Small Ship Line #: Seabourn
Seabourns six ships feature fewer than 300 suites eachbut they leverage that small size into access at some of the worlds most beloved yacht ports: St. Tropez in the south of France the Greek island of Kos and popular large ports like Dubrovnik and Monte Carlo. Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller designs specialty menus on the ships, and a partnership with UNESCO ensures shore excursions and sustainable tourism practices at some of the wildest and most wonderful destinations around the world. Later this year, the line will debut its first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, with a sister ship to follow.
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.
Scenic Eclipse Scenic Luxury Cruises And Tours
Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 228 to 176
What Makes Scenic Eclipse One of the Best Luxury Cruises? The first ocean cruising vessel for Australian company Scenic, Scenic Eclipse offers the experience of a luxury yacht as opposed to an oversized cruise ship. Its a ship with super luxury features like two helicopters and a submarine on board, plus eight restaurants and modern suites.
Spaces inside are contemporary, and the ship is easily one of the best expedition options for adventurous luxury travelers. Why? Private butlers make this suite-only yacht feel like a luxury boutique hotel, single-malt scotches, dedicated specialists for shore excursions and wildlife expereinces, and all-inclusive dining and drinking all make Scenic Eclipse a great expedition ship with plenty of pampering details. Every suite has its own balcony and separate lounge area, and you can expect fine-dining quality meals at spots like the Chef’s Table.
Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours Luxury Offerings: Australian travel company Scenic has a reputation for providing luxurious experiences to travelers on its land tours and river cruise itineraries, which span the globe from Russia, Central Europe, Portugal, and Southeast Asia.
Who Sails on Scenic Eclipse: Explorer-minded passengers enjoy sailing on Scenic, particularly retirees who appreciate luxury travel and food. A large percentage of passengers will be Australian, as well as North Americans and U.K. travelers. Not recommended for young families.
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Oceania Riviera Oceania Cruises
Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 1,238 passengers to 776 crew
What Makes Oceania Riviera One of the Best Luxury Cruises?Oceania Riviera dining is legendary across all of the cruise ship’s dining venues, including complimentary specialty restaurants. Dining venues include the Grand Dining Room and Jacques, a French bistro with menus created by famed chef Jacques Pepin Polo Grill, a refined steakhouse serving USDA prime and dry-aged beef the Italian restaurant Toscana, where tables are set with custom-designed Versace china and Red Ginger, which serves Asian classics.
If you’re willing to pay, up to 24 passengers a night can enjoy a seven-course meal at La Reserve by Wine Spectator. As you can imagine, the wine pairings are of special note there and three menus are available.
Foodies might also wish to pay a visit to the well-equipped Culinary Center onboard Oceania Riviera . It’s a self-contained cooking school at sea that offers hands-on experience at 12 individual cooking stations . Classes focusing on a variety of topics do incur an extra fee, but get rave reviews from past participants.
Sign Up For Loyalty Programs
Remember to sign up for loyalty programs offered by the cruise lines before you book your journey. Its complimentary, and there is nothing wrong with getting and stacking free benefits on cruises. All cruises offer such loyalty programs to sign up all of them as there is no rule that one only join one cruise line loyalty program. It is the fastest way to grab complimentary gifts, food, Wi-Fi, services, top-priority reservations, and onboard discounts.
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River Ship Line #: Vantage Deluxe World Cruises
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.
Small Ship Line #: Quasar Expeditions
The first luxury line to sail the Galápagos, Quasar Expeditions is best known for its in-depth trips aboard its two intimate ships that carry fewer than 32 passengers each. Yet note the street cred of said ships: One of the two, the Grace, is the former yacht of Princess Grace of Monaco. The other, the Evolution, will allow you to retrace Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos. Book the Baltra Island itinerary, where you’ll work your way from San Cristóbal Island to Baltra, and explore all the central and southern islands of the archipelago in between.
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Small Ship Line #1: Star Clippers
Star Clippers has a fleet of three ships, with its flagship Royal Clipper holding the record as the worlds largest full-rigged sailing ship. All three are sailing yachts, unfurling their sails for itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia, with classic exteriors and interiors featuring several bars, a swimming pool, library, and formal dining room.
Great Choice Of Itineraries
Cruises ships sails to all seven continents, including the great rivers of the world and the ocean ports. Also, most of the world’s important cities are on a cruise itinerary and can be visited via pre-or post-cruise extensions. But as the luxury cruises are smaller, they tend to visit those ports that larger or mega-ships cant manage.
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The 4 Best Luxury Cruise Lines For Elegance And Exclusivity
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Like fine European hotels or the fanciest boutique properties, the ships of best luxury cruise lines are designed to appeal to people who seek and can afford an elegant style of travel.
