2016 Editors’ Picks Awards: Luxury Cruise Lines

2016 Editors' Picks for Cruise Critic

Editors' Picks Awards

The Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards are chosen by Cruise Critic's international team of editors, based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories. Awards announced October 2016.

Best Luxury Cruise Line

Seabourn Cruise Line

Caviar and Champagne flow freely on this sophisticated luxury line, but what sets it apart are smart partnerships (such as its link with celebrity chef Thomas Keller), creative itineraries paired with local enrichment and, above all, a focus on service that makes the ship feel like your own private club. You'll rarely hear the word "no."

Read our review of Seabourn Cruise Line

Best New Luxury Cruise Ship

Seven Seas Explorer
Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Explorer is more than just exceptional chandeliers and acres of granite and marble -- though it has all of those things. This all-inclusive cruise ship shines because of its spacious suites, expansive balconies, intuitive service and gorgeous public spaces. Seven Seas Explorer is the epitome of thoughtful, opulent-yet-comfortable luxury design. Nothing has been overlooked, and no detail is too small.

Read our review of Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Ship Refurbishment

Azarama Journey & Azamara Quest
Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises took two older ships and turned them into modern, light and airy masterpieces when it put Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest under the knife in 2016. With new spaces like the elegant Living Room, featuring a late-afternoon Tapas Bar, and the alfresco Patio for upscale grill fare, Azamara Journey and Quest offer more than ever before.

Read our review of Azarama Journey & Azamara Quest, Azamara Club Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line for Dining

Oceania Cruises

A voyage with Oceania Cruises is a masterful culinary journey. Oceania doesn't scrimp when it comes to its variety of impressive dining options. Dishes are creative and memorable, with presentations and flavor to match. The line's offerings extend beyond the dining room, with cooking courses in its Culinary Kitchen and Culinary Discovery Tours -- shore excursions that immerse passengers in local flavors.

Read our review of Oceania Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line Cabins

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

All cabins on Regent ships are winners, and most rooms are suites with balconies. Whether you're in one of the very few window-only cabins, which are spacious and plush, or in the new Regent Suite, with its private spa and sauna, you'll find high-end amenities, thoughtful touches and plenty of storage. Refurbishments of Regent's older ships keep everything fresh.

Read our review of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line Itineraries

Silversea Cruises

With its fleet of luxury cruise and expedition ships, Silversea covers the globe in style, sailing to exotic locales that include Africa, Antarctica, the Galapagos, Polynesia and the Russian Far East. The line's mainstream Europe and Caribbean cruises include unusual ports, as well. Its shore tours are always spot on, so you can make the most of your time in port.

Read our review of Silversea Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line Shore Excursions

Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara's shore excursions are great because their varied tours take you off the beaten path to places you didn't know you wanted to visit. Plus, the line offers the Insider Access series, which brings small groups to meet expert lecturers; the Nights in Cool Places tours, which take advantage of late-night stops; and the complimentary AzAmazing Evenings, which highlight cultural performances in gorgeous settings worldwide.

Read our review of Azamara Club Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line for Enrichment

Crystal Cruises

When it comes to passenger enrichment, Crystal excels. All cruises feature distinguished guest lecturers, and themed sailings bring experts onboard to explore topics like jazz or food and wine. Passengers can take classes in art, knitting, computers, movie-making and dance, and get help with their golf or bridge skills. Instructor names can even be found online ahead of each cruise.

Read our review of Crystal Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line for Romance

Windstar Cruises

Windstar's three-masted sailing yachts have long been favorites with honeymooners and couples of all ages. Breathtaking sailaways, alfresco dining and late-night stargazing all create an air of romance. Now that Windstar has added three yacht-style ships, the romance comes indoors, too, with spacious suites and several lounges for evening entertainment or a tete-a-tete over drinks.

Read our review of Windstar Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line for Value

Viking Ocean Cruises

A sailing with Viking Ocean Cruises means you don't have to worry about spending extra onboard. Nearly everything is covered, including the line's incredible thermal suite, a Nordic spa experience. Cruises also include wine and beer at lunch and dinner, plus an expansive collection of shore excursions, a brilliant value for any explorer. Viking cruise passengers can embrace the experience rather than focus on price.

Read our review of Viking Ocean Cruises

Best Luxury Cruise Line Spa

Viking Ocean Cruises

What's most impressive about Viking's spa is not its solid treatments or elegant fireplace; it's that the spa's thermal suite is free for all passengers to use. Everything about Viking Cruises reflects a Nordic state of mind, so expect a bevy of hot-and-cold rituals, including a sauna and snow grotto. And don't pass up a swim in the gorgeous thalassotherapy pool.

Read our review of Viking Ocean Cruises
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