Ships in Tip-Top Shape

I’ve always known that we have terrific ships at Grand Circle Cruise Lines—we’ve worked hard to design the best vessels for each waterway and hire the friendliest English-speaking crew from the regions where we travel. But the most important thing, of course, is that our travelers agree. I'm so grateful to all of the readers of Condé Nast Traveler who voted so many Grand Circle vessels onto the list of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 100 Cruise Ships in the World,” 2013 Readers’ Poll, including two #1 winners in their respective categories. Our name appears on this list more than any other cruise line!

Topping the winners of “Top 40 River Cruise Ships” is the M/S Provence, which is featured on one of our most popular—but intimate—trips, on Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote D’Azur. Readers gave it the highest scores in its class—perfect scores of 100—for itinerary, shore excursions, crew/service, cabins, and design/layout. Though the Provence came out on top, its sister ships—the Allegro, Adagio, and Chardonnay—were close in its wake and were joined by the River Concerto and the Bizet in snagging six of the seven top River Cruise Ship slots. Also making the winning list were the Harmony, Aria, River Melody, River Rhapsody, and the Rossia—plenty of reasons to celebrate.

It’s not just our River Ships that give us something to cheer. The #1 slot in “Top 20 Small Cruise Ships” goes to our own M/V Arethusa, which merited four perfect scores of 100 for itinerary, shore excursions, crew/service, and food/dining, as well as earning the highest score of any ship for design/layout. A 4-star-plus vessel designed exclusively for two small groups of just 25 travelers, each with their own designated Program Director, the Arethusa boasts a crew-to-passenger ratio of nearly one-to-two–a difference our travelers feel right away. I was lucky enough to cruise on this very ship last year, and was just as impressed as Condé Nast readers. I still remember the wonderful crew members—which is easy to do when the crew-to-passenger ratio is 2-to-1!

The Arethusa was also joined in the Top 20 by its sister ship, the similarly configured M/V Artemis. When you pair these vessels with our honored river ships, that’s a total of 14 Grand Circle Cruise Line vessels making the list—the highest number of ships included from any cruise line. We’re proud to claim so many spots on this list that Condé Nast calls “the crème de la crème,” and we’re grateful that you made it possible.

Ask Harriet a question or share your thoughts with her

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me, or comments about the stories featured in Harriet’s Corner? Please email me at harriet@gct.com—and your submission could be featured in the next Harriet’s Corner update. I look forward to sharing what you have to say!