5 Luxurious Cruises You Can Still Book For 2022 (Plus Some Movies For Inspiration)

Zinger Key Points
  • If a person is looking to book within 2022, there is quite a bit of value to be found.
  • Luxury cruise ships are currently operating at limited capacity, yet fully staffed, which gives guests an over-the-top, white-glove service experience.

Is it time to book a cruise to the Galapagos Islands? Sail along the Nile River?

If you ask the Magic 8-Ball, the answer would be "Without a Doubt." Who are we to contradict?

What Happened: The travel industry was one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many thought there would be a stronger return for the cruise sector in 2021, the second and third lockdowns that year stalled recovery.

"While the cruise industry has experienced a 96% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of passengers, reaching 13.9 million, it still does not compare to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, where there were 29.7 million passengers globally," stated a report from Ship Technology. 

The year 2022 looks to be better and includes a number of new cruise ships making their debuts and some luxury cruises with special perks. 

Stephanie Miller Murphy of Miller Murphy Travel said there are some good deals for luxury cruises. 

  • "If clients are looking to book within 2022, there is quite a bit of value to be found," Miller Murphy said. "Luxury cruise lines are offering incentives to get clients back onboard, including complimentary upgrades and onboard credits."
  • She said ships are currently operating at limited capacity, yet fully staffed. "This gives guests an over-the-top, white-glove service experience. A real value for the short-term," Miller Murphy added.
  • Looking into the future, the demand for 2023 is high, she said. "The best itineraries are already filling up. Now is the time to book if you want specific dates, itineraries, suites and location on ships."
  • Miller Murphy recommends working with a travel advisor that has your best interest in mind. "Travel advisors can track sailings and get notified if pricing goes down," she said. "Cruise lines are happy to match any lower published pricing after a cruise has been booked."
  • Miller Murphy pointed out that each cruise line has its own COVID-19 safety protocols, and it is important to know the requirements in advance of booking a cruise.

What's Next: Now that summer is approaching and thoughts turn to tropical drinks, a day without a computer screen or smartphone in hand, or hanging out with Spider-Man is here, it is time to book a luxury cruise!

Here are some of the cruises still available in 2022 with some cinematic suggestions for inspiration.

1. Evolution Explored at The Galapagos
Silversea Cruises, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL, introduced its newest expedition ship, Silver Origin, which was designed to exclusively go to the Galapagos Islands.

Located just off the coast of Ecuador, the islands are where Charles Darwin visited in 1835 and planted the seed for his theories of evolution.

Among the activities include swimming with sea lions and sea turtles, as well shore excursions.

Rates for a seven-day trip start at $11,500 per person.

Movie to Watch: "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (2003) starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. This was the first feature movie filmed in the Galapagos Islands.

2. Ancient Egypt, Nile Style
Viking Cruises can take passengers on voyages by sea or river. While adventurers can opt for Antarctica on the Viking Octantis, others may want warmer climes along an ancient route: the Nile River.

The cruise, called “Pharaohs & Pyramids,” takes passengers on a leisurely trip on the Nile River, starting in Cairo and passing the ancient cities of Aswan, Edfu and Luxor. Prices start at $6,200 per person.

Movie to Watch: To get in the mood, watch “Death on the Nile,” which has had three cinematic versions, the latest released this year in theaters and on Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN Prime. (The 1978 version, which I prefer, is available on IMDb TV.)

3. 65 Days of Island Hopping
Carnival Corp CCL-owned Seabourn offers the world — really, it does. On its "Grand Pacific Voyage: A World of Islands," the 65-day trip on the Seabourn Odyssey goes from Vancouver to Sydney via the South Pacific, stopping at 41 ports in 12 countries and five overnight stays, including Papeete, French Polynesia. The journey kicks off on Sept. 30.

Book the ocean view suite at $41,999 and prices go up after that.

You may also want to check out the world cruises for 2023 and 2024, which include journeys through South America and Antarctica; Central America, South America, the South Pacific, Australia and Africa; and South Pacific, Asia and the Middle East.

Movie to Watch: "Around the World in 80 Days," a new limited series that debuted on PBS earlier this year starring David TennantIbrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch. (There have also been two previous cinematic versions from 1956 and 2004, each very much of their time with who is starring in them. For example, the 1956 version stars David Niven; 2004, Steve Coogan, both as the main protagonist, Phileas Fogg.)

4. Taking a Golf Swing in the Arabian Gulf
Azamara Cruises
 partnered with PerryGolf, a company that organizes international golf vacations, to conjure an 11-night, five-round golf and sightseeing cruise around the Arabian Peninsula with stops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE; Doha, Qatar and Muscat, Oman. World-class golf courses include those designed by Greg Norman and Jose Maria Olazábal. The price for two starts at $4,858.

If your preferred tee times are in the British Isles, Ireland, the Iberian Peninsula, New Zealand and Australia, or Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, Amazara has the cruise and golfing itineraries.

Azamara is owned by Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm that also owns Talbots, Staples and Nine West Holdings.

Movie to Watch: "The Wind and the Lion" (1975) starring Sean Connery (as a Berber leader with a Scottish accent, because ... Sean Connery) and Candice Bergen. Or, if a beautiful green is your visual cue, try "Tin Cup" (1996) starring Kevin Costner and Rene Russo

5. For Children And The Young At Heart
Are you a Marvel, Disney or Pixar fan? So much so that full immersion in these worlds would be the best vacation ever?

The Disney Wish will set sail on its maiden voyage on July 14, and future cruises will feature three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Considered the first Walt Disney Co DIS attraction on the sea, the cruise will include immersive experiences for adults and children centered on favorite Disney franchises.

According to EverythingDisney.com, prices can start at $2,032 for two people.

Movie to Watch: Depends on what Disney universe you want to immerse yourself in! 

None Of These Luxurious Cruises Appeal To Me, Are There Other Choices? Of course, there are! A good place to start looking is at U.S. News & World Report’s Best Cruise Lines rankings, which break down cruises into categories such as Best Cruises for: Money, Family, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Couples and Luxury.

Photo: Courtesy Viking

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