Virtuoso announced the winners of the network’s “Best Cruise Lines” awards on Monday (Aug. 14) at the 35th annual Virtuoso Travel Week, which PAX is currently covering on location in Las Vegas.
Taking place until Aug. 18, Virtuoso Travel Week has brought together thousands of top luxury travel professionals, travel advisors and preferred partners, from more than a hundred countries.
The top cruise partners of 2023 were honoured at “Cruise Night Out,” one of the hottest tickets of the week, which hosts the network’s cruise partners and its cruise-focused advisors for a by-invitation-only celebration.
Nominations come from both Virtuoso advisors and preferred partners in the categories of Best Ocean Cruise Line, Best River Cruise Line and Best Expedition Cruise Line. Advisors then vote to determine the winners.
As the cruise category expands in market size and consumer demand, competition is fiercer than ever.
"This year’s winners share a commitment to excellence, innovation, support of the travel advisor community, client satisfaction and, of course, unforgettable travel experiences in some of the world’s most extraordinary destinations," Virtuoso said in a statement.
And the winners are...
BEST OCEAN CRUISE LINE
This award recognizes the cruise line that offers the best overall ocean cruise experience to Virtuoso travellers.
Winner: Silversea Cruises
Silversea’s small luxury ships are designed for those who delight in the thrill of discovery, while indulging the mind and body in the most lavish surroundings imaginable. Silversea voyages and cruise expeditions sail to over 900 destinations on all seven continents – more than any other cruise line. Plus, with expanded all-inclusive service, door-to-door transfers and added shore excursions for classic voyages, sailing the world has never been so seamless.
BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE
This award recognizes the river cruise line which delivers the best overall cruise experience to Virtuoso travellers.
Winner: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Uniworld offers itineraries in spectacular destinations throughout Europe, Egypt, Asia and Peru. Its fleet features luxurious ships with an average capacity of 120 guests, one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios in the river cruise industry, enticing shore excursions, world-class gourmet cuisine, impeccable hospitality and the highest degree of all-inclusive benefits on the rivers.
Uniworld is on a mission to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has banned more than 60 single-use plastics across all operations.
BEST EXPEDITION CRUISE LINE
This award recognizes the expedition cruise line which delivers the best overall cruise experience to Virtuoso travellers.
Winner: Quark Expeditions
Quark Expeditions has been the leading provider of expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic travel for over 30 years. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels, icebreakers, and unique land-based adventures, Quark Expeditions offers travellers unparalleled access to the most remote places on earth.
The spirit of exploration runs deep in the cruise line’s polar pedigree with a passion for creating transformational experiences for fellow adventurers visiting these regions. Quark Expeditions offers the highest expedition guide-to-passenger ratios (1:6), providing the highest level of education, photography and overall experience for passengers on board.