Whether you’re a first time cruiser or a cruise veteran in need of specific cruise destination information, this list of cruise books will help! While there’s so much we can learn from cruise blogs and youtube channels, books about cruising provide in depth information often isn’t available anywhere else.
In this post, I share 25 of the best and most well reviewed cruise books on Amazon to help you plan and enjoy your travels. I also included some entertaining fiction cruise books and romance novels that you can read on a cruise or at home.
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25 Best Books About Cruises (Fiction & Non-Fiction)
While most of these cruise books are paperbacks or hardcovers, many are available in a Kindle version or Audiobook. You can take advantage of an Audible Plus free trial and as well as promotions on Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans.
Amazon Prime Free Trial
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Cruise Travel Books
Often referred to as the “cruise industry bible”, the book Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships is the longest-running guide to cruising and cruise ships. Written by author Douglas Ward, it includes a great first timers guide to cruising as well as fascinating reviews of over 300 ocean going cruise ships.
Fodor’s The Complete Guide to Alaska Cruising
Looking for a beginner’s guide to planning your Alaska cruise? The Fodor’s Complete Guide to Alaska Cruises offers everything you need from choosing the right cruise line and ship, to port guides, detailed maps and destination photos.
In addition to the paperback version, you can also get the Kindle version here.
Recommended: Fodor’s The Complete Guide to Alaska Cruising
Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Ports (Rick Steves Travel Guide)
If you’re planning a Mediterranean cruise, Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Port Travel Guide is a must-read. Rick Steves loves Europe and shares practical tips on how to make the most of your time in each cruise port destination. The travel guide includes full color maps and self-guided tours that will be very helpful and can even be brought along on your Mediterranean cruise.
**Kindle version also available: Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Ports (Kindle)
If you have a Kindle and love it, make sure to check out the Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. You’ll get unlimited reading of over 1 million books!! This is especially useful if you plan on bringing your Kindle on your cruise.
Rick Steves Scandinavian and Northern European Ports Guide
If you’re going on a Baltic cruise, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Rick Steves Scandanavian and Northern Ports Guide. You’ll get practical advice on cruising to 18 European cruise ports including Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Warnermunde, Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, the Norwegian Fjords, Geirangerfjord, Amsterdam,Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Southampton, Paris and more.
No Rick Steves travel guide would be complete without self-guided walking tours and full color maps.
Fodor’s Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call (Full-color Travel Guide)
Planning a Caribbean cruise? Fodor’s Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call is a helpful guide to the Caribbean cruise ports, sights and activities. One of the best reviewed books about cruises, this book makes a great gift for any cruise lover!
Recommended: Fodor’s Caribbean Cruise Ports of Call
Frommer’s EasyGuide to River Cruising
River cruising is gaining popularity among experienced and first time cruisers. However, river cruising isn’t all that similar to ocean cruising. Frommer’s River Cruising is a guide that provides expert advice in an easy to read book. Authors Fran Golden and Michelle Baran.
Antarctica Cruising Guide
This Antarctica Cruising Guide: Fourth edition: Includes Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Ross Sea is a great book to have if you’re planning this bucket list cruise.
Authors Peter Carey and Craig Franklin are Antarctic scientists and travel guides and they’ve included photographs, wildlife descriptions and detailed maps in this Antartica Cruising Guide.
Recommended: Antarctica Cruising Guide
Ultimate Cruise Planner
The Life Well Cruised Ultimate Cruise Planner is a printable planner that you can use in every step of planning your cruise. The 47 page cruise planner includes cruise packing lists, shore excursion planning forms, a countdown calendar, payment tracker and more. Please note that this is not a physical product, but can be downloaded, printed and used as often as you need.
See details here: Life Well Cruised Ultimate Cruise Planner
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Best Cruise Tips: 303 Cruise Hacks Saving You Time, Money & Frustration
First time cruisers will appreciate this book with over 300 cruise tips to save you time, money and frustration. Author Randall Stewart, shares advice on using a travel agent, getting the best deal on a cruise, making the most of days in a port of call and more.
Carnival Cruise Tips for Families: Create Hassle-Free Vacation Memories
Cruising with Carnival? Here are some great Carnival family cruising tips in this book by Dale Stevens.
Recommended: Carnival Cruise Tips for Families
Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line 2022
The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line by Erin Foster, Len Testa and Ritchey Halphen has great advice for first time Disney cruisers, money saving strategies and cruise packing tips. You’ll get great information on the Disney Cruise Line entertainment, dining and Castaway Cay, the cruise line’s private island.
Cruise Books that Make Great Gifts
Here are some books about cruising that make wonderful gifts for cruise travelers.
100 Years of Cruise Ships in Colour Hardcover
This beautiful hardcover book by author William H. Miller, includes 150 photographs of cruise ships and ocean liners, beginning in the 1920’s through today. 100 Year of Cruise Ships in Colour is a great book for any cruise history buff.
180 Years of Cunard
A beautiful and fascinating book by authors Chris Frame and Rachel Cross looking back at 180 years of Cunard ships and history. This book is a must have for anyone who loves Cunard as well as any fans cruise ships and ocean liners.
