Top 10 luxury cruise companies
Author: Louise Goldsbury
Photography: John Laurie
Best itinerary 7-night Galapagos Islands (year round from September 2013)
Weakness Specialty-restaurant surcharges.
Must do Make the most of your butler - provided for all guests.
Best itinerary 23-night Antarctica, Patagonia and South Georgia Island (11 December 2013)
Weakness Older ships lack decent balconies.
Must do Caviar in the surf; massage on deck.
3 Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best itinerary 7-night round trip from Vancouver to Alaska (22 May 2013)
Weakness Butler service is only for some suites.
Must do Enjoy free shore excursions in every port.
4 Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Best itinerary 7-night Monte Carlo to Valletta, Malta (8 June 2013)
Alcohol Not included
Weakness Onboard language on some voyages is German.
Must do Michelin-starred chef Dieter Müller's restaurant.
5 Sea Dream Yacht Club
Where Amazon, Adriatic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Transatlantic, Costa Rica, Australasia
Best itinerary 14-night Benoa, Bali, to Cairns (18 January 2014)
Weakness Staterooms don't have balconies.
Must do Enjoy the signature Champagne and caviar splash.
6 Crystal Cruises
Best itinerary 9-night Istanbul to Rome via Çanakkale (25 July 2013)
Weakness High passenger numbers.
Must do A huge array of activities and classes.
7 Oceania Cruises
Best itinerary 30-night Cape Town to Singapore via the Maldives (7 January 2014)
Alcohol Discount packages available
Weakness Surcharges for some dining.
Must do La Reserve, Polo Grill and Jacques restaurants; visit Canyon Ranch Spa Club.
8 Star Clippers
Where Mediterranean, Baltic, Caribbean, Central America, Panama Canal, Transatlantic
Best itinerary 10-night Sweden, Russia and Finland (6 July 2013)
Alcohol Not included
Weakness Limited entertainment options.
Must do Climb the mast, raise the sails, take the wheel.
9 Sea Cloud Cruises
Where Europe, Caribbean, Central America, Transatlantic
Best itinerary 7-night round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados (12 December 2013)
Alcohol Wine and beer with meals
Weakness No balconies and limited entertainment.
Must do Watch the crew - all sailing is done by hand.
10 Azamara Club Cruises
Where Europe, Asia, West Indies, Caribbean, South America, Mediterranean
Best itinerary 13-night Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand (21 January 2014)
Alcohol Wine with meals; all included will roll out in March and May.
Weakness Premium rather than pure luxury.
Must do Experience the new complimentary evening events on land.