What defines a romantic cruise? Intimate surroundings. Complimentary wine and champagne, so you can indulge stress-free. A balcony or two. And extra brownie points for a no-kids-allowed policy. We feel you.
On these cruise lines, you don’t have to worry about packed, sweaty corridors or overcrowded patios. They’re known for understated elegance and, in some cases, total luxury. We even included a budget option because, well, love don’t pay the bills.
Prepare to swoon.
Best for couples that want all-inclusive amenities, but not butler service: Azamara
These country club-style cruises are classy without being stuffy, stylish without feeling staid. Wine, beer and drinks are all included — as is the yummy food. Azamara puts an emphasis on immersive experiences, so you'll spend longer days at each romantic island along the way — perfect for longs walks along white-sand beaches in Aruba, Bonaire, St, Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and more.
Best for couples that enjoy organized tours and onboard seminars: Viking Ocean Cruises
Is there anything more romantic than short lines and nearly empty cobblestone courtyards? Wander through ancient, sun-soaked cities like Šibenik (Croatia), Ephesus (Turkey), Crete (Greece) and spend quality time with your sweetie during hands-on shore excursions like culinary lessons and dance classes.
And if your sweetie's style is Scandinavian — natural light, clean lines, minimalist decor — Viking Cruise Line's ships will be an aesthetic paradise. Wine and beer are included with meals, and Wi-Fi is free.
Best for couples aged 50+: Seabourn
Relax into the lap of luxury with your love on cruises through the majestic Alaskan wilderness. On Seabourn, you'll get unlimited caviar and champagne from the moment you board. The line's known for superior staff and special touches — like a surprise bottle of wine on your pillow at night.
Together, you'll marvel at calving glaciers, wonder at misty fjords and meander through rustic villages before retreating into your warm cocoon-for-two at night.
Best for couples that want a premium luxury getaway: Crystal Ocean Cruises
Crystal's elegant Espirit yacht sails to off-the-beaten-path villages and peaceful seaside towns with no more than 62 passengers aboard. Its Indian Ocean cruise around the Seychelles is particularly thrilling.
Everything from shore excursions to premium boozy drinks, gourmet food and Wi-Fi is included in your fare. So if you want to spend all afternoon watching the world go by, sipping cocktails and clinking cheers, you can.
Best for active couples: Windstar
These cruises feel more like sailing on a private yacht than a shared ship. Windstar's itineraries are designed to enliven the senses — you'll eat and drink delicious Tahitian fare bursting with flavor, kayak and swim through sparkling water and revel in the privacy of tiny island coves. Tahiti's fiery, South Pacific sunsets are nothing less than extraordinary.
Best for couples that want a premium luxury getaway with flights included: Regent
Medieval castles, rapturous ballets, lavish palaces and fragrant, rolling vineyards characterize lively itineraries through the likes of London, Lisbon, Barcelona and more. Regent Seven Seas includes complimentary shore excursions that focus on the art, history and music of each destination.
Onboard destination expert
Gourmet dining with sommeliers
Culinary classes, trivia and live evening entertainment
And Regent Seven Seas treats passengers like royalty. Not only is it all-inclusive — from fancy lattes to premium alcoholic drinks, gratuities and more — it also pays for business-class plane tickets to and from ports.
Best for couples on a budget: Norwegian
Hawaii is nearly synonymous with paradise. NCL's best-in-class itineraries around the islands will take you and your boo to nirvana — for less than $100 per day on some itineraries. Surprise your significant other with red roses and chocolates or spring for a couples' massage.
Awarded Best Hawaii Itinerary 14 times by Porthole Magazine
Norwegian's frequent Free at Sea deals include free beverages, shore excursions and more
Hoping to save cash? It's possible to have an absolutely lovely time without spending an extra cent on board. Adults-only lounges and evening entertainment abound.
How we chose these cruises
We looked at the ambiance that each cruise line is known for, prioritizing cruises with onboard experiences designed especially for couples and itineraries to beautiful, serene ports. We focused on elevated packages that fuse thoughtfully-curated food, drink and service to pamper passengers.
While we favored cruises that cater to mostly adult passengers, we also looked for companies that are known to deliver the highest value for the price — weighing stateroom amenities, dining options and the range and quality of shore excursions.
Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation for delivering special-occasion celebrations.
Top deals on romantic cruises
New Zealand cruises for couples from $399 per person
Cruises can be the perfect way to relax with your boo, far away from the stress of everyday life. Keep in mind that you can often use a travel credit card to earn points and rewards when you book that romantic cruise.
If you can’t afford a premium cruise, you still have options. Here are some tips to make your sailing experience special:
Hang out in adults-only areas. Most cruise ships have designated areas where kids aren’t allowed — even Disney Cruise Line. If you don’t want to be fighting munchkins for space, just find the lounges, decks or pools that are only for adults.
Check for couples perks. Many cruise lines have special packages you can buy for less than $100 that include chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, flowers and more.
Research ports in advance to find romantic spots. If your main goal is to spend time with your significant other, shore excursions probably aren’t necessary. Find a cute corner cafe or off-the-beaten-path beach where you can get away when you disembark.
Sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Cruise Direct are designed to help you find the best deals at your designated price point. These are great tools to use if you’re booking last-minute cruises.
Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.
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