There’s nothing quite like seeing the world via a luxurious cruise ship. With all of the various modern amenities offered by most big cruise lines, the ships can often feel like a paradise in and of themselves.
Still, though, when it comes to cruises, what most people care most about are the ports. Where they’re going. The destination.
Because of this, below we have decided to detail some of the hottest cruise destinations for this season – including a few itineraries that are newly available and rapidly gaining popularity.
Cruise Destinations That You Should Consider This Year
Europe or the Mediterranean
These destinations are perfect for the discerning traveler – especially if you consider yourself a foodie or wine aficionado.
The Mediterranean provides breathtaking scenery with romantic beaches, historical cities, and sumptuous cuisine. A variety of Mediterranean cruises are available, all of which are sure to take your breath away.
European river cruises provide ample dining opportunities and a unique way to explore Europe. Indulge in local cuisine in Rome, Vienna, Bordeaux, and more. You can afford the extra calories, too, as most European river cruises offer ample walking tours and museum visit as well to help you burn off all the delicious foods you’re eating.
Everyone should experience an Alaskan cruise at least once. It’s a unique way to experience the rugged Alaskan wilderness, either from the comfort of your deck or through a hands-on shore excursion.
Alaskan cruise ships are known for their luxury accommodations, so if you’re looking to travel in high style, an Alaskan cruise has you covered. If you’re traveling as a couple and would like to snuggle up together in the lap of luxury, an Alaskan cruise can be the perfect way to do it.
This once inaccessible location is quickly becoming a very popular travel destination. Cuba offers the natural beauty and pristine beaches typical of the Caribbean, but also has some unique attributes that set it apart from any other Caribbean island you might have experienced previously, which makes it a very special destination.
Cuban ports are generally not as hectic as other Caribbean islands, so you won’t be bombarded with the usual hawkers of Colombian emeralds and tanzanite franchises. In any port but Havana, yours will likely be the only cruise ship visiting that day, making for a much quieter experience than is typical of other Caribbean ports. Trinidad specifically is known for its beautiful architecture and pristine beaches.
Because Americans have only recently been allowed in Cuba, visiting now is truly historic, which add a lot of appeal. The pristine beaches could make this particularly desirable for couples seeking a tropical reprieve.
There are, however, some things to keep in mind for safety’s sake. Make absolute sure not to drink the water or any fountain soft drink – stick to bottled beverages. Also make sure that you are in good health before embarking, as medical care can be lacking in this region.
U.S. River Cruises
Follow in the tradition of Mark Twain to see the U.S. as never before via a river cruise. Cruises are available on a variety of rivers throughout the U.S., each of which offers its own special local flavor. These cruises could be ideal for families, or if your budget can’t accommodate an international cruise. River cruises are generally more low-key than ocean cruises, so they can be great if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Some specific river cruise locations to consider:
- The Chesapeake Bay is located on the border of Virginia and Maryland, and is the largest estuary in the U.S. Popular stops on Chesapeake Bay cruises include Williamsburg, VA, St. Michaels MD and Annapolis, MD.
- The Columbia River is in the Pacific Northwest, and runs through the mountains of British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon. These cruises are often offered as duo cruises with the Snake River, which flows through Oregon and into Idaho. Columbia/Snake River cruises are currently some of the most sought-after itineraries, and for good reason. The breathtaking temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest and high-desert wilderness of Oregon are enough to make any nature lover swoon.
- The St. Lawrence River runs through southern Canada and New York. St. Lawrence River cruises run through the borders of New England and Canada. These cruises are a great way to take in the breathtaking fall foliage of New England if you head out in the fall.
China and Southeast Asia
For the past couple of years, cruise lines have been providing more itineraries in China and Southeast Asia. These often include ports such as Beijing, Singapore, and Baoshan. They may also sail to exotic locales such as Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. These locations are rich in culture, and are home to luscious jungles and beautiful tropical beaches.
China and Southeast Asia might be for you if you’re up for an adventure, or are an experienced cruiser looking for something out of the ordinary. Most of the cruise ships setting sail to these locations offer unparalleled luxury, with some including all-new amenities such as onboard go-karts.
No matter what your destination, cruises offer a unique way to see the world while surrounded by luxury and abundant entertainment opportunities on-board. If you’re a first-time cruiser, check out our planning guide to help you select the right destination and prepare for your cruise so that you have fun while staying safe.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.