Luxury cruising promises to transport you to some of the most incredible destinations in nothing short of the utmost opulence. There’s a reason why people turn to five- and six-star cruise lines time and time again, not least for those extra-special features you won’t find anywhere else at sea.

Whether you’re an avid luxury cruiser, or intrigued as to what sets these journeys apart, here are just seven reasons why this type of holiday should feature on your agenda.


Every Luxury Included

The days of only finding all-inclusive resorts on Spanish Costas are a thing of the past. Luxury cruising has a number of inclusions that you would be expected to pay extra for on many other types of holidays; from the gourmet meal served with the finest silverware to cocktails crafted using the highest quality spirits, there is cruising, and there is cruising with every luxury included.

A cruise with Regent Seven Seas Cruises promises luxury that you’ve never experienced before. The all-inclusive nature of your cruise starts way before you set sail, as Regent Seven Seas Cruises will provide transfers between the airport and your ship. Once on board, expect to find Heidsieck & Co Monopole poured effortlessly as you make your way throughout your home from home – just one of the unlimited beverages that are included in your cruise fare. And that’s not all. You can also take your pick from various speciality restaurants and, enjoy hospitality in the comfort of your own suite – whether that’s a drink from the mini bar, or a slap-up breakfast served on your balcony. Even those little extras such as Wi-Fi and gratuities are covered. The all-inclusive experience continues ashore, with unlimited shore excursions guaranteed to fully immerse you into every port of call.

Experience ultra-inclusive cruising onboard the spectacular Seven Seas Splendor > 

Personalised Service

Exceptional service is what sets a good cruise apart from a great one, and luxury cruise lines pride themselves on offering some of the best in the business. As luxury ships tend to be at the smaller end of the scale, the potential for personalised service is much greater and in some instances, there’s a guest-to-staff ratio of almost one-to-one. You won’t be on board long before this extra-special service really starts to shine through, whether that’s through being served your preferred wine without asking, or your mini bar stocked with all your favourite drinks.

Silversea is one luxury cruise line that goes the extra (nautical) mile when it comes to providing excellent service. You will be able to enjoy a dedicated butler service in every suite, regardless of which category you have booked. They will be on hand to deliver room service, run you a hot bath with opulent salts and even polish your shoes and sunglasses if you’ve left them in view. If you find yourself in one of the larger suites, you could even organise an in-suite cocktail party – which your butler will be able to plan to precision. What’s more, they will be as attentive or discreet as you want, so you can enjoy your holiday in whichever way you choose.

Experience exceptional service in a class of its own onboard Silver Dawn >

The Finest Cuisine at Sea

It’s no overstatement to say that dining at sea more than rivals that on land – so you can only imagine what the cuisine has in store on a luxury cruise line. The freshest, seasonal and local ingredients adorn the menus, each of which is carefully crafted by a chef trained to the highest level. In many cases, the food on board is inspired by the region in which your ship is sailing, adding an exquisite and extra-special dimension to your getaway.

Oceania Cruises is one of the luxury cruise lines that prides itself on serving ‘The Finest Cuisine at Sea’. Under the watchful eye of some of the most talented chefs in the world, the very best ingredients are conjured into something sensational, the memory of which will stay with you for years to come. From Castilla-La Mancha saffron to French flour custom-milled to their specifications, artisanal ingredients are at the heart of every plate. If Michelin-starred dining is your style, Oceania Cruises will showcase culinary excellence as you’ve never experienced on the ocean waves.

Discover The Finest Cuisine at Sea onboard Marina >

Signature Events

We don’t have to explain to you how much you are able to see while on a cruise, but it’s the onshore experiences that really set luxury cruises apart. A wider and more unique choice of shore excursions allow you to explore ports at a much deeper level, some included within your fare. What’s more, some cruise lines offer their own signature events which are catered around a destination featured on specific itineraries. Some of these destination immersion sessions occur on board, so you can enjoy the region in which you are sailing without even needing to disembark.

Seabourn is renowned for its signature events ashore, one of which is known as Caviar in the Surf. Carambola Beach at South Friar’s Bay in St. Kitts and Nevis provides the backdrop to this “magical and unique event”, which sees Seabourn crew set up a stall of caviar and champagne … on a surfboard. Lobster, quiche and pastries are also up for grabs, while mixologists will concoct a whole range of drinks to suit your tastes. This fun-filled day also features complimentary watersports including kayaks, banana boats, waterskiing and more from the ship’s unique retractable marina platform. Guests can be as adventurous or as relaxing as they please, with the milky-white sands setting out the most stunning surroundings for what will become an unforgettable part of your Seabourn cruise.

Make your way to the surfboard with Seabourn Ovation >

Destination Immersion

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and this is certainly the case when it comes to luxury cruising. With ships at the smaller end of the scale, entering smaller and sometimes lesser-known ports of call isn’t an issue. With this comes the ability to stay longer, explore deeper and really get under the skin of the countries you visit along the way.

Azamara Onward is home to just 670 passengers, ensuring she is small enough to enter captivating ports. On a 12-night Italy Intensive Voyage, she will visit hidden gems such as Siracusa in Sicily and the Italian island of Portoferraio. But don’t worry – those headline ports such as Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome, and the stunning coastal town of Kotor still feature, so you’ll be able to tick those must-see destinations off your list, while also discovering a host of new ones. Azamara also pride themselves on offering overnight stays and late-night calls, so time is really on your side.

Explore all the different regions and ports of call around Italy with Azamara Onward >

Expedition Voyages

If there’s one travel trend that has really emerged over recent years, it’s expedition cruising. Some of the world’s most incredible and largely untouched landscapes have been opened up to intrepid travellers – and luxury cruise lines promise to transport you there in style. From the dove-white landscapes of Antarctica dotted with the most amazing wildlife, to the dewy depths of the Amazon Rainforest, the destinations you’ve dreamt of are now more accessible than ever.

Eastern Greenland and Iceland offer some of the world’s most stunning vistas, where floating sheets of ice and soaring cliffs present landscapes unlike those you will ever have encountered before. Scenic Eclipse voyages to this remote region, where you will encounter spectacular fjords and snow-capped mountains as you travel around in ultimate luxury. You will pass through Scoresbysund, the largest and deepest fjord system in the world and birthplace to many of Greenland’s glaciers, guaranteed to provide one of those true once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Discover Eastern Greenland and Iceland with Scenic Eclipse >

Best-in-Class Ships

Ship design has come a long way in recent years, and luxury cruise lines are setting the standard. Smaller ships aren’t lacking in features – quite the opposite, in fact – and in many respects offer just as many options as their larger counterparts. Whether you want to fill your days with time spent by the pool, sipping on cocktails or burning off energy in the gym, you won’t find yourself short of choice.

Explora Journeys are pushing the boundaries of what you would think is possible at sea with their brand-new fleet.  Each ship is designed with home-like comfort in mind, seamlessly blending elegant Swiss precision with European craftsmanship, in partnership with the world’s foremost superyacht and luxury hospitality designers. EXPLORA I, launching in summer 2023, and EXPLORA II, setting sail in 2024, will both offer three outdoor pools and one indoor with a retractable glass roof, and not to mention over 700 square metres of wellness facilities. There’s also a casino and art gallery on board, while the 10 indoor and outdoor bar and lounge experiences provide curated entertainment and intimate performances as you sail to picturesque ports.

Be amongst the first to experience EXPLORA I >