What’s New with Luxury Cruising for 2023

Grand Suite, Evrima
The Grand Suite aboard The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima (Francisco Martinez)

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.

Oceania Cruises
Oceania Regatta (Photo Courtesy of Oceania Cruises)

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

Silver Endeavour, a Silversea Cruises expedition ship, previously sailed as Crystal Endeavor.
Silver Endeavour (Photo by Silversea Cruises/Silversea Expeditions)

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.

Seven Seas Explorer Culinary Arts Kitchen
Seven Seas Explorer’s Culinary Arts Kitchen (Photo by Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

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.

Disney Wish Tower Suite
Disney Wish’s Tower Suite (Photo by Disney Cruise Line)

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.”

Traveling Solo? Check Out These Cruise Lines

Credit: Celebrity Cruises

When planning to take a cruise, it can be frustrating having to book a double occupancy cabin when you prefer to stay in your own room. While many rates you see advertised for cruises are based on double occupancy, several cruise lines now offer solo cabins without the worry of a single supplement. Keep an eye out for cabins marketed specifically as single-occupancy rooms. We’ve researched for you so you can easily plan your next getaway. Here are some great ships that have solo cabins available for booking.

Book a Solo Journey with Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity Edge has single interior staterooms available. They’re modern and spacious. If you’re traveling solo, or prefer your own room when adventuring with a group of friends, you’ll want to book a journey on the Celebrity Edge ship.

Royal Caribbean Has Several Ship Options

Royal Caribbean also makes it easy for solo travelers to book an exciting cruise getaway. Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas ships feature 28 studio cabins made for solo travelers. These cabins come in various setups and sizes to accommodate all needs.

Holland America is Solo-Travel Friendly

If you’re planning to cruise with Holland America, you have a couple of ship options. The Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam ships have solo cabins available. Each ship has 12 solo cabins, and the rooms feature a large single bed, with the same size bathroom as standard rooms.

Credit: Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Have Solo Cabins

If you’re considering taking a cruise with Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, you’ll be happy to know all of their ships have solo cabins available! They’re also available in various sizes, so you can get a more spacious cabin if you like to have more room to hang out.

Take a Solo Cruise with Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises is also solo-cruise friendly. More than half of Costa Cruises ships accommodate solo travelers. These ships include the Fascinosa, Favolosa, Pacifica, Serena, and Costa neoRomantica. Inside rooms and ocean view rooms are available.

AmaWaterways Has Some Options Available

While AmaWaterways solo cabins are more limited, they do have some available. The following ships have 1-2 solo cabins on each ship: AmaVerde, AmaBella, AmaLyra, AmaDante, AmaDolce, and AmaCello. If you plan ahead, you should be good to go when making your river cruise reservations.

These are some ships that offer solo accommodation. Enjoy a cruise exactly how you want to without the worry of having to book a double occupancy room. And as mentioned before, Riviera River Cruises recently added more solo journeys as well. These ships provide comfortable solo cabins that are perfect for your next adventure at sea.

Our Guide to Dressing Up (or Down) on a Cruise

If you’re new to cruising, you’ll want to make sure that you pack all the essentials that you need for a great trip. You may be wondering what to pack in terms of clothes. Don’t worry — we’ll help to make sure that you’re all ready to go. Each cruise line has a dress code in place, but we can help you understand the differences so you can get packing. Keep reading to learn more about the dress code for your upcoming cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line

If you’re taking a Carnival Cruise Line cruise, you’ll get the chance to wear a lot of casual attire. Most evenings the dress code is “cruise casual,” so you’ll be fine wearing khakis, collared sports shirts, pants, jeans, and blouses. “Cruise elegant” attire is suggested for a few special evenings. Think dress shirts, cocktail dresses, pantsuits, and sports coats. You won’t need to pull out the tuxedos and evening gowns, but you can if you want.

Holland America

You’ll also find that the Holland America dress code is also quite casual. Most evenings are “resort casual,” and clothing like slacks, collared shirts, skirts, slacks, and blouses are acceptable. For the evenings that have a formal option, the dress code is referred to as “Gala Night” wear. For these gala evenings, you can plan to wear suits, tuxedos, jackets, cocktail dresses, and gowns.

Credit: Shutterstock

MSC Cruises

If you’re taking an MSC Cruises journey, we have you covered! Most of the time, you can get away with “casual wear” on your cruise. “Gala Dinners” on the other hand, require travelers to wear more formal attire. Suits, jackets, ties, and cocktail dresses are acceptable for these evening events.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises has an easy to follow dress code to make things stress-free. Plan to wear country club and resort-style attire like button-down shirts and slacks and dresses and skirts and tops. For evening events, plan to dress more elegant. This cruise line keeps things pretty casual, which is excellent if you don’t feel like pulling out your gowns!

Princess Cruises

Another favorite cruise line is Princess Cruises. This cruise line has both formal and smart-casual evenings. When it’s formal attire night, plan to wear tuxedos, dark suits, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and elegant pantsuits. For smart-casual attire, plan to bring pants, slacks, sweaters, and blouses.

