In pictures: the world’s best cruise ship interiors

Adele Berti 11 September 2018 (Last Updated February 4th, 2020 07:44)

As cruising enters its Golden Age, operators are competing to woo passengers with increasingly lavish interiors. From MSC Divina’s glittering Swarovski crystal staircase to the cashmere and mahogany-bedecked suites of the Oceania Marina, Adele Berti explores some of the most eye-catching interiors.

In pictures: the world’s best cruise ship interiors
MSC Divina’s hall welcomes passengers with a glittering staircase made of Swarovski crystals. Credit: MSC

Increased passenger traffic and the decision, last year, by three major cruise lines – Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean – to enter the stock market, point to just how popular cruise ships have become. The Cruise Line Industry Association recently reported a record 27.8 million passengers are forecast to take a cruise this summer, an increase of almost ten million over the past decade.

Cruises have become a popular holiday option and the ultimate symbol of a carefree lifestyle that is now being celebrated by the fashion industry, which often uses these ships to host fashion events.

As companies cruise into an ostentatious age, renowned designers are called on board to decorate vessels’ interiors as creatively as possible.

The aesthetics of the vessel have acquired a prime position, with lines planning to improve and transform the guest experience with innovative ship interiors and smart use of space.

We round up the most beautiful cruise ship interiors in the world.

MSC’s Divina

Often praised for the aura of glamour and entertainment that surrounds it, MSC Divina is a majestic vessel housing 1,571 staterooms across 14 of its 18 decks.

Inspired by Italian actress Sophia Loren, the ship boasts some of the most luxurious interiors in the industry, offering a real stone piazza, a Casino Veneziano and Broadway-style Pantheon theatre.

Divina also has a spa, lavish restaurants and spaces designed to sparkle and shine Sophia Loren-style. Adorned with glittery chandeliers and exotic furniture, the ship’s hall welcomes passengers with a glittering staircase made of Swarovski crystals.

Oceania’s Marina

Boasting artwork by international artists on its walls and six open-eating gourmet restaurants, Oceania Cruises’ Marina is a sight for sore eyes.

Travellers who choose it will be blinded by the ship’s imposing entrance hall, which was commissioned by French glass and jewellery designers Lalique.

Ralph Lauren Home furnishing can be found in the three 2,000ft2 Owner’s Suites, where floors have mosaic tiles and the walls are lined with cashmere and mahogany.

Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa

The S.S. Maria Theresa is a 443ft-long vessel dedicated to Austrian empress Maria Theresa and Vienna’s royal palace.

Tributes to the empress can be found in every corner of the ship, which has been decorated in 18th century style and features golden chandeliers and marble staircases, as well as a large-scale portrait of Maria Theresa herself.

Staterooms boast lavish padded fabric wall coverings, period-style furnishings and English Savoir beds draped in Egyptian cotton bed linens.

Norwegian’s Bliss

Launched in summer 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss is one of the most extravagant cruise liners in the world.

Alongside offering luxurious staterooms with a personal butler service, the Norwegian Bliss has two observation lounges where passengers can relax and hope to see whales and dolphins.

The vessel has a two-level Go-Kart track where guests can reach speeds of 30mph and multi-level water slides, as well as a laser tag room.

Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is famous for housing $5m worth of artwork spread around its 16 passenger decks. Here, holidaymakers can find a 30ft-tall pink polar bear, a series of design elements called ‘What Makes Life Worth Living’, and the North Star, a glass capsule rising 300ft above sea level that provides a 360° view of the surroundings.

The ship’s entertainment rooms are illuminated by flashy neon lights and feature a modern, sometimes almost futuristic decor. Staterooms vary in size and location; of the 2,090 available, 375 have a virtual balcony, which appears on a wall thanks to 80-inch screens connected to a live camera outside the ship.

Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer

Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer is a glamorous cruise vessel mainly covering routes in northern Europe.

Luxury dominates the Explorer’s common areas, which feature 5,000 chandeliers, lavish furniture and 2,200 pieces of art, including a Chagall and some Picassos that can be found at the entrance to the Regent Suite.

Housing an in-room spa, a 958ft2  balcony and an ocean-view shower, the Regent Suite is furnished with Murano glass bowls and a limited-edition Steinway Arabesque piano designed by Dakota Jackson.

Uniworld’s S.S. Joie de Vivre

Celebrating Paris’s most florid period, the years between the 1920s and the 1960s, Uniworld’s S.S. Joie de Vivre can host up to 128 passengers and travels on the Seine between the French capital and Normandy.

The interiors are a tribute to the ville lumière and its most traditional hotspots, including a typical sidewalk café serving classic French cuisine.

The rooms feature handcrafted furniture and antiques, original artwork and plush fabrics. Art trends from different decades blend on the walls and floors of the dining areas.

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge

Set to make its inaugural trip in December 2018, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge is a vessel of mammoth dimensions.

Designed by renowned architects, including Tom Wright, Kelly Hoppen and Patricia Urquiola, the ship has a terrace lounge, the Eden, which connects three decks through a 300ft-long ramp.

Measuring almost 370,000ft3 , the lounge is bigger than New York’s Hayden Planetarium and larger than Van Gogh Museum’s atrium in Amsterdam.

The vessel hosts a spa with floating basket chairs and a Turkish bath decked out in marble and mosaic tiles. Its AquaClass staterooms feature the latest technology: with the touch of a button, the doors of the room fold away and the entire living space becomes a balcony.

Cunard’s MS Queen Elizabeth

The youngest of Cunard’s Queen fleet, the Queen Elizabeth offers a range of itineraries departing from Southampton, including trips to the Baltic region, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean.

Launched in 2010, the vessel was designed in Art Deco style and is embellished with wood panelling, chandeliers and marble flooring. Particularly famous are the sumptuous Royal Arcade and Royal Court Theatre, as well as the library, which is spread over two decks linked by a wooden spiral staircase.

Seabourn’s Encore

The interiors of Seabourn’s Encore are the work of hospitality designer Adam Tihany, who decorated them in a baroque, curve-celebrating style.

Swirls and circles dominate aboard the ship, which was inaugurated in January 2017 in Singapore and given a yacht-like profile through the use of dark tones, in particular blues and browns.

The vessel has six different types of luxury suites all featuring a spacious living room, breath-taking glass door views and dedicated personnel.