Sailing to exotic destinations around the globe, cruise ships bring some of the best travel experiences possible. Efficiently gliding from place to place, lifelong dreams are realized on a variety of cruise lines and ships of all sizes. While cruise travel is indeed a great value compared to visiting the same places on any given itinerary by land, we’re throwing that thought overboard. What if we had all the time in the world and there was no budget to consider? These would be some top choices and solid contenders for the best cruises in the world.
Seabourn Cruises 21-Day Ultimate Antarctica and Patagonia
Not every cruise ship can travel to Antarctica. It takes a reinforced, ice-rated hull just to make the trip. Seabourn has that and takes their luxury cruise travelers there on a 21-day itinerary that begins in Buenos Aires, then stops by Uruguay and the Falklands on the way to six days in Antarctica. Sailing to the voyage’s end in Valparaiso, Chile nine days later, those on board Seabourn Quest will pass through the Strait of Magellan. They’ll stop at more ports in Argentina and Chile too, all while being pampered by the ship’s crew who all know their name before they step onto the ship.
A suite: $15,999
Azamara Club Cruises 18-Day Great Barrier Reef
The two small ships of Azamara Club Cruises get into places others can’t go. That’s an important ability they need on this nearly 5,000-mile voyage that begins in Asia and ends in Australia. Starting in Singapore, sail south to Bali and Komodo, Indonesia. Travel on to Australia’s Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns and more while enjoying spectacular sunsets at sea, ending in Sydney. Along the way, enjoy exclusive events and insider access not available on other cruise lines.
Top digs: $13,849
Viking Cruises 22-Day Barcelona, The Baltic And Beyond
Viking Cruises has a voyage through Western Europe and the Baltic that visits an eclectic mix of places normally requiring multiple sailings on other lines. Viking explorers will visit Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg and more, overnighting in several ports. Onboard Vikings new ships, travelers enjoy a nearly all-inclusive experience with a tour at every port of call and other onboard amenities that many cruise lines charge for.
A penthouse suite: $10,999
Nice trips to be sure, but back in the real world not everyone has that kind of cash to spend on a cruise. Out of luck? Not quite. Size up that ship a bit and some rather amazing itineraries come into view. Interestingly, TripIt tracks every place our cruise itineraries take us.
Holland America Line 22-Day Grand World Voyage
Holland America Line has a number of long sailings that take travelers to many of the same places more luxurious lines with smaller ships go. Sail from Istanbul on Holland America’s 2017 Grand World Voyage to Greece, Malta, Spain, Morocco and Portugal before ending at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades. There will be more spending onboard the less inclusive ms Amsterdam and you’ll be sailing with thousands rather than hundreds.
Still, a suite stacks up nicely: $7,999
What About Me?
Widening that net a bit further to include travelers with both limited cash and time, no one should be left at the dock as their dream sails off into the sunset.
Crystal Cruises 9-Day Caribbean Cachet
Crystal Cruises has sailings a bit shorter on the time and price tag but long on luxury. Their 9-Day Caribbean Cachet itinerary sails round trip from Miami, first cruising the old Bahama Channel on the way to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. From there, Crystal Serenity sails to St. Bart’s for an overnight stay, docked among multi-million dollar yachts at the French West Indies port. On the way back, a stop at Hemingway’s Key West seals the deal.
Price point: $3,999
Better news: these and many more itineraries are available and real contenders for the best cruises in the world, even for those who don’t have unlimited time and resources.