Luxury Cruises for Couples: Best Cruise Lines, Activities and Destinations
Whether you and your sweetheart have been together two months or 20 years, there’s nothing quite as romantic as going on a luxury cruise together. Premium all-inclusive sailings and formal evenings let you see each other at your best, and nothing beats unwinding together with a couples massage in the ship spa. Combine that with the excitement of exploring new places and experiencing new things together and you have a match made in heaven.
Maybe you and your person are preparing to celebrate a big milestone like a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon - or maybe you’re just looking to rekindle the romance. Regardless, these luxury cruises are the best of the best when it comes to tender moments, thrilling adventures, and stress-free getaways to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Here you can find our top picks for the best luxury cruises for you and your love. Get some inspiration for rapturous onboard rendezvous and discover the world’s most romantic cruise destinations below.
Why You Should Take a Luxury Couples Cruise
Cruise vacations are phenomenally romantic, and luxury cruises up the ante with all-inclusive fares, excursions, and new experiences. If you’re wondering whether you should take a luxury cruise or if a luxury couples cruise is worth the time and money, here are a few of our best arguments in favor of sweeping your significant other off on a whirlwind getaway.
1. You can focus on each other
With traditional vacations, you need to spend a lot of time planning. For some couples, that means advance planning over many months in between the stress of everyday life. For others, that means making plans along the way - and as romantic as spontaneity sounds, it can also be stressful. With luxury cruises, everything is taken care of for you. All-inclusive packages include everything from accommodations to dining to entertainment and itineraries. Unpack once and see the world with your sweetie - what could be better than that?
2. Explore exciting new places together
One of the most romantic things about cruises is getting to explore some of the world’s most romantic places with your better half. From adventurous excursions in the jungles of the Caribbean to meandering through Europe’s cobbled streets or watching the sun set over the South Pacific, cruises give you a chance to experience new things together. Whether yours is an old love or a new flame, the most romantic cruises for couples are those with plenty of opportunities to expand your horizons.
3. Discover new activities and hobbies together
Unlike mainstream cruises, luxury cruises tend to focus more on enrichment programs over entertainment. This can be a great opportunity for you and your person to spend some quality time together. Take a cooking class or try a yoga course while on your luxury cruise, and you just might end up discovering a way to spend more time together back home. From photography lessons to art history, wine tastings to tango - a cruise is the perfect place to lay the foundation for better quality time together in the future.
Best Luxury Cruise Lines for Couples
Choosing the right cruise line for your luxury vacation should be a high priority. Each luxury line offers slightly different packages, and it’s important that not every cruise is created equal. Consider which factors are most important to you and your sweetheart - from destinations and experiences to atmosphere and what’s included.
We’ve broken down the top luxury cruise lines for couples based on where they excel. Learn more about each individual cruise line below.
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Most all-inclusive options: Regent Seven Seas
When it comes to included extras, Regent Seven Seas tops the charts. Packages include business-class airfare, gourmet specialty restaurants, 24-hour room service, and even shore excursions. Regent’s luxury cruise ships also feature spacious suites bedecked in lush linens and marble, stocked with designer toiletries. Each ship houses no more than 375 suites, meaning you and your darling have more square feet to spread out. If you’re looking for a cruise line that won’t ruin the moment with post-cruise sticker shock, opt for Regent Seven Seas.
Best shore excursions: Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking’s ocean and river cruises include shore excursions in the price of a ticket, which gives them a foot up on many other luxury lines. These immersive shore experiences tend to center around walking and bus tours, as well as enrichment excursions like brewing craft beer, arts and crafts, photo walks, and more. Viking also caters to passengers with limited mobility, as well as more active guests. Tours are staffed by knowledgeable guides who have scoped out the best photo ops, and Viking’s partnership with many iconic sites means you can skip long lines.
Best small ship option: SeaDream Yacht Club or Crystal Esprit
What’s more romantic than an intimate small-ship exploring exotic locales? If getting cozy with your partner is important, there’s no better ship option than a yacht. SeaDream Yacht Club’s twin ships SeaDream I and SeaDream II offer passage to just 112 passengers per sailing. And while the Crystal Cruises fleet is generally made up of slightly larger ships, Crystal Esprit is in a class of its own. With just 62 guests per cruise and six-star service, Crystal’s yacht is a must for couples looking to indulge in some high-quality quality time.
Most elegant: Oceania
If shipboard sophistication and elegant design is what ups the romance factor for you and your S.O., Oceania is perfect for you. Opt for a sailing on the Regatta for a nearly 1-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio, luxe linens, and excellent spa services. Plus, each suite also opens onto a private balcony and is adorned with original art pieces. An evening wine tasting in the ship’s library is sure to light a spark for you and your love, and you can make the most of your little corner of heaven with nightly stargazing from the comfort of your terrace.
