Picking the perfect holiday cruise can be tricky with so many options available. Firstly, you should decide whether you'd like to spend holidays in port or at sea.
Then you’ll need to chose which features will matter most to you, including food, on-board entertainment, activities, shore excursions and cabin luxury.
As you would expect, the bigger the ship the more the facilities, but generally less ports and shore excursions as these are dedicated ocean liners.
There are 3 types of cruises:
Ocean. These vessels include some of the largest ships ever built, giving enormous options for dining, entertainment and just exploring the vessel. Port days are always highlights, whether exploring great cities or pristine islands, but these ships tend to be destinations in themselves where days at sea are an opportunity to enjoy the ship.
River. Meandering down some of the great rivers of the world is a beautiful way to see the heartland of many fascinating nations with shore tours generally included. The most interesting parts of major river cities tend to be near the port and you also get to peek into rural life by the river as you cruise by in comfort. River ships are limited in size by bridges, locks and river.
Expedition. For adventurous travellers these trips tend to be about action with excursions most days - sometimes twice a day - meeting villagers, seeing wildlife and generally being active. Ships can range from workhorse though to boutique luxury.
Our recommendations include:
Best for All-Inclusive: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best for Luxury: Seabourn Cruises
Best for Enrichment: Crystal Cruises
Best for Food: Oceania Cruises
Best for Entertainment: Silversea Cruises
As a note, never buy insurance directly from a cruise line or tour operator. If the company shuts down or declares bankruptcy, your coverage will disappear too. Instead, always pick a policy offered by a "third party" travel insurer not connected with the cruise line or tour operator.