Luxury cruise guide [Updated 2018]

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Ever wondered what a luxury cruise entails or why you should sail on one? While some cruises are aimed at setting sail to destinations across the world; luxury cruises pay attention to detailed and personalised service to ensure you feel at home onboard your magnificent modern cruise ship and to make your holiday a truly unforgettable experience. Luxury cruises are created for that special treatment to make you feel like the royalty that you are with access to personal Butlers, Concierge and 24-hour room service.

Pampering you with six star service, high-end entertainment and a magnificent and friendly environment, luxury cruises are the epitome of comfort and elegance. Most luxury ships are all-inclusive meaning you don’t have to worry about spending onboard (unless you intend to get top shelf alcohol) as you already have complimentary access to most of the ship’s amenities, VIP rooms, exquisite dining options and exotic drinks.

Experience wonderful and diverse cultures and get to know the people while indulging in the scenery at each port of call. Luxury cruises are known for spending more days at visited ports and due to the size of most luxury ships, the smallest, remotest and less visited destinations are accessible offering a more unique journey than the larger ships.

We have compiled a list of luxury cruises for your next cruise holiday experience.

Azamara Club Cruises

A subsidiary of the world’s second largest cruise line operator Royal Caribbean, Azamara Club Cruises, prides itself on its all-inclusive service, impressive culture connoisseurs and cultural immersions. Azamara’s fleet is designed like upscale boutiques for an intimate, comfortable and personalised experience and sails to exotic destinations across the world, far flung ends and less travelled small ports that the bigger ships can’t reach. Cruising on Azamara includes local tours at designated ports and should there be a delay with the tour; the ship will wait for you. Their motto stay longer, experience more lives true to its name as it’s longer stay at ports on cruises above 7 days gives guests the opportunity to adequately immerse themselves in the culture at every port it visits.

AzAmazing Evenings; a specially themed event by Azamara Cruises models to reflect the unique local culture of the region the ship visits. It ranges from costume parties, traditional and contemporary events to singing and dancing festivals. Some of the ship’s AzAmazing Evenings have seen a night out at the St. Petersburg Symphony Orceshtra and exhibitions of Maori Culture at the Tepapa Musuem.

Azamara Mosaic Cafe and Hideaway on board of Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Cruises

The cruise line of the year 2018, Celebrity Cruises is a premium cruise line with one of the most exotic holiday packages. With over 25 years of sailing experience, Celebrity voyages travel across international date line to over 300 destinations in 79 countries. With Celebrity, you can travel far and wide to pristine destinations – where you can snorkel, hike, surf, observe the local wildlife and biodiversity, awe-inspiring landscapes and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Be blown away by the luxurious international cuisines inspired by Michelin star chefs, the finest of bars and bartenders, lounges and clubs, the stylish and innovative accommodation; this cruise line ticks all the boxes of cruise connoisseurs. The ship is also packed with high-end leisure activities and entertainment; explore the rooftop cinema under the stars, visit the casinos, enjoy exclusive live music and drama performances.

The cruises are family friendly and feature the only Camp at Sea program for junior cruisers. Pamper yourself while at sea and choose from a Mother Daughter Paradise Massage, Father Son Chill Out Massage, BIOTEC radiance renew or ELEMIS deep cleanse grooming treatment at the magnificent spa designed by a world renowned designer.

Holland America Line

Travel in comfort across the seven continents with this timeless, traditional cruise line. Enjoy an exclusive daily afternoon tea and a variety of entertainment on board, including live band performances, piano bar sing-alongs and night club activities in the late evenings. This cruise line features an exploration centre where you can learn about cooking, wine tastings and mixology. It also has themed trivia games, fitness classes and even offers digital workshop seminars. Holland America Line has an ongoing partnership with BBC Earth, offering voyagers a number of onboard activities such as live musical concerts, interactive quiz show, programs for children and photography classes.

Holland America Line offers you an “as you wish” dining experience which gives you the flexibility to choose when and with whom you would like to eat.

If you are looking for a family friendly cruise that accommodates your energetic toddlers and teenagers, Holland America Line has activities and features designed especially for them. Club HAL is designed to engage and entertain your children with professional staff available to supervise them while they enjoy scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, sports, video game competitions, volleyball tournaments and themed parties. Club HAL staff are also trained to cater for children with special needs.

