The Luxury Side of Cruising

When it comes to travel, there is nothing to compare to the levels of service one receives aboard any cruise ship in the world - even the ones we refer to as mass-market. So, to take the concept of luxury even a step further, what could possibly be more luxurious than the level of food and service you get on the world's top luxury cruise lines?

Which Are the Luxury Cruise Lines? In alphabetical order: the lines that CruiseMates puts into the luxury category are Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club and Silversea Cruises. Meanwhile, four other lines also deserve honorable mention, because they appeal to many of the same people. These lines are Azamara, Cunard, Oceania Cruises and Windstar. They all have distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from the mainstream cruise market.

CruiseMates Guide to Luxury Cruise Lines Read these four articles for a complete education in the ways in which luxury cruise lines vary from the rest of the cruise lines, and even more importantly, how they vary from each other. You will be surprised at the variety of luxury options available to you, from one of the biggest ships in the world, Queen Mary 2, to some of the most elite, the 200 passenger Yachts of Seabourn.
Looking for Luxury What constitutes a top-end cruise line? Gourmet cuisine, tips & drinks included, exotic ports and more. The latest in a series.
The Luxury Lineup - Part 1 An in-depth comparison of two luxury cruise lines with the largest luxury ships at sea, Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. Both great cruise lines, with enough differences to take note.
The Luxury Lineup - Part 2 Seabourn, SeaDream, Silversea. Our in-depth luxury cruise lines comparison continues, including our number one pick!
The Luxury Lineup - Part 3 Cunard, Oceania Cruises and Windstar: honorable mention for different reasons. Includes our personal favorite.

Two Important Luxury Cruise Spotlight Articles

What is the Luxury Cruise Appeal?
Why do some people happily pay higher cruise fares for inclusive options they may never use?
Comparing Cruise Cost: Luxury to Mainstream
You can actually choose either cruising experience for the exact same price.

