Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship in Flåm, Norway - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World

The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship in Flåm, Norway - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship in Flåm, Norway


Taking a luxury cruise across the seas to awesome destinations and spectacular places around the world is one of the few most memorable ways to explore, discover and experience the world in style and elegance. Luxury cruise lines make this happen!

Vacations at sea are incomparable to any other means of enjoying the glamour and grandeur of the world around in the most exclusive, entertaining and opulent manner.

Nothing is like sailing on the wide seas, visiting unique destinations and experiencing beautiful sceneries, breathtaking landscapes and pristine fresh sea air in the comfort of your balcony on a posh sea vessel.

I bring to you in this post a definitive list of the top 10 best luxury cruise lines in the world as a guide to help you explore and choose among the best luxury cruise lines most suitable for your first or next vacation or seafaring adventure.

Many of the luxury cruise lines featured here have some of the most upscale and exclusive cruise facilities and services onboard their vessels (ships). Several include shore excursions, free Wi-Fi, elegant suites with balconies and ultra-modern furniture and fittings, and several fine dining restaurants with personalized services e.g. a private chef or butler.

Helicopter services, private jet bookings, consigliere, and high-class social amenities are included in some Luxury Cruise Lines voyages.

Here is my list of the 10 best luxury cruise lines in the world for a perfect luxury vacation or holiday at sea.

Regent Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Ship - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Regent Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Ship

1. Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn is an award-winning ultra-luxury cruise line under the ownership of Carnival Corporation.

There are three ship sizes in the Seabourn fleet with a maximum capacity of 600 passengers. And there is a high crew-to-guest ratio on board many of the Seabourn luxury cruise ships.

Seabourn is not only into leisure hospitality at sea cruises, they also have an expedition cruise ship (the Seabourn Venture) taking a maximum of 264 passengers to extreme and exhilarating destinations around the world.

Typical of Seabourn’s luxury ships is the Seabourn square, similar to town squares, this is a social and meeting area in the middle of the cruise ships. This is an amazing on-board arena where you can meet and socialise with fellow high-class guests.

Upscale restaurants, coffee shops, comfy lounges, and expert guides are some of the amazing features of Seabourn cruises.

The cruise line is also remarkable for its delectable food sometimes with complimentary caviar and on-board bespoke entertainment and recreational services.

What a cool way to cruise around the world!

Read Also: The 6 Most Popular Cruise Destinations in the World (Popular Post)

The Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Ship in Manaus, Brazil - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
The Seabourn Odyssey Cruise Ship in Manaus, Brazil

2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) is perhaps one of the best luxury cruise lines in the world for unrivalled all-inclusive cruises. The cruise line is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

With five luxury cruise ships having a maximum of 750 cruise guests, Regent Seven Seas ships are all-suite with charming balconies and gorgeous furnishings.

The cruise lines usually go the extra mile to give their cruise guests the most pleasing experiences. From shore excursions, Wi-Fi, international flights and on-board services, Regent Seven Seas makes sure its passengers have the most gratifying cruise experience there can be.

RSSC cruise ships normally feature two really-nice restaurants, Pacific Rim and Chartreuse, as well as a steak house, Prime 7.

Expect outstanding services aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruise ships albeit with a comfy and splendid traditional luxury feel.

Splendour, Seven Seas Grandeur and the Seven Seas Explorer are the largest of Regent’s cruisers with each carrying a maximum of 750 passengers.

Regent Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Ship in Sydney Harbour, Australia - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Regent Seven Seas Navigator Cruise Ship in Sydney Harbour, Australia

3. Silversea Cruises

The Royal Caribbean Group’s operated Silversea Cruises is renowned for its iconic private butler services; Otium (a new luxury spa service that started on Silversea’s Silver Dawn cruise ship) and its new culinary program, the S.A.L.T. (meaning Sea and Land Taste).

Silversea offers award-winning all-inclusive cruises on its fleet of ten (10) intimate ships. They are all-suite luxury ships having top-notch interiors and suite grades ranging from the Owners to the Veranda suites. Butler and private chef services are offered in the cruise line’s upper-tier suites.

Covering 900 destinations across seven continents including Antarctica, the largest Silversea ship accommodates 596 guests and close to 400 crew members, this means more exclusivity and personalized onboard services.

Silversea cruises usually include shore excursions, free Wi-Fi, ship-to-shore transportation, in-cabin mini bar, restaurants and a redefining tasteful style of luxury not only for foodies but also for all classes of luxury cruise guests.

Read Also: The Top 6 Best Luxury Destinations in the World

Silversea Silver Cloud Cruise Ship on Elbe - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Silversea Silver Cloud Cruise Ship on Elbe

4. Viking Cruises

An adult-only cruise line perfect for a romantic vacation with a spouse or partner, Viking Cruises, offers a wide range of adult-themed onboard facilities and services including fireplaces, spas and infinity pools.

