If you’re a seasoned cruiser, you know the options to see the world by water are endless. Whether it’s a Mediterranean cruise through the Greek Isles, a month-long tour from Beijing to Sydney or a relaxing Caribbean getaway through some of the earth’s most pristine waters, luxury cruises offer diversity that many travel experiences find hard to rival. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to cruise for the first time, you’re in for a pleasant surprise!
Luxury cruises provide a unique way to experience several destinations within one trip, all while having a ‘home base’ of beautiful accommodations, on board activities, fine dining options, daily entertainment choices and service that has you feeling like you’re at a 5 star hotel.
If you’re dreaming of where your next private getaway may take you, consider a luxury cruise through PIQUE Travel Design.
Top Pick: Silversea Cruises
Accessing 400 ports on 7 continents, it’s hard to think of a destination Silversea luxury cruise line doesn’t reach. In each destination, Silversea offers enriching port excursions which focus on historical importance, cultural experience, artistic appreciation and culinary enjoyment. Onboard entertainment occurs in exciting Broadway-style performances, friendly card games and live music on the ship’s dance floor, among other options.
Because Silversea small ship cruises only accommodate between 132 and 540 guests, onboard chefs can shop for fresh ingredients at local ports, enhancing the menu of each meal. For interested guests, Silversea recently introduced the Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs interactive onboard cooking school, featuring cooking classes and workshops with world-famous chefs.
Silversea’s personalized service and unparalleled pampering are revealed through the little details of the voyage, like the Pierre Marcolini chocolate each butler places on one of the nine pillow options available for the perfect night’s sleep. With the perfect blend of exploration, entertainment and relaxation, a Silversea luxury cruise will undoubtedly provide an enjoyable vacation.
Why travel with Silversea Cruises?
- With cultural and education lectures on each voyage, Silversea helps travelers expand their worldviews.
- Each suite is serviced by a personal butler who can accommodate almost any request.
- At most ports, Silversea provides its passengers with transportation from the port into the heart of town.
Why not travel with Silversea Cruises?
- Travelers who like to dress casually on cruises will find themselves underdressed compared to other passengers.
- Activities are less structured on Silversea than some other cruise lines.
- Passengers on Silversea Cruises may seem reserved to adventure seeking travelers.
Luxury Cruise Partners:
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara has become known for their amazing voyage experiences to out-of-the-ordinary destinations – all while providing amenities and service that is unparalleled on the high seas.
Offering luxury cruises that include routes in South America, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, Black Sea, West Indies and even Transoceanic, Azamara has several unique amenities that even the best traveled guests will appreciate. Butler service is provided in every suite. Enrichment programs offer everything from photographic to culinary explorations. Land Discoveries (known to some as shore excursions) are designed to have guests embrace each destination, rather than merely observe it.
Guests traveling aboard Azamara are sure to create amazing memories that won’t soon be forgotten. Some of our favorite Azamara Club Cruises include:
Baltic Rendezvous & Kiel Fireworks
This voyage takes in the beautiful archipelago of the Baltic Sea. Time is spent in Helsinki and St. Petersburg before heading off to the German ports – where Land Discoveries will help you experience Berlin (site of the former Berlin Wall), Kiel (for the brilliant fireworks celebration that caps off Kiel Week, an annual music and sailing festival) and Travemunde (a beach town that features a charming riverfront), among others.
Spices, Tea & Rubber Trees
This 3,600-mile voyage from Dubai to Singapore is an ocean lover’s dream with seven days at sea punctuated by exciting destinations in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. India’s highlights alone include time in Mumbai (a high-energy city of grand colonial architecture, temples, bazaars, and incredible food and nightlife) and exploring the peaceful backwaters and traditional fishing villages this beautiful country.
Best of Brazil Voyage
This luxury cruise begins in Rio De Janeiro with its beautiful setting – lying on Brazil’s Atlantic coast with magnificent beaches and a mountainous backdrop. Guests will spend time in Buzios (a picturesque fishing village with surprisingly sophisticated shopping opportunities), Parati (with Baroque churches and cobblestone streets), Ilhabela (a nature lover’s paradise with lush jungle and numerous waterfalls), Punta del Este, Uruguay (with 20 miles of pristine shoreline) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (its opera houses, museums and cathedrals may just rival any in Europe).
Consistently voted among the top cruise lines in the world, Celebrity Cruises has been sharing the waters of the world with travelers since 1990. From the onset, Celebrity was determined to set a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising – superior design, spacious accommodations and grand style.
In addition to the beauty of the ships, Celebrity is known for their attentive service and exceptional cuisine. In fact, their personalized service touts a guest-to-staff ratio of nearly 2:1. The onboard activities are designed to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time.
A few of our favorite Celebrity luxury cruise itineraries include:
Ultimate Alaska Cruise
This luxury cruise route is one of the best ways to experience Alaska. Guests depart from Vancouver, British Columbia and cruise up through the famous Inside Passage – a beautiful set of fjords and bays where whales and sea lions find refuge during the summer months. The route then explores Alaska favorites including Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and much more.
