After soaking up the sights and sounds of the most culturally prosperous destinations on earth, the next practical step for the seasoned traveller is to conquer the high seas. The real question is: where do you set sail in search of something different? Here's our pick of the best cruises and experiences that may just have you packing your bags.
Oceania Cruises’s Marina
Appeals to: The Sea-Going Gourmand
If you swear by the motto, “Live to eat,” Oceania Cruises will have you spoilt for choice. Travel between places like Cape Town and Beijing while you immerse yourself in luxurious gastronomical experiences provided by nine restaurants that are ready to compete with your appetite. Take a grand tour of the nouvelle cuisine- among our top favourites, is the newly launched Parisian bistro by culinary icon Jacques Pépin. You will indulge in incomparable French food delicious enough to put you in a food coma while you comfortably sit and gaze around exquisite antiques and art from Pepin’s personal collection.
Give your tastebuds a wild ride into the countryside classics of Italian cuisine, laid out on custom-designed Versace china or take your loved one on vintage wine tastings at La Reserve. The Marina, also offers the Bon Appétit Culinary Center where passengers can learn the art of gourmet cooking from Master Chef’s.
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas
Appeals to: Dora the explorer
If you are someone who enjoys spending all your time exploring the extensive activities and amenities within a cruise, rest assured you'll have a swell time at the Royal Caribbean Cruises. Dive into fun on-board activities such as the spine-tingling zip line, surfing and themed water parks with one of the tallest water slides at sea.
Would you dare to have your Cosmos prepared by a robotic mixologist? Rewind while you sip on cocktails being served by robotic bartenders that have the capacity to mix infinite variety of drinks at the Bionic Bar.
Indulge in a quick game of BlackJack or throw your lucky dice at the exclusive casinos. You can spend lazy afternoons lounging by the outdoor pools and Jacuzzis that offer breathtaking views to the panoramic blue ocean that are a must-do for any sea-faring fan.
Silver Sea Cruises
Appeals to: The Excursionist
Travellers do like to experience the offerings at their ports of call. A destination to explore would be The Galapagos Islands. From above, the islands look like a series of fantastic ink blots, turquoise bordered with aquamarine.
Silver Sea Cruises allow you to discover the original inhabitants of the Galapagos archipelago. The island accommodates several off-shore activities: Take an excursion to tour the island, go snorkeling with sea lions, observe iguanas basking in the sun. You could also soak yourself in the region's culture with delectable food, natural history museums and candid chats with the cheerful island locals.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Fantasy
Appeals to: The Social Butterfly
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Fantasy is the father of the 'Fun Ship' fleet, for anyone who is spotted at partying destinations from Magaluf to Megève. We never miss a sail-away party on embarkation day, and neither should you.This fun floating city is filled with live music, drinks, and laughs. Let your hair down at The Electricity Dance clubs and colourful-themed deck parties such as 80’s Rock-N-Glow or Cuban-themed parties. The cruise line is known to host one of the most outlandish New Year’s Bashes of all time.
Princess Cruises’ Emerald Cruise
Appeals to: The Hopeless Romantic
Why wait for Valentine’s day to woo your loved one? Now you can whisk your partner away for a cruise, any time of the year. You could sail into the glacial crystal waters of the Alaska if you are planning the perfect honeymoon. Enjoy a pool-side movie night with popcorn and cold beverages at Movies Under The Stars, against the stunning backdrop of the sea and sky. You could also opt to start your day together with a cosy brunch or revel in time spent together with delectable six-course meals and half a bottle of bubbly at award-winning chef Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea, Share. Unwind together in sparkling freshwater hot tubs while a server nearby will bring you a refreshing cocktail.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl
Appeals to: Lounge Chair Lizard
If you dream to lie very still on a double sunbed for hours, get fed iced watermelon slices, take a few laps and work your way through the cocktail list, Norwegian Pearl will give you the the best vacation retreat. If you are looking for some ‘Me’ time, pick through over 50 specialty treatments at their luxury spa. If you seek conversations with people from different continents, head to the Haven for private sun deck, 24-hour butler service and a pianist playing your favourite tunes. If socialising is not among your key interests, you could take a stroll down the vast deck, hat on head, a book in hand completely slathered in sunblock and loving every moment of it.