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.


The World’s Best Events to Build Trips Around

All travel advisors can benefit from adding events to their trip-planning services, further expanding their ability to help their clients have unforgettable travel experiences - the kind that they’ll tell their grandkids about some day.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
JW Marriott to Open First Maldives Resort in November

The luxury property features 60 villas starting at more than 2,500 square feet, all with private pools.

Dame Helen Mirren Christens New Scenic Eclipse in New York

The vessel takes inspiration from luxury yachts with adventure capabilities, and is designed to broaden ocean cruising for travelers seeking a six-star trip-of-a-lifetime experience.

Selling Luxury Cruises Isn’t as Obvious as You Might Think

As the cruise industry evolves and cruisers redefine luxury, travel agents have more opportunities to sell their clients high-end experiences.

Montreal's Luxury Hotel Renaissance Takes Shape

A new hotel scene and a destination specialist program provide business opportunities for luxury travel advisors in the world’s second-largest French-speaking city.

Advisors Get First Look as Scenic Eclipse Arrives in North America

Travel advisors experienced the world’s first 'discovery yacht' during its inaugural journey to Quebec City from Europe.

Former Silversea CEO Amerigo Perasso to Lead Abercrombie & Kent

He replaces founder Geoffrey Kent, who will now serve as co-chairman.

News Briefs
Tip of the Day

"Our existing clients are evolving into something new versus what clients used to be, and we’re trying to grow with them."

Tracee Williams, Destinations Travel Agency

Daily Top List

Six Ways to Better Promote Your Agency

  1. Have a plan
  2. Track leads
  3. Attract followers
  4. Use a professional account
  5. Don’t be afraid to utilize video
  6. Be consistent

Source: TMR


TMR Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: USTOA's Recalculating with Harrison Greenbaum – Episode 2 (Dining in Mexico City)