Southern Caribbean Cruise
Departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico this cruise takes guests through some of the prettiest waters and islands of the Caribbean. Visit Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas before returning to San Juan. Snorkelers and divers will enjoy expansive coral reefs, birders will appreciate various bird sanctuaries and artists will marvel at Victorian architecture on Barbados, and French and British influence on St. Lucia.
Many elements of this cruise stick with guests long after they return home: the sound of the Bahamian steel drums, the warm, shallow, pristine waters throughout the voyage and the sunset on Mallory Docks in Key West. The excursion begins and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida.
Consistently voted the “World’s Best” luxury cruise line by readers of multiple travel magazines, it’s hard to think of something Crystal Cruises doesn’t do well. Attentive staff, appetizing and exotic cuisine and a spa that can only be described as ultra-luxurious are just a few of the highlights of a luxury cruise aboard Crystal. Crystal’s ships are much larger than most other luxury cruise lines, accommodating approximately 1000 guests on each of its two ships.
However, the size of the ships doesn’t cause any luxury to be sacrificed. Activities abound upon Crystal ships, with language or music classes, boutique shopping, a casino, a theater and more. The nighttime entertainment is another notable aspect of this cruise line, with everything from Tony-winning performers to a full orchestra. Onboard restaurants feature sushi to Italian favorites and every delicacy in between.
Why travel with Crystal Cruises?
- With the highest staff to guest ratio in the industry, guests’ needs are always met.
- The daytime and nighttime activities cover almost every base, from relaxing to entertaining to educational.
- Crystal’s size provides the deck space for many ship amenities that smaller ships can’t offer.
Why not travel with Crystal Cruises?
- With 1000 guests, the ships are much larger than some luxury cruise ships.
- Crystal Cruises have more structure with dress codes and dining times than other cruises, which may not appeal to more casual guests.
- Not all amenities are included on Crystal voyages. For example, wine at dinner is an added expense.
Cunard Line’s rich history reads like a thrilling novel. Founded in 1840, the luxury cruise line originally transported mail across the Atlantic for the British government. During World War I, the sinking of Cunard’s Lusitania by German u-boats served as one of the many reasons the United States entered the war. Today, Cunard features modern luxury cruises with a taste of the golden days of Trans-Atlantic travel and British heritage.
On Trans-Atlantic Cunard voyages, it’s all about the luxury cruise ship. Cunard’s fleet features amenities and activities unlike any other luxury cruise line. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 features the only planetarium at sea, along with an exhibit showcasing the cruise line’s history, tennis courts and a children’s play center. Daytime activities include acting workshops, a book club, movies and more, while nighttime entertainment options include musical performances, themed balls and the popular nightly Pub Quiz.
Why travel with Cunard Cruises?
- The rich British history of Cunard Line brings an original flavor to its ships. Cunard’s ocean liners remind guests of the grand old days of ocean travel.
- The ships are family friendly, unlike some luxury cruise lines.
- Activities and programs on the ship are easy to find.
Why not travel with Cunard Cruises?
- Cunard ships are formal luxury ships, so guests who prefer an informal vacation may want to look elsewhere.
- While a Cunard fare includes meals, it does not cover bar tabs.
- For travelers who prefer a small ship, the size of Cunard’s ocean liners can be overwhelming.
With 15 ships, Holland America has a much larger fleet than other luxury lines. Holland America cruises may be best described as having the activities of a larger ship mixed with the amenities and service of a smaller ship. Passenger capacity ranges from 1000 to 2000 guests per ship, making Holland America a larger luxury line.
The larger size provides ample space for family friendly teen and youth centers and multiple pools, clubs and restaurants. The ships feature everything from onboard art tours to basketball courts to cake decorating classes, ensuring that every guest will find an activity for days at sea. Single travelers will enjoy the programs, classes and scheduled activities of Holland America ships which provide the chance to mingle and meet new friends.
Why not travel with Holland America Cruises?
- Holland America features practical and fun classes on subjects like editing your vacation photos or ice carving.
- Unlike many luxury cruise ships, Holland America ships are family friendly.
- Holland America successfully merges cruise traditions with modern trends, creating an atmosphere fun for first-time and repeat cruisers.
Why not travel with Holland America Cruises?
- Guests who don’t want to tip onboard won’t appreciate Holland America’s tipping policies.
- While Holland America differs from other luxury lines in many ways, the ships still have a dressier dinner code.
- The larger ship size may turn off travelers interested in the camaraderie of a smaller ship.
Sometimes described as “luxury without the formality,” Oceania Cruises provide guests comfortable accommodation, enjoyable activities and pleasant service in a manner all their own.
Oceania’s mid-sized luxury cruise ships accommodate 684-1258 guests. With the introduction of new ships, Oceania’s amenities keep increasing. New restaurants center on French and Asian cuisine, adding to the current steak houses and Italian restaurants already present on Oceania’s luxury cruises.
