Tremendous effort goes into making sure a destination delivers an unforgettable experience for cruise guests. Those endeavours – and the success they bring – are gaining global recognition through a range of industry awards.
Jamaica retained its titles as both the Caribbean’s and the world’s leading cruise destination, and won a raft of other awards at the World Travel Awards 2016. Speaking at the ceremony, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett highlighted the contributions of local partners in creating a successful destination. “I am very pleased that destination Jamaica and our local tourism partners continue to be world-beaters on the international stage,” he said. “Their performance has played a significant role in fuelling the growth that we are seeing in our sector.”
Liverpool’s award for Best UK Port of Call in the Cruise Critic 2016 Editor’s Choice Awards builds on a successful rejuvenation that has seen the city being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture. In its review, Cruise Critic noted: “Fortunately for cruise passengers, much of Liverpool’s redevelopment and revitalisation projects have taken place in the city centre, alongside the waterfront where cruise ships dock. Serving as prime examples, the revitalised Albert Dock houses numerous restaurants and attractions – like the Beatles Story – and the adjacent billion-pound Liverpool One retail park is the UK’s largest open-air retail complex.”
Passengers, as well as peers, contribute to the global recognition of top cruise destinations. The Cruisers Choice Destination Awards recognise the places rated most highly in published member reviews. Winners in 2016 included St Petersburg, which topped the list for Baltic and Scandinavia destinations, while San Francisco was the top-rated destination in the US and Canada. Mystery Island, a regular stopping place for South Pacific cruise ships, won the award for Asia & South Pacific Destinations. Lauded for its snorkelling and peaceful beaches, as well as tours provided by the local population, the island is described in one five-star review as “a clean and well kept piece of paradise”.
Some 4,000 Australian cruise passengers contributed their views to help decide the Cruise Passenger 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, naming the South Pacific as the best cruise destination. Announcing the winners, the publication stated: “These views don’t come from peers – they are the genuine and constructive verdicts of the passengers. The results are a tribute to the men and women who work so hard to make our holidays great.”
The efforts of ports to create inspiring destinations are also gaining valuable recognition. For example, the ESPO Award for the societal integration of ports recognises the port that most successfully integrates with the city or wider community, through involvement in art or culture. Some 13 ports including Antwerp, Naestved, Brest, Guadeloupe, Tallinn, North Adriatic Sea Port Authority, Oslo, Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority, Koper, Málaga, Santander Port Authority, Associated British Ports (South Wales) and DP World London Gateway Port are in the running for the 2017 award, which will be announced in November2017.