Like airlines and hotel chains, cruise lines invite repeat customers to join their reward programs. Points are scored for each cruise (or cruise night) a passenger books on the same line; as points accumulate, the value of the perks rises — from exclusive cocktail receptions and loyalty club lapel pins all the way up to free cruises. Joining an elite program is free. Nearly every operator has its own version, including the top premium and luxury lines, but how much sailing does it take to reap a sought-after reward?
In any frequent-cruiser program, the emphasis is firmly on frequent. Most reward programs kick in (often automatically) on a passenger’s second cruise, but in these early stages, the perks are rather slim. Members of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ loyalty program, Seven Seas Society, for example, qualify for a members-only cocktail reception after seven nights sailed. On Cunard Cruise Line, which originated a program rewarding its loyal passengers in the mid-19th century, two voyages or 20 nights sailed convert to two free hours on the Internet and a special cocktail party for its World Club members. Members of the Viking Explorer Society are feted at a members-only cocktail party on their second and all subsequent voyages on Viking River Cruises.
While no frequent-cruiser program offers points for dollars spent on your credit card, three lines allow for some reciprocity. Benefits accrued through Royal Caribbean International’s loyalty club, The Crown & Anchor Society, can be claimed aboard Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. All three lines have their own reward clubs, each with multiple tiers and some unique awards along the way (such as behind-the-scenes tours), and all top out with what frequent cruisers prize most: a free cruise. On Royal Caribbean, a free seven-night cruise is reached at the 700-point level (350 nights sailed in a suite, 700 in other classes), while on pricier Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, the threshold for a free cruise requires slightly fewer days at sea.
Oceania Cruises’ rewards program, Oceania Club, includes a free seven-day cruise after 20 cruises. Members of Silversea Cruises’ Venetian Society qualify for a free week’s cruise after 350 sailing days. Perhaps the quickest way to a free cruise for frequent sailors on any luxury cruise line is offered by Crystal Cruises, which awards members of its Crystal Society a complimentary seven-day cruise after as little as 13 extended voyages (of 16 days or more each).
So while it’s clearly a long stretch from free cocktails to free cruises, frequent-cruiser programs do pay off, albeit only with a sweet perk or two for all but the most frequent passengers.
New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
With Black History Month and Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s time to highlight and recognize South African women working hard to make the travel industry better.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.