October 28, 2005

QM2 slips in ratings....

MV Europa is world's best cruise ship
Wednesday, 26 Oct 2005 11:02

Hapag-Lloyd's MV Europa has been voted the world's best cruise ship for the sixth consecutive year.

The 1999-built ship, which carries 408 passengers, is so high scoring in Berlitz's annual guide to cruising that guide author, Douglas Ward, has created a new five-stars-plus category for it.

The guide rates all 269 cruise ships currently sailing the world's seas, and only 18 made it into the prestigious five-stars club, down from 20 the previous year.

Hebridean Spirit and Hebridean Princess are no longer part of the club, while Cunard's Queen Mary 2 went down several places after scoring less than last year.

"Any ship on the top 18 five-star list can be considered to deliver the utmost in luxury," said Ward.

But he added that there was "no best cruise line in the world". Different ships would be suitable for different people depending on what they were looking for in a holiday – luxury, romance, rest, adventure, teen fun or sports for children.

He does, however, devote a section in the Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2006 to luxury cruises.

"Luxury cruises are very special," he said. "Staff will know passengers by name, and provide them with the finest in amenities. Guests don't have to endure announcements and mindless background music in public rooms, and the menus are highly creative, with items like caviar, foie gras and fresh, not frozen vegetables in abundance."

Five-stars-plus ships
1. MV Europa (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises) with 1,858 points out of a possible 2,000.

Five-star ships
1. SeaDream I – 1,790 points
2. SeaDream II – 1,790
3. Seabourn Legend – 1,786
4. Seabourn Pride – 1,785
5. Seabourn Spirit – 1,785
6. Silver Shadow – 1,757
7. Silver Whisper – 1,757
8. Hanseatic – 1,740
9. Silver Cloud – 1,722
10. Silver Wind – 1,722
11. Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class) – 1,712
12. Sea Cloud II – 1,706
13. Sea Cloud – 1,704
14. Crystal Serenity – 1,702
15. Crystal Symphony – 1,701
16. Seven Seas Mariner – 1,701
17. Seven Seas Voyager – 1,701

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