Cruising is among the most popular ways to see the world. Unpack once and take in the sights of the world’s rivers and seas from your floating hotel. More than a dozen new vessels are introduced each year, making the sheer variety of cruises overwhelming.
To help narrow it down, we invited our readers to vote for their favorites. After four weeks of voting, the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Adventure Cruise Line: Adventure Canada
Adventure Canada wins the title of Best Adventure Cruise Line — Photo courtesy of Lydia Schrandt
While Adventure Canada does indeed lead small ship adventures through the rivers, icy fjords and secluded waterways of Canada, this expedition cruise company also takes travelers to experience landscapes and cultures further afield, places like Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The company shines with an always stellar lineup of onboard experts and guides.
Best Boutique Cruise Line: Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises named Best Boutique Cruise Line and Best Ocean Cruise Line — Photo courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Cruises earned its reputation through its affordable, destination-focused river cruises, and after expanding into sea voyages, the line now has six ocean vessels too. All cabins come with balconies and are notably larger than the industry average, and while the ships lack a casino and kids' club, they offer the same destination-intensive programming that made river cruising so popular.
Best Large Ship: Celebrity Reflection
The 3,046-passenger Celebrity Reflection is all about cruising sophistication — Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
The 3,046-passenger Celebrity Reflection is all about cruising sophistication. At The Art Studio, master artists from The ArtCenter/South Florida host hands-on demos and classes in a range of art mediums. Passengers enjoy nightly live music scattered throughout the ship, as well as big production shows, stand-up comedy, music and magic performances at the two-level Reflection Theater. There are over a dozen dining venues to choose from, as well as a half dozen bars and lounges.
Best Mid-Sized Ship: Rotterdam - Holland America Line
Rotterdam named Best Mid-Sized Ship — Photo courtesy of Holland America Line
Launched in October 2021, Rotterdam is the newest Pinnacle-class line flagship for Holland America. Over 60% of the 1,340 passenger cabins have balconies and offer amenities such as specialty soaps and luxurious bathrobes. Live music is the ship’s entertainment focus, and venues include a blues club, a live rock room and a piano bar. Various dining opportunities are available, including New York pizza, sushi, a poolside grill, and French, Italian, and Far Eastern cuisines.
Best Ocean Cruise Line: Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises named Best Boutique Cruise Line and Best Ocean Cruise Line — Photo courtesy of White Rain
Viking Cruises earned its reputation through its affordable, destination-focused river cruises. With the debut of Viking Star in April 2015, the line made a grand entrance into the world of ocean cruising. Now the line has nine ocean vessels. All cabins come with balconies and are notably larger than the industry average, and while the ships lack a casino and kids' club, they offer the same destination-intensive programming that made river cruising so popular.
Best River Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways
Avalon Waterways named Best River Cruise Line — Photo courtesy of Avalon Waterways
River cruisers in Europe will find the largest standard staterooms and suites aboard Avalon’s fleet of luxurious ships. Onboard amenities include fitness centers, a Sky Deck with a whirlpool and shade system, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and a self-serve beverage station. The Avalon Choice program allows cruisers to customize the details of their experience, ensuring each vacation is a perfect fit.
Best River Ship: Avalon Envision
The newest addition to the Avalon Waterways fleet debuted in 2019. Two decks of Panorama Suites offer wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows and window-facing “Beds with a View.” Guests enjoy free wi-Fi access, a fitness center and adventure center for bikes and other gear, multiple dining venues and an observation lounge.
Best Ship for Dining: Koningsdam - Holland America Line
Best ship for dining? Koningsdam — Photo courtesy of Holland America Line
Guests sailing on Holland America Line's Koningsdam have 10 dining options to choose from. In addition to the main dining room, there's Asian specialties at Tamarind, French seafood at Sel de Mar, authentic Italian at Canaletto, poolside burgers at Dive-In and the chance to take hands-on cooking classes at the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine.
Best Ship for Families: Regal Princess - Princess Cruises
Best family cruise ship? Check out the Regal Princess — Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises
A favorite feature among kids aboard the Regal Princess is the SeaWalk, a glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet over the ship’s edge. The ship's youth and teen center has teamed up with the California Science Center for some interactive edutainment at sea. The three kids' spaces are excellent, and teens even have their own outdoor hot tub.
Best Small Ship: Royal Clipper - Star Clippers
Royal Clipper provides the Best Small Cruise Ship experience — Photo courtesy of Star Clippers
Designed after the tall ship Preussen, the Royal Clipper is the world’s largest full-rigged sailing ship, complete with 42 sails. The vessel carries just 227 guests with luxurious accommodations and modern amenities like three swimming pools, relaxed dining and a marina platform for water sports. Passengers can even don a harness and climb the mast to a crow's nest.
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in our Readers' Choice contests.