A cruise can be ideal for a romantic getaway and, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we list 10 itineraries to set your pulses racing
1. The Caribbean
An idyllic palm-fringed beach, a clear blue ocean and sultry temperatures will surely ignite your passion, and what better way than with a Caribbean cruise? Seabourn’s seven-day Yachtsman’s Caribbean round trip voyage departs Bridgetown, Barbados, where you and your partner can choose to embark on a snorkelling adventure. This is followed by calls at Trois Ilets in Martinique, renowned as the birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte’s first wife, Josephine; Carambola Beach in St Kitts and Nevis; Terre-de-Haut in Guadeloupe’s Iles des Saintes; Castries in St Lucia; and Bequia’s Port Elizabeth in St Vincent and the Grenadines. A highlight of this itinerary is Antigua, where you can explore Nelson’s Dockyard and learn more about its ties with the naval officer, and see the famous Falmouth Harbour. Departs 7 April, from £1,999pp (seabourn.com).
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
There are some incredibly fascinating ports of call in Titan’s 10-day Springtime on the Rhine with Amsterdam itinerary. A highlight is The Netherlands’ capital city Amsterdam which, boasting more than 60 museums, has the highest density of museums in the world. Explore the 700-year-old city’s quaint streets, famous canals and bustling squares by bicycle or take a romantic stroll and soak up its impressive architecture and distinct, lively atmosphere at your leisure. On this cruise you can also explore Cologne with its grand gothic cathedral and Strasbourg, where streets of half-timber houses and red-brick buildings are ripe for exploring. Added to that, you will be sailing on Titan’s elegant exclusively chartered ship, MS Serenade 1. Departs 8 April, from £1,699pp (titantravel.co.uk/cruiseinternational).
With its snow-capped mountains and breathtaking glaciers, Alaska’s stark natural beauty provides the perfect setting for a romantic cruise. In the state’s capital, Juneau, you and your partner can enjoy thrilling activities such as dog sledding with professional mushers and their canine companions or you can go whale sighting for humpbacks or orcas. Nature trails in Alaska’s national parks also offer a chance to spot other native wildlife such as elk, brown bears or bald eagles. Barrhead Travel has a 16-night The Ultimate Journey cruise-tour package, including a rail ride on board the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer train (SilverLeaf service), a luxurious seven-night Alaska cruise sailing on Celebrity Eclipse and an incredible three-night rodeo experience at the world-famous Calgary Stampede – perfect for couples who love the thrill of the great outdoors. Departs July, from £4,799pp (barrheadtravel.co.uk).
4. Santorini, Greece
You will certainly fall head over heels in love with Greece’s stunning island Santorini. With its whitewashed houses lining steep cliffs, blue church domes and charming cobblestone streets, this picturesque island simply exudes romance. On Marella Cruises’ seven-day Aegean Shores itinerary, you have the chance to explore Santorini’s beautiful village Oia, offering incredible views of the Aegean Sea. Sailing from Corfu Town in Corfu, ports of call include Heraklion, Crete, for the incredible Knossos Palace, cosmopolitan Mykonos, Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia. Regular departures from June to September, from £965pp (tui.co.uk/cruise).
5. The Mediterranean
Fresh seafood, historic cities and fabulous culture await on this Local Flavours of the Mediterranean no-fly sojourn that calls at cities in Spain and France. Beginning your journey in Portsmouth, the itinerary takes in the Spanish cities of El Ferrol, a place that has close ties in cuisine and culture with Portugal’s Lisbon, on which it was modelled, Cartagena, famed for its historic harbour and well-preserved Roman Theatre, and trendy Ibiza before sailing to France for the town of Sete. The largest fishing port in France, you and your partner can enjoy the freshest and tastiest seafood in a romantic setting similar to Venice thanks to its charming canals, seafront and picturesque streets. Other calls include Barcelona, Tarragona and Cadiz in Spain. Departs 17 March, from £2,530pp (sagacruises.co.uk).
Read part two of the 10 of the best romantic cruises.
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