Cunard Line, Channel the intrepid spirit of 19th-century American settlers and explorers on a modern-day transatlantic voyage. In 2015, the esteemed Cunard Line will commemorate the 175th anniversary of its first transatlantic crossing by sailing the same route as the SS Britannia in July 1840. The fabled Queen Mary 2 will recreate trip in 12 nights, and follow the original westbound route from Southampton to Liverpool; across the Atlantic to Halifax; then on to Boston and New York City.
Embarks July 2, 2015; from $2,638/person
Quantum of the Seas, Kids of all ages will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum of the Seas when its 7- to 12-night cruises debut from Cape Liberty, NJ in fall 2014. Expect industry-first thrills like an onboard skydiving experience, bumper cars, an extendable observation arm, and disco roller rink. Age-appropriate kids’ programming extends to 3D movies and DreamWorks character appearances and Royal Caribbean standard surf simulator, rock-climbing wall, and interconnected staterooms.
Select dates through April 2015; from $1,199/person (third and fourth births pay half)
AmaWaterways, 2015 “Art Illumination” itinerary packages beautiful French scenery and art immersion onto one intimate, seven-night Seine riverboat cruise. Sailing round-trip from Paris, the route showcases the life and history of Impressionist painters like Monet, van Gogh, and Renoir, who once favored this region of France. As part of the art-themed programming, you’ll see the inspiration of celebrated artworks, like Rouen’s Notre Dame Cathedral (made famous by Monet), and participate in onboard painting classes and art lectures.
Embarks August 13, 2015; from $3,599/person
Celebrity Cruises, is adding new Signature Event Sailings to its 2015 collection, each timed to coincide with special events around the globe. One standout will take you to France’s Cannes Film Festival with onboard perks like films and talks, plus a festival-time rooftop celebration in Cannes itself, with live French music, cocktails, and harbor views. The 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sails from Barcelona to Rome with several stops in Italy and France.
Embarks May 11, 2015; from $1,799/person
Azamara Club Cruises, Next year’s Carnival is sure to be an amped-up one, as Rio celebrates its twin World Cup and 2016 Olympics hosting duties. Azamara Club Cruises’ comprehensive 12-night itinerary includes two full days in Rio, with special grandstand access to see the festivities’ brilliantly dressed samba dancers and high-energy drummers, before sailing on to memorable South American stops in Montevideo, Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, and the beaches of Buzios, for post-Carnival relaxation.
Embarks February 7, 2015; from $2,999/person
MSC Cruises, the only line to offer free passage to children 11-and-under and reduced rates for 12-to-17 year olds year round, provides lots of family extras on its 7-night cruises from Miami. Think dedicated kids’ programs, Smurf-themed events, a 4D theater and poolside movies, and free strollers. Memorable family excursions, like swimming with dolphins in Cozumel or with stingrays in the Cayman Islands, await in port.
Select dates from January through March and November through December 2015; from $369/person (reduced for children)
Viking River Cruises, new “Legends of the Rhine” itineraries home in on the historical events that helped shaped northern Europe. You’ll visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; explore the Netherlands’ National War and Resistance Museum; and discover Germany’s most-storied castle in Heidelberg. The 7-night cruises sail between Amsterdam and Frankfurt and feature onboard lectures on the Rhine’s rich history, particularly as it relates to World War II.
Select dates in April and May 2015; rates from $2,456/person
Seabourn, Seabourn is launching an exciting new Mediterranean itinerary next spring, with stops in romantic, picturesque towns from Monte Carlo to Rome. Couples can fill their trip with wine tastings, castle tours, and romantic port-side lunches, and retreat to spacious suites with minibars stocked with champagne, and private balconies primed for candlelit dinners. Exceptional ports along the way include Corsica in France; Santa Margherita, Florence, Sardinia, and Amalfi in Italy; and an overnight in Malta.
Select dates between May and September 2015; from $5,499/person
Windstar Cruises, Windstar recently returned to French Polynesian waters (after a 10-year hiatus) for select 7- and 11-night voyages aboard an intimate, all-balcony-cabin yacht. Cruising round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, you’ll get to duck into tiny Tahitian coves and enjoy overnight stays in Moorea, Raiatea, and Bora Bora (the longer voyages tack on the Tuamotu Islands). You can even opt for a mid-cruise overnight in one of Le Meridien Bora Bora’s extraordinary over-water bungalows.
Select dates from June through November 2015; from $2,499/person
American Cruise Lines, When it debuts next year, American Cruise Lines’ new, art-and-antique-filled paddle wheeler will set the tone for exploring Civil War sites along the Mississippi River. Sailing round-trip from New Orleans, the 7-night voyages will make history-rich stops at essential battlefields, monuments, and museums in Louisiana and Mississippi, including National Military Park and the Rosedown State Plantation. On board, you’ll benefit from enriching lectures by Civil War scholar and author Dr. Michael Deeb.
Embarks April 25 or October 31, 2015; rates from $4,320/person