Luxury travellers are wanting to discover more, experience more on their travels. How well do the luxury cruise lines satisfy the demand?

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Experienced travellers are now looking for more enriching experiences from their holidays; cruising on a smaller ship can offer just that, with more unusual destinations and the chance to learn from experts through the onboard programmes and accompanied excursions ashore. Cruise expert Kit Williams, from tailor-made travel specialist Silver Compass, looks at some of the options offered by the niche and luxury cruise lines.

Seven Seas Navigator in Alaska

Seven Seas Navigator in Alaska

...the overall experience can be a real chance to get under the skin of the culture and personality of the places visited.

Everyone looks for something a little different in their holidays, be it the chance to flop and chill completely, to relax and explore, to get out there and be active or to learn something new. For many it may even be a mix of these. For luxury travel, the trend is increasingly toward enrichment and experiences, a chance to learn and explore.

Most holidays will satisfy some of these, but not necessarily all – and most people won’t be looking for all of them in the same holiday. Unless you’re travelling alone, though, the group you are travelling with may well want a range of possibilities, especially if there’s a mix of generations. For some the holidays are their only chance to develop new interests or enhance existing ones, but it’s not always easy to accommodate that alongside the wishes and needs of the rest of the group.

This is where a cruise holiday really excels, offering the chance to do nothing or be on the go all the time or anything in between. In particular it’s a great chance to explore new cultures and places, learn from the experts and seek out entirely memorable experiences. Kit Williams, luxury travel consultant at Silver Compass, comments "The range of destinations and experiences offered by the cruise lines today is very broad, with an almost unlimited variety of opportunities for those looking to expand their horizons."

Some cruise lines focus on the cultural aspect of travel, others on exploration of the natural world, others are more generic in nature, but offer themed cruises with a varied programme of specialists. Whatever the format, it’s a chance to travel alongside like-minded companions and learn from the experts to enrich the experiences offered by the itinerary.

For the worldly explorer, though, who has already visited the mainstream destinations and is looking for a different experience or a more exotic destination, the niche cruise lines offering exploration voyages or the smaller luxury cruise ships are likely to be more suitable. These give a fresh perspective and insight into the destinations by visiting the more unusual ports and supporting them with in-depth onboard programmes.

For example, luxury all-inclusive cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the chance to combine the cruise with an enriching Land Programme either before or after the voyage, which reveals both the highlights and hidden treasures of the interesting destinations the ship is visiting.

Couple this with the wide range of high-quality excursions included in the Regent fares and the overall experience can be a real chance to get under the skin of the culture and personality of the places visited.

Another favourite, also from Regent, is the depth of the experience offered on their Alaska cruises. “Spotlight on Alaska”, led by cultural anthropologist and Alaskan expert Terry Breen, is included on selected cruises within their “ultra-inclusive” fare, which also includes flights, all meals and drinks, gratuities, excursions and much more. Visit http://www.terryslog.com for more information on “Spotlight on Alaska”.

Example Regent Seven Seas Sailings:

29th May 2013: 7 nights Vancouver to Anchorage from £2699pp, including Terry Breen's "Spotlight on Alaska" programme.

22nd December 2013: 16 nights Singapore to Sydney from £6459pp with the option of a 3-night pre- or post-cruise land programme for just £299

8th April 2014: 20 nights Bangkok to Dubai from £8739pp with the option of a 3-night pre- or post-cruise land programme for just £299

For more information about these and other cruises, or to place a booking please contact Kit at Silver Compass on 0208 305 0350 or by email info(at)silvercompass(dot)co(dot)uk

About Silver Compass:
Silver Compass is an award-winning tailor-made travel agency based in London and Wiltshire with a passion for exceptional service. Members of the Association of Cruise Experts, their cruise specialists look after every detail and thrive on matching the right cruise line to the customer

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