After a year of travel plans being halted, there’s no better time to plot a far-flung escape. With news that cruising around the UK will get the green light come spring, with international travel hopefully following in May, here are some luxurious boating adventures worth booking post-lockdown.

Scenic Eclipse polar expedition to Antarctica



Considered the most luxurious way to cruise the South Pole, the long-awaited Scenic Eclipse launched its inaugural Antarctica and South America excursion back in 2019 (launched by Dame Helen Mirren, no less) but came to a halt when the pandemic hit. It’s back again, from December 2022, offering a 19-day adventure like no other for those with deep enough pockets. Expect sweeping, five-star suites, submarine excursions, a chance to ski on Antarctica’s incredible terrain, as the onboard helicopters take passengers to the top of its virgin mountain slopes, not to mention close encounters with whales.


Belmond Afloat along the French canals



Ever dreamt of gliding through the French canals on the chicest river barge known to man? You might want to book onto Belmond Afloat this summer, where itineraries see you exploring wine regions including Burgundy, Champagne and Provence by water. Exclusive charter on either Lilas or Pivoine (which sleep up to eight guests in four suites) is our recommended way to do it, where you can gather up your favourite pals for a long languid weekend of fine dining and brilliant staff to cater to your every whim. Days can be spent soaking up the sunshine in the barge pool, picnicking at private vineyards or exploring local markets for vintage treasures.


Prana by Atzaró around Indonesian islands



If you’re after a private cruise around the staggeringly beautiful islands of Raja Ampat, the Komodo Islands and The Spice Islands in Indonesia, Prana by Atzaró is your ticket. This hand-built phinisi, which spans over 55 metres, can accommodate 18 people in nine luxurious suites, offering a dreamy group holiday in complete isolation with an 18-man crew including a private chef and dive instructor. Swim nose-to-fin with reef sharks, discover pristine coral reefs undamaged by tourism, loll around on secluded talc-soft beaches or simply chill in the on-board spa.


Ecoventura around The Galapagos



If there’s one way to do the Galapagos, it’s on a boutique Relais & Chateaux boat with a maximum of 20 guests and a chance to see nature like nowhere else on earth. Ecoventura have been leading luxury cruises here with their strong commitment to sustainability ensuring low emissions and minimising tourism damage as far as possible. Cabins on Theory and Origin are slick and stylish, with a crew of 14, an on-board hot-tub, top-deck hammocks and sprawling sunbeds. Naturalist guides are on-hand to take guests on hikes through uninhabited islands, spying out the famous giant Galapagos tortoises, or snorkelling with blink-and-you-miss-it penguins and playful sea lions.

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