What does luxury travel mean to you? 

Both Hebridean Princess and Seven Seas Splendor exemplify luxury cruising, but showcase how different luxury travel can be

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In February 2020, Regent Seven Seas Cruises promise ‘luxury perfected’ with the launch of their newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor. The largest suite onboard – the Regent Suite at 4,443 square feet - is about four times the size of an average family home and has a Savoir bed which costs $200,000. The whole ship boasts exemplary craftsmanship, over 500 chandeliers, and priceless artwork.

To the outside world, she might look like a MacBrayne ferry, but step onboard Hebridean Princess (twice chartered by Her Majesty the Queen for private family holidays) and you’ll enter a genteel world more akin to a country house hotel. For the 50 guests onboard, Hebridean Princess offers a relaxed, ‘country house party’ ambience and, with the occasional ringing of the telegram for the Captain down to the engine room, it transports you back to a golden era of travel. 

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Both Hebridean Princess and Seven Seas Splendor exemplify luxury cruising, but showcase how different luxury travel can be. What they both share, however, is a commitment to personalised, attentive service. For many luxury travel operators, whether ocean or river cruises, touring or hotels, no request is too small. Within luxury cruising, ‘spaciousness’ is also just as important as the ‘crew to guest ratio’ and personalised service. On land, names such as ‘The Ritz’, ‘The Savoy’, ‘Fairmont’, ‘Shangri-La’ and ‘Four Seasons’ (to name just a few) are synonymous with luxury hotels.

“Tiffany's! Cartier! Black Starr, Frost-Gorham! Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!” Marilyn Monroe name-checked various well-known jewellers and cooed, “I prefer a man who lives and gives expensive jewels” in the most famous version of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. In the ‘80s, Madonna recreated much of that scene for her music video for Material Girl. But our definition of luxury is moving away from a materialistic perspective as people are beginning to redefine luxury in terms of experiences, memories created and shared. A recent survey, Global Luxury Traveller Insights Study from Fairmont, found that “the luxury traveller wants more grit, to go out and have street food, to explore more but also to enjoy safety and comfort.” Keeping up with the Joneses no longer means who has the most up-to-date modcons, but who has the best story to tell at a dinner party.

For some people, the experience they crave isn’t necessarily how they travel but where they travel. That feeling of being a pioneer, or seeing sights rarely seen by other tourists, that precious exclusivity that they can claim, has a strong appeal – particularly for those already well-travelled – and, as a result, expedition cruising and off-the-beaten track destinations are becoming increasingly popular. But you don’t need to travel to Antarctica or traverse the Northwest Passage for a unique experience. An exclusive safari experience, a tour rich with immersive and cultural activities, including a homestay in a remote village with a local family, a barging holiday through the French winelands with just your family and a personal chef and crew onboard, are just some of the incredible opportunities travel gives us nowadays. Today, travel affords us amazing opportunities and experiences, and what could be a greater luxury than that? 

To book: Whatever your holiday requirement, Select Travel Holidays in Mill Street, Bedford can tailor your holiday to your wishes. Contact them on 01234 326778. 

Don't miss the Luxury Travel Showcase
12 March 2020, 10.30 – 11.30
The Barns Hotel
Select Travel Holidays introduce our preferred partners in luxury travel. To register for free entry call 01234 326778 or email sales@selecttravelholidays.co.uk

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