Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
People go on cruises for a variety of reasons: to celebrate, to party, to relax, and to enjoy a little romance. It’s really not surprising that cruises continue to be one of the hottest ways to travel for couples celebrating honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, and other life milestones.
Perhaps a romantic cruise conjures up images of 1970s matchmaking on The Love Boat television show. But with peaceful scenery, extravagant accommodations, and an attentive crew, modern cruises are just as luxurious as they ever have been. If you could use a little more love and luxury in your life, consider these romantic cruise destinations around the world for your next trip.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
The Hawaiian Islands have always been one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. The islands are also a hotspot for destination weddings and romantic getaways. This is a modern cruise destination that allows you to explore the metropolitan cities of Honolulu, Kahului, and others on the islands. You can relax on Hawaii’s white sand beaches, explore the volcano regions, or get active by going diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, or zip lining. There are several cruise ships that depart to the islands from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and other cruise lines that sail between the Hawaiian Islands.
Unlike Hawaiian Island cruises, French Polynesia is more undeveloped and more rugged for adventurous exploration. The main cruise destination islands here are Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, Huahine, and Taha’a. This gorgeous chain of islands offers exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities, as well as beautiful beaches, and French-inspired cuisine. Paul Gauguin Cruises, for example, sails in this area all throughout the year with routes to the Society Islands, Cook Islands, Marquesas, and Tuamotus that last between seven and 14 days.
The Caribbean Islands are perhaps more famous for cruises than anything else! There are lots of romantic itineraries to choose from in the Caribbean, and there are more than 7,000 islands in the Caribbean. The Western Caribbean is generally favored for its water sport opportunities and short itineraries, while the Eastern Caribbean is favored for its relaxing beaches and authentic rugged terrain. Although the Bahamian Islands are actually in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean, they are a great cruise option for couples that have time or budget constraints.
To explore the Indian Ocean in style, hop on board a cruise ship bound for the Seychelles. This is a place to find adventure, white sandy beaches, and intriguing wildlife. It’s a great place to hike through the forests, go snorkeling along the shore, and explore the local culture. Some of the most typical ports of call in this area include the islands of Cousin, Aride, St. Pierre, Mahe, Curieuse, and LaDigue. These destinations are a little more off-the-beaten-path than your average cruise offers, and you can also visit nearby Sri Lanka while in the area.
Greece and Turkey
The Eastern Mediterranean region includes a broad range of areas that extend from Greece, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, the Ukraine, and Russia. Cruise routes in this region blend ancient history with laid-back beaches, nightlife, cuisine, and local culture. There is arguably no better way to see the Greek Islands than onboard a cruise ship. These cruises often depart from Athens and Istanbul, so you can explore Greece and Turkey on either end of your journey. Plenty of ancient wonders, legendary architecture, and dramatic landscapes await you in this region.
Barcelona and Monte Carlo
To explore the Western Mediterranean, consider Spain for your next romantic cruise destination. There are a number of cruise routes that start and end in Barcelona, Spain and Monte Carlo, Monaco. These cruise itineraries often include stops in Genoa and La Spezia in Italy and St. Tropez and Marseille in France. This is a great cruise destination for both couples who have never been to Europe and for Europeans who have never seen the beautiful coast of their homeland from the luxury of a cruise ship. Keep in mind that this region does become very hot in the summer, so you may want to book your trip in the late spring or fall.
Bermuda is an island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and, although less raved-about, it’s one of the most romantic cruise destinations in the world. The island has a very laid-back vibe that is perfect for couples in need of a little relaxation, and there’s an amazing culinary scene here with a variety of foods to choose from. Indulge yourself with spa treatments and shopping excursions, or take to water to explore the colorful coral reefs and mysterious shipwrecks. Several cities, including Boston and New York City, offer departures to Bermuda between the spring and fall seasons.
Explore pristine coral reef, see colorful fish, and discover rugged islands in the Indian Ocean as you tour the Australian coastline on a cruise. Southern Australia cruises run from Kangaroo Island to Ceduna, with lots of sheltered bays and sandy beaches along the way. This is a great cruise itinerary for couples who are animal lovers and want to get an up-close view of exotic wildlife and fish. Cruises regularly run along Australia’s western coast as well to explore the region between Perth and Dampier. Some Australian cruises even run to New Zealand as well, and the best time to go is between October and March.
Another great cruise destination for adventurous and animal-loving couples is the Galapagos Islands. Because of environmental concerns, itineraries are dictated by the Galapagos National Park Service. The ideal cruise length here is eight days and seven nights, although some travelers choose shorter or longer trips. Tourists are only allowed in certain parts of the national park, however, some travelers venture off to backpack and explore nearby islands. The main islands to see include San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Fernandina.
England to New York
There’s just something timelessly romantic about a Trans-Atlantic journey with the love of your life. Most Trans-Atlantic cruises set sail in the spring and fall, and cruises regularly operate between New York City and England. Travel the route that generations of immigrants and explorers have journeyed for centuries. Trans-Atlantic cruises aboard the Queen Mary 2 last for seven days and feature luxurious amenities, including a 3D Cinema, a spa, and a planetarium.
Cruise ships take the guesswork out of travel planning, with a constant flurry of activities on the schedule and lodging, meals, and entertainment at your fingertips. But even among romantic cruise excursions, each ship has something different to offer travelers. Whether you’re looking for relaxation adventure, social activity, or privacy, your perfect cruise is just around the corner.