Company Announcements

UK's Top Cruises of 2019 Announced by Cruise Critic

Saga Cruises' Spirit of Discovery Named Best New Ocean Ship; AmaMagna Secures Best New River Ship; and Scenic Eclipse Scoops Best New Ship Award in Luxury Category

LONDON, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cruise Critic, the world's largest cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of its 11th annual UK Editors' Picks Awards. The awards are selected by a global panel of impartial cruise experts from Cruise Critic, to highlight the best ocean, river and luxury cruise lines for UK travellers, across dozens of categories.

Best New Ship of the Year (UK): Spirit of Discovery. Credit: Saga Cruises

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 really 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."

The Ocean's Best
The award for 'Best New Ship' on the ocean went to stunning new-build, Spirit of Discovery, which Saga Cruises debuted in July of this year. Cruise Critic editors agreed that the ship has set a new quality standard in British cruising with its luxurious thermal spa, inclusive speciality restaurants, beautiful, boutique hotel-inspired design and generous 2:1 passenger-to-crew ratio. Saga Cruises also secured the 'Best for Solo Travellers' award for its high number of no-supplement single cabins, and daily events such as meet and greets, group dinners and special shore excursions.

Marella Cruises additionally secured two awards this year, including the coveted 'Best Refurbishment' award for Marella Explorer 2, following its bow-to-stern makeover which saw the addition of four new-to-the-line venues. For the third consecutive year, the line was also awarded 'Best Value for Money'  for its inclusive tips and service charges, as well as alcoholic drinks on some of its ships.

Celebrity Cruises bagged the award for 'Best Cabins' for its practical and impressively stylish cabins, as well as new innovative features on its newest ship, Celebrity Edge, such as built-in USB ports in the bedside lamps and glass-fronted cabinetry. The line also won the 'Best Dining' accolade for its consistently high standard across all of its restaurants.

For the eighth year in a row, Hurtigruten won the 'Best for Adventure' award. With its new hybrid vessel, Roald Amundsen, the line can take intrepid travellers almost silently to the most remote and challenging areas, without upsetting the natural wildlife. Hurtigruten also secured the 'Best Shore Excursions' award for its wide and varied tour offerings.

MSC Cruises additionally secured two awards for 'Best Entertainment' – for its partnership with Cirque du Soleil - and 'Best for Families' for onboard  link-ups with Chicco and LEGO.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line grabbed the 'BestItineraries' award for the fifth year running, for its wide range of destinations offered, including sailings to Greenland, the Arctic and the Amazon directly from UK ports.

River's Most Distinguished
Winning the 'Best River Cruise Line' award for the fourth year running, the judges praised the continued attention of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection to every aspect of cruise service, food, accommodations and itineraries. The line also scooped the 'Best Refurbishment'  accolade for its outstanding overhaul of its ship S.S. Bon Voyage, as well gongs for 'Best Cabins', and 'Best for Luxury'.

AmaWaterways grabbed the coveted 'Best New River Ship' for AmaMagna. Double the size of most river cruise ships, this modern ship offers large cabins, a full-sized pool, large gym, dedicated spa space and an array of restaurants – making it a real game changer on the river scene. The line also won the 'Best for Active Cruisers' award.

For the fourth year in a row, Viking River Cruises held on to the 'Best Itineraries' award; and also grabbed the 'Best for First Timers'.

Scenic secured two awards for 'Best for Enrichment' and 'Best Shore Excursions'; Whilst Adventures for Disney impressed judges with its dedicated family focus to win the coveted 'Best for Families' award.

Crystal River Cruises secured this year's gongs for 'Best Dining', for its sophisticated dishes, made-to-order meals and excellent wine list; as well as 'Best Service' for its 24-hour butler service in every cabin and low crew-to-passenger ratios.

Luxury's Finest
In the luxury awards, Silversea won the accolade for 'Best Luxury Cruise Line', for its fleet of stunning ships and constant innovation and investment in updating ships with modern touches, as well as its consistently superlative cuisine.  The line also nabbed the 'Best for Adventure' award for its commitment to seeking out the most exciting, undiscovered and exotic destinations across the globe; as well as the 'Best Service' gong for its intuitive service where crew anticipate your every need.

With its super-chic modern design, generously-sized suites, two state-of-the-art helicopters and a six-person submarine, Scenic Eclipse stole the 'Best New Luxury Ship' award – a great win for Scenic's first ocean ship.

Viking Ocean Cruises secured awards for 'Best Spa' and 'Best Value for Money', each for the fourth year running; and also bagged this year's 'Best Enrichment' gong for the knowledgeable onboard historians and experts across its fleet, and its stunning planetarium shows on Viking Jupiter and Viking Orion.

Award-winning Ports
Dover secured the 'Best UK Departure Port'; whilst Belfast took the award for 'Best UK & British Isles Port of Call'.

Please find the full list of all winners, below.

2019 Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards

Ocean Category

Best New Ship: Spirit of Discovery
Best Ship Refurbishment: Marella Explorer 2
Best for Adventure: Hurtigruten
Best Cabins: Celebrity Cruises
Best Dining: Celebrity Cruises
Best Entertainment: MSC Cruises
Best for Families: MCS Cruises
Best Itineraries: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best Service: Celestyal Cruises
Best Shore Excursions: Hurtigruten
Best for Solo Travellers: Saga Cruises
Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International
Best Value for Money: Marella Cruises
Best UK Departure Port: Dover  
Best UK & British Isles Port of Call: Belfast

River Category

Best River Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best New River Ship: AmaWaterways' AmaMagna
Best Ship Refurbishment: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection's S.S. Bon Voyage  
Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterways
Best Cabins: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best Dining: Crystal River Cruises
Best for Families: Adventures by Disney
Best for First-Timers: Viking River Cruises
Best Itineraries: Viking River Cruises
Best for Enrichment: Scenic
Best for Luxury: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best Service: Crystal River Cruises
Best Shore Excursions: Scenic
Best for Solo Travellers: Riviera Travel
Best Value for Money: Emerald Waterways

Luxury Category

Best Luxury Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises
Best New Luxury Ship: Scenic Eclipse
Best Ship Refurbishment: Oceania Cruises' Insignia
Best for Adventure: Silversea Cruises
Best Cabins: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Dining: Oceania Cruises
Best Enrichment: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Itineraries: Azamara
Best for Romance: SeaDream Yacht Club
Best Service: Silversea Cruises
Best Shore Excursions: Windstar Cruises
Best for Solo Travellers: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises

For the full details of this year's winners, visit the 2019 Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards listing.

About Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travellers, 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 travellers 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.

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UK Media Contact:
Laurena McKenna, Cruise Critic  
T: 07775 620 232 

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