Cruise Critic Reveals Best Ocean, River Cruise Lines of 2015
PHOTO: The S.S. Maria Theresa, Cruise Critic's pic for best new river ship. (Courtesy of Uniworld)
Online cruise guide Cruise Critic announced its best of 2015 Monday, revealing the industry's top performers in a variety of different categories.
And for the first time, the popular cruise traveler resource revealed its winners on the river.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection was recognized as 2015's best river cruise line, also taking home the top honor for best new river ship (S.S. Maria Theresa) and best shore excursion.
"Each of the line's ships is unique — not just in decor and style but in features and layout," states Cruise Critic. "Uniworld also forges new itineraries, adding Bordeaux last year and India's Ganges in 2016, and its shore adventures are always innovative."
AmaWaterways also fared well this year, winning Cruise Critic's best dining and best for active cruisers awards for river cruise lines.
Meanwhile, Viking Ocean Cruises' 930-passenger Viking Star received the site's award for best new ocean ship, with editors describing the vessel as resembling a boutique hotel.
However Royal Caribbean International took home the most awards among ocean cruise lines, receiving Cruise Critic's stamp of approval for best cruise line for families, entertainment and suites. Royal Caribbean was praised by Cruise Critic's editors for its "variety and quantity" of suites as well as its "second to none" entertainment.
Carnival Cruise Line was awarded best value-for-money cruise line for the second straight year, joining Azamara Club Cruises (best shore excursions) as a repeat winner in 2015. Azamara Club Cruises was also recognized for offering the best itineraries.
Cruise Critic's editors credited Azamara Club Cruises for its "range of shore excursions" and for going "where everyone else isn't."
"With so many wonderful cruise options available, it's never an easy list to narrow down, but these awards truly represent the lines that our experts have recognized as the best of the best," Cruise Critic's Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown said in a statement. "This year we also highlight the top river cruise lines, reflecting the growth of this sector — in terms of both interest and options."
You'll find a complete list of Cruise Critic's 2015 winners below.
Best on the Ocean
Best New Ship: Viking Star (Viking Ocean Cruises)
Best Ship Refurbishment: Star Breeze (Windstar Cruises)
Best for Luxury: Crystal Cruises
Best for Families: Royal Caribbean International
Best Itineraries: Azamara Club Cruises
Best for Adventure: Un-Cruise Adventures
Best Value-for-Money: Carnival Cruise Line
Best Dining: Celebrity Cruises
Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International
Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International
Best Inside Cabins: Disney Cruise Line
Best Standard Cabins: MSC Cruises
Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
Best for Romance: Windstar Cruises
Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best North American Homeport: Port Canaveral
Best on the River
Best River Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best New River Ship: S.S. Maria Theresa (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)
Best Dining: AmaWaterways
Best Cabins: Avalon Waterways
Best Enrichment: Grand Circle Cruise Line
Best Shore Excursions: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterways
Best Itineraries: Viking River Cruises
Best Value-for-Money: Emerald Waterways
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