Credit: Shutterstock

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

When you cruise with Regent Seven Seas, “casual” wear is perfect for daytime, and resort-style attire is best. In the evenings, plan to dress “elegant casual,” which means items like collared shirts, skirts, slacks, blouses, and sweaters. Some longer cruises have formal or semi-formal nights, which require gowns, cocktail dresses, and tuxedos.

For all cruise lines, you can’t wear swimwear in the dining areas. Some cruise lines also have special theme nights, where you’re encouraged to dress up to match the theme!

The Top 3 Family-Friendly Cruises in Northern Europe

From nature’s spectacular display of Northern Lights to the majestic Norwegian fjords, Northern Europe is the perfect place to find adventure, and not just for adults. From ship to shore, cruises offer a range of activities and interests for the entire family. So, if you’re wondering where to go on your next family vacation, let us help. These top three cruises to Northern Europe are a great way to bond in the British Isles and connect as a family in Copenhagen.


Lego Experience Credit: MSC

Brimming with enchanted castles, glistening fjords and postcard-worthy landscapes Northern Europe offers a host of amusement for the entire family. And, no one quite understands discovering amazing destinations as a family quite like MSC. After all, they are a family-owned company. Aqua Parks and high tech gaming attractions entertain tech-savvy teens. Even meal times make dining pleasant with three innovative activities: Fun Time Dinner, Happy Dinners, and Kids Around the Clock. But everyone knows it’s also essential to have some quality adult time away from our brood.  MSC recently launched the MSC Baby Care Service, for children 1 to 3 years, at the Mini Club. Equally appealing to parents is the baby laundry service, because let’s face it, kids are messy. Clothes are collected from your cabin and delivered back to you. Young kids and teens have their very own club away from the little ones with weekly events to rival any adult function like the Teens White Party, The Proms Teen Formal Night and Hey Mr. DJ. Sports tournaments, dance contests, and so much more assures that everyone is having fun, even hard-to-please teens.

Holland America

Credit: Shutterstock

A dazzling array of delights await on Holland America Line’s Northern Europe cruise. While you may think Holland America Line appeals to more mature guests, it’s a great choice for families as well. Club HAL, for those 3-17 years, keeps the kids entertained with arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, themed parties, and more. Three unique programs cater to kids, tweens, and teens, ensuring they are with other guests their age. Holland America Line will even assist with the placement of a child with special needs into the appropriate HAL Club. And mom and dad can relax with a signature treatment at Greenhouse Salon & Spa. Well-appointed accommodations make cruising with your family a comfortable experience. Book the Pinnacle Suite for up to 1290 square feet of living space including a verandah.

Disney Cruise Line

Rapunzel’s Royal Table Credit: DCL

Yes, Disney Cruise Line often tops our list of family favorite cruises, but it goes without saying, Disney knows how to create magical family memories. Sail the 7-night Northern Europe cruise to Copenhagen in accommodations designed for families with privacy curtains and storage spaces. Kids will love the Disney themed entertainment with their favorite characters. Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab offer engaging activities and once in a lifetime encounters with Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Pixar characters. And don’t worry about your picky eaters, even they will find something delicious between themed restaurants, buffets and room service. While the little ones are entertained at the kid’s club, sneak away to the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool for some much-needed relaxation and libations or an intimate, romantic dinner at the all adult exclusive Palo or Remy.

Holland America Launches Navigator App

Holland America is putting your cruise in the palm of your hand, literally. The company is taking the popular browser-based Navigator tool and turning it into a user-friendly, free app for mobile phones and tablets available for use on board ship. The app will let guests personalize their cruise, book experiences, and even chat with other guests while at sea or in port.

Download the Navigator app from the iTunes App or Google Play stores, and plan daily activities, explore and book shore excursions, view restaurant menus, make dining reservations, see spa treatments, check account statements and much more.

Gone are the days of carrying a bulky phone throughout the ship to talk to members of your party. With the app’s chat function, you can communicate with other guests while on board or at port.

Credit: Holland America Line

“The Navigator app makes it easy for our guests to personalize their cruise experience from anywhere on the ship — whether they want to make a reservation at a specialty restaurant, see what the evening entertainment is or create a daily schedule with reminder notifications,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The most exciting function of Navigator is that it allows our guests to chat with each other for free, which makes it easy to stay connected and make plans with fellow travelers throughout the cruise.”

It’s easy to stay on task and organized with the app, even if you are on island time. Track reservations or excursions, even send reminders and alerts so you won’t miss a thing. Don’t worry if you forget to download the Navigator app before your cruise. Once on board, you can still download it free of charge without using internet minutes.

Stay tuned, in the coming months, Holland America Line will extend the app — currently only available to use during a guest’s cruise — to offer pre-voyage access. This way, guests can review available services and check out the interactive fleet map at any time before boarding the ship.

