2012 was another busy year at CruiseReport.com. In our never-ending quest to bring you the very best cruise information, we traveled all over the globe.
More than 39,000 miles traveled
6,123 photos taken
12 hours and 32 minutes of video
12 videos produced for CruiseReport TV
- 6 major editorial cruise reviews (over 17,000 words)
Over 150 blog entries
6 hotel/resort reviews added to Great Cruise Hotels
10 Travel Tech reviews (cameras, camcorders, security, etc.)
Our first assignment for 2012 was a 7-night sailing aboard American Safari's Safari Quest in the Sea of Cortes (read review). Safari Quest is easily the smallest vessel on which we have ever sailed with only 18 guests! She may be small in size, but she is big on adventure. There are just some things that only a small ship can do. If you are into adventure cruising and love to get up-close-and-personal with a destination, American Safari Cruises is our choice for BEST ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE for 2012.
Kayaking is just one of the activities offered on American Safari cruises
Next on our list is Silversea Cruises' Silver Spirit (read review) where we enjoyed a transatlantic sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados, to Lisbon, Portugal. Silversea has racked up more Editor's Choice Awards from CruiseReport.com in the past ten years than any other cruise line. And, they just keep on getting better and better. Our Silver Suite easily takes the BEST SUITE ACCOMMODATIONS award with over 750 sq. ft. of luxury and amenities. And, for the second year in a row, our butler, Roland, grabs BEST BUTLER SERVICE AT SEA for Silversea. On a transatlantic cruise, there is plenty of time at sea, which means lots of enrichment opportunities. Once again, Silversea gets the nod for BEST ENRICHMENT SERIES AT SEA. Our excursion in Morocco wins the BEST SHORE EXCURSIONS award for Silversea for the second year in a row. Based on our experience, Silversea is still the BEST SMALL SHIP CRUISE LINE in the world, and the BEST LUXURY CRUISE LINE for 2012.
Senior Editor, Rickee Richardson poses with Silver Spirit in Lisbon, Portugal
2012 was the year of the river cruise at CruiseReport.com with three different river sailings. Our first was with Tauck River Cruising's Swiss Emerald from Paris to Monte Carlo (read review). This was our second sailing aboard Tauck and our opinion has not changed one bit. Tauck is hands-down the BEST LUXURY RIVER CRUISE LINE. The French river cruise was our first sailing through France and we can't imagine a better way to experience this destination than with Tauck. Therefore, we think a Tauck French River Cruise is the BEST WAY TO SEE FRANCE.
Enjoying a sunny day in France aboard Tauck's Swiss Emerald
Our next river cruise was a real slice of Americana: seven nights aboard American Queen Steamboat Company's American Queen. Our sailing from Memphis to St. Louis (read review) was our third Mississippi River cruise and we were reminded of why this is such a popular destination. Easily, American Queen Steamboat Company is THE BEST MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISE for 2012. What really stood out for us was the STEAMCOACH service that was offered at every town where the boat docked. You could walk off the boat, step onto an air-conditioned coach and be dropped at any of several points of interest. This earned them our award for BEST ADDED VALUE for 2012.
A sailing up (or down) the Mississippi River on American Queen is one you won't soon forget
Our last river cruise of 2012 took us all the way to Russia for a 13-night Waterways of the Czars cruise aboard Viking Ingvar (read review). This was our fifth sailing on Viking River Cruises, and to our surprise, it turned out to be our favorite one so far! We consider Viking River Cruises to be the BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE based largely on the number of destinations offered, great value and consistent quality. Viking River Cruises now includes wine and beer with dinner and lunch making it an even better value. This was our second journey to Russia and we have to say that Viking River Cruises is THE BEST WAY TO SEE RUSSIA.
Our Russian river cruise on Viking Ingvar exceeded all of our expectations
We ended 2012 with a mega-exotic cruise to Antarctica with Abercrombie & Kent on Le Boreal (read review). A&K has a long-standing reputation for luxury travel and personal service. This became apparent when our flight to Santiago was canceled and we called the A&K customer service phone number at midnight. Within minutes we were reassured that we would be met by A&K personnel when we arrived in Santiago and not to worry. No wonder A&K gets our recognition for BEST SERVICE. If you have never considered an Antarctica cruise, you should reconsider. It was amazing. It earned A&K and Compagnie Du Ponant our award for BEST EXPEDITION/ADVENTURE CRUISE for 2012.
Abercrombie & Kent and Le Boreal make a great combination in Antarctica
So, people are always asking us, "What is the best cruise line?" It is an impossible question to answer. Every cruise line has areas where it excels. Most do everything well and provide good value. It really depends on what is most important to you. It seems we are always recommending cruise lines and destinations to the people we meet on our journeys. So, we decided to add one more very special award for 2012. Over the past year, we found ourselves recommending one cruise line more than any other, therefore, American Safari Cruises gets the award for the MOST RECOMMENDED CRUISE LINE by the editors of CruiseReport.com for 2012. In 2013, we plan to evaluate a whole new group of ships, and perhaps even some new cruise lines. We look forward to 2013 and all the new adventures ahead.
SUMMARY OF OUR EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS FOR 2012
- Best Enrichment Series - Silversea Cruises
- Best Shore Excursions - Silversea Cruises
- Best Luxury Cruise Line - Silversea Cruises
- Best Small Ship Cruise Line - Silversea Cruises
- Best Butler Service - Silversea Cruises - Silver Spirit
- Best Suite Accommodations - Silversea Cruises - Silver Suite on Silver Spirit
- Best River Cruise Line - Viking River Cruises
- Best Way To See Russia - Viking River Cruises
- Best Luxury River Cruise Line - Tauck River Cruises
- Best Way To See France - Tauck River Cruises
- Best Mississippi River Cruise - American Queen Steamboat Company
- Best Added Value - American Queen Steamboat Company - SteamCoach Service
- Best Adventure Cruise Line - American Safari Cruises
- Best Casual Cruise Experience - American Safari Cruises
- Most Recommended Cruise - American Safari Cruises
- Best Expedition/Adventure Cruise - A&K/Compagnie Du Ponant - Le Boreal Antarctica
- Best Service - Abercrombie & Kent
DISCLAIMER: Travel Awards typically come from surveys from travel magazines or websites
from cruise enthusiasts. Many, if not most, who vote for their favorite cruise line
may have never sailed with another cruise line. Having little or no
basis for comparison, how valuable can these awards really be? Even our
Editors' Choice Awards are subject to scrutiny since we can only bestow
an honor on a cruise ship or line which we have personally experienced.
So, when you read this article announcing our Editors' Choice
Awards, realize that they are based solely on our personal experiences
and observations during that year.
Originally posted on January 3, 2013