The Most Romantic Cruises for Couples
If you asked me what the most romantic trip I could take with my fiancé would be, my answer would be simple: A trip he planned. For me, facilitating the logistics of our trips is what takes me out of the romantic moments. And that’s inherently why I think cruises are so romantic: Everything is planned for you. A cruise lays out the itinerary for you, including the cities you’ll visit, the excursions you’ll partake in, and which days you’ll spend relaxing by the spa pool.
One of the most intimate elements of travel is sharing a new experience with someone you love. And a cruise sails you right up to those new experiences, drops anchor, and points you in the right direction. Not only that, but while on board the ship, the luxury of the vessel ups the romance factor, too. From private dining options to couples massages, there are endless opportunities for you and your partner to reconnect. That said, here are 10 romantic cruises to suit every couple's unique travel palette.
Crystal Serenity, Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruises isn’t exaggerating when they boast “six-star service.” Their suites offer butler service that allow you and your partner to unwind instead of having to coordinate dining logistics and offshore activities. Keeping wellness up even on vacation is important to plenty of travelers, and on board the Crystal Serenity, you can share daily yoga practices with your travel partner in crime. And for a romantic dining experience, try Crystal Serenity’s wine dinners with a vintage wine selection and sumptuous Italian food.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: Their Romantic Riviera Cruise starts in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and then journeys to Cannes, France. After one more stop in France, you’ll start the Italian leg of your journey in Florence, make a stop in Portofino, and finally end in Rome on day nine.
Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
For the adventurous couple, Regent Seven Seas Cruises takes care of your entire itinerary so you can focus on soaking in the culture together. Regent Seven Seas Cruises include everything — from business class airfare to unlimited offshore excursions. For an unconventional date night, the Seven Seas Explorer offers Gourmet Explore Tours, where you’ll visit the local food scene offshore and then make use of the offshore ingredients in an onboard cooking class.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: Their Santiago to Los Angeles Inca Treasure and Mayan Temples cruise visits bucket-list South American destinations like Machu Picchu, while also visiting romantic beach spots in Latin America, like Cabo San Lucas.
Regatta, Oceania Cruises
Elegance is the selling point of Oceania Cruises, and the Regatta’s custom design and nearly 1.5:1 staff-to-traveler ratio only enhances the luxury experience. The suites and staterooms have original art, ocean views, and private terraces. For a romantic day on the ship, start at Canyon Ranch Spa and finish the evening with a wine tasting in the Regatta’s library.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: The Regatta’s 16-day voyage from Auckland to Sydney takes you on a best of Australia and New Zealand tour. Among the most-anticipated stops are the Bay of Islands, Tasmania, and New Zealand’s Akaroa, where you might see native penguins and marine dolphins.
m/s Paul Gauguin, Paul Gauguin Cruises
The flagship Paul Gauguin vessel feels exclusive and effortlessly luxurious. The ship only visits smaller ports that larger ships can’t access, and 70 percent of the rooms have private, oceanfront balconies. For couples looking for a new activity that will bring them closer and help build trust in their relationship, the m/s Paul Gauguin offers PADI SCUBA diving programs and certification.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a Tahiti, the Society Islands and Tuamotus seven-day cruise, which tours you around French Polynesia. It includes a day on your own private islet, Motu Mahana, and of course, a glamorous stop in Bora Bora.
Emerald Princess, Princess Cruises
The entertainment is endless on the Emerald Princess — from a casino to movie theaters to shopping — but few things beat spending the day with your significant other at the saltwater pools and swirling hot tubs. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone, who runs two stunning Los Angeles restaurants, opened his first at-sea venture on the Emerald Princess. For a romantic high-point of your trip, try a six-course meal at SHARE, which is perfect for a “special celebration or simply reveling in time spent together.”
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: Their Hawaiian Islands Cruise feels like a honeymoon, whether you have no plans for marriage, or you’re celebrating 20 years together. You’ll get the grand tour of Hawaii, stopping at the Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.
Viking Sky, Viking Ocean Cruises
This exclusive ship carries only 930 people, which means you’ll barely have to share the floor-to-ceiling window views of the snow-capped Nordic mountains. It’s an all-veranda ship, meaning every room is set for romance with a private balcony.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: For a romantic winter getaway, the Viking Sky sails In Search of the Northern Lights, cruising the North and Norwegian seas from England to Norway. The seclusion you and your person will find sailing through waters few travelers get to explore is unprecedented. Your stops in Norway include cities north of the Arctic Circle and a visit to the farthest-north botanical garden in the world. And each Arctic night, you and your love are of course scouting the aurora borealis.
American Queen, American Queen Steamboat Company
The American Queen transports you back in time to the American Victorian era. The colonial-accented decks are a picturesque spot to take in the river views together, and the staff exudes southern hospitality and charm. It’s a ship for the couples seeking the romance of a bygone era, and those who want to explore their own backyard rather than booking an international flight. Their onboard jazz and blues concerts make for an extra-special evening.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: American Queen sails from New Orleans to Memphis, bringing you A Taste of the True South. After two days in NOLA, you’ll set sail on the Mississippi River to Nottoway Plantation, Louisiana, home to the most extravagant antebellum mansion in the south. The American Queen cruises through Mississippi, stopping at famed blues hub Greenville and Natchez, the oldest city along the Mississippi, before docking in Memphis, Tennessee.
Costa neoRomantica, Costa Cruises
The neoRomantica caters to couples, offering accommodations where the scene is set to reconnect with the one you love. The ship features cozy wine bars, a disco for the couples who are ready to dance the night away, oceanfront dining, and the Samsara Spa. The spa doesn’t just offer couples massages, but also has Finnish saunas, halassotherapy pools, and Ayurvedic-inspired treatments.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: The neoRomantica's Far East from Tokyo cruise ventures from Tokyo and Kobe, Japan to the off-the-grid island of Jeju in South Korea. Once you’ve soaked up the exclusive Jeju beaches, you’ll visit Kagoshima, known for the Sakurajima Volcano, before arriving back in Tokyo on day seven.
Zuiderdam, Holland America Line
For the artistic couple, Holland America Line takes great care to decorate their interiors with enviable art and antiques. On board you’ll find a blues club, and if you want to treat your everyday Valentine to a culinary adventure, America’s Test Kitchen offers hands-on cooking workshops on the ship. If you’re looking for a romantic cruise but can’t leave the kids at home, Zuiderdam is a ship that caters to adult alone time and kids fun time, with the Greenhouse Spa & Salon for you and your S.O., and Club Hal for the children.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: Find love in South America on Holland America Line’s Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. With stops in the Bahamas, Aruba, Cartagena, and Costa Rica, the cruise satisfies your craving for a romantic beach getaway, new cities, and a jungle adventure in one fell swoop.
REI Adventures Cruising
Every couple defines romance differently, and that’s what makes a romantic experience meaningful. REI Adventures Cruising isn’t romantic in the typical sense of the word. You don’t go on an adventure cruise for the candlelight dinners — you go on an adventure cruise to push yourself and your partner outside of your comfort zones, and to learn about each other along the way. You explore the unknown together and allow it to bring you closer.
What Your Itinerary Might Look Like: On REI Adventures eight-day cruise around the northern and western Galapagos Islands, you’ll encounter wildlife so close you’ll feel like you’re on safari. On a 20-passenger luxury yacht, you and your partner will get personal attention when you need it, but you can take exploration time to yourselves as well. Every day is a new island experience, typically found via hike or snorkel.