8 Best Luxury Cruise Lines

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Silver Muse Luxury Cruise Ship from Sliverseas sailing in open ocean

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A luxury cruise line is not your typical cruise vacation. Think fine wine, top-shelf liquor, caviar, 24-hour room service, incredible cuisine, and all-inclusive pricing.

I looked at every cruise line to create a list of the best luxury cruise lines. The brands on this list offer exclusivity to the highest degree, with cabins costing as much as $200,000.

These perks are enough to make anyone envious.

Join us as we set sail into the heart of luxury cruising, where every moment is meticulously crafted to ensure an experience as breathtaking as the destinations themselves.

8 Best Luxury Cruise Lines

1. Regent Seven Seas

Seven Seas Splendor luxury cruise ship sailing in the oceanPin
(Photo Credit: Regent Seven Seas)

When you pick Regent Seven Seas Cruises, you sign up for an extraordinary luxury journey. The all-inclusive pricing and top-tier service make for an unforgettable luxury cruise.

Regent is celebrated for setting the standard in luxury cruising. Every aspect is crafted for an exceptional journey, from the grand Seven Seas Splendor to the enriching onshore experiences.

Regent wins hearts with its all-inclusive approach and rich offerings. Your cruise fare includes:

  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Unlimited shore excursions
  • Unlimited beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Unlimited WiFi
  • Valet laundry service

Culinary experiences are a highlight of Regent. Whether you’re looking for a cozy steakhouse vibe or international dishes, there’s a choice to please every taste.

The attention to detail in the decor is unparalleled. Regent cruise ships feature marble bathrooms, elegant chandeliers, and artwork by Picasso.

Regent ships stand out because of their all-suite accommodations, offering unparalleled comfort and style.

Seven Seas Grandeur bar with steinway pianoPin
(Photo Credit: Regent Seven Seas)

Their latest vessels, the Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer, elevate luxury to new heights with suites that include private spas and even an in-stateroom grand piano, showcasing the ultimate luxury.

Opting for Regent Seven Seas Cruises means enjoying all-inclusive gourmet dining, exceptional shore excursions, and complimentary WiFi, ensuring a seamless and indulgent experience.

2. Seabourn Cruise Line

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Setting sail with Seabourn Cruise Line marks the beginning of a luxury journey that masterfully combines adventure with comfort. Seabourn’s vessels are more of a private yacht than a mega cruise ship, filled with lavish amenities at every turn.

Every cabin boasts stunning sea views, plush bedding, and a dedicated room attendant.

Seabourn Cruises prides itself on offering outstanding service.

You’re guaranteed personalized care with nearly one crew member for every passenger. From drawing a bath to room service, your cabin steward ensures a pampered sailing.

The cruise line’s all-inclusive fare covers all drinks and dining. It offers a range of fine dining experiences onboard, with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs.

Dining aboard Seabourn is an exquisite highlight, featuring perfectly crafted gourmet dishes. You’ll find incredible dining options, including global gourmet cuisine by Thomas Keller at the Restaurant, classic American fare at The Grill, and fresh, artisanal sushi selections.

Your onboard experience can be as relaxing or enriching as you choose. Think lounging by the pool, indulging in spa treatments, and attending educational lectures and workshops.

As night falls, the ship comes alive with live music, dancing, and performances, offering sophisticated entertainment options.

Seabourn-ventures-passengers-disembarking-on-kayaksPin
(Photo Credit: Seabourn)

Seabourn’s itineraries span the globe, reaching unique destinations like Australia, Asia, and the Arctic. The Mediterranean and Caribbean are among the most popular routes.

Seabourn’s signature moments, like the Caviar in the Surf Beach party and toasting with fine champagne against the ocean backdrop, exemplify the luxury cruising experience.

Embarking on a Seabourn cruise is to choose a travel experience that blends the spirit of adventure with the pinnacle of luxury, all tailored just for you.

3. Silversea Cruises

the Silversea cruise ship Silver Shadow arrives on the Greek island of CorfuPin

Silversea Cruises epitomizes the essence of ultra-luxury cruising, offering an intimate experience akin to a private yacht. With a fleet that navigates to over 900 destinations across all seven continents, Silversea presents a world of travel possibilities.

The small-scale Silversea vessels, now owned by Royal Caribbean Group, emphasize outstanding service and a luxuriously cozy onboard atmosphere.

Cruises range from five to 167 days and cover regions such as Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and the Galapagos. These itineraries offer breathtaking sea views and onboard amenities designed to entertain, relax, and enrich.

These range from classic voyages to unique expedition trips, ensuring that every journey is memorable.

