At Leisure

Laura El­liott on free­dom, Fer­raris, go­ril­las and the truly un­for­get­table...

World Travel Magazine - - Contents -

Life Be­yond Or­di­nary Cruises, we jour­ney across the open sea, along rivers and past man­made mega canals, in search for the tru­ely un­for­get­table.

What drives us to sail away is what com­pels us about the sea it­self––her lim­it­less won­ders and bound­less un­pre­dictabil­ity, her sav­age beauty and ex­otic ports of call. A sense of free­dom that can only be found on blue wa­ter––what sailors term the open sea, far from land. And isn’t that where all our most pow­er­ful ad­ven­tures take place? Where we dare to let go of the cer­tainty of land, and what­ever we’ve been cling­ing to, to head for the un­known where we take life to the next level and dis­cover some­thing in us we never knew be­fore. Here, you will get a be­hind the scenes look at be­yond the or­di­nary cruises that could quite pos­si­bly change not only your per­spec­tive but your life as well.

GO­RIL­LAS IN THE MIST, RWANDA

What makes travel price­less? Thrilling ex­pe­ri­ences that trans­form travel into life’s defin­ing mo­ments. Per­haps travel doesn’t get any more trans­for­ma­tive than look­ing into the eyes of go­ril­las as they play all around you in the unimag­in­able beauty of Vol­ca­noes Na­tional Park in Rwanda. The ex­pe­ri­ence brings peace to the soul in a way noth­ing else will in this world.

Imag­ine that you are in the jun­gle at elevation watch­ing go­rilla fam­i­lies play and for­age while a Sil­ver­back leads the pack. The adult male moun­tain go­rilla, so named for the sil­ver spine of hair on their backs, casts a spell­bind­ing com­mu­nion with na­ture which comes only once in a life­time and re­quires an exclusive li­cense for a one-time visit of one hour. Of­fered as a post-tour, four-night ex­ten­sion this in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to get away from it all and feel the heart­beat of the wild will be of­fered dur­ing Amawa­ter­ways 2019-2020 sea­son and also in­cludes view­ing the area’s golden mon­keys.

New cruises for 2018 in­clude ‘Wildlife & the Falls’, a 12-night ad­ven­ture on the Zam­bezi Queen where you will visit Vic­to­ria Falls, one of the seven nat­u­ral won­ders of the world, and walk in the steps of Nel­son Man­dela, on a be­hind-the-scenes tour to learn about the re­gion’s his­tor­i­cal strug­gles and rise of the hu­man spirit. Other new cruises fea­ture Me­dieval Trea­sures, three nights in Zurich and two nights in Prague, as well as Charms of the Mekong, with stops in Hanoi, Siem Reap, and Ho Chi Minh City. amawa­ter­ways.com

JAMES BOND IN MONACO

You’ve had the dream––gam­bling in Monaco, drink­ing fine wines on your yacht and racing a Fer­rari. Yes, you can have it all when you take the ‘Monaco to Monaco’ Cruise on Sead­ream I with the Monaco by Fer­rari Su­per Car ad­ven­ture. You’ll be drink­ing your mar­ti­nis shaken, not stirred in no time.

Climb into your ready-and-wait­ing Fer­rari at the vil­lage of Eza high atop the breath­tak­ing Mid­dle Cor­nice Road. You choose whether to pi­lot or co-pi­lot with a pro­fes­sional driver run­ning shot­gun or in com­mand for the ride of your life. After­wards, en­joy breath­tak­ing land­scape views and a visit to a per­fume fac­tory. A stroll in Old Town Nice pre­pares you for your drive on the streets of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix.

It’s yacht­ing, not cruis­ing. And be­cause ser­vice is para­mount at Sead­ream, you don’t have to be James Bond for them to re­mem­ber your name. The small scale of the ships al­low a cer­tain level of ser­vice and in­ti­macy that de­fine lux­ury yacht­ing and form con­nec­tions with a fam­ily feel. A visit to their sea level pool means you won’t have to leave stun­ning views be­hind in or­der to en­joy fun on­board en­ter­tain­ment. Go ahead and throw in a he­li­copter ride for stun­ning aerial views of the Cote d’azure just be­cause you can. sead­ream.com

BOLDLY GO INTO THE WILD

They had me at bear view­ing. The new­est ship in the fleet, the Quest has been out­fit­ted with more toys than most ships on the high seas. En­joy­ing ad­ven­tures on cus­tomised land­ing craft trans­port you to places no other ships can––floating be­side a pod of bub­ble-net feed­ing hump­back whales on Alaska’s In­side Pas­sage, sail­ing along ethe­real glaciers, or land­ing at the per­fect spot for bear view­ing. Walk­ing among oth­er­worldly bril­liant colours of Alaskan fo­liage with nat­u­ral­ists and ex­perts like pho­to­jour­nal­ists is just one more thing to cross off your bucket list.

