Luxury Cruise Lines

Luxury lines are cruise lines with small to medium size-ships, low passenger to staff ratios, inclusive pricing and accommodations deluxe amenities. Beverages and gratuities are generally included in pricing and a few lines include air transportation, shore excursions and land arrangements before or after the cruise.

Azamara Club Cruises Compagnie du Ponant Crystal Cruise Line Oceania Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises Regent Seven Seas Seabourn Cruises SeaDream Yacht Club
Silversea Cruises      

Other Cruise Genres:

Family and Casual Lines Premium Lines River Cruise Lines Unique and Adventure Lines

 

Azamara Club Cruises

Considering a Azamara Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights: Azamara Club Cruises is a two-ship ultra-premium line owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. It is known for its adventurous itineraries, fine cuisine and excellent service. Cruisers upgrading to Azamara will find the cuisine wonderful and the service attentive. Luxury cruisers will be surprised by the quality, but may find cabin sizes small. Included in Azamara's pricing are gratuities, soda, bottled water and wine with lunch and dinner.

The Crowd:  Well-travelled, cost-conscious travelers make up the crowd on Azamara's two small ships. North Americans are usually the majority on cruises, but some itineraries have a larger portion of Europeans. Dress is more casual than on traditional luxury lines.

Ships:
Azamara Journey (built-2000): 694 passengers, 30,000 tons
Azamara Quest (built-2000): 694 passengers, 30,000 tons

Regions Offered: Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, Caribbean and South America

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs NA None offered.
Luxury ★★★★ Public areas are richly appointed. Staterooms are moderate sized.
Cuisine ★★★★ Additional charge for 2 specialty restaurants
Service ★★★★ Personalized service
Adventure ★★★ Smaller ports and a wide variety of regions
Price $$$-$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Compagnie du Ponant

Considering a Compagnie du Ponant Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights: Compagnie du Ponant features small, elegant ships with yacht-like features and French cuisine. The pricing is all-inclusive with taxes, gratuities and drinks included in their advertised prices.

The Crowd: Most of the clientele on the French cruise line is French with a mix of a few Europeans from other countries and a few Americans. Tauck tours charters some sailings that are mostly American.

Ships:
Le Ponant (built-1991): 64 passengers, 1489 tons
Le Boreal (built-2010): 264 passengers, 11,000 tons
L'Austal (built-2011): 264 passengers, 11,000 tons
Le Soleal (built-2013): 264 passengers, 11,000 tons

Regions Offered: Mostly Mediterranean, but with South America, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Antarctic cruises available for limited dates.

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs On the three larger ships there are children's areas, but no organized activities.
Luxury ★★★★★
Cuisine ★★★★ Very French. May not suit American tastes.
Service ★★★★
Adventure ★★
Price $$$-$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Crystal Cruises

Considering a Crystal Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights: Crystal Cruises has the largest ships in the luxury cruise market and therefore offers more options and flexibility for activities on their ships than their competitors. In 2012 they changed their pricing to reflect a new more inclusive approach, now including air fares from selected cities, beverages (including most alcoholic beverages), transfers to town at many ports and entertainment, activity and children’s options.

The Crowd:  Crystal Cruises has among the most loyal clientele in the industry. While the average age is often higher than 60, that has begun to change with the introduction of children's programs. Multi-generational groups appear particularly enamored with what Crystal has to offer.

Ships:
Crystal Symphony (1995): 922 passengers, 51,000 tons
Crystal Serenity (2003): 1080 passengers, 68,000 tons

Regions Offered:  Nearly the entire world including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific, South America, Alaska and the Caribbean. World cruises offered.

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs ★★ Good for a luxury line. Seasonal - offered when there are enough children sailing.
Luxury ★★★★★ Sumptuous public areas. Plush staterooms. Least expensive are smaller than average.
Cuisine ★★★★★ No charge for specialty restaurants.
Service ★★★★★ Exceptional service.
Adventure ★★★★★ Smaller ports and a wide variety of regions
Price $$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Oceania Cruises

Considering a Oceania Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights:  Oceania Cruises defined a new class of cruising when it introduced the Regatta in 2003 - world-class cuisine, country club ambiance, unique itineraries to exotic destinations, and mid-sized ships featuring a wide range of activities and facilities. Itineraries explore nearly every part of the world. Oceania is well-known for its world-class cuisine and exceptional service on par with the world's most expensive cruise lines. Advertised prices usually include airfare from major North American cities. Also included in the price are sodas and bottled water.

