Affordable luxury: 6 of the best premium cruise lines for 2022
By Cruise International | 23 Feb 2022
Premium cruise lines are the definition of affordable luxury, offering exquisite speciality dining, exceptional entertainment and state-of-the-art facilities. Here, we pick out six of the best.
Affordable luxury: 6 of the best premium cruise lines for 2022
Want a mix of luxury and affordability on your next cruise? These cruise lines offer the best of both worlds for when you want a premium cruise experience without breaking the bank. Here are six of the best premium cruise lines for 2022.
This spring marks the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ latest ground-breaking Edge-class ship Celebrity Beyond, which will sail its maiden voyage from Southampton in April, before spending its inaugural season in the Med. From here, Celebrity Beyond will cruise the French and Italian rivieras and Greek islands before moving to the Caribbean in autumn. This new vessel has the same standout features as its two sister ships: Celebrity Apex, which was named last year, and Celebrity Edge, which launched in 2018, both of which will also be based in Europe this summer.
Their most notable feature is the ‘Magic Carpet’ moving platform on the side of the ship that serves as a bar and restaurant, but other cool hangouts include a chic rooftop garden and multi-terraced Sunset Bar across the aft. Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Southampton this summer on a variety of sailings to the Mediterranean, Baltic and Norwegian fjords.
0344 493 2043; celebritycruises.com
Holland America Line
The US brand Holland America Line starts 2022 with new ship Rotterdam on its inaugural season of the Caribbean with sailings from Fort Lauderdale, which all feature Holland America Line’s private resort island Half Moon Cay. This spring sees Volendam and Zaandam returning to service with cruises to northern Europe and Canada/New England respectively from May, while cruise fans can go wild for this October’s 71-day Grand Africa Voyage, visiting 21 ports in 21 countries with a host of game-spotting opportunities in national parks and wildlife reserves.
Holland America Line has four ships in Europe from April to October with sailings from seven to 21 days departing from eight cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen, overnight stays in 14 ports and late-evening departures in 18 others. A highlight is October’s 150th-anniversary transatlantic crossing from Rotterdam to Fort Lauderdale, calling at Plymouth and New York, which mirrors the debut voyage by Rotterdam I in 1872.
0344 338 8605; hollandamerica.com
Having unveiled its newest ship Spirit of Adventure in Portsmouth last summer, which follows in the footsteps of its sister Spirit of Discovery named in 2019, Saga’s two ships will undertake 46 cruises this year to the Caribbean, Europe, Norway and the Baltic States.
Highlights include a 17-night cruise, Into the Gulf of Bothnia, to the Baltic departing Dover on July 31, with calls including Gothenburg, Riga and Tallinn. A 22-night Croatia & Cities of the Central Mediterranean voyage from Southampton on August 6 brings together some of the glories of the Adriatic with calls at Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik. One of the most exciting sailings is an 18-night exploration deep in the Arctic Circle entitled Spitsbergen’s Arctic Landscape, which departs Southampton on July 19 to sail along Norway’s coast into polar bear territory among the islands of Svalbard and their capital, Longyearbyen.
0800 096 0079; travel.saga.co.uk
Holding just less than 700 passengers, Azamara prides itself on sailing into smaller ports and immersing guests in the local culture with longer stays, more overnight stops and night tours. One of its signature treats are AzAmazing Evenings – special complimentary one-off shows or experiences tailored to specific destinations.
Having previously been owned by the Royal Caribbean Cruises giant, Azamara was sold to private equity firm Sycamore Partners last year and has since forged ahead with plans for a fourth ship, Azamara Onward, which launches in May in the Mediterranean, where it will be based for the rest of the year. Azamara Quest starts 2022 in the Caribbean, while Azamara Journey is in the Canary Islands where the winter programme includes four ‘Country Intensive’ voyages.
0344 493 4016; azamara.co.uk
April marks the return of the entire Oceania Cruises fleet when the remaining two of its six ships, Nautica and Regatta, return to service following multimillion-dollar upgrades. Nautica will spend early summer in the Mediterranean on itineraries that blend marquee cities including Rome, Lisbon and Athens with lesser-known haunts such as Palamos, Gythion and Trapani, while Regatta reprises its popular Tahiti voyages with three new 10-day Papeete sailings.
Oceania’s Tropics and Exotics voyages for 2022/23 are more diverse, with additional overnight stops and an increased range of durations with itineraries from seven to 77 days. These vary from quick escapes to the Caribbean to longer adventures to Australia and South America, and new for this season are four sailings from the Latin continent that include Antarctica. This so-called ‘foodie’ cruise line, which prides itself on its culinary offerings, has upped its game even more for 2022 with enhanced menu choices.
0345 505 1920; oceaniacruises.com
Spring sees Princess Cruises welcome another new ship to its fleet with the 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess, which debuts along the US West Coast and Alaska. This year promises to be the line’s longest-ever UK season with three ships based at Southampton. Sky Princess will sail from March to October, a month longer than previous years, while Emerald Princess’s season of British Isles cruises has been extended thanks to a new Canary Islands cruise departing in October.
Island Princess will offer a range of departures from June to October that includes Iceland, Russia and Greenland. New to Princess’s Asia 2022/23 programme is a Southeast Asia with Malaysian Peninsula itinerary, including the line’s first call at Melaka in more than a decade, while six Princess ships will cruise Mexico, California and Hawaii in 2022/23 with round-trip sailings from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.
0344 338 8663; princess.com