Un­ob­structed views on­board al­low for an ex­pan­sive ob­ser­va­tion deck so you can con­nect with the nat­u­ral world be­yond the bow in ways you have never been able to be­fore. The lat­est ma­te­ri­als give you the clear­est, most nat­u­ral view pos­si­ble. An open in­vi­ta­tion to the high-tech bridge finds the crew show­ing you the lat­est in satel­lite and nav­i­ga­tional tech­nol­ogy. The Quest’s en­vi­ron­men­tal savvy stream­lined hull de­sign min­imises vi­bra­tion, al­low­ing her to con­sume less fuel than much smaller ships.

The Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Quest is the first ex­pe­di­tion ship to be de­signed and pur­pose-built from scratch in the United States by Nichols Broth­ers Boat Builders on Whid­bey Is­land, Wash­ing­ton. The Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Ven­ture (Quest’s twin ship) will also be built there in the Fall of 2018. www.na­tion­al­geo­graph­ic­ex­pe­di­tions.com

BE­YOND IN­SPI­RA­TION ON THE AT­LANTIC

Artists like Francis Ford Cop­pola and Ed Sheeran have used Cu­nard lux­ury cruises as the ul­ti­mate re­treat in or­der to get in touch with their muse free of dis­trac­tions, where end­less days at sea al­low them to reded­i­cate them­selves to their works in progress. Slower travel helps them de­tach from ev­ery­day de­mands en­abling them to re­dis­cover their in­spi­ra­tions and dig into the heart of their work. Cu­nard of­fers many event cruises like an­ces­try/ge­neal­ogy voy­ages to help guests tap into their own epic sto­ries too.

New 2018 event cruises in­clude a photographic jour­ney on a voy­age to the land of the Mid­night Sun, and the third an­nual Tran­sat­lantic fashion week cross­ing where guests set sail with fashion great Hal Ruben­stein, known for found­ing In Style mag­a­zine. The line has also part­nered with The New Yorker to ex­plore the world of car­toons with cel­e­brated car­toon­ists of­fer­ing hands-on demon­stra­tions, work­shops and cap­tion con­tests.

Imag­ine your­self tak­ing the iconic Tran­sat­lantic cross­ing aboard the re­mas­tered Queen Mary 2 to work on your own pas­sion project. With echoes of her classic ocean liner style, she ex­udes a whole new level of lux­ury. The re­mas­tered ship, the most ex­pen­sive retrofit in the line’s 176-year his­tory, in­cludes thirty more Bri­tan­nia Club Balcony state­rooms with softer colours and more art deco, geo­met­ric pat­terns seen on the orig­i­nal Queen Mary. Twelve ad­di­tional ken­nels have also been added to ac­com­mo­date four-legged trav­ellers.

BE­YOND FUN

If you en­joy ul­tra-lux­ury, fun-filled high-oc­tane ad­ven­ture and new, shiny things Nor­we­gian Bliss is the ship for you. Mak­ing its maiden voy­age in June 2018, it fea­tures the largest com­pet­i­tive race track at sea, an al­most 1,000-foot two-level elec­tric car track that crowns the ship.

Other fun fac­tors aboard the Nor­we­gian Bliss in­clude an on­board Aqua Park, with a free fall slide and loops, called Ocean Loops, that ex­tends out over the ocean and a slide called Aqua Racer where pas­sen­gers can race side-by-side in in­ner tubes.

The Nor­we­gian Bliss caters to solo trav­ellers with The Haven by Nor­we­gian®, Stu­dio state­rooms fea­tur­ing vir­tual ocean views and also ac­com­mo­dates large par­ties and fam­i­lies in style with new con­nect­ing state­rooms that add a lux­u­ri­ous di­men­sion to shar­ing the fun to­gether.

But Nor­we­gian Bliss is much more than the new­est fun-filled pretty face on the wa­ter; it plans to awe and in­spire with a va­ri­ety of ports of call from The Last Fron­tier to the Caribbean. The ship will fea­ture an Ob­ser­va­tion Lounge de­signed for you to take in stun­ning vis­tas from glaciers to bald ea­gles, and team­ing sea life in warm turquoise wa­ters. Bring your sense of ad­ven­ture and play­ful­ness and dis­cover your bliss.

