VOGUE Living Australia - - Contents -

The lo­ca­tion of a beloved Aus­tralian movie clas­sic, this in­ner Syd­ney pub has fi­nally had the glama­zon-wor­thy makeover it de­serves

Crys­tal’s all-suite, but­ler-ser­viced river ships, fea­ture the largest lux­ury suites on Europe’s rivers, Miche­lin-in­spired cui­sine and ac­claimed ser­vice.

In the 21st cen­tury, we don’t need to make long jour­neys across the world’s oceans to get any­where, as trav­ellers did in the first half of last cen­tury. And yet, ocean cruis­ing has never been more pop­u­lar, with nearly 27 mil­lion pas­sen­gers cruis­ing the globe last year. So, just what is it about cruis­ing that its devo­tees love?

The se­cret lies in the defini­ton of the word cruise: ‘to sail about in an area with­out a pre­cise des­ti­na­tion, es­pe­cially for plea­sure’. A cruise is not just where you go, but the way you get there. It’s as much about the on­board ex­pe­ri­ence — the food, the en­ter­tain­ment, the friend­ships made — as it is about the des­ti­na­tions. These days, there’s a cruise for just about ev­ery taste, from those whose idea of heaven is sim­ply cosy­ing up on a deckchair with waiter ser­vice on hand to those who love the nightlife or thrillseek­ers look­ing for chal­leng­ing ex­pe­di­tions.

Some cruise lines proudly repli­cate the ro­man­tic ex­pe­ri­ence of yes­ter­year, com­plete with white-gloved stew­ards, but­lers, for­mal din­ners, high teas and even gentle­men-host pro­grams to make sure sin­gle ladies have dance part­ners and cock­tail com­pan­ions. On the other hand, many gleam­ing new mega­ships fea­tur­ing an ar­tillery of amaz­ing fa­cil­i­ties are purely of this era, with ev­ery­thing from laser-tag ranges to fully equipped TV stu­dios. The trick is find­ing the right cruise for you, be­cause there one.

In this guide, we’ve con­cen­trated on the small, lux­ury ships that carry only a few hun­dred pas­sen­gers — float­ing five-star ho­tels that of­fer ex­em­plary cos­set­ing. These ves­sels can sail up rivers and into ports where the mam­moth ships can’t go; plus, they leave a gen­tler en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print on frag­ile shores. We think a bou­tique ship is the best way to take the plunge if you’ve never cruised be­fore. Bon voy­age.

On her maiden voy­age, Se­abourn Ova­tion sails into a Lis­bon sun­rise for the first time.

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