Whether you prefer to relax on an intimate river voyage along the world’s most famed waterways, desire adventure and exploration on an expedition yacht, or crave luxury aboard the ocean’s most elegant vessels, there’s a new crop of cruise ships⏤and a few that have been recently refurbished⏤that you need to know about before you plan your next vacation.
Some of these ships are already on the water, many are open for advanced reservations, and others are launching very soon, but our CruiseInsider experts are “in the know” and will make sure you’re among the first to experience the latest, greatest river vessels, yachts, ocean liners, and luxury small-ships on the horizon.
At CruiseInsider, we pride ourselves in knowing more than the average travel agency by bringing you information and insight on the biggest deals, best cruise lines, and most beautiful destinations. Combining all three of these is Azamara Club Cruises, one of the best kept secrets in cruising and our insider pick for the best cruise line you may not have heard of . . . at least not yet.
From true destination immersion to top-notch service with unique touches that make Azamara unlike any other cruise line, you’ll experience the world’s wonders in elegance and modern-style from your boutique hotel at sea. We know you’ll love Azamara as much as we do, so we’ve highlighted a few of the things that make Azamara Club Cruises absolutely amazing in order to get the secret out and help you plan your next voyage!
While online resources, opinions from friends, and the occasional travel guide may be great for doing some initial research in regards to traveling, nothing beats the firsthand knowledge and friendly recommendations of an experienced travel advisor. Equal parts mind-reader, time maximizer and miracle worker, using a true travel expert who can help you plan, perfect, and save on your vacation is one of the smartest travel tips you'll ever get.
Maybe you’ve done the “traditional” cruise or enjoyed sailing on a smaller ship, but you’re longing for something different. If you consider yourself to be more of an adventurer and learner than a tourist, expedition cruising could be the perfect fit. Travel to places most people have only heard about or seen on television and gain a worldly perspective few are fortunate to know. Expedition cruising—especially on Silversea's all-inclusive luxury ships—will change you in ways no other vacation can.
If you’ve got the spirit of a true adventurer, consider following the path of some of the world’s bravest explorers by setting sail to the unspoiled end of the world: Antarctica.
Considered to be earth’s last great wilderness frontier, Antarctica wows with real beauty and the raw power of nature. You’ll share the landscape with some of the most unique wildlife on the planet, as Antarctica and the neighboring islands are home to six penguin species, at least six species of seals, nine species of whales, wandering albatross, blue-eyed cormorants, and other impressive creatures.
Expedition cruising is the most exciting, action-packed cruise experience anywhere on the high seas. As the name implies, it's a taste of exploration and adventure in off-the-beaten-path places, but with out-of-this-world activities and accommodations. Since each expedition voyage varies based on the destination, the weather, or the unpredictability of nature, every adventure is uniquely different, but definitely unforgettable.
On the most popular voyages, you can expect some incredible bucket-list worthy experiences taking place while immersed in the world’s most beautiful places. Our CruiseInsider experts have planned dozens of these dream adventures and many have experienced expedition cruising themselves—journeys to the most remote, most exhilarating places on the planet. We know what to expect on board and onshore and have highlighted a few things for you to know.
If you’re still undecided on your next cruise destination, think how relaxed and revitalized you’ll feel after a trip to one of the happiest places in the world: Denmark, the country at the top of the World Happiness Report of 2016.
What exactly makes Danes so happy? There are a number of factors that contribute to the positive outlook shared by so many citizens, many of which will put Denmark at the top of the must-see list for your next vacation. Keep reading to learn what makes Denmark so pleasant, why we love it, and how you can explore it yourself.
One of the hottest new trends in travel is the emergence of expedition cruising, the perfect blend of access, adventure, and, in many cases, all-inclusive luxury. Unlike standard ocean cruises or relaxing river voyages, the allure of expedition cruising is in the exploration and enrichment and typically involves smaller ships, remote destinations, bucket-list experiences, and flexible itineraries.