Additional Luxury Cruising Articles

Silversea Features Top Winemakers
By Janice Wald Henderson Here is a rare chance to rub shoulders with the "Superstar Winemakers" of Napa Valley at sea
Cruiser's Culinary Cheat Sheet
by Janice Wald Henderson Have you ever been stumped by a word on a cruise ship menu? Here is your cruiser's culinary cheat sheet.   Go>
Crystal Cruises Culinary Coups
by Janice Wald Henderson In today's luxury cruise market a ship must whip up culinary razzle-dazzle to keep fans.
Nobu to Sail on Crystal
By Janice Wald Henderson Nobody does it better than master chef Nobu - to sail on special Crystal cruises
Oceania - a Wave of New Cuisine
By Janice Wald Henderson Grand Dining Room menu will introduce 85 New Dishes
Seabourn Sells Three Ships
Seabourn will build a fourth larger ship and sell its three smaller, original ships to Windstar Cruises
Seabourn Cruises to Antarctica
Seabourn will offer luxury cruises to the southern Polar Region beginning this November, 2013
Take Your Sweetie to Tahiti
A special cruise line incentive for a romantic cruise to give as a gift for Valentine's Day
Class Act Cooks on Silversea
By Janice Wald Henderson Learn to Cook in free classes from Relais and Châteaux on Swank Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises Celebrates 10 Years
The scrappy and independent upstart, Oceania Cruises, is actually growing up!
Luxe Lunch Aboard Crystal
By Janice Wald Henderson Taking a tour for a taste of the "luxe" Crystal Symphony while she is in port in Los Angeles.
Crystal Offers Solo Cruiser Discounts
Single supplements as low as 10% make certain Crystal 2013 sailings very attractive to solo cruisers
Silversea Brings Back Best-fare Guarantees
The new "Silver Privilege" program offers guests a guaranteed, simple to understand, low-fare price structure with best price guarantees if the fare goes even lower.
Silversea Launches Silver Galapagos
by Janice Wald Henderson Silversea's second five-star expedition-focused cruise ship combines luxury with green tourism
Azamara Going All Inclusive in 2013
The "upscale" cruise line now includes on-shore adventures, beverages and gratuities in the cruise fare.
"Oceania Club" Loyalty Program Expanded
Oceania adds a new level for beginners and adds new perks to the upper levels of the Oceania Club
Silversea to Host Michelin-Star Chefs
By Janice Wald Henderson CruiseMates Culinary Editor Silversea's guest chefs have serious cooking credentials on an international scale.
Crystal Taps Celeb Chefs Down Under, 2013
By Janice Wald Henderson, CruiseMates Culinary EditorThe luxury cruise line will take Aussie culinary stars on its Down Under cruises
Welcome Viking Ocean Cruises
The new luxury cruise line now has financing in place to build two or three new ships
Crystal Discounts for Solo Cruisers
Crystal Cruises has single supplements as low as 110-percent for Mediterranean cruises this fall.
Oceania Brings Us the Riviera
With two brand new ships now comprising the majority of capacity, Oceania has been transformed into a completely new cruise line.
Oceania's Riviera Delivers Cuisine
The Bon Appétit Culinary Center on Oceania's new ships delivers a cooking experience no other line can match.
Oceania Riviera - First Report
Oceania hits another home run with Riviera, the follow up sister to Marina, the best of breed "Up-scale" ships in the world
Oceania Cruises Says "Bon Appétit!"
by Janice Wald Henderson Set sail on two fine food and wine voyages onboard the upcoming Riviera and Marina.
Sailing Oceania's Riviera
Casual elegance meets style and sophistication aboard the newest vessel from upscale Oceania Cruises.
Regent Adds Fine Italian Dining
By Janice Wald Henderson Regent Seven Seas will now feature full service Italian dining nightly across the fleet.
Oceania 2013 European Cruises on Sale Now
Oceania Marina and Riviera bookings in Europe 2013 just opened yesterday with 2 for 1 fares and free air.
Foodie Cruise, French-Style
by Janice Wald Henderson Le Boréal Superstar Chef Sailing will appeal to the most demanding fans of Michelin-starred French cuisine.
Oceania Marina: Best Cuisine at Sea
A gourmand's delight, the Marina proudly prepares a cornucopia of culinary creations that rival the food offerings on luxury lines.
Crystal Cruises' Notable Nobu News
by Janice Wald Henderson Nobu Matsuhisa, will grace a Crystal Serenity sailing with his presence, personally preparing dishes and teaching a cooking class.
Silversea Steps Up Entertainment
Brand new shows from proven hit makers are making their debuts on Silversea ships right now.
Calculating Passenger Space Ratio
Exactly how useful is this industry standard? In some cases not useful at all.
Crystal Cruises Redefined
Crystal is ready to give its rivals a run for their money as the cruise line pairs its luxury excellence with all-inclusive fares.
Crystal's New Year
by Judy Cuervo In 2012, Crystal Cruises embraces the all-inclusive model found aboard many of its competitors.
Crystal Symphony's Pacific Sunsets Cruise
by Judy Cuervo It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Seabourn Sojourn First Cruise
My first time on The Yachts of Seabourn, long known as one of the best cruise lines in the world, and my first New England – Canada journey.
First-time Seabourn Cruiser
My first sailing experience with Seabourn Cruises finally fills a gap in my cruise experience that has haunted me for the last five years. So, how did it go?
Seabourn Adventure Begins
From the food to the venues, preliminary impressions onboard Seabourn Sojourn delight.
On Seabourn with Newt Gingrich
The Gingriches enjoy a well-deserved cruise vacation despite some silly media rhetoric.
Silversea Silver Wind Makeover
by Janice Wald Henderson Cruise ships are like Hollywood actors; they often get facelifts when they grow old. Personally, I like stars to mature naturally, and ships to undergo the knife.   Go>
Sept. 7, 2010
Silversea: More than a Cruise The luxury cruise line's attention to detail made the difference on our cruise to Egypt and Petra.

