October not only signifies Cruise Month but also marks the beginning of the Australian cruise season. It’s the time when major cruise lines from around the world send their most exquisite vessels from the Mediterranean or the Caribbean down under. Let’s delve into the world of luxury cruises.
But luxury doesn’t always equate to spa treatments, champagne flutes or exorbitant prices. In the post-pandemic world, the definition of luxury is evolving. It’s about attention to detail, a sense of space and escaping the ever-increasing crowds. The desire to travel in style is now more of a need than a mere desire.
Crystal Cruises has consistently delivered on these luxury elements and more. Their latest ships accommodate just 606 guests and feature a nearly one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio. Personalised attention is the cornerstone of Crystal Cruises’ service. Following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, Crystal has made a remarkable comeback. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity – two of the most awarded ships at sea – are now “better than ever”, according to reviewers.
Almost 80 per cent of Crystal staff returned to the line after a tumultuous period when a previous owner faced financial difficulties during the pandemic. That’s the kind of brand loyalty that speaks volumes about the line.
In December 2023, Crystal Symphony will set sail in Australian waters, offering seven close-to-home voyages through Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. What sets Crystal apart is its attention to wellness, with a 280sqm fitness centre, PGA-qualified golf pro for lessons, and gourmet dining designed for health-conscious foodies.
Among its accommodation options are the Crystal Penthouse Suite, a sprawling 87sqm with its own 10sqm balcony, making it a haven for those seeking the ultimate luxury.
For more information, visit crystalcruises.com
Explora Journeys is a relatively new player in the luxury cruise industry. It's maiden voyage of Explora 1 starting just a few weeks ago. Their approach to luxury revolves around contemporary design and an emphasis on inner and outer discovery. With 461 oceanfront suites, each featuring a private terrace and ocean view, Explora 1 is all about sophisticated settings and a cosmopolitan ambiance.
Guests can choose from 18 food and beverage venues, including six restaurants curated by Michelin-star chefs. With sailings ranging from five to 52 nights, Explora Journeys offers remarkable itineraries that blend renowned destinations with lesser-travelled ports. Their commitment to environmental and marine technologies also sets them apart. They aim to reconnect guests not only with themselves but with the world around them.
For more details, visit explorajourneys.com
Intimate Ultra-Luxury Cruises
Silversea, known for their intimate, ultra-luxury small ship cruises, offers an all-inclusive experience with a focus on exclusivity. And with no more than 350 suites on their largest ships, passengers enjoy a sense of space while still being able to dock at exclusive destinations.
The first Nova-class ship for Silversea, Silver Nova, embarked on her maiden voyage on August 14, departing Venice, Italy. Silver Nova is Silversea’s 12th ship and the first to launch this year for Royal Caribbean Group. It introduces an entirely new take on luxury at sea. Her innovative design incorporates an unprecedented use of approximately 4000sqm of glass. That helps immerse guests into the destination from virtually all venues and suites, with far-reaching views at every turn. There is also a reimagined pool deck, which overlooks the water on her starboard side. There are also all-new outdoor venues including Dusk Bar and the Marquee.
For more details, visit Silversea
In addition to Silversea, there is a new era of luxury yachting. The Ritz-Carlton has introduced its own luxury yacht collection, offering passengers a taste of the yachting experience without owning a yacht. These cruises take guests to island hideaways, offer world-class specialty restaurants, and provide activities that rival a private super yacht experience.
Scenic has also entered the luxury yachting space with the Scenic Eclipse, which features a gold-leaf emblazoned spa and 550sqm of wellness facilities. This yacht, with a capacity of 228 guests, encourages passengers to explore polar ice caps, kayak, paddleboard, and take Zodiak excursions.
Whether it’s the personalised attention and spaciousness offered by Crystal, the emphasis on inner and outer discovery by Explora, the intimate ultra-luxury experience by Silversea, or Ritz-Carlton’s luxury yacht, the world of luxury cruising is evolving to cater to a wide and indulgent range of passenger desires.