The best luxury cruise ships: Our top five

Champagne, fine dining and first-class service are all hallmarks of the best luxury cruise ships. So it’s little wonder more and more people are getting onboard!

Indeed, there have been plenty of new luxury cruise ships launched in the last year, but newer isn’t always better.

In fact some of the World’s best luxury cruise ships have been pampering guests for almost a decade. So what are the best luxury cruise ships? Here’s our top five:

1. Seabourn Odyssey

When it comes to luxury on the high seas, Seabourn Odyssey has it all. There is 5-star dining, Broadway quality shows, resort-style pools and… free French Champagne!

Seabourn Odyssey gets you closer.

Seabourn Odyssey gets you closer.

In fact, once you step onboard Seabourn Odyssey you may never want to leave. Every indulgence is catered for, from pampering spa treatments to caviar on demand.

Read our Seabourn Odyssey Review

See how it compare with our Seabourn Ovation review

We especially like the mix of dining venues. There’s The Grill by Michelin starred chef Thomas Keller and the World’s best buffet at sea – The Colonnade. Plus Seabourn Odyssey’s excellent main Restaurant which we rate at 5-stars.

But what makes Seabourn Odyssey extra special is the service. There’s a real warmth and a genuine desire to please. In fact the staff often anticipate what you’ll want next! Seabourn Odyssey is truly one of best luxury cruise ships.

2. L’Austral

If the idea of sailing on an all-inclusive luxury French mega-yacht with just 120 rooms appeals, then L’Austral is for you.

L’Austral may be small, but she makes up for it in style. She has a sophisticated French decor that makes you feel more like you’re staying at the Four Season than on an expedition cruise ship.

The exclusive teak pool deck on Ponant's L'Austral.

The exclusive teak pool deck on Ponant’s L’Austral.

L’Austral Deluxe Stateroom review

And L’Austral will take you to some of the World’s most remote and rarely visited places too. You can experience wilderness and cultures that few others will, but after a day exploring there’s always your floating French resort to return to, with its spectacular facilities and exceptional food – which incidentally is inspired by legendary chef Alain Ducasse.

It all makes L’Austral one of best luxury cruise ships.

3. Silver Spirit

Silver spirit has been one of the World’s favourite luxury cruise ships since she debuted in 2009, and it’s easy to see why. She had more restaurants, more space and more facilities than any other ship in her class. 

Silver Spirit was refitted in March 2018.

Silver Spirit was refitted in March 2018.

Silver Spirit has resort-style pools, an indulgent Zagara spa and elegant suites with private verandas. There is even butler service for everyone! Plus Silver Spirit is all inclusive which means you’ll never have to pay extra for French Champagne or top shelf spirits. 

Silver Spirit is also a haven for foodies, with some of the best restaurants at sea. Our favourites are Silver Note which combines fantastic food with wonderful cabaret and Le Dame – the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea. Silver Spirit also has Japanese, Italian and seafood speciality restaurants. 

Silver Spirit lengthening announced

Now silver spirit has been made even better with a jaw-dropping renovation that has seen it lengthen by 40 feet, giving guests even more space and luxury. 

4. Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 is ideal for those who like their luxury big! Indeed, she’s the World’s biggest luxury ocean liner. There’s room for 2,691 passengers across three levels of service, but for true luxury the first-class service of the Queens Grill is hard to beat.

Queen Mary 2 is the biggest luxury ocean liner.

Queen Mary 2 is the biggest luxury ocean liner.

There are just 82 Queens Suites, plus a handful of even bigger signature suites, all of which boast a smart new English-chic decor. Every one has dedicated butler service too, as well as exclusive access to the Grills Lounge and famous Queens Grill restaurant.

Queen Mary 2 Queens Suite review

Grills guests also have exclusive access to a beautiful teak terrace with it’s own heated whirlpool, dedicated staff and regular gourmet snack offerings.

5. Silver Whisper

Sliver Whisper is the second Silversea cruise ship in our list of best luxury cruise ships, and with good reason. She has the elegance and intimacy of a great luxury Italian hotel, plus she can take you places other cruise ships never visit.

Dining at La Terrazza on Silver Whisper.

Dining at La Terrazza on Silver Whisper.

Silver Whisper is one of the smaller ships in the Silversea ocean fleet with room for just 382 pampered guests and everyone sails first-class. That means spacious suites with butler service, exceptional dining options and an all-inclusive beverage offering.

Silver Whisper Review

What makes Silver Whisper extra-special is the close-knit atmosphere among the staff and guests. Italian hospitality shines through with impeccable service and genuine warmth.

Summing up the best luxury cruise ships

So what makes for the best of the best luxury cruise ships? While the recreational facilities and restaurants are all important, in our view the best luxury cruise ships all share one thing in common: Impeccable, personalised service. That’s what keeps luxury cruisers coming back for more.

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