(9 a.m. GMT) -- Cruise Critic has named the best cruise ships, lines and ports in the annual UK Editors’ Picks Awards, with Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery picking up the award for “Best New Ship” in the Ocean category.
Now in its eleventh year, the Awards are selected by a global panel of impartial cruise experts from Cruise Critic.
The best cruise lines, ships and ports are selected from across dozens of categories Best Cabins, Best Dining, Best for Families, Best Entertainment, Best Itineraries and Best UK Homeport Port.
Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor, Cruise Critic said: “The desire for more experiential holidays, especially amongst younger travellers is certainly helping to boost the UK cruise sector. There is more choice than ever before in ocean, river and expedition cruises as a result of an array of exciting new ships launched this year and next.
“Whether you are cruising as a multigenerational family, a couple or solo, travellers are starting to realise that there is a cruise for everyone. Our awards combine our editors’ impartial cruise expertise, based on first-hand experiences and industry knowledge, to help travellers select the best cruise choice for them from an increasing number of exciting ships and itineraries that are available -- many of which now sail directly from the UK.”
Best Ocean, River & Luxury
When it debuted earlier this year, Spirit of Discovery heralded the first new-build cruise ship for the UK market since 2015. The gorgeous 999-passenger ship has been praised by Cruise Critic because of its boutique-hotel feel and an exclusive partnership with Jools Holland, who will perform live on several sailings. There’s also a generous passenger to crew ratio onboard, plus all speciality restaurants, drinks, tips, Wi-Fi and transfers (within a 250-mile radius of the embarkation port) are included.
Among the other winners in the Ocean category, Marella Cruises’ Marella Explorer 2 has picked up “Best Ship Refurbishment”, while the line also scooped “Best Value for Money”; Celebrity Cruises has won “Best Cabins” and “Best Dining”; MSC Cruises has won “Best for Families” and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines scooped “Best Itineraries”.
Ports have also been lauded, including Dover as the “Best UK Departure Port” and Belfast has taken the award for “Best UK & British Isles Port of Call”.
In the River category, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has picked up three awards, including “Best River Cruise Line”, “Best for Luxury” and “Best Ship Refurbishment” for S.S. Bon Voyage.
As well as scooping Best New River Ship” for AmaMagna, AmaWaterways has also picked up “Best for Active Cruisers”; Viking River Cruises has scooped “Best for Itineraries”; Emerald Waterways has won “Best Value for Money” and Riviera Travel “Best for Solo Travellers”.
Silversea Cruises leads the Luxury category, scooping “Best Luxury Cruise Line”, “Best for Adventure” and “Best Service”; with other winners including Oceania Cruises’ Insignia for “Best Ship Refurbishment”, Seabourn Cruise Line for “Best Cabins”, and Windstar Cruises for “Best Shore Excursions”.