By Michael Coleman
Luxury cruise ship operators Crystal, Regent and Seabourn have been voted as the world’s best cruise lines.
Crystal and Regent tied for number one in the “large-ship” category in the 2010 CondÃ© Nast Traveler readers’ poll while Seabourn was named best in the “small ship’’ category.
Considered among the travel industry’s most coveted honors, the magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards celebrate the best-of-the-best cruise lines, hotels, airlines, cities, rental car companies and islands.
Travelers evaluated cruise lines on their Itineraries and Shore Excursions, Accommodations, Food/Dining, Crew/Service, Design/Layout and Activities/Facilities to determine the overall score. Complete results appear in the magazine’s November edition.
Crystal, soon to celebrate its 20th Anniversary, shares the number one billing with a competitor for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half yet still holds the distinction of having won the award more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in the magazine’s poll history.Â
Renowned for their service, space, quality and choices Crystal’s two stylish ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, are recognized for innovative partnerships with Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, stimulating Creative Learning Institute and Computer University@Sea, Feng Shui-designed spa, and a myriad of culinary, cultural and fitness-oriented enrichment.Â In 2011, Crystal will introduce Perfect Choice dining featuring flexible open dining times, by reservation, and two seating choices.Â Itineraries of seven to 100+ days are available throughout the world.
Regent, meanwhile, the world’s only cruise line to include airfare, all-suite accommodations, acclaimed cuisine, open bars, sightseeing excursions, gratuities and taxes as part of the overall cruise fare, features a three-ship, all-suite luxury fleet carrying 490 to 700 guests to ports in Australia, Europe, Asia, Alaska and the Caribbean. Facilities include several bars, a show lounge, intimate casino, library, Internet center, card room, outdoor pool, hot tubs and Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Depending on the ship, guests can choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Prime 7, the line’s new steakhouse.The 2010 Readers’ Choice award comes as Seabourn is in the midst of a three-year, three-yacht expansion of its small ship fleet, which has included the launch of Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009 and Seabourn Sojourn in June 2010.Â The new Seabourn Quest is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain, on June 20, 2011. The expanded fleet has enabled Seabourn to increase its capacity in the most popular destinations, such as the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, while adding new, exotic ports of call around the world, including Indonesia and the South Pacific. â€¨â€¨More than 26,000 subscribers voted in the 2010 survey.Â