Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Seabourn
On Seabourn, you can kayak the Amazon during the day and dine on Thomas Keller cuisine at night
Travel advisor Jonny Drubel talks about cruise trends for 2020.
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Jonny Drubel, a Protravel advisor based in Los Angeles, used to work in entertainment and now runs a successful travel agency, TravelWell. (He also is very active on Instagram, with 176,000 followers engaging with his travels.) Cruising makes up a large part of his business, so he needs to stay on top of trends, new itineraries, and new luxury offerings. We talked about what’s next for 2020.
Expedition ships are in the pipeline for Crystal, Seabourn, Viking Ocean, and SeaDream, to name a few. These ships will hold roughly 200 passengers, so most in the industry are calling them yachts rather than cruise ships. They won’t have waterslides and 10 dining venues like their larger mass-market competitors, but they will have amenities that will impress even seasoned travelers. Crystal has a helicopter to bring passengers to shore on the Crystal Endeavor, for instance, and Seabourn has a submarine that will take guests to the depths of the Arctic on the Seabourn Venture.
These expedition ships will allow cruise lines to bring guests to remote places without sacrificing luxury.
Luxury cruise ships are not just spending winters in the Caribbean and summers in the Mediterranean. Cruise lines have realized that passengers want not only to spend time discovering new corners of the world but also to spend more time in destinations. Overnights—sometimes two, even three nights—are more common on cruise itineraries now in places such as Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, and Haifa [Jerusalem].
A few itineraries that showcase this trend well:
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Cruises are exploring the Chilean fjords and the islands of southern Japan, and even circumnavigating Iceland. It seems like the opportunities and itinerary choices are endless.
Cruises are pulling together experiences that can only be found on the ship, luring in travelers that have “been there and done that.” There is no hotel that allows guests to do a full day of diving at the Great Barrier Reef, then offer Nobu as an evening snack, as they can on Crystal’s Nobu Matsuhisa culinary cruise. Seabourn has partnered with Thomas Keller, which has been a big hit. You can have Thomas Keller cuisine for dinner while sailing down the Amazon from Manaus to Iquitos. There is also the opportunity to glamp in the Galàpagos on the top deck of Celebrity Flora—they turn cabanas into a five-star open-air tent and provide a private stargazing tour, followed by a sunrise breakfast in the morning.
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