Travel’s fastest growing sector in Australia is cruising, with a growth rate of 21 per cent in the past year alone, according to the latest report from Cruise Lines International Association Australasia. Last year, one in 19 Australians – 1.28 million of us – went on an ocean cruise, the highest per-capita rate in the world. As we become more seasoned cruisers, more of us – across all age groups – are seeking the best ships and the most inspiring itineraries.
To meet demand, there are more cruise lines, more destinations and more itineraries than ever before catering for discerning travellers, from polar expeditions to Caribbean island-hopping. It’s these five-star experiences that we honour in Signature Luxury Travel & Style‘s 2017 Best-of-the-Best Luxury Cruise Awards, Australia’s only accolades dedicated solely to luxury cruise offerings. These unique awards provide a definitive guide for those seeking the best cruising has to offer.
Judging these awards were 10 leading Australian and New Zealand luxury travel advisors that were highly recommended as having the best knowledge of the cruise industry and an understanding both from personal and client experiences.
We called on their expertise to vote across seven categories covering ocean, river and expedition cruising. Our judges ranked their selections for each sub-category (including cabins, service, cuisine, shore excursions, value, itineraries and embarkation process, plus expedition team for the two expedition categories), which we then converted to points to determine the overall winners.
Full list of categories:
• Sea: Large Ships
• Sea: Small Ships
• Sea: Boutique Ships
• Sea: Tall Ships
• River Cruising
• Expedition: Luxury
• Expedition: Speciality
The winners are listed below, with more information online at www.signatureluxurytravel.com.au/cruise-awards-2017
Signature would like to congratulate all winners for their superior product and services. The winners are invited to celebrate at a presentation luncheon on Tuesday 8 August 2017.
LARGE SHIPS (751-2500+ passengers)
1. Oceania Cruises (Marina and Riviera)
2. Crystal Cruises
3. Viking Ocean Cruises
5. MSC (MSC Yacht Club)
SMALL SHIPS (251-750 passengers)
1. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
3. Oceania Cruises (Insignia, Nautica, Regatta and Sirena)
5. Azamara Club Cruises
6. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
7. Ponant (L’Austral, Le Boréal, Le Soléal)
BOUTIQUE SHIPS (50-250 passengers)
1. Crystal Yacht Cruises
2. SeaDream Yacht Club
3. Ponant (Le Lyrial)
4. Windstar Cruises (Star Pride, Star Breeze, Star Legend)
1. Ponant (Le Ponant)
2. Windstar Cruises (Wind Surf, Wind Spirit, Wind Star)
3. Sea Cloud Cruises
4. Star Clippers
1. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
=2. Avalon Waterways
3. Crystal River Cruises
6. Aqua Expeditions
7. Sanctuary Retreats
EXPEDITION: Luxury Expedition
2. Silversea Expeditions
3. True North Adventure Cruises
4. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
EXPEDITION: Four-star ship, five-star experience
1. Lindblad Expeditions
2. Quark Expeditions
3. Coral Expeditions
4. Aurora Expeditions
5. Aranui Cruises
The winter edition of Signature Luxury Travel & Style celebrates everything about travel’s fastest-growing industry: cruising. From cruising down the Nile on an archaeological discovery to hopping between the spice islands of the Caribbean on a four-masted sailing yacht, we pay homage to setting sail.
About Signature Luxury Travel & Style
Signature Luxury Travel & Style is Australia’s highest circulating, audited, luxury travel and lifestyle publication for affluent world travellers. It is the exclusive travel and lifestyle magazine partner in Australia for the Luxury Network, a global organisation of the most desired brands in the world. Since its indulgent makeover in 2014, Signature has garnered a wealth of new readers, keen to discover the very latest in luxury travel and be inspired by the adventures of our writers, all presented with that inimitable Signature style.
For subscriptions visit signatureluxurytravel.com.au or download the digital version via the App Store or Google Play. Also visit signatureluxurytravel.com.au to subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter, delivering the very latest in luxury travel direct to your inbox. Share your travels by tagging #signatureluxury on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Signature is a quarterly print publication, produced in Sydney by Signature Media, Australia’s leading independent publisher of specialty travel titles.