Azamara announced 44 new voyages onboard its fleet of four ships for the winter 2024-2025 season.The itineraries will span the four corners of the world, with the Azamara Quest sailing to South Africa, the Azamara South America, the Azamara Pursuit visiting Asia and Australia, and the Azamara Onward embarking on the 2025 World Voyage. “Travelers can fully immerse themselves in each destination with 171 late stays and overnights in port, allowing for ample time to connect with local culture and uncover hidden gems across the globe,” the company highlighted.
The Azamara Pursuit will navigate Asia with two of Azamara’s Japan Country Intensive sailings, which, according to Azamara, give guests the opportunity to delve deeper into the destination with a range of immersive excursions showcasing the local culture of each region. The vessel will also visit Australia and New Zealand, with itineraries offering the chance to experience both country’s cultures, climates, and landscapes. The Azamara Onward will be sailing its 2025 World Voyage departing from San Diego, California. Open for booking as of today, the global voyage will visit 37 countries before concluding in Southampton, UK. The itinerary includes 15 overnights and 31 late stays in port, in addition to 13 complimentary exclusive events and over $25,000 in amenities. Maiden calls include:
-Pago Pago, American Samoa
Nuku ‘Alofa, Tonga
Puerto Princesa, Philippines
Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.
According to Azamara, guests can currently take advantage of the company’s Early Booking Benefit with the 2024 and 2025 sailings.In North America, the offer includes 20% off select 2024 and 2025 voyages, a $300 Onboard Credit, unlimited Wi-Fi for one device, and a Premium Beverage Package for two
As 2022 is now on the downslope to New Year’s Day 2023, what trends are emerging on the high seas? Certainly, the U.S. government’s elimination of the pre-flight test to enter/re-enter the U.S. has fueled travel demand. One-third of Americans say that they’re more likely to travel internationally with that testing requirement gone, according to MMGY Global Intelligence’s research. As people get back out cruising, five trends in the luxury cruise marketplace have “taken off.”
1. Trading Up to a Top Suite
Luxury travelers are saying, “I deserve it,” after a few tough years with no travel. So, top-tier suites are selling out quickly—from the top down, not the bottom up. Cruisers who typically would have reserved a balcony stateroom are opting for a suite; those who previously sailed in a mid-level suite are now choosing the most spacious, highest category suite on the ship. So, as these top-level suites often sell out faster than in the past, loyal past guests are taking notice. “As a result, they’re booking further out to ensure that they get what they want,” emphasizes Michael Consoli, franchise owner, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, Roswell, GA.
2. Booking Longer Luxury Voyages
Just a few years back, the future of World Cruises was uncertain. It was thought that younger generations wouldn’t flock to them the way mature guests did. Today, though, those lengthy voyages are a hot commodity, selling out in just hours or overnight. For the fourth year running, in June 2022, Regent Seven Seas Cruises sold out a World Cruise in record time; that 2025 sailing was fully reserved prior to opening for public sale. One-third of guests booking were new to brand.
Demographic-wise, loyal past guests and mature travelers still love World Cruises, but increasingly so do still-working Baby Boomers and even younger professionals. Connectivity is the reason. With smart phones, tablets and laptops in tow, guests are now able to work remotely using shipboard Wi-Fi. Competitively, many cruise lines have upped their bandwidth to improve Wi-Fi speed and reliability; it’s not perfect, but vastly improved from the past.
Ruth Turpin, owner of Cruises Etc., a Virtuoso member agency in Fort Worth, TX, says that “one of the biggest trends we’re seeing is clients booking much longer cruises.” Lines have responded on all levels. Past World Cruises were often 80 to 125 days, but Oceania Cruises will operate a 180-day 2023 World Cruise, while Royal Caribbean International fields a 274-day 2023 World Cruise. Many others too have much lengthier options than in the past.
Grand Voyages up to 65 days or so are also increasingly popular. “Our luxury clients are looking for the most inclusive experiences available and on longer sailings,” says Consoli. “They want to get out of the house and they want to do it for a while longer than in the past.” Whether for World Cruises, Grand Voyages or even less lengthy voyages, consumers with pent-up wanderlust are targeting more travel dollars to spend. “That’s pushing them to look at the 14-day to 28-day sailings instead of the normal 10 to 14 days,” he says.