The Crowd: Mostly North American with other English speaking nations in smaller percentages and a smattering of other cultures. During non-holiday periods the average age is generally 60 or higher, while holidays bring out a younger professional crowd. Oceania Cruises attracts an adventurous clientele interested in culture and food. Dress is more casual than on traditional luxury lines.

Ships:
Regatta (1998): 684 passengers, 30,000 tons
Insignia (1998): 684 passengers, 30,000 tons
Nautica (2000): 684 passengers, 30,000 tons
Marina (2011): 1250 passengers, 66,000 tons
Riviera (2012): 1250 passengers, 66,000 tons

Regions Offered:  Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australasia, Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Middle East, New England-Atlantic Canada, Northern Europe, Panama Canal, South America, South Pacific

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs NA None offered.
Luxury ★★★★ Public areas are elegant. Staterooms are moderate sized on the Regatta and Nautica.
Cuisine ★★★★★ No additional charges at Specialty restaurants
Service ★★★★ Personalized service
Adventure ★★★★ Smaller ports and a wide variety of regions
Price $$$-$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises Logo

Considering a Paul Gauguin Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights: Until 2010, the ship Paul Gauguin was marketed by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, but at that time the owners (who own several large resorts in the French Society Islands) formed a new company called Paul Gauguin Cruises and continued its routes in French Polynesia and the South Pacific. In 2012, the company purchased a smaller ship renamed the Tere Moana which is sailing in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The ship, Paul Gauguin, offers an exceptional luxury experience, with close ties to local Tahitian culture. Cuisine is top-notch and guest-to-staff ratios are very low, allowing for highly personalized service. Paul Gauguin cruises include gratuities, water sports and beverages in their pricing.

The Crowd:  There are many honeymooners, but the crowd is very mixed with families, seniors and everything in between.

Ships:
Paul Gauguin (built-1995): 332 passengers, 19,200 tons - South Pacific
Tere Moana (built-1998): 90 passengers, 3500 tons - Mediterranean

Regions Offered: French Polynesia, South Pacific, Australia / New Zealand, Mediterranean, Caribbean

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs ★★★ Seasonal programs on the Paul Gauguin focus on the ocean and Polynesian culture.
Luxury ★★★★
Cuisine ★★★★ French
Service ★★★★★
Adventure ★★★ Active lifestyle with water sports offered from the ship.
Price $$$-$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Logo

Considering a Regent Seven Seas Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Get a Quote for a Regent Seven Seas Cruise.

Highlights:  Regent Seven Seas Cruises features 3 moderate-sized luxury ships that offer the most inclusive pricing offered by any line. In addition to airfare, selected alcoholic beverages, gratuities and meals at specialty restaurants, RSSC also offers most shore excursions at no additional cost. Perennially rated as one of the finest cruise lines by various publications, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is an excellent choice for those who want to know how much their luxury vacation will cost.

The Crowd:  The ships feature a younger crowd than you would expect, perhaps because they have more short itineraries than other luxury lines. And during school holidays, the Alaska and Mediterranean sailings offer fun and educational programs for youngsters.

Ships:
Seven Seas Navigator (1999): 490 passengers, 30,000 tons
Seven Seas Mariner (2001): 700 passengers, 48,000 tons
Seven Seas Voyager (2003): 700 passengers, 42,000 tons

Regions Offered:  Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australia-New Zealand, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America. Antarctica is not currently being offered.

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs Good for a luxury line. Offered during school holidays on some itineraries.
Luxury ★★★★★ Sumptuous public areas. Plush staterooms.
Cuisine ★★★★★ No charge for specialty restaurants.
Service ★★★★★ Exceptional service.
Adventure ★★★★★ Smaller ports and a wide variety of regions.
Price $$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Seabourn

Considering a Seabourn Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights:  With its smaller ships, Seabourn is a more intimate experience for cruisers. The Yachts of Seabourn offer port intensive itineraries with unique locations and sightseeing opportunities designed for world travelers. Seabourn's older ships are smaller and have fewer amenities and facilities, but still offer the personalized service that has made this line a top choice for the well-healed professional or retiree. (The line plans to retire its older ships over the next year retaining the trio of new, larger ships.)