Guests aboard Silversea enjoy stays in opulent suites. Most cabins feature private verandas for an intimate setting with stunning ocean views.

Silversea elevates your dining experience with the Sea And Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) program, which invites cruisers to explore local flavors and cultures through food.

The cruise line’s innovative approach and focus on serving foods from the culture you visit turns dining into more than a meal—it becomes a journey into the heart of each destination.

Service on Silversea is unparalleled, with personalized butler service for every suite. Your personalized service ensures the cruise line meets your every need with impeccable attention to detail.

Silver Muse Luxury Cruise Ship from Sliverseas sailing in open oceanPin
(Photo Credit: Silversea Cruises)

The ship boasts many amenities, including diverse dining venues, expansive outdoor areas, theaters, pools, fitness centers, and spas. Days at sea and on land are filled with enriching activities.

Silversea’s all-inclusive promise means that every aspect of your voyage is taken care of from the moment you embark. Their all-inclusive pricing allows you to immerse yourself fully in the luxury and adventure that awaits. You get:

  • Unlimited beverages
  • Unlimited WiFi
  • Most shore excursions
  • 24-hour personalized butler service
  • Included gratuities
  • Unlimited dining in complimentary and specialty restaurants
  • Onboard lectures and entertainment

Passengers can also upgrade to door-to-door all-inclusive option to receive:

  • Private transfers to and from their home airport
  • Airfare to and from the port city, including international flights
  • Transfers between the ship and the airport
  • Overnight hotel stays in the port city on arrival or before returning home, if needed

Silversea Cruises stands out as a pinnacle of ultra-luxury cruising, where the journey itself is as enriching and memorable as the destinations visited. With its intimate ships, exceptional service, and luxurious onboard atmosphere, Silversea offers an unmatched cruising experience beyond the horizon.

4. Atlas Ocean Voyages

Atlas Ocean Voyages World NavigatorPin
(Photo Credit: Atlas Ocean Voyages)

Embarking with Atlas Ocean Voyages means stepping into an exclusive world of luxury and adventure.

Launched in 2021, Atlas Ocean Voyages introduces you to the hidden corners of the world aboard their sleek, yacht-style ships, the World Navigator and World Traveller. With a capacity of no more than 196 passengers, these vessels ensure a personal and immersive travel experience.

Atlas Ocean Voyages crafts unique itineraries that venture beyond the reach of larger ships, taking you from the icy expanses of Antarctica and the Arctic to the historic waterways of Egypt and the vibrant cultures of Portugal.

The cruise line enhances your expedition with inclusive shore excursions tailored for exploration. You get everything from specialized gear for polar climates to complimentary excursions that immerse you in the heart of each destination. Whether it’s hot air ballooning in Turkey or witnessing the sunset over Petra, these experiences are designed to create unforgettable memories.

The luxury on Atlas Ocean Voyages extends to every aspect of your journey.

Every stateroom offers serene ocean views and luxurious amenities, providing a peaceful retreat after a day of adventure.

Despite the intimate size of their ships, Atlas Ocean Voyages doesn’t compromise on activities or luxury. From jet skis and kayaks to elegant marble floors, the cruise line promises a dynamic and refined voyage.

Atlas Ocean Voyages’ all-inclusive cruise fare includes everything from intercontinental airfare and 24-hour room service to unlimited WiFi, an open bar, and prepaid gratuities.

Upon arrival, a welcoming gift sets the tone for the exceptional service. The cruise line offers Atlas Assurance protection covering unexpected medical needs, but we recommend other travel insurance providers for more comprehensive coverage.

5. Cunard Line

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Cunard Line is a distinguished choice with a rich history and British elegance. This historic cruise line is famous for transatlantic voyages. Cunard has larger vessels than others on this list, but it still offers a luxurious experience for passengers with a unique blend of timeless grace and contemporary comforts.

Cunard stands out as one of the rare cruise lines providing dedicated transatlantic service. Transatlantic sailings harken back to an age when ocean liners were the primary transportation between Europe and North America.

Dog lovers love the kennel service on Queen Mary 2. It’s the only cruise ship that allows guests to bring pets on their cruise ship, with dedicated members who look after your furry friends.

Beyond the Atlantic, Cunard’s World Voyages offer expansive cruises to continents like Asia, Australasia, and the Americas. Some itineraries feature overnight stays, allowing you to immerse yourself in global cultures.

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 the world's fastest cruise ship anchoring off the coast of Saint LuciaPin
Queen Mary 2 – The world’s last ocean liner

Cunard Line’s fleet consists of four elegant vessels.

