You voted, and here they are: the coolest cruise ships of the year. The final round of our Coolest Cruise Awards examined the cruise lines’ top ships, and the winners in each segment are below.
Ocean Premium and Contemporary: MSC Cruises' MSC Meraviglia
MSC Cruises’ newest mega-ship to hit the Caribbean arrived to the U.S. for the first time in October. A key design feature of the ship is the Swarovski crystal staircases greet guests on board, offering the perfect backdrop for a photo moment. At the center of the ship, MSC Meraviglia’s two-story Mediterranean-style promenade serves as its hub, topped by one of the longest LED Domes at sea. Guests can dine at one of the specialty restaurants along the promenade — including HOLA! Tapas, but Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, — or grab a coffee or sweet treat at the chocolate shop and café by renowned pastry chef Jean Philippe Maury.
Ocean Luxury and Upper Premium: Silversea's Silver Spirit
Silver Muse may be the newest ship in the fleet, but it is the 2009-built Silver Spirit that turns heads following a massive refit last year that saw the ship cut in two, lengthened and completely refurbished from stem to stern. Now with Silversea’s new dining concept that does away with a single main restaurant in favor of several smaller ones, Silver Spirit offers more dining choices, new bars and lounges – including the popular Arts Café serving up light bites and wine – and completely refurbished suites.
Small Ship: Star Clippers' Royal Clipper
The Royal Clipper is like no other ship sailing today. First, she holds the distinction of being the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Inspired by the historic tall ship Preussen, the Royal Clipper is currently the only five-masted full-rigged sailing ship to be built since her predecessor was launched at the beginning of the last century. With her complement of 42 sails (comprised of 54,000 square feet of cloth), she has a historic look, but the guest experience is fully modern. The ships has a state-of-the-art navigation system, two-story dining room, spa, three pools, and spacious cabins. Guests are invited to climb the mast to the crows nest for the ultimate long view, or spend time lounging in the bowsprit watching the world go by.
River Premium and Contemporary (tie): American Cruise Lines' American Song
American Song is the country’s first major style departure from the classic paddlewheel riverboats that have been plying U.S. rivers since the early 1800s. Showcasing gorgeous interior design elements, from a four-story glass atrium to a patent-pending opening bow and retractable gangway, American Song has the largest staterooms in the industry, private furnished balconies in every stateroom and suite, full-size bathrooms and the finest amenities available.
River Premium and Contemporary (tie): American Queen Steamboat Company's American Queen
The largest steamboat ever built, the grand American Queen is American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship paddlewheeler, a gentle soul packaged within the ornate detailing that embellishes her exterior. Any traveler who chooses to cruise on this iconic riverboat will soon find that her steady heart beats to the rhythm of music and discourse that resound within her walls. Celebrating her 25th Anniversary in 2020, the American Queen is an authentic icon of the rivers on which she travels.
River Luxury and Upper Premium: AmaWaterways' AmaMagna
As imagined by AmaWaterways Co-founder and President Rudi Schreiner the new AmaMagna is the largest luxury ship to cruise any European river. Built to cruise only on the Danube, AmaMagna is twice the width of traditional river cruise ships, yet welcomes only 20 percent more guests, allowing generous personal space - with more than half of the 98 staterooms designated as suites measuring between 355 and 710 square feet. This unique ship provides enhanced amenities such as an onboard cinema; an expansive Zen Wellness Studio, complete with a large exercise area offering group classes, a juice bar and two massage rooms; four dining venues; and a sun deck with a large heated pool, relaxing whirlpool and sky bar.