8 Luxury Cruises That Cater to Your Every Want and Need
Have the Experience of a Lifetime With These Luxury Cruises
While some people may argue that traveling by cruise ship is a luxury in and of itself, there are cruise lines that distinguish themselves as luxury cruises. As soon as you step on board, all your wants and needs are catered to with private butlers, 24-hour room service and opulent staterooms with ocean views.
Gourmet meals and wine connoisseurship mark an unforgettable dining experience, followed by world-class entertainment and cultural enrichment. The service is unrivaled on the top luxury cruises, which is why so many patrons become repeat customers after sailing on one.
Get started on your cruise packing list and prepare to set sail for your dream experience. These are the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury cruises with high-end amenities and experiences of a lifetime.
1. Silversea Luxury Singles Cruise
Silversea’s Luxury Singles Cruise is the ultimate adventure for solo travelers who want a taste of the good life, with a side of relaxation and plenty of chances to mingle. This cruise isn’t just any cruise; it’s carefully planned to take you to some of the world’s coolest spots while treating you to top-notch services and amenities. When you’re on the ship, you’ll enjoy fancy suites, mouthwatering food, and loads of fun activities – all perfect for meeting fellow travelers who share your interests. Whether you’re exploring exotic places or just chilling on the boat, these Silversea Cruises are all about having a blast with folks who know how to enjoy the finer things in life.
2. Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Called, “The most luxurious ship ever built,” the Seven Seas Explorer from Regent Seven Seas Cruises completely lives up to its name. Basically a floating, all-inclusive luxury resort, the ship has everything you would expect from a five-star hotel and then some.
All rooms on board the ship are suites with balconies, and most also include king- or queen-sized beds, a welcome bottle of champagne, L’Occitane toiletries, walk-in closets and 24-hour room service. There’s even a top-of-the-ship penthouse with an in-suite spa, solarium and private Steinway piano.
Aside from the beautiful rooms, there are a number of high-class experiences offered on board such as an infinity pool, as well as unlimited, personalized shore excursions. Multiple fine dining options are available for gourmands and an on-board cooking school is offered to all guests.
3. Crystal Serenity
Crystal Serenity was voted the best medium-sized cruise by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards in 2016. Its schedule of routes span five continents, stopping at some of the most famous cities in the world.
Shore excursions are uniquely adventurous for a luxury cruise line, offering everything from piranha fishing in the Amazon to voluntourism at a South African orphanage. Seven different dining options can be found on board including a Brazilian steakhouse and Master Chef Nobu’s only at-sea restaurant.
Crystal also offers what they call a six-star, 24-hour butler service to all their penthouse room guests. Guests staying in higher-end rooms like these may even be invited to an exclusive cocktail party in the captain’s quarters if they are lucky.
4. Cunard Queen Victoria
Recently refit with upgraded staterooms, a sun deck and bar facilities, Cunard’s Queen Victoria consistently ranks as a top choice among luxury cruise lines. All of their rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and some even have bathrooms with a sea view.
Suite rooms have access to one of three exclusive restaurants on board the ship in addition to complimentary afternoon tea. Amenities include entertainment and dancing beyond just the typical cruise experience with themed balls and masquerades.
Athletic types will love the sports features of the ship as well — enjoying the golf nets, tennis courts and fencing classes.
However, what stands out the most on the Queen Victoria are two luxurious hotlines offered to guests. Pick up the phone and you can reserve a wine for dinner and participate in the ship’s wine program or, if you are more concerned with sleeping rather than drinking, you can also call the pillow hotline to choose from a variety of pillow configurations for your room.
5. Oceania Riviera
If you don’t feel the need to indulge in the all-inclusive aspect of high-end cruises, a la carte options on the Oceania Riviera are available for slightly cheaper fares. Some itineraries include airfare, shore excursions and beverage packages, but all are optional.
Luxury dining experiences in particular wow on this ship, like the French bistro menu created by Chef Jacques Pepin or the Italian restaurant that serves meals on custom Versace china. If you are looking to learn a new skill, artists in residence can teach you techniques, like watercolor or printmaking.
Equally impressive are the suite rooms, which are quite roomy on the Riviera, with some of the larger spaces maxing out around 2,000 square feet. They even have their own signature bed, the Prestige Tranquility, which is infused with chamomile.
6. Seabourn Sojourn
Although it is a smaller ship than some of the others on this list, the Sojourn ranks as a top luxury cruise for its impeccable service. CruiseCritic.com says their service is the best they have seen on a cruise ship, with a country club or five-star hotel atmosphere.
Seabourn keeps passengers’ preferences on file, so if you book multiple cruises with them, all your favorite things will be waiting for you upon arrival. At the pool, servers come by with sunscreen, sunglasses cleaner and cocktails for your enjoyment.
In order to compete with some of the larger cruise ships, Sojourn also has a partnership with Michelin-star Chef, Thomas Keller. Guests can expect lobster, caviar and champagne at their fingertips constantly, as evidenced by their special event on warm weather cruises.
Caviar in the surf is exactly what it sounds like, but even better. The ship’s officers serve it up in the water while a decadent barbecue awaits on shore.
7. Paul Gauguin Cruises
An all-inclusive cruise experience, Paul Gauguin Cruises offer an intimate, luxury experience to French Polynesia. Voted best cruise ship for dining by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice Awards and Cruiser’s Choice Best for Service by CruiseCritic.com, once you take a Paul Gauguin cruise, you will be coming back again and again.
Their fares offer round-trip airfare. Besides typical cruise ship entertainment, you can also expect Polynesian dancers and regional performers.
Be sure to take advantage of their secluded white-sand beach in Bora Bora or spend a day on the ship’s private inlet off the coast of the ritzy resort area of Taha’a. For excursions, try something adventurous, like an underwater safari, ATV tour or catamaran sailing.
They’re also the only cruise ship in French Polynesia with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certification classes for scuba diving.
8. Uniworld S.S. Antoinette
One of the most highly-rated river cruises in the world, not to mention river cruises in Europe, Uniworld’s S.S. Antoinette ship offers themed cruises with routes from Basel to Cologne or Basel to Amsterdam. Cruise down the Rhine River during December for the holiday markets cruise or their summer and fall cruise highlighting the medieval castles that line the river.
If you choose the former, festive food and drink is served both on board and amid the various towns docked at for shore excursions.
All cruises offer excursions featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites with use of bicycles and walking sticks while on shore. Breweries, museums, cathedrals and all the other various cultural gems associated with Europe are found on these luxurious cruises.
Plus once you sail with them, you are automatically a part of the River Heritage Club, which offers exclusive, members-only cocktail parties and other on-board benefits.