Viking Cruises is originally a river and ocean cruise line and recently ventured into expedition cruises and the Great Lakes sailings. The cruise line offers destination-focused journeys on all seven continents.

Viking is a privately held cruise line and it has its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

In their own words, Viking Cruises boasts that they “invented modern river cruising, reinvented ocean cruises & now are perfecting expedition cruises.” [Source]

In 2022, Viking topped Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The cruise line was ranked No. 1 in the best mid-size ship category as well as in the river cruise category.

No matter the flavour of your cruising appetite – ocean/sea, river or expedition, Viking’s cruise ships are “floating hotels” that grant you splendour and pleasure as you explore the most exciting cruise destinations across the world.

The Viking Sea Cruise Ship Docks in Port - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
The Viking Sea Cruise Ship Docks in Port

5. Oceania Cruises

A subsidiary of the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Oceania Cruises operates six (6) luxury cruise ships – the Marina, Riviera, Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Sirena (and the new Oceania Vista). Oceania offers international sails to several exotic destinations worldwide and 450 different ports of call annually.

The highlight of this cruise line is its award-winning culinary programs and its Go Local shore excursions that target small groups of cruise guests to not-so-known destinations. Oceania focuses on the culinary and cultural exploration of cruise destinations.

One of the cruise guests of Oceania remarks: “Luxurious ship, over-the-top food, outstanding staff and incredible itineraries – Oceania Cruises is the perfect way to travel the world.” [Source]

2025 Around The World Cruise | Oceania Cruises | Official Youtube Video

6. Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises operates only one tailor-made 332-passenger luxury vessel registered eponymously and it offers cruises only in the South Pacific region, especially in the French Polynesia.

If you want to “deep-explore” the South Pacific islands in the most grandeur and opulent manner, Paul Gauguin Cruises is the way to go. No cruise line sails the South Pacific better than Paul Gauguin!

Outside French Polynesia, the cruise line operates sails to other destinations within the region such as Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

Due to the smaller size of the Gauguin cruise vessel, the ship can access private ports at remote beaches and destinations bigger ships dare not venture into, all, without sacrificing any bit of luxury, pleasure and comfort you will enjoy on larger luxury cruise vessels.

The ship features an impressive marina with several water sports toys, three restaurants and posh cabins with incredible views of the sea. Almost 70% of Paul Gauguin cabins have balconies.

Offering all-inclusive luxury cruises with gourmet dining, a 24-hour room service menu, shopping, Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, spa treatment and exquisite accommodation. The premium suites on the ship come with a butler service.

Paul Gauguin was named the best small-ship ocean cruise line in Travel+Leisure’s 2022 World’s Best Awards.

See Also: The Top 5 Best Expedition Destinations in the World

Le Paul Gaugin Cruise Ship - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Le Paul Gaugin Cruise Ship [Source]

7. Windstar Cruises

One of the best cruise lines for optimum intimate cruising experience, Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships accommodating 148 to 342 guests each.

Windstar cruise ships call on 150 ports across Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific.

The highlight of Windstar sails is the intimacy it provides and the scrumptious onboard cuisines designed by renowned chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants. The meals and especially the iconic Windstar barbecue are extraordinary. This is one of the most enchanting culinary-focused cruise lines you can ever sail with.

Intimacy and world-class cuisines amidst on-sea opulence aboard one of the cosiest and ritzy small-sized sea vessels out there, what more can you ask for on an exclusive luxury sea vacation?

According to Windstar, “This intimacy provides you with the luxuries of time, space and freedom to immerse yourself in both the journey and the destination – in ways you may never imagine possible.” [Source]

Windstar Knows the Way | Windstar Cruises Official Youtube Video

8. Cunard

Cunard is a highly esteemed British luxury cruise line reputable for its transatlantic sails.

The cruise line is headquartered in Southampton, England and is operated by Carnival UK a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation plc.

Being one of the oldest cruise lines around, founded in 1840, Cunard is mostly preferred by the elderly, especially retirees. However, don’t be fooled by this because aboard any of Cunard’s cruise ships, it is more like a home at sea away from home – there is something to delight everyone!

The 3 Queens that compose Cunard’s fleet are Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Some of these ships accommodate passengers exceeding 2,000 in numbers.

The Queen Mary 2 is Cunard’s only luxury ship that cruises the transatlantic route.

Things are relatively formal aboard all Cunard ships.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth offers sails to alluring destinations in Japan, East Asia, Alaska and around Australia and you can relax aboard Queen Victoria on voyages across the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship in Flåm, Norway - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Cunard Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship in Flåm, Norway

9. Ponant

Founded in 1988, Ponant is a French luxury cruise line headquartered in Marseille, France.

Ponant (aka Compagnie du Ponant – CDP in French) operates eleven (11) exceptional cruise ships. These megayacht-class and France-flagged ships are designed to make the line’s passengers feel as if they are travelling on their private yachts.

