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Best-of-the best Luxury Cruise Awards 2018


Following the success of the inaugural Signature Luxury Travel & Style Cruise Awards last year, we have reassembled our panel to vote on their top three cruise lines across a range of categories. In addition to our original categories – large, small, boutique, tall ship, river and expedition – we have added the best ships for a multigenerational escape and the tour operators that elevate the cruise experience even further.


Viking Ocean Cruises - Large ships

Large ships

751-2500+ passengers
Seabourn - small ships

Small ships

251-750 passengers
Windstar Cruises - Boutique ships

Boutique ships

50-250 passengers
Windstar - Tall ships

Tall ships

Celebrity Cruises - multigenerational travel


Ships that offer experiences and attractions for kids, plus large, luxurious suites or a ship-within-a-ship concept
Uniworld - River Europe


Predominately Europe
Sanctuary Retreats - River Asia


Predominately Asia/Africa/South America
Ponant - expedition luxury


Luxury ships
Aurora Expeditions - Expedition Four-star


Four-star ship, five-star experience
Captains Choice - Tour Operators

Tour operators

Operators that charter or partially charter ships owned and operated by cruise lines and add their own elevated experiences.
Crystal Endeavor - New Launch

New launches

The ship or cruise line launches that have our panellists most excited.


Alison Di Paolo
Claremont Cruise & Travel Centre

Alison has enjoyed 42 years in the industry and in the past 15 years has specialised in luxury travel and cruising, which is her choice for a holiday.

Claudia Rossi Hudson
Mary Rossi Travel

After 40-plus years in the family travel business, Claudia has introduced cruising to thousands of delighted passengers.

David Brandon

David is Managing Director of Savenio and a luxury cruise specialist with 36 years’ experience. Savenio is an award-winning Virtuoso agency.

Elizabeth Clarke
The Cruise Centre

Over the past 30 years, Elizabeth has travelled to most continents and she has used that experience to offer her clients personal insight.

Jo Gostin
FBI Travel

Jo specialises in luxury leisure travel with an emphasis on cruising. She personally escorts a group on a cruise at least once a year.

Julie Poumes
Toorak Travel

Julie has been in travel for over 35 years, specialising in high-end leisure travel. She never gets tired of designing fantastic holidays for her clients.

Justine Sealey
Ramsgate Travel Service

Justine has been with Ramsgate Travel Service for the past 24 years, and has an in-depth knowledge of the cruise industry.

Mandy Dwyer
Main Beach Travel

Mandy has almost 40 years of industry experience, with the last 19 of those owning her own agency, Main Beach Travel, on the Gold Coast.

Melinda Gregor
Gregor & Lewis

Melinda has a passion for cruising and, in particular, luxury and small-ship experiences, fostered over more than 30 years in the industry.

Penny Spencer
Spencer Group of Companies

In 2017, Penny was named in SmartCompany’s list of Top 30 female entrepreneurs, and Travel Weekly’s Women in Travel Power List 2016.

Philip Hoffmann
Phil Hoffmann Travel

Philip was awarded an Order of Australia in 2012 for his contribution to the travel industry. He employs 220 South Australians in 10 branches.

Philip Smethurst
Bicton Travel Premium

Philip creates experiences for luxury travellers. Bicton Travel has been named Australia’s leading Cruise Travel Agency seven times in the CLIA Awards.