Traveling by sea is a truly wonderful way to see the world in all its splendor. From smaller vessels offering an intimate cruising experience to immense floating cities with seemingly endless activities on board, cruise ships the world over provide guests with opportunities to traverse the high seas and immerse themselves in a variety of natural, historical, and cultural experiences just about anywhere around the globe. Although there are plenty of cruise lines and ships worldwide, here are 10 cruises you should especially consider taking.
1. Cunard – Queen Mary 2 – Round-Trip World Cruise from New York City
World-renowned for its grand ocean liners, Cunard brings an elegant, stylish approach to cruising with its iconic Queen Mary 2. Boasting deluxe accommodations, exquisite fine dining, and Broadway-style theatrical productions, not to mention the only planetarium at sea, the QM2 will sail roundtrip from New York on a worldwide voyage from January 3-May 17, 2018, stopping in such exotic ports of call as Réunion and Bali in addition to world-class cities such as Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, and Barcelona, among others. Although the journey costs a pretty penny – starting at $33,999 for a balcony stateroom – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
© Suzumiya Haruka
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2. Viking River Cruises – various ships – Grand European Tour
Viking River Cruises’ 15-day Grand European Tour traverses three of Europe’s great rivers – the Rhine, Main, and Danube – from Amsterdam to Budapest or vice versa, passing through the windmill-dotted Dutch countryside and fairytale landscapes of Germany and Austria. Guests on Viking’s signature cruise should explore the many stops along the route, taking in the exquisite medieval architecture of Regensburg, Germany, as well as cities such as Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest – the charming, cosmopolitan capitals of Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. With sailings from $5,299 per person, it’s a cruise like no other.
3. Royal Caribbean – Symphony of the Seas – Pre-Opening Cruise
Set for her maiden voyage on March 31, 2018, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas features seven distinct “neighborhoods,” each boasting attractions such as a nine-deck-high zipline, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, and not one but two FlowRider surf simulators. The ship’s accommodations range from basic staterooms to two-story Ultimate Family Suites, each one with a 3D cinema and other amenities sure to please every family member. Starting from $829 per person, you can set sail around the Mediterranean on a round-trip from Barcelona to ports near Naples and Rome. It is sure to be quite an adventure.
4. Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Getaway – Seven-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
Guests on the Norwegian Getaway are free to do whatever tickles their fancy on seven-night voyages from Miami to Western Caribbean ports including Cozumel, Mexico; Roátan, Honduras; and NCL’s private port at Harvest Caye, Belize. This floating city is home to The Waterfront, an open-air promenade featuring duty-free shops and restaurants serving cuisines from around the globe. Vacationers can test their mettle on the Sports Complex’s ropes course, enjoy a dueling pianos show, or select from more than 50 rejuvenating treatments at Mandara Spa & Salon, among other activities. On shore, guests can tour the ancient Mayan ruins of Costa Maya, snorkel at Roátan’s coral reefs, or enjoy seemingly countless other diversions. With staterooms starting at $449 per person, travelers will truly get their dollar’s worth.
© Robert Pittman
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5. Princess Cruises – Island Princess and Star Princess – Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise
Princess Cruises’ weeklong Voyage of the Glaciers cruise sails between Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage, Alaska, offering travelers stunning glimpses of the impressive Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord, and Glacier Bay National Park, among other incredible sights. With deluxe staterooms, world-class entertainment, and gourmet dining options, guests on the Island Princess and Star Princess will be treated like royalty as they traverse the Inside Passage and Gulf of Alaska. Starting at $799 per person for a May 12, 2018 northbound sailing on the Star Princess, it is an experience like no other.
© Matt Zimmerman
6. Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Xpedition – Galapagos Inner Loop Cruise
Celebrity’s Galapagos Inner Loop Cruise blends a refined approach to cruising with the Galapagos Islands’ breathtaking splendor on this eight-day voyage. Guests on the Celebrity Xpedition will not only enjoy panoramic ocean vistas and a selection of luxurious amenities, but also the stunning geological and biological diversity this archipelago has to offer. Among the trip’s spectacular sights include the otherworldly landscapes of Sullivan Bay and Bartolome Island, not to mention the beautiful white-sand beaches at Las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island, perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and leisurely strolling along the shoreline. With staterooms starting at $5,949 for an April 22, 2018 sailing, it’s an adventure not to be missed.
© Florent Figon
7. American Cruise Line – America – Complete Mississippi River Cruise
Harkening back to a bygone era when paddle-wheel steamships plied the mighty Mississippi, American Cruise Line’s newest vessel, America, blends timeless nineteenth-century grandeur with all the modern conveniences today’s travelers desire. The 22-day, 21-night Complete Mississippi River Cruise fully immerses travelers in the history and culture surrounding North America’s longest river. Guests will admire the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, marvel at stately riverside plantations, and explore several charming towns, including Mark Twain’s boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri. With staterooms starting at $11,270, this New Orleans-to-St. Paul sojourn is a must.
8. Windstar Cruises – Wind Spirit – Tahiti and Tuamota Islands Cruise
A relatively new addition to Windstar’s repertoire, the 11-day Tahiti and Tuamota Islands voyage is definitely extraordinary. Sailing aboard the Wind Spirit, guests will be immersed in a paradise of pristine coral atolls and aquamarine-hued lagoons. On board, vacationers can enjoy gourmet dining and amenities including a pool, hot tub, spa, and casino. Off the ship, visitors can explore the undersea wonderland of Rangiroa lagoon, teeming with colorful tropical fish, as well as Fakarava Atoll, a haven for countless rare species seldom encountered elsewhere. Additionally, admiring the fiery, breathtaking sunsets is a must during overnight stops in Raiatea and Bora Bora. With staterooms starting at $2,899 for a January 18, 2018 sailing, it’s a cruise like no other.
© Roderick Eime
9. Seabourn Cruises – Seabourn Encore – Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Seabourn Cruises’ 18-day Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef cruise combines the Seabourn Encore’s luxurious amenities with the natural beauty of Australia’s and the world’s largest coral reef. Stopovers at ports such as Hamilton Island, Queensland provide opportunities for travelers to dive in and experience the reef’s splendor up close and personal. Also, the Encore’s all-suite accommodations, outstanding fine dining, and boutique shopping will make guests feel as though they are traveling on a private yacht. Setting sail from Sydney on February 22, 2018 with suites from $6,499 per person, it’s certainly a unique cruising experience.
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10. Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Sky – Four-Day Bahamas Cruise from Miami
For aspiring seafarers seeking an affordable getaway, the Norwegian Sky sails roundtrip from Miami to the Bahamas starting at $229 per person for a January 29, 2018 departure. The Sky offers a great variety of activities for everyone, not to mention nine bars and lounges, ten dining options, and entertainment featuring tributes to legendary classic rock and soul performers. NCL’s exclusive Great Stirrup Cay provides guests with a variety of activities, from snorkeling with sea turtles and tropical fish to kayaking along the shoreline.
© Benjamin Thompson