Picture this: You wake up in a fluffy bed next to your new husband or wife, gaze out your floor-to-ceiling windows at a spectacular seascape spread out before you, slip into a plush robe to open the door for a butler delivering your decadent breakfast, and then maybe head off for a day at the pool, a gym and spa session, or exploration of a brand-new-to-you place like Ho Chi Minh City, Tel Aviv, or Santorini. After a satisfyingly full day—of doing next to nothing or seeing the sights and checking off points of interest—you sidle up to an elegant circular bar for Hemingway daiquiris as a duo sings oldies, and then dine on exquisite American classics at a Thomas Keller restaurant (the famed chef of the French Laundry in Napa). Maybe you catch a musical show, maybe you play a little blackjack, or just head back to your suite for a bubble bath. And the next day you do it all again, except the seascape might look a little different, and the place you’re touring is Copenhagen, Dubai, or a deserted Thai private island. But you haven’t packed up your bags, gotten on a plane or taken a bus anywhere. All this is possible from the comfort of Seabourn’s luxury cruise ship Ovation, and other ships of that ilk.
A cruise usually conjures images of families in Mickey Mouse ears, waterslides, and thousands of people floating on behemoths, but on select smaller ships from high-end lines that’s not reality. Brands like Seabourn, Oceania, and Silversea host far fewer than 1,000 guests on their voyages, and the staff actually get to know your names—which is extra satisfying when you’re newlyweds (and when you may even be called Mrs. for the first time). There are even much, much smaller ships—boats, even—that offer similarly personalized, highly romantic experiences, such as Ecoventura, with their new 10-cabin MV Theory, a sustainable luxury mega yacht sailing the wondrous Galapagos archipelago. In the spirit, here are seven reasons to seriously consider hopping on a 21st-century love boat for your honeymoon.
1. There’s basically no planning involved
Pick your itinerary, book it, and browse through the available excursions you might want to add. There’s little to no research involved—it’s a one and done type of decision. After planning an entire wedding, this may be the biggest perk of going on a cruise.
2. You can gain access to places you normally couldn’t
Smaller ships mean better access. Take Peregrine Adventures, a premium travel brand with trips to places like the Seychelles, Thailand, and Malaysia. Fewer than 50 passengers per ship get to drop anchor beside uninhabited, far-flung islands and for swimming in bays that are inaccessible to large cruise liners—for example, Anse Source D’Argent on La Dique, one of the best beaches in the world. Naturetours.com is an outfitter that takes adventurers farther into the Amazon than any other on its M/V Tucano, a super-sustainable vessel that features solar-powered AC and locally sourced food.
3. You get to experience multiple destinations instead of one
If you’re people who get bored easily, or simply believe that variety is the spice of life, then it’s probably not a good idea to book a week at a beach resort and call it a day. With many itineraries, you can find a beautiful blend of city and beach, island and jungle, mountain and village. You could experience sea life while snorkeling—like in the Galapagos, with Ecoventura’s naturalists who also guide kayaking, and standup paddle board trips—or the many delectable regional dishes of Vietnam as you journey up its coast toward Hong Kong. There are crater lakes in Indonesia, and craftsmen to chat with in Croatia.
4. It’s a chance to go truly off the grid and leave it all behind
Not that cruise ships don’t have WiFi available, but oftentimes it’s quite expensive (and in remote places roaming doesn’t always work), and honestly who wants to spend their honeymoon locking eyes with your iPhone screen instead of your new hubby? This is a time to escape from the mundane emails flooding your inbox and excessive time spent on Instagram and instead turn focus to being present and having new experiences with the one you love most.
5. The food is great
One of the best things about these intimate luxury lines? Their cuisine. You’d be hard pressed to find a resort with as rich, varied, and impeccable meals as the likes of Seabourn and its comrades. Multicourse tasting menus with wine pairings, sushi that seems straight from Japan, chef’s table experiences in a demonstration kitchen, trips to local markets with the chef, and visiting guest chefs are some of the perks that wow foodies on these ships.
6. On luxury cruises there’s no nickel-and-diming
It’s hard to know the joy of never signing a bill, handing over your credit card several times a day, trying to make sense of foreign currency, calculating tips, or even seeing prices on a menu until you take a luxury cruise like Seabourn’s or Ecoventura’s, where those things don’t exist. Inclusive of virtually everything on the ship, booze included (Seabourn and some others even include tips and 24-hour room service in their rates), this makes it much easier to kick back, stop worrying about money or budget, and just indulge in the opulence.
7. There are great opportunities for cultural immersion
Some itineraries include overnights in one place, so you could spend the night off the ship if you so wish, or you could spend an evening at a Thai homestay, as you may choose on a Peregrine Thailand trip. Silversea’s programming is incredibly immersive, and Seabourn’s cultural tours are led by well-trained locals who can answer a billion questions about life in that place and show you the real side of the destination.
8. Again with the ease…
How else are you going to hit six or seven destinations in one trip, without hopping from hotel to hotel and exhausting yourself in the process? You can even tailor the trip to your interests. History lovers adore the Vilshofen to Budapest wine cruise on the Danube River with AmaWaterways, stopping in destinations such as 2,000-year-old cities, biking to castles, and taking horse-drawn carriages to pastry shops. (Also consider wine-focused cruises through France that are sure to treat your palates—think truffles, cheese, macarons, and vino.) The possibilities are endless, and endlessly exciting.