Amazing Savings on Holland America

With more than 500 cruises to over 400 ports in 98 countries, there is no shortage of options when booking a Holland America Cruise. And, if you’ve been considering booking one of Holland America’s amazing itineraries, there’s no better time than now. The cruise line recently debuted its Early Booking Bonus which runs until May 31, 2019. Guests who book now for their 2020-2021 cruise or Alaska Land + Sea Journey will receive perks valued up to $1200.

Koningsdam Aerial Venice Credit: Holland America Line

What other popular benefits can you expect with the Early Booking Bonus? A Signature Beverage Package, dinner at Pinnacle Grill, 50 percent reduced deposit and free or reduced fares for kids (or adults) in the same stateroom sailing as third or fourth guests. Book a suite and receive an additional $200 of onboard spending money.

The incentive is especially helpful to families. “For our guests who are planners and book their cruise well in advance, this promotion offers incredible incentives to an experience that is already considered the best value in travel,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We’re especially excited to offer free or reduced rates for third and fourth guests, making a family cruise all the more affordable. With a wide array of activities on board and shore excursions for all ages and interests, our cruises are perfect for multigenerational travelers.”

Whether you envision relaxing on Caribbean beaches or exploring the wild frontier of Alaska, Holland America makes a fun family vacation affordable. And the best part, cruises are a great way to pack in couple time, family time and alone time, with activities for all ages. The BBC Earth Experience gives guests an in-depth look into the world’s natural wonders through amazing concerts and films.  Foodies will delight in America’s Test Kitchen, the cruise line’s exciting array of live onboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on work shops. And the entire family will come together in the evenings for love the world-class entertainment from B.B. King’s Blues Club to Lincoln Center Stage, showcasing live chamber music performances. A perfect vacation, for everyone!

The Best Cruises for Single Seniors

If you are a single senior who would love to take a cruise, but hesitate simply because you don’t want to travel alone, there are many options for you. Enjoy your golden years with a cruise designated for single seniors. Cruising for singles over 50 offers a host of benefits, from planned itineraries to discounts on rates. So pack your bags, these cruises will have you living life to the fullest.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Voted Best Cruise Line for Solo Travelers 5 years in a row by Porthole Magazine, Norwegian was the first cruise line to build studio staterooms and common areas specifically for single travelers. If you prefer a standard stateroom, as opposed to the studio, the cruise line also offers Solo Cruiser Discounts, with reduced single supplements for regular staterooms on select sailings. Stop by the nightly Friends of Dorothy happy hour or the staff-hosted ship bar crawl, geared specifically to single travelers, and meet plenty of new friends.


One of the best options for single travelers, Silversea goes above and beyond to accommodate those sailing solo. Single supplements start at only 10% above the cruise line’s Silver Privilege Fares on select sailings. A champagne Welcome Reception is the perfect way to mingle with other solo travelers, and if you’re skeptical about showing up on the dance floor alone, there are Gentleman Hosts available as dance partners and even dinner companions. One of our favorite perks on Silversea is the all-inclusive fares creating a stress-free and seamless experience. Silversea includes everything from personalized butler service to fine wine and spirits.

Holland America

With 40 activities geared towards solo travelers; Holland America turns your singles trip into a first-class vacation with new friends.  Each ship hosts a Solo Travelers party for singles, mixers, cocktail parties, line dance class, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations. On longer cruises, 30 days or more, Social Hosts invite single women to dinner and dancing. Alternatively, if you prefer to be seated with other singles, put in an advance request. Holland America also offers the opportunity to share a stateroom with another same-sex guest and pay per person, double occupancy rate. If you want a private room, double staterooms are available at a discount on select ships.

Cruise Alaska with Oprah in July 2017

Join Oprah, Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine on an unforgettable summer adventure to one of the most breathtaking places on earth—Alaska. Sail July 15–22, 2017 to celebrate Oprah’s Year of Adventure and experience the Great Land like never before with an “O-mazing” schedule of events to energize and inspire travelers. And don’t forget to reserve your complimentary seats to Oprah’s live performance on the MainStage. This experience will pair the life-changing, eye-opening wonder of travel with the soulful, inspiring content found in every issue of the magazine, including special appearances by O, The Oprah Magazine editors and inspirational thought leaders and visionaries from the SuperSoul 100. Cruise fares start from $1,699.

Video: Explore Holland America’s Newest Ship, The Koningsdam Joins Their Fleet This Month


The Koningsdam is the highly anticipated first ship in the line’s Pinnacle Class, and it brings with it a number of firsts for Holland America, including ocean-view cabins for single travelers and families. The design of the 2,650-passenger ship was inspired by elements of music and is seen in areas like the three-deck skylight-capped atrium with a stainless steel sculpture reminiscent of a string quartet. For food enthusiasts Holland America is also investing heavily in culinary venues and activities on Koningsdam with the Culinary Arts Center, a show kitchen where passengers will be able to take cooking classes during the day and then dine at the venue at night. There will be a 13-Day Christening Cruise Rome to Amsterdam departing May 9, 2016. In addition to the Christening events, guests can enjoy a private event at the Rijksmuseum upon arrival in Amsterdam.

Holland America Line, www.hollandamerica.com

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