The Best Cruise Lines of the Year Named by Cruise Critic

Norwegian Encore named Best New Ship; Carnival Cruise Line named Best Value for Money; AmaWaterways named Best River Line and Crystal Cruises named Best Luxury Line


EWING, N.J., Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cruise Critic®, the world's leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named the winners of its 12th annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards, recognizing the best cruise lines of the year across dozens of categories, as chosen by the site's international team of editors.

"This year's awards clearly show there's truly a cruise for every type of traveler," explains Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic. "From innovative new ships with groundbreaking features, to standout offerings for foodies, families and frugal travelers, there are fantastic options for travelers of all kinds. This year's list of winners includes lines with celebrity chefs at the helm of their kitchens, family fun like over-the-top shows and character meet-and-greets, and ships with full offerings of complimentary perks – sailing to every corner of the globe. Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or a first-timer, these are the lines to sail for an unforgettable experience."

2019 Award Highlights

Ocean Awards

  • Norwegian Encore was named Best New Ship of the Year for 2019. Editors praised the ship for "perfecting the blueprint" of its popular Breakaway Class, taking what guests love most and enhancing it even further. From exclusive accommodations in The Haven, to virtual-reality rides, go-kart racing and Broadway musicals, the ship delivers an incredible experience for all ages.
  • Disney Cruise Line was named Best for Families for the fourth year in a row, boasting plenty of extra-special features for kids – fantastic kids clubs, character meet-and-greets, interactive meals and jaw-dropping theater shows. There's plenty of adult-only fun onboard, too, making it great for the whole family.
  • Holland America received the nod for Best Itineraries, for its globe-trotting fleet of ships – sailing everywhere from the Caribbean and Europe, to Africa, Asia and Australia as part of its Grand Voyages. New this year, Holland America's In-Depth Voyages, offering sailings that explore remote destinations with expedition-style immersion. The line also received the award for Best Dining, a nod to its celebrity-led Culinary Council and wide range of fantastic restaurants fleet-wide.

River Awards

  • AmaWaterways was named the Best River Cruise Line for its fleet of standout ships and its focus on family and wellness, offering interesting ways for guests to explore each port they visit. The line's brand new ship, AmaMagna, was also named Best New River Ship – with editors calling it a "game-changer." Designed as a doublewide, the ship offers a number of features unique to the river cruise industry, including a full-sized pool, large gym and dedicated spa space. AmaWaterways was also named Best for Active Cruisers for the fourth year in a row.
  • Viking River Cruises was named Best for First-Timers for the third consecutive year. Editors praised the line's wide selection of ships and itineraries (the line was also awarded Best Itineraries), and its smart inclusions like beer and wine at select meals, Wi-Fi and a complimentary shore excursion in every port.
  • For the fifth year running, Emerald Waterways received the award for Best Value for Money. The line offers thoughtful inclusions – like tours, beer and wine at meals, and Wi-Fi – but at a lower cost than other river lines. Editors also noted standout features like the line's comfortable cabins and outstanding food, with menus made to reflect the region each ship is cruising.

Luxury Awards

  • Crystal Cruises was named Best Luxury Cruise Line, with editors praising its "luxury gold standard." Ships are designed to bring guests to far-flung destinations in luxury, with all-inclusive ships offering butlers, concierges and fantastic dining.
  • Scenic's first-ever ocean-going ship, Scenic Eclipse, was named this year's Best New Luxury Ship, boasting over-the-top features like two onboard helicopters and a six-person submarine. The ship seamlessly combines luxury and soft-adventure travel in exotic destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic.
  • Oceania's Insignia was named Best Luxury Ship Refurbishment after completing the first-in-fleet OceaniaNEXT makeover. The upgrades gave the ship a classic, contemporary twist, with thoughtful enhancements made to cabins and public rooms. The line was also named Best Dining for the fourth year in a row.

Homeport Award

  • Seattle, WA was named Best North American Homeport, with editors calling it "the perfect Pacific Northwest jump-off to the Last Frontier," praising the city's attractions and cruise-specific amenities and programs.

2019 Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards

Ocean Category

Best New Ship: Norwegian EncoreBest Ship Refurbishment: Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)Best for Adventure: UnCruise AdventuresBest Cabins: Celebrity CruisesBest Dining: Holland America LineBest Entertainment: Royal Caribbean InternationalBest for Families: Disney Cruise LineBest Itineraries: Holland America LineBest Nightlife: MSC CruisesBest Service: Carnival Cruise LineBest Shore Excursions: Princess CruisesBest for Solo Travelers: Norwegian Cruise LineBest Suites: Royal Caribbean InternationalBest Value for Money: Carnival Cruise LineBest North American Homeport: Seattle, WA

River Category

Best River Cruise Line: AmaWaterwaysBest New River Cruise Ship: AmaMagna (AmaWaterways)Best Ship Refurbishment: S.S. Bon Voyage (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterwaysBest Cabins: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise CollectionBest Dining: Crystal River CruisesBest Enrichment: ScenicBest for Families: Adventures by DisneyBest for First-Timers: Viking River CruisesBest Itineraries: Viking River CruisesBest for Luxury: Crystal River CruisesBest Service: Tauck River CruisingBest Shore Excursions: Avalon WaterwaysBest for Solo Travelers: Vantage Deluxe World TravelBest Value for Money: Emerald Waterways

Luxury Category

Best Luxury Cruise Line: Crystal CruisesBest New Luxury Ship: Scenic EclipseBest Ship Refurbishment: Insignia (Oceania Cruises)Best for Adventure: PonantBest Cabins: Seabourn Cruise LineBest Dining: Oceania CruisesBest Enrichment: Viking Ocean CruisesBest Itineraries: AzamaraBest for Romance: SeaDream Yacht ClubBest Service: Silversea CruisesBest Shore Excursions: Windstar CruisesBest for Solo Travelers: Seabourn Cruise LineBest Spa: Viking Ocean CruisesBest Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises

To view the full details of each category, visit the 2019 Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards. For photos of this year's winners, click here.

About Cruise CriticCruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 650,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world's largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), the world's largest travel platform*, helps nearly 460 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 830 million reviews and opinions of 8.6 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,, and,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: Jumpshot for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, June 2019** Source: TripAdvisor internal log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q3 2019

Media Contact:Aubrey Manzo 609-583-0054

Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Cruise Critic

In This Story