Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named the winners of its 13th annual Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards, recognizing the best new cruise ships of the year as chosen by the site’s editors.

The awards, which are selected by Cruise Critic’s international team of editors, return after a year off because of the pandemic and an 18-month global pause in cruising. In 2021, the team focussed on the Best New Ship categories for larger ocean-going ships and luxury ships. Ships that debuted in 2020 but didn’t operate revenue voyages were considered as well.

Cruise Critic’s editors named MSC Virtuosa as the Best New Ship in the Ocean Awards division and Viking Venus as the Best New Ship in the Luxury Awards division.

‘Our winners this year represent both evolution and leadership in the cruise industry,’ Cruise Critic U.K. Managing Editor Adam Coulter said. ‘MSC Cruises’ MSC Virtuosa represents the pinnacle of innovation in an already hugely popular class of ship.

‘Every aspect of the ship — whether that’s entertainment, food or kids’ facilities has been refined and perfected.

‘Virtuosa delivers across the board, whether that’s for kids or adults, families or couples.

‘MSC also gets special mention for showing courage and leadership in restarting cruising in the U.K. on its new flagship in a market that had been locked down for 14 months’.

Coulter added: ‘Viking Venus is the sixth ocean cruise ship built by Viking, but remains as contemporary, innovative and luxurious as it did when the first ship debuted in 2015.

‘Viking is also to be lauded for helping to restart cruising in the U.K. — and christening its brand-new ship while at sea in the English Channel — an industry first’.

With the return to cruising in 2021, several other cruise lines launched new ships, including P&O Cruises’ Iona, Celebrity Apex and Saga’s Spirit of Adventure. In 2022, a slate of new ships will launch, including Disney Wish, Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady and Celebrity Beyond. A host of new luxury, river and expedition ships will debut as well.

‘We hope that 2022 sees a full return to service by the global ocean, luxury, river and expedition cruise industries, and we can bring back our full slate of categories for next year’s Editors’ Picks,’ Coulter said.

Cruise Critic’s annual Editors’ Picks awards are selected based on the editorial staff’s firsthand experience, sailing on dozens of cruise ships each year.

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