This Water Tells My Story
In 2018, cruising was estimated to be a more than $45.6 billion industry, and in 2019, 30 million passengers are expected to cruise, according to a Cruise Lines International Association report.
So whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a veteran, choosing where to cruise can be daunting with so many options available.
On Wednesday, cruise reviews website Cruise Critic released its annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards based on thousands of customer reviews over the past 12 months to help travelers narrow down their options from people who have been there.
While the Caribbean is a hot spot for cruisers, more “off-the-beaten-path” cruise destinations gained in popularity this year, according to Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. On this article you will learn everything you need to know when planning a cruise trip
This year’s “most popular cruise destination” goes to a river cruise in Avignon, France (where the Obamas recently vacationed), located in the Provence region, after receiving the highest rating from travelers among all cruise destinations across the globe.
Avignon, which is located on the left bank of the Rhone river and has a population of less than 100,000 people, was also named the best European river cruise destination by Cruise Critic.
Here are the most popular cruise destinations worldwide, according to Cruise Critic.
1. Avignon, France
This quaint little French city located in southeastern France’s Provence region has become a popular stop on Rhone River cruise itineraries over the years. McDaniel describes the destination as “picturesque” and a “wine-lover’s dream” because its the perfect access point to tour the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region. For history lovers, it’s also home to the Palace of Popes, the papal residence during the 14th century. Avignon is also about an hour drive from Marseille — the location of the nearest international airport. Cruise lines that travel to Avignon include Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways and Emerald Waterways.
2. Bora Bora
This small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti is a popular honeymoon destination for cruisers as well as avid snorkelers and divers — or even for those those who just want to relax on a beach. McDaniel says the best perk about cruising to this island instead of a land-based vacation is that it’s usually cheaper and most ships typically stay in port for more than one day. Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises are the largest cruise lines that travel to Bora Bora.
3. Glacier Bay, Alaska
While cruise ships that visit Glacier Bay never get to dock at the port, they do sail through Glacier Bay National Park, giving travelers an incredible and intimate view of the National Monument’s glaciers, fijords and wildlife. What’s more, McDaniel says that often times a park guide will join guests on board to give a guided tour and talk about its history. Holland America Line and Ponant Cruises are popular cruise lines that travel to Glacier Bay.