Superyachting not just for the mega-wealthy | Fox News

The four-floor Esprit combinations the best of yachting and cruising. ( Courtesy Crystal Cruises)

Tell friends youre going on a cruise and they may be a little jealous. Tell friends youre going on a superyacht and watch their jaws drop.

But who can afford such a luxurious getaway?

Thanks to the game-changing debut of Crystal Cruises new yacht line, the dream of island hopping via yacht is within reach. And its a little more affordable.

The definition of superyacht depends on who you ask in the boating industry, but its safe to say when it comes to luxury, sizing does matter. Aboard the Esprit, guests will find all the conveniences of a five-star hotel at seawithout the overcrowded hustle and commotion of a mega liner designed for thousands of guests.

Fares for the Esprits all-inclusive voyages start around $900/ day per person. It includes a personal butler, twice-daily cleaning and turndown service, Michelin-star worthy meals( I wanted to bathe in the basil soup) and the same amenities as standard cruise shipspool, fitness center, spa, loungealbeit on a smaller, and more sophisticated scale. The lavish define and intimate atmosphere elevate the passenger experience from cruising to yachting.

Even the dress code doesnt reference cruising. Its yacht casual, darling.

In typical superyacht style, the on-board marina is compact and includes equipment for water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and airplane skiing. But its the spider-like red submarine guests walk by every time they enter and leave the boat that gets the most attention.

Yes, the Esprit has its own submersiblea 3-passenger C-Explorer be permitted to take guests practically from the front doorway of their staterooms down to shipwrecks and dive sites. For about $600 per person, guests can charter the submarine for 30 -minute dives. Currently, the Esprit is only yacht in the world to over this subterranean experience. Crystal Cruises is still working on procuring submarine permits in certain ports.

The Esprits port excursions include the usual suspects: palace tours, guided hiking, scuba diving, vineyard tours depending on where youre sail. Because of the boats sizing, groups are small and excursions can be customized in ways that larger ships would laugh and shake their hulls at. While its always great to stretch those sea legs, I often procured myself heading back to the boat hours before dinner so I could indulge in a lavender facial or simply relax in one of the four plush robes hanging in my closet. At the push of a button, my own personal butler, Clark, would be at my beck and callbalancing a tray of truffles and a bottle of champagne.

Its clear the staff, with their uncanny ability to remember names and subtleties, is the -Ateam the -Ateam wishes it could be. SeaDream Yacht Club, likely the most comparable yachting cruise on the market, boasts a staff members of 95 for a maximum of 112 guests. Crystal Cruises takes that level of personal attention even further by offering 95 faculty for a maximum of 62 guests on its yacht cruises. Each member, whether from Portugal, Serbia or the Philippines, is unbelievably well traveled, and subsequently, the hospitality they provide is world class. When they found out there was a stuffed monkey on our journey, they built him daily animal companions out of folded towels. They even let him task darknes the vessel sommelier for a day while his family was out on an excursion.

The Esprits 2016 calendar includes cruises ranging from 7-14 days with destinations such as Dubrovnik, Venice, Athens, Dubai, Jordan and Cyprus. Indian Ocean sailings around the Seychelles begin in early 2017.

Intimate is a good way to describe it, but at the end of the day, your friends simply need to hear one word: superyacht.

Katie Jackson is a travel novelist. When she’s not working, she’s chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus.

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