If you’re a couple considering booking a cruise in the near future, and you’ve never cruised before, you need to keep something in mind as you decide which cruise line you’d like to sail with: Not all cruise lines consider couples as a priority.

And this is fine! Some cruise lines are more geared toward families or those looking for a great time on the high seas with a posse of their friends. These cruise lines might still offer couples enjoyable, intimate experiences (like a couples massage in the spa), and plenty of couples might prefer these cruise lines. However, couples and romantic travel in general are not the focus. 

For some couples, this comes with a few big, key downsides. For one, you’re navigating the cruise ship around children and loud groups (families or otherwise). Additionally, the cruise ship may be pouring more of its resources (from space to money to staff) into catering to families or guests with children, which means fewer activities, venues and experiences just for couples. 

Luckily, though, there are a few cruise lines that are absolutely ideal for traveling couples. Some are exclusively adults-only and focus heavily on luxury experiences. Some still welcome families, but really keep the emphasis on the adults in the party.

Need to know more? Here are 11 of our favorite cruise lines for couples.

Viking is an adults-only cruise line that focuses on luxurious ship days and immersive experiences in port. Experiences are elegant and educational (from cooking classes to seminars), and there’s no focus on kids or partying (the ships have no casinos, for example).  

While Viking can seem a little pricey, you get a lot included in your cruise fare and the staterooms are pretty nice, with features like verandas (on every cabin!), king-sized beds and luxury bathrooms outfitted with heated floors and anti-fog mirrors. Your fare includes all your dining, beer and wine with meals, WiFi, spa and fitness center access and shore excursions in every port of call.

Viking Sky Cruise Ship

Plus, Viking offers cruises in just about every region on the planet, from the Mediterranean to the South Pacific, so if you have a particular, bucket list-worthy cruise destination in mind, you can probably find a Viking cruise that’ll take you there.  

Do note that the average cruiser age on Viking cruises does skew a little on the older side. Viking is particularly popular with seniors. However, you won’t stick out like a sore thumb if you’re part of the younger set.  

Carnival-owned Seabourn isn’t technically adults-only, but there aren’t really any children’s offerings aboard, so kiddos are few and far between. The small cruise line caters to the ultra-luxury set, so if you and your sweetie correlate luxury with romance, Seabourn has you covered.

Like Viking, Seabourn bundles a lot of inclusions into its fares, and cabins are all ocean-front suites, most with a private balcony. Expect inclusions such as wine and cocktails (available at all times), all cuisine, a complimentary in-suite bar, WiFi and more. (The dining, by the way, is renowned, thanks to the restaurants’ Michelin-starred chef influences.)

Photo Credit: Eleanor Scriven / Shutterstock

Seabourn also offers expedition cruises, that take you on more adventure-style excursions to more remote locales. Expedition cruises come with educational experiences led by the excursion teams, and access to cool experiences like submarine outings.

There are, of course, still some of your basic cruise ship venues that you’d likely expect, including casinos, spas, pools, entertainment venues and even a putting course. 

Very similarly, Regent Seven Seas allows for children on its limited number of smaller ships, but there are little in the way of children’s amenities, so don’t expect to see parents wrangling toddlers by the pool on these ships. (A Club Mariner program is designed for children ages 5 to 17, but the program is only offered on certain sailings.)

Regent Seven Seas Cruise Ship Deck

Regent Seven Seas also packs in the amenities and inclusions, with ultra-luxury experiences at every turn. If you want to plan a cruise ship date night that will truly impress your significant other, you won’t go wrong with Regent Seven Seas. Think unlimited shore excursions and unlimited drinks and gourmet dining experiences. With some bookings, you can even get free flights or pre-cruise hotel stays!

The overall vibe is very upscale and, as such, there is a dress code, so don’t expect to hit up the buffet in your bikini top.

Again, it’s worth noting that, on these ultra-luxury cruise lines, like Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas, the average age skews older — in part because the cruises are pricey and older travelers generally have more money. 

But what if you and your significant other like to live the good life, but you’re not all about that ultra-elegant, high-class lifestyle? Maybe your ideal vacation looks like a lot of bar hopping, DJ sets and then, maybe if the mood gets really crazy, getting matching tattoos? If so, Virgin Voyages is the cruise line for you.

Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

Relatively new, with just a few vessels, Virgin Voyages breaks cruising barriers by offering an adults-only experience that’s an upgrade from modern cruising, while being anything but stuffy. In addition to great dining, a spa and suites that are equally stylish and modern, the ships offer entertainment that leans a little risqué, nightclubs and, yes, on-board tattoo parlors.

For couples seeking romantic cruises, the line’s Splash of Romance package is available, too, which includes Champagne, thermal spa passes, priority boarding, special dining experiences and more. 

Celebrity Cruises offers a more traditional vacation cruise experience that will appeal to the entire family, with all the typical cruising activities and venues you’d find on most standard ships. However, the cruise line does so without sacrificing modern appeal or luxury — and without being over-the-top expensive.

Celebrity Ascent in the Caribbean (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

On the newer Celebrity ships, you can book a romantic getaway in the VIP suite area known as The Retreat, for extra luxury. The ship’s Infinite Veranda staterooms are another option ideal for couples who may plan to spend a fair amount of time in their cabins.