Champagne flows. You might snack on caviar. Exquisite cuisine is prepared a la minute and accompanied by pours of fine wines. Onboard lounges are wonderfully intimate, with no mass-market anything. When you rest your head, its on a luxury mattress topped with fine linens.
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The byword is exclusivity. Perks included in the cruise fare may include beverages, free Wi-Fi, fresh flowers, extraordinary pampering service and, in some cases, butler service.
The price to get on board could be in the area of $1,000 per person, per day.
Here are our picks for the top four luxury cruise lines.
Small Ship Line #: Seadream Yacht Club
Sailing through the Caribbean, around Europe, or across the Atlantic on either of SeaDreams two 112-passenger yachts means quickly getting to know your fellow guests. Facilities on the six decks include a pool, whirlpool, and casino, but the real highlight is the watersports marina that can be lowered down to the waves for easy ocean swimming, kayaking, and more. The ships often overnight in port, allowing guests the opportunity to experience the local nightlife before taking off for their next destination.
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Royal Clipper Star Clippers
Best for people who love sailingCarrying just 227 adventurous sailors on swashbuckling Caribbean adventures, Royal Clipper is the worlds biggest and most beautiful square-rigged ship. With three pools, plenty of sunbathing space on her sun-warmed teak decks, a smart restaurant and an alfresco bar, Royal Clipper brings all of 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 on either side of the bowsprit its one of the best places to spot dolphins racing the ship. Avoid this ship if youve got any mobility issues: there are four decks and no lifts so getting around could prove tricky.
Planning A Private Yacht Charter
The entire yacht can be yours. Whether for business or pleasure, our yachts can be chartered for your special occasion. Offering all the on-board amenities you would receive from a standard itinerary on an upscale cruise line, additional customization options are available for full yacht charters. Whether its a business meeting or corporate incentive trip, a wedding, or any other celebration, we are delighted to help you make the yacht yours. Request to be contacted by a Charter Coordinator now to learn more about the possibilities.
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Characteristics Of Luxury Cruises
Despite their differences, luxury cruise lines share certain characteristics. Here are such factors for your reference:
- Some cruise destinations are out of the way and offer a more relaxing, and unique experience for passengers that larger ships cannot reach.
- Personalized luggage tags, personalized stationery, and high-end bath products are some of the extra touches you might find in your luxury stateroom.
Large Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International
Though Royal Caribbean is perhaps best known for its mega-ships, it has quite a number of large ships, toothe 3,100-passenger Voyager-class ships, for instance, were once the worlds largest, until Royal Caribbean debuted the larger Freedom class and subsequently the Oasis class. Each class had its own series of firstsVoyager of the Seas was the first ship to have an ice rink and a rock-climbing wall, while Freedom of the Seas introduced the first FlowRider surf simulator at sea.
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Small Ship Line #: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Sailing with only 490 guests, the Seven Seas Navigator takes its all-inclusive promise seriously, offering unlimited shore excursions, open bars with premium wines , unlimited Wi-Fi, and dining in specialty restaurants. The ship sails all over the world, from New Zealand to Dubai, on week-long to three-month-long itineraries.
Medium Ship Line #1: Princess Cruises
Of Princess Cruises 14-ship fleet, its five smallest include the Coral Princess, Island Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, and the infamous Pacific Princess, which was the star of the TV show The Love Boat. The Pacific Princess is by far the smallest, holding just 680 passengers. The four other ships carry around 2,000 passengers and are the perfect size to sail through the Panama Canal.
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Silver Moon Silversea Cruises
Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 596 passengers to 411 crew
What Makes Silver Moon One of the Best Luxury Cruises? One word: Food. Underlining this idea is the SALT program aboard Silver Moon, an immersive cultural and dining experience that endeavors to broaden guests understanding of the food they are eating and its relation to the destinations throughout each voyage. Additionally, Silver Moon forgoes a traditional main dining room and instead has eight smaller restaurants at which passengers can dine any night. Six are free, but require reservations, while Kaiseki and La Dame cost extra.
Complimentary choices on Silver Moon include Asian-fusion Indochine, Italian La Terrazza, seafood grill Atlantide, tapas restaurant and bar Silver Note, pizza place Spaccanapoli, and The Grill, a grill-your-own meat venue. During the day, La Terrazza is the ship’s buffet, offering breakfast and lunch. Likewise, Atlantide is the closest to a main dining room you’ll find, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for those who prefer a sit-down option.
Keeping in line with the line’s luxurious reputation, Silver Moon has lovely, understated public spaces, including an expansive pool deck featuring comfortable lounge chairs, a large pool and dedicated pool stewards ready to cater to any needs that arise. There’s also a cool Arts Cafe, where coffee- and tea-drinkers can feed their habit while noshing healthy bites amid funky art.
