Inside the seven most luxurious suites at sea

The top suites in the premium and luxury categories have been designed as havens for relaxation, entertainment, and well-being.

By Donna Heiderstadt 26/04/2017

Cruise ship luxury is even more compelling these days as eye-catching decor — from classic Art Deco to modern Scandinavian — tempts guests to sail away in ultra-indulgent style.

The top suites on both new and recently refurbished ships in the premium and luxury categories have been designed as havens for relaxation, entertainment, and well-being. Here, we go inside the seven of the most luxurious floating suites at sea (and river).

The Regent Suite, Regent Seven Seas Explorer

Regent Seven Seas Cruises calls its newest vessel, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, the “most luxurious ship ever built”. And the first-of-its-kind, 4443-square-foot, two-bedroom Regent Suite onboard is undeniably over the top. Custom Steinway Arabesque piano designed by Dakota Jackson? Check. Private spa with sauna, steam room, and heated relaxation loungers — not to mention unlimited treatments? Of course. A king-size Savoir No. 1 bed with a $150,000 price tag? Indeed. Located forward on Deck 14, the Regent Suite also features Park Avenue–inspired Art Deco furnishings, an outdoor Vista Garden with a wrap-around verandah, a black marble bar perfect for entertaining, and access to a private car and driver in every port. (

The Owner’s Suite, Oceania Riviera

A touch of the exotic — bold zebra-skin rugs and mirror frames — adds a touch of joie de vivre to the cosy polished wood and tufted silk-and-velvet decor of the three Owner’s Suites on Oceania Riviera. These 2000-square-foot suites span the width of the ship’s stern on decks eight to 10; each features two wraparound decks, a striking entry foyer with a player piano, indoor and outdoor whirlpool hot tubs, butler service that includes white-glove in-suite dining, and furnishings from the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. The master bedroom is particularly spacious with a plush king-size bed, dramatic crystal lighting fixtures, and direct access to one of the verandahs. (

The Queens Grill Grand Duplex Apartment, Queen Mary 2

The name says it all: This is not just a suite — it’s a floating apartment. The elegant bi-level Queens Grill Grand Duplex Apartment suites on Cunard’s 2961-passenger Queen Mary 2 (which underwent a $US132 million refurbishment in 2016) are known quite sophisticatedly as the Sandringham and the Balmoral. Measuring a generous 2249 square feet, each suite has a sweeping Art Deco–inspired spiral staircase, with the bedroom and master bathroom located on the second level, plus a full dining area, a guest bathroom, an exercise area, and a two-story glass wall for spectacular floor-to-ceiling views. Three additional Duplex Apartments measuring 1566 square feet are also available; all five suites can be combined to create one lavish accommodation totaling more than 9000 square feet. (

The Owner’s Suite, Viking Star, Viking Sea, and Viking Sky

With a private sauna featuring floor-to-ceiling windows to enhance the no-stress vibe, the Owner’s Suites on Viking Star, Viking Sea, and Viking Sky — the first three oceangoing vessels by the river-cruising leader Viking Cruises — are light-filled and residential in feel. Measuring 1475 square feet each, they channel Scandinavian cool with mid-tone hardwood flooring and furniture, artwork by Norwegian modernist painter Jakob Weidemann, well-stocked libraries, and curated wine collections. Designed by Richard Riveire (who also did the interiors of the river fleet’s Viking longships, as well as all the ships in Viking’s ocean fleet), these suites blend Nordic heritage with a smart, sleek ambience that feels like home — but better. (

The Presidential Suite, Uniworld’s S.S. Joie de Vivre

Uniworld owner Beatrice Tollman and her daughter Toni design all the river cruise line’s ships in a lavishly layered style that nods to the history of the region that each vessel cruises. For their newest ship, the 128-passenger S.S. Joie de Vivre, which began sailing the River Seine from Paris to Normandy in April 2017, Tollman opted to celebrate 20th-century Parisian grandeur. Handcrafted furniture and a stunning Riva wall finish in a Directoire style, as well as paintings from the family’s personal collection, adorn the ship. Special attention was paid to the two 377-square-foot Presidential Suites, where guests enjoy Savoir of England beds, fabrics by Pierre Frey (red and cream braquenié in Suite 401; silver grey, and cream angular pattern in Suite 402), and spacious marble bathrooms. In 402, be sure to check out the original Self Portrait by Pablo Picasso. (

The Crystal Penthouse with Verandah, Crystal Serenity

Given a dose of high-seas chic by a floor-to-ceiling makeover in late 2013, Crystal Serenity’s super-stylish Crystal Penthouses with Verandahs are equal parts London flat and New York City apartment. From the grand foyers with cutwork screens and mosaic tiles to the private media/living rooms that double as second bedrooms, the 1345-square-foot suites’ refined interiors and open design evoke residential opulence in neutral palettes of rich materials such as Italian marble and custom-designed carpet by Ulster in Ireland. The ultimate indulgence: Each suite comes with a Duravit spa flotation tub with views of both the ocean and a television embedded in the mirror. (

The Grand Wintergarden Suite, Seabourn Encore

Seabourn’s newest ship, the 600-passenger Seabourn Encore, launched in January 2017 with two 1500-square-foot Grand Wintergarden Suites, each featuring a distinctive look courtesy of the vessel’s interior designer Adam D. Tihany. Curves abound, from the plush upholstery in the spacious living and dining areas to the semicircular polished stone shower and whirlpool bath tub in the master bathroom. A second bedroom and bathroom, a powder room, and a dining table for six make this a terrific option for multi-generation cruisers. More fitting for couples, meanwhile, is the glass-walled solarium, with a private relaxation area and a soaking tub. (


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