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Jane Archer: Life in the luxe lane

Join Jane as she enjoys life in the luxe lane

Jane Archer

Posted on

02 Feb 2022

Does all this talk of wellness leave you feeling exhausted? Me too. Which is why I can’t wait to indulge in Otium, a luxury take on staying healthy that debuts on Silversea’s new ship Silver Dawn this year and takes its cue from the ancient Romans’ love of indulgence and pampering. “Champagne and caviar to go with your massage, madam?” Oh, why not?

Spas not your cup of tea? Don’t worry, there is lots more in the world of luxury cruising to (excuse the pun) float your boat. I was lucky enough to sail on Seabourn Encore just as Covid forced cruising to shut down - a fabulous cruise around Australia that was sadly truncated - and joined Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea as their ships got back in the water this summer and goodness, do they all know how to do luxury!

Bottles of fizz to welcome you to your suite (never just a cabin on these ships!), butlers on hand to help organise your dining and days out and decor that looks a million dollars. Talk about being spoilt rotten.

Luxury means so many different things but whether your take on it is small ships, lots of space, personal service or never heaving to queue, they tick the box. They also all include gratuities and drinks in the price, which is great for obvious reasons but also means you never have to worry about who is buying the next round. It’s such a luxury not having to worry about the budget when you are on holiday, isn’t it?

And then there is the food, which across the board is excellent, and also complimentary. I indulged in a beautiful rib-eye steak in The Grill on Seabourn Encore, which serves dishes created by acclaimed US chef Thomas Keller, spiced things up with Thai chicken curry in the Asian Pacific Rim on Seven Seas Splendor and went local in the new SALT restaurant on Silver Moon that serves dishes popular in the places you are visiting. We were in Greece and Cyprus so chicken Lakhani and lamb stifado were among offerings on the menu, along with superb local wines. After months in lockdown, it was such a treat to have someone else do the cooking!

This year, my epicurean sights are set on Oceania Cruises, who are definitely one of the masters of the high seas when it comes to food. It’s been years since I sailed with them but I remember Red Ginger, their Asian restaurant, is amazing and I loved the Med-style Toscana with its olive oil and balsamic vinegar menu, big basket of bread and fresh roasted garlic. My kind of gorgeous! Oceania Cruises isn’t completely all-inclusive but most of the restaurants are complimentary so everyone can dine like kings.

The great news is that luxury at sea is getting even more affordable as lines throw even more in the price. New from Seabourn, there’s free Wi-Fi for all, while Silversea now includes flights and a complimentary tour at every port. Regent Seven Seas Cruises already includes so much - flights, transfers, tours, drinks, tips and has lately added free laundry for those in the top suites - that you really can disembark with a nil bill.

And wait until you see what’s coming on all the new ships launching into the luxury arena this year and next. Submarines, Zodiacs and all-suite accommodation on Seabourn’s first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, a giant suite with its own spa on Regent Seven Seas Cruises Seven Seas Grandeur, palatial Owners Suites on Vista, a new ship from Oceania Cruises that, surprise, surprise, has even more places to eat. Two new restaurants, Ember and Aquamar Kitchen, promise everything from food classics to healthy dishes for those on a wellness kick.

And then there is Silver Dawn and the aforementioned Otium, which, to quote Silversea, “is all about making wellness enjoyable.” I’ll drink to that!

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