It is going to be big year for luxury cruises in 2021. And the continuing strength of the luxury cruise market means passengers are booking further and further ahead.
The year will usher in new, innovative super-elegant ships heading to exotic, exciting and remote parts of the world. On the cards are the launch of two new ships, Silver Dawn and Seabourn Venture, with all the bells and whistles money can buy.
There will also be three world voyages offered by luxury lines Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Crystal. They are the 117-night voyage on Seven Seas Mariner, a 140-day journey on Seabourn Sojourn and the 139-night world cruise on Crystal Serenity.
Here’s a look at what extraordinary cruises are on offer from luxury lines in 2021
Luxury line Silversea has just launched its 2021-22 itineraries across seven continents with several surprises. The line’s fabled Greek Islands and Mediterranean cruises will launch with 28 maiden calls. There will be more voyages to Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords and an in-depth excursion at the Holy Land. There will also be an amazing cruise to see the full solar eclipse in the Antarctica in December 2021 and the line’s newest ship, the Silver Dawn will debut with her inaugural season in September.
The 596-passenger Dawn will be the line’s second luxury ship to have the immersive Sea And Land Taste (S.A.L.T) restaurant and seven other dining options. For her inaugural season on 22 September 2021, she will sail the Mediterranean from Rome to Venice on a 9-day cruise and on 1 October from Venice to Athens on a 12-day journey – both itineraries will include free economy class flights and a 10 per cent early booking bonus. As Silversea says: “A new Dawn is coming.”
To experience a once-in-a-lifetime Solar Eclipse cruise on 4 December 2021, passengers will watch the brilliance of Antarctica plunge into darkness as the changing light and sharpening shadows highlight the icy region’s magnificent beauty. There are two voyages to the Antarctica to experience the surreal remoteness, the absolute beauty, the ice and the myriad of wildlife. You can book a 22-day cruise with Silver Wind from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia which departs on 20 November with prices starting from $48,420 per person or aboard Silver Cloud on a 11-day Ushuaia round-trip on 30 November with prices from $31,410 pp. Free economy airfare and a 10 per cent early booking bonus are included.
Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will offer 146 voyages from April 2021 to May 2022 with 27 new ports of call across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. There will be a record 116 overnight stays and the first sailings to the Black Sea since 2014 with visits to Romania, Bulgaria and Bulgaria.
The line will return to Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion in the Indian Ocean while voyages to the Antarctica will sail near Deception Island, Paradise Bay and Half-Moon Island.
There will also be three Grand Voyages including a European tour with destinations in Northern Europe, the Baltics and the Mediterranean on Regent’s newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor.
Seven Seas Mariner will embark on an epic 117-night adventure World Cruise to visit 61 unique ports across South America, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean. The world cruise will visit 30 countries with exclusive shore excursions including a flashback to Australia’s penal history in Brisbane and a Royal Bedouin evening in Wadi Rum, the stunning desert landscape used as the location for the filming of Lawrence of Arabia and Prometheus movies.
At Easter Island, a mere dot off the coast of Chile, passengers will explore Rapa Nui’s pink-sand beaches, volcanic cones and the monumental Moai statues – “more than 800 of them bearing silent witness to a long-lost, complex society,” the line said.
There will also be visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jerusalem, Israel and Limassol in Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Seven Seas Explorer in Alaska will offer new shore excursions and access to new UNESCO Heritage sites in Japan, Portugal and Italy. She will visit Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and when she cruises to Australia and New Zealand, there will visits to the Great Barrier Reef and Milford Sound.
In addition there will be 10 voyages to Asia which will feature multiple in-port overnights allowing passengers to immerse themselves in the food and vibe of some of Asia’s most fascinating cultures.
Seabourn first ultra-luxury expedition ship, Seabourn Venture will launch in 2021, visiting remote destinations in the Arctic and Antarctica. She will also offer voyages to the Amazon, Caribbean, Central and South America. There will a total of 25 immersive voyages ranging from seven to 22 days for guests to discover diverse wildlife, spectacular scenery and nature and difficult to reach destinations in the world. She will spend a maiden season in Northern Europe and the Arctic to explore the seasonal extravagance in the northern polar region, trek to waterfalls and shining blue-white glaciers. She will also visit Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, one of the most remote destinations in the world.
