Luxury hotel cruise lines are officially a trend thanks to the launch of superyachts, barges and ships from brands ranging from Aman to The Ritz-Carlton.

Luxury hotel cruise lines combine all the premium services of a five-star hotel – a concierge, spa and cocktail bars – with the additional bonus of being gently rocked to sleep to the sound of lapping waves and waking up to a new panorama each day. What’s not to love? Here are five brands making waves in the world of cruising. 

Aman cruise ship interior


Fans of the Swiss hotel collection Aman can explore remote Indonesian islands in the Flores Sea aboard the brand’s flagship yacht, Amandira.

With billowing sails the colour of pearls and a hardwood deck straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean, guests can re-live childhood dreams of sailing on a pirate ship. 

The deck is handcrafted from hardwood by Konjo artisans, a coastal community on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Powered by sail and motor, the vessel has just five cabins for 10 guests as well as a crew of 14, so it feels as intimate as it looks. 

Guests can while away their days snorkelling, kayaking or paddleboarding. They can also join a dive master on an expedition to experience the Raja Ampat archipelago’s marine life and coral reefs. Other excursions offer the chance to encounter Komodo dragons in the UNESCO-protected Komodo National Park, explore nutmeg plantations, do yoga on a beach or visit volcanic isles.

Guests wishing to relax can read a book in the library and TV room, sunbathe or enjoy a treatment by the onboard masseuse – then sip cocktails on deck as the sun begins to set. 

Aman will also launch an as-yet-unnamed 50-suite ship in 2026.  

Belmond cruise boat


Belmond has been delighting hotel guests since 1976, and now guests can experience its signature service and quality cuisine aboard a fleet of seven barges along the waterways of Champagne in France.

The newest vessel, Coquelicot, is French for red poppy, as the flower dances in the fields lining Champagne’s canals.

The three-cabin barge is designed for six guests. Decorated in earthy tones, copper touches and potted plants on the deck give a sense of understated luxury. During the day, sunlight beams through the skylight while at dusk the deck is lit with lanterns.

Belmond has partnered with Ruinart, and its chef Valérie Radou has designed regional dishes to accompany flutes of Champagne. As well as enjoying wine tasting and cookery lessons, guests can join an onboard guide on excursions ranging from local market tours and truffle-hunting to hot-air ballooning above vineyards and châteaux. Alternatively, guests can hop on a bicycle and lose themselves in winding country lanes. 

Belmond’s six other barges – Pivoine, Lilas, Amaryllis, Fleur de Lys, Alouette and Napoleon – have capacity for four to 12 guests. All are available for private hire, while Napolean can also be hired by the cabin. Some come with heated pools.

Four Seasons Cruise Ship

Four Seasons

The first of Four Seasons’ new fleet of yachts is set to sail around the Caribbean and Mediterranean in 2025.

The as-yet-unnamed vessel will be powered partly by the sun and electricity, and feature 14 decks and 95 suites. Designed with sustainable materials by architects Tillberg Design of Sweden and Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – which worked on London’s private members’ club, Annabel’s – each suite will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive private terrace. The largest, dubbed the Funnel, will be 898sqm and have wraparound windows offering a 280° view. Stretching over four levels, it will have plenty of space for a spa and wading pool. 

Elsewhere, all passengers can dip in a 20m saltwater pool, which will transform into an alfresco theatre and event space. They can also relax in a spa or hairdressers, make the most of a wellness programme and try 11 restaurants and bars. Staff will outnumber guests to ensure service complements the brand’s hotels. 

In addition to bespoke excursions, guests can go sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing.

Due to limited space, initial bookings are by invitation only – ask us for more information. 

The fleet’s second yacht will take to the sea in 2026.

The Oberoi Cruise Ship swimming pool


Readers of the US magazine Travel + Leisure voted The Oberoi the world’s best hotel brand in 2022, so guests on its two vessels should have high expectations.  

Both boats cruise down Egypt’s River Nile, stopping for guided tours limited to eight per group.

The Oberoi Zahra, which launched in 2007, sails between Aswan and Quina, disembarking in Luxor and elsewhere. It features 27 cabins and suites with a terrace, sun loungers and whirlpool.

Passengers can soak in the infinity pool or enjoy a spa treatment with a view in one of four massage suites. Egyptologist lectures and astronomy sessions provide entertainment alongside musicians and Nubian dancers in The Club Lounge, which serves high tea and cocktails. Guests can dine on international cuisine in The Restaurant or relax in the 24-hour Library and Cigar Lounge, too.

Meanwhile, The Oberoi Philae experienced its maiden cruise along the Nile in 1996.  Following a renovation, it relaunched in 2015 with fewer yet larger cabins – it now has 18 cabins at 36sqm and four 55sqm suites, two of which have private terraces. Guests can relax onboard or take day trips to an incredible sound and light show at the Philae temple.

The Ritz-Carlton cruise ship

The Ritz-Carlton 

Sleek, curved decks, glass balconies and Santorini-white touches create a sophisticated ambiance aboard Evrima, the first ship in The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. 

Named after the Greek word for discovery, since it launched in 2022, Evrima has been sailing around the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Central and South America.

With 149 suites, Evrima has capacity for 298 guests. Each suite has floor-to-ceiling windows that gaze across private terraces and beyond – and some come with binoculars so passengers can see whales close up. 

The ship’s main restaurant, The Evrima Room, features large windows and seascape paintings. Guests can also dine on European dishes designed by chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, a three Michelin-star restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany, in dimly-lit S.E.A. Alternatively, Talaat Nam serves south east Asian cuisine, while Mistral serves Mediterranean seafood and grilled meat alfresco. 

For more casual bites, there’s in-suite dining or The Pool House, Marina Terrace or The Living Room; by day it offers coffee and pastries; by night, cocktails are served as classical and jazz pianists perform. The Humidor is just as refined, as it offers premium cognac and hand-rolled cigars. For those seeking a livelier night out, the Observation Lounge on the top deck opens late for cocktails, dancing and live performances beneath a skylight. 

While the ship is at sea, guests can watch films outside, try watersports or unwind in an infinity pool and whirlpools. The spa meanwhile has five treatment rooms with ocean views, a sauna, steam room, barber and fitness studio, which hosts sunrise yoga, Pilates and wellness lectures.

A concierge can arrange group or bespoke tours onshore – to a UNESCO World Heritage Site out of hours, for example.

The collection’s second yacht, Ilma, will debut its 224 suites in 2024, followed by Luminara in 2025.

Image credits: Aman at Sea/SINOT Yacht, Architecture & Design; Belmond/AIF Amaryllis; Four Seasons; The Oberoi; The Ritz-Carlton/Jack Hardy.

Contact us to discover more about these luxury hotel cruise lines.

The Ritz-Carlton cruise ship

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