What Is Six Star Cruising?

Luxury cruising offers the best of the best, with indulgences sometimes including butler service, 24-hour room service and unlimited beverages. But what makes something a 6-star cruise line and what are the differences between these and a 5-star cruise?

Each cruise line offers their own rating, based on customer reviews and experiences on-board. Cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises or Seabourn offer ultra-luxury, six-star service. Luxury cruise lines such as Azamara or Oceania Cruises offer a premium-level of service that is more five-star. Read on to find out more!

What is a 6 star cruise?

A six-star cruise offers a genuine service where your every whim is taken care of. From the moment you step aboard, you will feel looked after as staff ensure you make yourself at home. Almost every six-star cruise line is all-inclusive, so your dining, drinks, excursions and more are all included in your cruise fare, so you needn’t worry about taking your purse with you either. This often includes flights, open bars and an in-suite mini bar to use at your leisure. Other inclusions can also include WiFi, transfers and a luxury hotel stay for when you’re in port either pre- or post-cruise.

Balcony - Regent Suite - Seven Seas Explorer

6 star cruise lines

There are a few cruise lines which are ultra-luxury and therefore, six-star level. These include:

Each of these offers a fleet of 6 star cruise ships, including the brand-new Scenic Eclipse and the upcoming Seven Seas Splendor. Life on-board these 6 star luxury cruise lines features all-suite accommodation where you can often enjoy butler service, complimentary amenities and the chance to personalise your space. You can also look forward to fine dining, with these cruise lines offering the best six star ships to dine on-board. With partnerships featuring Michelin-star chefs, locally-sourced cuisines and inspiring menus, you’ll never tire of trying each menu!

Lake in Alaska - Mountains - Landscape

6 star cruise destinations

When sailing with a 6 star cruise line, desitnations tend to be more off-the-beaten-track. Expedition ships feature itineraries to Antarctica, the Galapagos and even the Arctic. There are still plenty of 6 star cruises from Southampton, including Crystal Ocean, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea, Seabourn and Viking Ocean.

Popular destinations to visit on a six-star cruise include Alaska, where you can set sail through the Inside Passage; or Australia for New Years’ Eve in Sydney.

What is a 5 star cruise?

A 5 star cruise offers similar luxuries, however not as much is included when compared to 6 star cruises. That’s not to say they aren’t as indulgent! Many 5 star cruise lines offer suites with opulent amenities, fine dining influenced by the world’s top chefs and restaurants as well as stylish decor and butler service.

For the added extras that may not be included in your fare, these are optional extras which incur additional fees such as treatments at the spa or speciality dining.

Viking Sky - Viking Ocean

5 star cruise lines

The cruise lines which offer a 5 star service and are deemed premium luxury include:

These offer a high standard of service on-board and are a great alternative to those looking for a luxurious cruise experience without going over budget. Though many amenities are included with 5 star cruise lines, some may incur additional fees such as shore excursions, speciality dining and alcoholic drinks. Each of the five star cruise ships are different from one another, for example, not all accommodation is a suite, so your choice is much more varied. This means you can be more flexible with your budget and spend it on what suits your cruising lifestyle.

For example, Azamara’s five star ships offer complimentary in-room spirits, butler service in all suites and a complimentary AzAmazing Evening excursion on selected sailings. Oceania Cruises’ ships provide WiFi on-board, complimentary in-suite bar and return flights and transfers from a choice of UK airports. Viking Ocean’s five-star fleet offers a mini bar in selected accommodations, shore excursions in every port and 24-hour room service.

Caribbean palm tree

5 star cruise destinations

Many of the five star cruise ships set sail for the same destinations as six star ones, such as Alaska or Australia. Azamara makes a note to indulge guests in each and every destination, offering the five star experience in a range of ports with their Destination Immersion.

There are also many 5 star cruises which go to the Caribbean as it’s such as popular cruise destination. Oceania Cruises explores ports of call along the lesser-known coastlines and boutique regions such as St. Vincent, Bonaire and Guadeloupe. Celebrity Cruises have also launched their purpose-built ship, Celebrity Flora, which will set sail for the Galapagos Islands. With environmentally-friendly products, a crew offering expert insight into the region and a chance to enjoy glamping at sea, it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in a 5 star Galapagos cruise.

All three of the five star cruise lines also sail from Southampton, so you have the option to enjoy a luxury cruise without flying to your embarkation port.

What is a 7 star cruise?

The highest standard of a cruise line is six stars, so seven star cruises don’t really exist. The best service you can find on-board a cruise ship will be those which are six star cruise ships. If you’re looking for the best of the best, these are perfect as they offer all-inclusive cruising, indulgent amenities and the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your sailing as you please, without worrying about additional cost.

Luxury suite available on Regent Seven Seas cruises

As you can see, there isn’t too much of a difference between six star cruises and five star cruises, it all depends on what you prefer. If you enjoy absolutely everything being taken care of, then you may be better suited to a six star cruise. Or, if you’re more inclined to indulge in your own way with more choice on staterooms, then a five star cruise might be your better option.

Which do you prefer? What do you think is a big difference between 5 star and 6 star cruise lines? Let us know in the comments below!

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Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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