Cruise Experts Name Top Cruise Lines and Vote Newcastle Best U.K. Port of Call

By Cruise Critic, PRNE
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LONDON, November 16, 2011 -

Cruise Critic Announces 2011 U.K. Cruise Awards


The Geordie capital of Newcastle is the surprise winner in the 2011 U.K. Editors’ Picks cruise awards, presented by the influential cruise news and reviews Web site Cruise Critic® ( The port was named the “Best U.K. Port of Call” in the prestigious annual awards, which honour top cruise lines, ships and ports.

Newcastle’s Port of Tyne has benefited from the boom in the British cruise business — in particular, round-Britain itineraries. According to its latest figures, visitors arriving through the cruise terminal are worth some 44m pounds Sterling to the North East’s visitor economy and help to sustain about 1,400 jobs in the tourism sector. For 2012, a record 41 cruise ships are expected to visit.  

Explaining why the Port of Tyne was selected as the best U.K. port for visitors, Cruise Critic’s editor in chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown, said, “Newcastle has some delightful areas — the Quayside, superb museums, restaurants and galleries - and is convenient as both a port of embarkation and a port of call. The city’s charms also extend to the countryside, with a range of diversions from castles to cathedrals and the gorgeous scenery of the Pennines.

Britain’s largest and busiest cruise port, Southampton, was once again named “Best U.K. Departure Port” for its continued growth and commitment to the cruise industry.

The Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards celebrate excellence in cruise travel and are selected by a panel of cruise journalists. This year, there are 25 different categories embracing a wide variety of cruises, ships and onboard features and attractions available to U.K. travellers.

The 2011 categories have a distinct gastro theme with awards for “Best Dining,” “Best Alternative Restaurant,” “Best Buffet,” “Best Wine List” and “Best Bar.” Awards were widely distributed among the cruise lines offering itineraries for U.K. travellers, but Oceania picked up three top honours– Best “Best Buffet” and “Best Suites,” both for Oceania Marina, and “Best Dining.” for the whole fleet.

Cunard reflagged its ships to Bermuda last month, but remains beloved by British cruisers and also took home three top awards — “Best Itineraries,” “Best for Entertainment” and “Best Alternative Restaurant” for The Verandah on its newest ship, Queen Elizabeth. P&O Cruises took top honours for the line’s family-friendly ship, Ventura, which was named “Best for First-Timers,” and “Best Cruise Ship Bar” was awarded to The Glass House.

Talking about the Cruise Critic U.K. Awards for 2011, Carolyn Spencer Brown said, “The U.K. cruise industry continues to grow year-on-year, despite the tough economy, due in part to the exceptional standard of service and hospitality provided by the cruise lines that keep customers coming back time and time again. That’s something the industry as a whole can be proud of. With these awards, however, we aim to honour the cruise lines that deserve credit in specific areas, where we believe they truly excel, such as dining or onboard activities.”

The annual Cruise Critic U.K. Editors’ Picks Awards complement the Cruisers’ Choice Awards, which are announced in the spring and highlight the cruise ships which receive the highest ratings from reviews posted on Cruise Critic.

For the full list of winners, as well as information on why each award was given to a particular line, ship or port, please go to:  

    2011 Cruise Critic U.K. Editors' Picks Awards

    Best New Ship                  Carnival -- Carnival Magic
    Best New River Ship            Uniworld -- River Antoinette
    Best for Luxury                Seabourn Cruise Line
    Best for First-Timers          P&O Cruises -- Ventura
    Best for Cruising with Kids    Royal Caribbean
    Best Itineraries               Cunard Line
    Best for Adventure             Star Clippers
    Best River Cruise Line         Viking River Cruises
    Best Value for Money           Voyage of Discovery
    Best for Fly-Cruises           Thomson Cruises
    Best for Dining                Oceania Cruises
    Best Alternative Restaurant    Cunard -- Verandah Restaurant (Queen
    Best Buffet                    Oceania Cruises -- Marina
    Best for Entertainment         Cunard Line
    Best for Healthy Cruising      Celebrity Cruise Line
    Best for Solos                 Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
    Best Suites                    Oceania Cruises -- Marina
    Best Cabins                    Holland America Line
    Best Shore Excursions          Noble Caledonia
    Best for Guest Speakers        Voyages to Antiquity
    Best for Honeymoons            Princess Cruises
    Best for Wine-Lovers           Celebrity Cruises -- Solstice-Class Ships
    Best Cruise Ship Bar           P&O Cruises -- The Glass House (Azura)
    Best U.K. Port of Call         Newcastle
    Best U.K. Departure Port       Southampton

(These are the U.K. awards, the Cruise Critic U.S. awards can be viewed at Cruise Critic’s U.S.-based sister site,

About Cruise Critic (

Cruise Critic is an online cruise guide hosting the world’s largest online cruise community, boasting more than 700,000 members. It also offers 70,000 cruise reviews of more than 380 cruise ships. Each month, nearly 2 million people visit the site to read cruise reviews and find information on planning a cruise, or to access the forums where they swap advice and stories with other cruisers.

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