The 5 Best Midsize-ship Ocean Cruise Lines

The best cruise lines for midsize ships, according to Travel + Leisure readers, strike a balance between big-time amenities and smaller crowds.

Travelers have been eager to return to the seas, and many were particularly interested in sailing on vessels that achieved the delicate balance between big-time amenities and smaller capacities. Enter the cruise lines in the newly tweaked midsize-ship ocean category, which now includes ships with 300 to 799 cabins.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated individual cruise ships on their cabins and facilities, food, service, itineraries and destinations, excursions and activities, and value. Those assessments were combined to generate results for the cruise lines in six categories, including river cruising.

Viking Cruises in Iceland
Courtesy of Viking

In second place is Seabourn, with its pair of 300-suite ships: the Encore and Ovation. (Seabourn's smaller vessels are recognized in the World's Best Awards small-ship category for 2022.) "Blown away by how nice the ship, food, and service were," said a reader who sailed on Encore.

Highly applauded as well, and in the No. 3 spot for 2022, is Silversea, in this category with its largest ship, the Silver Spirit. "There is a feeling of spaciousness in the ship layout," wrote one fan. "You can always find a place to tuck away and read or enjoy a private conversation."

In the No. 4 spot is luxury line Regent Seven Seas Cruises, noted by one T+L reader for having "above excellent" crew. Rounding out the top 5 is Regent's sister line, Oceania Cruises, which was praised for its cuisine. "Best food on the ocean and great variety," said one fan.

But it was Viking that stole the show among the best cruise lines for midsize ships. Read on for more about what makes the line so popular.

1. Viking

Infinity pool on Viking cruises
Courtesy of Viking

T+L readers rave about the consistency of Viking's vessels and their Scandinavian design. The ships have plenty of nooks and crannies that encourage socializing. Guests can indulge in afternoon tea in the Wintergarden or listen to a lecture by a historian in the theater. Adding oomph is the line's value proposition, with wine and beer at meals, shore excursions, and specialty dining all included in the cruise fare. "What you see is what you get," wrote one reader. "Straightforward, consistently high quality and value at every turn."

Score: 95.16

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2. Seabourn

Suite on Seabourn Ovation
Courtesy of Seabourn

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.84

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3. Silversea

Suite on Silver Spirit Silversea
Courtesy of Silversea

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.08

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4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Suite on Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.85

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5. Oceania Cruises

Exterior of Sirena, Oceania Cruises
Courtesy of Oceania Cruises

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 89.68

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