15 Most Romantic Cruises for Valentine’s Day
Whether you're actually on board a ship over the Valentine's Day holiday or you decide to surprise your partner during a candlelight dinner on February 14 with the gift of a future cruise, here are the most romantic cruises for couples.
Romance at sea
Anyone can take their partner to a restaurant or give their special someone a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day but true romance sets sail at sea! This Valentine's day, why not book a romantic cruise instead of another bouquet of roses and dark chocolate truffles? Here are 15 super romantic cruises running the gamut from elegant small ships on European waters to brand new adults-only cruising from Richard Branson in the Caribbean. Can't get away in February? No worries, there's a perfect cruise for you no matter which month you want to travel.
Regent Seven Seas Voyager 18-night Eastern Contrasts Cruise
Calling out a specific, actual Valentine's Day holiday itinerary here because Regent Seven Seas Cruises' splurge-worthy 18-night "Eastern Contrasts" voyage is the height of opulence for lovers, young and old alike. You'll embark from Bali on February 12th, and spend the 14th in Java, an Indonesian island teaming with ancient temples, smoking volcanoes, rainforests, and sweeping white-sand beaches. It doesn't get much more romantic than that!
Swoon-worthy detail: Get treated to a special Valentine's Day tea service at the ship's flagship restaurant, the Compass Rose. Feast on dainty macarons, tartlets, cookies, as well as a special mascarpone cream cake with red berry marmalade and white chocolate velvet. Yum! Here are 14 cruises you should only take in winter.
Virgin Scarlet Lady
Adults-only cruising from Richard Branson arrives this March with the Scarlet Lady from Virgin Cruises hitting the warm waters of the Caribbean. With Wi-Fi and tips included, there's less for you to think about when you step onboard, allowing you and your special someone to indulge in over 20 dining spots, test out the "magical beds"—the first transformational cabin beds at sea, according to Cruise Fever—allowing Virgin Voyages Sailors to "enjoy their cabin in two distinct ways, as a place to revel or a place to relax in modern hi-tech cabins decked out with adjustable mood lighting, and get dirty together in the spa's mudroom.
Swoon-worthy detail: Commemorate your romantic Virgin experience with matching tattoos while at the ship's Squid Ink tattoo studio.
The flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet, Regatta's decks are outfitted in fine teak, custom stone, and tile, and the lounges, suites, and staterooms are all decked out with luxurious furnishings. Nearly 70 percent of the 342 suites and staterooms feature private verandas, so you can kiss beneath the stars after watching the sunset each night of your cruise. Only 684 guests being served by 400 European staff members guarantees that your every wish and whim will be catered to during your romantic cruise.
Swoon-worthy detail: In early May 2020, cruise Regatta up the west coast from San Francisco, into the wild of Alaska before finishing up in the jewel of a city that is Vancouver, while sipping fine vintages at a wine tasting event onboard. These 14 dreamy Valentine's Day adventures are perfect for couples.
Fall in love all over again this Valentine's Day, onboard the elegant Pacific Princess, the smallest ship of the Princess fleet, during an epic 45-day World Cruise Segment in the Indian Ocean and Africa. Refurbished in summer 2019, she features the dreamy Princess Luxury Bed for maximum comfort while sleeping...or not. Hold hands while watching a movie under the stars on a warm evening, soak in a freshwater hot tub during the day, and lock eyes during the chef's table dining experience in the Princess Kitchen. Here's what it's like to be on a 40+ day-long cruise.
Swoon-worthy detail: Take afternoon tea in the elegant dining room with your true love. Indulge in a selection of teas (or coffee), served by white-gloved servers in formal attire, and freshly prepared finger sandwiches, cookies, and cakes.
Swoon-worthy detail: Up the ante on the romance at sea during your Carnival cruise by renewing your wedding vows on the day Cupid does his most important work.
Travel back in time on an Antebellum South itinerary during a Valentine's Day American Queen Steamboat Company River Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. Over the course of nine days, you and the love of your life will step off the elegant paddle wheeler as you make stops through Mississippi and Louisiana to see historic buildings, plantations, and unique shops, and have memorable southern dining experiences. The intimate nature of steamboat river cruises with just 166 total guests means a boutique, romantic and private cruise unlike any other. Check out America's most scenic small-ship and river cruises.
Swoon-worthy detail: Ending your romantic cruise in NOLA provides the perfect opportunity for jazz at Preservation Hall and sharing some of the finest cuisine on Earth at any number of the Crescent City's many acclaimed restaurants.
This decadent ship of just 300 cabins—all of which are suites—is the sister to the prestigious luxury vessel Encore. The famously high-level of Seabourn service and indulgent food remains unforgettable. For couples who like the finer things in life, all we have to say is that the caviar and Champagne really do seem to flow here, and the onboard chophouse is a partnership with celeb chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame.
Swoon-worthy detail: A pay-to-stay lounge called The Retreat, "an exclusive-access sun deck at the top of the ship (Deck 12)," per Cruise Critic, with 15 private cabanas, each of which are a luxury living room featuring a large HD flat-screen TV and a refrigerator stocked with a bespoke selection of beverages. Here, the robes are personalized and butlers bring you fresh fruit and spritz you with Evian mists. Here are 12 bucket-list cruises to take in your lifetime.
This 2,886-passenger ship is larger than you might expect for optimal romance, but Celebrity does an impressive job offering intimate well-designed spaces (with egg chairs and daybeds, for example) for couples to ditch the crowds and get lost in a private embrace. During the day, stretch out by the pool or in the spa, and come evening you'll find live music in the foyer, and a host of restaurants and bars to choose from to toast your true love. These are the 10 most romantic island destinations in the United States.
