Small and beautiful luxurious cruise lines offer marvelous voyages to the world’s best and most loved destinations, hidden harbors and exotic shores, each provide a wonderful cruise experience. Ranging from upscale cruise lines to luxury yachts, each of the following cruise lines is award-winning with excellent cuisine and service.
Courtesy of Windstar Cruises
Known for their intimate yacht style experience, Windstar offers unique voyages to some of the world’s best small ports and delightful hidden harbors. If you seek an upscale, intimate ship for a romantic cruise to many of the world’s most desirable locations, then a Windstar yacht may be exactly what you’re looking for.
With the addition of 3 all-suite, 212-guest motor yachts, Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend, many accommodations with balconies, these power yachts join Windstar’s much-loved and highly regarded sail yachts. The Wind Surf with its 310 guests and the two smaller sister-ships, the Wind Spirit and Wind Star each accommodating just 148 cruisers.
This award-winning cruise line, known for its casually elegant onboard atmosphere sails to the idyllic isles of French Polynesia year-round and offers cruises to the Tropics as well as a myriad of sailings in the Greek Isles, the Mediterranean and many wonderful ports throughout Europe.
Courtesy of Seabourn
One of the world’s best cruise lines, ultra-luxury Seabourn is the recipient, year after year, of a myriad honors and accolades for its fabulous small yachts and outstanding onboard cuisine and service. The arrival of the new 600 guest Seabourn Encore in December 2016 is a highly anticipated event as is the cruise line’s return to Alaska with the Seabourn Sojourn in 2017.
The cruise line, currently with 3 gorgeous yachts, the Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn offers an all-inclusive experience with stunning suite accommodations, most offering balconies and a distinctive, stylish cruise vacation for discerning travelers.
Seabourn has just launched a new culinary partnership with renowned American chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame and their ongoing initiatives with Seabourn Conversations, the UNESCO partnership and destination and enrichment programs simply add to the guest’s enjoyment on this stunning, all-inclusive cruise line.
Courtesy of Silversea Cruises
The intimate and ultra-luxury ships of Silversea Cruises offer spacious suites with verandahs and butler service and range from Expedition vessels with just 100 guests to state of the art ships for up to 540 guest; known for their spectacular itineraries including an annual World Cruise.
Champagne, wine and spirits are served throughout each ship and an in-suite bar is stocked with your preferred beverages. Gratuities are also included. Other inclusions and hallmarks are an exclusive partnership with Relais & Châteaux, a wide-ranging lecture and enrichment program and the Silver Shore Select Excursions for European itineraries along with free Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
Their 3 expedition ships, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer and Silver Explorer sail to some of the most fascinating parts of the globe and their new 6 star vessel, the Silver Muse will join the fleet in the Spring of 2017 and accommodate 596 guests.
Courtesy of Paul Cauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises
With its beautiful 332 guest ship featuring all outside rooms, many with balconies, The Gauguin, sailing year-round in the idyllic islands of French Polynesia, Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a true escape to paradise.
One of the most romantic destinations in the world, a cruise from Tahiti, paired perhaps, with an over-water bungalow stay in Bora Bora or Moorea, is ideal for romantics of all ages, especially for honeymoons and wedding vow renewals.
Paul Gauguin is an all-inclusive cruise line, offering round trip airfare from Los Angeles to the ship's embarkation point, on a variety of 7, 10 and 11 night sailings. Itineraries include the gorgeous Society Islands, the Tuamotus, Cook Islands and the Marquesas.
The relaxed onboard atmosphere and casual dress combined with the extensive watersports and PADI dive program suits an active traveler with activity centered around the beautiful waters and the ship's watersports platform.The Gauguin is also affiliated with the renowned oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
It has been quite the year for one of the world’s finest lines as Crystal Cruises, an acclaimed luxury brand has made a series of incredible announcements about their future plans. They are launching a river cruise brand, a small luxury yacht carrying just 62 guests, three new fabulous polar-ice class ocean-going ships and the chartering of two jets for their new Crystal Luxury Air.
The revitalized river ship Crystal Mozart will set sail in July 2016 and four brand-new river yachts will be unveiled in 2017. The debut of the Crystal Mozart will be on the scenic Danube River and travel aficionados will delight in the all-inclusive onboard offerings.
The Crystal Esprit yacht was launched in December 2015 and will sail exotic itineraries during the winter and seven day cruises in the Med in the summer.
Three new ocean vessels have also been announced with the first sailing in 2018.
Originally published in Dream Voyages Spring 2016 issue.