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Premium & specialty cruise ships

 

Azamara, Cunard Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Ponant, SeaDream, Star Clippers, Viking Ocean, Windstar

Cruise Ships Directory

Cruiseable's editorial team has written and curated editorial reviews and overviews of the following cruise ships.

PREMIUM & SPECIALTY CRUISE SHIPS
 

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Azamara Club Cruises (overview)

 
Walking wanderlust: Take in the passing scenery aboard an Azamara cruise.
Azamara Journey
          

Reading about how Azamara Club Cruises delivers destination-rich cruise experiences does not do the line justice. But when you are sailing to exotic ports of call or visiting places off the beaten path, then you understand. On board you will enjoy complimentary amenities that include select standard spirits, beer and wine. Also, your cruise fare includes gratuities ... See more

 

Destinations: Latin America, Europe, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific and Antarctica

Sail with Azamara Quest to the sunny shores of Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe.
Azamara Quest
          

If you're on a quest for destination immersion on a mid-size ship, then Azamara Quest can take you there. One of the best features of sailing on Azamara Quest is longer stays in port. With more time available to explore, you get a better sense of the culture, history and people who live in the ports that Azamara Quest calls on. ... See more

 

Destinations: Off-the-beaten-path ports in Asia, the South Pacific, Australia, the Mediterranean, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America

Cunard Line (overview)

 
Queen Elizabeth, Cunard's newest luxury cruise ship, has won multiple awards for its features.
Queen Elizabeth
        

Queen Elizabeth has become a favorite among travelers who adore her rich Art Deco interiors and plush decor. Cunard has done an excellent job at building on feedback from passengers and crew from the other ships to ensure that the Queen Elizabeth was created to embody the heritage and feel of the golden days of cruising in the 1930s and 1940s. ... See more

 

Destinations: Queen Elizabeth sails on a world tour in winter; during the summer she sails routes around Northern Europe, Mediterranean and occasionally the Canary Islands

Take in breathtaking views of the beautiful mountainsides and fjords of Norway on a sailing aboard Queen Mary 2.
Queen Mary 2
          

In addition to being the only ship in operation that retains a scheduled transatlantic service, Queen Mary 2 is uniquely designed as a liner along the lines of the ships from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. This means it has a distinctive shaped bow and reinforced hull to withstand the rigors of the frequently aggressive North Atlantic ocean. Clinging to its British roots, it provides a more formal cruise experience than many of its more contemporary competitors ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Europe, with world cruises available

Cunard's Queen Victoria at sea. The ocean liner travels to the Caribbean, Central America, South Pacific, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and transatlantic routes.
Queen Victoria
        

Queen Victoria's decor and style draw heavily on the line's British roots with a nod to the colors and shapes of the Art Deco era. The ship is full of rich marbles, woods, deep-pile carpets and soft furnishings to create a feeling of elegance. As with all Cunard ships, Queen Victoria offers a more formal cruise experience than many of its more contemporary competitors. ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Europe and the Mediterranean

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (overview)

 
Europa 2 en route to an exotic destination. The ship sails to familiar ports worldwide — but also to Beirut, Jordan, Morocco and other ports in North Africa.
Europa 2
          

Don’t be fooled by ms Europa 2’s reputation as a looker. “World’s most beautiful cruise ship,” an accolade bestowed by some members of the media, can give you the wrong idea about this 565-passenger ship launched in 2013. The ship’s good looks are not about fussy elegance. In fact, traipsing through reception in a sweaty T-shirt won’t attract a glance.  ... See more

 

Destinations: Does sailing around South America on a 76-day cruise appeal to you? Or perhaps a 13-day cruise called Eternal Spring in the Atlantic?

