Luxury is not about excess; nor is it about cost; it’s about inherent values that are personal and profound. Elite Cruises’ almanac of unsurpassed experiences at sea offers a passport to an indulgent world. Each voyage in this hand-picked collection comes with its own brand of aspiration as well as anticipation; all can stake a claim to being the crème de la crème.
Silversea Cruises’ ships are spectacular without being overdone and revel in their distinctly boutique-chic style. They epitomise the very finest of seagoing hospitality, combining contemporary luxe and style, promising more than a soupcon of la dolce vita. I would be amiss if I failed to highlight the acclaimed cuisine which has contemporary nuances while at the same time is tempered with a classical approach. The company has created adventures that are conspicuously different to typical bolt-on excursions; while their compendium of voyages set a course to parts of our planet that belong to the atlas of the imagination.
Seabourn is a torchbearer in halcyon cruising. Guest areas offer yacht-inspired gleaming brass, bespoke furnishings and glistening glass, combined with the ambience of an ultra-luxury private club; suites are replete with every convenience and exceptional amenity; while the masterful cuisine is unrivalled. Each stylish ship in their fleet boasts a tapestry of delicacy and elegance that’s fused with service that’s both attentive and deferential. This is a company that’s dispelled the myth that modernity and youth are incompatible with opulence and class. Priding itself of visiting extraordinary destinations less travelled, I truly believe what sets Seabourn apart is the cornucopia of land experiences which, like the company itself, are distinguished by distinction.
Crystal Cruises is in a league of its own when it comes to impeccable service and cuisine, indeed esteemed excellence is inherent in every facet of the company’s DNA. By subtle alchemy, the Crystal Cruises’ blend of quality and quintessential comfort is a metaphor for consummate cruising pleasures. The two acclaimed ocean ships are the largest in the ultra-luxury stakes, but are a tour de force as the variety of speciality dining choices and gilt-edge diversions are truly remarkable. You don’t have to take my word for it, this company’s passion for taking care of guests has earned more ‘World’s Best’ accolades than any other cruise line, resort or hotel in history.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the most inclusive experience at sea – bar none. Anyone who sails with this gentrified company appreciates the refined beauty of its ships plus epicurean mastery that goes beyond expectation. With included excursions, Regent focuses on the world through a different lens, one geared to guests who want to push their limits and return home elated by their unique memories. As you would expect from a truly luxurious cruise line, the company’s ships boast one of the highest staff-to-passenger ratios in the industry. First amongst equals, each ship offers a passport to a desirable world, one that encapsulates the spirit of seagoing serendipity.
SeaDream Yacht Club
SeaDream Yacht Club yachts are revered as the most bijoux of luxurious ‘boutique’ ships and are on many cruisers bucket-lists. They put into islands barely charted and insinuate themselves into secret harbours off limits to larger craft. Can there be anything on the cruising roster more tempting than nudging into incomparable boltholes such as St Tropez or St Barths? On board service is more than professional; it’s nuanced, while the masterly culinary line-up consistently achieves perfection. I’m always impressed by the company’s quest to create a sensuous sojourn for guests, one that abounds with trappings of luxury and exclusivity.
Oceania Cruises shun gimmick-driven cruising. Their sleekly-cool ships extol a cachet of restrained residential luxe; while the atmosphere is sassy and genteel. Many of my clients really appreciate the informal elegance which is part of the carefree lifestyle throughout the fleet. It’s impossible to talk about Oceania Cruises without mentioning cuisine which is as diverse as each restaurant is delicious, where skilful attention is given to the smallest detail, from concept to presentation. There is a multitude of carefully curated sailings enhanced with an emphasis on overnight calls as well as acclaimed ports and boltholes well and truly off-the-beaten-path.
Elite Cruises also recommend Azamara whose hallmark is destination immersion where the emphasis is on authentic local experiences and overnight stays. Emerald Yacht Cruises’s unique Emerald Azzurra brings an innovative super-yachting experience to Mediterranean waters. Cunard liners were once the place to be seen for British aristocracy and Hollywood royalty; harking back to that gracious era, little has changed in the company’s fleet today. Viking Ocean ships boast a Nordic design palette highlighted with a harmony of complimentary textiles. Celebrity Cruises offers cruisers a pitch-perfect vision of on-trend design, one that overflows with a sleekly cool, sassy vibe. Ponant ply the sea lane less travelled; aboard their sleek vessels style meets substance and fine cuisine reigns supreme in an unashamedly Gallic cruise experience. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises operate Europa 2 as their international ship. Offering the pinnacle of sophisticated cruising, it’s a well kept secret when it comes to the British cruising scene.