Cruising is tailor-made for two, with twin-share pricing, romantic restaurants, poolside cabanas, endless ocean views and sunsets at sea.
Every day, couples can rekindle the romance with breakfast on the balcony before exploring a beautiful new destination together. If a group tour does not appeal, there is the option to roam around independently, sightseeing, shopping, heading to a secluded beach or having lunch at a local café. Back on the ship, evenings are spent wining and dining, attending a show in the theatre, enjoying live music, dancing or gambling in the casino. Best of all, at the end of a bar crawl, nobody needs to be the designated driver.
For pampering as a pair, cruise ship spas offer couples massages. In private, cabins can be decorated with rose petals or stocked with Champagne and strawberries. To be totally spoilt, choose a luxury line with butler service.
Often, couples cruise together as a group with friends. Sociable couples can also meet other couples, joining communal tables in the main dining room, hanging out at the bars or participating in the wide range of onboard activities.
Best cruise lines for couples
All ocean, river cruises and expedition cruises are ideal for couples. The most suitable cruise depends on a couple’s travelling style and budget. Princess Cruises is famous for its history as the setting for The Love Boat TV series, which it continues through offerings such as Movies Under The Stars open-air cinema, The Sanctuary 18+ retreat with waiter service and massage services, and the Ultimate Balcony Dining dinner experience.
Azamara has a unique package called Nights in Private Places, where couples get an outdoor bed on the spa deck to themselves, a candlelit dinner and breakfast served by a butler.
Celebrity Cruises has the outdoor Lawn Club, a deck lined with real grass that is perfect for picnics, as well as the Sunset Bar and the lively Martini Bar. Foodie couples should also consider Oceania, renowned for its dining.
For the romance of a yacht with billowing sails, Windstar’s and Ponant’s masted ships may appeal. To travel without children spoiling special moments, adults-only lines include Virgin, Viking Ocean and Fiji’s Blue Lagoon Cruises. For a luxury line, the best options are Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Windstar, Ponant, SeaDream and Paul Gauguin Cruises. Older couples may prefer the traditional ambience of Cunard, Holland America Line or Princess. Young couples will have the most fun on Virgin Voyages or the more mainstream P&O, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
Ian Knabel and his wife Pauline have ticked off 13 cruises together, and for the couple, there’s nothing more romantic than finding a temporary home at sea.
What makes cruising the perfect holiday for these two? Ian says the ease of cruising makes it easy to simply focus on spending time with Pauline and enjoying the amazing destinations.
“We love unpacking once and visiting multiple places over a few days to a few weeks. We love the ability to switch off and have the biggest decision you make in a day be where to eat. We both work really hard and truly appreciate the level of service on ships. No cooking, no cleaning, having all your food and drinks brought to you,” he says.
“It really makes for a super-relaxing holiday. We love talking with the crew, who come from so many different countries. Hearing about their experiences and learning a little about their lives makes us really appreciate what we have.”
When recalling his greatest cruise experiences, Ian nominates “the jaw-dropping natural beauty” of Milford Sound on South Island, New Zealand.
“It was cold, it was windy, and a fine drizzle lasted all day,” he says. “Instead of ruining the experience, this weather added to it. With snow-capped mountains as the backdrop to mile-high sheer cliffs and waterfalls hundreds of metres high it was truly spectacular.”