The cruise line offers a traditional cruising experience reminiscent of the “Golden Era” of transatlantic travel. Their ships feature grand ballrooms, opulent dining areas, grand staircases, and immersive activities ranging from art galleries to Shakespearean plays.

The Queen Mary 2, the world’s last ocean liner is at the heart of Cunard’s fleet. This ship epitomizes the golden age of ocean travel, with an array of amenities and activities, including dance schools, spas, casinos, and jazz music, catering to every interest.

Cunard Line is for you if you want a cruise experience reminiscent of the Titanic.

Dining on Cunard is a highlight. Most culinary experiences are included in the cruise fare, complemented by for-a-fee specialty venues.

Cunard consistently earns high marks for luxury from guest reviews and expert assessments. It is recognized for its refined atmosphere and superior service. The line’s ships are celebrated as among the most elegant floating palaces globally, reflecting a dedication to tradition and sophistication.

6. SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream Yacht Club ship anchored off coast of tropical islandPin
(Photo Credit: SeaDream Yacht Club)

SeaDream Yacht Club stands by its motto, “It’s yachting, not cruising. Enjoy the difference.” A philosophy that shines through in every aspect of the experience.

Embarking on a voyage with SeaDream Yacht Club promises an exquisite escape that reimagines the essence of luxury yachting. Since its inception in 2001 by Atle Brynestad, SeaDream marries the informal ease of a casual vacation with the luxury of a premium cruise experience.

As you sail on one of SeaDream’s intimate yachts, you’re treated to an adventure through some of the world’s most enchanting routes, like the picturesque coastlines of Portugal. Glide past golden beaches and historic harbors, and immerse yourself in the local culture and landscapes—all from the comfort of a lavish yacht that feels unmistakably yours.

SeaDream’s vessels offer a personal touch that larger cruise ships simply can’t match.

The experience is complete with personalized service and a suite of inclusive amenities that elevate your journey.

The fleet consists of two Mega Yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II. The small yachts access some of the most secluded ports and harbors unreachable by larger vessels. The cruise line offers a sense of discovery and exclusivity.

With luxurious amenities like fine dining restaurants, spas, and virtual golf, alongside captivating shore activities, SeaDream exceeds expectations.

All guest cabins boast stunning sea views. A journey with SeaDream Yacht Club is a vacation and a celebration of luxury, pampering, and unforgettable adventures.

7. Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Jupiter cruise ship in Kristiansand harbor, NorwayPin

Embarking on a voyage with Viking Ocean Cruises is more than just a journey; it’s an immersive experience designed for those who thirst for knowledge and a love for adventure.

Viking sets itself apart in the luxury cruise market with a commitment to cultural immersion and personal enrichment. The cruise line’s philosophy centers on the idea that travel should open doors to cultural insight. It’s a belief woven into every aspect of their ocean cruises through educational lectures and carefully curated shore excursions.

Viking Ocean Cruises caters particularly to passengers who prioritize cultural explorations. The cruise line encourages passengers to dive deep into exotic destinations’ local culture and cuisine.

Viking Octantis Sailing in the arcticPin
(Photo Credit: Viking Ocean Cruises)

For the adventurous soul, Viking’s expedition ships navigate to lesser-traveled locales, offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences beyond the conventional cruise itinerary.

The fleet consists of consists of medium-sized ships that accommodate 930 guests. The smaller scale ensures a more intimate travel experience and allows access to exclusive ports across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Australia, and Asia.

Viking’s commitment to luxury and attention to detail is evident in every stateroom, each featuring a private veranda. You get to enjoy personal space and breathtaking views throughout your journey.

Onboard, the tranquil Scandinavian design and thoughtful amenities create an environment of understated elegance.

Viking understands the importance of wellness, offering a Nordic-inspired spa that provides a tranquil haven for rejuvenation. The spa’s thermal suite, complete with a unique snow cave, offers a refreshing retreat where snowflakes fall softly in a chilled environment.

Dining aboard Viking is an exploration in itself, with a range of culinary options ranging from casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants. The emphasis on locally sourced ingredients ensures that each dish reflects the regional flavors of the cruise’s destinations.

It’s all about adding another layer to your cultural journey.

Viking Ocean Cruises stands as a beacon for those seeking a luxury cruise experience that marries the splendor of Scandinavian design with a deep dive into cultural enrichment. With itineraries that span from the icy realms of Alaska and Antarctica to the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean, Viking offers a gateway to the world wrapped in comfort and elegance.

