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What Is The Best Luxury Cruise Line

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Indochina In Style On The Mekong Navigator

The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the world!

The details: All polished teak, ceiling fans and elegant décor, the 68-passenger Mekong Navigator is a beautifully designed, colonial-style river cruiser invoking the elegance of Old Saigon. Luxurious touches like marble-lined bathrooms, a spa and a convivial lounge make this a comfortable way to experience the Mekong, a bucket list journey for many. The spacious ship comes from a fleet thats one of the newest in Asia and you can tuck into full board luxury dining and stretch out on its spacious sun decks.

Best for: Anybody seeking to discover Vietnam and Cambodia from the cool comfort of a floating boutique hotel. Seven-night cruises are bookended with stays in luxurious hotels in Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City, so your journey is seamless.

Avoid if: You see yourself as an independent traveller. These voyages are designed to show off the destination with a degree of comfort, with all tours escorted and included.

The Sunday Times cruise editor says: A comprehensive tour like this is the perfect way to take in the complex history and dreamy beauty of Cambodia, and the bustle of Vietnam.

Extravagant Sailaway Parties On Royal Clipper

The details: Carrying just 227 adventurous sailors on swashbuckling Caribbean adventures, Royal Clipper is the worlds biggest, and we say, most beautiful square-rigged ship. With three pools, plenty of sunbathing space on her sun-warmed teak decks, a smart restaurant and an al fresco bar, Royal Clipper offers all the romance of travel under sail without sacrificing creature comforts. Complete with Edwardian touches, faux fireplaces and plenty of polished brass, Royal Clipper has plenty of character. Its propelled along by 56,000 feet of billowing sails and has a loyal following of keen sailors and boat owners. Indulge in one of 14 deluxe suites on the Main Deck and lie in the big nets either side of the bowsprit its one of the best places to spot dolphins racing the ship.

Best for: People who arent big fans of cruising but love sailing this is the worlds largest full-rigged sailing ship. Avoid if: Youve got any mobility issues. There are four decks and no elevators so getting around could prove tricky.

The Sunday Times cruise editor says: Dont miss Sailaway, all the more exciting in the sultry Caribbean. Passengers gather on the foredeck to watch the crew raising the sails, the ships sailing anthem, Vangelis Conquest of Paradise, blasting across the open decks as the wind picks up and land fades into the distance.

Discover The Ultra Luxury Side Of Cruising

How different is it really to be on board an ultra luxury cruise line compared to a regular mainstream cruise or indeed an ocean liner?

The ship you choose will still have the same type of facilities that you find on the larger ships, for example a gym, spa, lounges, formal dining rooms and buffet style dining, promenade decks and sports activities.

There will also be the tradition elements of a regular cruise such as gala evenings or dinner at the Captains Table.

And even though you travel luxury, outside influences can still affect your cruise experience, such as poor weather conditions minimising time on deck or even affecting port calls and excursions.

The big different you will notice on your ultra luxury cruise is the exclusivity. This is what you are paying for. Forget value for money in the traditional sense. But when spending all that extra money on an ultra luxury cruise, you should expect the following as a step-up from the ordinary.

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Best Luxury Cruises In The World: Our Top 7 Premium Cruise Lines

Are you preparing to set sail on a luxury cruise? Deciding where to cruise and which cruise line is best for you can be overwhelming.

The bar has been raised. Luxury cruising has evolved to offer everything we have come to expect from travel at the top end of town. Refined accommodation, Michelin star dining, immersive on-shore excursions and indulgent spa experiences marry high-end service and inclusions.

The range of destinations on offer is as vast as the ocean itself. Cruise by medieval villages in Europe, sail the Panama Canal, explore the Great Barrier Reef or discover the untamed Arctic.

Weve curated a list of the Top 7 Luxury Cruise Lines to help you select a voyage that will take you to somewhere new, and indulge each of your senses along the way.

Best Luxury Cruise Ships

2018 Editors

The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you … by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard!

First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios.

That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that’s not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities — and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can’t manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak.

Take a look at Cruise Critic’s list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.

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Better Service Before During And After The Cruise

It goes almost without saying that the onboard service of luxury cruise lines is excellent, with personal touches that exceed expectations being the norm. However, even before you board or after you disembark, these cruise lines go above and beyond with their standard of service. Airport transfers are often included and are just the beginning – many lines also offer pre- and post-cruise accommodation in luxury partner hotels or superb, stylish shore experiences . These extra perks may cost extra, but for many cruisers, the peace of mind is well worth it.

On many luxury cruises, the staff-to-guest ratio is a mere 1-to-2, meaning that attentive service is available day or night. Staff and crew also undergo rigorous training, and the butler service offered by many luxury cruises anticipates needs and handles requests without passengers having to ask.

Minimalist Chic On Ponants Le Bougainville

The details Sleek and stylish, Ponants new, all-inclusive expedition ship, Le Bougainville, is packed with innovative features. Theres an infinity pool on the aft deck, overlooking an extending watersports platform from which you can swim, launch a kayak or board the ships Zodiac launches. Inside are beautiful, minimalist chic lounges done out in soothing neutrals, 92 elegant staterooms and a restaurant serving fine French cuisine.

