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Best Cruise Lines for Watersports

Cruise Advice

Never does the appeal of a small ship become more apparent than when you're anchored in a quiet little cove, whether in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean or French Polynesia, using the ship as your own personal yacht - and this is where a vessel's marina really comes into its own, allowing you to swim, snorkel, paddleboard and more, straight from the ship. These ships have some of the best marinas and watersports opportunities on offer to guests who aren't content just being on the water, but also want to be in it…

SeaDream Yacht Club

We love the constant contact with the sea on SeaDream I and II, with the marina at the back of the ship allowing you to play with the toys that are carried on board: kayaks, paddle boards, jetskis and Laser sailboats, especially appealing in Caribbean waters.

There is even a waterslide that can be deployed from the pool deck in true super yacht fashion. The wonderful crew on board are on hand to help at all times, or just grab some snorkelling gear and explore the underwater world straight from the beach.

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports


On selected sailings on board Windstar's small ships - check with us before booking - a marina is deployed, making a day anchored in a secluded bay even more special.

There are plenty of time for swimming, watersports and snorkelling - all perfectly suited to the line's enormous variety of warm water voyages - and all snorkelling equipment, paddle boards and kayaks are complimentary.

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports

Emerald Cruises

Sailings on board Emerald Cruises' yachts have been designed to showcase smaller ports that the bigger ships can't reach, and this is when the vessels really come into their own with their watersports platforms.

On Emerald Azzurra, Sakara, and the new Emerald Kaia - entering the fleet in 2026 - guests can expect paddleboarding, snorkelling, kayaking and even a water trampoline on their sailings in the Med and Caribbean.

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

The ships of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Evrima and soon-to-belaunched Ilma, offer a truly yacht-like experience with their marinas at the back of the vessels.

The Marina, as it's aptly known, becomes the focal point for the ship when she is docked in the bays and harbours of the Med and Caribbean with watersports, direct access to the water, comfortable loungers, and extended wings to create even more outdoor space.

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports


With a varied fleet ranging from the new tiny private catamaran the Spirit of Ponant, sleeping just 12 guests, to the 244-guest luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, you can expect the on-water activities to be as varied as Ponant's vessels. In the warm waters of the Seychelles or Polynesia enjoy snorkelling and excursions including Aquabike adventures and shark and stingray encounters.

Some of the fleet have a marina for kayaking and sailing straight from the ship, and Ponant are one of the few cruise lines to offer scuba diving on selected sailings, as a taster and for experienced divers. Their seven Explorer Yachts feature the innovative Blue Eye Lounge, a spectacular underwater centrepiece with two oversized reinforced viewing windows looking out into the deep blue sea, or in polar regions you can trek on frozen sea ice - ideal for those who don't want to get wet!

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports


Seabourn offer a variety of activities both on and under the water. Their classic ships have a small marina that on selected itineraries can be deployed at the back of the ship offering kayaking, pedal boats, donut rides, banana boats, paddleboards, waterskiing and more.

On expedition sailings in the tropics and in polar waters kayak excursions are available and their two expedition ships are equipped with submarines which can carry six guests in two clear acrylic spheres down to depths of 300 metres. For a less adrenaline-fuelled experience, on some sailings you can enjoy Seabourn's signature Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue, where officers and crew invite guests to enjoy Champagne and Caviar in style in, you guessed it, the surf.

Best Cruise Lines for Watersports
Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. Most recently he's cruised on Silversea and has also sailed with Seabourn, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck, Regent Seven Seas and Ponant. His favourite destination is South America however he's also enjoyed cruises in the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar, South East Asia and Antarctica. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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