Top Luxury Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises – Fiji Eastbound ItineraryNovember 20, 2012
The South Pacific bewitched me when I first visited the Society Islands aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. For my next outing aboard this ship, I'd pick the 12-night Fiji Eastbound itinerary. Embarking from Lautoka, Fiji, the ship calls upon Suva, Viti Levu and Savusavu, Vanua Levu in Fiji before setting a course for Vava'u, Tonga; Aitutaki in the Cook Islands and finally Bora Bora, Taha'a, and Moorea. You'll disembark in Papeete, Tahiti. For more information, contact Paul Gauguin Cruises.
Four Seasons Explorer – Maldives Circuit CruiseMany departure dates throughout the year.
Four Seasons dubs this Maldivian yacht voyage as the "ultimate marine odyssey" and I can see why. Each day promises amazing dive spots and unexplored reefs of the Baa, Raa, Ari, and North Male atolls. This seven-night adventure is a must-do for all divers since the yacht's onboard marine biologist will guide you on sunrise, daytime, and night dives—each and every day. If you're like me and don't dive, you'll still love this cruise for its visits to secluded beaches. Four Seasons Explorer offers 10 cabins and one suite with a crew of 25. Begin your journey at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa and the circuit cruise will take you sail to Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru and back. (Three- and four-night cruises are also on offer.) For more information, contact Four Seasons.
AMAWaterways — Stars of AfricaJune 18, July 16, September 3, October 29, December 3, 2012
This summer AMAWaterways launches three itineraries in southern Africa: the 16-day Stars of Africa, the 16-day African Sunsets, and a 19-day Golden Trails of Africa. Each itinerary includes several days aboard the Zambezi Queen, a luxury riverboat that cruises the Chobe River. Personally, I'd select the Stars of Africa itinerary, which includes three nights in Cape Town, three nights on safari in Kruger National Park at either Makalali Game Lodge or Kapama River Lodge, one night in Johannesburg, four nights aboard the Zambezi Queen, and two spectacular nights at famed Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side. For more information, contact AMAWaterways.
American Safari Cruises — Hawaiian SeascapesApril 9, 17, 25; May 3; November 3, 10, 17, 24; December 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2012
I love American Safari Cruises, part of InnerSea Discoveries, because the line of yachts offer truly unstructured exploration of Hawaii, Alaska's Inside Passage, Mexico's Sea of Cortez, the Columbia & Snake Rivers, and Washington State and British Columbia. The 36-passenger Safari Explorer sails the Hawaiian Islands between October and May each year and calls upon Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and the Big Island. On this seven-night excursion you'll swim and fish off the back deck of the boat, go hiking on land, snorkel and kayak, and take the skiff out for exploratory adventures. You can also arrange for golf outings on the islands and diving excursions. For more information, contact InnerSea Discoveries.
Anantara Cruises — Ayutthaya Thousand Golden Temples TourMany departure dates throughout the year.
Here's one on my bucket list: a few days aboard one of Anantara Cruises' restored 100-year-old teak rice barges. The two-cabin Anantara Dream and four-cabin Anantara Song cruise Thailand's Chao Phraya River. Embarking in Bangkok, you'll spend three days enjoying river life; visiting the temples, villages, and museums in the vicinity; and enjoying English afternoon tea and gourmet meals. A personal guide will make sure you see the best of Thailand. For more information, contact Anantara Cruises.
Orion Expedition Cruises — Borneo, Borobudur & BeyondOctober 22, 2012 and September 29, 2013
I can't think of a better "starter" cruise for someone who's never been to Indonesia before. This expedition launches in Bali and you'll want to stay a few days on-island pre-cruise. (I vote for a few days at any of the Aman Resorts.) You'll then sail to Semarang for excursions to the city of Jogjakarta for Javanese history and culture and Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist monument in Central Java. On day five of this ten-night cruise, you'll spend an amazing day at the Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan. It's here that you'll make a trek into the protected rain forest to see orangutans in their natural habitat. Next, you'll spend two days in Pare Pare, Sulawesi for an overnight trip to Tana Toraja. You'll disembark in Bali. Head home via Hong Kong or Singpore for a taste of modern Asian cities. For more information, contact Orion Expedition Cruises.