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Every year, we ask AFAR readers to vote for the cruise lines that capture their imagination and inspire their travel plans. They cast an impressive 130,000 votes in this year's survey, and the results highlight the best cruise lines of the moment, from expedition vessels to small ships. Whether you need inspiration for your next (or very first) cruise, check out this year's award winners—your ship just may have come in. Anchors aweigh!

Best Large Ship Winner: Celebrity Cruises
BEST LARGE-SHIP CRUISE LINE: CELEBRITY CRUISES
Sometimes, bigger is better. When it comes to Large-Ship Cruise Lines, AFAR readers rank Celebrity Cruises at the top. With a 2-to-1 guest-to-staff ratio, the line never compromises on quality service, even on its 3,000-passenger ships. 

FINALISTS:
Cunard
Disney
Holland America
Norwegian
Princess
Royal Caribbean

Best Small-Ship Cruise Line: Viking Ocean
BEST SMALL-SHIP CRUISE LINE: VIKING OCEAN CRUISES
Relative newcomer Viking Ocean Cruises debuted in 2015 as the small-ship ocean-going counterpart to its longstanding river arm, Viking River Cruises. It didn’t take long to catch on: Its trio of 930-guest ships touting polished Scandinavian design, culturally immersive port-intensive itineraries, and inclusive pricing earned the line our readers’ favorite top Small-Ship Cruise Line

FINALISTS: 
Oceania
Azamara
Regent Seven Seas
Seabourn
Crystal
Paul Gauguin
Windstar
Silversea
Ponant
SeaDream
Best River Cruise Winner: AmaWaterways
BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE:  AMAWATERWAYS
With its 20-ship fleet of smartly designed ships; itineraries spanning Europe, Asia, and Africa; and extras like on-deck pools with swim-up bars and gastronomic ties to La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, AmaWaterways wins big as the number one River Cruise Line.

FINALISTS: 
Viking River
Uniworld
Avalon Waterways
Crystal River
Scenic
Tauck
Delfin Amazon
Aqua Expeditions

Belmond
Best Expedition Cruise Line: Silversea Expeditions
BEST EXPEDITION CRUISE LINE: SILVERSEA EXPEDITIONS
Leading luxury line Silversea Cruises’ expedition arm is hardly an afterthought. AFAR readers’ pick for the best Expedition Cruise Line, Silversea Expeditions’ three purpose-built vessels pair luxury—like butler service, spacious suites, and fine dining—with far-flung voyages to all seven continents.

FINALISTS: 
Celebrity
Lindblad
Australis
UnCruise Adventures
Ponant
Quark
Quasar
Zegrahm
Best Caribbean Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
BEST CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE: ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Featuring some of the biggest and most innovative ships in the industry, calls in some two dozen Caribbean ports (including newcomer Cuba), and year-round 3- to 12-night Caribbean itineraries sailing from eight U.S. homeports (as well as San Juan, PR), it’s little wonder that Royal Caribbean International’s robust regional offerings won it the title of leading Caribbean Cruise Line

FINALISTS: 
Celebrity
Viking Ocean
Holland America
Azamara
Oceania
Disney
Crystal
Princess
Windstar
Regent Seven Seas
Seabourn
Silversea
Ponant
SeaDream
Best Mediterranean Cruise Line: Viking Ocean Cruises
BEST MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE LINE: VIKING OCEAN CRUISES
Make the most of your Mediterranean sailing aboard Viking Ocean Cruises. With a company ethos focused on port immersion, included excursions, and ships small enough to get into both blockbuster and more off-the-beaten-path ports, Viking Ocean wins out for best Mediterranean Cruise Line.

FINALISTS: 
Celebrity
Azamara
Holland America
Oceania
Norwegian
Crystal
Cunard
Windstar
Princess
Regent Seven Seas
Seabourn
Silversea
Ponant
SeaDream
Best Alaska Cruise Line: Holland America
BEST ALASKA CRUISE LINE: HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Celebrating 70 years of Alaska exploration in 2017, Holland America Line has had plenty of time to get cruising (along with complementary land-based activities) here just right. Seven ships operate here in season, with onboard extras like park ranger and Huna native speaker presentations in Glacier Bay National Park; Alaskan-inspired cuisine (including a salmon cooking demo); and an exclusive programming partnership with BBC Earth designed to better showcase Alaska’s natural wonders.  

