Time for an ultra-luxury expedition, says Durai

Lakshmi Durai, Chief Executive, Discover The World – Middle East

Expedition cruises are doing very well, a regional expert in cruising informs TTN.

Lakshmi Durai, Chief Executive, Discover The World – Middle East, tells us in an interview: “We even have some bookings for expedition cruises from our market, so that is all the more exciting, considering cruising only just came back at full capacity. 

“Seabourn launched its ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship called Seabourn Venture this summer. Seabourn Venture is doing an Arctic itinerary for the summer. In winter, she will be moving to Antarctica, where you get to see rare species – it’s protected land, so conservation is key. They don’t even let all the people go on-shore at the same time, they take people in batches so that the wildlife is not disturbed. It’s purely an expedition ship.”

Seabourn Venture includes a plethora of modern hardware and technology for the ultra-luxury expedition traveller. The ship features 132-all veranda, all ocean-front suites.

A new and exciting offering on board are two custom-built submarines, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface.“With the six-seater submarine (book it in advance!) aboard Seabourn Venture, shore excursions are no longer limited to land but extend to under the sea as well!”

Seaborne Venture is going to be joined by her sister ship in 2023 called Seabourn Pursuit – two ships in the same PC6 Polar Class.

For 147 years, Holland America Line has been a recognised leader in cruising with the most spacious and comfortable ships at sea, award-winning service, exquisite dining, extensive activities and enrichment programs and compelling worldwide itineraries, Durai tells us.

“Rotterdam, the cruise line’s newest cruise ship launched last year, hits all the right notes: exquisite dining, innovative entertainment, superbly appointed staterooms and suites, the finest service and craftsmanship that reflects nearly 150 years of expertise. Music is front and centre on Rotterdam and the result is a ship that moves–not only through water, but through the hearts of guests. With world-class dining and the best live music at sea, this new cruise ship creates the soundtrack to the discoveries you’ll make each day.

“Rotterdam’s been doing a great itinerary for Norway. Normally, Northern European sailings tend to be longer, but Rotterdam is doing a perfect seven-night, exclusively Norwegian Fjords cruise out of Amsterdam. This was quite a hot seller for us. It was doing very well. Now for winter, she’ll be moving on to the Caribbean, and return next summer to the fjords.”

Windstar, another brand that Durai feels passionately about, brings the world close enough so you can fully live it, she says. “With just 148 to 342 guests per voyage, you will feel like you are on your own private yacht. See, hear, smell, taste, and feel what it’s like to sail on a lovely yacht into a small port, explore a hidden beach, see a parade of penguins, taste a spicy Norwegian Bacalao stew, and altogether lose yourself in a strange and wondrous culture. Windstar’s small cruise ships and personalised approach bring you closer to each destination and every port and an unpretentious and relaxed ambiance onboard.”

Windstar Cruises has added Arabia – Red Sea and Persian Gulf explorations – to its 2023/2024 sailing schedule. With impressive UNESCO sights, beautiful beaches and wildlife, top-rated golf courses, amazing snorkelling and diving, Windstar has shared new itineraries in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar.