Six of the world's top romantic cruises

By Lauren Jones

Laze side-by-side on a private beach, waltz down the beautiful Danube or snuggle up in the icy air, writes Lauren Jones.
A romantic cruise will have you and your partner waltzing on the deck. Photo / Getty Images
A romantic cruise will have you and your partner waltzing on the deck. Photo / Getty Images

1 STAR CLIPPERS CRUISES

Star Clippers cruises on magnificent full-rigged sailing ships are unlike any conventional cruise ship. With the beautiful design of the ships comes an element of romance - there's something about pristine white sails filled with wind. Star Clippers visits smaller and lesser-known places; snorkel in remote bays and laze on quiet, sun-kissed beaches, far away from the crowds. Imagine sailing through the Greek islands, with your significant other, taking in the history and stopping at beautiful Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. When it comes to destinations, you are spoilt for choice - Star Clippers sails through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. The on-board entertainment is relaxed, leaving more quality time to be spent with a partner, however, for adventurous couples there are plenty of activities available on shore.

2 PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES

The Gauguin is a luxury, mid-sized cruise ship that sails year-round in the South Pacific, designed to provide close-up views of the beautiful islands. Being a smaller ship, it accommodates fewer people - making a romantic escape that much quieter. One of the biggest drawcards for these cruises is the destinations. In Motu Mahana, the company owns a private island, and in Bora Bora, its own beach. It doesn't get much more romantic than relaxing in the sun with your sweetie on a secluded island beach. Most suites and staterooms have a private balcony for you to soak up the views. Better yet, if you ever need food or drink - emergency cocktails are acceptable on cruise ships - you can call complimentary room service, making the ideal night in for couples.

3 REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES

Regent Seven Seas Cruises are perfect for a special occasion or celebration with a partner and with all-suite accommodation, it's luxurious to boot. Though the price might seem high this is because so much is included - like unlimited shore excursions, speciality restaurants, unlimited beverages, including fine wine and spirits and 24-hour room service. Seven Seas has a range of different cruises but for maximum romance, try a cruise through the Caribbean. Departing from Miami, you'll sail through the Bahamas and stop at picturesque St Lucia, St Barts and Nassau. On board, there are shows, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting and wellness programmes to ensure there's always a different option for a date night.

4 BLUE LAGOON CRUISES

Blue Lagoon Cruises sails around beautiful Fiji. Its ship, Fiji Princess, accommodates up to 68 passengers. With packages for a wedding, honeymoon or renewal of vows, Blue Lagoon is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway. An added bonus is that you don't have to splurge on airfares to get you to Nadi, where the ship departs from. In non-peak times - hot tip for young romantics: avoid school holidays - flights to Fiji from New Zealand can be very well priced. A Blue Lagoon cruise will take you through the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands, to the northwest of Viti Levu. Many of the islands visited are uninhabited or only have small villages, for that real castaway experience. Perfect for a romantic getaway Blue Lagoon is (excluding school holidays) exclusive to adults. It's also a great line for more laid-back couples - there's no dress code, so you can relax and get to properly experience the feeling of "Fiji time".

5 UNIWORLD CRUISES

Specialising in river cruises, Uniworld ships are some of the most beautifully decorated in the world. Uniworld describes its ships as luxurious, floating boutique hotels and they aren't wrong. For a true taste of European romance, try a cruise down the beautiful Danube River - you'll be waltzing on deck by the end of it. The ship stops in Salzburg, Durnstein, Passau and Linz, with bonus wine-tasting excursions. Featuring artwork from famous painters and furniture commissioned for Uniworld, the ship's decor is reminiscent of great palaces or abbeys. The rooms on these ships exude a romantic, high-class feel, perfect for couples craving luxury. There are even butlers available on specific European cruises. Lectures on the ins and outs of destinations, a fitness centre with wellness coaches and the Serenity River Spa ensure you get the most out of your experience on and off the ship.

6 PRINCESS CRUISES

It's one of the most bucket-listed cruises for a reason - seeing Alaska from the sea is an unrivalled experience and the dramatic, icy landscapes will keep you cuddled up with your love. Princess Cruises offers itineraries from seven to 15 days with rooms to suit every budget. There are different options for dining, entertainment, wellness and on-shore activities ensuring every couple is entertained. As well as the icy north, Princess Cruises offers a range of romantic destinations with amazing views including South America, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. For romance, the company offers five different packages at an extra cost that include romantic experiences to suit every age and relationship. There are extensive spa treatments available and you can even get a massage in your own cabana. There are a range of dance and exercise classes on board - perfect for eliminating any residual feelings of guilt after a night of indulgence.

- Spy.co.nz

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