The Yachts of Seabourn: The Best Things in Small Packages. A contributed article by past president of Seabourn, Deborah Natansohn. Written Sept. 25, 2006

Cruising in Style on Crystal Serenity
It's hardly your typical luxury line -- not that there's anything wrong with that.   Go>
Seabourn Odyssey: New Luxury Standards
The first in a new wave in luxury ships debuts this week in Venice.   Go>
Trading Up to Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas Cruises makes All-Inclusive so affordable it's time for cruisers to consider trading Up.   Go>
Silversea's Prince Albert II
This small expedition vessel offers all the luxury and charm of Silversea, but in more exotic -- and challenging -- settings.   Go>
Silversea Presents Culinary Cruises
Silversea presents 11 culinary cruises featuring world-renowned chefs preparing regionally inspired dishes on special itineraries.   Go>
Silversea's New Prince Albert II
A new cruise ship review by CruiseMates staff features arguably the most luxurious expeditionary vessel afloat.   Go>
My Cruise on Silverseas' Silver Cloud -- Part I
In Part 1 of this two-part review, CruiseMates contributor E. Schlenk gives us some insight into luxury cruising on the Silver Cloud.  Go>
My Cruise on Silverseas' Silver Cloud -- Part II
In Part 2 of this two-part review, CruiseMates contributor E. Schlenk continues his detailed review of his recent cruise on the Silver Cloud.  Go>
On Cloud Nine Onboard the Silver Cloud
Cruisemates' community member Judi Cuervo discovers the joys of luxury cruising aboard Silverseas' Silver Cloud. 12-03-07
Regent Seven Seas: Delighting in the Details
Regent Seven Seas delights in those little details that make cruising extra special. Read more about what's in store for Regent's lucky passengers. 9-05-07
Hands-on Haute Cuisine from Regent
Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Le Cordon Bleu workshops reveal the secrets of world-renowned chefs.4-03-07
The Seabourn Experience Our correspondent discovers the difference in service and style on a 200-passenger luxury ship.

Seven Seas Mariner: The Long Cruise Challenge Regent's all-suite vessel keeps demanding guests satisfied on a 20-night voyage.

It Pays to Wait Our reporter learns the advantages of a late-season Med cruise on Oceania's Insignia.

The 2006 Luxury Lineup The six high-end cruise lines have a wealth of new ports and itineraries next year.

The Silversea Difference Our reporter finds out what makes this luxury line unique.

Crystal's Award-winning Entertainment The luxury line targets nighttime fare to its upscale passengers.

Crystal's Entertainment: Part Two Part Two. More on Crystal's award-winning entertainment.

How Suite It Is! Lines are competing to offer suite guests more than just extra space.

Haute Cuisine on Crystal Serenity Two new gourmet restaurants enhance the vessel's dining diversity.

Exploring the Globe Aboard Prinsendam Explore new ports on the Prinsendam as it sails in Europe and around the world.

We Can't Wait for Queen Mary 2 The latest pictures from the shipyard plus a cutaway rendering of the entire ship interior.

Spotlight on the QM2 All of our Queen Mary 2 coverage: pictures, feature articles, ship cutaway and more.

Aboard the Queen Mary 2 -- Part 1 Our correspondent, a QE2 repeater, evaluates the new Cunard ship on its maiden voyage.

Aboard Queen Mary 2: Part 2 Our correspondent tries out some of the new ship's many restaurants and lounges.

Queen Mary 2's Maiden Voyage Part 3 Our reporter continues his evaluation of facilities on the massive liner.

Queen Mary 2: Final Thoughts Our reporter lends his final impressions to his evaluation of Cunard's historic new liner.

Cuisine on the QM2 Cunard taps Todd English to bring gourmet dining to its new ship.

The Luxury Difference Kuki gets a taste of the high life on Radisson Seven Seas Voyager.

Silver Whisper's Cuisine Our 'foodie' reporter offers reviews and a couple of recipes from Silversea's kitchen.

First Look: Crystal Serenity Our reporter finds that Crystal's new vessel lives up to its luxury reputation.

Oceania Cruises' Regatta Pix A pictorial of Oceania Cruises' new Regatta, now sailing in Europe.

First Look: Seven Seas Voyager Radisson Seven Seas Cruises launches a luxurious all-suite sister ship to Mariner.

Cruising Russia's Rivers Part 1: Viking River Cruises' Moscow to St. Petersburg.

Cruising Russia's Rivers Part 2: Viking River Cruises' Moscow to St. Petersburg.

HAL's New Prinsendam Holland America refits the former Royal Viking/Seabourn Sun for upscale global itineraries. NewPrinsendam.cfm

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