The 8 Exceptional Cruise Itineraries We're Most Looking Forward to in 2022

Sparticus349/Courtesy Oceania Cruises

Travel has seen seemingly insurmountable challenges throughout the coronavirus pandemic. And the cruising industry was hit especially hard over the last year. Ships that debuted at the beginning of 2020 were docked before their itineraries for the year even got under way. Cruising programs poised to take us around the world—in the most luxurious execution of slow travel—were temporarily halted. And cruise aficionados had no choice but to stay on dry land, awaiting their next sail, be it a river cruise or a multi-continent adventure. To celebrate the best of what’s to come in cruising, we’ve gathered the most anticipated cruise itineraries of 2022 as our Legend Awards honorees this year.

Island Hopper, Celebrity Cruises

A sophisticated new ship plus a compelling combo of two distinct island nations makes Celebrity Cruises’ 12-night Iceland & Ireland itinerary on Celebrity Apex a perfect summer escape. Three sailings in June, July, and August 2022 make the roundtrip journey from Amsterdam with overnights in Reykjavik and Akureyri—allowing time for adventure under Iceland’s midnight sun—and full days in Belfast, Dublin, and Cork.

Culinary Journey, Silversea Cruises

Interior of the SALT lab on board the Silver Moon
Courtesy Silversea Cruises

Small-ship cruising and elevated cuisine come together as never before on the new 596-passenger Silver Moon, the first ship to offer Silversea’s S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) culinary program. Guests with an appetite for authenticity can explore the distinctive flavors of Asia during January 2022’s 14-night Hong Kong to Singapore itinerary, where curated excursions—cooking classes in Hoi An; street food in Saigon—are paired with onboard tastings and demonstrations in the S.A.L.T Lab and upscale regional cuisine in the S.A.L.T Kitchen.

Ultimate Europe, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Exterior view of the Regent Seven Seas Splendor
Photographicframe Art Studio/Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

In the 18th and 19th centuries, young aristocrats embarked on the Grand Tour, a months-long journey across the European continent—and now Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a 21st-century version that’s just as epic and immersive as the original. The 65-night Grand European Sojourn aboard the new 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor departs Stockholm visits 47 ports in 22 countries as it travels from Stockholm to Rome. The sailing, which includes just five days at sea, stops in every major city in Europe, and spends the night in St. Petersburg, Bordeaux, and Venice.

RELATED: The Future of Cruising: Personalized Smart Staterooms and Anthropo-tainment

Incredible Expedition, Seabourn Cruises

Exterior view of the Seabourn Venture
Courtesy Seabourn Cruises

Ocean meets river aboard Seabourn’s new expedition ship, the 132-suite Venture, on the 19-day Brazilian Highlights & The Amazon itinerary sailing from Buenos Aires to Manaus, Brazil in March 2023. The adventure blends urban exploration in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with the golden beaches of Brazil’s Ilha Grande and the towering sand dunes of Natal, then crosses the equator to venture up the Amazon past magnificent rainforests and through the Instagram-worthy phenomenon known as the Meeting of the Waters.

Tropical Retreat, Oceania Cruises

View of the Oceania Riviera in St. Lucia
Courtesy Oceania Cruises

The Caribbean’s translucent waters and endless sunshine are calling on Oceania Cruises’ 14-night Caribbean Charms itinerary. The January 2022 sailing takes passengers on the recently refurbished Oceania Riviera from Miami to all the classic island escapes—see the rainforests of Puerto Rico, go shopping in St. Barths, sail a catamaran in Barbados—and visits secret gems like the bat caves of Martinique and the crystal-clear waters of Wallilabou Bay on St. Vincent.

Arts & Culture, Windstar Cruises

The impressionist France itinerary with Windstar Cruises, Star Legend docked in Bordeaux
Courtesy Windstar Cruises

Is French culture a passion? If so, Windstar Cruises is also blending ocean and river cruising with its novel 11-night Impressionist France itinerary (May 18-29, 2022) aboard the newly refurbished, 312-guest Star Legend. Begin in historic-yet-vibrant Bordeaux, then visit lovely La Rochelle, known for its 14th-century Old Port towers. In St.-Malo and Mont Saint Michel, explore historic abbeys and monasteries, and from Caen, visit Normandy’s D-Day beaches or William the Conqueror’s 11th-century Château de Caen. Cruise the Seine to Rouen, where Joan of Arc was martyred, for three days of exploration (to Paris, perhaps, or Monet’s Garden at Giverny). Call on charming seaside Honfleur and canal-lined Bruges, Belgium, before disembarking in Amsterdam.

Nature Lover’s Exploration, Crystal Cruises

Interior of the Crystal Endeavor Solarium
Courtesy Crystal Cruises

The name of this 11-night itinerary aboard Crystal Cruises’ first expedition ship Crystal Endeavor says it all: Expedition Svalbard: In Search of Polar Bears. The cruise will depart Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway’s largest settlement, on July 3, 2022 and circle this remote and majestic archipelago located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean—all beneath the endless summer sun. Guests will join guide-led Zodiac expeditions to a half dozen national parks and reserves, where in addition to polar bears, the native wildlife includes walruses, reindeer, Arctic foxes, beluga whales and an array of bird species. Back aboard 200-passenger Endeavor, Crystal’s signature sophistication will shine equally bright via butler-serviced suites and Michelin-inspired dining.

RELATED: How to Embrace the Chill on Your Next Arctic Adventure

Family Adventure, Ponant

A small group from the Le Boreal or Le Lyrial seal watching in Cierva Cove
Olivier Blaud/Courtesy Ponant 

France-based Ponant has a solution for parents looking to share a Disney-curated experience with their kids—just without the “happiest place on earth” vibe 24/7. And this 11-night Antarctica/Patagonia Expedition Cruise is certain to make lasting family memories. In partnership with Adventures by Disney, Ponant will welcome kids 10 and older on two sailings, one aboard 264-guest Le Boreal (Dec. 20-31, 2021) and the other on 244-guest Le Lyrial (Jan. 30–Feb. 10, 2022). Known both for their refined ambience and expedition expertise, Ponant’s ships will sail roundtrip from Ushuaia, crossing the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula to enjoy guided Zodiac excursions amid icebergs—and, of course, penguin, seal and orca spotting.