Canaletto restaurant on board of Eurodam and lobby of Queen Victoria

Cunard

If you want to be treated like British royalty while on a luxury cruise to different destinations around the world, then Cunard may be best suited for you. Cunard has been providing the British royalty experience for over 177 years and prides itself on making voyagers feel ‘royal’’ in the old fashioned British way. While the ships are equipped with modern technology, they also feature a midnight blue hull, snow-white superstructures and signature red and black chimneys that will take you back in time to earlier centuries of British elegance, splendour and sophistication.

The first glimpse into the Cunard experience is the names of the cruise ships, from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth 2 to its latest ship Queen Mary 2, Cunard gives voyagers a truly unique experience through a serene ambience, on-voyage entertainment and extraordinary culinary.

Seabourn

Everyone likes extras – what if you were told you don’t have to pay any extra charge for cocktails, coffee or fitness classes on your cruise? Well, those are actual perks you get with Seabourn. Seabourn has a reputation for providing the best small ship cruise experience, offering voyagers the chance to sail to smaller ports due to having smaller ships and ultimately a close-up experience of its scenic destinations. Seabourn also provides easy accessibility cabins for people with special needs. Dining options are flexible, leaving voyagers the opportunity to choose when, where and with whom to eat; the dining experience is further enhanced by the fact that your onboard meals have a touch of famous American chef Thomas Keller.

If you have always wanted to visit some UNESCO heritage sites, Seabourn has a partnership with UNESCO to provide sustainable tourism to its passengers. You can contribute in your little way to the protection and promotion of unique cultural and natural heritage when you book a UNESCO discovery or heritage tour with Seabourn. Another unique item with this cruise line is the “Seabourn Conversations” – a curated onboard talk event featuring speeches cutting across the arts, politics, sciences and humanities from fascinating speakers and experts. Speakers include entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Wozniak, Aline Levine, Dean McFlicker and astronaut & author Captain Scott Kelly.

Seabourn pooldeck and food on board of Silver Muse

Silversea

Should you be interested in exploring some of the most remote seafaring destinations available or giving expressions to your inner Jack Sparrow, Silversea has four ships dedicated to expedition journeys to several remote and rarely visited locations

The most unique selling point of these cruise ships is the personalised service you receive. The cruise line prides itself on providing such personalised service to all its voyagers, boasting a 1:1 staff to guest ratio. From the moment you arrive on the ship you cannot help but notice that special attention – it starts with your dedicated butler welcoming you to your suite, helping you to unpack, if you would like, making your onboard reservations and even arranging a fitness session if that is what you desire. Suites have windows facing the sea and balconies, providing you with a panoramic view of the ocean while you journey. With Silversea, you have very little to worry about, your personal butler has you covered at all times.

Dream Cruises

The Asian Continent is the largest on earth making it almost impossible to see and relish the diverse cultural beauty of it in one single holiday. With its amazing attention to detail; Dream Cruises make you feel, taste and enjoy the best of Asia right onboard- from its delicious Asian cuisine, Baijiu, exquisite Zodiac Theatre (where you are guaranteed to experience the latest 3D and top rated movies) signature themed events and shows to its Chinese reflexology and treatment. It is interesting to note that Dream Cruises has the largest Asian Reflexology onboard spanning over 1,000sqm.

Dream Cruises is known to have one of the most spacious and dreamy cabins and duplex suites on the open sea. It also has diverse entertainment activities onboard to provide you that bespoke holiday experience. Its state-of-the-art virtual reality experience lets you sail over mountains or ride your favourite roller coaster. Sing along to your choice of songs in any of the 5 private luxurious karaoke rooms. The ship also features a dedicated photo area where you can organise exclusive private photo shoots or capture interesting selfies in the selfie booths.

Another family friendly cruise, Dream Cruises has special shows, workshops and competitions for the youngsters to keep them entertained and bursting of energy while they sail.

Genting Dream impressions

Travel on a standard cruise or travel in luxury and style? The ball is in your court! We’ve got a wide range of luxury cruise deals for people who want to travel in style. Reach out to our versatile expert team on 1300 741 985 or check out our luxury cruises itineraries.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated in November 2018 for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

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