8 Cruises Honeymooners Need to Put on Their Radars
If just thinking about sitting on a stretch of white sand beach for a week makes you immediately pace around the room, consider a honeymoon that's designed to keep you moving. A cruise not only provides the benefit of a pre-planned itinerary and excursions (in many cases, you just board the ship and everything thereafter is taken care of), but also the great fortune of visiting multiple destinations on one trip. So, if you're pressed for time or dream of seeing Italy, Spain, Greece, and more all in one go, a Mediterranean cruise will afford you the opportunity to do just that. Same goes for getting you to remote, bucket-list regions like the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, French Polynesia, and Australia (just to name a few).
To pick the right line for you, consider the type of experience you're after: A large or mega-ship offers anonymity and amenities aplenty. But these enormous vessels can't ply less-traveled waters or allow for easy access to smaller ports (you have to tender a boat there instead). If you're interested in hitting the big spots and enjoying lots of on-board activities, then a big line is a good choice for you. However, if you know you want to see the local sites and get a bit more off the beaten path, this is where a small-ship cruise comes in. They offer bespoke itineraries in unique destinations, but in a much more intimate setting (expect to see the same faces at breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Either way, it pays to consider all your options based on your preferences. To get you started, here are a few of our favorite honeymoon-worthy cruise lines.
Few luxury cruise lines can top this multi-hyphenate brand. Couples have their choice of two flagship ocean vessels, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity (which just underwent a multimillion dollar refresh), river cruises like the Crystal Mozart (which plies European waters like the Danube River), and the 62-passenger Crystal Esprit yacht (which has amenities like jet skis, kayaks, a high-speed tender for water skiing, butler service, unlimited Champagne, and even a two-person submarine). The line will soon offer private jet charters, around-the-world AirCruises (by retrofitted Boeing 777 airliner), and even residences at sea on the forthcoming Crystal Executive Class ships. Who said your first home together had to be on dry land?
This expedition cruise brand works in partnership with National Geographic on its global itineraries, offering couples innovative, marine- and land-based programs. For example, on the Isles and Atolls itinerary, couples get off the beaten path in French Polynesia, sailing to remote islands and diving pristine reefs; through the partnership with Nat Geo, they can also learn about ocean and reef conservation from on-board naturalists. Think of it like honeymooning with a conscience, aboard state-of-the-art vessels.
U by Uniworld
As the first river cruise line dedicated exclusively to millennials, U by Uniworld is turning what is typically considered a stuffy, old-timer's way to travel into a honeymoon-worthy trip. The two 120-passenger, matte-black ships—The A and The B—are each outfitted with rooftop decks, a spa, and a farm-to-table restaurant. Itineraries focus on longer stays in popular destinations, so whether you're cruising the Seine, the Rhine, or the Danube river, you'll be able to connect with local people and experience vibrant nightlife in bucket list cities. Back on-board, mixologists and international DJs keep the vibes fun and flirty. After mingling with your fellow passengers, retreat to your state room—the suites, balcony bedrooms, and studio bedrooms all have water views, a Bluetooth sound system, and BeeKind amenities.
Small-ship cruising—and the intimacy and authenticity that it affords—is the focus of this French expedition line, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Couples have access to destinations that are inaccessible to larger ships, such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and the North-East Passage. The options will be even more diverse this year and next, as Ponant adds four new ships to its Explorers Series. Two yacht-style vessels (Le Bellot and Le Surville) will follow, expanding Ponant's fleet to 12 by 2021. These newcomers will feature the world's first underwater lounge, "Blue Eye," which allows passengers to take in the unknown sights of the deep blue—cocktail in-hand, of course.
This Italian-operated line has five main vessels (Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit, and Silver Muse), each outfitted with a top-notch Relais & Châteaux-affiliated restaurant, water-view suites, and a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly 1:1 (including butler service). Adventure-seeking couples will no doubt be won over by an excursion-packed itinerary in a remote region—the Galápagos Islands, Southeast Asia, the North and South Poles, and Australia's Kimberley Coast—aboard one of Silversea's Expedition-class vessels.
It's not about the superluxe design (by interiors maven Adam D. Tihany). Or the all-inclusive amenities (expect free-flowing Champagne). Or the all-suite layouts (each with a private veranda). Or the spacious, top-floor pool deck (with a whirlpool and private cabanas). No, what makes this small-ship line top of its class are the expert guides and unique itineraries in less-traveled ports of call... like Antarctica. This year, honeymooners have even more reason to choose the line, thanks to the forthcoming launch of Seabourn Ovation, a sister-ship to the ultra luxurious Seabourn Encore.
This line is known for its exclusive level of wellness-centric staterooms, called the AquaClass, which give passengers around-the-clock access to the spa, plus their own restaurant. Next year, they'll launch the Celebrity Edge, the most OTT ship in Celebrity's 10-plus fleet. The Resort Deck will feature a pool, rooftop garden, jogging track, and solarium. If you've got deep pockets, book one of the duplex Edge Villas, which have floor-to-ceiling windows and indoor-outdoor spaces.
Amenity-obsessed couples (who also prefer the anonymity of a mega-ship) will have numerous reasons to board Royal Caribbean's newest ship, the 5,479-passenger Symphony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship. During its first six months at sea, Symphony will ply the crystal waters of the Mediterranean, offering honeymooners the chance to go wine tasting in Tuscany and explore caves in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. To ball out on your honeymoon, consider adding a romance package (think breakfast in bed, bouquets of roses), arranging a couples' massage at the Vitality Spa, or booking a suite in the Solarium, an adults-only ship-within-a-ship concept.