Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best luxury cruise lines for an extraordinary experience

Consider these luxury cruise lines for your next trip

Luxury cruise ship sailing to port on sunrise
NAN / Adobe Stock

Setting sail on a luxury cruise is a dreamy escape that promises comfort, indulgence, and adventure. If you are thinking about heading out to sea, choosing the right cruise line can make all of the difference. From extravagant amenities and world-class cuisine to personalized service and gorgeous destinations, the best luxury cruise lines redefine the notion of a vacation at sea. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, these are the finest offerings of the high seas. 

The benefits of taking a luxury cruise

back view of young couple hugging at sunset on cruise ship
michaeljung / Adobe Stock

The difference between a luxury cruise and a regular cruise extends beyond varying price points. A regular cruise often comes with all of the standard amenities and service levels, while a luxury cruise takes the experience a step further by offering an unparalleled level of opulence and refinement. Luxury cruises often include gourmet dining experiences, unique amenities, and VIP privileges, including priority embarkation and access to exclusive events.

Additionally, luxury cruises tend to focus on an adult market, with smaller, more intimate ships that often come with spacious and elegant suites or staterooms for guests. The smaller size of these vessels allows them to visit unique places that larger commercial ships cannot. 

The best luxury cruise lines

StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

These are just a few of the best luxury cruise lines, in no particular order.

Oceania Cruises

Setting itself apart from other cruise lines with its intimate and elegant ships, Oceania Cruises captivates passengers with a blend of impeccable service and exquisite culinary offerings. The cruise line offers personalized service, promising to treat all of their guests like family. 

Oceania offers several unique travel options, including a 180-day “Around the World” cruise that visits South America, the South Pacific, Asia, and Europe. The ships at Oceania range in size, holding anywhere from 670 to 1,250 guests and 400 to 800 staff members.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises epitomizes the pinnacle of luxury travel on the high seas, seamlessly blending Scandinavian elegance with high-quality service and innovative design. With its fleet of state-of-the-art ships, Viking Ocean Cruises offers spacious accommodations, refined amenities, and several fun onboard activities. The company’s fleet is one of the youngest luxury fleets in service, with gorgeous 930-passenger ships that cater to adults 55 and older.

Viking Ocean Cruises offers a wide range of destinations, and you can choose from trips to Scandinavia, the British Isles and Ireland, North America, the Caribbean and Central America, South America, the Mediterranean, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas
Halit Sadik / Shutterstock

Owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Regent Seven Seas is one of the best luxury cruise lines, offering travelers a sophisticated cruising experience. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the only truly all-inclusive cruise line, with thousands of excursion options included in the upfront price of your cruise. Carrying no more than 750 guests, the line’s luxurious ships explore more than 500 different locations, including Miami, Tokyo, Lisbon, and Bali.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises takes travelers to some of the world’s most pristine and exotic destinations in Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji, and the South Pacific. This award-winning small-ship cruise line offers spacious suites with private balconies, Polynesian-inspired cuisine, and complimentary 24-hour room service. 

Nearly every voyage on Paul Gauguin Cruises stops for a day at the line’s own private islet, Motu Mahana, where guests can enjoy snorkeling, watersports, a barbeque, full bar service, and Polynesian hospitality.

Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruise
Boy_Folio / Shutterstock

With over 900 destinations to choose from, Silversea Cruises is one of the best luxury cruise lines around. This all-inclusive cruise line has a staff-to-guest ratio of nearly 1:1, offering guests an unparalleled level of customer service. The ships at Silversea Cruises range from 51 to 364 suites, ensuring that guests find a fair balance between choice and intimacy. 

Silversea Cruises offers luxury trips to popular destinations in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, as well as unique locations such as Antarctica and Greenland.

Seabourn Cruise Line

With ultra-luxury ocean cruises to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Alaska, Seabourn Cruise Line provides travelers with a one-of-a-kind experience. The cruise line considers the preferences of guests, providing customized, hand-selected itineraries. A few of the amenities you can enjoy when traveling with Seabourn Cruise Line include intimate ships with a yacht-like atmosphere, ocean-front suites, complimentary caviar, and extraordinary entertainment experiences.

Book a trip with one of the best luxury cruise lines today

A cruise ship in the water.
Dylan Bman / Unsplash

Now that you know all of the best luxury cruise lines, it’s time to set sail. The world of luxury cruising provides travelers with unforgettable experiences, and each luxury cruise line presents a unique blend of incredible service, top-notch amenities, and carefully curated itineraries. So, whether you are dreaming of relaxing on a warm beach, exploring ancient ruins, admiring glaciers, or indulging in delicious cuisine, let the best luxury cruise lines whisk you away on the trip of a lifetime.

Editors' Recommendations

Amanda Teague
Amanda, an accomplished freelance writer with four years of experience, is a dedicated explorer of both the world and the…
Why travel experts think you should expect airline tickets to get more expensive
You will likely see an increase in airline prices this summer

Amid the fallout from the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, there is a looming possibility of airline tickets becoming more expensive. Incidents like the door of an Alaskan Airlines 737 MAX detaching mid-flight have prompted Boeing to slow down the production of this aircraft.

With airlines facing potential delays in receiving their ordered Boeing planes and some carriers like United even halting orders for certain models altogether, the industry braces for a reduction in available aircraft. These delays, compounded by intensive federal investigations into Boeing’s manufacturing processes, may limit the number of planes available to American carriers. Consequently, this reduction in aircraft availability poses a risk of driving up airline prices for travelers.

Read more
How to get TSA PreCheck for free: 3 easy ways
You don't have to pay for TSA PreCheck using these methods
TSA PreCheck sign at airport.

Navigating through airports can often feel like a daunting task, especially when confronted with long security lines that seem to stretch into eternity. But what if there was a way to easily breeze through security checkpoints, avoiding the hassle of removing your shoes, belts, and laptops? Welcome to the world of TSA PreCheck, a game-changer for frequent travelers.

However, TSA PreCheck can be pricey, which leaves many people wondering how they can get this coveted privilege without breaking the bank. This is how to get TSA PreCheck for free.
Sign up for the right credit cards

Read more
United Global Services: Everything you need to know about the airline’s invite-only status tier
What happens when you go beyond United 1K
Person using United's Premier access desk

Most major airlines have a loyalty scheme that rewards frequent flyers with various levels of status and associated perks. Some have an extra invite-only level of status that is applied to some of their most valued customers. For United, this is “Global Services.”

Not much has actually been published about Global Services, with United’s MileagePlus program seemingly capping out with Premier 1K status. However, you may notice Global Services members called for pre-boarding, spot one of their dedicated check-in kiosks, or see it written on the side of one of those carts they use to transport elite members from the lounge to the gate.

Read more