FINALISTS:
Celebrity
Princess
Norwegian
Lindblad
Crystal
Azamara
Royal Caribbean
Oceania
Silversea
Disney
Regent Seven Seas
Seabourn
Windstar
UnCruise Adventures
Best French Polynesia Cruise Line: Paul Gauguin Cruises
BEST FRENCH POLYNESIA CRUISE LINE: PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES
Dotted with pristine turquoise lagoons and idyllic isles, romantic French Polynesia is made for sailing. With a long-standing regional presence, local Tahitian staff, gourmet dining, and several intriguing 7- to 14-night itineraries offered year-round, it’s fitting that Paul Gauguin Cruises took the top spot in the French Polynesia Cruise Line category. The seasoned operator delivers a product themed on immersion, with two exclusive retreats (including a private motu, as well as a white-sand beach in Bora Bora), and nature-themed programming presented in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

FINALISTS: 
Oceania
Windstar
Ponant

Best On-Board Spa: Viking Ocean Cruises
BEST ON-BOARD SPA: VIKING OCEAN CRUISES
For the best in at-sea bliss, AFAR readers deem Viking Ocean’s ships as having the best Onboard Spa. The line’s spas tout a Nordic theme, offering a slate of traditional Scandinavian spa treatments, along with a complimentary thermal suite area complete with saunas, cold and hot baths, and even a snow grotto. No doubt, a visit here and you’ll be feeling like a Norse god or goddess in no time.
 
FINALISTS:
Celebrity
Crystal
Regent Seven Seas
Royal Caribbean
Princess
Cunard
Norwegian
Seabourn
Uniworld
Silversea
Tauck
SeaDream
Best Onboard Culinary and Restaurant Program: Oceania Cruises
BEST ONBORD CULINARY PROGRAMS & RESTAURANTS: OCEANIA CRUISES 
Oceania Cruises bills itself as having the “finest cuisine at sea,” and AFAR readers agree, crowning it the best line for Onboard Culinary Programs and Restaurants. Dig in on culinary creations from renowned French chef Jacques Pépin at multiple complimentary fine-dining eateries, and sign up for hands-on cooking classes at the state-of-the-art onboard Culinary Center. 

FINALISTS:  
Celebrity
Cunard
Crystal
Norwegian
Seabourn
Silversea
Disney
Regent Seven Seas
Royal Caribbean
Princess
Azamara
Paul Gauguin
Windstar

Best Family Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Lines
BEST FAMILY CRUISE LINE: DISNEY CRUISE LINE
It’s little wonder that a trusted family brand like Disney would gain the top spot among AFAR readers for running the best Family Cruise Line. The line’s quartet of ships come jam-packed with plenty of fun for everyone, including Broadway-style shows, deck parties (complete with fireworks), several pools and water park areas, “dive-in” poolside movies, Disney character encounters, and family-friendly dining venues. There are plenty of adults-exclusive spaces, too, including a pool, spa, and restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges. Plus, many of the “port adventure” excursions are kid-friendly by design, from swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas to zip-lining in Mexico

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FINALISTS: 
Celebrity
Royal Caribbean
Holland America
Norwegian
Lindblad 
Princess
Cunard
Carnival

Best Onboard Ship Design: Amawaterways
BEST ONBOARD DESIGN: AMAWATERWAYS
Ranked number one for Onboard Design, AmaWaterways’ riverboats feel more like luxury yachts, with bi-level lobbies, glass elevators, twin-balcony staterooms equipped with marble-appointed bathrooms, pools with swim-up bars, and stylish design schemes inspired by local destinations. Guests can expect impressive onboard features in common areas: two-story lobbies, glass elevators, heated pools with swim-up bars, and varying decor and artwork that reflect the European, Asian, or African regions where the ships operate. In staterooms, look for offerings like twin balconies (one French and one full), marble-appointed bathrooms, and options for connecting cabins (a plus for group or family travel and a rarity among riverboats). 

FINALISTS: 
Viking Ocean
Celebrity

Regent Seven Seas
Crystal
Norwegian
Silversea
Seabourn
Avalon Waterways
Ponant 

>>PLAN YOUR NEXT CRUISE: AFAR CRUISE GUIDE