Have it all on a luxury cruise

Offering the height of sophistication and style at sea, it’s little wonder that more and more holiday makers are opting to indulge in a luxury cruise. According to leading cruise industry body, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, Australians and Kiwis penchant for the finer things in life is driving a boom in the luxury cruise sector.

What’s not to like? Five-star cruising offers all the bells and whistles expected from any luxury provider from stylish accommodation and elegant facilities to an open bar, lavish spa and even a butler service. Days are spent cruising in and out of the world’s most glamorous destinations such as Monte Carlo, Barcelona, New York and Sydney. From a plush perch on their gleaming white ship, guests live like the rich and famous. Attentive and sometimes clairvoyant-like crew tend to their every desire. Massage by the pool? No problem. Dirty sunglasses? Let’s polish those up for you. Would madam like a bubble bath with rose petals this evening? Consider it done. More champagne? Why, of course.

Some days are more action-packed with shore excursions taking travellers to pristine national parks, the world’s leading galleries and museums and local wineries and restaurants for a taste of the local cuisine. Whilst evenings offer a chance to unwind over a meal prepared by a world-renowned chef, take in a show or a lecture or make some new friends at the bar, without worrying who is picking up the tab.

Australian and New Zealanders love for luxury has caught the attention of international cruise companies with an increasing number of five-star liners heading our way in recent years. No longer do high-end travellers have to travel to Europe or the Americas to join a luxury vessel, they are stepping onboard in their homeport, with as much luggage as they like, and heading off on the trip of a lifetime. Australians and Kiwis are enjoying all the trimmings while they sail around New Zealand, Australia, exotic Indonesia and the beautiful South Pacific, often without the need for international airfares. For those wanting to explore further afield, luxury lines offer cruises on every continent. Is there a better way to see Alaska than gliding by glaciers with a champagne or hot chocolate in hand? Or how about being dwarfed by the grandeur of Norway’s fjords while snacking on some caviar on deck?

Many luxury liners are also small ships meaning they can go where the big ships can’t, offering an up-close-and-personal experience with nature and the chance to explore off-the-beaten-track ports. Whether it’s preferable to join a boutique vessel carrying a few hundred guests or a luxury liner offering opulence on a grand scale, there truly is a luxury cruise for every taste and style. In recent years, there has even been an increase in luxury lines offering expedition options, combining two of the fastest growing sectors in cruise.

In the ultimate cruise combination, guests can venture to the most remote corners of the earth without having to compromise on comfort. Whether Antarctica, the Galapagos or Tahiti is top of your list, there will be a luxury vessel that travels there in style. Because luxury means so much more than the finest linens and foie gras, luxury lines are increasingly offering their guests the chance to truly immerse in a destination with exclusive, money-can’t-buy experiences. Whether it’s a private behind-the-scenes tour of a world heritage-listed site, visiting a local market with a celebrity chef or being regaled with tales at sea from idols and icons, luxury cruises are pulling out all the stops to ensure their guests have it all. It’s these special touches that are helping the luxury cruise industry power ahead at a rate of knots.

Luxury cruise lines are taking on the world’s finest resorts, offering French champagne on tap, restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs and something their land-based rivals can’t compete with, a new destination every day. A luxury cruise truly offers the ultimate, relaxing escape,

By Sarah Fenton

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