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A luxury cruise ship is something extraordinary, taking lucky passengers on the sumptuous and intrepid holiday of a lifetime.

Your run-of-the-mill cruise holiday is luxury enough for most people - plenty of time for relaxation, meals cooked and cleaning done, pools to lounge by, entertainment on tap and exciting destinations to wake up to. Some even provide added touches of indulgence, like Royal Caribbean’s amazing suites and Princess’s luxurious beds. However true luxury cruising takes it up a notch, and offers a cruise experience that will make any other holiday pale in comparison. Extravagant, elegant and exciting in all aspects, these cruise lines combine relaxation and adventure into the very best of getaways.

Luxury cruise highlights

There are certain hallmarks of a luxury cruise which come together to make the experience amazing. One of the most significant is that many or most luxury cruises have all-inclusive fares to a certain degree, and this means that there’s no need to get out your wallet or cruise card for a drink at the bar, wine with dinner, and any onboard events. Some lines take this concept even further, with shore excursions, butler service, specialty restaurants, transfers, onshore hotels and more included as part of the total cost. It’s a bit of a treat to enjoy your cruise with no worries about budgeting for extras!

Other great things you can expect on a luxury cruise: Top-notch service in all areas, gourmet food in every restaurant, interesting and thought-provoking enrichment and entertainment options and sumptuous, comfortable furnishings in both public and private spaces. Many luxury cruises are also adventure cruises, with itineraries that go beyond the norm to explore the smaller ports and more isolated places that bigger mainstream cruise ships cannot reach.

Journeys might take you to the amazing scenic reaches of Australia and New Zealand, right into the heart of the beautiful Pacific or Caribbean island nations, touring the incredible history, food and culture of the Mediterranean, Baltic and other European towns and cities, to the sights and sounds of Asia or Africa, down to Antarctica or far north to the Arctic circle: the options are endless.

Find your voyage

The range of luxury cruise lines means you will always find the holiday that suits you. Some specialize in particular locations, such as Paul Gauguin’s Tahiti focus and the Celebrity Xpedition’s Galapagos explorations. Others have a broader range, including popular luxury fleets like those of Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas and Azamara.

Crystal cruises offers some large-ship luxury, while lines such as Scenic bring the experience to a port-intensive river cruise. Take your pick of great luxury cruises from the many unforgettable journeys featured on this page!

Luxury excursions we endorse for before, after and during your cruise

Let your luxury cruise continue once you return to shore. Extend your elegant holiday by booking in to a luxury hotel before or after you begin your cruise, or shop till you drop at some of the world’s most sophisticated stores. We’ve gathered together some of our top suggestions for a decadent escape.

The Goring

Impeccable style and luxurious comfort are what you can expect from London’s last remaining family-owned luxury hotel. The Goring will be a stay like no other that you experience in the British Isles. The Goring’s elegant suites, many of which have views of the hotel’s large garden, have all been created by celebrated British designers and effortlessly merge historic pieces and modern innovation to create the most spectacular rooms. Offering Michelin-starred dining, the quintessential afternoon tea and a great bar, The Goring is perfect for a London weekend getaway. Step off your luxury cruise and into one of the most spectacular hotels in England.

Where: 15 Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW, England
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7396 9000

The Tradewinds Hotel

Step into premium luxury with The Tradewinds Hotel in Fremantle, Australia. Spacious, modern rooms and state-of-the-art facilities await your visit, and with complimentary on-site parking for hotel guests, room service, onsite laundry services and free WIFi, you may never want to leave. As well as fantastic dining options at the Tradewinds Bar & Bistro, the hotel has the facilities to host large functions, meetings, and even weddings. Quiz nights and acoustic Friday events entertain guests each week, while the drink and meal specials keep them coming back for more. Just a 10-minute drive from the Fremantle port, overnight in the city to continue your luxury cruise on land.

