What could be more romantic than a couples’ cruise?
You and your sweetheart can explore new destinations together by day, stroll arm in arm across the open decks as the sun sets over the ocean and then enjoy dinner, drinks and a show every evening. Couples can bond over onboard trivia wins or relax together in the ship’s spa.
The best cruises for couples don’t have to break the bank, but they should focus on adults more than families — and elevated food, service and accommodations are always appreciated.
When compiling our list of favorites, we recognized that couples have diverse interests and pinned our top picks to the standout features that set these lines apart.
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Based on those criteria, here are the 10 best cruises for couples, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun vacation to enjoy together.
Celebrity Cruises: Best all-around cruise for couples
Older couples should seek out the line’s longer itineraries through the Panama Canal or to the South Pacific and Australia. Gay couples have long been fans of the line’s signature Martini Bar, as well as its inclusive culture.
Celebrity’s ships are big but not that big, and their top decks feature hot tubs, pool decks and resort-like lounge areas rather than waterslides and rollercoasters.
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Couples who prefer not to be nickel and dimed on vacation can pay up front for the All Included package that covers drinks, tips and Wi-Fi — so you can focus on maximizing time with your partner rather than watching your budget.
Related: 10 best honeymoon cruises for newlywed bliss
SeaDream Yacht Club: Best couples cruise for a yacht-like escape
Nearly everyone is partnered up on a SeaDream Yacht Club cruise; this isn’t the line for taking your kids or your besties. That’s because the line’s two yacht-like ships and over-the-top, all-inclusive service create the kind of pampered VIP experience that’s prime for romance.
Enjoy most of your meals alfresco, sampling from the raw menu or indulging in ship-made ice cream. Cuddle up with your lover on the top-deck Balinese beds and lounge away a sea day.
Ditch the tour full of your shipmates and spend an afternoon together kayaking or standup paddleboarding straight from the ship’s watersports platform. Feed each other caviar as you sip Champagne on the beach at one of the line’s Champagne and Caviar Splash parties.
The crew will cater to your every request, whether that’s running into town to buy a case of your favorite beer to have on board or offering you every alternative imaginable if you don’t want burgers at the barbecue. You won’t have to worry about a thing – except how to spend the day with your favorite person.
Paul Gauguin Cruises: Best cruise for far-flung romance
Nothing says honeymoon or special anniversary more than a bucket-list trip to Tahiti. You’ll definitely want to save a night or two to experience a swanky over-water bungalow at a Polynesian resort, but if you want to explore multiple destinations, a cruise is the best way to island hop.
Commemorate a relationship milestone with a Polynesian blessing ceremony, then treat yourself to alfresco massages on one of the private islands the ship visits.
Learn to scuba dive or explore the gorgeous Polynesian reefs together if you’re already certified. Give your special someone a kiss, then take a selfie as you enjoy breathtaking sailaways from the lush green islands on your itinerary. It’ll be a shared vacation to remember.
Related: The best cruise lines for romance
Virgin Voyages: Best cruise for young couples
If you’re not the type of couple who wants to gaze longingly into each other’s eyes but would rather live it up or get a bit naughty, Virgin Voyages is the best cruise choice for you.
On board the line’s trendsetting ships, you can drop the work-week formality and let loose. Get matching tattoos at the onboard ink shop, or wear your sexiest red outfit to party on deck like a rockstar.
Every night is date night on Virgin when every restaurant is included and you can dine on Mexican, Korean, Italian, Mediterranean and Japanese cuisine throughout your sailing. Get in the mood with a sex-themed cabaret, a sassy game show or a dance-off in the nightclub. Shake your phone to order Champagne, perhaps to your cabin balcony where you can laze in a hammock and watch the world sail by.
Related: Too hip or just right? Here’s what it was really like sailing on Virgin Voyages for the first time
Holland America: Best cruise for retired couples
Retired couples aren’t restricted by limited vacation time and can take those multi-week cruises to far-off destinations. Holland America is the cruise line you want if a week at sea is simply not enough.
Try a four-week cruise to all of Alaska’s ports or a 35-night exploration of Northern Europe. Are you a couple that hates flying? You can cruise Holland America ships from U.S. ports to Africa and South America if you don’t mind spending more than a month on board. Or hop on a plane to visit Australia, Asia or the South Pacific islands on your next cruise.
On board, trade tastes with your sweetie from dishes created by the line’s Culinary Council celebrity chefs. Then dance the night away at B. B. King’s Blues Club. Fill your sea days with some R&R at the Greenhouse Spa, Port to Table cooking demos or photo lessons that you can put to use in the next port of call.
Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Holland America cruise
Oceania Cruises: Best cruise for foodie couples
The way to your partner’s heart may be through their stomach, and if so, the two of you will want to book an Oceania cruise for your next romantic escape. The upscale cruise line partners with Jacques Pepin to create menus for its numerous complimentary dining venues, including Jacque’s eponymous French restaurant, an authentic Italian venue inspired by recipes from the line’s Italian crew members, a classic steakhouse and a contemporary pan-Asian eatery.
