Luxury has no limits!
by Eagle Travel
All aboard the newest Luxury Cruise Ships
Cruising used to mean formal dining, limited ports of call and seen as a holiday to be enjoyed by those of a certain age – and bank balance, but in recent years there has been a shift. Thanks to innovations within the industry cruising is now much more affordable, flexible and appeals to a wider clientele – in last year alone 28.5 million people worldwide took a cruise, and demand continues to grow.
Today, luxury cruising can mean different things to different people. Some see it as opulent suites created by world renowned designers and 24-hour butler service. Others will define it as being able to discover the world in relaxed and intimate surroundings, or being able to access to the most undiscovered and remote places on Earth, and whilst the “Gold Tap” cruise is still very much alive, cruise companies are constantly innovating to bring their own brand of luxury to the market.
With more ships sailing our seas than ever before, luxury cruise lines are going above and beyond customer’s expectations to deliver a luxury cruise that is personal to them. In our latest column, the award – winning cruise specialists at Eagle Travel highlight some of the new ships shaking up the luxury cruise industry, all vying to offer you the best experience at sea.
However, luxury isn’t just confined to mainstream cruising. Expedition cruising is booming, in part thanks to the fortunes of the “experience economy” whereby people are investing in experiences, feelings and emotions instead of physical goods. The once basic surroundings of expedition ships have been reimagined, with an influx of new expedition ships promising a unseen level of opulence, service and facilities, and allow guests to venture deeper into previously inaccessible destinations.
STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY
The long-awaited maiden voyage of the Ultra-Luxury Scenic Eclipse happens on August 15th. The world’s first discovery yacht will be home to a wealth of world class facilities and amenities, taking its guests to places previously inaccessible to the ordinary traveller. All-inclusive 6-star shore excursions, in-suite mini-bar and all on board dining and premium branded beverages are included in the price you pay. There are ten dining options on board, from fine French dining to a private teppanyaki grill for just 8 guests, or you can choose to dine in the privacy and divine surroundings of your suite.
Along with not 1, but 2 on board helicopters, Zodiacs and Kayaks, Scenic Eclipse provides a new dimension in discovery, thanks to its own submarine – the Scenic Neptune. Capable of diving to a depth of 300 metres, and boasting spacious seating for up to six guests, Neptune features internal climate control and a surround sound music system. Constructed from a material with the same refraction index as seawater, the submarine “virtually disappears underwater to provide an open and spacious feeling”. Zodiacs and Kayaks are also available for more intimate exploration of your surroundings.
Proving that demand for more traditional and lavish cruises is still high, the Regent Seven Seas Splendor combines exquisite style and comfort with exemplary “white glove” service. With just 375 all-balcony suites and a crew of 542, the Splendor will be home to the Regent Suite – the largest suite ever built on a luxury cruise ship. At 4,443 square feet, the suite boasts a magnificent marble adorned in – suite spa retreat plus a $200,000 hand crafted bed, in surroundings described by Regent as “perfect elegance”. Guests booking the Regent Suite will also enjoy their own personal car with driver and guide in every port, a dedicated personal butler and first-class air travel. With an all-inclusive price of approximately £11,000 per night, the Regent Suite is all but sold out for the ships inaugural season in 2020. Prices for the lead-in Veranda suites start at a more reasonable £4,399pp for a 7-night European cruise.
The Splendor sets sail on her maiden voyage in early 2020 and will be the fifth ship in the prestigious Regent Seven Seas fleet, with a further new ship being delivered in 2023. Regent Seven Seas offer the most all-inclusive programme at sea, and fares include return air travel, pre-cruise hotels, speciality dining, unlimited beverages, mini bars, Wi-Fi, gratuities, excursions and pre or post cruise land programmes.
A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
With travellers becoming increasingly eco conscious and demanding when It comes to sustainability, cruise companies are continually looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact.
MS Roald Amundsen is the first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the next few years. The state-of-the-art vessel uses new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology to sail using electrical propulsion that will cut emissions and fuel consumption by 20%. The ship is especially constructed for life in the Polar regions – bringing destinations to explorers in the most sustainable way. On board the ships rich and comfortable interior uses Scandinavian design and materials such as oak, granite and wool to complement the stunning surroundings outside, with suites boasting outdoor balcony hot tubs affording spectacular views of destinations.
An on-board science centre is packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens and science equipment. This is where guests and staff/crew meet, mingle and create a deeper understanding for the areas you explore. The flexible venue features lecture spaces, a small library, and speciality areas for workshops in photography, biology, and more. A two-level indoor / outdoor observation deck offers guests a space to truly immerse yourself in the surroundings, and their Young Explorers programme offers a dedicated space for curious 7 – 13year olds to learn about the impact humans have on our delicate and beautiful planet.
A TALE OF TWO SHIPS
When choosing a cruise, the ship is just as, if not more important than the destinations you travel to. A cruise visiting the Galapagos Islands – a bucket list destination for many thanks to its biodiversity and unique landscape, is now more accessible than ever, thanks to a choice of very different ships competing for the tourist pound.
This year has seen two very different ships enter the market especially built for exploration of the 19 islands and marine reserve that make up the Galapagos Islands, described by UNESCO as “a unique living museum and showcase of evolution”.
Touted as the most elegant ship ever to sail the Galapagos, the ultra-luxury Silver Origin by Silversea arrives in summer 2020. With an onboard team of Ecuadorian national expert guides and the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos, an on-board interactive basecamp from which to board its 8 Zodiacs, the all-suite, all balcony Silver Origin will allow its 100 passengers to fully immerse themselves in the destination whilst enjoying all-inclusive luxury and exquisite dining experiences, with each suite having their own dedicated butler. With ocean-view bathtubs, balcony showers and a pioneering Horizon Balcony in selected suites which can convert to enclose the balcony with a floor-to-ceiling window for added space, seeing the Galapagos up close has never been easier.
The most environmentally conscious ship Silversea has ever built, Origin will combine state of the art luxury and interior design with amazing expedition experience and destination awareness. She will feature dynamic positioning, meaning there is no anchor to damage the delicate ecosystem of the seabed and will also be plastic free – guests will be gifted a metallic reusable bottle and reverse osmosis (whereby sea water is turned into drinking water) refilling stations will save at least 17,000 plastic bottles.
In contrast, the Celebrity Flora launched in the Galapagos this May with a more modern take on luxury. Also all-inclusive, this 100 guest ship is designed to be “outward facing” – making the destination the centre of attention. With an open-air hideaway and stargazing platform, luxurious accommodations that incorporate sustainable and natural materials plus locally sourced cuisine in both indoor and outdoor restaurants, guests will experience all creature comforts whilst gaining insight of the region from partnerships with expert naturalists and guides, both onboard and ashore. With very similar fares, itineraries, and all-inclusive offerings to the Silver Origin, including dynamic positioning, personal suite assistants and once-in-a-lifetime shore excursions, the choice of which ship to travel on is purely down to personal taste.
The award-winning cruise specialists at Eagle Travel have years of experience in finding the perfect cruise to suit their clients tastes and travel preferences. Based on Goldington Road, they are proud to be an independent business based in Bedford specialising in tailor-made and package holidays, cruising, escorted tours, wildlife adventures and luxury rail journeys across the world.
Call on 01234 348882 where a knowledgeable and professional welcome awaits– your journey of a lifetime starts here.