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Cruise Ships with Unique Amenities

Five-star facilities, posh perks—setting sail with complete strangers has never been more appealing

1. Satisfy your Intellectual curiosity
Sometimes the decadence of a weeklong vacation is too much to bear. With that in mind, Cunard has invited a series of stimulating speakers on board the Queen Mary 2 for all eastbound transatlantic crossings starting in January. Expect scholarly dialogue from the likes of a former foreign correspondent and a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist.

2. Experience Lincoln Center at sea
Holland America
Cruise ships aren’t exactly synonymous with world-class music and theater, but Holland America is about to change that. The luxury liner has collaborated with a cultural institution—New York’s Lincoln Center—to bring ensemble performances on board. The first “Lincoln Center Stage” live music venue will debut early next year. 

3 Try a Chroma-Therapeutic shower
Regent Seven Seas
Guests aboard the new Seven Seas Explorer—which sets sail on its maiden voyage next summer—will likely find themselves in an unparalleled state of Zen. The ship’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub will rival even the most luxurious land-based spas, with cutting-edge features and amenities like infrared saunas and shower treatments with chroma-therapeutic lighting.  

4. Compete in a culinary battle
Amateur chefs can sharpen their knife skills in a white apron  “cooking school at sea.” The recently launched Culinary Boot Camp program is an immersive two-day experience culminating in a Top Chef–style competition for participants.

5. Feast on Thomas Keller’s Cuisine
Imagine the indulgence of dining at Per Se seven nights a week… without a reservation. It’s a far-flung fantasy that Seabourn is bringing to life, thanks to a new partnership with chef Thomas Keller. The Michelin-starred restaurateur has developed special dishes for the entire fleet and is set to open a new restaurant aboard the Seabourn Quest next spring. 

6. Take a tour after hours
Shore excursions reach a new level of exploration for Azamara guests. The cruise line curates exclusive “insider access tours”—like a trip to Queensland, Australia’s remote Friday Island, where guests can spend the afternoon with a cultivated pearl farmer.