SOUTHAMPTON-BASED vessels featured strongly in an annual cruising awards list, voted for by the passengers.

Cruise Critic, a review site and online cruise community, announced the winners of the 2016 Cruisers Choice Awards today.

A new award for 2016 was Best for First-Timers, which went to P&O’s Southampton-based Arcadia, which sails to a variety destinations including San Francisco, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Cape Town.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth also flew the flag for the city, winning the vote for Best Public Rooms in the large ship category.

Norwegian Cruise Line were the most successful company, sailing away with eight awards.

In the large ship category, Norwegian Spirit took four, including Best Overall, while Norwegian Escape, which launched in 2015, won Best Entertainment.

Norwegian Sun took three mid-size awards, including Best Entertainment.

These successes follow Norwegian Cruise Line’s recent announcement that Norwegian Jade will be sailing from Southampton in the summer of 2017.

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, which sails from Southampton to Spain and the Mediterranean, was voted best large ship for embarkations.

“These awards offer a valuable stamp of approval from travellers, and celebrate the lines which are truly excelling,” explained Adam Coulter, UK editor, Cruise Critic. “The feedback and reviews shared on Cruise Critic help travellers to be better informed and feel more confident about their decisions, making it easier to plan a great cruise holiday.”

The UK Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are based on reviews submitted by UK-based cruisers for cruises taken during 2015. They are awarded in three ship classes, according to passenger capacity – small (1,199 passengers or fewer), mid-sized (1,200 to 1,999) and large (2,000-plus).