Large Ship Line #: Cunard
For those longing for the romantic nostalgia of bygone transatlantic sailings, Cunard is your go-to. The legendary cruise line was established in 1840 and has had dozens of ships in its fleet, though today, there are just three active vessels: the Queen Mary 2, the worlds only true transatlantic ocean liner, designed specifically for ocean crossings, as well as the worlds only pet-friendly ship the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. Activities havent changed all that much in the last 180 yearstheres still a proper afternoon tea, black-tie dinners, and galas in the ballrooms. Its quite like a step back in time, with all the modern safety measures, of course. Cunards next ship is scheduled to set sail in 2022 or 2023.
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Large Ship Line #: P& o Cruises
The United Kingdoms premier cruise lineand the worlds oldest, having commenced passenger operations in 1837P& O sails Europe, North America, and the Caribbean with a crowd made up primarily of British nationals. As such, prepare for the ships amenities to have a British bent . Three of the fleets six current ships fall into the large category, while its two adults-only ships, MS Aurora and MS Arcadia, are medium-sized. P& O’s newest ship, MS Iona is a mega-ship, as will be her sister, MS Arvia, due to sail in 2022.
Perfect For Any Occasion
May of our loyal Club Members, who regularly enjoy SeaDream vacations as individual guests have also chartered our yachts for their own private parties and celebrations. Perhaps you have just sold your company and are ready to start down the road of retirement, or youre celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary. For others, it might just be time to get the entire family back together, and with room for 112 guests, a SeaDream yacht is the the perfect place to hold your event.
If you wish to inquire about your own private yacht charter on an upscale cruise line, request to be contacted now.
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Small Ship Line #1: Sea Cloud Cruises
Germany’s Sea Cloud Cruises has three elegant windjammers: Sea Cloud,Sea Cloud II, and Sea Cloud Spirit, which accommodate 64, 94, and 136 passengers, respectively. These sailing yachts primarily split their time between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, though they’ll occasionally explore the Panama Canal and Northern Europe, too. The oldest ship in the fleet is Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for an American heiressat the time, it was the largest private yacht in the world. It later served the United States in World War II before ultimately returning to pleasure sailings.
Seven Seas Splendor Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 750 passengers to 542 crew
What Makes Regent Splendor One of the Best Cruises?Regent Seven Seas Cruises once again aimed for Luxury Perfected with the 2020 launch of Seven Seas Splendor. Splendor features the exquisite cuisine and generous all-inclusive rates for which Regent is known, with some of the most luxe rooms at sea.
All 366 cabins are suites aboard this small luxury ship. And if you love balconies, the suites on Regent Seven Seas Splendor are some of the largest afloat, ranging from 83 to 1,292 square feet. . Likewise, public spaces aboard Splendor are stunning. Granite and Italian marble are found all over, and there are almost 500 chandeliers made of Czech crystal and glass throughout the ship. There are also 2,500 pieces of art on display, including works by masters such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro.
For foodies, all you need to know is that each restaurant on Seven Seas Splendor excels. The two main restaurants are Compass Rose and La Veranda/Sette Mari. La Veranda is the buffet option for breakfast and lunch, and the space transforms to Sette Mari in the evening, offering a hybrid experience that includes a buffet as well as an a la carte menu. There are also three complimentary specialty restaurants: the pan-Asian Pacific Rim Chartreuse, which has a French flair and the line’s signature steakhouse, Prime 7.
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Contemporary Luxury And The Upscale Cruise Lines
Why They Are Luxurious: The cruise industry can’t agree on a collective name for these lines that skirt the edges of luxury. They might be referred to as “contemporary luxury,””upscale,””ultra-premium” or “luxury-lite.” The lines themselves are quite different from each other, too, but we group them together because they offer a mix of mainstream cruise hallmarks and luxurious attractions, such as destination-intensive itineraries with plenty of overnights, intimate and adult-oriented ships and top-notch dining. Typically, pricing is somewhere in between the premium lines, such as Holland America or Celebrity Cruises, and the traditional luxury lines, such as Regent or Silversea .
Azamara and Oceania both utilize former Renaissance R-class, 700-passenger vessels to form their fleets, which are much loved, despite small-for-luxury accommodations. Oceania has also introduced two new, larger ships, custom-made for the line’s style of cruising the 1,258-passenger Marina and Riviera each boast a culinary arts center, 10 onboard restaurants and impressive suites with designer decor. Azamara focuses on destination-immersion, emphasizing evening tours in ports and a complimentary shoreside event on every itinerary.