There is a distinctive sense of discovery that cruise voyages offer which simply cannot be replicated elsewhere. There’s something very magical about being at sea, the wind in your hair, fading horizons bathed in sunset’s glow and a different place to visit every single day. And there are also so many parts of the world best visited from the water, indeed some are only accessible by boat. From the fjords of Norway, to the king penguins on South Georgia Island, to the Caribbean’s best beaches, travelling on the water becomes an adventure in its own right and the holiday is as much about the journey as the destination.
There are many outdates myths being dispelled about cruising as new products are launched to attract a new crowd. Celebrity Cruises have recently run a ‘perceptual challenge’ campaign among young people to help prove cruises are a holiday that even the most ardent doubters would love. Participants in the social experiment were shown images that showcased the company’s Celebrity Apex ship and her best features, but the photos were marketed as a new land-based resort.
The cruise line’s secret involvement had a profound impact. After the resort’s true identity as a cruise ship was revealed, 59% of participants changed their minds about cruising, especially Millennials (78%) and Gen Z (74%). Furthermore, a 13-night cruise on Celebrity Apex proved 53% cheaper than an equivalent all-inclusive stay as a five-star resort.
Furthermore proof that cruising isn’t just for the most mature clientele was provided when new cruise line Virgin Voyages burst onto the scene. Offering luxurious adult-only cruises with an emphasis on fun and inclusivity. With endorsements from celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and super-yacht inspired cabins, Virgin Voyages put a playful twist on the cruising experience with festival-like entertainment at sea, and more than twenty eateries, some even with Michelin star chef-curated cuisine.
I was recently lucky enough to experience my own voyage of discovery in some of the most marine rich and diverse waters on the planet with an educational trip on board Scenic Eclipse, travelling along Central America’s spectacular west coast from Panama to Mexico stopping off at Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador en-route. Scenic Eclipse is the world’s first six-star Discovery Yacht hosting just 228 passengers on board. I could wax lyrical as much about my time spent at sea, sailing along in the sunshine, as I could about the ports we visited. The sea life in this region is varied and spectacular, so vast pods o dolphins accompanied us alongside the ship daily. Whales joined us as we got further north into the Sea of Cortez, breaching and feeding, and the ship stopped to allow us time to observe this as a respectful distance. Flying fish and leaping devil rays wowed with aerial acrobatics above the water and large turtles regularly stopped to bob by the ship. Sea birds steadily accompanied our progress, and there was never a dull moment as the scenery slipped by seamlessly, always stunning and ever changing. The ship offered various relaxation spots like hot tubs, a sun deck, and a plunge pool. I enjoyed yoga classes, trained for the London marathon in the gym while watching dolphins outside, and attended daily seminars on the holiday and wildlife of the regions we travelled through. My favourite memories from this cruise will be the rainforest views sliding by and dolphins playing alongside the ship in bright turquoise waters, shoals of flying fish glittering in the morning light. The view of Guatemala from the summit of the volcano, and the chilled beach vibes in Mexico were also highlights.
There are so many cruise options to choose from in terms of destination and ship size or style, from sailing Star Clipper ships, to water slides on Royal Caribbean ships or go-karting at sea with Norwegian Cruise Line. There is something to suit every taste and budget. Isn’t it about time you embarked on your own unforgettable journey of discovery?