Passengers:130 World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #3 River Ship Best for: Passengers who want a trip steeped in the culture and history of the destination, both on and off the ship
Sails: Danube River
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing third in the River Ship category. Like its sister ship MS Inspire, the MS Savor debuted in 2014 and soon won raves for its in-the-know tour directors (there are three onboard), casual atmosphere, and roomy, cleverly designed cabins.
There are only 67 earth-toned staterooms and 130 passengers onboard—fewer than many other river ships of this size—you’ll have more room to move both in public spaces and in your cabin. Standard staterooms range from 150 square feet to 225 square feet, and 30 percent of the staterooms onboard are 300-square-foot suites with two French balconies. One of the most in-demand room categories is the new 225-square-foot Loft cabins, which features a seating area on a raised platform with a one-and-a-half deck window—a rarity for lower-deck cabins, which usually only have a small narrow window near the ceiling.
You won’t have to skimp on cocktails, or wait until lunch and dinner to imbibe: a long list of spirits and wines are covered by your fare, and you can order them anytime. Excursions are also included (more on that later), so you can do as many or as few as you’d like.
All organized outings are wrapped into your cruise rate, and that includes more than just walking tours and visits to historic sites. In Vienna, for example, passengers spend an evening at Palais Pallavicini for cocktails and dinner before a private classical concert—and in Prague, they do the same at Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. Bonus: there’s a fleet of bicycles onboard, which are free to use whenever you’re at port.
Like most river ships, the top deck of the MS Savor is open to the elements, allowing passengers to soak in the sun and the sights along the riverbank. (Some sections are shaded, and one is flanked by glass walls to protect passengers on breezy days.) But unlike on other ships, the Sundeck is also home to a plunge pool, as well as a putting green so you can practice your game as castles and villages roll by.
Every night, passengers decamp to the navy-and-cream Compass Rose dining room for a multi course meal focusing on regional dishes and ingredients, along with classic fare like steak frites, Norwegian salmon, and Caesar salad. On select nights, Arthur’s, which offers casual fare like burgers and salads for lunch, becomes a steak house, serving up generous cuts of rib eyes, strip steaks, and filet mignon.