Most Romantic Things to Do on a Cruise
The ability to plan the perfect date may not be a skill all of us have, even if we love our spouses or significant others. So the idea of taking a couples cruise where every night is date night can seem stressful. Luckily, luxury cruises offer plenty of pre-planned activities that combine the right amount of fun, excitement, and amor. Here are some of our top recommendations for what to do on your cruise to wow your sweetheart.
Enjoy a private dinner on your balcony with Crystal Cruises
Crystal’s butler-serviced suites are hugged by private balconies, and nothing beats the simplicity of dinner for two. Treat your love to a luxurious grown-up picnic by having a multiple-course gourmet meal catered to your balcony. Don’t worry about ruining the moment by forking over loads of cash after dinner either - Crystal’s all-inclusive six-star service means this evening is included in the fare.
Explore a private island together with Paul Gauguin Cruises
If you or your love have fantasized about being whisked off to a secluded isle, we’ve got good news for you. Not only do Paul Gauguin cruises sail exclusively to destinations off the beaten path, many also call at Motu Mahana, the cruise line’s private French Polynesian island. Make the most of your newly-minted PADI SCUBA certification (offered on the m/s Paul Gauguin) by exploring the beaches and shores together before retiring back to the ship’s lap of luxury for gourmet dining.
Relax in a private cabana with Seabourn
If you’re on a honeymoon cruise or celebrating a special occasion, this is a great way to make some memories. Seabourn Encore offers 15 private cabanas for rent described as “luxury living rooms.” Spend the day there with your sweetheart and soak in the sea views in peace and privacy. Each cabana costs $350 per day, but it’s arguably one of the best ways to spend a sea day.
Sleep under the stars with SeaDream Yacht Club
Cruisers who have sailed with SeaDream Yacht Club love their Balinese Dream Bed experience. You and your significant other will spend the night beneath the stars wrapped in Belgian sheets, lulled to sleep in each other’s arms by the whispering waves and gentle breeze. This is a great option for warm weather itineraries and for couples who relish being together outdoors. This luxurious alfresco experience is sure to win major points with your love.
Indulge in a couples massage with Regent Seven Seas
Unwind with your partner and get some much-needed R&R with a couples massage at Regent Seven Seas’ onboard Canyon Ranch Spa. This sensuous experience not only lets you feel closer to your S.O., it also gives you both a chance to relax and feel better. If you and your partner are parents or have high-stress jobs, this might be just the thing to get you realigned with each other.
Best Cruise Destinations for Couples
Picking the right cruise itinerary for a romantic getaway is just as important is choosing the right romance package or cruise line. Different destinations offer different experiences, and while lounging on a beach might be the perfect escape for some couples, others might find cozying up in cafes or exploring Arctic tundras more romantic. Here are our best suggestions for where to abscond with your love for the most romantic luxury cruise vacation.
South Pacific & French Polynesia for beaches
Hello, paradise! If you and your spouse have been drooling over pictures of white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and impossibly blue waters, opt for a luxury cruise to French Polynesia. These islands are tougher to reach than those of Hawaii or the Caribbean, so they still feel super secluded and exclusive.
Go with: Paul Gauguin Cruises
Eastern Mediterranean for history
Head to Greece, Croatia, and Turkey for a cruise that combines ancient history with top notch cuisine and stunning landscapes. Explore the antiquities of the Greek isles, soak up the sun or tour Roman ruins along Croatia’s rocky shores, and let yourself be enchanted by Istanbul’s cityscapes and bazaars.
Go with: Regent Seven Seas
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Western Mediterranean for food and luxury
From Spain to Italy, from the French Riviera to the Eternal City, Mediterranean cruises are perfect for couples looking to live la dolce vita. Dine on sumptuous sea-inspired meals paired with fine wine with your special someone after touring the Med’s couture shopping districts. This region includes Saint Tropez, Monte Carlo, and Ibiza, so it’s perfect for couples who love the high life.
Go with: SeaDream Yacht Club
Transatlantic or repositioning cruises for timeless romance
Do it like Jack and Rose and set sail from Europe to New York on a voyage that stands the test of time. While a full-size ocean liner is best for couples looking to recreate the romance of the Titanic without the drama, swashbuckling sweethearts may be more interested in cruising with Windstar Cruises. With the unfurling of its seven dramatic sails at departure, Windstar’s Wind Surf delivers high-seas romance on Transatlantic cruises, plus intimacy onboard.
Alaska for breathtaking landscapes
Snuggle up with your sweetie and embark on a cruise to the Last Frontier. An overwhelming crowd favorite, Alaska’s natural splendor and abundant wildlife make it a must for any bucket list. Go in the spring for prime whale watching or opt for a fall sailing to catch a glimpse of the spectacular northern lights while cozied up with your person.
Go with: Silversea Cruises
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