The focus of an expedition cruise is not about the ship’s creature comforts or onboard activities, but about the destination, it’s nature and wildlife—and to experience this not just from the water but up close on land. Whether you’re new to cruising or just want to try something new, expedition cruising is a great way to go beyond sightseeing and experience something much more immersive and interesting.
Loyalty is a virtue in life, and one that cruise lines like to reward. From extra incentives for brand loyalists to exclusive opportunities for past passengers, the perks can sometimes be a nice benefit if you reach the top tiers. However, with so many new offers, options, and opportunities available now, should you really only stick to cruising on one cruise line?
Our answer is no! Why not try something new and save big with a new brand?
If it’s true what they say, that variety is the spice of life, then cruising is the ultimate “sauce” in which to experience the world’s best flavors. With so many cruise options available, dozens of ships (each with their own style), hundreds of exotic ports to explore, and exclusive “new to brand” deals from CruiseInsider, why limit yourself?
Introduction to Awesome Asia
Posted August 31st, 2017
It's the biggest continent on the planet, so trying to visit as many Asian countries as you can may seem like a daunting task. The solution to help you see as much of it as possible—a luxury cruise. When you take a cruise to Asia you get an opportunity to explore some of the continent’s most fabulous port cities in elegance, safety, and style. If you are searching for the best way to see Asia by cruise, start by venturing to these popular destinations—an intro to one of the most interesting places on the planet.
Fall Foliage Cruises
Posted August 30th, 2017
As the weather transitions from hot and muggy to cool and crisp, cruise lines everywhere are gearing up for the upcoming rush of fall foliage cruisers. Why are fall foliage cruises so popular? There are very few parts of the world as scenic and historic as the beautiful coasts of Canada and New England. The amazing, natural change of colors that autumn brings, there’s truly nothing else like it than to see it in person.
One of the best ways to experience this stunning scenery in all its glory is with a fall foliage cruise.
In particular, Canada and New England fall foliage cruises offer some of the best Autumn views anywhere in the world. Whether you want pure luxury, a romantic getaway or a family-friendly vacation, the options are virtually endless to enjoy the season's stunning scenery.
Most Unique Spa Treatments
Posted August 29th, 2017
What comes to mind when you think of a spa treatment? Massages in quiet rooms with soft lighting and relaxing music? Standard spa fare, of course. But what about panoramic ocean views, the gentle sea breeze, or personal attendants catering to your every whim? Not your everyday spa experience, but part of what makes enjoying the spa on a cruise ship so very special.
Stepping Out with the Right Shoes
Posted August 28th, 2017
Packing for a cruise excursion doesn’t have to be a taxing affair. Start early and prepare ahead of time to save yourself the stress. This includes picking the right shoes. As you consider the best shoes for cruise excursions, use this guide to put you on the right path.
Health & Wellness At Sea
Posted August 21st, 2017
Traveling at sea invokes a sense of tranquility and intrigue like no other vacation, combining the most simple pleasures of seafaring—bright sun, great weather, cool salty breeze, and deep blue ocean—with the sophisticated perks of modern day luxury. But when it comes to health and wellness while on vacation, a cruise isn’t always the first things that comes to mind.
River Cruising vs. Ocean Cruising: Which is Right for You?
Posted August 4th, 2017
For an experienced ocean cruiser, river cruising might not seem all that different at first glance. Food, drinks, entertainment, shore excursions, and great destinations – the only difference is the body of water you’re cruising on, right? Not so much.
Though river cruising been around for quite some time, today’s options are as diverse and distinctive as anything on the ocean. And over the last few years, river cruises have become one of the most popular choices for both experienced and new cruisers alike. Today, there are several unique river cruise lines and a variety of options across the world in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America.
That said, river cruising might not be right for everybody. Before you explore the world, let’s explore some of the ways in which river cruising and ocean cruising are different, how they compare and what you can expect with each.
