(5 a.m. EST) -- Cruise Critic has released its 2022 Editors’ Picks Award winners, highlighting the best in cruising and cruise travel for its 14th year as selected by Cruise Critic's expert editorial team.
The release of the 2022 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards also marks the first full set of awards Cruise Critic has issued since the start of the global health pandemic in early 2020, and marks the first time Cruise Critic's editors have named winners for a brand-new category, covering the fast-growing expedition cruise market.
"Our editors have spent the full year sailing on a wide-range of cruise ships -- from brand-new mega ships to smaller luxury vessels and expedition ships," said Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic."
"We’ve covered the industry extensively and have seen lines overcome incredible challenges – not only returning to near-normalcy, but delivering products that truly create incredible experiences for travelers of every interest. Cruising is not only back, it’s exceeding expectations -- and this year’s list of winners proves exactly that."
For 2022, Cruise Critic's editorial team named Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima as the best new oceangoing ship of the year. The ship -- which was christened by Godmother Katy Perry in Reykjavik, Iceland this past summer -- is notable for its sleek, sophisticated interior design and its wide array of onboard activities, culinary options, and bars and lounges.
On the luxury front, Cruise Critic has named the intimate, yacht-like Emerald Azzurra as the Best New Luxury Ship of 2022. The ship -- an affordable entry into the small-ship, luxury yacht category -- is part of a growing trend that sees luxury ships moving to smaller and even more intimate designs than in past years. And while it isn't as inclusive as other luxury lines, Emerald Azzurra's cruises are attractively priced -- so much so that it could be the first luxury ship experience for many.
Virgin Voyages takes home Cruise Critic's new award for "Best for LGBTQ+ Travelers" for its inclusive and welcoming onboard atmosphere and activities. The upstart line also claimed Cruise Critic's award for Best Dining and Best Nightlife, following on the heels of its first vessel, Scarlet Lady, being named Best New Cruise Ship of 2021.
Other notable winners in Cruise Critic's Ocean category include Holland America Line (Best Service, Best Spa); Disney Cruise Line (Best for Families); Celebrity Cruises (Best Cabins, Best Specialty Dining); Royal Caribbean (Best Suites, Best App); Norwegian Cruise Line (Best Entertainment, Best For Solo Travelers); and Carnival Cruise Line, which takes home Cruise Critic's award for Best Value for Money.
On the luxury front, Silversea Cruises wins Best Overall Luxury Cruise Line, while Viking claims Best Enrichment and Best Spa. Other winners include Regent Seven Seas (Best Cabins); Oceania Cruises (Best Itineraries); SeaDream Yacht Club (Best Value for Money); and Seabourn (Best for Solo Travelers, Best Service), to name a few.
New for 2022 is Cruise Critic's "Expedition" category. Here, the joint winners of the Best New Luxury Expedition Ship award are sisters Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, which swept our editorial staff off their feet with their intimate spaces, rugged expedition features and Viking's trademark cuisine and service.
Other winners in the Expedition category include Quark Expeditions (Best for Adventure); Seabourn (Best Cabins); Scenic (Best Dining); Silversea Expeditions (Best in Antarctica, Best for Luxury); and UnCruise Adventures (Best in Alaska), among others.
On the destination front, The Port of Vancouver (Canada) wins "Best North American Homeport," thanks to its breathtaking vistas, proximity to the Inside Passage, and its centrally-located Canada Place Cruise Terminal situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
Best New Ship: Norwegian Prima
Best Cabins: Celebrity Cruises
Best Dining: Virgin Voyages
Best Entertainment: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best for Families: Disney Cruise Line
Best Innovation/Tech: Princess Cruises
Best for LGBTQ+ Travelers: Virgin Voyages
Best Nightlife: Virgin Voyages
Best Service: Holland America Line
Best for Solo Travelers: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best Spa: Holland America Line
Best Specialty Dining: Celebrity Cruises
Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International
Best Suite Complex: MSC Cruises
Best Value for Money: Carnival Cruise Line
Best App: Royal Caribbean International
Best North American Homeport: Vancouver
Best Luxury Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises
Best New Luxury Ship: Emerald Azzurra
Best Cabins: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best Dining: Silversea Cruises
Best Enrichment: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Itineraries: Oceania Cruises
Best Service: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Shore Excursions: Windstar Cruises
Best for Solo Travelers: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Value for Money: SeaDream Yacht Club
Best New Luxury Ship: Viking Octantis & Viking Polaris
Best for Adventure: Quark Expeditions
Best Cabins: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Dining: Scenic
Best for Light Expedition: American Queen Voyages
Best for Luxury: Silversea Expeditions
Best Science Offerings: Viking Expeditions
Best Service: Scenic
Best Value for Money: Hurtigruten
Best in Alaska: UnCruise Adventures
Best in Antarctica: Silversea Expeditions
Best in the Arctic: Ponant Cruises
Best in the Galapagos: Lindblad Expeditions