Combine a journey aboard the indulgent Belmond Royal Scotsman with an exhilarating cruise through the Hebrides, and see Scotland in unrivalled depth. Follow the rails deep into the Highlands, cast your gaze upwards, and lose yourself to the wonders of Scotland's endless night sky. In our modern world of clock-watching and jet-setting, the opportunity to press pause is a blessing. At once leisurely and luxurious, intimate and eye-opening, Belmond Royal Scotsman invites you to rekindle the romance of travel. Aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman we overcome the challenges of an on-board kitchen to bring you only the finest seasonal cuisine.
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10 Best Cruise Lines for Couples
Embark on a Grand Highland Fling At once leisurely and luxurious, intimate and eye-opening, step aboard and rekindle the romance of travel Riding Belmond Royal Scotsman is one of those pinch-me moments. Ten intricately designed carriages, including the sublime Bamford Spa, form a palace on wheels.
Discover Scotland in Style. Themes View all journeys. A Visual Journey Take a closer look at the train and its beautiful surroundings. Bamford Haybarn Spa A world of indulgence on the rails As dramatic scenery speeds by, why not indulge in something from the deluxe spa menu? Dinner for Two: For casual daytime dining, the glass-walled Veranda offers seating outdoors as well as indoors. It's adjacent to the grill and features both buffet fare and choices from a menu.
At night, enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner by the pool at Candles, sample French-influenced contemporary dishes at Stella Bistro or dine in the main restaurant, AmphorA, which features local and creative cuisine. Downside: This ship is small and cabins are close to the water, so in rough seas, you'll definitely feel the motion of the ocean and perhaps watch the waves close in over your porthole. If you're prone to seasickness, bad weather might kill the romance of a Windstar cruise.
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Why: Norwegian 's "Freestyle Dining" philosophy passengers can dine without the hassle of assigned times and tablemates at a variety of restaurants is perfectly suited to table-for-two travelers. While the line's newest and biggest ships are full of Las Vegas flash and nonstop entertainment action, we prefer its Jewel-class for the right mix of romantic options and plentiful activities.
These suites are located away from the fray in a private-access area of the ship -and offer a host of special perks, from access to an exclusive pool area complete with padded loungers and hot tub to VIP-only breakfast and lunch in either Cagney's Steakhouse or Moderno Churrascaria.
The suites feature separate living and sleeping rooms, flat-screen televisions, butler service and swishy bathrooms, some with a whirlpool tub set into a picture window alcove. Onboard Romance: Active couples can play a little one-on-one basketball on the sports deck or race each other up the rock climbing wall; while those looking to relax together can snag side-by-side loungers in the spa's relaxation room or take a dip in the thalassotherapy pool.
At night, snuggle up to your honey, cocktail in hand, on one of the plush couches on Norwegian Gem or canopied beds on Norwegian Pearl that serve as loungers in the Bliss Ultra Lounge and Night Club; on Jewel and Jade, hit up Bar City to have your pick of multiple bars and drink styles. Downside: These mega-ships aren't exactly intimate, and you might have to queue up for your dinner table for two if you don't eat at odd times or make reservations in advance.
Why: These nearly identical passenger yachts win top romantic honors for sophisticated couples who want luxury phenomenal dining and great service in a casual ambiance.
Belmond Royal Scotsman | Luxury Scotland Train Tours
The ships are gorgeously restored; dining is all as-you-wish; cabins, though cozy, are outfitted with everything you could possibly need; and service is outstanding, personable, attentive Fares are all-inclusive, too, which means tips and most drinks are included in your fare. Choose a warm-weather itinerary if you want to spend time playing with the ship's water toys offered from its onboard marina.
Sweet Digs: There are only four types of stateroom.
The most romantic is, of course, the Owner's Suite with a fabulous windowed bathroom ; the Admiral Suite has similar amenities but is somewhat smaller. The Commodore Suites are basically two standard cabins put together -- we actually preferred our standard accommodations.
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The square-foot standard cabins feature separate seating areas and bedrooms, with a small but exquisitely outfitted bathroom huge shower-for-two with three shower heads. Add to that fine linens and great mattresses on the bed, high-tech flat-screen televisions, DVD and CD players, stocked mini-bars and plenty of storage space. Onboard Romance: Our favorite place for sunset-timed port departures was on one of the Balinese beds on the top-most deck.
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Tucked around the smokestack, they are built just a bit above the deck railing, which gives you a sense of floating above the water. You can also reserve one for a night sleeping under the stars. We also loved the Top of the Yacht bar for after-dinner drinks to a soundtrack of live music. Dinner for Two: There are two primary venues. The Main Dining Salon indoors feels like a restaurant at an elegant, small boutique hotel. But our favorite spot was the Topside Restaurant; it's an open-sided outdoor eatery covered, though, so shaded and there are a handful of wonderful and private nooks.
