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And the world’s best new cruise ship is…

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-05 16:06:01-04

(CNN) — The 2015 U.S. Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards have been revealed — and it’s the Viking that has conquered all.

Viking Star was named Best New Ship of 2015 in the ocean category, with judges loving its boutique style and stylish restaurants.

But this is no Viking longboat — it’s a state of the art cruise liner that has earned rave reviews from judges.

The 930-passenger ship was praised for its “more inclusive price structure from its river offerings” as well as the complimentary Wi-Fi, alcoholic beverages at lunch and dinner and a free shore excursion in every port.

Azamara Club Cruises scored highly with the judges as well, winning the Best Shore Excursions award for the second year in succession, while Carnival Cruise Line snagged the Best Value-for-Money award, commended for its “range of affordable fares and well-rounded offerings onboard.”

There was a big win for Un-Cruise in the Best for Adventure category.

The line offers hiking, kayaking and snorkeling experiences across Alaska, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, Baja Mexico and the enchanting Galapagos.

Next year it’s heading to Costa Rica, too.

“Our editors live and breathe cruising, sailing year-round and covering every aspect of the industry — from new ships and programs to updated amenities and features,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic.

“With so many wonderful cruise options available, it’s never an easy list to narrow down, but these awards truly represent the lines that our experts have recognized as the best of the best.

“This year we also highlight the top river cruise lines, reflecting the growth of this sector — in terms of both interest and options.”

In the river category, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection stole the show with editors singling out the line’s “lavish onboard offerings and amenities, new itineraries and innovative excursion offerings.”

The line won the Best River Cruise Line, Best New River Ship — for the new S.S. Maria Theresa — and Best Shore Excursions.

The S.S. Maria Theresa is a beautifully styled baroque vessel that sails down the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers with 150 guests on board.

Uniworld has successfully maintained the ship’s character and history while making sure all the necessary mod cons are on board.

In terms of luxury, Crystal Cruises came top of the class, while Royal Caribbean International was a hit with families.

2015 U.S Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards (Ocean)

Best New Ship: Viking Star (Viking Ocean Cruises)

Best Ship Refurbishment: Star Breeze (Windstar Cruises)

Best for Luxury: Crystal Cruises

Best for Families: Royal Caribbean International

Best Itineraries: Azamara Club Cruises

Best for Adventure: Un-Cruise Adventures

Best Value-for-Money: Carnival Cruise Line

Best Dining: Celebrity Cruises

Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean International

Best Suites: Royal Caribbean International

Best Inside Cabins: Disney Cruise Line

Best Standard Cabins: MSC Cruises

Best Shore Excursions: Azamara Club Cruises

Best for Romance: Windstar Cruises

Best Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line

Best North American Homeport: Port Canaveral

2015 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards (River)

Best River Cruise Line: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Best New River Ship: Maria Theresa (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

Best Dining: AmaWaterways

Best Cabins: Avalon Waterways

Best Enrichment: Grand Circle Cruise Line

Best Shore Excursions: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterways

Best Itineraries: Viking River Cruises

Best Value-for-Money: Emerald Waterways

UK Cruise Critic Awards

The UK Cruise Critic Awards were also handed out Monday, with Crystal winning the top award for luxury there too.

“New ship launches, itineraries and onboard offerings bring more choice than before, which is great news for UK holidaymakers, but can make it even harder to choose the right cruise,” said Cruise Critic UK editor, Adam Coulter.

“We aim to identify the lines we feel are at the top of their game, and highlight the latest innovations in the industry to help people when planning a cruise.”

P&O Cruises’ Britannia, the largest ship ever built for the UK market, was named Best New Ship and drew praise for its “sophisticated décor and design, and outstanding dining.”

AmaWaterways picked up three awards including Best River Cruise Line and was congratulated on the success of its partnerships with Adventures by Disney and Backroads Tours to attract new, younger passengers and families. The line also won Best for Active Cruisers, and Best Dining.

Other ocean cruise line winners include Royal Caribbean, which took three awards for Best for Families, Best Entertainment and Best Suites.

For the third consecutive year Azamara won the Best Shore Excursions award, while Celebrity Cruises’ Eclipse was awarded Best Refurbishment.

River cruise winners include CroisiEurope, claiming Best New River Ship for Loire Princesse, and Best for Itineraries, while Emerald Waterways was named Best for Value.

2015 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards (Ocean):

Best New Ship: P&O Cruises’ Britannia

Best Refurbishment: Celebrity Eclipse

Best for Luxury: Crystal Cruises

Best for Families: Royal Caribbean

Best Itineraries: Fred. Olsen

Best for Adventure: Hurtigruten

Best Value: Thomson

Best Dining: P&O Cruises

Best Entertainment: Royal Caribbean

Best Suites: Royal Caribbean

Best Cabins: Holland America Line

Best Shore Excursions: Azamara

Best for Romance: Star Clippers

Best for Nightlife: Norwegian Cruise Line

Best UK Port of Call: Guernsey

Best UK Departure Port: Southampton

2015 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards (River):

Best River Cruise Line: AmaWaterways

Best New River Ship: CroisiEurope’s Loire Princesse

Best Dining: AmaWaterways

Best Cabins: Sanctuary Retreats

Best Enrichment: Tauck

Best Shore Excursions: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Best for Active Cruisers: AmaWaterways

Best for Itineraries: CroisiEurope

Best for Value: Emerald Waterways