Best Cruise Trips 2015: Editors' Picks

  • We've now ranked these from No. 26 (Iceland cruise) to No. 1 (?), based on cruise itineraries with the most must-see islands. For passionate island travelers, island-hopping cruises are the best way to see the islands on your travel bucket list. We've researched hundreds of 2015 cruise itineraries for these suggestions on great island cruises. See more ideas in our Best Caribbean Cruises Travel Guide. | 10 Cool Features on the New Carnival Vista

  • Winstar Cruises
    Windstar Cruises
    Ship: Wind Surf
    Itinerary: Rome to Venice
    Region: Europe
    Nights: 8
    Islands: Capri, Sicily, Venice The iconic islands on the list miss an important aspect of this cruise that essentially circles Italy. You get to cruise along Croatia, which the average traveler often doesn't realize is full of coastal islands, some of which have been featured on our Best Islands to Live On list. Dates: Departs May through October, 2015
    Price: from $2,999 See more about this cruise on Windstar's website.
    Winstar Cruises
  • Silversea
    Silversea
    Ships: Silver Discoverer, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisperer
    Itinerary: Melbourne, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand
    Region: Pacific and Australia
    Nights: 10-16
    Islands: Australia (if you consider it an island); New Zealand Start in Melbourne, then see up to eleven ports of New Zealand, from Milford Sound to Port Chalmer to Wellington and, of course, Auckland. Dates: Departs all year, except from June - November (winter in Australia)
    Price: $6,950 See more about this cruise on Silversea's website.
    Silversea
  • Tauck
    Tauck
    Ship: L'Austral
    Itinerary: Iceland - Land of Fire and Ice
    Region: Atlantic
    Nights: 7
    Island: Iceland Some of these cruises have a quantity of great islands; this cruise goes deep on just one island. And Iceland, as relatively small as it is, both in geography and profile, is worth extensive exploration. The last time ISLANDS editors were there, they saw much of the southern side but knew there was still much to see.This cruise with Tauck, known for authentic experiences, takes you to fishing villages, up to the Arctic Circle, and to the Blue Lagoon. Dates: Departs throughout July and early August
    Price: from $6,690 See more about this cruise on Tauck's website.
    Tauck
  • Sea Cloud Cruises
    Sea Cloud Cruises
    Ship: Sea Cloud II
    Itinerary: Canary Islands
    Region: Atlantic
    Nights: 7
    Islands: Canary Islands - Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, La Gomera To really see the Canary Islands, doing a cruise like this lets you flit to all of the highlights. Dates: Nov. 2, 2015
    Price: N/A See more about this cruise on Sea Cloud's website.
    Sea Cloud
  • Disney Cruise Line
    Disney Cruise Line
    Ship: Disney Wonder
    Itinerary: 14 Night Hawaii Los Angeles Cruise
    Region: Hawaii
    Nights: 10
    Major ports: Vancouver, Canada; Kahului, Maui; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Honolulu, Oahu; Hilo, Hawaii Disney Cruise Line and some of the other major cruise ships featured on this list may not offer the usual Islands sense of immersion in a local culture. But those of us Islands editors with children see the value in making the trek from Vancouver to Hawaii not a daunting airplane ride but the ultimate family-friendly vacation on its own. There are no "are we there yet?" complaints aboard the Disney Wonder. Once you get to Hawaii, you can enjoy a truly authentic taste of the islands. Dates: Departs Sep. 7 and Sep. 17, 2015
    Price: from $4,402 See more about this cruise on Disney Cruise Line's website.
    Disney Cruise Line
  • Carnival Cruises
    Carnival Cruises
    Ship: Carnival Legend
    Itinerary: 10-15 Days Hawaii from Vancouver or Los Angeles
    Region: Hawaii
    Nights: 11
    Major ports: Vancouver, British Colombia; Los Angeles, Califorinia; Hilo, Hawaii; Kahului, Maui, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Hilo, Hawaii. You can start this trip with your own exploration of Vancouver Island or Los Angeles, then enjoy five days crossing the Pacific. Rest up for the whirlwind tour of the Hawaiian Islands, then rest for five days back. And as Carnival points out, the starting cruise rate averages to about $80 a night, an amazingly cheap Hawaii vacation. Dates: Departs May through November, 2015
    Price: from $879 See more about this cruise on Carnival's website.
