Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015

We’ve picked the 10 best cruises for 2015 and organized them by special interest to help you find the best one for your travel style, whether you’re looking for family time or romance, or prefer to explore special interests like gastronomy, culture, or adventure.

1. Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises’ newest Mediterranean itinerary calls on ancient ports from Turkey to Italy in a sweeping 13-night cruise from Istanbul to Rome. In all, there are 11 ports of call on the line’s inaugural “Mediterranean Majesty” itinerary, including Ephesus; Rhodes; Malta (featuring a maiden call in off-the-beaten-path Goza); and Pompeii. James Fallows, The Atlantic’s national correspondent, will act as onboard lecturer, providing insights into regional politics and trends.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Embarks September 20, 2015; from 5,760 USD/person (with 2-for-1 promo rates).
More information: crystalcruises.com.
2. MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises, the only line to offer free passage to children 11-and-under and reduced rates for 12-to-17 year olds year round, provides lots of family extras on its 7-night cruises from Miami. Think dedicated kids’ programs, Smurf-themed events, a 4D theater and poolside movies, and free strollers. Memorable family excursions, like swimming with dolphins in Cozumel or with stingrays in the Cayman Islands, await in port.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates from January through March and November through December 2015; from 369 USD/person (reduced for children).
More information: msccruisesusa.com.
3. Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises’ new “Legends of the Rhine” itineraries home in on the historical events that helped shaped northern Europe. You’ll visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; explore the Netherlands’ National War and Resistance Museum; and discover Germany’s most-storied castle in Heidelberg. The 7-night cruises sail between Amsterdam and Frankfurt and feature onboard lectures on the Rhine’s rich history, particularly as it relates to World War II.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates in April and May 2015; rates from 2,456 USD/person.
More information: vikingrivercruises.com.
4. ​Uniworld
Launched in 2014 as part of Uniworld’s Epicurean Adventurer Program, this weeklong Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux river cruise rewards oenophiles with guided tastings of superb Médoc vintages, meetings with Sauternes winemakers, cellar tours of Saint-Émilion wineries, and a wine-pairing lunch at a Bordeaux château. Culinary delicacies like duck confit, Aquitaine caviar, and Arcachon oysters, are a big draw, as is the intimate ship.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates March through November 2015; from 2,899 USD/person.
More information: uniworld.com.
5. Seabourn
Seabourn is launching an exciting new Mediterranean itinerary next spring, with stops in romantic, picturesque towns from Monte Carlo to Rome. Couples can fill their trip with wine tastings, castle tours, and romantic port-side lunches, and retreat to spacious suites with minibars stocked with champagne, and private balconies primed for candlelit dinners. Exceptional ports along the way include Corsica in France; Santa Margherita, Florence, Sardinia, and Amalfi in Italy; and an overnight in Malta.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates between May and September 2015; from 5,499 USD/person.
More information: seabourn.com.
6. Cunard Line
Channel the intrepid spirit of 19th-century American settlers and explorers on a modern-day transatlantic voyage. In 2015, the esteemed Cunard Line will commemorate the 175th anniversary of its first transatlantic crossing by sailing the same route as the SS Britannia in July 1840. The fabled Queen Mary 2 will recreate trip in 12 nights, and follow the original westbound route from Southampton to Liverpool; across the Atlantic to Halifax; then on to Boston and New York City.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Embarks July 2, 2015; from 2,638 USD/person.
More information: cunard.com.
7. Quantum of the seas
Kids of all ages will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum of the Seas when its 7- to 12-night cruises debut from Cape Liberty, NJ in fall 2014. Expect industry-first thrills like an onboard skydiving experience, bumper cars, an extendable observation arm, and disco roller rink. Age-appropriate kids’ programming extends to 3D movies and DreamWorks character appearances and Royal Caribbean standard surf simulator, rock-climbing wall, and interconnected staterooms.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates through April 2015; from 1,199USD /person (third and fourth births pay half)
More information: quantumoftheseas.com.
8. Lindblad expeditions
For the true trip of a lifetime, sign up for one of Lindblad Expeditions’ 2015 Antarctica voyages commemorating the centennial of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary trans-Antarctic expedition. Two National Geographic ships will make the 11-night journeys, each with a team of naturalists, undersea specialists, National Geographic photographers, and Pulitzer Prize–winning authors as guest speakers. Hiking, kayaking, and Zodiac cruises to icebergs are all part of the package.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Select dates in November & December 2015; from 12,950 USD with lots of inclusions.
More information: expeditions.com.
9. Amawaterways
AmaWaterways’ 2015 “Art Illumination” itinerary packages beautiful French scenery and art immersion onto one intimate, seven-night Seine riverboat cruise. Sailing round-trip from Paris, the route showcases the life and history of Impressionist painters like Monet, van Gogh, and Renoir, who once favored this region of France. As part of the art-themed programming, you’ll see the inspiration of celebrated artworks, like Rouen’s Notre Dame Cathedral (made famous by Monet), and participate in onboard painting classes and art lectures.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Embarks August 13, 2015; from 3,599 USD/person.
More information: amawaterways.com.
10. Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises is adding new Signature Event Sailings to its 2015 collection, each timed to coincide with special events around the globe. One standout will take you to France’s Cannes Film Festival with onboard perks like films and talks, plus a festival-time rooftop celebration in Cannes itself, with live French music, cocktails, and harbor views. The 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sails from Barcelona to Rome with several stops in Italy and France.
Top cruise vacations in the world for 2015
Embarks May 11, 2015; from 1,799 USD/person.
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