Contributing Travel Editor Brian Berkman had a chat to George Argyropolous, managing director of Cruises International, which is South Africa's largest cruise operator, and represents nine cruise lines including six-star Crystal and Seabourn cruise lines.
Argyropolous was in Cape Town recently to host media to dinner at Nobu at The One&Only Cape Town to give us a taste of life on board a Crystal Cruise that features a Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant.
Over sushi, Contributing Editor Brian Berkman asked George for the 10 things he loves about cruising.by George Argyropolous, managing director of Cruises International: 10 Things I Love About Cruising
: It's the only "resort" where you can unpack your luggage for a week or longer, and visit different destinations without living out of suitcase, changing hotels and wasting time transporting yourself. Everything is offered on board within just a short walking distance from your stateroom - restaurants, theatres, bars, swimming pools, movie theatres, gym, spa, the open decks, business centre, library, disco, shops and much more (some ships even have rock climbing walls, golf simulators, ice skating)! You can be in the hottest, most humid place but you always have your clean, air-conditioned stateroom and a hot shower to go back to!
2. Value for money
: No resort on land can offer the quality of service, attention to detail, unlimited high quality dining on a 24hr basis, room service, entertainment and activities and the ocean transportation as well, at a price which is often less than US$100 per person per day!
3. Great for the whole family
: Yes, there are super luxury cruise lines which are not well suited for young children and young adults. But others, such as Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises offer excellent, dedicated facilities for children and teenager, all fully supervised by professional personnel. Children love it! And of course so do the parents who can spend some quality time children-free! And a cruise is so romantic! There is nothing more beautiful than walking on deck at night under a canopy of stars while you hear the sound of the sea and breathe the fresh sea air.
4. Intergenerational travel is growing fast with families living far away from each other
: A cruise is ideal for three or even four generations to get together to celebrate a special occasion or anniversary. A cruise allows each member of the family to do separately what interests and pleases them, but then enjoy meals, excursions and entertainment together.
5. Conferences and Incentives
: No other destination offers so much to corporate groups. Dedicated conference facilities, audio and visual equipment, meals, accommodation and entertainment are all included in the price! No special planning needed. And a cruise always comes tops as a motivator.
: Modern cruise ships are safe. As a mode of transport it is by far the safest option. On board, there is no crime and if anyone "misbehaves" they are "off loaded" at the next port! It makes it a great environment for children (and their parents) to feel free and secure.
7. Spoilt for Choice
: With all that's on offer, your biggest stress is "which activities shall I attend and which am I going to miss"? No matter how active or inactive one is, there is always something on offer. Not to mention the vast variety of excursions available at each port.
8. Utter Luxury
: You simply cannot match what the top luxury cruise lines, such as Seabourn and Crystal, deliver. The feeling of space, impeccable but friendly service, top entertainment, VIP lecturers, unhurried gourmet dining, multiple restaurants, no queues, luxurious finishes, private butler service, large staterooms and best of all: they are now fully inclusive!
9. See the World
: There is hardly any place you can't reach by cruise ship. From Big Ben to Taj Mahal, the Great barrier reef to the Great Wall of China! Fly a fighter jet or take a hot air balloon ride, cook with a celebrity chef or make your own wine, scuba dive or sail an Americas' Cup yacht, it's all possible! And yes, there are city tours too!!
10. Last but certainly not least
: Meeting interesting people from all over the world both on board and ashore. Learning about different cultures, art and history. And taking home precious knowledge, experiences and memories.
For more information go to www.cruises.co.za