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HE prestigious Wave Awards returned recently to celebrate the destinations, operators and attractions that continue to make cruising one of the fastest growing and most popular holiday choices. Held at London’s Royal Garden Hotel and hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke, the second annual Wave Awards honoured the outstanding performances across five cruise-related categories and 34 awards.

Royal Caribbean proved one of the biggest winners of the evening, picking up the award for Best Ocean Cruise Line, for its “extraordinary approach” to delivering fun, luxurious customer experiences. It also won Best New Ship Launch, for when Harmony of the Seas - the world’s biggest ship - arrived in Southampton, Best Family Cruise Line, and was highly commended in the Passenger Favourite

Ocean Cruise Line category.

March 2017 Travel News

Companies on the crest of a wave... T

With shore excursions such an intrinsic part of cruise travel, the awards also acknowledged which attractions help make holidays all the more memorable and bring a destination to life. Intercruises scooped the award for Best UK Attraction or Excursion for the popularity of its Tower of London experiences, whilst Celebrity Cruises won the International category for its new Chef’s Market Discoveries programme, which allows passengers to enjoy chef-led shopping trips and learn how to cook local specialities.

This was the first time that the awards had included a Best for LGBT category, which was awarded to Celebrity Cruises in recognition of its LGBT-friendly packages and revamped onboard events designed with this specific client group in mind.

The awards also focused on the places that are

helping change the way the public perceive cruising, with the Falkland Islands being crowned Best Destination. The judges commented on the meteoric rise in popularity amongst cruise travellers, with the number of passengers visiting the remote South Atlantic archipelago jumping from 9,000 in 2012 to 100,000 just four years later.

Other winners of the evening included Hurtigruten in Best for Environment & Sustainability, for encouraging passengers to join in the local initiatives supported by The Hurtigruten Foundation, Silversea Expeditions in Best Adventure Cruise Line, for catering to the growing demand for expedition cruises and adventure travel with its partnerships with the Royal Geographical Society and TV explorer Michael Palin, and Emirates, voted Passenger Favourite Airline.

Small ships a big draw

FRED. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to get closer to some of Europe’s prettiest destinations in 2017, sailing from Southampton, with its new ‘Into the heart of your destination’ brochure.

Guests can take advantage of Fred. Olsen’s four smaller, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Black Watch and Boudicca – to sail along the River Weser to Bremen, Germany; cruise along the entire length of Nærøyfjord, Norway; or dock alongside Bordeaux’s beautiful promenade. Guests can also come face to face with the stunning fjordland in Norway, get to the heart of captivating cities in Scandinavia and the Baltic and canals and rivers that are restricted to ships Fred. Olsen’s size.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“Southampton is well- known as the UK’s most popular cruise departure port, and this demand has brought with it even more ships, which seem to grow larger and larger every year.

“However, this is not the case with Fred. Olsen; our smaller ships bring our guests an experience that can’t be super-sized! We can take you closer to enchanting cities and navigate waterways that are out of reach to larger vessels. This means our guests can be confident that they will see the best sights, get closer to city highlights and reach the most remote, untouched corners of the globe that some of the larger ships simply cannot go to.”

Katherine Lawrey, Group Editor at Real Response Media – the business and consumer publishing company behind the Wave Awards – commented: “With demand for cruising having increased by 62 per cent in the last decade and CLIA forecasting global ocean cruise passengers will reach a record high of 25.3 million this year, it’s more valuable than ever that the travel industry celebrates the outstanding performers helping highlight the incredible wealth of experiences and travel styles that cruising can offer holidaymakers. “Our judges were extremely impressed by the calibre of this year’s entries, which highlighted how the Wave Awards is encouraging the UK cruise industry’s players to continue driving their standards of service, innovation and overall customer experience forwards.” The full list of winners from the Wave Awards 2017 is available on

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