Seabourn Venture will spend the austral summer season at the southernmost continent, offering nine exhilarating voyages on the Antarctic, South Georgia and Falkland Islands. The cruise will call at Saunders Island, Steeple Jason Island, West Point Island and New Island – all remote islands with one of the largest and most diverse wildlife in the world. The 21-day “Ultimate Holiday Antarctica and South Georgia will depart Ushuaia, Argentina on 14 December 2021.
Seabourn will also launch a great travel adventure across the globe with a 140-day World Cruise in 2021 featuring visits to 60 ports in 32 countries onboard Seabourn Sojourn. Departing Miami on 3 January 2021, she will visit Central and South America, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia and Africa before ending in Barcelona on 24 May 2021. It will include 10 overnights and linger late in 16 ports allowing guests to explore fascinating destinations in depth.
In Central and South America, Seabourn Sojourn will make its first-ever landing at Easter Island, aka as Rapa Nui, a bucket list destination with an overnight stay and two days to explore the mysterious stone-faced Moai.
In South Pacific, the ship will visit Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and Soloman Islands. They will visit Dravuni, a volcani island in Fiji with sparkling white beaches and a population of less than 200. They will also spend a day at Tavanipupa, a private island in the Soloman with spectacular snorkelling and three days at Papua New Guinea, one of the world’s civilisations.
In Australia, Seabourn Sojourn will visit the Great Barrier Reef, Phillip Island in Victoria, cross the Great Australian Bight, call at Bunbury and Broome.
In Africa, she will spend two days at Seychelles, three days in Mombasa in Kenya, an optional safari in Serengeti and overnights in Walvis Bay in Namibia. Sailing up the west coast of Africa, she will also call at Benin, Ghana, Togo and Gambia, the capital of Senegal. Book before 31 May next year and you will get free business class return fare and $5842 (US$4000) shipboard credit per suite.
Crystal Cruises has curated special world cruises to culminate in ushering in New Year’s Eve extravaganza in Sydney’s Harbour on the last day of 2021.
Crystal Cruises’ two-ocean-going luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will embark on 68 voyages to 238 destinations in 53 countries which will visit 175 World Heritage sites.
The recently launched polar-class, expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor will offer two remote expedition cruises from Ushuaia including a 15-night expedition cruise from Ushuaia to the extreme polar region of Antarctica. The voyage will call at West Point Island, Saunders Island, Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands in Antarctica before crossing the Drake Passage on the way back to Ushuaia. Equipped with two helicopters and a seven-person submersible, the voyage will discover extraordinary wildlife, stunning landscapes and immerse passengers in the culture of the rarely-visited destinations.
The line is also offering a 139-night world cruise on board Crystal Serenity from Miami to London departing on 5 January to 24 May 2021. The cruise will visit Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, the Mediterranean, Spain, France before arriving in London.
For those who cannot afford the time to do a full world cruise, they can opt for shorter 12 to 21 nights segments including a 20-night voyage from Los Angeles to Brisbane, an 18-night cruise from Brisbane to Hong Kong or a 12-night journey from Tokyo to Shanghai.
The French luxury line has also released its 2021 itineraries which range from the azure waters of the Mediterranean, the awe-inspiring fjords to the vibrant cultures of the Atlantic. And you can save up to 30 per cent if you book early.
For the first time, Ponant will visit Sochi in Russia and Batumi in Georgia during the new “Black Sea Odyssey” cruise and launch four new itineraries to Norway’s fjords and islands. The line will also call at Sorrento in Italy to mark the Annual Piano Festival at Sea celebrations.
On the Med, there is a music cruise on board Le Lyrial from Barcelona to Lisbon featuring French radio presenter, Alain Duault and a selection of performers. The 8-day cruise from 7 October to 14 October 2021 will call at Tarragona, Valencia, Cartagena, Malaga, Cadiz before arriving at Lisbon.
Ponant also has a new 9-day itinerary cruising Norway’s fjords and islands including return flights onboard Le Boreal from Bergen to Tromso departing on 19 May 2021. Passengers will see one of Europe’s most beautiful Briksdal glacier, cruise to Geiranger Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site with its imposing mountains and waterfalls, pass the Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands. At Bear Island passengers will see a myriad of seabirds and Atlantic puffins which take refuge in the vast cliffs of the island.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.