Photo: Getty Images
Planning the wedding may have seemed stressful enough, but when it comes to steamy honeymoon spots, where do you even begin? Island hopping in the Mediterranean? The beaches of Hawaii? Wine tasting your way around Bordeaux? Why not enter the realm of cruising? (And we don't mean the Spring Break variety.) Step on board some of the most luxurious and intimate ships on the market for the idyllic stress-free honeymoon you couldn't even imagine planning on your own. Whether you and the hubby are up for outdoor adventures or basking on European beaches, these five destinations are sure to fit the bill, serving up just the right blend of relaxation and romance for a honeymoon that will be the definition of Instagram-worthy.
Been trying to snag a reservation at The French Laundry for years now? Three Michelin star chef Thomas Keller brings his culinary skills to sea on Seabourn Quest with the new onboard eatery, The Grill by Thomas Keller. Haute cuisine is one of the draws on the luxury liner, but another is the destination — St. Petersburg. Take in the best of the romantic Russian city strolling through Baroque cathedrals and 18th century palaces, ending evenings in style with a trip to the Russian ballet.
If visions of a white-washed hotel sitting on Santorini's seaside slopes have been on your Pinterest board for years but your honeymoon budget doesn't quite match, don't cross off this spot just yet. Instead of worrying about the logistics of island hopping in Greece, set sail on a Greek-based liner like Celestyal that acts as both a ferry and floating hotel. On a week-long cruise, you can crisscross through the islands hitting 11 ports from the big ones like Mykonos and Santorini to more tucked-away spots like Samos and Ios.
Willing to go to the edge of the Earth for your new hubby? With an Antarctic Expedition cruise, that's completely possible. Visit one of the most untouched regions of the globe on board Silversea's Silver Explorer, taking in views of the pristine landscape from panoramic windows in the luxe suites. It'll be hard to tell what takes your breath away more here-Antarctica's iceberg sculptures or sumptuous breakfasts together in bed (with champagne, of course) before setting off for your first adventure as husband and wife.
Palaces aren't only on land in the Mediterranean. On board Regent Seven Seas' new Explorer ship, you and the hubby will be living like royalty (Princess Charlene of Monaco is the ship's godmother, after all). Nicknamed "The World's Most Luxurious Ship," no expense was spared on this $450 million haute hotel at sea. With only 750 passengers, it'll still feel like an intimate honeymoon with your other half with plenty of space to spread out in the all-suite ship, which is also home to the largest balconies on the water. Cruise the Med heading from Monte-Carlo to Venice, stopping to explore some of the most romantic cities in the region in between onboard indulgences like Canyon Ranch spa treatments and fine dining at French eatery Chartreuse.
Cuba seems to be the hot ticket island on everyone's travel bucket list this year. Close enough to the U.S. but still as exotic as a trip to Asia, the one-time forbidden spot is slowly being added as a destination on itineraries by cruise ships both big and small. Couples that aren't traditional cruisers but still want to get an experience on the water will fall head-over-heels for the 64-passenger French yacht Le Ponant, which recently received approval to sail Americans to Cuba starting next spring.