Transatlantic cruises are unique when you compare them to traditional cruises most people book for family trips and romantic getaways. These voyages tend to be longer in general, and they have more built-in days at sea and offer a lot more time on board as a result. Repositioning cruises that include a transatlantic crossing tend to attract more retirees and travelers who just want to relax and enjoy their ships’ amenities, especially since fewer days in port means fewer excursions and more time doing nothing at all.
That said, the fact that transatlantic cruises can last as few as seven nights means they may fit in your plans more easily than you may think. There are also some benefits to transatlantic crossings that may not be obvious, including lower nightly rates, more onboard credit, and more time to kick back and relax at a floating luxury resort in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you’re curious which transatlantic cruises are best for 2024, here are six top picks with different cruise lengths, itineraries and unique destinations to explore.
Explore cruises on GoToSea, a service of U.S. News.
(Courtesy of Cunard Line)
Date: Departs May 5, 2024
Departure port: Brooklyn, New York
Starting price: $2,449 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
Cruise length: 7 to 18 nights
In May of 2024, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 vessel will offer three different transatlantic crossings of various lengths. Choose from a seven-night sailing from Brooklyn, New York, to Southampton, England; a nine-night sailing to Hamburg, Germany; and an 18-night round-trip sailing that departs from Brooklyn and crosses the Atlantic twice on the way back to its starting point. This unique combination of itineraries lets you cross the sea and tailor your trip to how long you want to be away from home.
The 18-night itinerary is especially interesting, since it lets you depart from the United States and arrive back in Brooklyn in the end with stops in both England and Germany, as well as plenty of sea days in between. Luxury cruise line Cunard is known for its elegant design, lush amenities and upscale feel, and the Queen Mary 2 is one of the line’s most luxurious ships. Highlights on this exclusive vessel include the Royal Court Theatre, a casino, gala evenings, an onboard spa and a vast library. The Queen Mary 2 holds up to 2,691 guests with 1,173 crew to cater to your every need.
Seabourn Cruise Line
(Courtesy of Seabourn Cruise Line)
Date: Departs March 24, 2024
Starting price: $5,949 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
Seabourn is offering a 21-night transatlantic cruise from Miami on Seabourn Quest in March 2024 that offers a diverse range of ports of call before ending its voyage in Las Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands. Departure from Miami is followed by nine days at sea. Then, you’ll enjoy multiple stops in the Canary Islands – including Santa Cruz de La Palma and San Sebastián de La Gomera – as well as stops in Praia and Mindelo the Cape Verde archipelago.
This journey with Seabourn makes it possible for travelers to see some of the most beautiful and remote tropical islands in the world. The Canary Islands are known for their white sand beaches, volcanoes and lush greenery; similar landscapes can also be found in Cape Verde’s coastal towns and villages. Seabourn Quest, a smaller ocean vessel, accommodates just 229 guests.
(Courtesy of MSC Cruises)
Date: Departs Nov. 8, 2024
Departure port: Southampton, England
Starting price: $769 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
The MSC Virtuosa from MSC Cruises is repositioning from Europe to the Caribbean in November 2024, which gives travelers the chance to enjoy a lengthy transatlantic crossing with plenty of unique ports. This sailing departs from England with eight sea days plus stops in France, the Azores of Portugal, St. Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, and Martinique. The ship ends its journey in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
The MSC Virtuosa is a larger cruise vessel that boasts an impressive grand promenade with a LED dome ceiling, dedicated clubs for children and teens, an onboard spa, a lavish casino and the luxurious MSC Yacht Club section of the ship. This vessel holds a maximum of 6,334 passengers at once.
(Courtesy of Princess Cruises)
Date: Departs July 5, 2024
Departure port: New York City (Manhattan or Brooklyn)
Starting price: $4,098 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
Princess Cruises also offers its share of transatlantic sailings on various vessels. Its 31-night crossing from New York to Barcelona, Spain, on Island Princess in July 2024 is jam-packed with exciting destinations to explore. This lengthy transatlantic voyage has only 13 sea days with planned stops in Canada’s Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, England, Spain, Portugal and Morocco before the journey ends in Barcelona.
This intriguing sailing experience with Princess takes passengers to eight different countries in the span of a month. Island Princess is a nice ship for a long sailing because of its smaller size, with just 2,200 passengers and 900 crew. But the ship is also large enough to have a huge selection of included and specialty dining options, a Vegas-style casino, a sports court, a large central atrium for gathering, and several pools and hot tubs to enjoy.
(Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)
Date: Departs April 11, 2024
Departure port: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Starting price: $760 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
Celebrity Cruises is offering a 12-night sailing on Celebrity Equinox in April 2024 that starts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and ends in Lisbon, Portugal – making it possible for travelers to enjoy eight relaxing days at sea. What’s interesting about this sailing is its stops along the way, which include the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda; Porta Delgada in Portugal’s Azores archipelago; and Porto in mainland Portugal.
The Celebrity Equinox accommodates a maximum of just 2,852 passengers at once, so this Celebrity vessel is a solid choice for travelers who want just the right size ship instead of a smaller vessel or a megaship. There are also plenty of onboard features to keep you happy and entertained as you float across the Atlantic Ocean, including The Casino, The Lawn Club with outdoor games like bocce ball and croquet, The Martini Bar, the adults-only Solarium and more.
Royal Caribbean International
(Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Dates: Departs Oct. 24, 2024
Departure port: Barcelona, Spain
Starting price: $876 per person (plus port taxes and fees)
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is hosting a transatlantic voyage in October 2024 that departs from Barcelona, Spain, and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This vessel will make stops in Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Cartagena and Málaga in Spain, then spend eight days at sea. After that, enjoy a day in Nassau in the Bahamas before the cruise drops passengers off in sunny Florida.
Interior staterooms on this Royal Caribbean sailing start at just $876 per person (plus port taxes and fees), which works out to around $60 per night, per person. The Oasis of the Seas megaship can hold a total of 6,771 guests and 2,109 crew, so it’s an enormous vessel – to put it mildly. This size may not be ideal for travelers who want a more intimate cruising experience, but it’s perfect for cruisers who want plenty of space to spread out and endless activities to take part in. Oasis of the Seas boasts 20 different restaurants and cafes, 11 bars and lounges, a variety of pools and whirlpools, a rock climbing wall, the AquaTheater diving and entertainment venue, mini-golf, a casino and plenty more.
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Holly Johnson is a professional travel writer and cruise expert who has covered family travel and cruises for more than a decade. She has cruised more than 40 times across most of the major cruise lines in destinations throughout the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. Johnson used her personal experience and research expertise to curate the itineraries for this article.