Top 10 luxury cruise companies

Author: Louise Goldsbury
Photography: John Laurie

1 Silversea
Passengers 100-540
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 7-night Galapagos Islands (year round from September 2013)
Restaurants 2-5
Bars 2-4
Alcohol Included
Weakness Specialty-restaurant surcharges.
Must do Make the most of your butler - provided for all guests.

2 Seabourn
Passengers 200-450
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 23-night Antarctica, Patagonia and South Georgia Island (11 December 2013)
Restaurants 4
Bars 4-6
Alcohol Included
Weakness Older ships lack decent balconies.
Must do Caviar in the surf; massage on deck.

3 Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Passengers 490-700
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 7-night round trip from Vancouver to Alaska (22 May 2013)
Restaurants 5-6
Bars 4-5
Alcohol Included
Weakness Butler service is only for some suites.
Must do Enjoy free shore excursions in every port.

4 Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Passengers 164-698
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 7-night Monte Carlo to Valletta, Malta (8 June 2013)
Restaurants 1-4
Bars 1-8
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
Passengers 112
Where Amazon, Adriatic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Transatlantic, Costa Rica, Australasia
Best itinerary 14-night Benoa, Bali, to Cairns (18 January 2014)
Restaurants 2
Bars 3
Alcohol Included
Weakness Staterooms don't have balconies.
Must do Enjoy the signature Champagne and caviar splash.

6 Crystal Cruises
Passengers 922-1070
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 9-night Istanbul to Rome via Çanakkale (25 July 2013)
Restaurants 10-11
Bars 9
Alcohol Included
Weakness High passenger numbers.
Must do A huge array of activities and classes.

7 Oceania Cruises
Passengers 684-1250.
Where Worldwide
Best itinerary 30-night Cape Town to Singapore via the Maldives (7 January 2014)
Restaurants 5-10
Bars 5
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
Passengers 170-227
Where Mediterranean, Baltic, Caribbean, Central America, Panama Canal, Transatlantic
Best itinerary 10-night Sweden, Russia and Finland (6 July 2013)
Restaurants 1
Bars 2
Alcohol Not included
Weakness Limited entertainment options.
Must do Climb the mast, raise the sails, take the wheel.

9 Sea Cloud Cruises
Passengers 64-94
Where Europe, Caribbean, Central America, Transatlantic
Best itinerary 7-night round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados (12 December 2013)
Restaurants 1
Bars 2
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
Passengers 694
Where Europe, Asia, West Indies, Caribbean, South America, Mediterranean
Best itinerary 13-night Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand (21 January 2014)
Restaurants 6
Bars 6
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.







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