BOSTON, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Circle Cruise Line, the leader in small ship and river cruising worldwide, has been rated the #1 "World's Best River Cruise Line" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for the second year in a row. The 2013 Readers' Choice Awards are featured online today http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards and in the magazine's November issue, appearing on newsstands October 22. This year, readers gave Grand Circle Cruise Line an overall excellence rating of 95.2 out of 100.
"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Conde Nast Traveler and its readers as the number one river cruise line for the second year," said Grand Circle Cruise Line CEO Cook. "We are in the business of helping to change people's lives, which we strive to do by offering travelers affordable, authentic itineraries that connect them with local people, cultures and communities at prices that are typically $50 to $500 less per day than those offered by other small ship cruise lines. We are delighted to be named the world's best river cruise line again this year and thank Conde Nast Traveler's readers, and our travelers, for sharing their experiences of us."
Grand Circle Cruise Line was established in 1998 after the successful charter of a European river ship the year before. Today, Grand Circle consists of more than 50 owned and chartered small ships ranging from 50-250 passengers, including 14 privately-owned and operated river ships, three owned 50-passenger, four-plus star ocean faring ships, and dozens of small, exclusively chartered vessels designed to offer intimate and affordable cruise experiences to Americans aged 50 and older. Grand Circle Cruise Line offers 22 small ship, river cruise, and cruise tour itineraries throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia, Burma, Antarctica, and Panama.
With 32 offices around the world, Grand Circle hires and trains its own Nautical, Technical and Hospitality staff and Program Directors (guides) to ensure a high quality experience both onboard its ships and an authentic onshore itinerary that connects travelers with local people and cultures. Grand Circle's ship crew consistently receives very high marks for their ability to make travelers, including solos, feel welcome from the moment they board a ship through the duration of their cruise, while Grand Circle's local Program Directors are known for sharing their extensive knowledge of, and providing unique access to, the destinations visited.
More than 600,000 Americans have traveled with Grand Circle Cruise Line since 1998, including more than 160,000 solo travelers. Today, one in four (25%) of Grand Circle's river cruise passengers books as a solo traveler, which Grand Circle encourages by offering free or reduced single supplements, free single supplements on pre-and post-trip options, free roommate matching service, a complimentary online Travel Companion program, and a lowest price guarantee. Close to 70% of Grand Circle Cruise Line's passengers are women—up from 52% six years ago.
Results of Conde Nast Traveler's 2013 Readers' Choice Awards are derived from a survey of the magazine's subscribers, which asks readers to rate the world's best cities, hotels, airlines, cruise lines and more. In the river ship category, readers rated their experiences based on the ships' activities/facilities, cabins, crew/service, design/layout, food/dining, itineraries/schedule, and shore excursions.
This is the ninth year in a row that Grand Circle's fleet has been rated among the world's best in the prestigious magazine's annual survey and the second time it has been ranked #1. To learn more about Grand Circle Cruise Line, please view our Grand Circle Cruise Line video and visit www.gct.com.
About Grand Circle Cruise Line
Grand Circle Cruise Line is part of Grand Circle Corporation, the leader in international travel, adventure and discovery for Americans aged 50+. Through its brands Grand Circle Cruise Line (est. 1998), Overseas Adventure Travel (est. 1978) and Grand Circle Travel (est. 1958), the company has served more than two million Americans. Grand Circle Cruise Line owns or charters more than 50 river cruise ships and small ships ranging from 50-250 passengers. The company's charitable arm Grand Circle Foundation has donated or pledged more than $97M to more than 300 humanitarian, cultural and educational organizations worldwide since 1992, including 100 schools, in 50 countries.
SOURCE Grand Circle Cruise Line