Cunard And Crystal Top Travel + Leisure’s Best Cruise Lines List

by Richard D’Ambrosio
Cunard And Crystal Top Travel + Leisure’s Best Cruise Lines List

Travel + Leisure readers rated Cunard the best mega-ship cruise line.


Cunard was rewarded for its $132 million investment in its flagship Queen Mary 2 last year, as readers of Travel + Leisure magazine rated the line tops in its annual World's Best Awards for mega-ship cruise lines. Similarly, consumers expressed their approval of Crystal Cruises' fresh approach to river cruising, naming the line number one a year after the company entered the market.

The 2,691-passenger QM2 went through a massive refurbishment and made its debut in the United States in July of last year, featuring Art Deco styled Princess and Queens suites and enhanced restaurants. 

T+L quoted one of its readers as calling the renovations "nostalgic." "No ship will make you feel like Audrey Hepburn like the QM2," said another reader. Cunard ranked fourth on last year's World's Best list.

Rounding out the mega-ship category (vessels that can carry 2,200 passengers or more) were Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line.

Bounced out of the 2016 top five list were Crystal Cruises (#2), Regent Seven Seas Cruises (#3) and Azamara Club Cruises (#5).

Crystal takes river cruise crown
In its launch year, Crystal Cruises catapulted itself into the top spot of T+L's river cruise category. 

The "beautifully designed" 154-passenger, four-restaurant Crystal Mozart has "some of the most luxurious" cabins in Europe, T+L said. One T+L reader put it succinctly: "Gorgeous ship. Fabulous service. Beautiful itinerary. Well-run." With a crew-to-passenger ratio of 1:1.75, the Mozart "feels like a floating palace on the Danube," T+L said.

Meanwhile, readers noted how Crystal's itineraries are "educational, enchanting, and exciting," and the Mozart's dining is "six-star for every meal."

Coming in second was Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, followed by perennial favorite Viking Cruises, Aqua Expeditions and Tauck. Uniworld took first place in 2016 with its Boutique River Cruise Collection, following by Tauck and Viking Cruises.

In its description of the category, T+L noted how "immersive, high-end tours are all the rage these days," and how river cruise companies have responded with a product that pleases.

"Whether it's an adventure-and-wildlife trek along Peru's Amazon, a wine-and-food-focused sailing to Bordeaux, France, or a history-and-culture-rich trip along the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia, a river cruise can offer the chance to see smaller, more rural ports; eat hyper-local food both on and off the ship; and tour destinations with just a handful of other travelers," the magazine said.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

The role of the agent as post-sale caretaker and problem-solver cannot be matched by any known or foreseeable force in the industry.


Paul Ruden

Daily Top List

The World’s Top 5 Airports

1. Changi Airport, Singapore

2. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong

3. Zurich Airport, Switzerland

4. Hamad International Airport, Doha

5. Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Source: Wanderlust

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Advising the Wealthy: Travel Agents Need to Save Clients From Themselves
Advising the Wealthy: Travel Agents Need to Save Clients From Themselves

Successful travel advisors give tips on how to establish trust and become the travel confidant to the top 1-percenters.

Virtuoso Names Its Five Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings
Virtuoso Names Its Five Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings

Luxury travel continues to grow faster than any other segment of the industry, and new properties all over the world are opening to cater to the growing demand. 

Luxury in Growth Mode, Abercrombie & Kent Adds Options
Luxury in Growth Mode, Abercrombie & Kent Adds Options

Younger, more active luxury customer base inspires tailor-made agendas, sea kayaking, and "outback of the outback" Australian adventures.

Robb Report: 10 Travel Companies Make Prestigious "Bespoke List"
Robb Report: 10 Travel Companies Make Prestigious "Bespoke List"

"Wow factor" tour recommendations give travelers extraordinary experiences, and travel agents a competitive edge.

Upping the Ante: How Travel Agents Can Move Customers into Luxury Cruising
Upping the Ante: How Travel Agents Can Move Customers into Luxury Cruising

Cruise and industry experts share ways to improve your customers’ experience and your bottom line.

City Chic Travel Targets a Different Kind of Runway
City Chic Travel Targets a Different Kind of Runway

Two new agents are designing a business around travelers with a strong affinity for fashion.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: South Africa Tourism