Whether it’s the allure of private balconies, the serene spa experience, or the culinary delights, Viking ensures a journey that is as enriching as it is unforgettable.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises stands out in the luxury cruise market by blending the wide appeal of large-ship, mainstream cruising with the refined aspects of a modern, upscale voyage.

This unique cruise line is where global exploration meets the epitome of luxury, making each journey an unforgettable experience.

Celebrity Cruises elevates the cruise experience with gourmet dining, exceptional service, and elegant staterooms. The line caters to those with a penchant for the finer things in life, such as art lovers, culinary enthusiasts, and travelers pursuing enriching experiences.

Celebrities Edge-class is at the helm of the cruise line’s vision of modern luxury.

The new cruise ship class exemplifies how size and intimacy can be harmoniously blended. These ships offer spacious environments that never feel overwhelming, ensuring a sense of exclusivity and personal space.

Celebrity is the most family-friendly cruise line on our list. They offer kids’ and teen programs and family-friendly onboard activities and entertainment.

Celebrity Cruises is one of the few cruise lines offering sailings to the Galápagos Islands. Celebrity’s Galápagos fleet is specially designed to navigate these pristine waters, offering guests the unique opportunity to explore the archipelago’s unparalleled natural beauty.

Celebrity’s Galápagos provides yacht-like experiences with an atmosphere of luxury and adventure.

With smaller, eco-friendly vessels such as the Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Xpedition, and Celebrity Xploration, guests enjoy intimate and immersive experiences in the Galápagos.

The Celebrity Galápagos experience is about more than just witnessing nature; it’s about engaging with it responsibly and enrichingly.

Celebrity Cruises invites travelers to discover the Galápagos Islands through a lens of sustainable luxury and profound respect for the natural world, making every journey a step into the extraordinary.

What to Look For in a Luxury Cruise Line

Choosing a luxury cruise line is like selecting a fine wine—it’s all about personal taste, the nuances of quality, and the promise of an exceptional experience. When venturing into the world of luxury cruising, you should consider several key aspects to ensure your journey is as enriching and fulfilling as possible.

Here’s what to look for when selecting a luxury cruise line:

1. Destinations and Itineraries

The allure of any cruise lies in the destinations it visits and the experiences it offers. Look for a cruise line with itineraries that take you to your desired destinations and provide opportunities for deep exploration.

Luxury cruise ships are smaller than the behemoths of mainstream cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line.

Small ships provide a more intimate onboard experience but also allow you to travel to less visited destinations. They can access smaller ports of call, taking you on a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Whether you’re looking for remote polar expeditions, serene river cruises, journeys to iconic cities, or the untouched Galapagos, the right cruise line should offer a compelling blend of destinations that cater to your sense of adventure and cultural curiosity.

2. Ship Size and Guest Capacity

The size of the ship and its guest capacity are pivotal factors in defining the quality and intimacy of your vacation experience. Unlike the massive vessels of mainstream cruise lines, luxury cruises typically favor smaller, intimate, and more elegant ships.

Smaller cruise ships are committed to delivering more personalized service where guests know you by name.

You’re not just a face in the crowd on a smaller ship. You’re part of a select group of travelers, allowing exquisite service and attention.

The reduced guest capacity ensures that each passenger receives more care and consideration. Crew members know you by name and tailor your experience based on your preferences and tastes. This high level of personalized attention is one of the hallmarks of luxury cruising, transforming your journey into a truly bespoke experience.

Look for cruise ships with a small guest-to-staff ratio.

The guest-to-staff ratio is a crucial indicator of the level of service you can expect. Lower ratios mean there’s more staff available per passenger, ensuring that your needs and requests are met with swift, attentive service. It’s not about having more people to cater to your needs; it’s about crafting an environment where service excellence is the norm, making your cruise feel like a journey tailored just for you.

Moreover, the intimate scale of these ships offers practical benefits, too. Smaller vessels have the agility to navigate to less accessible, more secluded ports, opening up a world of exclusive destinations that larger ships can’t reach.

This means you can explore hidden gems around the globe, from the narrow waterways of quaint European towns to secluded islands in the heart of the Pacific, without the crowds that larger ships bring.

3. Onboard Amenities and Accommodations

Onboard amenities and accommodations are vital to ensure your journey is comfortable, elegant, and a luxurious personal indulgence. Luxury cruises distinguish themselves through their exceptional attention to detail in every aspect of your experience. From the suites to the public spaces, everything is meticulously designed to ensure the best experience.

The accommodations on a luxury cruise are more than just a place to rest your head. They are private sanctuaries that blend spacious elegance with high-end amenities.

