include all-ocean view accommodations, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and there’s no extra charge for specialty restaurants or the sushi bar.
Two. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager
These are beautiful mid-sized ships, with Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner all-suite, all-balcony vessels – the world’s first. Regent has all-inclusive fares, including gratuities, no charge for specialty restaurants and plenty of extras. Highlights include all-suite accommodation with ocean views, open seating dining, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary in-suite mini-bar, interactive flat screen television with movies-on-demand, and complimentary transportation in most ports. Extras include two-for-one fares, free unlimited shore excursions, luxury hotel packages and ground transfers.
Click NEXT to read about three more of the most luxurious cruises available.
Three. Seabourn Cruise Line
Seabourn Spirit, Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Sojourn
Seabourn launched the Odyssey class four years ago and it comprises of three vessels, Odyssey, Quest and Sojourn, all larger than their older siblings. Fares are all-inclusive, including gratuities, with no charge for specialty restaurants. Highlights include all-suite accommodations with ocean views, open seating dining, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary in-suite mini-bar, interactive entertainment system with movies and music, and complimentary transportation in most ports.
Four. Silversea Cruises
Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit, Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer
Silversea’s boutique-sized ships have plenty of private verandahs and facilities. There are plenty of perks in the cruise fare too, including gratuities, but some dining venues are extra. Highlights include all-suite accommodation with ocean views, butler service, open seating dining, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary in-suite mini-bar and complimentary transportation in most ports of call. Extras include complimentary shore-side events on select voyages and guided excursions on Silversea Expeditions.
Five. SeaDream Yacht Club
SeaDream I, SeaDream II
These are the smallest ships, offering more of a yacht-style experience. There’s no dress code beyond casually elegant. There is a watersports platform for snorkelling and kayaking in some ports of call, but there is also a lack of balconies. SeaDream is all-inclusive, with gratuities included. Highlights include all-ocean view accommodation, open seating dining, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary watersports equipment, activities including biking, laptops for use on board and DVDs for in-stateroom viewing.