Pete Barrett/Regent Seven Seas
Transoceanic voyages may be among the most romanticized cruise itineraries. With their vast scope and leisurely pace, gliding across gaping seas, these epic sailings evoke the adventure and glamor of the “Golden Era of cruising" when star-studded transatlantic crossings were the epitome of luxury travel in the early 1900s.
Once a means of trade and migration, the first Atlantic crossings are believed to have taken at least two months to complete. As ocean liners became more sophisticated, the journey was shortened to about two weeks, and later, just five days. Today, there are a wide array of pleasure cruises that cross both the Atlantic and Pacific, offering access to bucket-list ports around the globe.
Many of the most affordable transoceanic cruises are known as repositioning cruises: one-time itineraries offered when a line needs to relocate their ship, often due to seasonal changes. This means the ship's departure port will be different than the arrival port, as opposed to the typical round-trip sailing.
These epic journeys are ideal for travelers looking to leave behind the stresses of everyday life on land. Expect plenty of time to luxuriate on the ship—transoceanic voyages usually include at least several back-to-back sea days as they cross wide expanses of sea. The unhurried time on board means enjoying relaxing spa days, lounging at the pool, and indulging in traditions like afternoon tea.
If an escape to sea is calling your name, these are seven of the best transpacific and transatlantic cruises happening in 2024 and 2025, including new itineraries and ships launching this year. While some itineraries focus on the ocean crossing itself and offer fewer ports of call, we've rounded up voyages that place an additional emphasis on sightseeing and destination experiences along the way.
London to New York with Seabourn
London to New York is probably the most well-known transoceanic voyage. But luxury small ship line Seabourn has given this classic Atlantic crossing route an update by incorporating stops in over a dozen must-see coastal cities along the way. The 24-day summer sojourn departs Greenwich outside of London on July 14 and calls upon 17 ports in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. See natural wonders like Icelandic fjords and the dramatic peaks and crystal waters of the Prince Christian Sound before arriving across the pond in New York on August 7. The itinerary also includes eight sea days, during which guests can enjoy onboard amenities like spa treatments and whirlpools. Plus, Seabourn’s fares are all-inclusive, and even cover luxuries like caviar, which guests can order anytime to their suite.
Hong Kong to Vancouver with Viking
Traverse the Pacific and tour some of the most interesting ports in Asia on this 37-day journey with Viking. Passengers depart Hong Kong in September 2024 on an epic voyage through 20 ports in Taiwan, Japan, Alaska, and Canada. The ports offer immersive activities like exploring temples and shrines in Kyoto and bear watching on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. But it’s the sea days that could prove to be the most scenic. The itinerary takes travelers through some of the most breathtaking stretches of the Pacific, including Japan’s Tsugaru Straits, as well as the glacier-laden Yakutat Bay and Glacier Bay in Alaska before navigating the Inside Passage. Onboard, you’ll also enjoy free access to the ship’s Nordic spa and complimentary 24-hour room service.
Miami to Barcelona with Virgin Voyages
One thing Virgin Voyages is known for is its epic repositioning cruises. And this one, which spans 14 nights and ferries passengers from Florida to Spain, is no exception. Nine sea days in a row ensure you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the party atmosphere on board the all-adult Scarlet Lady. With an array of bars, nightclubs, and immersive entertainment—and more peaceful areas like the spa—there’s no shortage of ways to while away the days on the Atlantic. (All food is included in the cruise fare, but alcoholic drinks packages are extra.) When the crossing is finished, it’s on to port visits, including picturesque seaside villages Madeira, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Valencia, Spain, before docking in Barcelona.
Alaska to Tokyo with Silversea
Experience some of the dreamiest natural beauty on both sides of the Pacific with Silversea’s Alaska-to-Japan route. Depart Seward, Alaska, and visit six ports in 13 days before docking in Tokyo. Travelers can hike and spot bald eagles in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and soak in a traditional onsen hot spring spa near the Iozan Volcano in Japan’s Eastern Hokkaido region. Along the way, passengers can count on seven days at sea to unwind and lounge about the ship, Silver Muse. Enjoy the ship’s pool, whirlpools, casino, and eight restaurants on board. All food and beverage is included in the cruise fare, plus personal butler service for each suite.
Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro with Regent Seven Seas
Voyage from Africa to South America on this luxe 14-night journey across the southern Atlantic. After departing Cape Town, South Africa in early January 2025, you'll explore Namibia with stops in Luderitz and an overnight in Walvis Bay, known for the colorful flamingos that wade in a lagoon sheltered by undulating sand dunes. The itinerary also offers a rare chance to visit St. Helena, a remote island where Napoleon spent his final years of exile and a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, before arriving in Rio de Janeiro. Eight sea days mean you can soak up Regent’s all-inclusive activities, like cooking classes, intricate theatrical shows, and unlimited drinks (including fine wines, spirits, and a complimentary in-suite minibar).
Hamburg, Germany, to New York with Cunard
A transatlantic crossing with Cunard is on every super-cruiser’s bucket list. The line has been operating its storied Atlantic traverses since 1840. In early 2025, cruisers will get the chance to sail across the ocean in Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Anne, which is scheduled to debut in May 2024. The ship’s first crossing will span 11 nights, departing from Hamburg, Germany, and arriving in New York. The ship will make a stop in Southampton, England, before spending seven days at sea. On this voyage, the ship is the foremost destination, featuring a modern new design and the famous onboard traditions Cunard is known best for—from decadent tea service in the afternoon to black-tie galas come evening. Few transatlantic cruises can top this one.
‘Ultimate Mediterranean’ journey round-trip from New York on Holland America
If it’s a grand tour you’re after, look no further than Holland America’s 45-day “Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage” voyage. This journey sails roundtrip out of New York in October 2025 and calls upon 19 ports across nine countries. Expect to see ancient wonders of the world, natural majesty, and bustling modern metropolises. The itinerary circles the entirety of the Mediterranean, visiting destinations across North Africa, coastal Europe, and islands like the Azores and Malta. Spend your 24 days at sea participating in wine tastings, playing pickleball on the onboard court, passing a glitzy evening in the casino, or enjoying shows in the ship’s theater. By the time you arrive back in New York, you could cross the likes of the Egyptian Pyramids, the Colosseum, and the Blue Mosque off your bucket list.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler