Cruising is hot hot hot in Canada and the United States. Read on to find out what cruising has to offer, what the top cruise destinations are for 2008–2009, and which cruise lines are the most popular.
2008 has been dubbed by many in the travel industry and the travel field as “The Year of the Cruise,” and it’s no wonder! Whether it’s to the islands of the Caribbean or to picturesque portside cities in Europe, cruising has grown in Canada and the United States. Gone are the days where cruises are only taken by grandparents and sweater-vest types!
Many cruise lines today also offer fun themed-cruises for extra enticement: golf cruises, wine and food, health and wellness or yoga, photography, Broadway, jazz, the Love Boat, and more.
To Cruise or Not to Cruise?
Too expensive? Prefer traveling on your own and independently? Don’t want to get seasick? These are the top three reasons why people don’t cruise, as noted in the Travelweek Ultimate Travel Survey 2008*.
So, why cruise? All-inclusive nature of cruises, controlled costs, no transportation or connection woes, you only have to unpack and pack once, lots of entertainment and activities, buffet meals, amazing hospitality … the list goes on! Cruise lines have also tried to address travelers’ concerns about cruises. Bigger ships with more space and less crowded dining rooms are now available, along with flexible itineraries for side trips into the port that allow for independent traveling, and also a diverse variety of activities onboard to keep cruising clients busy and entertained.
Top Cruise Destinations and Ports of Call
While the Caribbean has been a traditional destination for cruises, bookings to islands in and around the Caribbean has been in less demand, compared cruises to Europe. People can’t get enough of European cruise destinations and ports—and we know why.
Check out these great destination photos of the ten top portside cities in the Easten Mediterranean and ten top portside cities in the Western Mediterranean—the perfect destinations to dream the afternoon away!
While many of European ports are packed with endless numbers of large cruiseliners, many ports are small, picturesque, and absolutely perfect. From Rome to Nice, Dubrovnik to Livorno, Barcelona to Kusadasi or Parga, the ports of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean are absolutely stunning and among the best spots in the world to watch a sunset and enjoy a glass of wine.
Most Popular and In-Demand Cruise Lines
As part of the survey, travel agents in Canada named the most popular and in-demand cruise lines that are often asked-for by their clients: 1) Royal Caribbean, 2) Princess Cruises, 3) Carnival, 4) Holland America Line, and 5) Celebrity.
With so many cruise lines all vying for the attention of single travelers, couples, honeymooners, parents, parents with kids, families, retired, and elderly—the options for cruise destinations, ports of call, and port itineraries is countless.
All the more reason why you owe it to yourself (and your family) to give cruising a try this winter! Bon Voyage!
*Statistics courtesy of Travelweek Ultimate Travel Survey 2008, copyrighted in 2008 by Concepts Travel Media Ltd.
Photo courtesy of TripAtlas