Luxury Cruise Lines

When you choose a luxury cruise line for your European cruise, you get first class everything all the way. Expect to pay at least double for deluxe accommodations, attentive service, spectacular cuisine and high-end freebies. Luxury European cruise lines provide you with a truly opulent experience, catering to the wealthy and those who expect the best of the best.

Dining on luxury cruise lines is an event in and of itself, with passengers dressed to the nines enjoying sumptuous, innovative meals prepared by top chefs. You will find the entertainment to be understated and refined, as opposed to the larger-than-life feel of a less expensive, mega ship cruise. You can take a luxury cruise aboard a ship with as few as 100 passengers, or as many as 2,500. A European cruise aboard one of the luxury or ultra-luxury ships is the ultimate way to travel.

Luxury Cruise Lines With Larger Ships

Crystal Cruises

Fountains in casino square, in Monaco Monte-Carlo

Fountains in casino square, in Monaco Monte-Carlo

Crystal Cruises is famous for impeccable service and superb cuisine. Crystal’s Adventures offers passengers shore excursions that for many, may be a dream come true. Depending on your cruise itinerary, you can race a formula 1 race car in Monte Carlo, fly a MiG fighter jet, or go bobsledding in Lillehammer, for example. When you book your European cruise on Crystal, make sure the itinerary you choose includes the Creative Learning Institute (CLI). With CLI onboard, you can partake in any number of unique classes, everything from Chinese painting to estate planning to acting classes. Crystal has two ships cruising Europe, the 940-passenger Crystal Symphony and the 1,080-passenger Crystal Serenity. Crystal offers dozens of itineraries in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.


Cunard’s luxury cruise ships the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 are in a class by themselves. A magnificent ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2 is a return to the glamour of transatlantic cruising. Every detail is spectacular, from the exclusive Grand Canyon Ranch Spa, the grand sweeping staircase at the entrance to the 3-story Britannia restaurant. The 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2 offers outstanding entertainment and enrichment opportunities – you can even take a class from famous members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Recently updated, the Queen Elizabeth 2 has traveled the Atlantic in great style for years. Everything is top notch on this luxury cruise ship, and features many of the same amenities also provided on the Queen Mary 2. Cunard’s fleet cruises the world, and offers 10- to 16-day cruises in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Scandinavia, as well as transatlantic voyages round trip from New York City in the U.S.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Regent’s European cruise itineraries are served by the 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager and the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator. Both ships are larger than other ships built to carry twice the passenger load, so you will never feel crowded. Unique to Regent are the accommodations; all of the staterooms on the Voyager are suites with balconies, and you will only find suites on the Navigator. Regent is not big on elaborate entertainment, and does not provide as many onboard activities as other luxury cruise lines. However, they do offer Circles of Interest, themed programs centered on food and wine; antiques, jewelry and shopping; and environment and maritime life, to name a few. Regent offers 7- to 14-day itineraries throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as a 111-day, 26-nation World Cruise aboard the Voyager.

Cruise casino table

Luxury Cruise Lines With Smaller Ships

Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn’s fleet of three 208-passenger, all-suite ships offer a luxurious European cruise experience, with superior service and the finest cuisine, accommodations and amenities available at sea. A Seabourn cruise is the polar opposite of a mega ship cruise. Their award-winning staff attends to your every need, provides 24-hour room service and even offers random massages poolside every day. A European cruise aboard Seabourn’s Legend, Pride or Spirit is all about pampering and enjoying unique shore excursions not available on other cruise lines. Activities and entertainment are understated, and that’s how Seabourn’s clientele seems to like it. Unique to smaller luxury cruise ships, passengers can enjoy water sports like water-skiing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing – even swimming in the ocean in a steel mesh pool – thanks to a retractable platform. Seabourn’s European cruise itineraries tour Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in 7- to 18-days, and Grand European Voyages that span 18-66 days.

SeaDream Yacht Club

A European cruise aboard one of SeaDream’s ships is the definition of ultra-luxury. Not only will the staff satisfy your every whim, it will often be anticipated. Although the cabins are a bit on the small side, they are packed with amenities, including marble bathrooms, entertainment centers, Turkish bathrobes and even personalized stationary. Both the SeaDream I and SeaDream II offer the exclusive Thai Spa, and guests can enjoy water sports from retractable platforms. There are no organized activities, and even the schedule and itineraries are somewhat flexible. SeaDream’s Balinese DreamBeds line the sun deck, and their Caviar and Champagne Splash is legendary. SeaDream offers primarily 7-day cruises in the Mediterranean, although longer itineraries are occasionally offered.

Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises are the pinnacle of luxury cruises. Your decadent, all-inclusive European cruise aboard one of Silversea’s four all-suite ships offers you the highest ratio of space-per-guest on any fleet. Enjoy the best of the best – Pommery champagne, Lavazzo coffee, Acua di Parma soaps and lotions, Humidor by Davidoff cigars, and cooking classes using Viking appliances. Activities include expert lectures from specific to the region, complimentary excursions, as well as an onboard library, pool, spa, gym and casino facilities. Both the Silver Cloud and the Silver Wind carry 296 passengers, while the newer Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper have a capacity of 382 passengers. Silversea’s 7- to 15-day European cruise itineraries include popular and smaller, less-frequented ports in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.