15 Best Luxury Cruise Lines

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There are cruise lines that are nothing but an overcrowded ship with ill-thought-of services, and then there are THE CRUISE LINES, the crème de la crème of cruises that offer every kind of lavish amenities from 24-hour personal butler service to gourmet dining with premium beverages and luxurious accommodations.

Whether you are traveling as a couple to celebrate a special occasion or planning a vacation with your family, here are our 15 best luxury cruise lines for you.

1. Regent Seven Seas

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In the world of luxury cruises, it is hard to miss Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC). It is revered and consistently ranks among the top contenders. This ultra-luxury cruise provides luxurious services, including entertainment centers, onboarding activities, spa treatments, fitness centers, etc. It has over 300 opulent suites with private verandas that offer stunning ocean views.

But above all else, the RSSC is celebrated for its exceptional culinary offerings. Guests can dine in any of their six specialty restaurants, each with a panache and menu.

2. Crystal

After temporarily shutting down in January 2022, Crystal Cruises relaunched in 2023 with two freshly refurbished ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, each accommodating around 700 passengers.

The new cruise lines have more spacious and updated suites, revamped spa & wellness facilities, and entertainment and events programming. You will definitely feel at home from the moment you step aboard. 

In addition to all the refreshes, Crystal offers a new look in the onboard restaurants, including Umi Uma by Nobu Matsuhisa Restaurant and Sushi Bar, the only Nobu restaurant at sea.  

3. Seabourn

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Seabourn, a longtime luxury cruise player, prides itself on being one of the original all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruise lines. They operate five small, cozy ships that remind you of sailing on your private yacht. And with a roughly 1-to-1 crew-to-passenger ratio, they garner kudos for intimate and personalized experiences.

Crystal cruises travel all over the world, including popular destinations like Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, as well as exotic places in Australia, Asia, and the Arctic. 

4. Silversea

With 13 ships in the Silversea fleet, you will be spoilt for choices. Your decision, however, will ultimately depend on the amenities you desire, the destinations you want to visit, and the type of traveler you are.

For example, expedition ships like Silver Origin were built explicitly for cruising in the Galapagos, while the Silver Explorer sails to Antarctica and the Arctic. Meanwhile, the Silver Nova is perfect if you want to travel on more spacious cruise ships with luxurious amenities and plentiful dining options. 

5. Viking

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Although relatively new in the market, with its first ship debut in 2015, Viking has already emerged as a favorite among newbies with its destination-focused experiences. They offer river cruising experiences along waterways like the Rhine, Danube, and Seine, while their ocean cruises travel to regions such as the British Isles, Mediterranean, Alaska, and beyond.

But no matter which cruise you choose, you will have virtually the same experience because all the Viking ships are nearly identical with Scandinavian-inspired design details. 

6. Oceania

Oceania is perfect for first-time luxury cruisers who are not looking to pay the premium of a true luxury line. The slightly cheaper fares mean guests can customize their experience and pay for only the amenities they use. 

On board, there are plenty of things to do, from the wine and martini tastings, guest lectures, cooking demonstrations, and art classes to exploring their vast collection of books in the library, therapeutic treatments, and complimentary fitness classes. 

7. Azamara Club

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Azamara Cruises is one of the cruise industry's smallest lines, comprising only four ships, each with a capacity for about 700 passengers. They are not large enough to accommodate waterslides or roller coasters and have limited evening entertainment options, but provide ample amenities and can access several ports that larger ships cannot. 

This cruise line focuses more on port-intensive itineraries with few sea days to cruise schedules, allowing tourists to get to know a country and immerse themselves in the local culture.

8. Cunard

Founded in 1840 by Samuel Cunard, cruising with Cunard takes you back in time to the golden era of ocean travel. They have four fleets including the iconic Queen Mary 2, the world’s last and only ocean liner. 

It is different from a cruise ship in construction and is faster than any cruise ship, traveling at about 55.6 kilometers per hour. For a truly unique experience, travelers can try their most sought-after transatlantic crossings between New York and Southampton.

9. Ponant

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As the only cruise line sailing under the French flag, Ponant offers a distinctive experience with a French flair. Guests can expect French-speaking staff, cultural activities that reflect French history and literature, and unrivaled French cuisines that pair perfectly with vintage French wines. 

Apart from being the ambassador for the “French touch,” Ponant specializes in cruises to remote and pristine places like Greenland, and the South Pacific. Their ships are designed to navigate narrow waterways and reach hidden gems for truly first-class adventuring.

10. Holland America

With over 150 years of experience, there is no doubt Holland America knows what it is doing. The ships of this luxury cruise line have been exploring some places longer than most people have heard of them, such as Alaska. Holland America Line has been traveling to Alaska for 75 years and is famous for its Alaskan expeditions. 

They offer a variety of itineraries, including exploring the Alaskan wilderness and participating in their signature ‘dog sledding on glacier’ activity.

11. Celebrity Cruises

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Celebrity Cruises often receive high praise from cruisers and experts alike thanks to their upscale design, attentive and personalized service, and countless exceptionally unique things you can only find on these cruise ships. One such thing is The Lawn Club.

The Lawn Club debuted in Celebrity Solstice, making it the first cruise ship to feature a space with a real grass lawn at sea. The space was designed exclusively for relaxation and enjoyment and is said to be perfect for a picnic and wiling away the afternoon at sea.

12. Windstar Cruises

With a motto of '180 Degrees from ordinary,' Windstar Cruises does exactly that by delivering personalized service with their 148 to 310-guest intimate ships, making every voyage feel more like luxury cruising in a private yacht. The Windstar ships never feel crowded, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the journey and the destination. 

Smaller ships also lead to a lower staff-to-guest ratio, which means guests will be treated to a 5-star service throughout the trip from an attentive and friendly crew.  

13. Scenic

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Cruises are some of the most enjoyable and convenient ways to see the world, but the potential hidden costs that arise beyond the initial cruise fare may drive you nuts despite the 'all-inclusive' charge.

If you hate being taken for surprise, one of the main reasons Scenic Cruises is an all-inclusive vessel. There are no hidden fees, and everything from the tours to beverages to tips for the staff is included in the ticket. This is the very reason that sets Scenic apart from the rest. 

14. Paul Gauguin

If you are a fan of cruising and your ideal vacation consists of sipping cocktails against a backdrop of lush mountains, white sand beaches, and blue lagoons, you should definitely book a trip with Paul Gauguin.

The 330-passenger ship is renowned for luxury cruises to Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific, focusing on intimate voyages and a casual atmosphere. 

Unlike most ultra-luxury cruises, Paul Gauguin is family-friendly with various activities such as Tahitian Dance, snorkeling with Sharks, and stargazing, ideal for active children. 

15. Atlas Ocean Voyages

Fairly new in the luxury cruise market, Atlas Ocean Voyages rose through the ranks with its perfectly tailored experiences and exciting voyages to unique destinations and boutique-style luxurious amenities. 

With a maximum capacity of 200 guests, the ships allow for a more intimate setting so guests can form a sense of camaraderie with other cruisers and the crews. The custom-designed yachts are elegantly appointed so that guests can unwind in style.