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The Leader in Enriching Cultural Experiences since 1958

Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value

We’re Proud to be Named the World’s Best

We strive to provide the best experience at the best value, and we’re honored that our travelers and industry experts acknowledge our commitment to excellence by recognizing us with awards.

Our local Program Directors, attentive crews, and discovery-rich itineraries earned our River Cruises the title of #1 “World’s Best River Cruise Line” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards and our Small Ship Cruises the distinction of “World’s Best” Small Ship Cruise Lines from Travel + Leisure Magazine readers.

#1 World’s Best River Cruise Line 2016

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards
#1 for 5 years in a row 2012-2016
Listed among “World’s Best” 2005-2011

Condé Nast Traveler readers are annually asked to rate the world’s best cities, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more. In the cruise line category, readers rate their experiences based on ship activities/facilities, cabins, crew/service, design/layout, food/dining, itineraries/schedule, and shore excursions.

Best River Cruise Line for Enrichment 2015

Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards

Selected by Cruise Critic’s international team of editors, the Editors’ Picks Awards are designed to showcase excellence in categories including dining, cabins, enrichment, and more.

Ranked Among the World’s Best Cruise Lines 2016

Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards
Top 5 “World’s Best” River Cruise Lines 2012-2016
Top 5 “World’s Best” Small Ship Cruise Lines 2009, 2016

Travel + Leisure’s annual “World’s Best Awards” celebrate readers’ favorite travel experiences in a number of different areas, with categories including cruise lines, tour and safari operators, and more.

#2 Best River Cruise Line 2015

USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice Awards

In 2015, readers selected their favorite river cruise lines as part of USA Today 10 Best’s survey of the best of the best on the world’s riverways.

Gold List cruise line

Condé Nast Traveler

Until 2015, Condé Nast Traveler readers were asked annually to participate in the magazine’s Readers’ Choice Survey—and the resulting Gold List honor was bestowed to a who’s who of top destinations, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and more. Those who made the list for five consecutive years—like Grand Circle Cruise Line—also earned a place in the prestigious Platinum Circle.

View additional awards we’ve earned over the years, including accolades for our workplace and for Grand Circle Foundation.


We’ve won a number of other awards over the years, including accolades for our workplace and for Grand Circle Foundation.

Grand Circle Cruise Line


"World's Leading River Cruise Operator"
World Traveler Awards

Grand Circle Corporation

2013-2006 Top Corporate Charitable Contributors in Greater Boston
Corporate Philanthrophy Summit and Boston Business Journal
2013 Philanthropic Leadership
Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Award
2013 Top Producing Tour Operator received by Grand Circle Travel and O.A.T.

Best Value for the Money Packages received by Grand Circle Travel
South African Tourism Board
2010 Philanthropic Travel
Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Award
2006 Humanitarian Award received by O.A.T.
Tanzania Tourist Board
2006 25 Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work for in America
Great Place to Work® Institute, Inc. and Society for Human Resource Management
2006 New England Social Entrepreneur of the Year received by
Grand Circle CEO Alan Lewis
Ernst & Young
2006 Excellence Award
Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
2005 Top 20 Best Places to Work (large company division)
Boston Business Journal
2000 & 1998 Friends of Thailand Award
Government of Thailand

Grand Circle Foundation

2006 Citizenship Award received by Harriet Lewis
City on a Hill Public Charter School
2004 Cornerstone Award
Neurofibromatosis Foundation
2004 Circle of Giving Award received by Harriet Lewis
The New England Women's Leadership Award (NEWLA)
2004 Thompson Island Outward Bound North Star Award
Thompson Island Outward Bound
2003 UNESCO World Heritage Centre Partners in Conservation Program

2002 AIDS Action Corporate Partner Award
AIDS Action Committee
2001 Big Sister Association Achievement Award
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
2001 Recognition Award
Shelter, Inc.
2000 Hero of Philanthropy Award
National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE)
1998 Thompson Island Founders' Award
Thompson Island Outward Bound
1996 Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Founders' Award
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

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