Plus, if the two of you are true foodies, you’ll want to splurge on intimate wine- and Champagne-paired dinners at La Reserve by Wine Spectator (in partnership with Moet & Chandon). On port days, get to know the local food culture with a Culinary Discovery Tour; on sea days, team up to put your chef skills to work at a Culinary Center class.
Add in a beautiful pool deck and spa, heavenly in-room beds and port-intensive itineraries around the world and your vacation will be “chef’s kiss.”
Related: The best meals you can have at sea
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Best cruise for over-the-top luxury
For a special anniversary, or perhaps a honeymoon, you want to treat your loved one to the best of the best. If you’re looking for over-the-top luxury, look no further than Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The most all-inclusive of all the cruise lines, it’s the best cruise choice for couples who want nothing but the best.
Spacious cabins are all suites, with both sleeping and sitting areas. Book one of the line’s top suites (such as the enormous and lavish Regent Suite) when you want to host cocktail parties in your onboard accommodations or pretend the hundreds of other guests on board don’t exist. Order room service when you two lovers simply can’t bear to disentangle yourselves from the top-quality bed sheets.
If you do manage to abandon your suite, you can enjoy a quiet tete-a-tete over complimentary drinks at numerous bars around the ship. Meals are high quality in both the larger and reservation-only venues, and service is second to none, even with gratuities covered by your cruise fare. Plus, you can make memories during included shore excursions in every port; choose from guided tours, winery visits and active excursions.
Related: The best luxury cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity
UnCruise Adventures: Best small-ship cruise for active couples
Is your idea of a perfect date a long bike ride with your sweetheart or a hike up a nearby mountain? If so, choose an expedition cruise for your ideal getaway. UnCruise Adventures is the best cruise for couples who prefer to be active rather than sit around and watch the waves.
Small 22- to 86-guest ships take active travelers to Alaska, Hawaii and Central American destinations, where kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, paddleboarding and hiking are daily activities. You’ll learn about the local culture in the places you visit and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations you’d never get to on a mega-ship.
But it’s not all rough and rugged. Indulge in meals made on board with locally sourced ingredients and toast your significant other with a cocktail or glass of wine (all included in your cruise fare). Rest your weary legs in the on-deck hot tub. Cabins aren’t fancy, but you’re not on board to while away the time in your room. Lace up those boots and go greet the great outdoors, hand in hand.
Silversea Cruises: Best luxury cruise for adventurous couples
What if the two of you want that adventure trip but still wish to be pampered in luxury on the ship? Then you need to turn to Silversea Cruises, which has made a name for itself pairing extreme destinations with extreme indulgence on board.
The line’s expedition ships literally travel to the ends of the Earth, with seasonal Arctic and Antarctic cruises. Silversea has a ship dedicated to sailing the Galapagos Islands, and others exploring more remote locales in Australia, the South Pacific and Africa.
While these hardy vessels feature reinforced hulls to handle icy waters and a fleet of onboard Zodiacs, they also bring all the creature comforts a lovestruck couple could want.
All cabins are well-appointed and come with butler service, luxury bath products, flat-screen TVs and pillow menus. World-class spas and gourmet dining add glamour to the glitz of icy Antarctic vistas. Inclusive fares mean you never have to take out your wallet to buy a drink for your adventurous date or take her on tour to meet a few penguins.
Related: 5 best Silversea Cruises destinations
Viking: Best cruise for enrichment and culture
Couples who share a love of learning will find the perfect home-away-from-home on a Viking cruise ship. The line prides itself on offering more of an intellectual experience than your average cruise.
Pre-cruise, Viking will give you a list of movies to watch and books to read to learn more about your cruise destination; you can discuss them with your plus-one on the way to your ship. On board, resident historians lecture about the important events that shaped the region you’re traveling; some ships even offer planetariums. Ashore, included tours allow you to fully immerse yourself in each destination.
But it’s not all academics. Viking thought long and hard about what makes an amazing cruise ship experience and created that ideal for you and your travel companion.
Well-thought-out cabins are spacious and comfortable with smart little touches like quiet-closing drawers and heated bathroom floors. Multiple included dining venues ensure that mealtime is never ho-hum; don’t miss afternoon tea in the gorgeous Wintergarden. When the sun is out, enjoy a soak together in the aft infinity pool. No one will scold you if you whisper sweet nothings instead of discussing local politics.
Related: The ultimate guide to Viking cruise ships and itineraries
Pretty much any cruise ship is welcoming to couples – even Disney Cruise Line! Yet some cruise lines prioritize the adult experience and offer amenities that make their ships even more ideal for a traveling twosome.
The best cruises for couples are as diverse as the duos who sail them, meaning you’re sure to find a ship that appeals to you and your special someone.
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