Want to sail off into the sunset on your honeymoon? But not sure if a cruise is right for you? Whether you’re looking for champagne and canapés served on your own private deck, far-flung destinations or something to fit a tight budget, a cruise could be the perfect match
Fantasy island-hopping in the South Pacific
Sometimes a honeymoon is about getting away from it all. And it’s hard to travel much further than Tahiti in the South Pacific. Nor would you want to with Paul Gauguin cruises, the only cruise line which sails between the lush and rugged islands of the South Seas all year round, letting you tumble off at delicious sounding destinations like Bora Bora, the Cook Islands and Papeete in a single 11-night itinerary. On board, newly-weds can look forward to a real taste of Polynesia with fresh fruit and flowers in the 332 ocean-view-only suites and staterooms (70 per cent of which have balconies) and a local fable placed on your pillow at night. As you might expect from a cruise in a French territory, the food here is fabulous, with three restaurants including L’Etoile, which serves fine French food with a tropical twist. The all-inclusive package, which also includes fine wines, cocktails and all tips, means that whilst this cruise is by no means cheap – it is excellent value when compared to the cost of resorts and packages in this destination.
Blow the budget
Don’t want to dine with other people? Why not have your gourmet meal served to you by butlers on your own private deck. Fancy a glass of champagne with breakfast? Why not order a whole bottle and have one waiting on ice for you in the evening too. For ultra-luxe cruising, it’s hard to get more high-end than Silversea Cruises, which boast butler service and complimentary champagne as standard, and cabins so spacious you might forget anyone else is on board. Of course, on such high falutin’ ships as these, prices are high wherever you sail, so splurge on itineraries in exotic destinations like Africa, the Indian Ocean and Far East.
Sleek and chic (and child-free)
P&O’s adult-only ships, the Adonia, Arcadia and more recently the Oriana, are perfect for honeymooners who are looking for a stylish cruise without the risk of running into hordes of romance-quelling children. The Adonia and Arcadia are bigger ships but offer a more contemporary feel with flexible dining and state of the art spa facilities, so they’re great for younger couples seeking a more personalised experience. On the Oriana and Arcadia you can book yourself into Marco Pierre-White’s restaurant, the Ocean Grill, for modern British cuisine at an additional charge. And on all P&O ships, you can choose to sit at a table for two – just make sure you book ahead. P&O sails to destinations worldwide but if you wish to avoid the stresses and added cost of flying, choose a sailing out from Southampton to romantic destinations in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Atlantic.
For something a little more adventurous, try a specialist luxury operator like Orion Expedition Cruises in Australia, whose small ships carry only 50 couples and 75 staff, and sail to unusual and remote destinations, from Antarctica and the islands of the Torres Strait to Papua New Guinea and East Timor. For a truly romantic itinerary, their Top End cruise departs from Broome in the far north of Western Australia and penetrates the rugged and unforgiving territories of Kimberley in the outback. Life aboard is laid back with most passengers wearing t-shirts and shorts and simple pleasures are key. You can dine when you like in the Constellation restaurant, or on deck where you can listen to the evening’s entertainment: two or three musicians playing under the stars.
Affordable yet intimate
On a tight budget? Cruise and Maritime Voyages offer excellent value and no-fly cruises from six ports around the UK. The 800-passenger Marco Polo and Ocean Countess promise passengers a more intimate and friendly cruising experience and eschew the usual busy cruise ports in the Mediterranean in favour of quieter, romantic alternatives, including Iceland and the Baltic, the Fjords, France, Spain and those pretty hard-to-reach parts of the British Isles.
Are you thinking of tying the knot on a cruise? Read our Essential Guide to Getting Married at Sea!
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