Viking is best cruise line in Mediterranean, Royal Caribbean offers best value, in new rankings

US News & World Report chose Viking Ocean Cruises as the best cruise line in the Mediterranean. Viking Sky, the third 930-guest ocean ship from the line, called on New York City for the first time in October.
(Mark Von Holden/Associated Press Images for Viking Cruises)

If you’re planning a cruise during the coming year, there are a lot of things to consider: Is the price right? Does the cruise line sail to the destination you’re longing to see? Does it cater to couples or families?

U.S. News & World Report may offer some insights. The magazine announced its 2018 Best Cruise Lines rankings Tuesday, evaluating 165 ships in 17 cruise lines across six categories.

The rankings are categorized to help travelers select cruises by region, traveler type and budget.

Viking Ocean Cruises, which is new to the list this year, earned the top spot in the category best cruise line in the Mediterranean, followed by Seabourn and by Regent Seven Seas. Viking plans to add 10 new river and oceangoing ships in the next few years.

In the category best cruise for the money, Royal Caribbean International topped the list, followed by Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.


Planning to cruise with your kids? The best cruise line for families title went to Disney Cruise Line, followed by Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line.

If you’re more interested in getting away from kids, you might like to try one of the lines that were top scorers in the best cruise lines for couples category: Seabourn, which is new to the ratings, Viking Ocean Cruises and Crystal Cruises.

In the category best luxury cruise lines, Crystal Cruises earned the top spot again, followed by Seabourn and Viking Ocean Cruises.

In the category best cruise lines in the Caribbean, Disney was the top scorer for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

In scoring the lines, U.S. News takes into consideration several factors, said Gwen Sherman, the publication’s travel editor. These include excursions, amenities, activities, reputation among travelers, results from health assessments conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, price and itinerary offerings.


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Twitter: @latimestravel