Out at sea, without the scene
You’d love to go on a cruise. After all, you’re the kind of couple who likes to party — and by party, you mean sipping a nice wine in a romantic French village, succumbing to a couples’ massage on a sexy Tahitian beach, or taking in mind-blowing views of icebergs and glaciers — with as few other people as possible.
Here are five cruises for romantics who love to be out at sea — without the scene.
Island hop the 118 islands of Tahiti — a collection of the sexiest and most romantic destinations on the planet — with a sail on the four-masted Wind Spirit. The ship, one of the Windstar Cruises fleet, accommodates only 148 passengers, and makes stops in Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, and Huahine. Expect spacious suites, private motu dinners, and couples’ massages in a private beach cabana on a private island. Surf and turf: new this year, is an overnight romance package at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort — midcruise you’ll have a private boat ride to the resort to spend the night in an overwater bungalow. www.windstarcruises.com
Wind and a sail
An evening under the stars while snuggled in the bowsprit netting of a sailing ship is even Cupid’s idea of a romantic escape. Book a Star Clippers experience and you’ll cruise on 430-foot, five-masted sailing ship and sail the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indonesia or Thailand. The ships hold 220 passengers, small enough to navigate ports that some of the larger cruise ships can’t access, like Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour; the ship docks just offshore and you’re delivered to the exclusive small marina by small tender boats. www.starclippers.com
Oceania Cruises is known for its rich culinary experiences and elegant ships, and calls on 370 ports in Europe, Australia, Africa, the South Pacific, and Asia. Book one of the 1,250-guest ships, Marina and Riviera, and you’ll experience Master Chef Jacques Pépin’s only namesake restaurant, Jacques. And, for an immersive culinary adventure, there’s the Culinary Center, a state-of-the-art hands-on cooking school on each ship — 12 stations where couples work in tandem to create apps, entrees, and desserts. Luxe it up and reserve a Penthouse-level suite and you’ll get 24-hour butler service and in-suite dining. www.oceaniacruises.com
For a taste of France with seasonings, reserve Emerald Waterways’ Sensations of Southern France River Cruise, a romantic river journey that stops in the charming towns of Tournon and Avignon. When in Avignon, an on-board, Provençal-style dinner is cooked by Chef Fabien Morreale, finalist on Top Chef France. And you can work off all that butter by biking the Burgundy by Bike trail system, one of the activities offered in the EmeraldActive program. www.emeraldwaterways.com
Galapagos Islands on your 2018 bucket list? Book the stunning Grace Kelly Suite on the M/Y Grace, a just-renovated 18-passenger yacht that’s part of Quasar Expeditions. The yacht was a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. The cruise operates seven-night itineraries and includes outer islands and remote spots like Tagus Cove and Bartolome Island — with hiking trails, tuck-away coves, and stunning beaches. www.quasarex.com