Top 5 Luxury Cruise Lines
Gourmet dining. Five-star accommodations. Personalized service. Engaging itineraries. The hallmarks of luxury cruise lines provide an experience unlike any other. What typically characterizes the downsides of regular cruise life—closet-sized rooms, overcrowding, not enough crewmembers—does not exist on luxury cruise ships. And while the benefits you receive are reflected in the price for these excursions, for those enticed by a luxurious life at sea, it's worth the investment to maximize your experience.
Like any other area, some luxury cruise lines are better than others, and some are better suited for certain tastes over others. Outlined below, you'll find our recommendations, in no particular order, of luxury cruise lines to consider for your next trip.
Silversea Cruises
Silversea's cruise ships are known for being small and intimate, with only ocean-view suites available for guests. Having smaller ships provides it's own advantages—Silversea ships can sail into smaller ports and through narrow waterways, providing you exclusive access to its many destinations. Speaking of which, Silversea travels to over 900 destinations on all seven continents. It's one of the biggest "ultra-luxury" cruise lines available.

Another interesting piece of information about Silversea is that it's family-owned, which trickles down to the passion and personal commitment its crew displays for guests. And since fares are all-inclusive, you can enjoy your trip without the stresses of extra financial burdens.
Key Features of Silversea Cruises
  • Ocean-view suites only
  • Consistent formal dress
  • Nearly one-to-one staff to guest ratio
  • Personalized, friendly service
  • Reserve excursions online ahead of time
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a four-ship fleet that travels to over 425 destinations worldwide. A unique point of differentiation for Regent is its commitment to maximizing your experience. The company's all-inclusive packages include unlimited free shore excursions to satisfy your taste for adventure. Plus, each voyage includes a number of complimentary enrichment activities and onboard classes, such as wine and cheese tastings and cooking courses. Guests can also visit the coveted Canyon Ranch SpaClub® on any Regent cruise ship. This cruise line is best for activity-oriented travelers looking to get the most out of their experience.
Source: Continentaleurope - Own work
Key Features of Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Elaborate, imaginative itineraries, including free unlimited shore excursions
  • Mostly all-suite, all-balcony accommodations
  • Free Wi-Fi, flights, one-night hotel stay pre-boarding, and more in all-inclusive fares
  • Onboard Canyon Ranch SpaClub®
Crystal Cruises
As a company, Crystal does more than just cruises—they're experts in luxury travel. This expertise can be viewed as a distinct advantage. Guests can be confident that their trip will be well planned, organized, and managed, granting them a carefree experience. You can't put a price on that peace of mind!

Another distinction for Crystal is the size of its ships. It has some of the biggest ships in the luxury cruise industry, which can be viewed as a positive or negative depending on your individual tastes. Bigger ship means more dining and entertainment options, spa and fitness facilities, and a richer itinerary; the downside is that it is more difficult to maintain the same level of personalized service as a smaller cruise line. However, to manage this challenge, Crystal provides one of the highest passenger-to-guest ratios in the industry.
Source: D.seeruttun - Own work
Key Features of Crystal Cruises
  • Known for one of the highest staff to guest ratios
  • Superior upscale dining experiences
  • Bigger ships with more activities and facilities
  • Excellent enrichment program onboard
  • Programs catered to children, families
Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises is another company offering bigger-sized ships in the luxury market, although they do have small ships in their fleet as well. Basically, they can cater to any type of audience (except for families, as there aren't any kids programs available). The two types of people who tend to be most drawn to Oceania's cruises are those who prefer more casual dress and those who are particularly fond of food. No dining supplements in up to five specialty restaurants mean that guests can enjoy as much exquisite cuisine as their heart desires. On the downside, alcohol is not part of all-inclusive packages, unlike the other cruise lines above that do include alcohol in their fares.
Sirena, Oceania's newest ship acquired in March 2016. Source: Abxbay - Own work
Key Features of Oceania Cruises
  • Boasts the "Finest Cuisine at Sea"; excellent for foodies, and no dining supplements
  • More casual dress onboard
  • Bigger ships with more amenities
  • Canyon Ranch SpaClub® onboard
  • Must purchase separate beverage package for alcohol
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises was born out of the award-winning Viking River Cruises, known for great hospitality and elegant Scandinavian design. The ocean fleet carries these same values, including a commitment to fully immersing guests in destinations by staying longer in ports of call. On board, guests can enjoy a 11 dining options, a Nordic-inspired spa, an infinity pool, the Explorers' Lounge on the top deck, and more. While not positioned as a "luxury" experience necessarily, cruisers can enjoy similar all-inclusive fare benefits of other luxury options at superior value.
Source: Viking Cruises
Key Features of Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Larger than industry average cabins—at least 270 square feet with balconies
  • Emphasized destination exploration with shore excursions and itineraries
  • Wraparound veranda
  • Nordic-inspired spa
  • More upper-premium than luxury, but great value
  • Ships debuted in 2015
  • No one under 16 can sail with Viking
Conclusion
Luxury cruise lines have long drawn the attention of travelers looking for a five-star experience at sea, and they do not disappoint. These recommended top luxury cruise lines promise to offer unmatched dining options, accommodations, amenities, activity itineraries, and enrichment opportunities—and guests can expect excellent service and hospitality to top it all off! For the right budget, a luxury cruise could be the perfect way to spend your vacation!

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