And the world's best cruise ship is...

viking star

The 2015 U.S. Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards have been revealed -- and it's the Viking that has conquered all.

Viking Star was named Best New Ship of 2015 in the ocean category, with judges loving its boutique style and stylish restaurants. But this is no Viking longboat -- it's a state of the art cruise liner that has earned rave reviews from judges.

The 930-passenger ship was praised for its "more inclusive price structure from its river offerings" as well as the complimentary Wi-Fi, alcoholic beverages at lunch and dinner and a free shore excursion in every port.

Azamara Club Cruises scored highly with the judges as well, winning the Best Shore Excursions award for the second year in succession, while Carnival Cruise Line snagged the Best Value-for-Money award, commended for its "range of affordable fares and well-rounded offerings onboard."

There was a big win for Un-Cruise in the Best for Adventure category.

The line offers hiking, kayaking and snorkeling experiences across Alaska, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, Baja Mexico and the enchanting Galapagos.

Next year it's heading to Costa Rica, too.

"Our editors live and breathe cruising, sailing year-round and covering every aspect of the industry -- from new ships and programs to updated amenities and features," said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic.

"With so many wonderful cruise options available, it's never an easy list to narrow down, but these awards truly represent the lines that our experts have recognized as the best of the best.

"This year we also highlight the top river cruise lines, reflecting the growth of this sector -- in terms of both interest and options."

In the river category, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection stole the show with editors singling out the line's "lavish onboard offerings and amenities, new itineraries and innovative excursion offerings."

The line won the Best River Cruise Line, Best New River Ship -- for the new S.S. Maria Theresa -- and Best Shore Excursions.

The S.S. Maria Theresa is a beautifully styled baroque vessel that sails down the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers with 150 guests on board.

Uniworld has successfully maintained the ship's character and history while making sure all the necessary mod cons are on board.

In terms of luxury, Crystal Cruises came top of the class, while Royal Caribbean International was a hit with families.

Source: CNN


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