Explore Indias Holiest River On Ganges Voyager
The details All polished wood, rich colours and hand-stencilled murals, the stately Ganges Voyager carries just 56 passengers in regal style along the Ganges from the bustling city of Kolkata. On board, theres an elegant lounge, a small spa and a restaurant serving classy Indian dishes as well as international fare.
Best for Anybody seeking a luxurious and comfortable base to which to return after busy days exploring the palaces and temples along the Ganges.
Avoid if Youre not in the market for a cultural experience with daily, expert-led tours.
The Sunday Times cruise editor says On the top deck, theres a lovely shaded area with squashy loungers the perfect spot from which to observe the ever-changing tableau of life along the river.
River Ship Line #: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld’s 21 ships cruise around the globe in Europe, Egypt, Russia, China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Peru. Their excursions offer passengers the opportunity to get a little closer to their destinations of choice, with visits to local homes, farms, and artisans, and every excursion is rated by ability level. In 2018, two of its ships were overhauled for a new venture, U by Uniworld Cruises, with itineraries, dining, and activities that appeal to younger prospective passengersthink silent discos, mixology classes, and rooftop camping.
Crystal Esprit Crystal Cruises
About the Ship:Esprit is Crystal‘s first yacht, and while it’s not new, the line did an amazing job refurbishing the ship before launching it in 2015. It’s now one of the most contemporary and comfy ships at sea, feeling much more like a boutique hotel than a yacht. Even the smallest suites — which range from 223 to 280 square feet — feel spacious, and all accommodations feature an interactive bedside iPad that lets you set an alarm, order room service, learn about the ship and more. Even though the ship only caters to 62 passengers, there are several dining venues, including The Yacht Club, Patio Cafe and Terrace for alfresco breakfasts. Each restaurant offers dine anytime open seating.
For sun worshippers, Esprit offers a beautiful sun deck as well as a retractable marina that’s stocked with water skis, wakeboards, paddleboards, ocean kayaks , Skidoo Jet Skis and snorkel gear.
About the Cruise Line: This foray into ultra-small ship cruising allows Crystal to focus on some of its strengths: customized but unobtrusive service, and incredible cuisine paired with the world’s finest wine. They’ve translated the traditional Crystal experience and improved upon it for individuals that love attentive service on a very small ship. Esprit is getting rave reviews and it paves the way for Crystal’s first new-build yacht, Endeavour, which will start sailing in 2020.
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Medium Ship Line #: Viking Ocean Cruises
Originally a river cruise line, Viking has launched six ocean-going vessels since 2015, the most recent being the brand-new Viking Venus, whose maiden voyage took place in 2021. The ships are nearly identical, carrying 930 passengers each, housed in balcony staterooms. Though not all-inclusive, Viking Ocean offers guests one free excursion in each port , beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and an unlimited Wi-Fi connection.
Most Luxurious River Cruise Ships: Crystal Bach Mahlerdebussy & Ravel
Crystal took the world of river cruising by storm in 2016,bringing their exacting standards to the rivers of Europe for thefirst time. With four brand new sister ships – Bach, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel – Crystalstands out as something rather different.
Whilst other river cruise lines have built on an existing modelof river cruise operation, Crystal created a new style based ontheir award-winning ocean ships, with genuinely open seatingdining, Michelin-inspired cuisine, alternative casual dining in theBistro, industry leading crew-to-guest ratios and spaciousaccommodation, with all suites well above the water line andfloor-to-ceiling balcony windows allowing natural light to floodin. Other spaces on board include the exclusive Vintage Room forprivate dining, plenty of outdoor deck space with comfortableloungers, and an indoor swimming pool.
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Most Luxurious In The Galapagos: Silver Origin
To cruise in the Galapagos, ships quite rightly have to abide bythe stringent policies set by the Ecuadorian government to preservethis incredible habitat. Guest numbers are capped at 100 and shipsare restricted to operating solely around the Galapagos, and untilrecently you had to choose from a selection of older vessels andships that have been converted to operate here. Then came theintroduction of Silver Origin, Silversea’s stunning new shippurpose-built for this unique environment.
This intimate 100-guest ship is supremely comfortable, with allbalcony accommodation, plenty of deck space, two restaurants,outdoor whirlpool, observation lounge with a well-stocked libraryand a fitness centre with panoramic views. As well as the extensiveshore programme and onboard lectures there’s the chance to learnmore about the archipelago’s flora and fauna at the Basecamp, withits amazing interactive wall. In the evening you can enjoysocialising over cocktails at the Explorer Lounge, and cosy uparound the outdoor firepit after dinner.