High Tea on the Cunard Queens; a Light-Hearted Look at Life at Sea
In High Tea on the Cunard Queens, author Paul Curtis recounts stories of his 50 years as an entertainment officer with Cunard, He combines history and anecdotes in this entertaining book.
Recommended: High Tea on the Cunard Queens (see reviews here)
If you love cruising, Cruising Interrupted is a must-read. A follow up to popular cruise book, The Joy of Cruising, author Paul C. Thornton shares the stories of passionate cruise travelers, against the backdrop of the pause in cruising due to the pandemic. Some familiar cruise vloggers and bloggers are featured, along with many interesting cruise travel personalities.
The Joy of Cruising: Passionate Cruisers, Fascinating Stories
In The Joy of Cruising, author Paul C. Thornton profiles travelers from all over the world with an extraordinary passion for cruising. The Joy of Cruising will interest anyone who has ever cruised, aspires to take a cruise, or just loves travel.
Recommended: The Joy of Cruising (see price & reviews here)
Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars, and Parties
Cruise Confidential is a fun, steamy tell-all book written by Brian David Burns, a former Carnival cruise ship crew member. If you’ve wanted to know what goes on below deck, so to speak, or simply want a good laugh, this book fits the bill!
Recommended: Cruise Confidential (see 300+ great reviews)
Cruise Fiction Books
The ultimate Holiday cruise romance novel! In Santa Cruise, author Fern Michaels shares the heart-warming and entertaining story of 4 single ladies who embark on a Christmas and New Year’s cruise. This ladies singles cruise is full of adventure and even new found love..
Recommended: Santa Cruise (see 500+ Amazon reviews here)
Starboard Secrets: A Cruise Ship Cozy Mystery Novel (Millie’s Cruise Ship Mysteries Book 1)
Starboard Secrets: A Cruise Ship Cozy Mystery Novel (book 1) is the first book in an entertaining series by author Hope Callaghan. Millie Sanders, a recently divorced woman, manages to land her dream job as an assistant cruise director. Millie gets more adventure than she bargained for, as she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery onboard the Siren of the Seas.
Millie’s Cruise Ship Mysteries Box Set (Kindle Edition)
This set of the first 10 books in Millie’s Cruise Ship Mysteries Box Set (Kindle Edition) is an amazing value! It is a Kindle edition, which is especially good is you’re bringing your Kindle on your next cruise.
If you’s enjoy unlimited reading and listening on your Kindle or device, consider signing up for a Kindle Unlimited membership plan.
Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner
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The Missing Sapphire of Zangrabar: A Patricia Fisher Mystery
Love a cozy cruise ship mystery? You’ll enjoy The Missing Sapphire of Zangrabar: A Patricia Fisher Mystery by author Steve Higgs.
Getting away from her cheating husband, Patricia boards the world’s finest luxury cruise ship for a three-month tour of the world. Unfortunately, things go awry when she’s accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Now she and a couple new allies must solve this mystery before they end up dead!
If you’re in the mood for a cruise mystery that’s actually scary, Blood Cruise by Matt Strandberg is it! This thriller takes place on a Baltic Cruise and won’t be what anyone expected!
Undercover Billionaire: A forbidden Cinderella cruise ship romance
A take on “Undercover Boss”, Undercover Billionaire has the handsome billionaire and heir to a Greek shipping line boarding one of his own cruise ships, as a passenger, to find out why it’s underperforming. In this fun and sexy cruise romance novel, you’ll find out if he break his own rules as he unexpectedly falls for one of the cocktail waitresses – and what happens next…
A Very Beary Christmas Cruise (Dark Wing Paranormal Holiday Cruise)
A Very Beary Christmas Cruise by Ellie Pond is a paranormal story of Michele, who goes on a solo Holiday cruise and meets a bear shifter – and yes, romance ensues. This book is one of 4 books in the series, but stands alone on it’s own.
The Couple in Cabin 2124: A Patricia Fisher Mystery
The Couple in Cabin 2124 by Steve Higgs is another Patricia Fisher Mystery. This time, after a crew member takes his own life, Patricia obeys his dying wish and becomes involved in investigating the odd couple in cabin 2124. In addition to a mystery to solve, Patricia has a bit of romance playing out in her own life.
Recommended: The Couple in Cabin 2124: A Patricia Fisher Mystery
Cruise Ships Coloring and Drawing Book
Cruise Tip for Books
If you love to read on a cruise, but are trying to pack light and want to avoid bring a lot of heavy books, consider an Amazon Kindle Membership Plan. You can find more information here: Amazon Kindle Membership
If faster shipping of your books would be useful, don’t forget to check out the free 30 day Trial Amazon Prime (amazon link)
Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner
$27 Now just $17!
Final thoughts on Best-Selling Cruise Books
If you love cruising or are planning a future cruise, these books about cruising will get you in the mood. These cruise planning and fiction cruise books are great reads on a cruise ship or at home!
Have you read any of these books and would you recommend? What other cruise books have you read recently that could be added to this list?
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