Cruising is back – so let’s push the boat out! The most decadent things you can do on the high seas, from a £700 dinner to a £1,700 chopper ride
- Have a sensuous sleepover under the stars aboard boutique ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest
- Book a suite aboard Celebrity Apex and you’ll have an exclusive lounge, pool and restaurant at your disposal
- Scenic Eclipse, which cruises to Antarctica, boasts a submarine, a helicopter and ten restaurants
Cruising is back. And like never before, ocean voyages epitomise complete indulgence – all the things we have missed. Fine dining, trips to the theatre and smiling strangers anticipating our every whim and waiting on us hand and foot.
There is a new appetite for extravagant extras. Cunard (cunard.com) is the grande dame of cruise lines: its three Queens – Mary 2, Elizabeth and Victoria – exude the glamour of the golden age of ocean travel.
These ships are the perfect choice if you love dressing up and they throw at least one fabulously OTT- themed ball on every voyage, with dancing in the Queens Rooms to the ship’s orchestra.
Party time: Dress up every night on Cunard. Its three Queens – Mary 2, Elizabeth and Victoria – exude the glamour of the golden age of ocean travel with themed balls on every voyage
Practise your Charleston and foxtrot for the Roaring Twenties Gala Evening and start an intrigue behind a jewelled mask at the Masquerade Ball.
For a real ‘night out’, have a sensuous sleepover under the stars in a secluded spot on the spa deck aboard boutique ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest (azamara.co.uk).
Surrounded by candles, your butler tops up your champagne glasses and proffers canapes – in the thalassotherapy pool if you wish – while your private chef fires up the barbecue.
After a sumptuous meal, the staff, having pointed out a well-stocked mini bar and turned down the counterpane and laid out your Frette robes on a double sunlounger, melt away until it’s time for breakfast in bed. The Nights In Private Places costs £283 per couple.
For a real ‘night out’, have a sensuous sleepover under the stars in a secluded spot on the spa deck aboard boutique ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest
On Crystal Cruises, the wood-panelled Vintage Room can be booked for private dinners, with top chefs and fine wines on offer. The cost is from £143pp
Book into a suite aboard Celebrity Edge and new ship Celebrity Apex (celebritycruises.co.uk) and you’ll have an exclusive lounge, pool and restaurant in The Retreat at your disposal.
Meanwhile, the Ultimate Vintage Room Experiences are as rare and special as the wines poured aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity (crystalcruises.co.uk) as they only happen once or twice a year.
For about £720pp, you can sit down to an eight-course dinner prepared by a guest chef (three Michelin-starred Heinz Beck and master of Japanese-fusion cuisine Nobu Matsuhisa have both presided) and paired with precious wines such as a 1959 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac.
Scenic Eclipse, which cruises to Antarctica, boasts a submarine and a helicopter. To top it off, there are ten restaurants onboard
Or, take the wood-panelled Vintage Room for a private dinner for you and up to a dozen friends dining on a feast matched with fine wines. The cost is from £143pp.
Round-the-clock daylight in Antarctica means you can make it an unforgettable evening for just the pair of you, with a daring spin in a helicopter soaring over blue-shot icebergs, glaciers and spouting whales before dinner in one of Scenic Eclipse’s ten restaurants (sceniceclipse.com).
After dinner, board Scenic Neptune, the ship’s submarine, gliding to the ocean floor. Exclusive hire of a helicopter and pilot for 20 minutes is £1,700. And for the sub? It’s £2,600. Now, that’s really pushing the boat out.