    Carnival Cruises
  • Cunard
    Cunard
    Ship: Queen Victoria
    Itinerary: Canary Islands Celebration
    Region: Atlantic
    Nights: 14
    Major ports: Southampton, England; Lisbon, Portugal; Spain; Lanzarote, Spain; Gran Canaria, Canary Islands; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; La Palma, Canary Islands; Madeira, Portugal; La Coruña, Spain. Yes, the Canary Islands are worth seeing. Combine that with enjoying the famous White Star Service of the Cunard cruise line — imagine donning your tuxedo and evening gown and socializing as if you were British nobility. That's priceless. Dates: Leaves Nov 16, 2015
    Price: from $2,197 See more about this cruise on Cunard's 2015 Voyages Calendar.
    Cunard
  • Lindblad Expeditions
    Lindblad Expeditions
    Ship: National Geographic Explorer
    Itinerary: Along the Viking Trail: From Iceland to Greenland
    Region: Atlantic
    Nights: 12
    Major ports: Rekyjavik, Iceland; Greenland Islands intrepid contributor Jad Davenport did this cruise several years ago and actually commandeered the ship to go deeper into the Greenland coast as he wanted to solve a mystery (read Jad's Greenland cruise story about Viking ghosts). You don't have to go to that extreme; just relax and see two majestic islands that few U.S. travelers ever see, let alone explore. Dates: Departs July 19, 2015
    Prices: From $10,580 See more about this cruise on Lindblad's website.
    Lindblad
  • Royal Caribbean International
    Royal Caribbean International
    Ship: Voyager of the Seas
    Itinerary: Xiamen, Jeju and Nagasaki Cruise
    Region: Asia
    Nights: 7
    Islands: Hong Kong, China; Xiamen, China; Jeju South Korea, Nagasaki Japan, We highly recommend that any island traveler visit Japan, and not just for the sushi, though we love that. We also love seeing Jeju on a cruise itinerary, ever since Islands ran a memorable photo essay on the Jeju mermaids. Really. This cruise also stresses how Royal Caribbean is making more of a push into Asia, far from its namesake Caribbean. Dates: August 19, 2015
    Price: $766 See more about this cruise on Royal Caribbean's website.
    Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    Itinerary: 12-Day Grand Mediterranean from Venice
    Region: Europe
    Nights: 11
    Key islands: Venice, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; Piraeus, Greece Some of our most memorable trips of recent years have been to Italy and Greece. Each has the iconic sites you expect, but they also offer richer cultural experiences, welcoming people and more warmth than you'd expect. Dates: Departs May through October, 2015
    Price: from $1,479 See more about this cruise on NCL's website.
    Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Variety Cruises
    Variety Cruises
    Ship: Pegasus
    Itinerary: Cruises in the Garden of Eden (Mahe to Mahe)
    Region: Indian Ocean
    Nights: 7
    Islands: Seychelles The Seychelles are fascinating not just for their reputation as a luxury getaway, but for their time-forgotten villages, their bird paradises, their shores that are like nowhere else on Earth. Dates: Departs December through October, 2015
    Price: from $2,170 See more about this cruise on Variety Cruises' website.
    Variety Cruises
  • SeaDream Yacht Club
    SeaDream Yacht Club
    Itinerary: Malaga - Civitavecchia
    Region: Europe
    Nights: 7
    Islands: Spain - Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca; Sardinia, Italy; Corsica, France These are practically all of the must-see islands of the Mediterranean in one efficient cruise that makes a bouncing beeline from Malaga, Spain, to Rome. Dates: May 1-8, 2015
    Price: from $4,199 See more about this cruise on SeaDream's website.
    SeaDream Yacht Club
  • Abercrombie & Kent
    Abercrombie & Kent
    Ship: Eclipse
    Itinerary: Wonders of the Galapagos 2015
    Region: Pacific
    Nights: 9
    Major ports: Guayaquil, Ecuador; the Galapagos Islands Islands contributing editor Jad Davenport went on a Galapagos cruise aboard the Eclipse for an incredibly memorable trip to these must-see islands. See Jad's Galapagos cruise travel guide. Dates: Departs February through November
    Price: from $7,995 See more about this cruise on Abercrombie & Kent's website.
