Go Big and Go Long: Top Luxury Cruise Lines for a Transatlantic Cruise

Find which luxury cruise lines are best for you

Posted 09.14.2009 in Articles by Christopher

  Cruising across the ocean between the Old World and the New is a journey that takes a week at sea, and many times at least double that time depending on where you're headed. With all that time on water, make sure your ship is the best. Find the most luxurious and comfortable cruise lines for the most complete relaxation for the grand journey. 

Crystal Cruises is a large-scale luxury cruise company which has won a huge number of awards: Travel + Leisure magazine voted it World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for 15 years, and Condé Nast Traveler gave it the same award for 11 years. Condé Nast Traveler readers have polled it as having the best cruise ships in the world; Crystal Cruises has also the Best Food award. And the list doesn't stop there; Crystal Cruises has won awards for almost everything, including entertainment. The epitome of luxury, Crystal Cruise ships have spacious, large luxury vessels with plenty of space for every passenger, and is known for the enrichment programs it features as the agenda over the long days at sea, with classes taught by Yamaha piano teachers, or theme cruises featuring ballroom dancing, floral design, film and theatre, and more. The passengers aboard are generally well-travelled, well-mannered, and well-dressed; the atmosphere is formal and luxurious. There are set dining times instead of having open dining, which may not appeal to some people; nevertheless, Crystal Cruises has a heavily reliable history of high standards and exceptional customer service to the point of every customer's personal preferences being quietly remembered and adhered to. Aside from other entertainment options, they also feature Broadway-style production shows  and a state-of-the-art Hollywood Theatre. 

Somewhat different from Crystal Cruises is the SeaDream Yacht Club, which is more like being on a private yacht than being on a luxury cruise ship. There is a maximum of 112 guests per yacht, with 95 crew, for an almost one-on-one guest-to-crew ratio. Instead of an activity roster, guests lounge around and do as they wish. The cruise ship will provide a free mp3 player and speakers for the guests' cabin for the duration of their cruise.  Instead of a schedule and enrichment classes, SeaDream Yacht provides a piano bar, live guitar, and special parties and events. Passengers may enjoy the casino in the evenings. Reviewers of SeaDream Yacht enjoyed the weekly picnic on a private beach that the Yacht Club hosts, saying it was one of the most memorable experiences they had on their cruise.  

Regent Seven Seas Cruise is a luxury cruise line with all-inclusive trips. With unlimited shore excursions, an in-suite mini bar setup, an included iPod docking station and iPad, complimentary movies on demand, and even butler service in Penthouse suites and higher, the guests of Regent Seven Seas enjoy some of the most abundant amenities and top-quality service of any luxury cruise lines. They also host guests in a variety of fields, including authors, historians, and naturalists, for lectures; they also include a Spotlight Series of voyages for enrichment programs in particular fields such as food and wine. Their evening entertainment includes a casino, a show lounge with performances from cabaret to Cirque-style performances, with the cruise line's own Regent Signature Orchestra. 

Meanwhile, Silversea Cruises boasts cruise ships with all ocean-view suites so that all guests may enjoy the view without having to leave their rooms. They lavish each individual guest with attention, providing butler service for all ships and all guests. While the cruise line offers a variety of activities including trivia teams, casino lessons, afternoon tea, dance lessons, wine tastings, and culinary demonstrations, guests are not bound by strict schedules, allowed to dine whenever and wherever they wish without needing to adhere to a rigid dinnertime. And in the evenings, while the cruise line doesn't advertise huge parties, they do offer movies, tasteful shows in the show lounge ranging from pianists to larger productions, and even, depending on the ship, dance hosts. The Silversea Cruises are known for an understated, not flashy, elegance, allowing guests to fill their time as much or as little they desire with socializing or quieter activities. 

When going across the ocean on a cruise that spends much of the time on water and not on land, it's important to choose a cruise line that will make those long days gliding over the sea relaxing and fulfilling, but not boring. Depending on what you're looking for, whether it's a huge schedule of activities and shows, or more intimate, personalized service on a quieter ship, wide and renowned entertainment options or socializing on a smaller scale, consider the unique aspects of all the luxury cruise lines mentioned before making a decision on the luxury cruise line that best fits what you want. 

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