Planning your next cruise and looking for ideas on where to travel to on your dream vacation? Read on for our list of the top 10 cruise destinations to help you figure out where your next voyage should take you.
10 – Caribbean
With its consistently warm temperatures, crystalline turquoise waters and its close proximity to the southern United States it is little wonder that the Caribbean is such a massively popular cruise destination. Cruise lines plying its waters are numerous and itineraries abound.
Eastern Caribbean cruise destinations include St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, St. Martin, Dominica and more. In the western portion you can experience the beauty and culture of places like Belize, Jamaica, Cuba, New Orleans and Grand Cayman.
Caribbean cruises are great for Honeymooners, families and water sport enthusiasts.
9 – Mexico
Though most North America vacationers heading south for a little R&R will hit up the all-inclusive resorts of Mexico and cruise is a great alternative. A week at an all-inclusive won’t afford visitors more than a tiny glimpse of the culture and beauty this country has to offer. Visit Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta and many more ports of call.
The best time to take a Mexico cruise is during the months from November to April. Less humidity and more consistent temperatures will make your trip more comfortable.
This cruise is great for energetic souls who don’t mind a little drinking and some loud music.
8 – Alaska
In my opinion this is absolutely the best way to see Alaska. An Alaskan cruise offers you unparalleled access to this rugged, untamed state, and you will have the opportunity to experience wildlife and jaw-dropping natural beauty throughout your voyage.
Fjords, glaciers, dense borreal forest and soaring mountain peaks are just a taste of the stunning views you can expect from the deck of your cruise ship and by the end of the trip you’ll have calluses on your index finger from all the photos you’ve taken.
The best time of year is during the North American summer. The temperatures still won’t compare to the Caribbean or Mexico, but at least you won’t have to huddle up in a parka to sit outside.
7 – Hawaiian Islands
Having been to both Maui and Oahu I can truly appreciate the joy of spending a week or two hanging out on the beach, snorkeling, hiking through rainforest or through the craters of dormant volcanoes.
Well, taking a Hawaiian Islands cruise is like having your cake and eating it too. You can still experience all the adventure of a standard Hawaiian vacation while enjoying time at sea, sailing between the islands and staring in amazement at the jawdropping splendor of the massive green cliffs.
Hawaii is beautiful at any time of year, however a February arrival will not only provide those from northern climes a welcome escape from winter, but will also afford them the opportunity to take in the annual migration of the humpback whales, when thousands of these magnificent creatures will be frolicking in the waters between the islands.
6 – Norwegian Fjords
Much like an Alaskan cruise, and Norwegian Fjords cruise is all about natural beauty. Sure, there are cultural experiences to be had in places like Oslo, Geiranger and Svartisen, but nature is at its absolute best here, and fjords, glaciers and magnificent waterfalls provide cruisers with a mind-numbing backdrop as they travel through the chilly waters of Scandinavia.
The Hurtigruten ships themselves are a wonder to behold, and those used to more conventional cruise ships will feel like ancient mariners the moment they step aboard one.
5 – Mediterranean
Okay, certainly not the cheapest cruise option around, but if you want to experience beautiful weather and thousands of years of culture and tradition in one nice package then a Mediterranean cruise is definitely the way to go.
Popular excursions include the French Riviera, the Greek Islands and the Ligurian coast of Italy, and that is but a sampling of the destinations available to you on a Mediterranean cruise.
So with all that going for it, why isn’t a Mediterranean cruise ranked higher on the list? If you don’t like crowds then this type of voyage might not be for you. Traveling during the best weather – May to September – will have you fighting throngs of people at every port.
4 – Baltic Sea
Another European cruise, this particular option is a little better for those who don’t want to be elbow to elbow with other tourists every time they disembark the ship. Yes, the Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki are popular destinations, but they don’t attract tourists in anywhere near the same numbers that you’ll see ashore on a Mediterranean cruise.
The highlight of a Baltic Sea voyage is undoubtedly the Russian city of St. Petersburg. If history, architecture, culture and tradition are high up on your priority list when traveling then this is a destination not to be missed.
3 – South Pacific
If you’ve previously taken a Hawaiian cruise and enjoyed it then you’ll absolutely love a voyage through the South Pacific. Like all the cruises in our top 5 it is a little pricey, and the long travel across open ocean when moving between islands might be a turn-off for some, the pros still push this breathtakingly beautiful region of the world into our top 3.
Fiji and the Polynesian Islands are tropical paradises in the truest sense of the phrase and the local peoples’ strong adherence to their cultures and their traditions will make visitors believe they’ve been transported back to a simpler time.
That said, luxury abounds on a voyage to this region, and if you enjoy being pampered on your vacation then a South Pacific cruise is definitely one you should consider.
2 – Antarctica
As cool and otherworldly as it is to take an Alaskan or a Norwegian Fjords cruise they are just a tiny taste compared to what awaits you on an Antarctic cruise.
The ships are smaller and the price per passenger goes up significantly as a result, but if you have the means then this is a vacation adventure not to be missed. The opportunity to see glaciers calving, and to sail beneath behemoth glacial cliffs is truly awe-inspiring. Watching colonies of penguins frolic across the frozen landscape will have you laughing in pure joy at their antics.
If you truly want to experience an alien land on your own planet then an Antarctic cruise is a must. Just remember that the weather is harsh there, so the window for cruising is pretty narrow. Plan your vacation between December and February if you want to enjoy the best weather.
1 – Galapagos
I struggled with this choice, but in the end this region just narrowly edged out Antarctica for the #1 spot on the list of the top 10 cruise destinations.
Now, to be honest, this cruise isn’t for everyone. However, if you want to see wildlife and have a keen interest in evolution then this chain of islands will keep you in awe throughout the journey. Here you can see 500 pound tortoises, lava lizards, fur seals, sea lions, hammerhead sharks and numerous species of birds.
Though you don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy a cruise here, those with a keen interest in natural selection will be in their glory. The animals on these remote islands have no fear of humans, which allows viewers to study them in their own environments. It is a very cool experience that is hard to find anywhere on the planet.
There you have it, the top 10 cruise destinations in the world. Whether you are a first time cruiser or the veteran of dozens of voyages looking for a new adventure we hope you’ve found something on our list to tempt you for your next vacation.