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Setting Sail

Friday, March 09, 2018

Set sailing across the rivers and the seas. Pranika Sharma & Aakriti Patni pick out luxurious cruise options that you’re bound to enjoy

Imagine yourself on a cruise, with the wind in your hair and the vibrant ocean spread out below you as you lounge on a deck chair, sipping on your favourite drinks. There can’t be a better destination for your next family vacation. Cruises take you on journeys across the seas, all the while allowing you to indulge in premium luxury and serving you the best of food, entertainment and just about anything that you wish upon. We’ve picked from the best cruise ships out there to give you a glimpse into what you can expect on board and at sea.

VIKING STAR CRUISE SHIP

A nine deck luxury cruise ship that sets sail to various destinations across the world, the relatively small Viking’s Star ship can access various ports without much difficulty. With a capacity of 928 passengers, the cruise offers a variety of amenities and activities — two pools, a spa, a fitness centre, a sports deck theatre and various restaurants and lounges. The highlight is that their spa uses cold therapy to stimulate blood circulation. It takes you to southern Mediterranean locales, going even to the native Americas.

OASIS OF THE SEA

The largest cruise ship in the world, the Oasis of the Sea, as the name suggests, is an oasis of all things magical. It is an all-round luxury cruise ship and it features a miniature golf course, multiple nightclubs, a karaoke club, comedy clubs, five swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, theme parks and even nurseries for children. Along with these luxurious amenities, the cruise has a special feature, The Riding Bar, which can be elevated and lowered from the first to the third deck, and the first living park at sea with 12,000 plants and 56 trees. Cruising across the expanse of the Caribbean, the ship can carry up to 6,000 passengers!

CELEBRITY EDGE

Built using cutting-edge technology, Celebrity Edge is a ship for the new world. Cruising across the European seas, the ship is a luxurious set for all those looking to relax as they take in Europe’s scenic beauty and historical landscapes. The cruise offers features such as Eden, a revolutionised space where nature is ever present and alive, the Rooftop Garden, the untraditionally asymmetrical main pool area, a re-imagined Solarium and a Resort Deck that is unlike any other outdoor space at sea. Additionally, the cruise consists of a Magic Carpet, a moving venue in the form of a floating platform so that it changes the function and location periodically.

THE RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION

Readying to set sail in 2019, the Ritz Carlton has taken its unmatched luxury to sea as it offers bespoke cruises on lavishly built yachts. Offering an intimate journey atop its custom built yacht that will house not more than 300 guests, it features 149 suites, each with its own terrace, characterised by sleek modern designs. It even has on board the world famous Ritz Carlton Spa. Delectable cuisines from its Michelin star restaurant, local musicians and artists for entertainment, and a panoramic view of the undying seas, this yacht is definition of luxury!

EUROPA 2

Lifestyle, luxury and endless seas is what the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ newest ship, Europa 2, has to offer. With only 500 guests allowed aboard, it combines the highest standards of luxury and relaxation to allow you to have a vacation of your dreams. Whether pampering you body in the fitness area or your soul in their Ocean Spa tickles your fancy — or maybe their seven restaurants waiting to take you on a culinary journey across the seas — Europa 2 is set to satisfy your every whim, whether it’s on board or at shore! It has penthouse suites with modern amenities, classes for yoga and Pilates, a pool and whirlpool at your disposal, and the cruise also offers concierge service that will set up an itinerary for your on-shore excursions.

CRUISING THE WATERS

We are very often enamoured by the tales of travelling the seas, but here we take a look at some of the rivers that you can cruise (atop a ship).

  • The Danube: The second longest river in Europe, the Danube flows through 10 European countries. A cruise on this river will take you through the cobbled streets of Europe that are marked with history.
  • The Amazon River: Contented to be the world’s longest river (in competition with the Nile), in addition to being the largest river in the world, a cruise on the Amazon is perfect for those who wish to indulge in the exotic flora and fauna of the Amazonian jungles.
  • The Mississippi River: For a true blue cowboy experience of the USA, there couldn’t be a better route to take than that which the Mississippi River leads you down. Cruise through the states of Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee as you enjoy the southern fare.
  • The Mekong: A trans-boundary river in the Southeast Asia, on a cruise on the Mekong you can indulge in the monastery lifestyle as you pass through Cambodia and soak in the Burmese culture, while also visiting the war torn areas of Vietnam.
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