How to Dress for a European River Cruise
Posted July 28th, 2017
So, you finally booked your European river cruise, and while confirming your cruise certainly takes you one step closer to vacation bliss, you still need to pack your bags – a feat that’s much easier said than done.
Knowing what to pack and how to dress for a European river cruise is challenging for a variety of reasons. Three of the most common reasons being the differing climate throughout Europe, the various activities throughout your journey, and the diversity between cruise lines. Here are a few tips to help you get started, and hopefully, help you make the packing process a little less painless.
River Cruising's Modern Makeover
Posted July 25th, 2017
U by Uniworld is reinventing the travel industry with U, a fresh approach to river cruising for 21-45 year olds. Offering a new take on experiential travel, U by Uniworld cruises are designed for younger travelers with a passion for exploring and a taste for authentic adventures.
Interested in a romantic Parisian getaway? How about a foodie-inspired, nightlife-filled escapade in The Netherlands or Hungary? A unique girls getaway or unforgettable guys trip through Germany and Austria? If you believe life's too short to stay in one place, than consider the ﬂoating boutique hotels of U by Uniworld to experience some of the most incredible share-worthy destinations in Europe, all on one trip.
8 Reasons to Choose Uniworld
Posted July 10th, 2017
It’s not hard to understand why river cruising is currently at the peak of popularity. The appealing aspects of a river cruise are obvious; unpacking only once, intimate ships, calm water, great service, docking in the very heart of famed cities and fairytale villages, and so much more.
There are river cruise options to fit every passion, personality and price point, but not every river cruise experience is the same. Our accredited CruiseInsider advisors know river cruising like no one else and are well-versed in every ship, every river, and each port-of-call. As such, we're often asked, “What river cruise line is right for me?” While the answer isn’t always that simple, the same cruise line always seems to come up in our conversations . . .
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
Making the Most of Shipboard Credit
Posted June 21st, 2017
You've paid for your cruise, your flights, and your tours. Your vacation is on the horizon. Now it’s time to splurge on all the extras that make every cruise spectacular—spa treatments, specialty restaurants, shore excursions and more—without busting your budget.
The cruise lines have a variety of names for it; shipboard credit, spending credit, or onboard credit. You’ll sometimes see it listed as SBC or OBC and often used as an added incentive, a booking bonus, or an extra perk. But what exactly is shipboard credit (SBC)? Essentially, it’s free money! Money that can be applied to a variety of onboard expenditures and experiences, everything from sunscreen to souvenirs to swimming with dolphins.
Shipboard credit is a specific dollar amount automatically deposited into your onboard account—virtual cash—to spend on the ship.
So what can “shipboard credit” (SBC) be used for exactly? How do you get more of it? And how can you make the most of the money? Our CruiseInsider experts know all the tricks of the trade so you're guaranteed to get the most shipboard credit available anywhere (the hard part) and we can also recommend all the ways to spend and stretch it (the easy part.)
Cruising's Most Delicious Dishes
Posted June 8th, 2017
Cruise cuisine has long been a cliché, characterized by big buffets and "baked Alaskas", but bad food at sea is thankfully a thing of the past. Today's most luxurious cruise lines now feature gourmet restaurants with globally inspired dishes, giving diners more gastronomic options than ever before. Partnering with iconic celebrity chefs, renowned wineries, famous foodies, revered magazines, and legendary cooking schools, food and drink is now at the forefront of today's cruise experience.
Locally sourced ingredients. Seasonal, sustainable products. Fresh produce from the ports-of-call they visit. Internationally inspired flavors. Award-winning master chefs. Exclusive, ever-changing menus. Reserve wines and craft cocktails. Immersive guided foodie tours. Vegan and allergy-friendly offerings. Hands-on culinary classes. With onboard culinary choices this good, even the most savvy gourmands will question ever going ashore to eat.