Aboard all Ponant ships, guests can relax and enjoy Laduree macarons, and Veuve Clicquot Champagne and some vessels are fitted with ultra-luxurious Hermes bath products.

The cruise line specializes in premium adventure cruises primarily targeting the French-speaking source market with all-inclusive cruise deals. [Source]

Ponant mega-yachts offer modern amenities similar to those you will find on higher-tier private yachts. Premium guest services by highly-trained staff and crew and 5-star hotel experiences for passengers are at the core of Ponant cruise services.

This first-of-its-kind French cruise line operates cruises and itineraries to destinations globally including the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, South America, and Australia.

CDP is one of the most popular luxury polar cruise operators in the world offering extraordinary sails to the Arctic and Antarctica. Most Ponant ships operate majorly in Antarctica.

Le Ponant, a three-masted ship with 16 lavish staterooms, is the most famous of the cruise line vessels. It also has ultra-luxurious ships including Le Boreal, L’Austral, Le Soleal, Le Lyrial and Le Laperouse (an explorer cruise ship).

All Ponant cruise ships offer mega yacht experience to all their passengers.

Must Read: The 10 Best Travel Destinations in the Caribbean

A Ponant Cruise Ship on Paulet Island in Antarctica - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
A Ponant Cruise Ship on Paulet Island in Antarctica

10. Scenic

Operating both river and ocean luxury cruises, Scenic is one of the cruise lines to sail with if you prefer an intimate and ultra-personalized yacht-style experience.

While the line operates ultra-luxurious river cruises in Europe and Asia, you can sail in style with Scenic on the Scenic Eclipse – a 200-passenger cruise ship to exotic and much-coveted destinations worldwide across the seas.

Aboard the Scenic Eclipse, there is abundant space to play and relax and you will find dining, large spas, gyms and butler services onboard.

This ultra-luxurious small-size sea marvel features eight (8) restaurants and huge 5-star suites. The ship also has generous public spaces including a main reception/bar area as well as a lecture theatre.

Scenic Eclipse Cruise Ship - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Scenic Eclipse Cruise Ship

Other Amazing Luxury Cruise Lines (Honourable Mentions)

While in this post I covered the top 10 best luxury cruise lines in the world, there are a few other cruise lines out there that might be of interest to you based mainly on your personal preferences.

Hence, here is a list of five (5) additional amazing luxury cruise lines you may consider:

  1. Virgin Voyages
  2. Crystal Cruises
  3. Azamara Club Cruises
  4. Celebrity Cruises, and
  5. SeaDream

Some other classes or categories of cruise passengers may also prefer to sail with either the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection or Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship in Port at Night - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
The Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship in Port at Night


The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World curated, presented and discussed from the above include:

  1. Seabourn Cruise Line
  2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  3. Silversea Cruises
  4. Viking Cruises
  5. Oceania Cruises
  6. Paul Gauguin Cruises
  7. Windstar Cruises
  8. Cunard
  9. Ponant, and
  10. Scenic

These are the best cruise lines you can sail with for the most luxurious on-the-sea experiences of a lifetime.

From lavish suites, 5-star hospitality, exclusivity and personalized onboard services and programs (e.g. culinary programs & workshops) to recreational amenities, shore excursions and cultural immersions, these cruise lines are simply the best for your first or next luxury sea holiday or vacation.

See Also: The 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Europe

Ponant Cruise Ship on a Scenic Lake in New Zealand - The Top 10 Best Luxury Cruise Lines in the World
Ponant Cruise Ship on a scenic Lake in New Zealand


Voyaging in style on the high seas is one of the most remarkable ways to explore, discover and experience the world with splendour. A luxury vacation or holiday on the sea is probably one way to give yourself a once-in-a-lifetime treat after months of hard work – you deserve this!

Luxury cruising is generally characterized by smaller ships, fewer passengers, more intimate cruise space, exclusivity, personalized services and better attention to detail.

Choosing the best luxury cruise line can be overwhelming, this post simplifies this for you by presenting and discussing the top 10 best luxury cruise lines you can choose from.

To choose the best luxury cruise line for your vacation or any other luxury sailing purpose, you may need to consider things like the type of onboard experience you desire, the destinations of your interest, onboard amenities and services, the size of the ship, and quality of hospitality aboard the ship (including foods and accommodation) among others.

On most occasions, reputation, track record and guests’ experiential reviews are important in helping you to choose the most appropriate cruise line for your voyages and/or sea vacations.

“Sailing across the seas and oceans through mountains and forests and to destinations farfetched is an adventure that you should experience at least once in a lifetime” [Source]. And doing this with a luxury cruise line is the only way to exclusive glamour, class, elegance and a royalty-like lifetime experience as you explore, discover and enjoy the world through the seas.

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