Slow travel is a new trend in travel
Time is a precious commodity today, amidst the breakneck pace of modern life. This is why slow travel has become one of the fastest-growing holiday trends right across the globe. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Australia, where our vast landscapes offer a compelling opportunity to stop and take stock of our surroundings. And what better way to do just that than by embarking on a heritage rail journey back in time? In this spirit, Cruise Express has your ticket to slowing down, fast.
Pioneering this nostalgic mode of travel, Cruise Express transports passengers to the golden era of travel. Unique heritage rail and sail experiences are specially designed to help you switch off and slow down. Like the new ‘Southern Aurora’ tour, which takes you on an eight-day adventure by sea and rail – traversing the country from Sydney to Tasmania, Melbourne and back. Daydream out the window from your private compartment aboard the historic ‘Southern Aurora’ train and disconnect from your devices; or laze on deck aboard Australia’s latest cruise ship, Explorer Dream and let the meditative ocean calm you down.
By offering a unique combination of rail and sail adventures, you are able to reconnect with old world pleasures. Travelling by rail is particularly peerless in its grounded potential. You will embark and alight in the centre of town, journeying through gentle, eye-pleasing scenery along the way. In this sense, rail travel proves both comfortable and relaxing. Which makes it the perfect way to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of your journey – without the highly-strung pressures of modern-day life.
If you’re from Melbourne, we also offer a chance to recharge close to home through our ‘Northern Explorer’ rail and sail tour – taking you along the eastern seaboard to Sydney by rail and back by sea.
Or venture further afield with international steam train journeys like their ‘British Isles Rail & Sail’ experience. Once aboard, you will have the chance to travel through gorgeous countryside, visiting some of the remotest corners of England and Wales. Take in the russet and gold tones of the great moors of West Country, for instance, and seek solace in the rolling hills of Snowdonia National Park. Gaze up at the clouds or across vast plains as you relish the relaxing simplicity of travel – just as it used to be.
Nature often acts as our most powerful reminder that time is incredibly precious, and we can bring you closer to nature at every turn – whether your journey of choice is by ocean voyage, heritage rail or both. So set your sights on a slower speed and take the time that you deserve to return to some of the simpler things in life.
* For details on the exclusive rail and sail holidays offered by Cruise Express, click here.
Probably one of the most common questions our Travel Specialists are asked by those new to luxury cruising is, “but is it worth it”? With a globally booming luxury ocean cruise segment, it seems the answer to that is yes!
Naturally, budget is a major factor in being able to consider such a cruise, and at the end of the day it comes down to what you want out of a cruise holiday, where you are travelling to and with whom. Keep in mind that while these cruises are more expensive upfront, there are no surprise out-of-pocket expenses at the end of the day, and its this all-inclusive nature of the luxury market that has increasingly come more attractive.
Depending on the cruise line, generally included are gratuities, fitness centre, 24-hour room service, all drinks and meals (including specialty dining), your personal preference stocked mini-bar, unlimited Wi-Fi, shore tours, enrichment and entertainment options, even a butler who will unpack your bags and cater to your every whim. The only thing that won’t be covered is the high-shelf liquor, as well as spa and salon services. However, if you manage to book at the right time you may be entitled to shipboard credit that will cover these extras.
The onboard dining is also a luxurious experience with many cruise lines offering Michelin-inspired menus partnered with some of the worlds most prestigious chefs and gastronomic societies. These extraordinary culinary options are often accompanied by master sommeliers and connoisseur wine lists.
Luxury class ships generally offer all suite accommodation with the majority offering a private verandah. In-suite amenities usually include luxurious custom mattresses, premium cotton linens, pillow menus, walk-in wardrobes and your choice of bathroom products from brands such as Molton Brown, L’occitane and Bvlgari. Your hostess and waiters (often with a 2:3 passenger ratio) will offer personalised service knowing your name and your seating/drink preferences, amongst other things. There is a smaller number of passengers onboard compared with the mega-ships, offering more room to move freely and rarely a queue to be seen.
Increasingly, first-class luxury ships offer destination rich itineraries, sailing to some of the most incredible places on our planet. Usually being more intimate ships, they can access more remote waterways in exotic destinations, stopping at more exclusive ports of call and giving passengers more quality time on-shore.
Booking a high-end cruise also entitles you to access exclusive shore excursions and activities. Some of these ships have zodiacs, kayaks and other aquatic toys all included in the price. These cruises are designed to be more educationally immersive with naturalists, historians, geologists and many more specialists at your disposal making it a perfect holiday for the young and old.
At the end of the day, cruise ships like all of us, have their own personalities, quirks and all, so what may be a wonderful ship for you may not for the person next to you. Unlike any other cruise experiences, choosing to sail away on a high-end luxury ship is the making for a most unforgettable holiday. Please talk with our Travel Specialists as they are equipped to explain the differences between the luxury cruise lines so you can pick the best ship and experience for you.