Where: 59 Canning Highway, East Fremantle, Western Australia, 6158, Australia
Entrance at: 1 Sewell Street
Phone: +61 (0)8 9339 8188

Mountain Whispers

With a passion for restoring old villas to their original glory, Lorraine Allanson started Mountain Whispers; 4 beautifully re-decorated and renovated villas in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Stay a couple of nights in the Varenna, Strawberry Patch, Leura Rose or The Gatsby villa for a luxury getaway you’ll never forget. Indulge in all the bells and whistles by enjoying personal pampering, a private chef to cater to all your cuisine needs, and a luxurious bed and bath. With the Blue Mountains right on your doorstep, you can head out during the day to explore the beautiful ranges, or take a walk up to the Three Sisters lookout to witness the breathtaking views of New South Wales. Begin or end your luxury cruise at Mountain Whispers; less than 2 hours’ drive from the Sydney ports. 

Where: 314A Katoomba Street, Katoomba, New South Wales, 2780, Australia
Phone: +61 1300 721 321

The Rotating House

Accommodation like no other, The Rotating House is a magnificent and innovative guest house that slowly rotates 360°, providing the ultimate view and allowing you to observe the stunning surrounds of fields, bush and river. This fully equipped house offers everything you need for a luxury group getaway: 5 beautiful bedrooms, cosy indoor fireplace, TV and WiFi, a formal dining area, and a fantastic modern kitchen. Perfect for booking with your family or friends for an exciting weekend getaway, the Rotating House is 4 hours’ drive from the ports in Sydney; the ideal place to begin or end your luxury cruise.

Where: 95 Longview Close Caffreys Flat, New South Wales, 2424, Australia
Phone: +61 418 960 661

SassArt Jewellers

‘Stunning’ is an understatement when it comes to the beautiful pieces of jewellery at SassArt Jewellers. Founder, Sally Price has combined her Fine Arts Degree with a jewellers apprenticeship to create the most gorgeous pieces of wearable art; from necklaces and bracelets, to earrings and rings. You’ll feel the passion for the business that was founded in 1996 when you receive a piece of unique, handcrafted and bespoke jewellery from this special store. Surprise a loved one with a sparkling item on a luxury cruise for a gift that will keep on giving. You can also leave your precious items with Sally to mend or restore for you. Just need a piece to be polished up? Grab a coffee and relax while it’s done in the studio in Berowra Heights.

Where: Berowra Heights, Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9456 6086

Pearls for Girls

A stunning range of internationally collected pearls line the shelves of Pearls for Girls in Noosa Heads, Australia. Gathered from world class locations, including Japan, China, Tahiti and Australia’s own city of Broome, Corinne Sause and David Parker have really raised the bar when it comes to freshwater pearl jewellery. Set in gold and silver in Noosa by talented jewellers, Pearls for Girls has a wide collection of pieces to suit a range of budgets. Disembark your luxury cruise and pop into the store in Noosa Heads to purchase an exquisite piece of jewellery you can treasure for years to come.

Where: Shop 15 Bay Village, 18 Hastings St, Noosa Heads, Queensland, 4567, Australia
Phone: +61 7 5474 8710

Inn at El Gaucho

Travel back in time when you visit the luxurious Inn at El Gaucho in Seattle. The decor, atmosphere and architecture are all reminiscent of its 1953 inception, and provides guests with a unique accommodation experience in the heart of the city. Two variations of suites are available for booking - the Queen Junior Suite, and the Deluxe King Junior Suite - all with stunning views, pristine bathrooms, and elegant furnishings. All suites accommodate either 3 or 4 people, so the Inn at El Gaucho is ideal for small groups or couples. With fine dining, the facilities to host meetings, gatherings and events, and the option of becoming a Revelers Club Member for extra specials, the Inn at El Gaucho delivers a unique and unforgettable experience to all who visit. Disembark your luxury cruise in Seattle, and walk just ten minutes into the city.

