August 9, 2011 | By Collette Peck
Are Seabourn and Crystal Cruises the world’s best cruise lines? That’s the word this week from Travel & Leisure, which is out with its closely-watched World’s Best Awards for 2011.
Derived from a survey of Travel & Leisure readers and published in the August issue now on newsstands, the rankings once again put Crystal No. 1 among large-ship lines with a score of 92.45. Seabourn is tops among small-ship cruise lines with a score of 93.3.
Runners-up among large-ship lines: Regent Seven Seas Cruises (90.14); Oceania Cruises (86.42); Disney Cruise Line (85.70); and Cunard Line (84.27).
Rounding out the top five in the small-ship line category are Silversea Cruises (90.03); Lindblad Expeditions (89.25); SeaDream Yacht Club (88.33); and Windstar Cruises (85.63).
In a separate category for river cruise lines, Tauck came in at No. 1 with a score of 90.06, followed by Uniworld (88.70); Viking (86.76); AmaWaterways (85.23); and Avalon Waterways (84.27) .
Other major lines? The survey gave Azamara Club Cruises a score of 82.51, putting it sixth among big-ship lines just behind Cunard (the two lines flip-flopped positions from last year). Celebrity Cruises was not far behind with a score of 81.92, placing it seventh among big-ship lines. Celebrity scored just a tad better than rivals Holland America (81.29), Royal Caribbean (80.28) and Princess Cruises (79.81).
The survey, conducted in associated with research firm ROI Research Inc., asked readers to rate cruise lines for their cabins, food, service, itineraries/destinations, activities and value.