Opting for a vacation on the water instead of in a hotel or villa gives you the chance to relax in style while seeing the world. Luxury cruises are more exclusive, provide you with all of the amenities you need, and tend to have a much better passenger-to-crew ratio than traditional cruises. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice selection for quality, and you will find high-class cruises of all sizes. You can choose from small and exclusive cruises with only a few dozen passengers to large but still lavish ones with hundreds of passengers.
Those looking for smaller or midsize high-class cruises should consider Seabourn Cruise Lines, which has several ships that can house a few hundred or fewer passengers. These all-inclusive luxury cruises include airfare, onboard enrichment lectures, and, of course, drinks and award-winning gourmet meals. The benefit of opting for smaller cruises is that they can take you to more remote and exotic locations, including Thailand, Mumbai, and Chile, destinations you will not find on larger cruise ships. You can even enjoy watersports, wine tastings, “Caviar on the Beach” themed beach parties, and on-deck massages, most of which are complimentary.
To have all of the luxuries of home and the ability to completely customize your trip, you can opt for Silversea Cruises. You can create a 100 percent customized plan that includes all of your favorite activities and amenities, such as precruise lodging and porterage, transfers, and airfare. Every guest on this cruise line has access to concierge services and a personal butler. As with Seabourn Cruise Lines, these ships are smaller in size, allowing them to reach smaller or more exotic locations, from Denmark to South Africa.
Crystal Cruises offers some of the top high-class cruises in the world, and its crew members are known for remembering guests’ personal preferences. The amenities include standard features, such as nightly turndown service, room service, luxurious Frette bathrobes, and fresh flowers. The cruise line also offers enrichment programs to help keep you occupied while traveling, whether you are looking to learn a new language, learn about wellness, or even take golf lessons from pros from the PGA.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has three midsize ships that carry between 500 and 700 guests. Although larger, these ships do not lack in terms of luxury. They offer restaurants, the option for a private balcony, the ability to relax at a Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and L’Occitane bath products. When you book a penthouse suite, you will have your own personal butler to help with every need, in-room Hermes amenities, and an iPad.
This is the ideal cruise line if you are inseparable from your yacht. SeaDream Yacht Club has two “mega-yachts” that hold 112 passengers with almost the same number of staff. This high-end cruise is all-inclusive, with an open bar, gourmet meals, daily tai chi and yoga, a casino, and staterooms with an ocean view. You will also have full access to water toys, such as snorkeling gear, WaveRunners, and kayaks with glass bottoms.