Scott Anderson discusses the Luxury cruise lines shortlisted in the Cruise International Awards
Luxury cruising is an overused term and it all depends on your perspective as to what a “luxury cruise” really is.
For some people, any cruise could be described as “luxury” whereas for others only the very, very best would be worthy of that term.
For the definition of luxury in this category of the Cruise International Awards we have focused solely on the 6-star luxury cruise lines.
The 6-star lines have larger staterooms and suites (never cabins!) than other ships and are all-inclusive, including champagnes, branded spirits, beers, quality wines and cocktails.
Luxury cruises also focus on top-quality food and dining areas, as well as superb service, and gratuities are always included as well.
Crystal Cruises buck the trend slightly in the luxury cruise market, as they have larger ships, where as most of the luxury cruise lines have smaller vessels.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity accommodate some 900 guests on a ship that other cruise lines would cram in 1,800 passengers or more – so there is a lot of space and facilities on these excellent ships.
We have nominated them for their wonderful service, unique alternative dining in Nobu Matsuhisa Sushi Bar and Silk Road restaurant (both, incidentally, also nominated in Best Speciality Restaurant category) and onboard enrichment programmes.Hebridean Island Cruises operates the delightful Hebridean Princess that only caters for 49 people – she is the smallest cruise ship in the world and looks after her guests in country house style with a Scottish flair – this is the ship the Queen charters for her holidays. We have nominated Hebridean for their unique itineraries, traditional style and well, if it’s good enough for the Queen…
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa is rated as the best ship in the world by Berlitz and having spent a few hours onboard her last year I can see why – I think its down to the charming staff and crew – young Germans – plus the delicious food! All good reasons to make the list.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet of 3 ships offer a truly all-inclusive experience, as not only are all your drinks included, but all your shore excursions too – offering exceptional value for money. We have nominated RSSC for their service, food and all-inclusive value.
Seabourn have increased their capacity over the past 3 years by 200% with the introduction of their Odyssey class of luxury cruise ships. These vessels have large suites, spacious bathrooms, the most amazing staff and delicious food – we have nominated for all these reasons.
SeaDream Yacht Club has 2 “yachts” that accommodate just 55 couples in all-inclusive luxury. Theses really are like private yachts with incredible food, a very “outdoorsy” style of cruising with the best place on the ship being the Top of the Yacht bar.
Food and service again is excellent and we had to include SeaDream in our list.
Silversea Cruises have launched their expedition vessel Silver Explorer and their new build Silver Spirit – both offering exceptional food, service and dining options and bring the fleet up to six ships. We have nominated Silversea for their wonderful cuisine, service and attention to detail.
The Cruise International Awards are the first dedicated cruise awards voted for by you the passenger.
This is your chance to vote for the cruise or river line that you feel has provided the best experience.