WORDS BY ADAM HUNT
PHIL HOFFMANN TRAVEL BAROSSA VALLEY
When we hear about ocean cruising it is often in regard to a ships incredible size, and action-packed facilities onboard.
There are more ‘mega’ ships sailing than ever before, with fabulous activities and entertainment. Who would have thought that we would be ice-skating, zip lining and wall climbing whilst sailing the oceans of the world with 4000 of our fellow passengers? Large ships represent fantastic value for money, with great food and activities to keep all ages entertained – I must declare that I am a fan, but like hotels and restaurants, the most important factor is to match the right cruise with your interests and style of travel.
The beautiful thing about cruising is that now more than ever there is an amazing array of choices for the consumer beyond mega ship cruising there are boutique, mid-ship and small-ship cruise lines sailing the globe, all offering a more inclusive and intimate experience, with elevated culinary delights and service.
All-inclusive luxury cruising may appear at a higher cost but they include so much more, meaning you spend less whilst on-board and the overall experience is completely enhanced. The day by day cost is often comparable to a land based, independent holiday once you add on all the daily expenses. With passenger capacity numbers ranging from 400 – 950 you receive personalised service with a favourable crew to passenger ratio.
In some cases, the smaller ships can dock in ports that the mega liners cannot, often closer to the main sights and attractions. Luxury cruise lines often stay longer in port, allowing you to immerse yourself in a destination, long after crowds of cruise tourists have returned to their ship.
If you are a lover of food and fine dining, many luxury cruise lines include complimentary speciality restaurants and in room dining, offering delightful culinary options every night, at no additional cost.
Other typical inclusions may be – shore excursions, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees, free 24-hour room service, complimentary WIFI, concierge services and gratuities. A small selection of Cruiselines to consider are Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Viking Ocean Cruising.
From relaxed country club ambience to silver service, the atmosphere on-board these luxury cruise lines can vary, as do the levels of inclusions. Choosing the perfect fit for you can be a little overwhelming, but that’s where my team at Phil Hoffmann Travel Barossa Valley can help.