Suites are often generously sized and offer plush, comfortable bedding. Your cabin comes with modern conveniences and luxury touches such as fine linens, premium toiletries, and, usually, personal butler service. Most staterooms feature private balconies, allowing you an uninterrupted view of the ocean’s expanse or the changing landscapes of your journey.

It’s a serene spot to enjoy morning coffee or evening cocktails in privacy.

Beyond the suites, the ship itself is a haven of refined leisure and activity. Luxury cruise lines invest heavily in creating an ambiance that caters to their guests’ every whim and preference.

Look for cruise lines offering a variety of dining venues and gourmet cuisine prepared by acclaimed chefs.

It’s important to find time for self-care on your luxury getaway. Pay careful attention to the spa and wellness centers for relaxation and rejuvenation, as well as the fitness centers and cruise lines offering group fitness classes.

Most luxury ships feature enriching onboard amenities such as libraries, boutiques, pools, and exclusive lounges. Enrichment programs and entertainment tailored to sophisticated tastes—from lectures and workshops to performances and social events—ensure that your time at sea is as rewarding as your time exploring ashore.

4. Culinary Excellence

Culinary experiences are a highlight of any cruise vacation. But luxury cruise lines take dining to a new level.

A luxury cruise distinguishes itself with its culinary excellence, transforming dining into an adventure as compelling as the ports of call.

Look for cruise lines with diverse menus and excellent culinary reviews. Many cruise lines have partnerships with world-renowned chefs, and collaborations with culinary artists signal a commitment to dining excellence.

Luxury cruise lines are smaller, so you won’t find as diverse a menu as larger cruise ships. However, you should see some diverse options in the dining room menus.

The foundation of any exceptional dining experience is the quality of the ingredients.

Luxury cruises prioritize using fresh, high-quality ingredients, often sourced from local markets at port destinations. This commitment to freshness supports local communities and enhances the culinary experience. It allows you to taste the authenticity and richness of each destination’s flavors.

Cruise lines like Viking Cruises create menus around the destinations they visit. It provides immersion beyond shore excursions and educational lectures.

Those seeking an even more elevated dining experience look for luxury cruises offering specialty dining options and exclusive culinary events. You might want to partake in wine-pairing dinners, chef’s table experiences, or cooking demonstrations.

These exclusive experiences often require reservations and sometimes an additional fee, but they offer an unparalleled opportunity to indulge in culinary excellence.

All can enjoy a truly luxurious dining experience, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences. Look for cruise lines that excel in accommodating a wide range of dietary needs, from gluten-free to vegan, without compromising flavor or creativity.

5. Inclusive Pricing and Value

One of my favorite parts of luxury cruise lines is the all-inclusive pricing. However, the concept of inclusivity varies significantly between cruise lines.

Here’s what you should look for in cruise fare, inclusive pricing, and value to ensure your luxury voyage is opulent and economically savvy.

All-inclusive pricing on luxury cruises means that from the moment you step aboard, your vacation essentials are covered. This typically includes your accommodations, dining venues, beverages (including a selection of fine wines, premium spirits, and other drinks), gratuities, WiFi, and shore excursions.

The beauty of this model is its simplicity. You get to immerse yourself fully in the luxury experience without worrying about accumulating extra costs.

Knowing all your expenses upfront allows you to better budget for your luxury cruise.

While “all-inclusive” can be enticing, savvy cruisers know that the devil is in the details. Discovering precisely what each cruise line includes in their fare is crucial.

Some luxury lines offer airfare, hotel stays before embarkation, and private car transfers to and from the ship. Others may include specialty dining, 24/7 room service, and access to exclusive lounges and areas on the ship.

Despite labeling their fares as “all-inclusive,” some experiences and services may carry an additional charge. Expect to pay extra for premium wine and spirits beyond the standard selection, spa services, unique shore excursions, or exclusive dining experiences.

Understanding these distinctions is critical to assessing the true value of your luxury cruise fare.

When considering the price of a luxury cruise, it’s essential to calculate the overall value rather than just looking at the upfront cost. Compare what’s included in the fare and what costs extra. Then, compare the cruise fare across different cruise lines.

Don’t let a higher fare detour you.

Many luxury cruise lines include airfare, high-end excursions, and more personalized service. When you break down the inclusions, a higher cruise fare can be a better value than a seemingly cheaper option that nickels and dimes you for every extra.

Finally, seek out transparent cruise lines about their pricing and what’s included.

Trustworthy lines will clearly outline what’s covered in the fare and any potential additional costs. This transparency allows you to budget effectively and avoid unpleasant surprises, ensuring your luxury cruise remains a blissfully worry-free experience.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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