Oceania Cruises (overview)

 
Explore the world on Oceania Insignia. The mid-size ship offers guests with a warm, charming atmosphere designed for those who love the luxuries of fine dining and travel experiences.
INSIGNIA
          

Insignia radiates warmth and character, with her newly redesigned, neoclassical lobby and Toscana restaurant, full of rich new fabrics and furnishings that reflect Tuscan culture. Insignia boasts decks and verandas graced with the fine teak and exquisite custom stone and tile work. ... See more

 

Destinations:  Sails the seven seas to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., Central America and the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean and South America

Oceania Marina at dusk. The luxury ship was designed for those with a passion for fine dining and travel experiences.
MARINA
          

Marina retains Oceania's comfortable mid-size class of ships, similar to the line's consorts Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Along with casual ambience and personalized service, the Marina offers more choices and new amenities, such as open-seating gourmet restaurants a hands-on cooking school at sea, and an artists-in-residence enrichment center for fine arts instruction. ... See more

 

Destinations:  Europe, Australia and New Zealand, New England and Canada, the Caribbean, Panama Canal and South Pacific

Experience a luxury cruise on the newly refurnished Oceania Nautica.
NAUTICA
          

Nautica, sister ship to Regatta and Insignia, radiates her own unique warmth and character. From the ship's neo-classical lobby to its furnishings inside its Toscana restaurant, Nautica's elegant touches stand out. A distinctive museum-quality art collection is an eclectic melding of traditional and contemporary, with a touch of whimsy. ... See more

 

Destinations:  Europe, Asia and Africa

A recent million-dollar transformation of Oceania Regatta has resulted in a contemporary, elegant ship ready for you to discover.
REGATTA
          

As the flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet, Regatta underwent refurbishing in 2014 that resulted in a new level of luxury and comfort without being ostentatious. Regatta features teak decks with custom stone and tile work in its public lounges and staterooms, yet it maintains a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of places to either kick back with a good book or indulge in a spa treatment. ... See more

 

Destinations:  Sails to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in summer months, New England and Canada for fall color, and the Caribbean and South America in winter and spring

Sail to the exclusive sovereign island St. Lucia on the sleek Oceania Riviera.
RIVIERA
          

Riviera retains Oceania's comfortable mid-size class of ships, similar to the line's consorts Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Along with casual ambience and personalized service, the Riviera offers more choices and new amenities, such as open-seating gourmet restaurants a hands-on cooking school at sea, and an artists-in-residence enrichment center for fine arts instruction. ... See more

 

Destinations:  Sails the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. Enjoy destinations in the Caribbean such as Phillipsburg, Gustavia, St. John and Castries in St. Lucia

Sirena
SIRENA
          

After Princess Cruises sold its ship Ocean Princess to Oceania Cruises' corporate parent, in March 2016 the ship underwent a $40 million refurbishment and transformed into a new luxury ship, Sirena. Her decks have been refurbished in the finest teak, . ... See more

 

Destinations:  Sails innovative itineraries in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America.

Paul Gauguin Cruises (overview)

 
The Paul Gauguin has three restaurants, a luxury spa and its own watersports marina, as well as an attentive staff of 217.
Paul Gauguin
          

Step onto ms Paul Gauguin and sail into the dream world of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. Built specifically to sail the shallow waters of the region, the Gauguin can explore the remote areas inaccessible to bigger ships. Since its maiden voyage in 1998, Paul Gauguin has been the longest continually operating, year-round luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific .... See more

 

Destinations: Tahiti, the Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Marquesas

Isn't she pretty? The yachtlike Tere Moana sails through the waters of Hvar in the Dalmation Islands of Croatia.
Tere Moana
          

Tere Moana is the newer of the two Paul Gauguin Cruises ships. The Moana carries the cruise line’s spirit of Polynesian welcome, geniality and hospitality into the wider world. Literally “Ocean Traveler” in Tahitian, the Moana specializes in warm-weather destinations, going where larger ships cannot and exploring hidden ports throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. Best of all, the price is all-inclusive ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean in winter months and in the Mediterranean in summer

Ponant (overview)

 
Le Boreal.
Le Boreal
        

A mega-yacht with 132 cabins, Le Boreal from France-based cruise line Ponant offers voyages that blend luxury and intimacy with well-being and discovery. Superior materials and an elegant, tasteful décor combine to give off a subtle nautical mood. .... See more

 

Destinations: The luxury-expedition ship Le Boreal sails to small, out-of-the-way ports around the world.

