Picking the perfect honeymoon is no easy feat—countless romantic destinations, endless hotel options, limited vacation time, and the struggle-is-real challenge of finding the perfect place to please both you and your new spouse. Where to begin? Well, right here. Whether you're looking for bucket-list hotels and resorts, far-flung beaches, the top cruise lines for couples, inexpensive travel ideas, or unexpected honeymoon-worthy locales, you’ve come to the right spot.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
If picture-perfect blue water, garden-green private islands, and hours upon hours of lounging in the sun are what you're after on your honeymoon, you're looking for a French Polynesian getaway. And there’s no better way to explore this South Pacific paradise than aboard a luxe cruise ship like the Gauguin, the flagship of Paul Gauguin Cruises. With just 330 passengers, private balconies in more than 70 percent of the suites and staterooms, and a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1.5 (one of the highest in the cruise industry), the Gauguin is a small-ship dream. And that's not to mention the ship's onboard water sports marina, three dining venues, an extensive spa, and friendly staff of local Tahitians.
With its two ocean vessels Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, Crystal Cruises offers an exciting luxury experience. This will only continue, as both ships have seen a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2017 and 2018. In 2022, the company experienced a bankruptcy and change of ownership. As of late 2022 and early 2023, the company is relaunching and preparing to begin cruises again soon. On board the two ships, passengers can expect 6-star personalized service, comfort, and a sophisticated atmosphere. These luxury cruises will sail to destinations in the Americas, Europe, Alaska, Asia, and Australasia.
This ultraluxe, all-inclusive line has been at the top of the small-ship game for years, thanks to its unique itineraries, less-crowded ports of call, expert tour guides, and OTT ships (with top-notch service and a high staff-to-guest ratio). In December 2016, Seabourn launched its largest vessel, Seabourn Encore, the first in a new class of ships that are slightly larger than the three existing Odyssey-class vessels (Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest, with just 458 passengers). The hallmark feature of Encore, designed by Adam D. Tihany, isn't the private veranda in every suite or the open-bar service; it's "the Retreat," a new secluded sanctuary on Deck 12 with a whirlpool, sun loungers, and 15 private cabanas, each with a flat-screen TV and refrigerator stocked with a personalized selection of beverages (from $350 per couple per day). So, if you're looking to unwind away from the other passengers, all you have to do is make a reservation—though we recommend opting for the one Spa Treatment Cabana, because, well, duh.
Each of the five main vessels (Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit, and Silver Muse) are outfitted with water-view suites, restaurant-quality cuisine, and a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly 1:1, sailing to over 900 total destinations around the globe. Silver Muse only joined the fleet in 2017; the ship hosts just 596 guests in all-suite butler-serviced accommodations, perfect for couples who seek a luxe, intimate, small-ship experience.
However, those who want excursion-packed itineraries in remote regions—like the North and South Poles, Southeast Asia, Australia’s Kimberley Coast, and the Galápagos Islands—need only look to one of Silversea's Expedition-class vessels, Silver Explorer, Silver Endeavour, Silver Wind, Silver Cloud, or the brand new Silver Origin (designed specifically for sailing around the Galápagos Islands).
SeaDream Yacht Club
Whether you’re looking for a Caribbean, Mediterranean, or transatlantic voyage, SeaDream Yacht Club’s two twin mega-yachts—SeaDream I and SeaDream II—are the ideal celeb-worthy vessels. Days at sea can be spent relaxing in the saltwater pool, while nights include movies, screened on the top deck, and a sleep-under-the-stars experience (the crew will create a special bed for you on the deck so you can fall asleep to the sounds of the sea).
Each ship is outfitted with 56 luxe staterooms, including three suites, meaning you and your new partner basically have the ship to yourselves (in fact, you can have it to yourself—the line also offers private charters, perfect for a wedding at sea—just saying). Itineraries are also all-inclusive, so food, drinks (including alcoholic beverages), water sports, and even gratuities are baked into the cost of the cruise.
Windstar is one of the latest cruise lines to operate traditional sailing yachts, the ultimate throwback cruising experience. Renovated in 2019, the largest sailing yacht Wind Surf carries 342 passengers. The Wind Spirit and Wind Star each carry 148 passengers. All three cruise to over 60 nations, with 330 ports-of-call throughout North America, Asia, Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America. Windstar also has powered yachts—Star Pride, Star Breeze, and Star Legend—each with 312 guests, and all underwent significant renovations in 2021. Foodie couples will also appreciate Windstar's partnership with the James Beard Foundation, offering guests an exclusive lineup of culinary-focused sailings that highlight the local cuisine of the destinations you visit, plus onboard cooking demonstrations, tastings of regional wines, and visits to local markets ashore.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
The crown jewel of the Regent fleet, the 746-passenger Seven Seas Splendor has been dubbed the “world’s most luxurious ship.” What makes her so over-the-top? The fact that each stateroom is a suite with its own private balcony, while common spaces feature inlaid marble floors, glass staircases, crystal chandeliers, and, oh—the ship hosts the largest suite at sea, complete with its own in-room spa.
Seven Seas Splendor joined the line’s five other all-suite vessels— Seven Seas Grandeur, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager, and Seven Seas Explorer—which collectively sail to more than 500 destinations around the globe on all-inclusive voyages (including round-trip airfare, excursions in every port, WiFi in concierge-level rooms, and pre-cruise hotel packages in some cases).
Celebrity Cruises features a large fleet of impressive luxury ships including the Celebrity Edge was inaugurated in December 2018. Celebrity tapped internationally acclaimed architect Tom Wright to design a wide variety of spaces on the Resort Deck, which includes the main pool area, a rooftop garden, a jogging track, and solarium. He also tricked-out the insane duplex Edge Villas with floor-to-ceiling windows and indoor-outdoor areas.
The Edge Class will be the first new class of ships since the Solstice class debuted in 2008, joining Millennium and Xpedition for a fleet of 10-plus high-end vessels. Also of note: the line focuses on novel culinary programming on all voyages, offering experiences like “A Taste of Film," for which guests can sign up for a multicourse meal paired with a popular food-themed movie (think The Hundred-Foot Journey or Julie and Julia), screened on-deck under the stars. The line also has an exclusive level of wellness-centric staterooms called the AquaClass, in which passengers have access to spa and lounge areas around the clock and can dine at their own restaurant.
If just the idea of being on the high seas makes you seasick, good news—AmaWaterways' award-winning river cruises ply the waters of Europe, Southeast Asia, Colombia, and Africa. So whether you're looking to see the architecture of Budapest by night, sip vintages in Portugal's Douro Valley, see the pyramids of Egypt, sample Asian delicacies on the floating markets of Cambodia and Vietnam's Mekong River, or go on traditional game drives in Botswana, AmaWaterways has something for every kind of honeymooner.
Oceania Cruises has an exclusive partnership with culinary legend, Jacques Pépin. What does that mean for passengers? It means they have the chance to sail with the internationally-recognized French chef, television personality, and author on a signature voyage. If your honeymoon doesn't overlap with Pépin's schedule, fear not, Oceania Cruises’ expertly-crafted voyages call on more than 600 ports in over 100 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and the Americas aboard the 648-guest Sirena, 656-guest Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica, as well as the 1,238-guest Marina and Riviera. In 2023, Oceania Cruises will launch another ship: the Vista.
The line focuses on experiencing the local culture. Culinary experiences and visiting historic sites are common shore excursions.