November 30, 2022

2022's Best Cruise Lines of the Year Named by Cruise Critic

Norwegian Prima named Best New Ship; Emerald Azzurra named Best New Luxury Ship and Viking Expeditions' two new ships named Best New Expedition Ships

Cruise Critic®, the world's leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named the winners of its 14th annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards – the industry's most comprehensive awards – recognizing the best cruise lines of the year, as chosen by the site's international team of cruise experts.

"This is our first full set of Editors' Picks Awards since before the pandemic, which marks a huge milestone for the industry," shares Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic. "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. 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."

This year's awards also introduce a dedicated Expedition category, a testament to the enormous growth of the expedition cruise market in recent years.

"Over the past couple of years, we've seen interest in more far-flung cruises grow significantly among travelers," McDaniel says. "And the industry has responded in a big way – there are more ships sailing expedition itineraries than ever before, from longtime industry leaders to new cruise lines offering entirely innovative experiences in these once-in-a-lifetime destinations."

2022 Award Highlights

Ocean Awards

  • Norwegian Prima – the first ship in Norwegian's brand-new Prima ship class – was named Best New Ship of the Year, welcoming an entirely new generation of Norwegian ships.

    According to Cruise Critic's Editors: "Norwegian Prima continues what the line does best and made the entire experience more upscale. Guests will appreciate Norwegian Prima's high-end décor and modern cabins – all paired with new thrills, fun shows and fantastic dining choices."

  • Virgin Voyages received this year's award for Best Dining, recognized for its array of high-quality dining options for every taste – all included in the line's fares.

    According to Cruise Critic's Editors: "Fresh and modern, Virgin's dining program has something for everyone. Virgin caters to all tastes, at all hours -- and best of all, every venue is included in your fare."

  • Carnival Cruise Line was named Best Value for Money for its selection of quality offerings at prices that won't break the bank.

    According to Cruise Critic's Editors: "Carnival offers a moderately priced cruise vacation that doesn't nickel-and-dime passengers. Popular venues are provided free of charge, drinks are reasonably priced and much of the line's entertainment options are entirely free."

  • Vancouver was named this year's Best North American Homeport, with 2022 marking the first time in two years that the port welcomed cruisers to its city.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "It's hard to beat this western Canadian homeport for sheer beauty and convenience. The city's vibrant dining scene and historic attractions are easily walkable from the pier."

Luxury Awards

  • Silversea Cruises received the award for Best Luxury Cruise Line for its full-range of luxury offerings and constant innovation, through new programs like in-suite wellness options and the S.A.L.T excursion and dining program.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "If it's pampering you want, Silversea delivers. From the spacious and beyond comfy suites, to the personalized butler service, Silversea treats you to an all-inclusive luxury experience, even before you board."

  • Emerald Cruises' brand-new Emerald Azzurra was named Best New Luxury Ship, boasting a 100-person vessel that editors say looks and feels like a luxury yacht.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "With Emerald Azzurra, Emerald Cruises has staked its claim in the world of luxury cruising -- with sleek, modern spaces, gorgeous outdoor enclaves and staterooms that are decked out with anything a guest could need."

  • Oceania Cruises won this year's award for Best Itineraries, for its thoughtfully designed itineraries that go beyond the usual – even among others in the small-ship category.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "The line's World Cruise and its segments maximize time in marquee cities, while European, Caribbean and other cruises bring you to the next cool port you've yet to discover – all complemented by a new shore excursion program."

Expedition Awards

  • Viking Expeditions' brand-new sister-ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, were named Best New Expedition Ships for their ability to deliver the high-quality experience for which the line is known in its first-ever expedition vessels.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "The ships offer the right balance of exploration, learning and comfort, and Viking doesn't miss a detail – even creating one-of-a-kind Special Operations Boats."

  • Quark Expeditions received the award for Best for Adventure, highlighting the once-in-a-lifetime experiences the line delivers guests in its off-the-beaten-path destinations.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "Quark Expeditions specializes in maximizing your expedition adventure. Kayaking, mountain biking, trekking – even Arctic hot-air ballooning: However you want to be active at the poles, Quark will make it happen."

  • Hurtigruten was named the Best Value for Money in the Expedition Category, awarded for its competitive pricing, upgraded expedition ships and overall offerings.

    According to Cruise Critic Editors: "Hurtigruten has specialized in Arctic and Antarctica travel for decades, but what's new is the line's upgraded expedition fleet members, which combine terrific science offerings and sustainable hybrid battery power with more inclusions and greater comfort."

2022 Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards

Ocean Category

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

Luxury Category

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

Expedition Category (New in 2022)

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

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