Alaska's Glacier Bay named the top cruise destination in the world, Edinburgh secures the Top-Rated Port Award for the British Isles and Western Europe for the very first time; and Celebrity Cruises dominates cruise line accolades
LONDON, July 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Cruise Critic®, the world's leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of its third annual Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards, naming the world's most popular cruise destinations, based entirely on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on Cruise Critic. The awards name the top cruise destinations across 18 regions worldwide. New in 2018, the awards also highlight the best cruise lines to visit each region.
The Eastern Mediterranean port of Kotor, in Montenegro, came out as the number one destination hotspot for UK cruisers. The Baltic Sea port of Talinn, capital city of Estonia, secured second place in popularity, and the Aegean island of Santorini proved third favourite overall, for UK cruise travellers.
Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor, Cruise Critic said "Our data analysis shows that destination continues to be a top consideration for holiday makers looking to cruise, regardless of whether they are new to cruise or seasoned cruise travellers. We are delighted that Edinburgh has pipped so many other wonderful Western European ports to the post to be crowned the best destination in the British Isles & Western Europe. Not only does this highlight the rise in popularity of destinations more known for their immersive, educational and experiential offerings, rather than just their temperate climate or great beaches, but also shows just how attractive Scotland is proving to travellers across the globe.
"This year, we've also included awards for the best lines that visit these top-rated destinations, to enable holidaymakers to connect quickly to standout experiences available in the incredible places they're looking to explore."
Glacier Bay in Alaska was named the Most Popular Cruise Destination in 2018 – receiving the highest ratings among cruise destinations across the globe. Glacier Bay was also the top-rated destination in Alaska for the third year in a row. It's one of the best Inside Passage locations for glacier and wildlife viewing, with its Margerie Glacier considered one of the most photogenic glaciers.
Edinburgh secured the top destination award in the British Isles & Western Europe category – for the very first time - beating Barcelona, Rome and Venice, among many others. The beautiful capital city of Scotland sprawls over an extinct volcano, known as Arthur's Seat, and is dominated by the impressive Medieval Edinburgh Castle. In 2017, Edinburgh welcomed almost 2.2 million visitors and its attractions continue to remain the most popular overall, throughout Scotland.
Cuba's capital city of Havana was named the Best Cruise Destination in the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya for the first time. While international cruise lines have long visited Cuba, U.S. travelers were only able to begin visiting the island once regulations were eased in 2016. Today, 17 cruise lines visit Cuba, and cruise travel is considered one of the best – and easiest – ways to visit the island as U.S. regulations continue to evolve.
Dubrovnik has been named the Top-Rated Eastern Mediterranean Destination for the past two years, and has done it again this year to score a hat trick. This beautiful, walled Croatian medieval city – a key filming location for Game of Thrones - remains a mainstay on Eastern Mediterranean cruise itineraries. Overlooking the sparkling, clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, the city boasts centuries-old monasteries, churches, synagogues, and even one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe.
Celebrity Cruises was a big cruise line winner, receiving awards in nine of the 18 regional categories – including Best Cruise Line in Alaska, Australia & New Zealand and all three Caribbean regions.
Viking Ocean Cruises stood out among the small cruise lines, receiving four awards, including Best Cruise Line in the Baltic & Scandinavia, Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya, British Isles & Western Europe, and Western Mediterranean.
The full list of first-place winners includes:
Top-Rated Port in Alaska: Glacier Bay
- Best Large Ship Line in Alaska: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in Alaska: UnCruise Adventures
Top-Rated Port in Asia: Singapore
- Best Large Ship Line in Asia: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in Asia: Azamara Club Cruises
- Best Large Ship Line in Australia & New Zealand: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in Australia & New Zealand: Coral Expeditions
Top-Rated Port in the Baltic & Scandinavia: St. Petersburg
- Best Large Ship Line in the Baltic & Scandinavia: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the Baltic & Scandinavia: Viking Ocean Cruises
- Best Large Ship Line in the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda: Island Windjammers
- Best Large Ship Line in the Southern Caribbean: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the Southern Caribbean: Island Windjammers
- Best Large Ship Line in the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya: Viking Ocean Cruises
- Best Large Ship Line in the British Isles & Western Europe: Royal Caribbean International
- Best Small Ship Line in the British Isles & Western Europe: Viking Ocean Cruises
Top-Rated Port in the Eastern Mediterranean: Dubrovnik
- Best Large Ship Line in the Eastern Mediterranean: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the Eastern Mediterranean: Variety Cruises
- Best European River Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Top-Rated Port in the Western Mediterranean: Villefranche
- Best Large Ship Line in the Western Mediterranean: Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
- Best Small Ship Line in the Western Mediterranean: Viking Ocean Cruises
Top-Rated Port in Hawaii: Kauai
- Best Large Ship Line in Hawaii: Carnival Cruise Line
Top-Rated Port in the Mexican Riviera: Huatulco
- Best Large Ship Line in the Mexican Riviera: Princess Cruises
Top-Rated Port in the Panama Canal & Central America: Puerto Quetzal
- Best Large Ship Line in the Panama Canal & Central America: Norwegian Cruise Line
- Best Small Ship Line in the Panama Canal & Central America: Windstar Cruises
Top-Rated Port in South America & Antarctica: Buenos Aires
- Best Large Ship Line in South America & Antarctica: Norwegian Cruise Line
- Best Small Ship Line in South America & Antarctica: Australis
Top-Rated Port in the South Pacific: Mystery Island
- Best Large Ship Line in the South Pacific: Carnival Cruise Line
- Best Small Ship Line in the South Pacific: Ponant
Top-Rated Port in the U.S. & Canada: Quebec City
- Best Large Ship Line in the U.S. & Canada: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Small Ship Line in the U.S. & Canada: Pearl Seas Cruises
- Best River Line in the U.S. & Canada: American Cruise Lines
Top-Rated Cruise Line Private Island: Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay
For full details on this year's winners, visit the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards.
Cruise Critic boasts the world's largest online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 cruise ships and over 300 worldwide ports. Awards are based on reviews submitted for cruises taken over the past year.
Homepage: Full list of winners for each category, and consumer comments, available here.
Image Library: Photos of all top destinations for media use, available here.
Video: Highlights of winners and consumer reviews, available here.
About Cruise Critic
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SOURCE Cruise Critic