Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Seabourn
If you spend your vacation on a cruise ship, it can also be one that wraps you in luxury. After all, who wants to spend a vacation on their own when they can have breakfast served in bed by a butler? Luckily, there’s no shortage of luxury cruise ships ready to fulfill your every whim while ferriing you to and from some of the world’s most fascinating destinations in exclusive comfort.
These are 11 of the best luxury cruise lines.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises This just-debuted 750-passenger ship is Regent’s first newbuild in over a decade. It’s packed with exciting features, from a Canyon Ranch SpaClub to Chartreuse, a stunning Parisian-style brasserie, and the most expensive suite at sea — a stunning two-bedroom suite, nearly 4,000 square feet, and of course its own mini-spa. Mediterranean crusaders can take part in exclusive gourmet explorer tours (a pesto-making class in Portofino, olive oil shopping in Corfu) and will appreciate the balcony accommodations.
When this luxury cruise line says it’s all-inclusive, it means it. Literally everything from shore excursions, WiFi and laundry services to gratuities, premium liquor and intercontinental business class travel is included in Regent Seven Seas cruise fares. On board, every luxurious suite offers sea views. But nothing beats the views from the sprawling, 4,000-square-foot Regent Suite. This epic two bedroom suite features two wraparound balconies, three walk-in closets, two Picasso lithographs and a grand piano.
Courtesy of Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises only has seven small ships, but calls at some of the world’s most exciting destinations. Each oceanic ship carries up to 1,250 guests and calls at more than 450 ports around the world. Onboard you’ll find art workshops, cooking classes, and wine tasting, as well as dreamy spas, beautiful libraries, and sleek gyms. Butlers are officially trained members of the Guild of Professional English Butlers and kitchen staff hail from some of the finest restaurants in the world.
Courtesy of Silversea
If you’ve always dreamed of having your very own butler, Silversea is the cruise line for you. Silversea is the only luxury cruise line to offer butler service for every suite on the ship, and Silversea’s butlers take white-glove service to a whole new level. They’re more careful with your laundry than you are, scour port cities for your favorite flavor from home, and even help you pack and unpack your suitcase. If you’re a foodie, a new culinary program nicknamed the SALT for Sea and Land Taste brings flavors of the destinations through onboard cooking classes. Of course, you don’t have to cook for yourself aboard a Silversea ship. Each ship has several restaurants with multi-course menus guaranteed to make your mouth water every night.
Courtesy of Viking
Viking is a river and ocean cruise company that has added 2022 Expedition Cruises to its offering. Viking already has more than 70 ships sailing the enchanting rivers of Europe and the world seas. In 2022, the Mississippi River and Great Lakes will be added to their itineraries. Viking ships are known for their thoughtful design that blends seamlessly into both indoor and outdoor spaces with large windows and porches. Viking riverboat menus are heavily influenced by cruise itineraries, while Viking ocean cruise ships are large enough to feel like a cruise ship but small enough to reach tricky ports.
Laureen Robert/Courtesy of PONANT
This French cruise line aims to make passengers feel like they are traveling on their own private yacht. On board, guests are greeted with Laduree macaroons, Veuve Clicquot champagne and luxury Hermes bath products. Each of the company’s ships has an onboard spa with massage cabins and either a Turkish bath or sauna. Ponant’s luxurious small ships sail to remote destinations like Antarctica and include once-in-a-lifetime experiences like watching a solar eclipse from the edge of the earth. The company works with Smithsonian and Disney on certain sailings.
Courtesy of Seabourn
Seabourn cruises to all seven continents and at the right times. The aim is to give the passengers on board the small ships the feeling of a private club. Each suite at the Seabourn offers ocean views, a walk-in closet and a proper dining area. The ships accommodate a maximum of 600 passengers, giving guests plenty of room to spread out while enjoying some of the most interesting scenery in the world. Seabourn prices include everything, even premium spirits. And while there is no officially trained butler, each suite has an attendant who will attend to your every need and even run you a relaxing bath should you need a bath after an adventurous day at the port.
Courtesy of Windstar Cruises
If you prefer your cruises without thousands of other guests, Windstar is a cruise line for you. Windstar operates a fleet of small vessels, each capable of carrying a maximum of 342 guests. Its luxurious small ships call at 150 ports in Europe, Central America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and you won’t go hungry on the voyage. Exquisite onboard menus have been created by James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred chefs. You’ll have to pay extra for alcohol, but all meals and a signature Windstar barbecue onboard — a feast of whole suckling pig, shrimp skewers and more — are included.
Courtesy of Scenic° Luxury Cruises & Tours
Whether you want to cruise a river or a sea, Scenic will get you there in style. Scenic operates river cruises in Europe and Asia. Ocean cruises take guests to far-flung destinations on yachts dubbed by Scenic as the world’s first discovery yachts. Each ship has just 114 suites, meaning there will never be more than 230 passengers on board – less for Arctic and Antarctic routes. Onboard you’ll find fine dining, expansive spas and fitness facilities, and a butler to attend to your every need.
Jonathan Atkin/Courtesy of Cunard Line
This British cruise line is known for its transatlantic service, transporting both pets and people between its headquarters in Southampton, England and New York City. It operates three ships, with a fourth in the works, although only one sails its transatlantic route. Cunard is a cruise line that takes formalities seriously. It is home to the largest ballroom at sea and gala evenings where passengers best spread their black ties. White-gloved waiters serve afternoon tea at 3:30pm every day. State rooms include 24-hour room service and nightly turndown service with chocolates. Don’t forget your tuxedo.
Roger Paperno/Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises
This luxury cruise line only operates one ship, but it’s exquisite. Accommodating just 330 guests, the ship sails only in the South Pacific, stopping in remote locations like Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands. The ship is small enough to call at private ports on secluded beaches and take travelers off the beaten tourist track. Multiple classes of service include butler service should you need help with unpacking, celebrating a special occasion with a private in-suite cocktail party, or anything else.
Steve Dunlop/Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity is an upscale cruise line with plenty of luxe extras like welcome champagne, free Wi-Fi, and free drinks. But the new ships in the Edge series go one step further. Celebrity’s signature Iconic Suites aboard Celebrity Edge and Apex offer panoramic views from above the ship’s bridge. Each suite has over 2,500 square feet of space, including 690 square feet of expansive terraces. Each suite has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. If you’ve always wanted to soak in a beautiful bathtub while watching the ocean waves from your bathroom window, this is the suite for you.