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Luxury ship news: Ritz-Carlton, Aman and more...


The wonderful thing about the concept of 'luxury' is that it is constantly reinventing itself, influenced by fashion, taste and the zeitgeist.

Furthermore, it is very personal. Think of cars for example. Way back when, my parents-in-law bought us our first car, in the hope that Matthew would stop racing around London on a dodgy 125cc motorcycle. A white Ford escort, £50, we were proud of it whenever it managed to achieve a journey, even on the occasion the windscreen wipers dropped off in the middle of a hailstorm. Our next car - what luxury - not only had windscreen wipers, but also a radio and a cassette player… you get where I am going.

Currently in the cruise industry we consider there to be four key drivers in new luxury - space, intimacy, sustainability and the ability to operate unusual itineraries. There are new very small ships, and others which are larger but still offer these key features. The many times delayed Evrima of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection should at last start operating in August of this year, in Europe. Built in Spain to accommodate 298 guests, including many new cruisers asserting their loyalty to the Ritz-Carlton brand, this little ship will offer yacht style itineraries with plenty of late nights and overnights in port as well as time at sea.

Another hotel group is also eyeing the cruise industry, as Aman pair with Cruise Saudi to create a 100-passenger yacht which is due to start service in 2025, codenamed Sama ('tranquillity' in Sanskrit). As you would expect from Aman, the aim is to create an elegant and minimalist environment, and the vessel is likely to explore Saudi Arabia by sea.

Aman and Cruise Saudi - Project Sama

Two new superyachts from Scenic-owned river cruise company Emerald, accommodating a maximum guest number of 100, whilst not aspiring to offer an ultra luxury environment, will nevertheless be able to operate appealing off-the-beaten-track itineraries including the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, as well as the Mediterranean.

Explora Journeys, whose luxury vessel Explora I is the first of four, will commence service next year, introducing a spacious resort-style ship with comfortable homes from home, and boasting MSC's signature cutting edge technology with a sustainable focus.

The fast growing Silversea fleet will have a new addition in summer 2023 - the 728-guest Silver Nova - different from any previous Silversea ship. This first-of-a-kind environmentally friendly ship will offer everything we already expect from Silversea in terms of stylish service, great itineraries and amazing gastronomy, on board an innovative vessel pioneering a new direction for Silversea.

Silver Nova - Junior Grand Suite bathroom

Regent Seven Seas Cruises boasts of its 30-year heritage as it prepares to welcome a sister to Explorer and Splendor, the 732-guest Seven Seas Grandeur. Regent ships are known for their space and elegance, with interesting worldwide itineraries, inclusive pricing, and an excellent focus on maximising your time ashore.

Arguably more exciting than anything is the new generation of luxury expedition yachts currently entering service, and of which Seabourn Venture, now due to start service in July, will be a prime example. Offering a very special combination of luxury and adventure, this little 264-guest vessel will feature a 26-person expedition team of scientists, scholars, naturalists and more as well as offering inclusive expedition experiences, such as hiking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and Zodiac cruising.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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