Travel is changing. Holidays are no longer about pure relaxation and whole days spent lounging on the beach: they are about the experience.

More travellers now want to balance their time spent sunbathing or enjoying luxurious spa treatments with immersive exploration. They are seeking real insights into their cruise destinations, and excursions that bring them closer to local life.

Cruise lines are responding in kind: changing the way they help their guests to experience the world. From Azamara to Regent Seven Seas, luxury cruise itineraries are increasingly more adventurous.

Alaskan exploration

Brown bear fishing in Alaskan river

Earth’s Last Frontier is a haven for would-be explorers looking to immerse themselves in nature. The list of cruise lines sailing to Alaska grows ever longer, with Azamara launching a brand new Alaska programme for 2018/2019.

Famous for its excursions and Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM ethos, Azamara is seeking to help guests embrace in-depth adventures in the wilds of Alaska. Cruising 11 ports along the state’s rugged coastline, you will witness snow-capped peaks, misty fjords and a wealth of wildlife. The ancestral home of five major indigenous groups, you will also taste local food, encounter rich culture and heritage, and fall head over heels in love with Alaska’s pristine beauty.

Offering more time in-port, Azamara’s Alaskan voyage promises authentic travel moments that bring you closer to this stunning landscape than ever before.

Exotic escapes

Panoramic view of Cape Town harbour and mountains

Oceania launched this cruising year with a very exciting announcement. Owing to the lifting of the USA’s embargo on Cuba, the luxury cruise line became the first North American brand to travel to this effervescent city. But Cuba isn’t the only new addition to Oceania’s itineraries.

The Tropics & Exotics Collection will call on iconic cities and remote villages in some of the most alluring regions of the world. From the cultural melting pot that is Cape Town to the ancient beauty of Japan, the itineraries will encapsulate a bucket list of boutique ports, exhilarating cities and destinations off the beaten track.

The only way to experience such captivating ports is with specially-designed itineraries based around cultural immersion. Offering extended port stays and in-depth exploration of each destinations cuisine, culture and history, Tropics & Exotics will treat Oceania guests to unforgettable adventures.

The Land of the Rising Sun

Geisha girls strolling down a street in Japan

Half a world away sits an intoxicating landscape alive with natural wonders, dynamic cities and fantastical legends. We are, of course, talking about Japan: land of temples, Samurai and dragons.

The Land of the Rising Sun is home to mysterious fairy-tale landscapes taking pride of place on many cruisers’ bucket lists. It was only a matter of time before Regent Seven Seas launched an itinerary that takes in some of the country’s most spectacular sights.

The luxury cruise line’s Tokyo round-trip will transport passengers from the futuristic capital to South Korea and back again, exploring picturesque beauty spots and tranquil villages along the way. Tokyo’s neon-soaked streets and mind-blowing restaurants sit against the iconic backdrop of Mount Fuji: your first taste of how Japan’s metropolitan and natural landscapes manage to work in perfect harmony.

The cruise continues to the likes of Kyoto, Kochi, Hososhima and Kagoshima, before heading to Jeju Island and Seoul. It is an itinerary that gets right to the heart of each destination, offering authentic insights into a famously vibrant and enchanting country. Passengers will even have the chance to visit Hiroshima: a humbling port that will stay with you forever.

Cruises are changing, and personally, we can’t wait to discover what lies beyond the horizon. Exploration and authenticity are top of the agenda, offering cruise experiences that will stay with you forever.

Charlotte Varela

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