Viking Cruises dominated the 11th annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards for the second year in a row with five wins in 2018.
Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection tied for second place with three award each, all of which were revealed on December 5.
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"In the awards' infancy, they were simply a way to recognize cruise lines that excelled in a particular area," said Colleen McDaniel, executive editor of cruising website Cruise Critic. "And while the list certainly continues to be a compilation of the best experiences at sea, what's very clear this year is that the awards also highlight the wide range of travel experiences that cruising offers.
"You can truly find a cruise for just about every interest, which is something that we've said -- and stood by -- for years, but it's never been more true, with more options to choose from than ever before. And looking at this year's best new ships, it's clear that cruise options will continue to evolve and expand as new ships continue to launch."
Viking rules the waterways
Cruise Critic's editors pick winners in three categories: ocean cruises, luxury cruises (all on ocean ships) and river cruises.
Viking won three luxury awards (best new luxury ship for the Viking Orion, best spa, best value for money) and two river cruise awards (best for first timers and best itineraries).
It's no surprise that Disney Cruise Line won for best for families in the ocean category, while Disney's Adventures by Disney earned top honors for families in river cruising.
The new Celebrity Edge
Celebrity's brand-new ship -- Celebrity Edge -- has been called "one of the most innovative ships we've seen in years" by Cruise Critic's editors. Celebrity Edge boasts a rooftop garden, state of the art theater, a roving deck and more. Celebrity also won this year's award for best dining.
"Celebrity's newest ship -- Celebrity Edge -- brings a whole new experience to large ship cruising, with inventive new offerings and thoughtful touches and details," said McDaniel.
"U by Uniworld is river cruising's newest cruise line, introducing an entirely new way to river cruise, designed specifically with millennials in mind. And Viking Ocean found a way to breathe new life into its already popular luxury offerings -- introducing brand-new features and perfecting what it's already doing incredibly well on its newest ship, Viking Orion."
Best New Ship: Celebrity Edge
Best Ship Refurbishment: Mariner of the Seas -- Royal Caribbean International
Best for Adventure: Lindblad Expeditions
Best Cabins: Princess Cruises
Best Dining: Celebrity Cruises
Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International
Best for Families: Disney Cruise Line
Best Itineraries: Princess Cruises
Best Nightlife: Carnival Cruise Line
Best Service: Carnival Cruise Line
Best Shore Excursions: Princess Cruises
Best for Solo Travelers: Norwegian Cruise Line
Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International
Best Value for Money: Holland America Line
Best North American Homeport: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Best Luxury Cruise Line: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best New Luxury Ship: Viking Orion
Best Refurbishment: Silver Spirit -- Silversea Cruises
Best for Adventure: Silversea Cruises
Best Cabins: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best Dining: Oceania Cruises
Best Enrichment: Crystal Cruises
Best Itineraries: Ponant
Best for Romance: Windstar Cruises
Best Service: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises
Best for Solo Travelers: Seabourn Cruise Line
Best Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
Best Value for Money: Viking Ocean Cruises
River cruise winners
Best River Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best New River Cruise Ship: The A -- U by Uniworld
Best Ship Refurbishment: S.S. Beatrice -- Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterways
Best Cabins: Avalon Waterways
Best Dining: Crystal River Cruises
Best Enrichment: American Queen Steamboat Company
Best for Families: Adventures by Disney
Best for First-Timers: Viking River Cruises
Best Itineraries: Viking River Cruises
Best for Luxury: Crystal River Cruises
Best Service: Tauck River Cruising
Best Shore Excursions: Scenic
Best for Solo Travelers: American Cruise Lines
Best Value for Money: Emerald Waterways
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