The best cruises to take in 2020, according to Conde Nast Traveler

Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The majority of the cruises on the list have a carrying capacity under 1,000 passengers. This ship, Regent's Seven Seas Voyager, accommodates 700.

"Are you a cruise person?" is a question that encompasses several others: How comfortable are you with overcrowding? How much personal space do you need? How much money do you want to spend on a vacation?

Cruising doesn't always have the best reputation for a whole host of reasons - but it is also a preferred method of travel for many, especially as the industry takes a turn toward the luxurious. Advertisement

For the most part, the cruises selected by Condé Nast Traveler are high-end, luxury-oriented vacations with smaller or more boutique cruise lines. Only two featured ships had a carrying capacity over 1,000 passengers, and many had undergone recent renovations.

The routes selected also play into that luxurious narrative - only one route included Caribbean cruise hot spots, while other itineraries included less-traveled routes through French Polynesia or down the Nile River. Athens, Greece was crowned as a go-to spot: It was port city for three of the seven cruises included on the list.
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Keep reading for a look at the cruise vacations that made the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, organized in ascending order of base price.

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New Orleans round trip to the Caribbean on the Norwegian Getaway

New Orleans round trip to the Caribbean on the Norwegian Getaway

Cruise line: Norwegian Cruise Line

Length of trip: 5 days or 7 days

Prices start at: $399 per guest on 5-day cruise, $599 per guest on 7-day cruise

The Norwegian Getaway sails from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean. Potential stops include Cozumel, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman. The ship docks back in New Orleans.

The Norwegian Getaway is the largest ship on this list – it's 1,068 feet long and can carry up to 3,963 guests. The ship, which boasts nearly 30 dining options and an original art collection, was refurbished this year.

Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden, on the Oceania Marina

Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden, on the Oceania Marina

Cruise line: Oceania Cruises

Length of trip: 10 days

Prices start at: $2,999 per guest

The Baltic cruise starts in Copenhagen and makes its way to eight cities, including Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Helsinki, before docking in Stockholm.

The ship has a carrying capacity of 1,250 and its nicest suites were furnished by Ralph Lauren. Off the ship, Oceania recently introduced local tour guides to its excursion offerings.

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Papeete, Tahiti, to Auckland, New Zealand on the Crystal Serenity

Papeete, Tahiti, to Auckland, New Zealand on the Crystal Serenity

Cruise line: Crystal Cruises

Length of trip: 14 days

Prices start at: $4,549 per guest

The Crystal Serenity is doing a two-week cruise through French Polynesia and the South Pacific, starting in Tahiti and stopping in Tonga and Fiji before docking in New Zealand.

The ship has been around for 17 years but just underwent a dramatic renovation in 2018. The re-design included the implementation of an open-plan dining space that eliminated the classic assigned seating trope found on traditional cruises as well as updated and expanded cabins. The renovations brought the ship's carrying capacity down 9% to 980 passengers.

Cairo round trip on the Viking Ra

Cairo round trip on the Viking Ra

Cruise line: Viking River Cruises

Length of trip: 12 days

Prices start at: $4,899 per guest

Viking, which specializes in river cruises, runs a 12-day program called "Pharaohs and Pyramids" that begins in Cairo and runs down the Nile River before returning to Cairo.

It is an intimate trip as the ship only accommodates 52 guests. The size ensures comfortable lodging for all guests – most cabins are equipped with balconies.

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Lisbon, Portugal, to Athens, Greece, on the Seabourn Ovation

Lisbon, Portugal, to Athens, Greece, on the Seabourn Ovation

Cruise line: Seabourn

Length of trip: 14 days

Prices start at: $5,999 per guest

The Mediterranean cruise aboard the Seabourn Ovation departs from Lisbon, Portugal and stops multiple times in Spain, France, and Italy, before docking in Athens, Greece.

At 690 feet, the Seabourn Ovation is another small ship with 300 suites. The ship made its debut last year and was designed for a more intimate luxury experience. It is the fifth ship in Seabourn's fleet.

Istanbul, Turkey, to Athens, Greece, on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Istanbul, Turkey, to Athens, Greece, on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager

Cruise line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Length of trip: 8 days

Prices start at: $9,099 per guest

The trip starts in Istanbul and then stops in Ephesus before hitting several Greek hotspots including Rhodes, Mykonos, and Santorini before docking in Athens.

The Regent Seven Seas Voyager is a 9-deck ship that caps its carrying capacity at 700.

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Mumbai, India, to Athens, Greece, on the Silversea Silver Spirit

Mumbai, India, to Athens, Greece, on the Silversea Silver Spirit

Cruise line: Silversea Cruises

Length of trip: 26 days

Prices start at: $12,000 per guest

The Silver Spirit will stop at 14 ports in nine countries over its 26-day journey. The trip starts in Mumbai and will continue in ports like Dubai, Doha, Jerusalem, and Nazareth before docking in Athens.

The ship has a capacity of 608 and was just refurbished last year. The updates included a 50-foot pool deck and refreshed cabins.