Ship Away! 6 Drool-Worthy Cruise Itineraries

Think: island hopping by yacht or remote safari on the river.

Breezing the high seas these days like a Bravolebrity has never been so alluring and brimming with choice. As cruise lines try to outdo each other, amenities are as awe-inspiring as the sights. For those of us not currently being served by the crew of Below Deck, here are a few spectacular itineraries for which we'd love to set sail. 

1.  South Pacific Island Hopping via Paul Gauguin

Who doesn’t want to sail the South Pacific like a modern Magellan? This postcard-perfect Paul Gauguin itinerary leaves an impression that will forever stay with you: From French Polynesia, a floating casino crosses clear waters at 18 knots, offering barbecue feasts and a floating bar to boot. Take a beach day on Bora Bora a few thousand splendid miles away from urban civilization. Find starfish on excursions and stingrays among blue lagoons.  

2.  Luxury Safari via Zambezi Queen

Lions, leopards and crocodiles — oh my! The way to safari leads down the Chobe River in the remote corner of Africa. Feel like kings and queens glancing at elephants and leopards from your private balcony in one of just fourteen suites. But just because you’re in nature doesn’t mean you’re far from luxury of a five-star experience. This 147-feet long charter stops by Botswana’s Chobe National Park. 

3.  Holiday Shopping via S.S. Antoinette

This cruise will gift you over and over with the holiday spirit — whether it’s the Danube holiday markets, Christmas markets in Budapest, or between stalls of spiced ginger treats and tiny figurines. Put the S.S. Antoinette on your wish list for caroling and festive displays. The Uniworld ship holds a 10-foot Baccarat crystal and sapphire blue chandelier. Think Chateau living with open-air balconies. The music lover can tune into Mozart at a Viennese concert, artists will appreciate the original collection of works displayed throughout the ship, and Instagrammers will heart the Brazilian marble floors. Know you’ll get plenty of attention with the passenger to crew ratio at about three to one.

4.  Yachting via SeaDream

You’ll want to join this exclusive SeaDream Yacht Club. Twin mega-yachts take yacht life to a whole new level with water sports marinas that include glass-bottom kayaks and a Laser sailboat. Take a special wine voyage from St. Barts and St. Thomas or Montecarlo and Malaga. Options include sleeping under the stars on Balinese dream beds or dining al fresco. You can even charter an entire boat for a party of 112 guests who can indulge in a champagne and caviar splash at sea. 

5.  Larger-than-Life Adventure via Harmony of the Seas

The largest cruise ship ever docks next spring. With more than 6,000 guests and 2,000 crew members, it’s a larger-than-life trip with nary a dull moment. Aboard this upcoming Royal Caribbean beast stands a Bionic Bar with robotic bartenders — and the tallest slide at sea with the Ultimate Abyss’ 100-foot drop. The line also claims it will have the fastest Internet at sea so you can upload all the IRL fun in real time. 

6.  Cultured Territory via Azamara Club Cruises

Get ready to mark your calendar (for all those who have the money and the time to spare) for Azamara Club Cruises’ expansive, dizzying oceanic loop. Details are being ironed out but you’ll be able to cross dozens of ports and many more countries off your bucket list. The culture-driven itinerary includes stepping into the largest gold market in Dubai and the Grand Mosque in Moscat complete with a Swarovski chandelier. It’s a locavore foodie’s delight, with tons of nightlife activities, too. 


Your own weekly getaway awaits — Tour Group premieres Tuesday at 10/9c.

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