Cruises often tend to get a bad rap. Many of us picture the array of outdated colors, all-inclusive buffet style food that’s just okay, and retiring to a small filing cabinet room that most likely doesn’t have a view. To add to this, cruise lines are in constant competition with each other to have the latest, greatest forms of entertainment all packed onto one ship. However, if this is all we see when we picture a cruise line, then we would be missing out on a whole world of luxurious options (1).
The means to luxurious lifestyle experiences can be found all around us in immense numbers. The search for a one of a kind experience on land or in the air can lead us down a long list of activities aimed to help us live life to the fullest. In contrast, however, the sea offers many different types of luxurious options and experiences that are limited compared to land, yet extravagant.
For the travel bug, cruise ships play a large role in meeting the demands of this multi-billion dollar ocean tourism industry. These floating hotels offer once in a lifetime experiences coupled with over the top amenities and white glove service, redefining luxury ocean travel and making them the fanciest cruises in the world.
Seabourn Ovation is Europe’s newest ultra-luxury ship. It’s carefully designed interior, pool, menu, and activities have been planned out with class in mind (2). The ship includes many activities, fine dining with dinner set out under the stars, nightly shows, bars and lounges designed to create serene and calm spaces, and even an enrichment program. The enrichment program provides is purposed for sustainable and mindful travel. To encourage mindfulness and being in the present moment, guests can choose to meditate, listen to a lecture, or take part in many other enrichment programs to boost their experience.
The ship will take you through Northern Europe, The United Kingdom, and the Mediterranean, the ultimate cruise itinerary. Prices can vary with an upwards of $5,499 per person, but with a small ship everyone is guaranteed a window and beautifully decorated room inside. Each room also includes a balcony, and each staff member knows your name and favorite cocktail before you even stop on the ship.
Adam Tihany, one of top interior designers in the world, paired with Seabourn Ovation to design the ship from bow to stern. Each living area, bar, lounge, room, and so on was carefully designed by the top designer in the world to give guests a new sense of comfort and luxury. The goal was to take away from the normal aesthetic of a cruise line and instead drop you into the peak of paradise.
On top of that, Thomas Keller, renowned three star Michelin chef, created the menu that is onboard. Instead of the traditional buffet style most of us experience aboard, Keller instead created a way for his guests to experience Michelin style dining each time. The ship also works with Tim Rice, creator of songs from Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, to bring guests top of the line entertainment. With an artists with such a name behind him, guests are receiving a Broadway-level show every night they are onboard.
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Starting at $6,000 per person, we kick it up a notch with the Regent Seven Seas Explorer. Taking you through Africa/India, Caribbean/Panama Canal, Grand Crossings, Mediterranean, Norther Europe, and South America, and spoiling you with top of the line luxury in between (3).
This 375 room cruise fits about 750 guests and 552 crew members. It’s largest room, located at the top of the ship, is 4,000+ square feet and comes with two private balconies, three walk in closets, its own private spa, a custom Steinway Grand Baroque Piano by Dakota Jackson, and solarium for enjoying the sun.
It’s amenities include a putting green, golf nets for more long distance, culinary arts kitchens for fine dining options throughout their 7 restaurants, a private dining hall, old style library, and incredible lounge area that they describe as the heart of the ship complete with a massive crystal chandelier as their prized centerpiece.
This incredible cruise line option adds a new edge to luxury ocean travel and helps you immerse in the ambiance in such a way that you forget you are on a cruise at all. With its grand interior design, deep mahogany and gold accents, and gorgeous outdoor activities and amenities, this cruise line is worth the splurge for anyone looking to book their next big vacation.
Ponant’s Le Laperouse
The Le Laperouse is Ponant’s first of four expedition ships. Starting at $12,460 per person, this steep price comes with well worth it amenities. For starters, the ship is a small 92 cabin ship. Because of its small size, it is able to access ports that larger cruises are unable to. For that reason, it is able to take it’s guests through amazing locations such as Iceland, India, Asia, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, and Scandinavia (4).
Along with its privacy, there are many other features that make this cruise option especially attractive. It also includes a counter-current infinity pool, a marina platform that allows you to take kayaks and boats out, or simply to jump off the back into the big blue ocean. But perhaps the fanciest feature of all is the ships Blue Eye. The Blue Eye is the first ever multi-sensory underwater viewing area on a cruise. Below the surface are portholes that allow you to view the sea firsthand. But in case that isn’t enough, the system also has cameras located on all sides of the ship capturing what is in front, behind, and below you and projecting it on screens to allow you to fully experience the underwater sea while on your vacation.
The ship is also fully staffed with what they refer to as intuitive service. With highly trained hospitality individuals, the ships staff is there to serve you whether you are in your room, lounges, are various dining areas, the staff works to predict what you need before you ask, aiming to give guests the true white glove service they deserve.
While many of us may only experience the large cruise line ship vacations, there is something to be said for this type of luxury travel. Truly kicking up your feet in your private solarium watching the ocean go by you adds a new level of relaxation to your vacation. Not to mention the exotic and carefully preserved locations these ships travel to in order to let you fully submerge in the culture and wildlife that country has to offer. To be fully off the grid on your floating island of paradise brings cruise vacations and ocean tourism to a new form of luxury.