Inspirations

3 of the world’s most luxurious cruise companies

Some cruise lines are simply so superior they blow others out the water. Whether you are looking for lavish cabins, incredible excursions, riveting stage performances, gourmet food or top-notch personal service, these cruise companies have fleets that are a class above the rest.

Seabourn

Seabourn’s small luxury ships cater for around 450 to 600 passengers and they really are all-inclusive which means you won’t have to reach for your wallet even if you book any of the speciality restaurants or want to drink fine wine and champagne. Every cabin is a spacious suite with glorious ocean views but there’s plenty to tempt you to discover the rest of the ship. World-renowned American triple Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller oversees onboard menus while spa while wellness expert Dr Andrew Weil directs the entire wellness programme on board.  

Best for: Broadway-type shows, live music and movies under the stars.

Top tip: The cruise line has launched its first ultra-luxury, purpose-built expedition ship, Venture, with an expedition team offering guided tours in submarines and kayaks. Destinations include Antarctica, the British Isles and Arctic and Northwest Passage. A second expedition ship, Pursuit, will be launched in 2023.

Silversea

Silversea sets the bar high in terms of luxury all-inclusive cruising. Expect ocean-view suites that include verandas, bath tubs and a butler who will stock the bar with whatever you fancy. Silversea’s luxury ships carry 298 to 608 passengers, while its expedition vessels carry 100 to 254 passengers and even Zodiac tours and caviar are included. Expect lavish decor and exotic itineraries, as well as gourmet restaurants. Dining is very much an occasion with many passengers choosing to dress up every night but be aware that a few top specialty restaurants such as La Dame, have an extra fee of around US$60.

Best for: Adults who want formal dining options, spacious cabins and a personal butler.

Top tip: Launched in 2022, Silver Dawn caters for around 600 passengers with 400 staff. It has eight dining options, an enhanced spa and, in 2023, will offer Southampton-Copenhagen itineraries among others.

Oceania

Elegant decor, gourmet dining, personalised service and destination-immersive itineraries means this upscale cruise line with seven small ships offers a premium experience. With four vessels hosting just 656-684 passengers, and the others never more than 1,250 guests, each ship can sail into some of the world’s shallower most desirable harbours. Overnights in port are common and the cruise line also offers 180-day round-the-world cruises.

Art and food lovers should try Oceania’s Vista, Marina and Riviera. Top chefs run state-of-the-art cooking on these ships with show kitchens and foodie excursions.There are also collectively more than 2,000 works of art with talented artists hosting art workshops.

Best for: Luxury cruise with the flexibility to add different options to keep the price down.

Top tip: Vista, a 1,2oo-passenger ship, will launch in 2023 and sail the Mediterranean and French Riviera. In August 2023, Oceania Vista will set sail on a transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York.

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