Where: 2505 First Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98121, USA
Phone: +1 206 728 1133

Luxury on the Murray Houseboats

Melbourne cruise lovers may want to try a luxury cruise of a different kind - one that dreamily floats along the Murray River for a relaxing houseboat holiday. Take a weekend - or a week - to watch stunning sunsets on the Murray as you drink and BBQ with friends or family in tranquil bliss with Luxury on the Murray Houseboats. New sights will effortlessly come to you as you glide past Australia’s stunning interior. Observe native bird and animal life in their natural surroundings or kick it up a notch and get amongst myriad watersport options. Sun yourself and watch the world go by during the day and then wind down in the evenings by jumping into the rooftop spa. Board this idyllic river adventure in Echuca-Moama, just 2.5 hours north of Melbourne. With moorings just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Echuca, you can easily enjoy the local sites, restaurants and shops before sailing away on your picture-perfect escape.

Where: Perricoota Marina, Lot 5 Goldsborough Road , Moama NSW 2731 Australia

Limoso

What better way to start a luxury cruise from Brisbane than limo service to the cruise port? Start the holiday off right by booking a transfer with Limoso. Offering luxury transportation, elegant service and proven reliability, Limoso is the most sophisticated and relaxing way to begin your ocean escape. With a vast fleet of world-class vehicles, Limoso prides itself on accommodating any and all travel requests. Enjoy effortless transportation with class, comfort and discretion. Serving southeast Queensland with a professional guarantee, you can catch a prestigious ride between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, or airport and cruise port. Whether it’s a special occasion or you’re simply tired of taxis and public transportation, a chauffeured ride with the highest caliber of customer service will feel like a vacation in itself, surpassing any and all expectations.

Where: 1/720 Macarthur Ave Central, Pinkenba QLD 4008

Orpheus Island Lodge

After a luxury cruise to the most stunning places on Australia’s east coast, you will likely want to go back and spend more time. A couple of shore tours is rarely enough time to get acquainted with the lush tropical paradise in the pristine blue waters of Queensland. You can see so much more when you book Orpheus, a five-star luxury Queensland resort, only accessible by private helicopter from Townsville or Cairns. Experience the Great Barrier Reef the way few others have, with personalised snorkelling and diving tours, private fishing expeditions and motorised dinghy tours accessing the most remote and secluded bays out there. This enchanting world is made even better with intimate dinners, spa treatments and breathtaking luxuries. This tropical haven only accommodates 28 indulged guests at a time. Where: 30-minute flight from Townsville or 90-minute flight from Cairns

Chocolate Gannets

After a luxury cruise from Melbourne, you may wish to explore some of Australia’s most iconic destinations, beginning with the famed Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles. Continue your leap into luxury when you stay at Chocolate Gannets, the perfect base to visit these must-see sights and just 2.5 hours’ drive southwest of the Victorian capital. This villa accommodation boasts 2 bedrooms, a fireplace, separate spa room, leather lounge, granite kitchen benchtops and more; suitable for couples or families. Take a 30-minutes stroll along the beach into the Apollo Bay township and dine out at one of the lovely cafes or restaurants. You might also wish to take a short drive to the Otway National Park. Listen to the waves as you nod of to sleep and wake up to breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean.

Where: 6180 Great Ocean Road Apollo Bay, 3233, Victoria, Australia

El Gaucho

If you ever have the pleasure of cruising in the United States, you must schedule a visit to an El Gaucho establishment to indulge in a fine dining experience harkening back to a bygone era. There are five locations to choose from, including Portland, Bellevue and Tacoma and two in Seattle. Guests can expects a personalised and unparalleled service encounter, where every detail is considered in every aspect of execution. The ladies are escorted, your water glass is always full and tableside cart service is the norm. With a respect for fine dining, and a rich history of quality, service and tradition, you can rest assured El Gaucho Hospitality group delivers only high end experiences in a ‘swanky, nostalgic and spirited’ atmosphere. Certain locations also offer accommodations and host special events. Don’t miss the old-school fun at these unique destinations.

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