While cruising generally is, in and of itself, a luxurious way to travel, a handful of cruise lines really take it to the next level and offer up some of the most sumptuous dining options, exceptional amenities and unparalleled levels of service in the entire industry. Discerning travelers who want to enjoy the topnotch benefits of a bona fide luxury cruise should turn their attention to five great lines in particular. Cunard, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and Crystal Cruises make up the crème de la crème in terms of luxury among the major cruise lines.

What is it that makes these five lines so exceptional? In an industry that is already known for offering some of the most refined methods of travel in the world, standing out is no easy task. However, each of these five lines does so with aplomb. As you’ll see below, each of our picks for top luxury cruise lines boast succulent cuisine, spacious and well-appointed interiors, small but important touches, unbelievable passenger-to-crew ratios – and a whole lot more.

Familiarize yourself with the top five most luxurious cruise lines and their standout ships, then prepare yourself for a truly dazzling cruise experience.

Photo Credit: Gary Bembridge

Crystal Cruises

With the exception of those who are intensely private, Crystal Cruises will absolutely charm and amaze virtually anyone who is lucky enough to travel with them. On a Crystal cruise, you truly are waited on hand and foot, which is a high indicator of genuine luxury. On Crystal Cruises, California sensibilities meet resplendent décor, unbeatable cuisine and world class amenities to create what just might be the most luxurious cruise experience in the world today.

The Crystal Serenity: Charm, Class and Elegance Personified On the Crystal Serenity, every single massive penthouse suite comes with its very own butler. When you combine that with excellent educational opportunities, evening casino fun, afternoon tea and elegant dancing, you simply can’t do better than the Serenity. Dozens of unique activities converge with European menus to make the Crystal Serenity one of the most mesmerizing ships in the world today.

Photo Credit: Andrew W. Sieber

Oceania Cruises

With butlers tending to each one of the 62 suites on each of its ships, Oceania Cruises strives to meet and exceed the expectations of its highly discerning passengers – and succeeds with flying colors. The entertainment on board Oceania’s well-appointed ships is deliberately low-key – the name of the game here is serenity, refinement and relaxation. Itineraries feature frequent stops at stunning ports of call, where guests can really let loose.

The Regatta: An Idyllic And Intimate Resort Experience At Sea For those who want to roll up a country club style resort experience with a port-intensive cruise, the Oceania Regatta is a natural choice. Boutique style décor make passengers feel as if they are aboard a massive and luxurious day spa or resort, and a martini bar with a pianist adds a dose of classic appeal to the overall ambiance of the ship. On a ship where trays are brought to your table even during buffet-style dining, you know you’re on a topnotch cruise.

Photo Credit: Beaster725

Regent Seven Seas

With some of the largest luxury ships on the seas today, Regent Seven Seas excels in every area that matters when it comes to providing stellar service, amenities and features. It is well known that experienced cruise ship passengers flock to Regent Seven Seas again and again due to the truly exceptional luxury experience that it offers. The highest space-per-guest and staff-per-guests ratios in the cruise industry put the icing on the cake of Regent’s phenomenal features.

The Seven Seas Navigator: Sumptuous Luxury In An Intimate Package If you’re wondering why the Seven Seas Navigator stands apart from the crowd so well, consider this: This 490-passenger ship boasts a crew of 340. Indeed, the passenger-to-staff ratio is remarkable, but it’s the intimate nature of the prime amenities on board the Navigator that really help it excel. Known for mouthwatering cuisine and long, delightful itineraries, the Navigator is class personified.

Silversea Cruises

With Silversea Cruises, everything – from the largest to the most minuscule of details – is the best of the best. No expenses are spared with Silversea, and everything is truly all-inclusive on every single one of its itineraries. Every one of its ships is made up of suites only – three-quarters of which have their own verandahs – that boast walk-in closets and flat-panel TVs. At any given moment on any given Silversea ship, passengers can enjoy the best drinks, dining and entertainment.

The Silver Shadow: Service To The Highest Degree The Silver Shadow is intimate luxury cruising redefined. In addition to boasting a bevy of prime amenities – including tastefully refined décor in soft golds and blues, comfortable and quiet lounges and Champagne in every room – the Silver Shadow truly stands out from the crowd with its wonderful service. The staff is among the most highly trained and friendly on the seas today. Add in delectable regional cuisine, and you’ve got the makings of a grade-A luxury cruise ship.

Photo Credit: Simon Cobb


As the oldest cruise line still sailing the seas today, Cunard is a venerable company that has always been synonymous with solid class, style and refinement. From high teas featuring white-gloved servers to separate dining quarters for different classes of passengers, Cunard creates an effortless atmosphere of tradition with a healthy dose of pomp and circumstance. The classic décor of each of its ships harks back to simpler, more prestigious times.

The Queen Mary 2: Cunard’s Best In Show In a cruise line that is already near the head of the class in terms of, well, class, Cunard truly outdoes itself with the Queen Mary 2. The Queen Mary 2 takes grandeur to the next level, offering high ceilings, massive rooms and a lot of open space amid its Art Deco décor. Better yet, the Queen Mary 2 boasts the largest dedicated ballroom of any ship afloat today. Finally, the only at-sea planetarium, Illuminations, offers a dose of extra exclusivity.