Swoon-worthy detail: The spa itself may be lovely, with gorgeous heated stone lounge chairs over the sea, but we found ourselves coming back again and again to the spa's outdoor cafe that serves complimentary spa cuisine. Spiced mango slices, anyone?
This chic 68-passenger riverboat offers cruises on the Mekong from Cambodia to Vietnam, with a balcony suite for each couple. The scenery is stunning, with plenty of temples dotting the river, and the food onboard often celebrates the local cuisine, including one day at lunch while the chef whips up a perfect pho. Best of all, the design is sparse and elegant, with wood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows in cabins and dramatic flower arrangements throughout the ship. Scenic promises to go the nth-degree in providing exclusive and authentic experiences on land as well as at sea. Expert cruisers know that river cruises are Europe's best-kept secret.
Swoon-worthy detail: Cocktails include plenty of options with regional ingredients, from margaritas laced with kaffir lime leaves to rum-spiked Cambodian iced coffee.
Paul Gauguin's The Gauguin
It's hard to beat French Polynesia when you're looking for romance, and this ship sails there year-round. The 332-passenger ship offers butler service, balconies in 70-percent of the cabins, naturalist presentations, and a full entertainment program with Polynesian artists, pianists, and more. There's also a pool, spa, and a small casino as well as plenty of artwork from the region to set the scene of your great romance at sea.
Swoon-worthy detail: Passengers get access to the line's private motu (a tiny islet) off the coast of Bora Bora, where you'll find white-sand beach, stellar snorkeling and bar service. Here are other private islands accessible only on board cruise ships.
SeaDream 1 & II
The most luxurious version of 'twinning' exists in the Sea Dream Yacht Club fleet, with SeaDream I & II. Both mega-yachts are actually small vessels with only 112-passengers on board and 95 crew members. Thanks to its slender size, you and your true love can sail to quaint, unusual ports that other cruise ships can't reach. Sea Dream line offers a few unique activities, such as Champagne-and-caviar beach parties, but our favorite experience is making "unplanned" visits to Caribbean beach bars that can only be reached by water. Plus, the ship has a complimentary juice bar, so if you've been, say, trying to replace coffee with green juice as part of a healthy new year's resolution, you can stick with it.
Swoon-worthy detail: Escape your ocean view stateroom on a beautiful night to sleep under the stars on deck on one of their Balinese-style day beds, complete with sheets and blankets. Find out the top 12 most romantic cruises from Florida.
Silversea Silver Muse
This 596-passenger ship is the Silversea's new flagship vessel and the largest in the impressive fleet. You'll find even more space per person, as well as a lovely poolside pizzeria, and butler-served suites that are big enough (they start at just under 400-square feet) and decadent enough to be honeymoon-worthy.
Swoon-worthy detail: The line is owned by Italians, and you can see the influence in everything from the cheese to the charcuterie and the house-made pasta. Our advice? Toast to your relationship with Prosecco and burrata. Next, check out 28 secrets cruise lines won't tell you.
Crystal Cruises' smallest ocean-going vessel is a unique, luxury yacht-like experience sailing everywhere from the Greek Isles to the Seychelles. At just 62-passengers—and with more crew than guests—this intimate vessel offers a low-key experience that's as posh as can be. On Esprit, you'll find romantic restaurants and a small elegant pool rimmed with Balinese day beds, as well as an onboard marina with complimentary watersports as well as a two-person deep-sea submarine in which a certified pilot will take you a thousand feet deep for that unique wedding proposal or simply a memorable kiss.
Swoon-worthy detail: All of the cabins are suites, and all have butlers! They remember what the two of you like as the cruise progresses, from bringing those peanut butter cookies you raved over yesterday to making sure you have plenty of their gorgeously designed bath products, meaning you will likely have what you desire most before you even think of it! Naturally, Crystal Cruises makes our list of the best cruise lines in the world.
Viking Ocean Cruises is just a few years old, but their adults-only ships are bathed in a quiet, sophisticated atmosphere that will amplify the romance between you and your true love. Enjoy afternoon tea in the stunning Wintergarden, dinners in Manfredi's, the Italian restaurant onboard, and sipping cocktails in a cozy lounge by a fireplace. The cabins are spacious and comfortable, with heated bathroom floors and verandas as well as complimentary 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi. All of the line's just-under-1,000-passenger ships are identical, and this one sails around the world so you can literally learn to tango in Buenos Aires or throw down avocado lattes in Melbourne on the Viking Sun. There are so many places to cruise that don't involve the Bahamas.
Swoon-worthy detail: Use of the spa facilities are complimentary and, best of all, the steam room, snow room, and whirlpools are co-ed.
Regent Seven Seas Explorer
Billed as "the most luxurious ship in the world," this decadent 750-passenger luxury ship was designed with no expense spared. Restaurants include Pacific Rim, a Pan Asian spot with a spectacular Tibetan prayer wheel at its entrance, as well as Chartreuse, a modern French restaurant with a bistro-style menu. Since the line is all-inclusive, everything from wine with dinner to cocktails at night, airfare (including business class on international flights) pre-cruise hotel stays, transfers, Wi-Fi, and shore excursions are wrapped into the rate. Best of all, you don't have to plan for much in advance before your vacation when the line is handling everything for you.
Swoon-worthy detail: Cabins—all suites, and all with verandas—have gorgeous mahogany-lined walk-in closets and marble bathrooms, as well as high thread count, well, everything. We dare you not to hit snooze twice when the sheets are this soft. No surprise here: Regent Seven Seas makes our list of the top 10 all-inclusive cruise lines in the world.