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SALT Bar, Silver Moon


Seabourn Venture


In February, Regent Seven Seas


Cruises will launch the opulent 750-passenger Regent Seven Seas Splendor, with more than an acre of Italian marble and what has to be one of the most lavish suites at sea, complete with its own spa, a $200,000 bed, plus a car and driver in every port. Silversea Cruises has two new ships coming in 2020. Silver Moon will be a sister to flagship Silver Muse, with a strong focus on a new dining concept, SALT (Sea and Land Taste) that embodies the trend for immersive experiences. “Guests can meet the farmers in their fields, understand their harvest, learn to cook with their produce in our SALT Lab and then relax over dinner in our SALT Restaurant, where our chefs bring those local ingredients to life,” explains Peter Shanks, managing director for the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa. Silver Origin, meanwhile, will be the


line’s first purpose-built ship for the Galápagos. Interestingly, this means Royal Caribbean, which has a majority share in Silversea, will have two new purpose-built high-end ships in the


Galápagos: Silver Origin and the sleek, new Celebrity Flora, which launched earlier this year. That looks like smart planning. The Galágapos is ranked top for adventure in the 2020 Luxe report just released by luxury travel agency network Virtuoso, and is also rated highly by Aspire readers, who rank it second in Aspire’s Wish List supplement.


Expedition growth And the new ships don’t stop there, especially on the expedition front. Crystal Cruises launches its first expedition vessel, Crystal Endeavor, in 2020, while Seabourn V


enture comes


hot on its heels in summer 2021, with 132 balcony suites and a fleet of 24 Zodiac inflatables for exploration. SeaDream Yacht Club, meanwhile, has announced its first new-build. The 220-passenger SeaDream Innovation will make its maiden voyage from London in September 2021, bound for destinations such as Svalbard, Fiji, Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef. While not every cruiser is looking for expedition, there are opportunities


for agents to use this trend to convert clients currently taking land-based holidays. “The big plus is that expedition is pulling in first-timers: sophisticated travellers who are used to spending top dollar for private tours and exclusive hotels and who grasp the opportunity to go on these comfortable ships to destinations they couldn’t reach any other way,” says Lonsdale. There are newcomers in the world


of luxury cruising too. The first of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s new 298-passenger mega-yachts sets sail from Barcelona in June 2020. The ship, named Evrima, will be all-suite and all-inclusive, with six restaurants. Over-50s line Saga’s two 999-berth


new-builds, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, could arguably give established vessels in the luxury sector a run for their money, with a beautiful, hotel-like design, all-balcony cabins and all-inclusive drinks. French-owned Ponant continues to


grow, launching six (yes, six!) Explorer Class ships, the last two of which will debut next year. These are a


ª aspiretravelclub.co.uk NOVEMBER 2019 ASPIRE 61


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