This week is all about luxury in Cruise Month, the nationwide initiative run by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), so here's a look at what many cruisers consider the ultimate bucket-list experience – a world cruise on an ultra-luxury ship.
The well-heeled adventurer can't go past Silversea's first expedition world cruise. Silver Cloud, a 254-passenger ice-class crossover ship, will set off on a 167-day Uncharted World Tour from Ushuaia, Argentina, on January 30, 2021. After sailing to Antarctica and the Chilean fiords, the ship will call at 107 destinations in 30 countries, finishing at Tromso in Norway.
Zodiac expeditions are a big drawcard. Guests will be whisked off to see wildlife everywhere from the frozen continent to Australia's Kimberley, and meet local people in remote places – witnessing the traditional land-diving ceremony on Pentecost Island is just one example. World-class experts will join the voyage, offering workshops and lectures, and accompanying shore excursions.
Fares for the Uncharted World Tour start from £104,000 (about $193,000) for a Veranda Suite; it's waitlist only for the top-of-the-range Grand Suite. Silversea's Silver Whisper is also sailing a world cruise in 2021, a 150-day voyage from Miami to New York that departs on January 7.
Crystal, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn are the other ultra-luxe cruise lines operating world cruises in 2021. Crystal Serenity's 139-night voyage from Miami to London leaves on January 5, 2021; Seven Seas Mariner departs Miami on January 5, 2021 on a 117-night cruise to Barcelona; and Seabourn Sojourn will sail from Miami to Barcelona over 140 days, from January 3 to May 24, 2021.
Contact CLIA Australasia at cruising.org.au
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is stocking its 1220-passenger ship Vasco da Gama with more Australian beer, wine and spirits ahead of its arrival in Sydney on December 1 for its summer season sailing out of Adelaide and Fremantle. Suppliers include Coopers beer, Adelaide Gin and Giniversity, as well as wines from Wirra Wirra, Jansz, Pewsey Vale, Yalumba and Vasse Felix. CMV's October Extras promotion runs until October 31, offering up to 50 per cent off selected voyages, free drinks, (including several of the new beverage additions), free gratuities, discounts on specialty dining and more. See cmvaustralia.com
Continuing to break with many cruise traditions, Virgin Voyages will deck out its staff on Scarlet Lady in stylish uniforms that have no officers' stripes, ties or waistcoats. Created by British fashion designer Gareth Pugh with input from Virgin Voyages staff, the uniforms can be worn with "gender neutral Plae sneakers" (in signature Virgin red of course), rather than the impractical studded platform boots (pictured here) that would be horribly sweaty in the Caribbean. Scarlet Lady is the first of four ships planned for the new cruise line and is due to set sail in April 2020. See virginvoyages.com
OCEANIA FOR EARYBIRDS
Oceania Cruises has unveiled a collection of Europe sailings for the 2020 season available with an earlybird offer. Guests can take advantage of Oceania's OLife Ultimate package and save up to 30 per cent off the fare price across 19 itineraries in Europe between June and August 2020, when booked by December 31, 2019. The package includes free internet and pre-paid gratuities, up to eight free shore excursions per stateroom, up to $US800 free shipboard credit per stateroom and a free house beverage package per person. See oceaniacruises.com
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II was retired in 2008. It is now a permanently moored hotel ship in which Middle Eastern city? Last week's answer: Pacific Dawn
Black Chicken is an Australian company that makes natural, organic products for face, body and hair. This handy travel kit ($74.95) contains seven mini skincare essentials, including a super-hydrating facial serum, soothing balm and a long-lasting, all-natural deodorant paste. See blackchicken.com.au
STEVE BERRY AND ALAN TAYLOR, MAIN BEACH, QUEENSLAND
NUMBER OF CRUISES TAKEN
Bangkok to Sydney on Viking Orion. We then stayed on the ship for a back-to-back from Sydney to Auckland, then Auckland to Sydney. The itinerary included the usual ports of call, which we've done many times before, but it was our first experience on a Viking ocean cruise ship.
We haven't decided yet but wherever it will be, it will definitely be with Viking again. We are converts.
We have found our dream ship, and that is any of the Viking ocean cruise ships. There are lots of "nos" – no children, no photographers, no formal nights, no umbrellas in your cocktails, plus included wine/beer at lunch and dinner, no children. Did I mention no children?
We are currently on our 21st cruise, a 127-day World Treasures voyage on Viking Sun, covering a lot of South America, which is an area we've never visited before. We are living the dream.
The ports of call where we are docked close to a town or a city that are within walking distance and have great coffee.
BEST CRUISE TIP
We've often read that quinine is good for seasickness so we did some research on it and found out that certain tonic mixers contain quinine. Of course, tonic is more palatable with gin in it. So for us, drinking G&Ts helps with feeling better on rough sea days. Just saying ...
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