From complimentary shore excursions to next-level dining, free-flow drinks and hard-to-reach destinations, luxury cruises offer surprisingly good value for money.
There is a common misconception that gliding through the seas on a lower price-point mega-ship will have you saving your coins when, in reality, the world of luxury cruising easily dominates for all-inclusive value. Sail the world in unparalleled opulence when you embark on a high-end cruise journey and rest assured knowing drinking and fine dining are at your beck and call, incredible complimentary shore expeditions await and the hassle of onboard tipping is taken care of. While it's no small investment, choosing a boutique-style cruise will carry you literally to otherwise impossible-to-reach destinations and figuratively to new heights of cruising glory.
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Thrilling shore excursions
When it comes to premium and luxury cruise liners, there is a high likelihood that your trips ashore will be peppered with complimentary excursions. Luxury cruise lines Azamara and Regent Seven Seas are renowned for organising onshore outings that provide specialised insight into the destination’s history and culture – think tours to Corfu’s colonial palaces or an expedition through Alaska’s Misty Fjords to view roaring waterfalls and sheer, vertical cliffs. Back onboard, exclusive events such as rousing cabaret shows, Gatsby-esque performances and thrilling theatre experiences are sure to keep you entertained as you cruise to the next destination.
Curated onshore itineraries
Oceania Cruises are experts in curating specialised and imaginative onshore experiences that create awe-inspiring memories. These unique excursions are offered at each Oceania port of call, from outdoor adventures that dive into the history of the region to cuisine-orientated outings for foodies onboard. Alternatively, allow the professional team at Regent Seven Seas Cruises the honour of curating elegant onshore itineraries, from soaring over Alaska in a helicopter to personalised cocktail-making classes in the Brazilian treetops.
Make friends for life
Embark on a journey to the furthest corners of the world on a luxury boutique-sized ship and experience overwater comradery like no other. Step onboard a Silversea Cruises liner and discover the unique social niceties that come from travelling on a smaller ship and within an intimate group of like-minded travellers. Travelling in close proximity for several days, weeks or months, means lifelong friendships are forged over a mutual desire to combine indulgence, repose, wanderlust and curiosity.
Get off the beaten track
Boutique-sized, smaller ships also have the advantage of journeying to lesser-travelled destinations, specifically to ports that cannot accommodate larger vessels. Reach hidden gems that are difficult to access from land while atop sleeker ships designed to navigate the slim canals of Europe, atolls in the spectacular South Pacific Islands, narrow waterways deep inside Canada and Alaska’s Inside Passage or less-crowded destinations like Galapagos or Micronesia.
Gourmands, connoisseurs and hardcore foodies will delight in dining aboard premium and luxury cruise liners. It is rare to find a journey that does not incorporate all-inclusive dining, with the added delight of liners like Seabourn Cruises partnering with world-renowned celebrity chefs, like restaurateur Thomas Keller. Chef Keller adds a flare of opulence to the already luxurious cruise cuisine, crafting new flavours showcased in appetisers, entrees and desserts from the freshest ingredients. Expect expertly arranged meals and truly indulge in the likes of thick-cut prime New York strip steak and lobster thermidor, night after night.
The goal of luxury cruising is to take you on a journey into the most spectacular regions of the world while providing a lavish atmosphere to relax and unwind as you soak up your ever-changing environment. There is no room in premium and luxury cruising for the confusion of appropriate gratuities while onboard, which is why you will find that a luxury liner will nearly always have these costs already included. This seemingly minute detail has a grand effect on passengers’ overall experiences and takes the burden out of cruising.
Similar to the all-inclusive dining normality of cruising, free-flow drinks are often included in your luxury package. Knowing that you can order a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea or a refreshing specialty cocktail at the wave of a hand adds a sense of extravagance to an already lavish experience. In the summertime, visit the top deck and treat yourself to a perfectly over-the-top iced coffee and watch as the scenic views glide by, and for the chilly winter months, rug up in your cosiest sweater to sit and enjoy a sensational glass of pinot noir in the comfort of your stateroom.
Check out our collection of cruises here.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out 10 Hidden Cruise Ports You Need to Visit in 2024.