See the lines and ships that best represent excellence in ocean, river and luxury cruising, chosen by Cruise Critic's international team of editors.
Best Luxury Cruise Line
"Silversea reset the standard for luxury with the launch of Silver Muse and it’s clear the line never rests on its laurels, investing and upgrading its existing fleet to meet the standards set by its flagship. And it pays off: Suites are vast and supremely comfortable; service standards are incredibly high and food is better than many land-based Michelin-starred restaurants."
Best New Luxury Ship
"Cruisers might book Scenic Eclipse because it offers two state-of-the-art helicopters and a six-person sub, but they'll come back because of the 200-passenger ship's chic, modern design, generously-sized suites and incredible dining offerings. Scenic pulled out all the stops with its first ocean ship, which seamlessly combines luxury and soft-adventure travel to exotic destinations, including the Arctic and Antarctica."
Best Ship Refurbishment
"The first of Oceania's small ships to receive a major makeover, Insignia emerged from its OceaniaNEXT dry dock with an airier feel, with modern light blue and cream colours replacing dark woods throughout the ship. Statement chandeliers in public rooms and technology upgrades in the cabins -- bedside USB ports! -- make the ship still feel classic, with a contemporary twist."
Best for Adventure
"Seven continents, 350 destinations and an absolute commitment to seeking out the most exciting, undiscovered, far flung, exotic destinations, secure Silversea Expeditions this accolade. The line boldly launched an unheard of 167-day, 100-destination Expedition World Cruise, and the Silversea Academy in Miami, set up to train would-be guides, underlines the line’s ongoing fleet investment while continuing to launch destination-dedicated new-builds."
"Seabourn's cabins offer next-level luxury, with extra comfortable beds, plush linens and enough space for a table and chairs -- perfect for in-room dining. All accommodations boast ocean views and living areas that can be separated from the bedrooms using curtains. Bathtubs come standard in the marble bathrooms, stocked with Molton Brown toiletries, and storage space is impressive, even for longer voyages."
"How do you improve on an already outstanding cruise line for foodies? Offer something that's truly mind-blowing, like the Dom Perignon pairing menu introduced on Marina and Riviera this year. While the luxe meal carries an extra charge, Oceania Cruises' other outstanding speciality restaurants remain fee-free. Onboard, take part in a Culinary Center class or take a culinary-themed shore excursion in port."
"Viking Ocean Cruises takes enrichment seriously. Each ocean ship has a resident historian, who gives entertaining and informative destination-based lectures and leads Q&As about regional current events. New-this-year Viking Jupiter and Viking Orion also have onboard planetariums, technologically powerful enough for 3D shows, and resident astronomers to make sense of what you've seen."
"Country-intensive cruising -- where most of the trip is spent exploring one country -- is a concept that Azamara has fully embraced. The line offers port-heavy voyages through 15 countries including Japan, Norway, Croatia, Italy, South Africa and Iceland, allowing passengers to dig deep into these destinations. Longer calls in port, plus a significant number of overnights, give Azamara sailings a desirable edge."
Best for Romance
"SeaDream Yacht Club knows how to set the mood with top-deck Balinese daybeds for sunshiny snuggles, delectable dishes served alfresco at tables for two and over-the-top service that leaves passengers wanting for nothing. Cruises to idyllic settings in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, with off-the-beaten-track ports, seal the deal on the ultimate couple's getaway at sea."
"With Silversea Cruises, intuitive service is taken to heart, with crew that anticipate your needs often before you do. Silversea has it covered, whether it's preparing a full bar and canapes in your suite for a party or reserving your favourite spot to sunbathe or have dinner. On Silversea, your clothes are pressed, your shoes are polished -- without you having to ask."
Best Shore Excursions
"It's easy to offer interesting tours in big cities. But, Windstar has invested time and money making sure it has fantastic offerings and multiple shore excursion choices in smaller ports. The line has developed tours for first-timers as well as concierge tours that are smaller and unique. Finally, Beyond Ordinary tours provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as a snowmobile and helicopter glacier tour in Iceland."
Best for Solo Travellers
"Seabourn takes amazing care of solo travellers. Singles yearning to be social can enjoy hosted group dinners, an amiable atmosphere in onboard lounges, welcoming trivia teams and service with a smile. Those who need an escape can enjoy private balconies off spacious suites and dinner served course by course in their cabins -- or even a private cabana on an exclusive sun deck."
"It doesn't get any better than Viking's sublime LivNordic Spa. The highlight of any Viking Ocean cruise is the wonderful thermal suite, which is tranquil, gorgeous and absolutely free. Packed with amenities like a thalassotherapy pool, snow grotto and heated ceramic lounge chairs, the thermal suite is the best place to spend a sea day. Viking has redefined the cruise ship spa experience."
Best Value for Money
"A cruise on a Viking Ocean ship means rarely having to reach for your wallet once onboard. With included perks like speciality dining and shore excursions, it's easy to feel spoiled. Viking's no nickel-and-diming policy means passengers know what they're paying upfront and appreciate the value of a cruise that includes excellent dining, large staterooms and friendly, intuitive service."
Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
View top-rated cruise destinations and lines around the globe according to cruisers, based on member review ratings for trips taken in the last year.
UK Cruisers' Choice Awards
Get to know the best cruise ships in a variety of categories, based on member review ratings for cruises taken in the last year.