Le Ponant.
Le Ponant
        

Le Ponant, a three-masted schooner from France-based cruise line Ponant, sails to small islands, hidden harbors and exclusive ports of call in the Mediterranean with only 64 guests aboard. She is stylish, friendly and relaxed. Le Ponant was specially designed for worldwide cruising to ... See more

 

Destinations: Le Ponant offers itineraries throughout the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Le Lyrial.
Le Lyrial
        

Le Lyrial, which debuted in April 2015 from the French cruise line Ponant, is one of a handful of vessels that can rightly be called a luxury expedition ship. The intimate yacht , with no more than 264 passengers, visits exquisite ports of call around the world while guests revel in her lean, modern design and welcoming atmosphere. ... See more

 

Destinations: The luxury-expedition ship Le Lyrial sails to small, out-of-the-way ports around the world.

L'Austral.
L'Austral
        

Launched in 2011, L’Austral from France-based Ponant provides an intimate, luxurious cruise experience. Her small size makes her ideally suited for visiting ports that bigger ships can’t reach. L’Austral sports six decks and 132 sophisticated staterooms decorated by French designers, all of which have ocean views and ... See more

 

Destinations: The luxury-expedition ship Le Lyrial sails to small, out-of-the-way ports around the world.

Le Soleal.
Le Soleal
        

Le Soleal is the third ship from French luxury cruise line Ponant, specializing in smaller ships, also known as mega-yachts. With smaller ships, guests enjoy a higher staff to crew ratio, have simpler embark and debark procedures, and can visit smaller ports that do not have facilities for larger ships. ... See more

 

Destinations: The luxury-expedition ship Le Soleal sails to small, out-of-the-way ports around the world.

SeaDream Yacht Club (overview)

 
SeaDream II moors off Gustavia, the capital of Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean.
SeaDream I
          

SeaDream Yacht Club's twin luxury mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II were designed as prototypes for the ultra-luxury yachting experience. Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas give passengers plenty of room to stroll or simply relax. SeaDream promotes its style of all-inclusive cruising as "yacht-like" with a "resort-casual" dress code, which means your clothes don't have to be formal but you can expect upscale amenities and dining options ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean

SeaDream II, like its twin sister SeaDream I, carries 112 guests and 95 crew members. SeaDream's motto:
SeaDream II
          

Since September 2001, this yacht club has been offering all-inclusive cruises which they refer to as "yacht-like" with a "resort-casual" dress code, which means you don't have to wear a tie but you can expect luxury amenities and world-class dining options. Both SeaDream yachts also feature somewhat flexible itineraries, allowing the captain to stay in a port longer if passengers wish, or shorter if weather impedes plans. Seating is open for meals, and champagne is always available ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean

Star Clippers (overview)

 
Take in Venice as you've never seen her during a sailing on the clipper ship Royal Clipper.
Royal Clipper
          

Royal Clipper has the distinction of being the largest and only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship built in the past century. With her 42 sails, Star Clippers' Royal Clipper cruise ship looks as if she's from the grand age of sail, but she's got all of the new technology and amenities.For connoisseurs of sail cruising, the 439-foot vessel offers a nice combination of traditional sailing with the luxuries of a yacht. Royal Clipper carries 227 guests with a full 19,000 square feet of open deck and three swimming pools ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean and Mediterranean

Get close-up views of Caribbean islands aboard sister clipper ships Star Flyer and Star Clipper.
Star Clipper
          

Star Clipper is a true clipper ship, reflecting its proud heritage in every inch of its polished brass. Star Clippers' unique vessel offers passengers a "new age of sail," where tradition meets present-day amenities. At 360 feet long, this ship carries 170 guests and aims to provide a yacht-like experience. Star Clipper also touts spacious accommodations and two swimming pools. Cruise passengers will likely find that this ship offers more outdoor .... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean 

Star Flyer anchored in Bora Bora during a South Seas sailing.
Star Flyer
          

Star Flyer, sister ship of Star Clipper, is a true clipper ship, reflecting her proud heritage in every inch of her brass. At 360 feet long, this ship carries 170 guests and aims to provide a yacht-like experience. Star Flyer also touts spacious accommodations and two swimming pools. Cruise passengers will likely find that this ship offers more outdoor space per passenger than a  conventional cruise ship ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Mediterranean

Viking Ocean Cruises (overview)

 
Viking Sea
Viking Sea
          

Viking Ocean Cruises launched its second ocean cruise ship in April 2016. Nearly identical to its sister ship, Viking Star, the 930-passenger Viking Sea focuses on destination immersion, giving guests ample time to explore ports large and small. The ship includes several of the popular features of Viking's river ships, including Scandinavian flourishes, ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Canada and the northeastern U.S.

