Tonight’s episode of BBC2’s The Millionaires’ Holiday Club features Jane Draper on board SeaDream II.
Jane is a millionaire and SeaDream II is a luxury cruise ship, although ‘cruise’ is a dirty word on this particular ship.
“I hate the word cruise ship,” opines executive hotel manager Christophe. “This is a yacht and our motto is: It’s yachting, not cruising, because we are functioning very much like a private yacht.”
Jane’s husband Michael, who has the onerous task of accompanying his millionaire wife on her 12 holidays a year, also dislikes the c-word.
“Let’s get this absolutely clear: Cruises are anathema to me,” he tells the camera. “When Jane first insisted on going on a cruise, I thought: Please! God, no! I saw the film Carry On Cruising and I thought that’s just exactly what it’s going to be like.”
SeaDream I and SeaDream II
In fact, Michael doesn’t even like the word ‘holiday’.
“Do you know? I’m hating the word ‘holiday’. I’m not going on a ruddy camp. It’s a little bit more sophisticated than going on holiday. I prefer to use the word ‘travelling’ but I’m just being pedantic.”
It’s a hard life. Happily, SeaDream won him over. In fact, Jane and Michael have endured 54 voyages aboard SeaDream and her identical twin SeaDream II.
The good news is you don’t have to fork out as much as Jane and Michael to be welcomed on board. In the documentary, we’re told they paid around £16k per week for the top-of-the-range Owner’s Suite, not including first-class flights.
But ITC Luxury Travel (the tour company featured in the programme) has prices from £3,085 based on two adults sharing a Yacht Club Deck 3 Stateroom for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis, including return economy-class flights and private transfers.
In other words, £6,170 for you and your partner/mum/mate.
So what do you get for £3,085 apiece apart from someone to clean your sunglasses?
Sadly, we’ve never had the pleasure but we have perused SeaDream’s brochure at leisure while torrential rain battered the windows in our office.
You’ll be reassured to know that there’s a gym onboard with sauna, steam room and daily yoga and Tai Chi instruction. Fear not, golf devotees: there’s also a golf simulator with 30 “iconic” courses available.
The “water toys” sound a lot more fun to us: wave runners, kayaks, Hobie cats (not a clue), snorkel gear, water skis, wakeboards, stand-up paddleboards, swim platform, banana boat and floating island. And if you’re still not exhausted, you can take a mountain bike ashore.
Personally, we’d be in The Pool Bar enjoying a refreshing beverage, before moving onto the Top of the Yacht Bar, where we’d enjoy the 360° views and request our fair share of the “beverages served upon request”. Next, it would be pre-dinner cocktails in the Main Salon, wine pairings with the locally sourced al fresco dinner in the Topside Restaurant and we’d finish up with a nightcap and the Piano Bar.
There’s also a casino in case you fancy splashing that extra bit of cash. If you win £3,085 for your second voyage, the crew will remember to pour your favourite cocktail.
Or you know, you could stick to Airbnb and miss out on the opportunity of meeting Jane and Michael.
The 447sq ft Owner’s Suite comes with a massage shower, ocean-view bath and private dining area for cocktail parties
The Millionaires’ Holiday Club is on Friday 10th June at 9pm