Stay Connected on Your Cruise
Posted May 25th, 2017
You’ve booked your once-in-a-lifetime cruise and are almost ready to begin your global journey. You'll see dozens of exotic destinations, experience new cultures and cuisines, and explore the world in unmatched luxury—and you'll certainly want to keep your friends, family and followers updated about your exciting adventures. But how do you stay connected with the world while you're actually out exploring it?
Protect Your Vacation
Posted May 15th, 2017
Your cruise vacation is a voyage of a lifetime. It's truly a major investment, and protecting this investment is an important step in travel planning. Covering everything from accidents to air-travel mishaps, travel protection gives you peace of mind that the money you’ve spent on your vacation isn’t lost if you don't end up going or if something goes wrong along the way.
What Does All-Inclusive Mean?
Posted May 12th, 2017
The benefits of taking an all-inclusive luxury cruise never fail to amaze travelers. While the initial fare may seem higher than standard cruises, when you factor in every trip-related expense and it’s all said and done, most all-inclusive prices are actually a better vacation value than “cruise only fares” that nickel-and-dime you for every soda, service or specialty restaurant onboard.
If you want it all with no out-of-pocket expenses or don’t want a big final bill at the end of your journey, than an all-inclusive cruise may be right for you. But what does the term ‘all-inclusive’ really mean, what does it actually get you and which cruise lines do ‘all-inclusive’ best? We have the answers below and access to the best all-inclusive cruise deals available anywhere.
Wondering About a World Cruise?
Posted May 5th, 2017
Circumnavigating the globe by sea may not be a new thing, but doing it on a state-of-the-art ship with luxurious accommodations and access to everything you’d ever need? Welcome to what is widely considered one of travel’s most incredible experiences—the world cruise.
Typically lasting months at sea and visiting dozens of exciting and exotic destinations in one continuous voyage, today’s dazzling variety of world cruise options offers intriguing locales, indulgent accommodations and interesting people in every port of call.
If you’ve been wondering about whether a full world cruise, a grand voyage or even a world cruise segment—usually a few weeks in a particular region—is your next vacation but aren’t sure what it entails, which cruise line is right for you or whether you’ll enjoy it, than look no further. Our CruiseInsider experts have planned dozens of these incredible global journeys, so we’re sharing our experience and expertise with you—insight, answers and tips to consider before you embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Cuba: A Timeless Voyage
Posted May 1st, 2017
Though Cuba is only 90 miles from the United States, it has long been considered one of the most distant destinations on the planet. Off-limits to most Americans for over a half-century, it’s now open to select travelers and today, this unspoiled, uncommon Caribbean jewel is closer than ever before — just a cruise away!
Legendary nightlife. Pulsating music. Distinct cuisine. Unique culture. Classic architecture. This is Havana, Cuba. And right now, you can be among the first travelers to explore a place where yesterday lives today.
Insider Focus: Crystal Mozart
Posted April 21st, 2017
Most cruisers would agree that Crystal is synonymous with luxury; and if it’s true that luxury is found in each detail, then Crystal's newest river ship—the Mozart—can confidently be touted as one of the most luxurious river cruise ships ever built. Nearly twice as wide as the standard river vessel, and, accordingly, with gorgeous public areas and well-appointed staterooms and suites, the Crystal Mozart provides an instant glorious feel that equals in service and quality to the experience aboard Crystal's two long-standing ocean vessels Serenity and Symphony.
As one of the top-selling travel agencies in the world, Cruise Insider was recently recognized by Crystal as a "Preferred Partner". As such, our company's President Ryan Hansen was invited to experience the laid-back luxury of this impressive ship as a guest at Crystal’s "Annual Awards Gala" held onboard the elegant Crystal Mozart. This exclusive gathering of Crystal Cruises' top partners allowed Ryan to enjoy and explore this incredible river vessel for a week, and now we're sharing Ryan's insider tips and his unique insight with you.