Downside: There are no cabins with balconies, but the open decks are so expansive and there are so many lovely nooks that you'll never miss them. Why: Celebrity 's newest ships are sophisticated and hip, and cater to couples on adult getaways, rather than families on holiday. Plus, there are plenty of onboard spaces tailor-made for parties of two -- from wine bars to multiple specialty dining venues, double pool loungers, top-deck lawns perfect for picnicking. On Celebrity Edge's Rooftop Garden, couples can snuggle up to the acoustic tunes of a live band. For couples who enjoy the spa experience, Celebrity's AquaClass cabins and suites create an oasis of calm on the bustling ships with massaging showerheads, complimentary spa-oriented bath and body products and upgraded bed linens.
There's also good news for pairs looking for a private retreat without breaking the bank -- 85 percent of all cabins feature private balconies. Celebrity Edge's Iconic Suites even have their own private hot tubs on the balcony. Onboard Romance: It's easy to rekindle the romance with a picnic for two in the Lawn Club , a real grass lawn on the ships' top decks.
Night Owl HOT Romance
Or hide away in a corner of the Deck 4 wine bar or martini bar, and get a little tipsy with your loved one; the aft Sunset Bar is great for views. The pool deck and adults-only Solarium also have cozy double sunbeds and hammocks for snuggling in the sun. Dinner for Two: With so many top-notch specialty restaurants onboard, any table for two will do for a romantic night out. Our favorite for couples and anyone else, for that matter is Murano , the upscale Continental restaurant offering both tasting and a la carte menus. Treat yourself and your sweetie to luxe dishes like caviar, escargots, sweetbreads or foie gras.
For dinner with a view, dine early at the back-of-the-ship Tuscan Grille, an Italian steakhouse with a wine country feel. Why: You can't go wrong with the "Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built," an all-suite, all-balcony vessel that features personal service, gourmet cuisine and the most-inclusive cruise fares of the major luxury lines. You don't have to worry about lover's quarrels over the price of shore excursions, which pre-cruise hotel to book or how many drinks to order -- it's all covered by your cruise fare.
Sweet Digs: Take your pick! The smallest cabin on Explorer is a square-foot suite with an square-foot balcony and marble bathroom. If you want to spoil yourself but can't quite afford the ship's top suite, know that all Penthouse Suites and higher categories come with butler service, upgraded toiletries and free use of iPads and iPods onboard. Onboard Romance: Head to the gorgeous spa and gym area to get a little sweaty together personal training for two? Or visit the Observation Lounge for degree views by day and cocktails and music by night.
If you like learning together, sign up for a cooking class at the Culinary Arts Kitchen. Dinner for Two: It's easy to get a table for two on these ships, even in Compass Rose, the main dining room. And the food is superb, with no drop in quality from the specialty venues to the main dining room. For date night, try the pan-Asian Pacific Rim, modern French Chartreuse or the Prime 7 steakhouse -- you'll need to make reservations for these popular venues but there's no fee. Downside: Because its prices include nearly everything, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has some of the highest cruise fares in the industry.
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Why: If you want to sample the high life, where days are spent lounging on a day bed in the sun with a drink in hand, swimming and snorkeling or touring the more yacht-y ports, Crystal Esprit beckons. The passenger yacht is also incredibly high-tech, carrying Jet Skis and a three-person submersible; cabins loaded up with state-of-the-art technology; and even an outdoor flat-screen TV for movies under the stars. Sweet Digs: Most cabins are identical and a generous square feet so you won't feel like you're tripping over your honey on a small ship.
Rooms come outfitted with high-tech touches, such as a Soundbar speaker system, iPads for accessing ship services and flat-screen TVs loaded with movies.
Enjoy the services of a butler, a stocked mini-bar and Krups coffee maker, king-sized bed and even a rain shower in a spacious bathroom. For truly special vacations, snag the one Owner's Suite onboard, which has separate living and sleeping areas and an egg-shaped soaking tub in the bathroom. Onboard Romance: Most passengers are splashing in the water or enjoying complimentary tours during the day. If you're onboard, you're likely to be found cuddling on a Balinese bed or dipping your toes in the plunge pool. This building can be seen from the Seine and has the famous Chimeras looking down at the Parisian streets from up top.
This is certainly a must-see structure. Well that was at the famous Arc De Triomphe. The remains of unknown soldiers from World War I also resides beneath the Arc. Since this is close by the Champs Elysees, we will visit it from afar. Champs Elysees — free: The Champs Elysees is known for theater, cafe and luxury shops.
The annual Bastille Day military parade is also hosted on the one mile long street. The Catacombs — 12 Euros: There are many mysteries behind the Catacombs. Adding to the fact that it is made out of the remains of six million people and connects numerous stone mines, this underground puzzle is both haunting and fascinating. Tourists can join guided tours to go through a small portion of the Catacombs for a small fee. Since there are many dead ends and unstable tunnels, visitors are prohibited from venturing off by themselves.
If you are a book lover, I think you will enjoy this cozy shop after some Nutella crepes and a shot of espresso. Until next time, stay humble. Disclaimer: All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.