More Asians are booking luxury cruise holidays – think personal butlers, plush balcony suites, and gourmet food as well as free-flow of the best alcohol.
Luxury cruise lines like Oceania Cruises, Silversea, Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises are now pouring into Southeast Asia.
Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Voyager will be operating six sailings that will begin or end in Singapore between November 2017 and April 2018.
Crystal Cruises, which announced its itineraries up until 2019, has also included calls to Singapore with some overnight stays – a sign that the demand for these exclusive experiences are on the rise.
While packages can appear steep, try comparing them to a luxury hotel.
A Silversea Mediterranean cruise with Honeyworld Holidays starts at USD$2,650. OK, it doesn’t include flights. But US$378 a night all up, with meals, entertainment and some shore excursions rates better than a night at the legendary Cipriani in Italy, which comes out at an eye-watering $1,865 (OK, you DO get breakfast and George Clooney could be having Nespresso there!)
The ship packages include amenities, personalised butler services, fine wines, higher staff-to-guest ratios as well as luxury shore excursions.
The ships are also decked out with Jacuzzis, the best spas as well as fine dining every meal and the passenger capacity is much smaller than a family or premium cruise line.
Kathy Pavlidis, from CruiseAbout says that passengers need to find an agent who knows and understands the luxury line.
“Most of these cruisers are well travelled and already have an itinerary, cabin and company in mind. If you find an accredited agent that knows about the cruise line or has even experienced it, then it pays to know that you are getting good service,” she said.
Kathy shared these tips for shaving a few extra dollars off that price tag:
Book early for early-bird rewards like onboard credit
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Find a travel agent who specialises in luxe cruises
“ Generally with six star lines, the earlier you book, the better the prices generally will be. If cheaper fares come up and you’ve already paid for your cruise, the six-star lines will generally try and give you some money back. ”
Travel agents like Honeyworld Holidays sell cruise brands like Silversea, Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises as well as boutique river line Uniworld.
Misa Travel also sells brands like Seabourn, Silversea and Crystal Cruises.