Usually, when someone asks my favourite cruise lines, I say “anything beginning with S”, referring to Seabourn, Silversea and the lesser known SeaDream. But a Top 10 was hard to judge fairly, as I have not yet sailed on every ship in the world! So in some cases, I had to compare luxury lines’ features “on paper” and make a call.
Therefore this list is not necessarily in order, and my last choice, Azamara, is not technically classified as luxury. However, I think it’s right up there with the “S” ships. (And it didn’t hurt that I was staying in a big suite with a butler.) Oceania Cruises also prefers to call itself “upper premium”. Then I took into consideration how often I’d heard other people raving about a cruise line. So you see, it’s hard to compare. Basically, you can’t go far wrong with any of these ships.
For the full listing, check out the article: Top 10 luxury cruise companies – Australian Gourmet Traveller (Feb 2013 issue).
2. Seabourn (can we call it a tie? It’s like choosing your favourite child!)
3. Regent Seven Seas
– very generous of me, since I haven’t stepped foot on their ships, but this line is always winning awards and definitely the most all-inclusive. Colleagues rave about them.
4. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
– Europa has been rated the world’s #1 ship for the past 247 years (slight exaggeration) by the Berlitz bible of cruising. Respect.
– also worthy of being my #1, based on the crew, purely indulgent activities and friendly vibe, but I did this one back in 2005 so I think I need a refresher…
6. Crystal Cruises
– best of the bigger ships, if the five smaller ships above are too cosy for you.
7. Oceania Cruises
– stay tuned for my review, live from the Marina, in March.
8. Star Clippers
– this line has those tall ships with sails billowing in the wind – nice!
9. Sea Cloud Cruises
– also has the masted ships, but I did a Black Sea cruise on a river vessel and the food and crew were outstanding.
– not classified as luxury, but getting it right on every level.