Back-to-backs are definitely in style. Turpin also sees luxury lines “making itineraries seven and 14 days where they do not repeat any ports,” thus encouraging back-to-back bookings.
3. Combining Luxury with Adventure
Perhaps the hottest cruise trend, though, is “the rise of expedition. Silversea Cruises had just acquired the nearly new, former Crystal Endeavor. Renamed Silver Endeavour in honor of James Cook, the 18th century captain of HMS Endeavour. The expedition ship will begin sailing in November 2022 and replace Silver Explorer in Antarctica this coming winter. Seabourn’s new 264-passenger Seabourn Venture, recently debuted in Alaska, and sister Seabourn Pursuit will set sail this year, too.
Scenic Group’s second Discovery Yacht, the 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse II, was recently floated out. Viking’s new 378-passenger expedition ship, Viking Octantis, is now sailing the Great Lakes. Sister Viking Polaris will launch this fall and both will head for Antarctica this coming winter. Ponant’s LNG-powered icebreaker, the luxurious, 245-passenger Le Commandant Charcot, is now taking travelers to the geographic North Pole. Atlas Ocean Voyages will position the 196-passenger World Navigator and new World Traveller in Antarctica during winter 2022-23.
For a different style of pampering adventure, Lindblad Expedition will offer a Croatia/Slovenia cruise and separate western Mediterranean itinerary in 2023 on the historic, 58-passenger Sea Cloud, a luxurious, four-masted, sailing ship once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post. Guests can even opt to help hoist the sails.
4. Savoring Everything Culinary
Luxury cruisers are increasingly seeking a strong culinary component—fine cuisine, specialty dining choices, cooking classes and shoreside culinary and wine programs. The new Explora Journeys has laid the keel for its second ship, Explora II, and with nine restaurants, guests will have myriad culinary choices. Regent Seven Seas Cruises will unveil an enhanced Sette Mari experience (with refined/new menu choices) on the new 750-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur, launching in 2023.
Oceania Cruises’ gourmet cuisine has been entirely reimagined from new dishes at the Grand Dining Room to a Dom Pérignon pairing dinner, while Azamara’s new 684-passenger Azamara Onward offers an Atlas Bar that serves new small plates (think “smoked lobster crudo) and artisanal cocktails using the latest techniques from smoking domes to nitro-infusions. As a “deep dive” in local food and drink tastings, Silversea’s S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) program debuted in late 2021 and is now on two ships. Launching in 2023, the 728-passenger Silver Nova will offer eight distinct dining venues including the 160-capacity S.A.L.T. Kitchen; it will have more space for bit larger groups and a more social culinary experience.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s 298-passenger Evrima is slated to begin cruising on August 31, 2022. Highly anticipated is specialty restaurant S.E.A. with a European tasting menu created by Chef Sven Elverfeld of the three-Michelin-starred Aqua at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, Germany. Windstar Cruises’ revitalized, 312-passenger Star Pride offers the new Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso; we’d recommend the small octopus starter plate as it’s superb. Celebrity Cruises has introduced new “Captain-Curated Shore Excursions” in the Greek Isles, some with a culinary bent. At Katakolon (Olympia), Celebrity’s guests will visit Olympia, explore an olive mill, make their own Greek salad using fresh tzatziki and wrap their own pita souvlaki.
5. Soaring Multi-Generational Demand
Families have a strong need to reconnect so cruise lines have added new holiday or summer voyages, or multigenerational experiences. Definitely, “we’re seeing an uptick in multi-generational travel,” reports Consoli. One Seabourn “first” is a Hawaii holiday sailing on the 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn, departing December 22, 2023, roundtrip from Los Angeles. This 20-day “Allure of Aloha Holiday” voyage calls at Catalina Island, CA, five Hawaiian islands and Ensenada, Mexico, plus spends many days at sea.
For families seeking a new ship, Disney Cruise Line’s 4,000-passenger Disney Wish now sails from Port Canaveral, FL. A new, interactive “Disney Uncharted Adventure” experience is designed for families to play together. With the line’s Navigator app, guests’ mobile devices become “spyglasses” with families unlocking adventure, solving puzzles, conquering quests and, ultimately, “saving the day.”
