The world’s top 10 best cruise lines, according to travelers

Conde Nast Traveller recently announced its 2023 readers’ choice awards, in which thousands of the travel website’s readers voted on the world’s best destinations, airports, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines.

The latter’s resurgence was unthinkable in March 2020, but there’s no denying cruising’s comeback. The editors of CN Traveller note that new and refurbished ships are sailing, and first-timers are clambering aboard for domestic cruises.

According to ThePointsGuy’s Gene Sloan, world-spanning cruises like Regent Seven Seas’ 34,000-mile itinerary for 2024 — a $400,000 cruise for two with stops in 31 countries — sold out in 2.5 hours. And the company’s 2025 lineup shattered that mark, with every cabin sold out before reservations were even open to the public.

The CN Traveller awards divide cruise lines into six categories, with Norwegian Cruise Line topping the “mega ships,” which carry 4,000 or more passengers, and first place nods for Virgin Voyages in the large ship (2,500 to 4,000) lineup; Viking in the medium ship (500 to 2,500), river, and expedition categories; and Emerald Cruises for small ships carrying fewer than 500 passengers.

Here is a ranking of river cruises. Details on all CN Traveller awards for hotels, resorts, destinations, and more can be found at

The Top Ten River Cruises

  1. Viking
  2. American Cruise Lines
  3. Tauck
  4. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
  5. Grand Circle Cruise Line
  6. Pandaw
  7. Uniworld River Cruises
  8. Sanctuary Retreats
  9. AmaWaterways

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