Recommend February 2018 - 12

Cruise

Scenic Eclipse's submarine will provide the opportunity for unique experiences.

Today's Upscale Cruise Style
"Today luxury is all about acquiring unique,
bespoke, curated experiences that improve
quality of life-the experience of beauty,
knowledge, and humanity at their deepest
and most inspiring across our extraordinary
world," says Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior
v.p. of global sales and marketing. "Luxury
travelers we are seeing today are also placing
a greater emphasis on the level of authentic
experience they can have at destinations
around the world."
In other words, although luxury clients
do expect the finest in service and
accommodations, it's not just about "a higher
price point," adds HJ Sauer, owner of a
Dream Vacations franchise, "luxury is also
being defined by the uniqueness of the travel.
I find my clients want an adventurous or
unique experience."
In fact, with the release of Cruise
Planners' 2018 Travel Trends, Vicky Garcia,
the organization's COO and co-owner,
noted that "The level of...custom travel
experiences that travelers expect are
high." So it's no surprise that one of Cruise
Planners' 2018 travel trends predictions is
12 february 2018

"

Luxury is being defined by
the uniqueness of the travel.
I find many of my clients
want an adventurous or unique
experience while maintaining a
high quality in lodging, meals,
and overall travel experience.
-- HJ Sauer, Owner, Dream Vacations

"

Paloma Villaverde de Rico

the "BIG Little Extras," with the trends piece
noting that "cruise lines...are partnering with
cultural hotspots to provide the exclusive tours
and experiences that money simply can't buy,
either before the crowds arrive or after the sun
goes down."
When asked his top recommendations for
luxury cruise lines that deliver both remarkable
service and inimitable experiences on land,
Sauer points to a range of cruise lines for a host
of different reasons, including Azamara Club
Cruises, which offers "overnight experiences
for those who want to experience the nightlife
in a city. Crystal has some unique styles of

ships, including its yacht offerings with
less than 70 people. Similar small ship
experiences can be found on Windstar;
small ships also have unique itineraries
because of their smaller size that offer offthe-beaten-path ports of call.
"My recent experience was on the new
Silversea Muse in South America. I would
describe the ship as understated elegance.
They pride themselves on service, and, like
Regent, have world tours that you can take
portions of, or, if you want to 'see it all,' stay
on for the entire length.
"For luxury river cruises, I suggest allinclusive brands such as Uniworld. They are
highly staffed and the service is remarkable."
So how are these luxury cruise lines-
both on the river and on the ocean-upping
the ante when it comes to offering clients
an unparalleled experience both
on board and on shore, as well as hightouch experiences?
Many are bringing celebrity and awardwinning chefs and winemakers to offer
magnificent culinary spreads. For instance,
continued on page 18
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