Whether eating rich pastries as part of the traditional afternoon tea or taking a painting class in the Artist Loft, a trip aboard an Oceania luxury cruise ship is always colorful.
Why travel with Oceania Cruises?
- Adults who enjoy reading, socializing and relaxing will enjoy the Oceania atmosphere.
- Oceania doesn’t have formal dress codes like other cruise lines.
- Oceania’s Tranquility beds are so comfortable, guests look forward to going to bed.
Why not travel with Oceania Cruises?
- For travelers who like the glamour of big casinos and flashy shows, Oceania’s toned down versions may not be attractive.
- Oceania Cruises aren’t usually family atmospheres and may not have much to offer to kids.
- The laid back vibe of an Oceania cruise won’t fulfill guests who need constant structured activity.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, known for sharing the natural wonders and beautiful sites of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific.
Launched in 1998, The Gauguin is the longest continually operation year-round luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific. That single-destination focus has resulted in a level of service and expertise that is unparalleled in the industry. That focus, coupled with the leadership they operate under (they’re owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts), has allowed Paul Gauguin Cruises to provide amazing luxury cruise experiences to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Some of our favorite Paul Gauguin luxury cruise itineraries include:
Tahiti and the Society Islands
This seven-day cruise takes you through some of the most beautiful islands in the world. The adventure starts in Tahiti and includes the Society Islands (Raiatea, Bora Bora, Taha’a) among others. It’s here you’ll explore the cultural, religious, royal and political heart of Polynesia.
Cook Islands and the Society Islands
This South Pacific voyage begins with a unique experience on the two islands of Huahine as you anchor in Maroe Bay between the two. Crystal lagoons, colorful villages and an abundance of Polynesia archeological sites are at your fingertips. Over the next 10 days, explore the Cook Islands, Bora Bora, Taha’a and Moorea.
Marquesas, Tuamotus and the Society Islands
Your first stop on this two-week luxury cruise is the clear waters of Fakarava in the remote and pristine Tuamotus. Then it’s on to the wild jungle greenery, sheer cliffs and old ruins in the Marquesas. The beautiful Society Islands (Huahine, Bora Bora and Taha’a) are your final stops before the return home.
Regent Seven Seas
Regent’s luxury cruise ships accommodate 490 to 700 guests, defining the cruise line’s ships as mid-sized. Impressively, over 97% of the suites available include a balcony for viewing the peaceful water, bustling port cities and distant horizons of each luxury voyage.
Recognizing the culinary interests of many luxury cruise guests, Regent focuses on providing culinary and wine choices that are both comforting and exciting. From an American steakhouse to French cuisine, the ships feature themed restaurants to please any palate. On longer voyages, Regent Seven Seas also offers the opportunity to wear formal or semi-formal attire at some dinners, giving guests a chance to dress up for an evening celebration.
Regent distinguishes itself from other luxury cruise lines by offering free unlimited shore excursions. These excursions, like a kayaking adventure in Alaska or a vineyard tour in France, add excitement and cultural interaction to any voyage.
Why travel with Regent Cruises?
- Regent’s all-inclusive fare includes alcohol, shore excursions and amenities that other cruise lines don’t include.
- In addition to entertaining performances, Regent offers enrichment programs featuring engaging speakers and topics.
- Regent’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub® is one of the most luxurious spas in cruising.
Why not travel with Regent Cruises?
- Larger parties may be disappointed in the small number of connecting cabins.
- Regent’s dinner dress code may not be appealing to some travelers.
- Shipboard entertainment and activities aren’t as flashy and themed as some cruise lines.
Seabourn Cruise Line
With two ships that accommodate 208 passengers, Seabourn’s size is comfortably intimate and yacht-like. Even the biggest ships keep accommodations to 450 passengers, so waiting in line for food or drinks is rare.
Seabourn is known for offering private shoreline events that give guests after-hours entrance to famous sites. Because Seabourn luxury yachts have built-in marinas, guests can waterski, kayak, snorkel, swim and windsurf directly from the ship. These daytime activities, coupled with beach parties and other special traditions, keep Seabourn voyages fresh and exciting. Pampering bath products and pleasant staff members make Seabourn luxury cruises a smart choice.
Why not travel with Seabourn Cruises?
- The all-inclusive fares mean that guests can enjoy evenings without having to sign drink tickets.
- Seabourn’s friendly staff makes every effort to pamper its guests, from drawing luxurious bubble baths to stocking the room with any requested favorite beverages.
- Seabourn’s delectable menu offers top notch food from distinguished chef Charlie Palmer.
Why not travel with Seabourn Cruises?
- Suites with private balconies book quickly on Seabourn, as there are less private balconies per ship than other lines.
- It’s not uncommon to see tuxedos at dinner on a Seabourn cruise, which can be too formal for some travelers.
- The larger Seabourn yachts carry double the passengers of other luxury yacht lines.