Also, Princess Cruises will offer year-round cruises from Los Angeles in 2023. Included are the line’s first-ever summer roundtrip sailings to Mexico, Hawaii and the California coast; they’ll be operated by the 3,080-passenger Emerald Princess. “Grandparents have been separated from their families for two years and we are seeing a desire to get the family together, regardless of the cost,” Consoli explains. “They just want that time with their families and to create the lasting memories they have missed.”
World’s Best Luxury Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and South Pacific Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury small-ship the m/s Paul Gauguin, providing an exceptional cruise experience. Discover the difference of cruising with purpose and allow us to introduce you to authentic Polynesia.
Paul Gauguin Cruises was created with the intent to provide enjoyable and meaningful travel experiences to this unique part of the planet. We care deeply, not only for our guests, but for the communities, cultures and natural wonders that make Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific so alluring.
The 118 islands and atolls (ring-shaped coral reefs) of French Polynesia shimmer like a string of prized Tahitian pearls. Tahiti and the Society Islands have inspired generations of artists and writers seeking to capture their magical allure. Among countless others, Herman Melville, James A. Michener, Henri Matisse—and of course Paul Gauguin himself—were transfixed by these islands. You will be, too.
On an intimate, yacht-style cruise aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages, expect impeccable service in an elegant, yet relaxed ambience.
Even the smallest details are carefully considered and included so that you can savor every moment.
Cultural immersion on every voyage Stylish main restaurant with ever-changing menus. A specialty chophouse, a cozy café, afternoon tea with light snacks, and room service. Unlimited wines, premium craft cocktails and brews, including a chilled craft cocktail or sparkling wine welcome
Luxurious L’OCCITANE bath amenities. In-room mini-fridge stocked daily with your preferences, Gratuities for exceptional service. Comprehensive medical and travel insurance. Private Charter Jet Service between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia on Antarctica expeditions and between Oslo and Longyearbyen on Arctic expeditions,
And! A parka to take home as a memento of your Antarctica or Arctic expedition
We love that cruises are heading to exotic locales. But, we also understand some travelers may harbor hesitation when it comes to traveling certain destinations. If you want to cruise, but are erring on the side of caution, these are the safest cruise destinations around the globe. Remember always be aware of your surroundings, regardless of where you are traveling, and check government websites for the latest travel updates.
From Washington’s dramatic coastline to the lively metropolis of Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest offers some of the world’s most magnificent scenery and adventurous excursions. Whether you’re marveling at the natural beauty of the Puget Sound or getting a bird’s eye view of Vancouver via seaplane, the Pacific Northwest is all about nature’s beauty.
The crème de la crème of the Caribbean when it comes to an upscale, island getaways, St. Bart’s draws an A-list crowd looking for a quiet reprieve. Celebs have been flocking to the destination for years. And, with for some of the world’s most pristine beaches and Rodeo Drive style shopping, it’s easy to see why. The small, quaint feel makes St. Bart’s a hidden gem in the French West Indies.
Ahhhh Auckland, New Zealand. Where the local greeting is ‘Kia Ora,’ meaning “Stay Well”. With its distinct beauty, spectacular wildlife, and gourmet goodness, New Zealand has so much to offer in addition to safety.
Turks & Caicos
With little rain, perfect 80-degree year-round weather, and idyllic waters, the Turks & Caicos are one of our top picks for safe and fabulous cruise destinations. The British Overseas Territory of the Bahamas consists of an archipelago of more than 40 islands, including the famed Grace Bay Beach.
Another tropical paradise and British Overseas Territory, Anguilla is a hot spot for celebs and luxury travel enthusiasts. Anguilla’s low crime rates consistently make it one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. Whether you are looking for adventure, family fun, a romantic escape or relaxing spa retreat, Anguilla has it all.
From snorkeling The Great Barrier Reef to cuddling Koalas; from sampling botanical infused gin to tasting gastronomical delights, Australia offers a host of exciting options.
Unlock the mysteries of the far north and uncover some of the earth’s most remote and peaceful locations. Beautiful fjords and acres upon acres of nature reserve, make Iceland a truly unique destination. To truly experience the magic of the north, consider a luxury expedition cruise on PONANT.
Japan may not be the first destination to come to mind when planning a cruise. However, a cruise to the Far East offers a bounty of culture, ancient empires, and cosmopolitan cities. Visit volcanoes, Edo Period gardens and a range of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A world of amazing destinations await. Cruises offer a hands-off approach for those looking to travel to safe locations in a secure environment.
