High-end sea vacations offer the ease of an all-in-one multi-destination experience
plus upscale suites, unique cultural programs, fine dining, pampering spa treatments and
fabulous vacation photos. Whether you want a short voyage or are ready
to embark on an around-the-globe sail, these vessels—ranging from intimate yachts
to ocean liners—are a great place to start.
Adventure seekers will love this fleet’s six yachts that offer transport to such popular destinations as Iceland, Tahiti and Asia. Each ship has less than 300 passengers on board and docks at trendsetting ports like Reykjavik (on the company’s “Around Iceland” tour that visits the nation’s waterfalls and fjords), or Borneo, Brunei and the Philippines (on the coming year’s Asian cruises aboard the luxury yacht Star Legend). Foodies will enjoy Windstar’s partnership with the epicurean James Beard Foundation and sample dishes the on-board chefs create from ingredients sourced at the local markets (you can even tag along on shopping excursions).
From $979/person, windstarcruises.com
The Seabourn Encore will ferry up to 600 passengers on intimate luxury trips around the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to such breathtaking and exotic ports like Athens, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Singapore. The creation of iconic hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the Encore also offers The Grill by Thomas Keller, wellness programs courtesy of a new partnership with wellness guru Dr. Andrew Weil and Great White Way-worthy productions. Enjoy top-tier programs like Caviar in the Surf (which is exactly that—caviar and Champagne service on the beach) as well as white-glove afternoon tea as you enjoy all the perks of large-ship cruising.
From $3,999/person, seabourn.com
This opulent fleet has been sailing across the Atlantic since the 1800s, even ferrying members of the British royal family. Today, transatlantic sails are available on the Queen Mary2—which recently underwent a $132 million refurbishment—as well as the fleet’s Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Cruise from Southampton, UK, to New York and on voyages throughout the Caribbean, Europe and Canada. In addition, specialty cruises cater to a variety of interests such as the 2017 World Space Week transatlantic crossing with astronauts and scientists on board, or the Festival of Flowers, which offers jaunts to Madeira and the Canary Islands’ flower markets and gardens.
From $1,047/person, cunard.com
Viking River Cruises
Cruising doesn’t just mean ocean voyages; Viking has carved its own niche offering luxe travel packages along some of the world’s most noteworthy rivers, such as the Danube, Seine, Rhine and Nile. Along the way, guests can enjoy culturally rich programming,
such as guided tours of Cairo by Egyptologists, baroque music and Viennese coffee culture in Budapest, and lessons on fondant au chocolat and Burgundian wines in Burgundy and Provence. Also, the company recently branched out with its newest vessel, the Viking Star, which makes its home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and for the first time will offer cruises of North America and the Caribbean, including Cuba.
From $1,699/person, vikingrivercruises.com
Gourmands are the target audience for Oceania’s Sirena, the company’s newest ship that includes two exceptional dining experiences courtesy of Claudine Pepin, under the direction of Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pepin. Fleet wide, there are cruises to destinations that tantalize the taste buds—Casablanca, Antibes, Palamos—as well as excursions and hands-on cooking classes: Focaccia, biscotti and pizza in Florence, Pisa and Tuscany; tapas in Barcelona; or Cretan food and wine in Greece.
Regent Seven Seas
In July, the company launched the Seven Seas Explorer. Billed as the “most luxurious ship ever built,” the all-suite, all-balcony vessel carried only 750 guests, but 2,148 bottles of champagne for its maiden voyage. Expect exquisite details like Versace place settings and a $90,000 mattress in the 4,443-square-foot Regent Suite master bedroom as well as the utmost in pampering, including spa treatments at the on-board Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Monte Carlo-style gaming, a 694-seat theater with original Broadway-worthy performances, three specialty restaurants and the Culinary Arts Kitchen cooking school round out the upscale amenities. For its first trip, the ship ferried passengers around Europe; in 2017
the Explorer sets off for Miami in a series of Caribbean voyages.
From $499/person, rssc.com