Get your dream cruise on. These luxurious ships—many new or lavishly redone—sail to unrivaled bucket-list destinations.
By Janice Wald Henderson
1 of 10Photo: BraunS/Getty
The Best Cruises of 2017
With hundreds of cruises crisscrossing the seven seas this year, we set out to find the very best. Here are 2017’s cream of the crop—ships that are heading to far-flung and fascinating places this year, and that have set new standards for luxury travel. Prepare to revise your bucket list with any of these remarkable journeys by sea.
Aboard the Silver Cloud Expedition
Silver Cloud’s megabuck makeover means a new name, chic new look and ice-class rating for polar travel. Just 200 passengers can delight in an adrenalin-charged 16-day Antarctic adventure, replete with suite accommodations, spa, show-lounge and pampering butlers.
Aboard the Seven Seas Explorer
Such divine contrast – one 16-day journey ventures from pub-aplenty Dublin to remote Greenland and Iceland fishing villages. Onboard this glam new ship, passengers rejoice in sumptuous suites, museum-quality art and a stellar spa.
Learn more and book it:Majestic Midnight Sun Duration: 15 nights Departure: July 25, 2017 Rates start at: $15,399
4 of 10Photo: Oliver J Davis Photography/Getty
Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy
Aboard the Crystal Symphony/Coastal Living 20th Anniversary Cruise
Follow the Costa del Sol en route to the French Riviera and venture out to explore Cathedral of Seville, the treasures of Barcelona, and the principality of Monaco, on this one-time 20th Anniversary Cruise with Coastal Living. Coastal Living’s editors will join with National Geographic writer/photographer Jad Davenport for a custom itinerary with special cocktail parties and receptions; talks on design, travel, and style, and workshops on travel photography.
Aboard the Marina
The all-around perfect Marina debuts Cuba sails. This 10-day delight stars a Havana overnight; two full days to puff cigars, go clubbing, ride in vintage cars. Visits to Belize and Guatemala are the icing on this Caribbean cake.
Learn more and book it: Waves & Wonders Duration: 10 days Departure: March 21, 2017 Rates start at: $3,249 per guest
6 of 10Photo: JTB Photo/Getty
Great Barrier Reef
Aboard the Seabourn Encore
Gape at Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Great Barrier Reef, and Daintree National Park, home to the world’s oldest rainforest. On the 16-day cruise, complimentary bubbly and caviar - whenever, wherever - is one signature of this fabulously fancy new ship.
Aboard the Silver Muse
Spring brings 596-passenger Silver Muse, Silversea’s new all-suite flagship. This stunning game-changer eschews the beaten path to showcase lesser-known ports like Trogir, Croatia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on this delightful 12-day Med sail.
Learn more and book it: Mediterranean Cruise Duration: 12 days Departure: May 28, 2017 Rates start at: $9,750 (per guest)
8 of 10Photo: Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions
Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
Lindblad Expedition’s new 96-passenger ship is multi-gen friendly, offering solo, double, and triple cabins and suites. The 10-day cruise sails the Galapagos year-round, with cool exploration tools, like a glass-bottom Zodiac, standup paddleboards and an underwater camera.
Aboard the True North
Explore Australia’s Wild West on True North, an exclusive 36-passenger adventure yacht with an air-conditioned helicopter, on this 14-day Kimberley cruise. Sailing croc-infested rivers, and viewing ancient rock art and majestic waterfalls, are unbeatable outings.
Learn more and book it: Kimberley Ultimate Duration: 14 days Departure: April-August 2017 Rates start at: $20,995
10 of 10Photo: Neil-Roberts/Paragon-Pixels
Aboard the Crystal Serenity
Plush 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity takes its second Northwest Passage sail. Think 32 days of ogling wildlife, meeting indigenous Arctic people and coddling onboard and off - crews rush by Zodiac to deliver mugs of hot chocolate to polar-bear viewing guests.