The Crowd:  Generally older, especially on the longer voyages. The large majority are American with a mix of other English-speaking peoples and a few from other countries. Due to pricing and the nature of the itineraries nearly all are well-off and well-traveled.

Ships:
Seabourn Pride (1988, renovated - 2005): 208 passengers, 10,000 tons
Seabourn Spirit (1989, renovated - 2005): 208 passengers, 10,000 tons
Seabourn Legent (1992, renovated - 2005): 208 passengers, 10,000 tons
Seabourn Odyssey (2009): 450 passengers, 32,000 tons
Seabourn Quest (2010): 450 passengers, 32,000 tons
Seabourn Sojourn (2011): 450 passengers, 32,000 tons

Regions Offered: Africa, Asia, Australia-New Zealand, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South Pacific, South America.

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs NA None offered.
Luxury ★★★★★ All Seabourn ships offer exceptional luxury and unparalleled service.
Cuisine ★★★★★  
Service ★★★★★  
Adventure ★★★★★ Itineraries among the most varied in the industry.
Price $$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

SeaDream Yacht Club

Considering a SeaDream Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights: Though the ships are a bit older and do not feature balconies, SeaDream Yacht Club offers an exceptional luxury experience on mostly 7 night cruises. Prices include tips, taxes, drinks and watersports. Service is highly personalized and the cuisine is top-notch. The ships offer Balinese beds on the top deck where guests can sleep under the stars.

The Crowd:  Mostly couples sail on SeaDream, with a wide-range of ages.

Ships:
SeaDream I (built-1984): 110 passengers, 4260 tons
SeaDream II (built-1985): 110 passengers, 4260 tons

Regions Offered: Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Southern Caribbean, Middle East, Indian Ocean, Asia, Australia / New Zealand

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs NA None offered.
Luxury ★★★★★
Cuisine ★★★★★
Service ★★★★★
Adventure ★★★
Price $$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair

Silversea

Considering a Silversea Cruise? Call 800-427-8473, extension 7961 for friendly, helpful and expert advice.

Highlights:  Silversea is one of the finest cruise lines in the world, with large staterooms on smaller ships. Silversea set the standard for spacious accommodations and luxury in the 1990s and maintains a high standard of excellence in equipment, service, enrichment programs, and cuisine. Silversea fares include some excursions, wines at lunch and dinner, gratuities and other extras. Many sailings have destination lecturers and some have bridge coaches and golf pros to enhance guests’ enjoyment of their journey.

The Crowd: Naturally, the average age is higher than for less expensive lines, but on the newer ships there is also a mix of entrepreneurs and professionals in their prime years. Silversea does not cater to families. About half the guests on Silversea are from countries outside North America.

Ships:
Silver Cloud (1994): 296 passengers, 17,000 tons
Silver Wind (1995): 298 passengers, 17,000 tons
Silver Shadow (2000): 382 passengers, 28,000 tons
Silver Whisper (2001): 382 passengers, 28,000 tons
Silver Spirit (2009): 540 passengers, 36,000 tons
Silver Explorer (1989, refurbished - 2008): 132 passengers, 6,000 tons
Silver Galapagos (1990, refurbished - 2013): 100 passengers, 4,000 tons

Regions Offered:  Africa, Asia, Alaska, Antarctica, Australia-New Zealand, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South Pacific, South America.

Category Stars Comments
Children's Programs NA None offered.
Luxury ★★★★★ Sumptuous public areas. Plush staterooms. High space to guest ratio. Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos are expedition ships and less luxurious.
Cuisine ★★★★★ No charge for specialty restaurants.
Service ★★★★★ Exceptional service.
Adventure ★★★★★ Smaller ports and a wide variety of regions including the Arctic and Antarctic. Galapagos added in 2013.
Price $$$$$  
Star Ratings: ★★★★★ - World Class | ★★★★ - Excellent | ★★★ - Very Good | ★★ - Good | - Fair