Feature: cruising through the world in style

Thursday, 5 May 2013 3:22 PM

If you are looking for a perfect getaway without the crowds, then a luxury cruise around some of the world’s most idyllic destinations could be just for you. The idea of a top class cruise could mean linen bedding and spice scented soap for some, or for others dancing with famous writers after gracing the deck in the daytime and basking in the sunshine.

Or it could just mean relaxing onboard before dining at a gourmet restaurant where light classical music is played to create the perfect ambience. Whatever you are after, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, a cruise is a great getaway from a stressful working lifestyle, and spending money on pampering yourself is a great way to blow the cobwebs away. So read on for our guide to some of the most luxurious cruise destinations across the globe.

Caribbean

Let’s face it, this stunning collection of islands in the emerald Caribbean Sea is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Clear blue skies, tropical heat, and a deluge of stunning wildlife to behold, - from flying fish and barracuda to flamingos and whale sharks.
Most luxury cruise liners operate tours of the area, with a good choice being Crystal Cruises’ Grand Caribbean Holiday.

The 14 day trip leaves Miami, Florida and calls in to port at Mexico, Grand Cayman, Colombia, Antigua, and a range of small West Indies islands before returning to Miami.

This is luxury at its finest with top class pianists, comedians and a troupe of musical performers named the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers performing regularly. There are also countless lectures and interactive classes taking place, including a talk from US ambassador Marc Ginsberg, who was the first US ambassador of Jewish heritage to visit a Middle Eastern country.

Staterooms start at £4,925 for the trip, and include a range of amenities including flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, a fridge, hairdryer and laundry options. While for £65,431 you can stay in the Crystal Veranda and enjoy your own balcony, private butler, dining area, private gym, Jacuzzi, ocean view, security safe, and spacious living room with Bang and Olufsen sound system.

The Mediterranean

As such a vast and beautiful region, with everything from quiet and secluded beaches, historic towns, and bustling mega-cities, this ancient part of the world plays host to numerous cruise companies, and packages come in a range of different styles and variations.
Imagine sitting back and enjoying the intense sun beating down on the deck while watching arid coastlines merge with the deep blue water as the occasional breeze provides respite.

Regent Seven Sea Cruises offers a 12 night trip from Athens, stopping at ports in Crete, Israel, Cyprus, and Turkey, before returning to the ancient Hellenic capital. Prices start from £5129 for deluxe suites, but increase to £18,129 for the master suite, providing butler services to ensure all of your needs are taken care of.

But for those looking for even more seclusion, the SeaDream Yacht Club offers cruise services for no more than 112 people to give a more personalised experience.

From 23-30 July, purveyors of luxury can cruise from the stunning port of Dubronvik in Croatia before stopping over in Montenegro, Greece, Sicily, and Italy’s west coast before finishing at Civitavecchia near Rome. Prices range from £5635 to £14,088, with higher grades of luxury and comfort for the higher prices.

India

Although not high on people’s list of cruise locations, the tropical climate of the subcontinent offers an ideal cruise route and an alternative way to see this part of the world. Starting off in the glass jungle of Dubai with Seabourn Cruise Lines, you will spend three days at sea while stopping over in Mumbai, Mangalore, and Cochin in India. Next you will cruise for four days through the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Bay of Bengal before stopping off at the ancient British port of Penang in Malaysia.

Penang is known for having some of the best food in Malaysia, which is a rich blend of Indian, Chinese, and Malay fare. While there, try char kway teow, a stir fried noodle dish prepared at hawker stalls on the island. There is then one more day’s cruising through the ancient shipping lanes of the Straits of Malacca before arriving in the garden city of Singapore. Prices start from £3,299 and increase to £9,099.

The Atlantic

But fans of western life can also enjoy the traditional transoceanic voyage from Southampton to New York and enjoy days at sea where the only sight to behold is blue ocean and blue sky.

Silversea offers a 14 day trip with prices starting from £4,083, stopping over in Cornwall and Cork before bracing the four day Atlantic journey to Newfoundland. The Silver Whisper liner then passes through Nova Scotia and Rhode Island before reaching New York.
Gentlemen hosts are available as dinner or dance companions, and include a wide array of British and Americans writers, journalists, and broadcasters.

It is true that a cruise can be anything you make it, from dancing or dining, to watching lecturers or just kicking back and enjoying the sunshine. But no matter where you decide to cruise to, just remember to relax and pamper yourself. After all, that is why you are there.
 

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