Why not consider a luxury cruise for your next trip? Smaller ship sizes mean higher staff-to-guest ratios, so you’ll enjoy more personalised service and no crowds. Because luxury cruise lines include pretty much everything in the price, you shouldn’t need to worry about tipping, drinks or transfers, so you can just relax. Shore excursions are usually longer and often feature guided tours and authentic activities.
The ships are smaller and can access ports from which the standard cruise ships are banned – so you can choose more authentic, interesting destinations. Larger cabins, enrichment programs, luxury day spas and fine dining at a surprisingly affordable price make for the perfect relaxing holiday.
Europa 2 of the Hapag-Lloyd line is regarded as one of the best small cruise ships available. Awarded 5 stars plus by Berlitz Cruise Guide 2015, and delightfully German, with a maximum of 500 people, the Europa 2 is a more casual vessel than Europa 1 but still offers the highest standards.
All cabins feature balconies, as there are no interior cabins, so you will be guaranteed a beautiful view.
Enjoy a welcoming champagne on arrival in your luxurious and spacious cabin (accommodation options range from 35m² to 114 m² in size). There are 7 gourmet restaurants, several lounges, a program of activities for children, authentic entertainment and many original artworks to enjoy including some by Damien Hirst and Gerhard Richter.
For a real touch of luxury, book the private personal spa, which features a sauna, a whirlpool, massage tables and comfortable relaxation facilities.
The Europa 2 travels to many destinations around the Mediterranean, Europe, Russia and Africa including Dubai, Mauritius, Greece, Cape Town and more. Some popular cruise options include Hamburg to St. Petersburg, Istanbul to Piraeus (Athens) or Civitavecchia (Rome) to Monte Carlo.
Lindblad has partnered with National Geographic in a cruise series featuring some of the best available scientists, naturalists and researchers to enrich your knowledge of the natural world. With skilled specialists using state-of-the-art exploration tools you can explore and photograph the stunning natural environments of Antarctica, Alaska and the Galapagos islands, among others.
If you prefer a larger ship with more stability on potentially rough seas, as well as full amenities and the best quality cabins, then Regent Guest Mariner and Voyager is a good choice. With room for 700 guests, informal but elegant, the Regent range of cruises offers you many of the world’s most interesting destinations.
Regent cruises to most destinations, but for the ultimate in Mediterranean experiences try their Istanbul to Dubai leg; for Asia Pacific try Singapore to Bangkok, or for a more exotic touch, there’s Africa and India (Lisbon to Cape Town).
Enjoy Regent’s exclusive Enrichment program by Smithsonian Journeys including personalised lectures from some of the world’s most distinguished and engaging speakers on art, museums, history, politics, sociology and your destinations.
Free economy airfares, shore excursions, many onboard activities, drinks and gratuities should be included in the price. With 24-hour room service, your choice of specialty restaurants and a complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay before each cruise, you’ll savour a relaxing luxurious holiday from end to end.
Nightly turndown, Frette bathrobes, fresh flowers and room service are just some of the included on-board luxuries you’ll experience with Crystal Cruises.
Crystal travels to most destinations, but consider the Incan Immersion tour featuring the Panama Canal and Machu Picchu, or the South America and Antarctic experience to trace the route of Sir Francis Drake and the early explorers (Cape Horn, Drake Passage and Tierra Del Fuego).
Both of the two Crystal ships offer enrichment programs – language classes, quality golf lessons and wellness seminars.
Shore excursions feature escorted tours with a personal guide, as well as markets, cooking lessons and optional ‘voluntourism’ experiences.
If river cruises are more to your taste, try an exquisite river journey along China’s Yangtze River with APT. APT has several tours in China but the Yangtze has arguably the most stunning natural scenes and fascinating history.
With a maximum of 30 guests you’ll enjoy an intimate and luxurious boutique river experience.
View the region through the eyes of locals as English-speaking local tour guides provide insight and history. Small group shore excursions include the ‘Ghost City’ of Fengdu, a Shennong Stream sampan cruise and a tour of the majestic Three Gorges Dam.
Tipping is included, as well as some transfers and sightseeing expenses.
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