Published August 15, 2019
Cruise lines pull out all the stops to deliver the finest passenger experience. From the massive ships of Disney Cruise Line, to the smaller, luxury yachts of Hebridean Island Cruises, there's a sailing experience to satisfy every taste. Today's best vessels come equipped with full-service spas, gourmet restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs and more.
Gayot’s top picks offer luxury voyages in breathtaking locales from the Mexican Riviera to the Scottish Isles. So, pick your cruise, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable vacation on the high seas.
Hebridean Island Cruises offers an all-inclusive, immersive experience — traveling through the Scottish Isles, around Ireland and down many European rivers. The smaller fleets — Hebridean Princess holds 50 passengers while the Hebridean Royal Crown holds 85 — focus on highly personalized service, including fine onboard dining or on-shore picnics, and a formal farewell gala on the final night.
Disney Cruise Line is an excellent option for a family trip at sea. Its four ships travel to an array of destinations, such as Alaska, the California Coast, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal. Entertainment includes not only Broadway-style Disney musicals, character-themed pools and deck parties, but also the Oceaneer Club for kids, and nightclubs and lounges (complete with cocktails) for mom and dad. Plus, themed restaurants and exclusive adults-only dining rooms are open around the clock.
Imagine a luxurious Mediterranean resort. Now imagine that resort afloat, cruising through the Bahamas, along the coast of West Africa, or perhaps on a Transatlantic Grand Voyage. With its warm Italian hospitality and classic European design featuring marble and Swarovski crystal, MSC Cruises invites passengers to sail in style. Signature restaurant La Cucina Italiana showcases modern Mediterranean cuisine, while Aurea Spa travels the world with its array of treatments. Families love MSC because children 11 and under travel free when staying in their parents' stateroom. Eco-travelers value the company's commitment to recycling and energy conservation policies.
Silversea Cruises travels worldwide, from the Amazon River to the French Riviera to the Arctic, Antarctica and Galapagos Islands. Each ship boasts its own Le Champagne — the only Relais & Châteaux restaurants at sea. Guests on their all-inclusive journey can choose from a multitude of onboard activities, such as wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and dance classes. At night, options include a show with a celebrated pianist, roulette in the casino, a movie in the theater, dancing and more. Enrichment cruises have themes ranging from history to the great outdoors, featuring celebrated guest speakers, bestselling authors, world affairs experts and noted historians.
Viking River Cruises offers tours on the world’s legendary rivers, such as the Nile, Yangtze, Mekong, Danube, Seine and Volga. For dinner, passengers enjoy open seating options and signature foodie events that emphasize local dishes, from Balkan cevapcici to Provençal lemon sorbet to Hungarian goulash made with paprika from a farmers' market in Budapest. The ships contain all outside-facing staterooms, two-room suites with French balconies on Viking Longships, and the Viking Culture Curriculum. The latter is an onboard program that varies by ship and could mean learning how to make Germany’s brandy-laced Rüdesheimer coffee.
Discover more of the top cruise lines for seeing the world.
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