    Abercrombie & Kent
  • Blue Lagoon Cruises
    Blue Lagoon Cruises
    Ship: MV Mystique Princess
    Itinerary: 7 Day "Escape to Paradise" Cruise
    Region: Pacific (Fiji)
    Nights: 6
    Major ports: Lautoka, Fiji; Yasawa Islands, Fiji We've partnered with Blue Lagoon Cruises in the past on prizes in our annual Photo Contest. A week cruise here is a terrific way to see the scenery and culture of Fiji as you hop through the Yasawa Islands, seeing traditional Fijian villages, dining on "East Indian Delights," snorkeling above reef gardens and much more along the way. Dates: Throughout 2015
    Price: from $2,478 See more about this cruise on Blue Lagoon Cruises' website.
    Blue Lagoon Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
    Crystal Cruises
    Ship: Crystal Serenity
    Itinerary: Indian Ocean Explorer
    Region: Australia/Africa
    Days: 21
    Major ports: Perth, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa Amazing islands along the journey -- Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar -- bookended by fascinating land programs in South Africa. You truly do enjoy the best of both worlds. Dates: March 13-April 3, 2015
    Price: from $7,520 See more about this cruise on Crystal Cruises' website.
    Crystal Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises
    Ship: Seven Seas Voyager
    Itinerary: Singapore to Hong Kong
    Region: Asia
    Nights: 18
    Islands: Singapore; Ko Samui, Thailand; islands of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; Hong Kong You get the full range of urban and natural islands here, from sparkling Singapore to beachy Ko Samui to the limestone marvels of Ha Long Bay. And then there's Hong Kong, which combines the best of both urban and nature. Dates: Departs Jan. 18, 2015
    Price: from $14,299 See more about this cruise on Regent's website.
    Regent Seven Seas
  • Oceania Cruises
    Oceania Cruises
    Itinerary: Greek Isles Getaway - Istanbul to Athens
    Region: Europe
    Nights: 8
    Islands: Santorini, Mykonos, Thodes, Patmos, Crete Starting in Istanbul, hop along the Adriatic and Ionian Sea where some ISLANDS hidden gems are. Namely Patmos, Mykonos, Rhodes and, of course, Santorini, which ISLANDS readers love to take photos of for our annual Photo Contest. Dates: Sep 27-Oct 5, 2015
    Price: from $2,999 See more about this cruise on Oceania's website.
    Oceania Cruises
  • Star Clippers
    Star Clippers
    Ship: Royal Clipper
    Itinerary: Transatlantic Westbound
    Region: Europe, Africa, Atlantic
    Nights: 28
    Islands: Corsica; Menorca; Ibiza; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Barbados It's not that the mainland is invisible to we ISLANDS editors. We certainly appreciate that this itinerary also has stops along the coasts of Spain and Morocco. But these featured islands just give you more of that seafaring rush while on a cruise. And to really ramp that up, after Tenerife, you cross the Atlantic, Columbus style. This cruise is actually two legs: a 12-night Rome to Lisbon "Grand Voyage," then a 16-night Lisbon to Barbados crossing. Dates: Oct. 24-Nov. 21, 2015
    Price: from $5,200 See more about this cruise on Star Clippers' website.
    Jon Whittle
  • Azamara Club Cruises
    Azamara Club Cruises
    Ship: Azamara Quest
    Itinerary: 10 Night Temples Dragons and Beaches Voyage
    Region: Asia
    Nights: 10
    Major ports: Singapore; Semarang, Indonesia; Lombok, Indonesia; Bali; Komodo; Celukan Bawang, Indonesia; Singapore This is an all-islands dream trip, starting from the island of Singapore and hopping along the best of Indonesia, including the must-do islands of Bali and Komodo. Bali, Komodo, Singapore Dates: Dec. 12-22, 2015
    Price: from $2,499 See more about this cruise on Azamara's website.
    Azamara Club Cruises
  • Costa
    Costa
    Ship: Costa neoRiviera
    Itinerary: United Arab Emirates, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa
    Region: Indian Ocean
    Nights: 34 This itinerary is really like a ride through ISLANDS' Greatest Hits in the Indian Ocean. Very efficiently, and for an amazing price, you get to experience many of our editors' favorite destinations, from the Maldives to the Seychelles to Mautirius (see the ISLANDS Travel Guide: Mauritius for our editor-in-chief's recent visit there). Dates: Departs Feb. 8, 2015
    Price: from $4,839 See more about this cruise on Costa's website.