Small Ship Line #: Silversea Cruises
Silversea’s four expedition ships stop in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Galápagos, and Antarctica on shorter duration sailings, but they also offer around-the-world itineraries for an international clientele. Off-the-beaten-path excursions make for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like penguin spotting in Antarctica or private catamaran tours in tropical locales. In September 2019, Silversea completed its first journey through the Northwest Passagea monumental featwith the Silver Explorer, a 144-passenger expedition vessel. The fleet was joined by the new Silver Origin, a Galápagos-specific ship, in 2020.
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Harmony Of The Seas Royal Caribbean Cruises
Harmony of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, welcoming up to 6,687 passengers and 2,193 crew members.The ship was launched in 2016 and features Royal Caribbean classics such as surf simulators and climbing walls and groundbreaking attractions such as the Ultimate Abyss and three multi-story water slides.However, when younger passengers are playing in the arcade or in age-appropriate clubs, adults can relax in the spa or enjoy drinks in multiple bars and lounges.Harmony of the Seas offers a wide range of cabin categories for lodging, with over 70% of cabins with balconies.While the most economical choice is the interior staterooms, those seeking a little more space and luxury should consider upgrading to a suite ranging from junior suites to family suites with four bedrooms.
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.
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Hanseatic Nature And Inspiration
For the cruise goer who likes to get off the beaten path, there are these two ships with expeditions planned as far north as the Arctic Circle, as far south as Antarctica, and plenty of adventurous locales in between. Each Hanseatic ship has well-appointed, modern suites, a fitness and wellness area, extendible glass balconies, state of the art environmental technology, 180-degree observation decks, and cushy restaurants and lounges for in-between explorations. Two-day cruises start around $1,330 and go up to about $24,500 for a monthlong expedition.
Two Weeks On The Mediterranean In A Regent Seven Seas Regent Suite
Sail the Mediterranean — anywhere in the Med will do — for two sublime weeks on Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer. This 750-passenger all-suite ship exudes extravagance. Eye-popping marble, crystal and other bespoke design elements abound. You could spend much of the cruise simply studying the $7 million, 2,500-piece art collection, including original Picassos and a $500,000 Tibetan prayer wheel. But then you’d miss the wealth of art and culture available in ports of call throughout Europe.
All accommodations embrace luxury, but you deserve the 3,026-square-foot Regent Suite, with a whopping 1,417 square feet more of balcony space. One of a kind, this beyond-fabulous accommodation features two bedrooms , two private balconies with a custom heated hot tub, two-and-a-half marble- and stone-swathed baths and private solarium.
The Regent Suite also provides two safes — no doubt, for all your jewels — and three walk-in closets — for the trunks of fabulous clothes you bring. Perhaps you can even hire a pianist to perform in your suite these digs come outfitted with a custom Steinway piano. Wrap yourself in cozy cashmere blankets, refresh with Guerlain or Bottega Veneta toiletries and ring the butler to satisfy your every whim. Sample as many Canyon Ranch spa treatments as you can — they’re complimentary and are enjoyed in your suite’s private spa retreat.
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Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Fare: Starting at $4,300
Length: Itineraries for this ship range from 16 nights to 28 nights
Described as the most luxurious ship ever built, the Regent Seven Seas Explorer launched in July 2016. A super all-inclusive ship featuring all suites and some of the largest balconies in the industry, the Explorer is decked out with granite and marble trappings and hundreds of glittering crystal chandeliers. With two main restaurants and three specialty restaurants, it has something for everyone in terms of dining. The ship holds up to 750 passengers, and there is 542 crew on board.
One of the best things about this ship is the fact that nearly everything is included in the price of the fare even business-class airfare and premium alcohol. However, the fare is pricey, and the ship tends to cater to older folks instead of families.
Best Small Ships: Silversea
If youre ready to be completely pampered, Silverseas five-star service, smaller ships, and all-inclusive pricing is difficult to beat. Onboard, passengers enjoy free-flowing wines, in-suite dining, gourmet cuisine, enrichment lectures, 24-hour butler service, and included gratuities. Since most Silversea ships carry less than 300 guests, the company is a hybrid between yachting and cruising. Silverseas entertainment is very relaxed, so expect to unwind in luxurious lounges or in the onboard spa. There is no shortage of dining choices on Silversea vessels, ranging from intimate venues serving Asian fusion to open-air patios highlighting regional specialties.
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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.
World Voyage In A Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill Grand Duplex
Many cruise lines offer world cruises, but none rival the regal experience offered onboard Cunard’s flagship, the 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2, especially when booked in one of five Queens Grill Grand Duplexes.
If you’re spending 100 days or more onboard, why not wallow in luxury? Measuring about 2,249square feet, Grand Duplexes double as “Downton Abbey”-style jaw-droppers. Amenities include a downstairs tricked out with a dining table seating eight, fitness equipment and an office featuring personalized stationery. Climb the spiral staircase to discover a king-sized bedroom with a pillow menu, twin marble baths and two dressing rooms. And did we mention the spacious private veranda? Your superb butler fulfils every need, possibly before you realize you have one.
