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Crystal Symphony in Quebec, Canada - Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

Best Cruise Lines: Readers' Choice Awards 2016

By Andrew Harper

The Hideaway Report | September 1, 2016

For the second year in a row, Silversea, Seabourn and Crystal remain in the top three positions on the Best Cruise Lines list. This year sees the first appearance of Ponant, which focuses on luxury expedition vessels, and Belmond River Cruises, which concentrates in France and Myanmar.

= Offers Benefits

1. Crystal Cruises


Crystal Cruises offers worldwide sailings of seven to 108 days on award-winning vessels. Enjoy luxurious space and world-renowned service in destinations across seven continents. Crystal combines innovation and tradition to bring guests the best possible experience, along with world-class cuisine.
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2. Seabourn Cruises


Seabourn is luxurious yet relaxed, elegant yet casual. Its intimate 450- to 458-guest ships sail to both marquee ports and hidden gems where larger ships cannot follow. All-inclusive values include complimentary fine wines and spirits, open bars and award-winning cuisine. Enjoy water sports, an in-sea pool and loungers with iPod stations.
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3. Silversea Cruises


Silversea cruises to the world’s most desirable ports and offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. The all-suite accommodations host just 100 to 540 pampered guests. Inspired cuisine, an extensive selection of wines and spirits, butler service in all categories and gratuities are all part of Silversea Cruises’ all-inclusive value.
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4. SeaDream Yacht Club


SeaDream yachting is different than big ship cruising: 112 guests are pampered by 95 crew members with award-winning service and cuisine. SeaDream’s fares include oceanview staterooms, all gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands and more.
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5. Paul Gauguin Cruises


Paul Gauguin had its maiden voyage in 1998 and has been the longest continually operating year-round luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, sailing the waters of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. The m/s Paul Gauguin offers an extension of the informal, relaxing environment of the islands, coupled with five-star service.
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6. Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic


Lindblad Expeditions invented the category of expedition travel and pioneered trips to the most remarkable places, including the Galápagos, the high Arctic, Antarctica and more. Partnering with National Geographic to “inspire travelers to explore and care about the planet,” Lindblad assures an extraordinary travel experience.
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7. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection


Uniworld is renowned for its one-of-a-kind ships, stylish décor, thoughtful personal touches, welcoming ambience, superb cuisine and gracious service. Each ship is uniquely designed and decorated for maximum comfort. The all-inclusive cruises are perfectly planned to create the ultimate, stress-free luxury river cruise experience.
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8. Belmond Cruises


Belmond Cruises' luxury barges and ships navigate the waters of Burgundy and Myanmar. The lavish barges accommodate 4 to 12 guests and the ships up to 82, both in sublime comfort. With a high crew-to-guest ratio, the expert, multilingual staff will pamper you from the moment you arrive.
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9. Aqua Expeditions


Aqua Expeditions has become a recognized leader in luxury small-ship river cruising. The 16-suite Aria Amazon departs Iquitos, Peru, and brings guests into the Amazon rain forest. The 20-suite Aqua Mekong takes guests along the historic Mekong River between Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
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10. Ponant


Ponant has been taking travelers on awe-inspiring voyages to some of the Earth’s most fascinating places for 25 years. Its young fleet of luxury expedition vessels explores seven continents using state-of-the-art technology, a fleet of Zodiacs and onboard experts. Small groups experience the comfort and elegance for which Ponant is known.
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1. Crystal Cruises - Courtesy of Crystal Cruises © Ian Schemper 2. Seabourn Cruises - © Seabourn 3. Silversea Cruises - Courtesy of Silversea Cruises © Bruno Cazarini 4. SeaDream Yacht Club 5. Paul Gauguin Cruises 6. Lindblad Expeditions - © Ralph Lee Hopkins/Lindblad Expeditions 7. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises - Courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises 8. Belmond River Cruises - © F. Legrand 9. Aqua Expeditions - © Aqua Expeditions 10. Ponant - © Guillaume Plisson/Ponant

Andrew Harper Photo Andrew Harper is the editor of The Hideaway Report, a luxury travel newsletter that first appeared in 1979. He travels anonymously and pays his own expenses in pursuit of unique properties that offer unusually high levels of personal service. Hotels have no idea who he is, so he is treated exactly as you might be.

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