After a year of forced closure, there is nothing better than planning the next luxury cruise, and planning a distant escape. A trip to aspire to is possible, because the ships are considered “green zones” and many companies are planning departures for spring and summer. Obviously with adequate safety considerations, including mandatory pads to get on board.
A six-month itinerary around the world on the Insignia di Oceania Cruises sold out in a day, despite ticket prices starting from 32.
000 euros. Likewise this week Silversea Cruises announced it had “broken booking records” by selling a 139-day trip in 2023 on the day tickets were released with prices starting at € 52,000. In February, Royal Caribbean, the second largest cruise company in the world, said it has seen a 30% increase in new bookings since the beginning of the year, compared to the last two months of 2020.
The new one is of another kind (and equally requested) Blue Emerald, which will depart for its inaugural navigation in January 2022, and the Ritz-Carlton Evrima, which will set sail on her maiden voyage from Venice this July, both designed to resemble private super yachts rather than floating theme parks. Neither can accommodate more than 300 guests, there are extensive spa facilities and suites with private balconies.
Here are some boating adventures worth booking right away:
Scenic Eclipse Polar Expedition in Antarctica
Considered the most luxurious way to navigate the South Pole, the long-awaited Scenic Eclipse launched its maiden excursion to Antarctica and South America in 2019, but stopped due to the pandemic. It returns again, from December 2022, offering a 19-day adventure like no other. Expect large five-star suites, underwater excursions, the chance to ski over Antarctica’s incredible terrain, while onboard helicopters take passengers to the top of its mountains, not to mention close encounters with whales.
Belmond Afloat: along the French canals
Glide slowly through the French canals on the chicest river barge. On the Belmond Afloat the itineraries see exploring wine regions including Burgundy, Champagne and Provence. The exclusive Lilas or Pivoine charter (which can accommodate up to eight guests in four suites) is our recommended way to do so, where friends can gather for a long vacation amidst fine dining and beautiful scenery. Days can be spent sunbathing by the pool, picnicking in private vineyards or exploring local markets in search of vintage treasures.
Atzaró prana around the Indonesian islands
If you are looking for a private cruise around the islands of Raja Ampat, the islands of Komodo and the spice islands of Indonesia, Atzaró’s Prana is for you. This Phinisi built by hand, extending over 55 meters, it can accommodate 18 people in nine luxurious suites, offering a dream group vacation in complete seclusion with an 18-man crew including a private chef and dive instructor. Swim with sharks, discover pristine coral reefs undamaged by tourism, relax on white beaches or simply in the onboard spa.
With Ecoventura in the Galapagos
If there is one way to visit the Galapagos, it’s on a Relais & Chateaux boutique boat with up to 20 guests and a chance to see nature like no other in the world. Ecoventura has led luxury cruises here with their strong commitment to sustainability by ensuring low emissions and minimizing tourism damage. The Theory and Origin staterooms are elegant and refined, with a crew of 14, a hot tub on board, hammocks on the upper deck and large loungers. Naturalist guides are on hand to accompany guests on excursions through uninhabited islands, spying on the famous Galapagos giant tortoises or snorkeling with penguins and sea lions.
Luxury cruise company Crystal Cruises has just received its biggest day of bookings in the company’s 30-year history. It was the first 24 hours of open bookings for her new seven-day Bahamas cruises aboard the 980-passenger Crystal Serenity. 80% of Crystal butler penthouses – the largest suites on the ship – are already reserved for the full Bahamian season, which debuts July 3 and runs through October. Crystal requires passengers to be fully vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean has revealed that it will resume cruises in North America starting June 12, with departures through August. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 24 March. Only fully vaccinated adults will be able to navigate, while passengers under 18 can navigate with negative PCR test results. The entire crew will be vaccinated. “Vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact rapidly growing, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice,” he said. Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. The seven-day cruises will depart from Nassau on the 3,807-passenger Adventure of the Seas, including two days on his private Bahamas island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, as well as stops on Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel, Mexico. In addition, all passengers and crew over the age of 16 must be vaccinated.
Adult-only cruise line Virgin Voyages requires crew and passengers to be fully vaccinated when glittering new 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady sets sail from Miami on July 4th. There is a selection of four and five day itineraries including several in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and beyond. If you choose Richard Branson’s Birthday Cruise (July 14-18), you’ll make stops in both Key West and Virgin’s exclusive 4.5-acre Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas. Tickets are already on sale.