Best for Special features. Head to the Blue Eye Lounge to spy passing marine life through two giant windows inset in the ships hull as well as on digital screens projecting live images from underwater cameras. Specially developed hydrophones, located beneath the ships keel, capture noises up to five kilometers away which pick up everything from whales to jellyfish. Avoid if Youd like a bath in your cabin. Unless you upgrade to a suite youll have a shower.

The Sunday Times cruise editor says The ships star feature, the multi-sensory underwater Blue Eye lounge, which on Le Bougainvilles sister ships has received rave reviews. Special sensors pick up the sounds of marine life and beam them to the lounge while you relax in dimmed light, watching the graceful slow motion of the marine world.

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Soleil Deck | Credit:

Uniworlds Boutique River Cruise collection offers some of the most luxurious amenities in the world paired with custom itineraries youd be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Its one of the most sought-after river cruise lines for its boutique-hotel-like aesthetic, bespoke shore excursions, wellness programming and gastronomy. Travel to India on the sacred Ganges River or on the Yangtze in China. There are also Russian excursions Italian journeys and themed cruises that allow you to connect with your heritage, learn more about local cuisine and wine or focus on culture through a Uniworld Signature Lecture Series. Floating Art Workshops are also a unique offering.

The Best Luxury River Cruises

Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines Part2

| June 19 2019

For those who think ocean cruises are the only option, there are plenty of luxury river cruises that allow you to explore smaller cities along rivers such as the Nile, Danube and Rhine. Oftentimes, the ships are far smaller meaning that there are less people onboard and more intimate experiences to be had. Read on for the best luxury cruises in the world.

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Best Cruise Lines For The Money

The 2022 rankings for best valued cruises are:

  • Celebrity Cruises “Gold Award”
  • Holland America Line “Silver Award”
  • Royal Caribbean International “Silver Award”
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Here, average daily rates accounted for 60% of scores, while expert, traveler and health ratings accounted for the other 40%. Cruise lines with average daily rates of $300 or more did not qualify for this category.

    Celebrity Cruises was named the best cruise for the money. It’s part of the Royal Caribbean Group, which also operates Royal Caribbean International, which took home a “Silver Award” in this category.

    Wi-Fi, tips and drinks like cocktails, wine and specialty coffees are included in most Celebrity cruise bookings, however the cheapest rates can be purchased without them. Right now, a four-day cruise from Miami to the Bahamas is around $440 per person, including taxes, for an inside state room.

    Also on the list: Princess Cruises , Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises .

    Seabourn Ovation Seabourn Cruises

    Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 600 to 450

    About the Ship: Seabourn‘s newest ship, Seabourn Ovation, is the second in the line’s Encore Class, the next generation of Seabourn’s popular Odyssey-class. The ship is practically identical to Seabourn Encore, and both are one deck taller than their little sisters and carry 150 more travelers for a complement of 600.

    Beautiful interiors and intuitive spaces that are designed for the way people want to gather and relax are hallmarks of Seabourn Ovation’s indoor and outdoor public areas, which were created by renowned designer Adam D. Tihany. All 300 suites have balconies that are perfect for enjoying breakfast, drinks or dinner alfresco.

    The ship is notable for its many dining venues, including a restaurant by Thomas Keller , a sushi venue, new and upscale alfresco dinner option on the pool deck, plus the main restaurant and buffet/casual dining venue. As with all Seabourn ships, Champagne and caviar are available, gratis, at all times and in any spot onboard.

    Who Sails This Ship: Repeaters. Seabourn cruisers know a good thing when they see it, and many remain loyal to the line. Ovation’s passengers are generally well off, well traveled, social and between the ages of 40 and 70.

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    Medium Ship Line #1: Marella Cruises

    U.K.-based cruise line Marella, which is operated by TUI UK, has a fleet of four ships that hold between 1,100 and 2,000 passengers, sailing itineraries around Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Caribbean, with some special journeys to Asia. The sailings are billed as all-inclusive, and they do include alcoholic beverages and tips, but some of the specialty restaurants cost an extra fee.

    River Ship Line #: Vantage Deluxe World Cruises

    2018 Editors

    The river cruise branch of tour operator Vantage Deluxe World Travel has several of its own ships, the majority of which sail in Europe. In fact, the vessels were some of the first river ships in Europe to have cabins designated for solo travelers. But in 2020, the company started operations in Egypt on its new m/s Nebu, which also has solo cabins. Providing its clients with even more options, Vantage also charters ships around the world for a variety of itineraries.

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    Medium Ship Line #: Silversea Cruises

    Silverseas fleet has 10 ships, of which just three are technically medium-sized, with passenger counts around 600 peoplebut thats considered quite a large number for the luxurious cruise line, which specializes in smaller expedition vessels. Silversea Moon, which debuted in 2021, and its sister Silversea Muse are the largest, each carrying up to 596 passengers. The line sails to more than 900 destinations around the world.

