Courtesy crystal cruises For the past two decades, Crystal has led the luxury ocean cruising category in food and service. Now, the line has five river ships, a luxury yacht, and air tours with more—such as expedition ships and more ocean ships—on the way. Best of all, they’re in the process of updating their two ocean ships right now with new dining concepts and cabin offerings.
Don’t miss: Sure, lots of cruise lines serve sushi onboard, but the Japanese restaurants on the line’s two large ocean-going vessels—Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity—are helmed by none other than the Iron Chef himself, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
The best option: The two large ships have incredible options—you can dine in a Brazilian churrascaria one night, have Italian the next, and Cantonese after that. For an intimate experience, consider a winter cruise on the 62-passenger Crystal Esprit yacht to the British Virgin Islands and West Indies. Don’t miss what travel experts want you to know about booking a cruise.
Viking Ocean Cruises
Courtesy viking cruise When the company long known for their European river cruises launched an ocean line a few years back, Viking did much more than expand upon the Rhine and Danube experience. They created spectacular, airy ships decked out in the most beautiful Scandinavian design we’ve seen anywhere. Best of all, they’re adults only and they kept their “more inclusive” concept intact by offering complimentary Wi-Fi, shore excursions, and beer and wine with meals.
Don’t miss: Sure, all major lines have spas, but no other ships have thermal suites like you’ll find on these ships. From the wood-lined saunas to the pool, fireplace, ice cold bucket-style shower, and snow room, these thermal suites may be the most beautiful and the most interesting. (And they’re complimentary, too.)
Your best option: All of these ships are identical, so choose based on itinerary. Viking does an especially excellent job with Baltic routes, with options that will help you cross the Northern Lights off your bucket list.