Best luxury cruise lines for 2022
By Sara Macefield | 28 Jan 2022
Find out what luxury cruise lines have in store in 2022 with our guide to the key players in luxury cruising
This year marks the resumption of service for Seabourn’s entire fleet of five ocean ships and the debut of its first expedition ship, with a second following in 2023.
Seabourn’s final three ships to resume sailings are Seabourn Encore in February, with Canary Islands trips followed by a season of Greek islands voyages; Seabourn Sojourn in June, which will spend summer in the western Mediterranean and Canary Islands; and Seabourn Quest, which will homeport in Venice to cruise the Adriatic and Ionian seas before sailing to Western Europe and heading north to the UK.
Seabourn Ovation starts 2022 with 12 new itineraries featuring the Caribbean and Europe and includes the ship’s first stop in the US. The line has also unveiled a new collection of Seabourn Journeys in Europe and Asia with stays in the likes of Istanbul, Jerusalem, Tuscany and a trip to the Taj Mahal tagged on to sailings.
0344 338 8615; seabourn.com
The German line is welcoming international guests back for the first time since the pandemic for bilingual sailings in German and English aboard Europa 2 and expeditionary vessel Hanseatic Inspiration.
Europa 2 starts 2022 in the Indian Ocean on the first of 53 cruises planned for 2022/23, before sailing to South Africa, the Cape Verde Islands and the Canaries. Spring and summer will be spent in northern Europe, with cruises to the Baltic and a departure from Liverpool to Lisbon, before spending the rest of the summer in the Mediterranean.
A highlight is Europa 2’s Fashion2Night round-trip sailing from Hamburg to Scandinavia on June 10, which promises five days of fashion shows and partying. Come autumn and you’ll find Europa 2 sailing for the Indian Ocean, before finishing the year in southeast Asia for a season of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific sailings.
The upscale line enters 2022 having just launched its first expedition ship Crystal Endeavor and with its two ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, cruising the Caribbean before moving to the Mediterranean for the summer.
One of the high points is Crystal Serenity’s new 132-night Grand Voyage – featuring 82 ports (with 11 overnight stops) in 32 countries – which replaces its original world cruise, which departed from Miami earlier this month. It then spends early summer in the Mediterranean before relocating to Alaska and sailing to the US East Coast for autumn foliage voyages between New York and Quebec City.
Crystal Symphony will spend the summer cruising the Mediterranean and northern Europe, with three cruises from Dover, before it sails to the Middle East in November for two cruises from Abu Dhabi. It then heads further east for next winter’s Asia programme.
020 7399 7601; crystalcruises.co.uk
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
The upscale hotel chain’s plunge into the cruise world has been several years in the making after previous launches had to be postponed. But the first of three swanky superyachts, holding just 298 passengers in 149 sumptuous suites, is finally due to set sail this May.
With five dining venues, a water sports marina, spa and fitness centre plus hot tubs and an aft deck infinity pool, Evrima claims to offer more space per passenger than other ships and a crew-to-guest ratio of 1 to 1.21.
Its inaugural sailing from Lisbon to Barcelona marks the start of its maiden Mediterranean season, with itineraries of five to 11 nights, also featuring the Greek islands and Adriatic coast before departing for the Caribbean in November, where Evrima will transit the Panama Canal.
0800 048 8667; ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com
New ships continue to roll in for this upmarket line, now owned by US cruise giant Royal Caribbean Cruises. Last summer marked inaugural voyages of Silversea’s latest additions – new flagship Silver Moon and expeditionary ship Silver Origin.
These are followed by newcomer Silver Dawn, which embarks on its maiden Mediterranean season in March. The new ship will also debut pioneering wellness programme Otium, inspired by the ancient Romans and focusing not just on spa therapies, but an all-round experience with an emphasis on sleep, cuisine and indulgent bathing rituals.
Silversea has introduced Grand Voyages this year, with a South American sailing and three European itineraries on Silver Moon, followed by more in 2023. New port calls include Rio Guajara in Brazil, Puerto del Rosario in Fuerteventura and Porto Novo in Benin, West Africa.
Silversea is also adding to its all-inclusive offering, with shore excursions and private executive transfers now included for voyages from March 30 onwards.
0844 251 0837; silversea.com
SeaDream Yacht Club
“It’s yachting, not cruising” is the slogan of this boutique line, whose two mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II resemble floating hip hotels, carrying just 112 passengers in supreme comfort and attended to by 95 crew.
Personalised service and luxury twists range from al fresco dining on deck and sleeping under the stars on its Balinese ‘dream beds’ to racing around on jet-bikes, one of the many diversions offered from the ships’ water sports platforms.
Having celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, SeaDream’s yachts start 2022 in the Caribbean with new port calls in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, US and British Virgin Islands and Dutch Caribbean. The line also returns to South Florida for the first time in more than a decade with two round-trip sailings from Palm Beach.
From May, both mega-yachts will spend the summer in Europe, sailing itineraries in the eastern and western Mediterranean.
0800 783 1373; seadream.co.uk
This is the newest name to hit the luxury cruise scene, courtesy of cruising giant MSC Cruises, with the first of four ships due to launch in May next year and others following each year after that.
Promising to “redefine the cruise experience” while utilising the latest technology, Explora Journeys’ first ship, Explora I, has 461 ocean-facing suites and residences measuring 35 square metres or more. Across the 14 decks of this superyacht-style vessel will be four pools (one with a retractable glass roof) and 64 private deck cabanas.
Guests can choose from nine speciality restaurants, with locally sourced ingredients, indoor and outdoor lounges and relaxation spots, plus a spa and fitness area.
Sailings are seven nights upwards, with itineraries including overnight stays, mixing signature destinations including St Tropez and Bordeaux with hidden gems such as Bozcaada in Turkey and the Lofoten Islands.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Arguably the most inclusive of the luxury lines, with unlimited shore excursions, hotel stays, flights (in business class for those staying in penthouse suites and above), and Wi-Fi, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be showcasing the 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor in 2022.
Described as one of the world’s most luxurious vessels, the line’s new flagship was unveiled in February 2020 and spearheaded RSSC’s return to operations last September from Southampton for its inaugural season.
This year’s line-up of voyages includes 12 Spotlight themed sailings with topics ranging from ancestry and Broadway shows to wine and world wars, plus a new collection of cruises twinned with signature rail journeys, such as the Rocky Mountaineer, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Hiram Bingham train in South America.
Next year sees the arrival of new ship Seven Seas Grandeur, whose inaugural season starts in November 2023 in the Caribbean.
023 8082 1390; rssc.com
This year promises to be the biggest yet for Viking as it marks the company’s 25th anniversary and seven years since it dipped its toe into the ocean cruise market.
During 2022, Viking’s ocean fleet will grow to eight ships with the addition of Viking Mars this spring, which will spend its maiden season in the Mediterranean and northern Europe before embarking on voyages in Asia and Australia. It will be followed by Viking Neptune towards the end of 2022.
New itineraries include a nine-day Pacific Coast Explorer along America’s West Coast, with stops at San Diego and San Francisco; an Ancient Adriatic Treasures sailing combining Venice and Dubrovnik; and a Panama Canal & West Coast Explorer that visits Central America and California.
The line also launches its adventure arm, Viking Expeditions, this year with two new expeditionary vessels.
0800 298 9700; vikingcruises.co.uk