BE­YOND THE UN­EX­PECTED

Unique in the lux­ury world, Wind­star of­fers el­e­gant, pri­vate yacht­like ex­pe­ri­ences on cruise ships that are also sail­boats. They not only lo­cally source food but cap­tains and first mates too, which pro­vide un­par­al­leled knowl­edge of the seas they sail. They don’t pre­tend to be the cruise for ev­ery­one, but they pride them­selves on be­ing the cruise for you.

Fea­tur­ing voy­ages that are 180 de­grees from or­di­nary, there are 49 ad­ven­tur­ous new itin­er­ar­ies to tempt this year and an in­cred­i­ble 148 maiden ports of call with ad­ven­tur­ous ameni­ties that in­clude a unique ex­pe­ri­ence where food is zip-lined to guests. With an eye to do­ing things dif­fer­ently than other cruise lines they hope to fo­cus on giv­ing guests dis­tinc­tive sto­ries to share.

The Wind­star story is all about ex­clu­siv­ity and an­tic­i­pa­tory ser­vice. With a 1.5 to 1 guest-to-crew ra­tio, you will feel like fam­ily and en­joy an ex­pe­ri­ence sim­i­lar to a char­tered pri­vate yacht. Un­ri­valled culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences are yours as the of­fi­cial cruise line of the James Beard Foun­da­tion––in­spired by the leg­endary Amer­i­can cook­book au­thor and teacher, the or­gan­i­sa­tion keeps his spirit alive by bring­ing his food revo­lu­tion to the high seas.

But it’s re­ally the fleet’s beauty that speaks to the heart of Wind­star. In­ti­mate and charm­ing, find so­lace in her ro­man­tic can­vas sails, and feel what it is like to be pro­pelled by the wind. In­ti­mate and en­chant­ing the small ships are bet­ter able to de­liver authen­tic, im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences in ev­ery port of call.

High­lights from the 2018 voy­age itin­er­ar­ies in­clude the unique and less-trav­elled won­ders of Ko Kut, Lit­tle Bay on Montser­rat, and Isla Parida in Panama, as well as the stun­ning Pi­tons in

St. Lu­cia, the diver’s par­adise at Fakar­ava, the tree goats of Morocco and me­dieval al­ley­ways of Monem­va­sia. wind­star.com

BE­YOND YOUR BUCKET LIST

Sum­mer in the Arc­tic is about to get a whole lot more lux­u­ri­ous. The first pur­pose-built po­lar class megay­acht, Crys­tal En­deavor, sets sail in late 2019 and will take you on an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney as it nav­i­gates “first-year ice,” al­low­ing you to get closer to na­ture and the thrills of po­lar bear sight­ings and ice flow view­ings at the top of the world. After­wards, fol­low the whale mi­gra­tion along the coasts of the Amer­i­cas and Europe on an en­chant­ing sail to Antarc­tica dur­ing the win­ter.

While ex­plor­ing the world’s ex­tremes, you will be able to get your ad­ven­ture on in Crys­tal En­deavor’s sub­marines, he­li­copters, and fish­ing boats as well as snorkel and scuba gear. When ad­ven­tur­ing turns to pam­per­ing, soothe those aching ad­ven­tur­ous bones aboard Palm Court, a full-ser­vice spa par­adise with in­cred­i­ble 360 panoramic ocean views.

Four new world cruises be­gin­ning in 2018 will find you fill­ing your pass­port with stamps from all over the world, in­clud­ing 16 ex­otic maiden ports of call, on voy­ages that av­er­age 100 days at sea. Or tai­lor your glo­be­trot­ting trav­els with Crys­tal Skye, the largest pri­vate­ly­owned tour jet for global char­tered ad­ven­tures. Its lux­u­ri­ous, spa­cious de­sign ac­com­mo­dates up to 88 souls, en­abling you to ex­plore the world’s most re­mote lo­cales quickly and op­u­lently, with plenty of room for friends and fam­ily. Com­ing in Jan­uary 2019 Crys­tal Seren­ity’s new­est voy­age from Los An­ge­les to Monte Carlo finds you on an 84-day ex­cit­ing world wilder­ness ad­ven­ture, high­lights in­clude Big Five sa­faris, treks in the Aus­tralian Out­back, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some of Hawaii’s most breath­tak­ing vol­ca­noes.

From top left, Amawa­ter­way’s cruise ex­ten­sion in Rwanda to en­counter go­ril­las; Amawa­ter­ways Zam­bezi Queen; Hav­ing it all on the Monaco-toMonaco Sead­ream cruise

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