This venerable British line (now owned by American company Carnival Corp.) carries on the tradition of operating impressive ocean liners, including on transatlantic routes. The 2,592-passenger Queen Mary 2 and 2,014-passenger Queen Victoria show off their pedigree in fine style. But whether you have a luxury experience depends on where you stay—your accommodations determine where you dine (the Queens Grill is best). Impressive features: British nannies; excellent Canyon Ranch–operated spas; Todd English’s Olives restaurants; a top-flight enrichment series (comedian/actor John Cleese is among the regular lecturers).
New and Newsworthy: A program introduced in 2009 brings aboard literary luminaries, such as Erica Jong and Christopher Buckley. Queen Elizabeth (sister to QV) debuts in October 2010.
Price: 6-night transatlantic sailings from $1,115 per person.
Geographic Areas: Transatlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Northern Europe, Baltic, Canary Islands, New England/Canada, World Cruise.