Yes, you will see the world, including many UNESCO World Heritage sites, and other places most of us just dream about. Sea days are filled with impassioned lectures, planetarium shows and a wide array of entertainment from comedians to classical pianists. There’s always the fitness center, beckoning after splendid teas and fine dining in the Queens Grill.
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Seadream Ii Seadream Yacht Club
Passenger-to-Crew Ratio: 112 to 95
About the Ship:SeaDream Yacht Club‘s SeaDream II offers an intimate and luxurious yachting experience. With just 56 cabins, travelers and crew get to know each other quickly, and it really does feel like you’re traveling on a friend’s yacht instead of a cruise ship.
Two things make this ship exceptional: the all-teak deck that features numerous Balinese sun beds, and the aft retractable marina. The marina offers glass-bottom kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, banana boats, snorkel equipment and Laser sailboats. You can even go water skiing or ride a Jet Ski.
Being that this is a cozy yacht, you won’t find massive suites. The cabins are roomy, but none is fitted with a balcony. Instead, in-room amenities — think Belgian linens, down duvets, wool blankets and Bvlgari bath products — are the focus. Passengers always get a kick out of the monogrammed pajamas that are laid out in their stateroom upon arrival.
About the Cruise Line: SeaDream offers several signature experiences across its two-ship fleet. One is spending an evening “sleeping under the stars” on the Balinese beds on Deck 6. This pastime is booked on a first-come, first-served basis and is very popular. At 10 p.m., crewmembers rope off the area and set up the beds with linens, duvets and pillows. Sleeping on the deck of a yacht is an experience that isn’t easily replicated — unless you happen to own a yacht!
Scenic Eclipse Scenic Cruises
Scenic Eclipse is a small luxury cruise ship that can accommodate between 200 and 228 guests. It features all-inclusive amenities and services. All of your meals, drinks are included as well as 24-hour room service, a butler, and more.
The vessel contains all-suite accommodation with every cabin featuring a balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows. Youll have incredible views, which you can enjoy with a cold drink from your minibar.
Choose from a voyage in the Polar Regions, the Americas, Europe, or the Caribbean.
The ship comes equipped with two helicopters and a seven-seater submarine. If youre feeling adventurous, book a scenic flight or a submarine tour. Other entertainment options include a large theater, plunge pools and jacuzzis, a yoga and pilates studio, and more.
The seven different dining venues give guests plenty of choice for mealtime. From French to Italian, and Asian fusions, theres something thats as delicious as what youd find at specialty restaurants.
After a fun day exploring ashore, spend some time mingling with the other guests in the cozy lounges and bars.
For more information, or to book a room, visit the Scenic Eclipse website.
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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.
Norwegian Cruise Line The Haven Garden Villa
Norwegian Cruise Line offers one of the most luxurious and spacious cabins found anywhere on the high seas. The Haven Garden Villa cabins, for exampleinclude three bedrooms and span 438534m2 and are found on the Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Pearl ships. These cabins are distributed across a spectacular living area, three bedrooms, a garden with a beautiful terrace and jacuzzi and a piano. Guests are also provided with a butler and concierge service. Guests in this cabin also have access to each of the benefits offered by The Haven, including access to its private swimming pool, restaurant, terrace and gym.
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The World’s Most Beautiful New Luxury Cruise Ships
Its a great, big, beautiful world out there, and what better way to see it than by embarking on a show-stopping luxury cruise ship? These vessels are crafted to create the most exclusive experiences at sea, from lavish designer suites and dining rooms affiliated with Michelin-starred chefs to sparkling cocktail lounges and exquisite spas all within a cocoon of luxury that can take you to almost every corner of the planet.
Over the past decade, new ship introductions and bow-to-stern renovations of older vessels have continued to up the ante. But, there are certain ships that shine above the rest. Here are 10 of our favorite luxury cruise ships around the world.
1. Regent Seven Seas Splendor
2. Scenic Eclipse
3. Seabourn Ovation
4. Silver Muse
5. Viking Jupiter
6. Crystal Serenity
After a major refresh in 2018 that added two Seabreeze Penthouse Suites, 36 Seabreeze Penthouses, and updated most of the public spaces, Crystal Serenity is once again in top form. Launched in 2003 and subsequently awarded many top luxury travel awards the ships renewal gave it a more contemporary look to match its always-exemplary service and exceptional onboard dining . Staterooms and suites have a plush, glamorous ambience with tufted leather headboards and patterned fabric upholstery and accents. Popular gathering spots include the panoramic Palm Court , along with the atmospheric Avenue Saloon .
7. Azamara Pursuit
8. Roald Amundsen
9. SeaDream I and SeaDream II