    Antarctic Adventures With Ocean Endeavour

    The details Expansive decks meet panoramic lounges on Ocean Endeavour, one of the Antarctics most impressive cruise liners. Youll be treated to complimentary yoga and stretching classes, an exclusive polar photography course and a series of lectures from onboard experts on Antarcticas history, geology and biology.

    Best for Relaxation paired with adventure. The state-of-the-art ship is focused on health and wellness and offers a spa, saunas, salt water pool and gym onboard. Solo travellers will be pleased to here theres no extra single supplements or surchargers.

    Avoid if You prefer big, lively ships. This ship holds just 200 passengers and is more akin to small, boutique hotel.

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    River Ship Line #1: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

    Scenics 16 luxurious river ships sail waters across Europe and Asia, from the Danube in Germany to the Irrawaddy in Myanmar to the Volga in Russia. Each voyage is completely all-inclusivetransfers, excursions, all food and beverage , and gratuities are covered in the ratemaking for a truly relaxing and stress-free experience. And did we mention theres butler service for every cabin?

    Small Ship Adventure On Windstars Star Pride


    The details Windstars petite Star Pride, carrying just 212, is the perfect way to explore the more off-the-beaten-track islands of the Caribbean, with a watersports platform, exceptional cuisine and wonderfully spacious suites, many with private balconies.

    Best for Spacious cabins. Even the smallest are 277 square feet. All cabins also come with a queen size bed. luxurious linens, lOccitane products, flat Screen TV with DVD player and ocean views.

    Avoid if Youre planning on lots of cocktails. The bar adds on 15% on for each alcoholic beverage ordered.

    The Sunday Times cruise editor says The best bits? Rum punch sundowners at the al fresco Star Bar dinner under the stars at Candles on the aft deck and diving straight off the back of the ship into the warm Caribbean when the watersports platform is lowered.

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    River Ship Line #: Delfin Amazon Cruises

    Sailing the Amazon River in Peru isnt quite like other river journeysits a blissful escape into the wilderness, where you might be surrounded by pink dolphins or piranhas at any given moment. Delfin, the first Relais & Chateaux cruise line, makes the journey incredibly comfortable, offering boutique hotellike accommodations aboard its three rustic-luxe ships. And, as part of the Relais & Chateaux family, the cuisine is spectacular, incorporating regional dishes made with local ingredients.

    River Ship Line #: Amawaterways

    AMAWaterways cruises the waters of Europe, Africa, Vietnam, and Cambodia, with a handful of new ships debuting in the past few years. In 2019, the line launched AMAMagna, a double-wide river cruise on the Danube that features massive 710-square-foot suitesa size unheard of on a river-going vessel. Despite the ship being so much larger than its sisters, the passenger count only increased by 20 percent to 196 guests, ensuring an intimate experience. The cruise line sails 22 ships in Europe, one in Vietnam and Cambodia, and two in Africa . In 2023, AMAWaterways will expand to Latin America, sailing the AMAMagdalena in Colombia.

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    Medium Ship Line #1: Norwegian Cruise Line

    Until it launched Norwegian Epic in 2010, then the Breakaway and Breakaway-plus classes in 2013 and 2015, respectively, Norwegian primarily focused on mid-sized ships that carry around 2,000 passengersand they still make up the majority of the fleet. A colorful atmosphere pervades the ships, as guests enjoy everything from water slides to silly pool contests like synchronized swimming to everyones favorite: bingo night. Norwegians ships have itineraries all over the world, with many focusing on North America.

    Viking Cruises: Viking Star

    5 Top Luxury Cruise Lines for the Ultimate Foodieâs Experience

    You can expect your cruise fare to include a variety of restaurants offering specialty meals. The main dining room serves meals from an international menu. Floor-to-ceiling windows, which are opened on balmy days, enhance your onboard culinary experience.

    If youre looking for something different, the Norwegian delicacies ranging from waffles to open-faced sandwiches will delight you. Be sure to try the bacon and pea soup inspired by a recipe designed by the Vikings chairmans mother!

    The Kitchen Table experience is one every foodie cant afford to miss. Booking is essential to participate in this event, which is only offered twice on every cruise. Youll accompany the ships chef on land for a market tour. In the evening, together with the chef, youll create your own gourmet meal to enjoy.

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    Best Yacht Cruise: Seadream Yacht Club

    SeaDream Yacht Club

    For a yachting experience, SeaDream Yacht Club operates two ships carrying from 94 to 112 guests to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Transatlantic crossings plus dedicated wine-themed voyages. In addition, a third yacht, the Seadream Innovation, is planned to complete in 2021 with three marinas and wave runners, sailboats, and kayaks. Suites feature gorgeous wood furnishings, soaking tubs, living and dining areas, flat screen televisions, and 24-hour room service. For active adults, theres a golf simulator, mountain bikes , water skiing, and snorkel gear. Enjoy a movie under the stars or relax in the Balinese spa. All meals, beverages, and gratuities are also included in the fare.

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