A luxury cruise vacation is something most of us dream about. Sailing the ocean under sunny skies, our every want and need anticipated by attentive staff, food and wine everywhere we look, not a worry in the world. Well, what's keeping you?
Three-quarters of the earth is covered by water. What better way to explore our planet than in style on a cruise ship? Today's luxury cruises run the gamut from small vessels that carry 8 or 10 passengers to giant ocean liners with every amenity you could imagine, and a few you could not.
If you want a smaller, more intimate luxury cruise, look into small-ship luxury cruises. These all feature the service you would expect at a 5-star resort. You'll use fine china for dining, eat outstanding cuisine prepared by highly-trained chefs, and enjoy a selection of activities and destinations.
The smallest luxury cruises are actually aboard chartered yachts, and you can have the ship all to yourself – or your group. Ships that sleep 34, 42, up to 80 can be chartered to travel at your whim.
However, there are several cruise lines that specialize in small-ship luxury cruises. Regent Seven Seas features four different luxury ships: the Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and the Paul Gauguin. The Seven Seas Mariner was the first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship in the world and was such a hit she was quickly followed by the Voyager. Both the Voyager and the Mariner sleep up to 700 guests, while the Navigator can accommodate up to 490 travelers and the Paul Gauguin can travel with 330 guests.
Crystal and Cunard are two other cruise lines well-known for providing luxury on cruise vacations. Crystal's luxury liner the Crystal Serenity can accommodate 1,080 guests and typically sails in Europe and the South Pacific. However, she's scheduled for an around-the-world tour departing from Los Angeles in January of 2008 and arriving in Southampton, England, 110 days later.
Cunard Cruise Line was founded in Britain in 1838 and has been sailing successfully since then. They are well-known for both safety and luxury. Currently, the Cunard Line sails three luxury liners, the world-renamed Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), the Queen Victoria, and the Queen Mary 2.
The immortal QE2 is 963 feet in length and can cruise with up to 1,778 guests aboard. She has logged 5.5 million nautical miles, carried over 2 million guests, and is still the fastest merchant ship in operation. Definitely one of a kind!
The Queen Mary 2 is one of the most magnificent ocean liners of all time. At 1,132 feet she can sail with up to 3,056 passengers in full luxury. Billed as "your sanctuary at sea", the accommodations and dining are first-rate. A luxurious ballroom, planetarium, and sports decks will all keep you occupied. The spa will relax you when you're all done.
Launching in December 2007, Cunard's Queen Victoria will sail her maiden voyage to New York. At 964.5 feet, she'll accommodate 1,980 passengers on 12 decks with typical Cunard service and cuisine.
There are many, many choices for luxury cruise vacations, but no matter which ship, line, or destination you choose, you'll remember that cruise for the rest of your life.