American Queen Voyages has announced its most comprehensive voyage in its history with the Grand Ohio & Upper Mississippi Rivers.
On July 24, 2023, the ship will set sail from Minneapolis for a 23-day journey. Including exploring the 1,772-mile route of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
“Guests have made the 16-day Mighty Mississippi voyage between Minneapolis (Red Wing) and New Orleans one of our most popular itineraries. The sailing from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh will pass through ten states. Marietta,
Premium and included shore excursion highlights of the itinerary include: “A Story of Cinema: The “Field of Dreams” Experience”, in Dubuque, IA, “The National Quilt Museum”, in Paducah, KY, as well as “Tracing the Trail of Tears”, in Cape Girardeau, MO.
A cruise to Bermuda could be just what you need to escape the everyday and relax on the sunny shores of one of the world’s most beautiful islands. This island is premier destination for cruise travelers, think sun, sand, great food, and sporting events. Here are some of our favorite activities to enjoy on a cruise to Bermuda.
Guided Island Tour
Discover the pink sands and visit famous landmarks, including the Gib’s Hill Light House and Royal Naval Dockyard during your visit. The historic town of St. George is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an historical reenactment show with St. George’s Town Crier. The South Shore is where you’ll find Bermuda’s most beautiful beaches and is the perfect place just sit back with your favorite cocktail and enjoy the sunset.
Scuba Diving Discovery Experience
The waters around Bermuda are perfect for scuba diving and an unforgettable. Book a guided tour with a certified instructor to learn how to scuba then head to a diving area around an old shipwreck near the island to discover a new world. Most scuba diving experiences are half-day excursions so you can spend the rest of the day enjoying the beach and local restaurants.
Crystal Caves Sightseeing Tour
The Crystal Caves are one of the highlights of a trip to Bermuda, a stunning underground attraction with amazing cave formations and azure blue waters. You can take a narrated sightseeing tour through the caves and underwater caverns. Learn how the ocean-fed lake helps maintain this subterranean world, and see firsthand why it’s been an inspiration for many authors. After your tour, head off to the beautiful beaches of Bermuda’s South Shore, and grab a Dark N stormy!
Travel can be especially exciting for those who love to take photos. Why? Because they have incredible landscapes and views to capture on their journey! If you’re considering planning an upcoming cruise, you may want to book one that offers photo classes and specialty photo experiences. There are some excellent cruises for photo lovers. Take a look at the best cruises for photography buffs:
Seabourn Cruise Line
When you set sail with luxury cruise brand Seabourn on select cruises, you’ll get to take advantage of additional offerings that are perfect for photography buffs. Antarctica and Patagonia cruises feature digital photography workshops so that you can perfect your craft. You’ll also have access to special guest speakers. Finally, visiting such destinations like Antarctica and Patagonia, you’ll get some great photo opportunities.
National Geographic Expeditions
If you’re into photography, taking a National Geographic cruise is a must. For starters, you’ll visit some of the most incredible destinations on the globe. When you book a photography cruise, there will be a National Geographic photographer on board during the journey to provide insight and tips! Just look for journeys that sail on the National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion. This is an excellent way to improve your photography skills while capturing amazing photos. Need some inspiration? We recommend the Galapagos Voyage or the Journey to Antarctica.
Those who choose to cruise with Silversea have access to a photo studio on their ship! Here travelers can take masterclasses in digital photography and editing, use photo editing software, and print photos that were taken during the cruise. This offering is available on the Silver Cloud ship. Whether you’re a newbie photographer or more advanced, this is a nice added feature! The Silver Cloud sails to destinations like Cape Town, Lima, Dublin, Reykjavik, and many others.
Holland America Line
Holland America has its Microsoft Studio available on its ships. Small group learning courses are available here, including digital photography classes. This is the perfect opportunity to improve your photo editing and digital photography skills. Most ships have this offering available, so pick your favorite cruise journey!
These are some of the best cruise options for photography buffs. No matter which cruise you choose to sail on, you’re in for a treat. As you explore new destinations, you’ll have the perfect scenery and subjects for some incredible photo opportunities. Enjoy your cruise!