Viking Sky
Viking Sky
          

Viking Ocean Cruises debuted its third ocean cruise ship, Viking Sky, in February 2017. Similar to her sister ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea, the 930-passenger Viking Sky focuses on destination immersion, giving guests ample time to explore ports large and small. Viking Sky measures 47,800 gross tons and has 465 cabins — all of them balcony ... See more

 

Destinations: Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea, the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, the British Isles and the Americas

Viking Star in Kotor.
Viking Star
          

Stylish, spry and quite the looker, the first ocean ship from Viking Ocean Cruises gives off the vibe of a different kind of cruise ship. Yes, like its river ship cousins, Viking Star places a big emphasis on place, with itineraries jam-packed with drool-worthy destinations and intriguing shore excursions. But it also manages ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Northern Europe and Eastern and Western Mediterranean

Windstar Cruises (overview)

 
Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze in Venice. The new power yacht begins sailings in May 2015.
Star Breeze
        

The new Star Breeze sails Riviera itineraries from Nice to Rome including Monte Carlo, Portofino and St. Tropez. With only 212 guests and all-suite accommodations, Star Breeze promises to make cruise passengers feel as if they're stepping onto their own yacht. The sitting area in the suites gives you an expansive view and a feeling of a true ocean adventure. ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Mediterranean, Latin America and the Panama Canal

Windstar Cruises' new power yacht, Star Legend, begins sailings in May 2015.
Star Legend
        

After an end-to-end refurbishing, Star Legend will become one of Windstar's three new power yachts. With only 212 guests, you'll feel as if Star Legend is your own private yacht when you step aboard. The sitting area of your spacious, newly refurbished suite gives you an expansive ocean view, making it a welcome retreat ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean

Windstar Cruises' Star Pride nestles into the ancient port of Nessebar, Bulgaria, a World Heritage Site.
Star Pride
          

With only 212 guests, you begin to feel like Star Pride is your own private yacht almost as soon as you step aboard. The sitting area of your spacious, newly refurbished suite gives you an expansive ocean view making it a welcome retreat. When you're ready to make an appearance, the lounges, club, casino and library are waiting to be explored ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean

Windstar Cruises' Wind Spirit in Moorea, French Polynesia, 10 miles northwest of Tahiti.
Wind Spirit
          

Windstar Cruises' Wind Spirit is a sleek, four-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks, Wind Spirit feels like your own private yacht. She features wide open teak decks, which are quite unusual for small ships. Her more than 10,000 square feet of open deck space allows you to find hidden nooks for private moments that will give you the feeling of being on your own private veranda. Her service and style gives you the luxury of choice to enjoy what you like ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in Latin America and the South Pacific

Windstar's Wind Surf gleams at night in the Monte Carlo harbor.
Wind Star
          

Wind Star brings privacy to all her guests, making them feel as if they're sailing on their own personal yacht. Her wide open teak decks (highly unusual for small ships) provide more than 10,000 square feet of open-deck space for guests to find hidden nooks and have private moments. The sleek, four-masted sailing yacht accommodates 148 guests, and her style gives you the luxury of choice to enjoy what you like, when you like ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean

Wind Surf at sea. Windstar calls it
Wind Surf
          

Stepping aboard the 310-guest Wind Surf, cruise passengers will get the sense that they are about to set sail on their own yacht. Windstar Cruises' flagship now features new finishes and furnishings in suites and staterooms, as well as in the ship's public spaces. The ship is large enough to accommodate several onboard amenities such as the WindSpa, casino and a variety of clubs and lounges. However, it is also small enough to give passengers a sense of home and escape from the masses ... See more

 

Destinations: Ports in the Mediterranean, Europe and the Caribbean.