    Costa
  • Seabourn
    Seabourn
    Ship: Seabourn Sojourne
    Itinerary: 40-Day Southeast Asia Exploration
    Region: Asia
    Nights: 39
    Islands: Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, China This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza cruise, tracing an adventurous route through iconic mainstays like Phuket, Thailand and Halong Bay, Vietnam, as well as fresh getaways like Myanmar and Cambodia. Plus, you spend five days exploriing the Philippines, a region comprised of over 7,000 islands. Dates: Leaves Feb. 3, 2015 (a great way to start the year with a bang)
    Price: $21,499 See more about this cruise on Seabourn's website.
    Seabourn
  • Princess Cruises
    Princess Cruises
    Ship: Crown Princess
    Itinerary: Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa
    Region: Pacific
    Nights: 27
    Islands: Maui, Hawaii; Oahu, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; Kauai, Hawaii; American Samoa; Western Samoa; Bora Bora, Islands of Tahiti; Moorea, Islands of Tahiti; Papeete, Tahiti Consider this two island vacations in one. First, you get to see the greatest hits of Hawaii, then the greatest hits of the Islands of Tahiti. Everyone asks us ISLANDS editors about all these islands, especially Kauai and Bora Bora. Now's your chance to see them all in one epic journey, plus days at sea on the open Pacific to enjoy the ship. Dates: Oct. 17, 2015
    Price: from $3,399 See more about this cruise on Princess' website.
    Princess Cruises
  • Paul Gauguin Cruises
    Paul Gauguin Cruises
    Ship: Paul Gauguin
    Itinerary: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands
    Region: Pacific
    Nights: 14
    Islands: Tahiti, Fakarava, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka, Nuku Hiva, Huahine, Bora Bora, Taha'a, Moorea Yes, you must see Bora Bora at least once (though preferably many times). But on this cruise, Paul Gauguin assures you will see all the wonders of the Islands of Tahiti, the places that live in the shadow of Bora Bora but are absolutely spectacular in their own right. No one knows Tahiti like Paul Gauguin. Dates: April 29 and November 21, 2015
    Price: from $6,995 See more about this cruise on Paul Gauguin's website.
    Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
    Celebrity Cruises
    Ship: Celebrity Solstice
    Itinerary: Tahitian Treasures Cruise
    Region: Pacific
    Nights: 18
    Major ports: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii; Lahaina, Maui; Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti; Auckland, New Zealand; Bay of Islands, New Zealand Granted, the $2,259 may sound a little steep, but this cruise departs in 2016. Plenty of time to save up. Plus, this cruise visits three iconic island paradises: Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand. For those who have yet to visit any of these islands, that's a three-for-one deal. All of 'em ISLANDS favorites. Book before we do. Dates: Leaves Apr. 9, 2016
    Price: from $2,259 See more about this cruise on Celebrity's website.
    Celebrity Cruises
  • Orion Expedition Cruises
    Orion Expedition Cruises
    Ship: Nat Geo Orion
    Itinerary: Palau to Solomon Islands - Along the Pacific Equator
    Region: Pacific
    Nights: 18
    Islands: Papua New Guinea, Palau, Yap, Solomon Islands When ISLANDS teamed up with Orion a few years ago, we called this itinerary the "Trip of a Lifetime." It starts in one of the island destinations near the top of our wish list: Palau. Then this small-ship cruise takes you to islands you've only heard of, and many you haven't. See our photo gallery of this Orion cruise from our trip. Dates: Leaves in September and October
    Price: from $17,390 See more about this cruise on Orion's website.
    Orion Expedition Cruises
  • Holland America
    Holland America Line
    Ship: ms Prinsendam
    Itinerary: 57-Day Grand Africa and Mediterranean Voyage
    Region: Caribbean, Europe, Africa
    Nights: 56
    Major ports: Fort Lauderdale, Florida; St. Thomas, USVI; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Spain; Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain; Madeira, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Malaga, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Castellon de la Plana, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Gozo, Malta; Crete, Greece; Jerusalem, Israel; Isanbul, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Naples, Italy. This isn't an epic round-the-world cruise, but it's close. We love that you start simply in Fort Lauderdale, then see some favorite Caribbean destinations - St. John and St. Maarten - before going more exotic into the Atlantic with Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. Once you've hopscotched along Africa, the Mediterranean, Greece, Italy and beyond, you will have seen some of the most beautiful regions and islands of the world. Dates: Departing March 12, 2015
    Price: from $5,999 See more about this cruise on Holland America's website.
    Holland America

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