There are loads of restaurants, whether you prefer something casual or upscale, the classic cruise ship dining room or the classic cruise ship buffet. There’s a spa, theater, casino, shops and kids programming. 

In short, this is as typical of a cruising experience you can get, without booking a cruise with one of the more family-centric cruise lines.

With Cunard’s fleet including four grand ships — the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Anne — cruisers can expect an equally grand time, with a vibe that hearkens back to the golden age of sea travel.

The ship does welcome children, with children’s facilities reminiscent of your typical cruise line kids’ club, but don’t expect a lot of family-geared amenities right in your face, like what you might get on some other cruise lines.

Queen Anne Arrival in Southampton

Cunard isn’t all-inclusive — but you might not even notice. The ship offers beautiful, spacious staterooms and each cabin’s fare includes access to a handful of dining options, entertainment and access to venues such as the pool, gym and daily activities.

Special, Cunard brand-specific inclusions range from black tie evenings to daily afternoon tea. However, you’ll have to pay for things like a drinks package or spa treatments.

Otherwise, Cunard caters to couples with an array of offerings geared specifically toward couples celebrating a significant event, with honeymoon, anniversary and engagement packages, and wedding and commitment ceremonies available.

While Holland America Line may not be as classic in style as Cunard, Holland does similarly offer an environment that, while welcoming of children, doesn’t put children’s needs and entertainment at the forefront of the cruising experience. 

These ships are on the smaller side, so don’t expect quite the variety of options that you might get on ships like those in the Celebrity fleet. Additionally, they’re not as luxurious as what you’ll find with some of the other cruise lines on this list.

However, that said, many cruisers find Holland America Line to be a great deal for the cost, and many rave about the on-board service, as well as the breadth of destinations the cruise line visits.

Holland America Line Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Maykova Galina)

Ships are outfitted with a handful of restaurants and entertainment venues, and standard venues like a spa, fitness center and casino. You will need to pay extra for a beverage package and WiFi package.  

Still, if you want a cruise at an agreeable price, want a large variety of destination options and don’t want to find kiddos everywhere, all the time, Holland America Line might be your perfect fit.

Azamara offers cruising experiences for young professionals and older, with small ships that are high-end without being stuffy. Because the ships are on the smaller side, they can often visit ports that larger cruises cannot, but do realize that while you gain intimacy and fewer crowds on a small ship, you also lose variety and lots of options.

That said, the options you do have on Azamara cruises, are well-ranked, with the cruise line notable for its dining programs.

Azamara Cruise Ships

Children are allowed on Azamara cruises, but, again, they’re not the focus, and there’s not a lot in the way of children’s amenities.  

This cruise line is also not all-inclusive, but you won’t need to (likely) buy a beverage package as most alcoholic beverages are included in your fare, and you get one complimentary shore excursion.

Princess Cruises caters mostly to older travelers, but does have some children’s amenities, so is family-friendly to a point. Very comparable to Holland America Line, Princess Cruises is often considered a good value for your money, too, even if the cruise line isn’t all-inclusive.

Instead, you can book cruising packages that come with a daily cost per guest, but then bundles a lot of extra packages that you might buy separately, into one cost — such as a beverage package, specialty dining meals, gratuities, WiFi packages and more.

Cruise Couple Enjoying a Princess Cruise (Photo Credit: Nate Hovee)

On the newest Princess Cruises ships, you can expect lots of options and cool, state-of-the-art amenities to enjoy with your sweetheart, like more than two-dozen bars and restaurants, luxurious suites, VIP suite guest-only areas and the brand-new Dome, a multi-level glass dome that covers an indoor-outdoor pool.

Read Also: What Are the Best Cruise Lines for Families?

So, while you’re not going to find a lot of roller coasters at sea or multiple water slides, you are still going to enjoy new and exciting cruising offers with state-of-the-art luxury — a good fit for the couple who doesn’t need or want to spend their sea days on a surfing or sky diving simulator.

While technically, Oceania Cruises do welcome families, you’re not going to see very many, if any, of them on these mid-size ships.

Oceania doesn’t provide any care or entertainment geared at children, so families steer clear, leaving room for couples who want a more formal, sophisticated and subdued environment. Think lots of peace and quiet, with not a ton of extras, but plenty of room for romance and relaxation.

Oceania Vista Cruise Ship

Oceania is known for its unique itineraries to far-flung destinations, low crowds and great food. The cruise line is not all-inclusive, but packages are available to cover your shore excursions, beverages, WiFi, dining and more, all bundled into one price.

A small, luxury cruise line, Silversea offers all-inclusive cruises to unique locales across the planet. The kiddos are welcomed, but the cruise line will not keep them entertained; thus, don’t expect to see a lot of children during your itinerary.

Silversea Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Chris Lawrence Travel)

The average age skews upward. However, if you like butler service, complimentary beverages at every turn, fine dining and exclusive programming, you may just find that Silversea is your perfect fit.

Like Seabourn, Silversea does offer expedition-style cruises, which provide exclusive access to bucket list-worthy itineraries, where you’ll get a deep dive (sometimes quite literally!) into destinations like Antarctica, Greenland, the Galapagos islands and more.

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