All aboard: The best cruises to sail away on

A guide to the finest cruises for foodies, families, wildlife-spotting and all-out luxury

Best for luxury

If you have ocean-bound pampering in mind, the Scenic Eclipse is just what you’re looking for. This mega-yacht aims to give passengers a six-star experience: every suite has its own verandah and butler, and there are ten restaurants, offering everything from French, Pan-Asian and Italian cuisine. Its many destinations include Chile, Antarctica and the Mediterranean, and for those feeling adventurous, there are kayaking trips, submarine adventures (yep, it has its own submarine) and cultural excursions. Or, if that sounds too much like hard work, just kick back in the Spa Sanctuary.

From £3,095 per person;

Also try: SS Antoinette by Uniworld, Sea Dream II by SeaDream Yacht Club, Sun Boat IV by Sanctuary

Best for wildlife

Inspired by Blue Planet II? Then jump aboard a cruise to the Galápagos Islands. National Geographic Expeditions cruises will get you up close to the action, with ten-day trips around the islands. See giant tortoises and snorkel among reef fish, penguins and sea lions.

From £5,495pp;

Also try: International Expeditions, Responsible Travel, AmaWaterways

Best for foodies

For those looking to sharpen their culinary skills, Oceania Cruises’ ship Marina offers a selection of cookery classes — and hosts tastings and seminars for wine buffs, too. When it’s time to tuck in, the array of restaurants includes traditional French grub at Jacques and Red Ginger’s twists on Asian classics.

From £4,049pp;

Also try: Crystal, Windstar and Celebrity Cruises

Best for families

For knackered parents who just want a chance to relax, Royal Caribbean cruises have the Adventure Ocean Kids Club, which takes care of youngsters from babies to teenagers, with plenty of fun and games for them all — including this seriously impressive playground (right).

From £4,517 for a family of four;

Also try: Disney Cruises, P&O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line