The Hottest Summer Cruises You Need to Book Right Now
You can go big or small with a Caribbean cruise, ranked No. 1. (Photo: Thinkstock)
With so much variety in destinations, boats, themes, and types, cruises can be whatever you want them to be. While large cruise liners have become increasingly popular for vacations, smaller luxury and expedition ships have also attracted a growing niche crowd with their unique routes. Decide what’s right for you: a 3,000-person boat with floating restaurants, ice-skating rinks, and around-the-clock shows, or a 100-person yacht with particular themes and fewer amenities.
While planning your cruise, you should also consider how long you want to travel and where you want to leave from and return to (or if you want to do a one-way cruise). If you’re hoping to avoid plane or car trips, then you may want to depart from a port near you. Otherwise, you can incorporate the port cities into your trip.
Here are the cruise destinations being searched for the most on Yahoo:
Caribbean cruises are best known as the gateway cruise, ideal for couples and romantic getaways to secluded beaches. Fortunately, because of their dominance in the cruise world, Caribbean cruises come in a wide number of shapes and sizes. Opt for a small, exclusive ship with Silversea or Windstar. Or, go truly all-inclusive with Regent Seven Seas. (Your price includes airfare, onboard specialty restaurants, and shore excursions.) Or, stick with the tried-and-true Caribbean super liners like those offered by Royal Caribbean. Once there, swim through the world’s second-largest barrier reef off the coast of Honduras, go on dolphin encounters in the Bahamas, or take on-shore excursions to explore Mayan ruins and the rainforest. Many Caribbean cruise lines also stop off at their own private islands, such as Royal Caribbean’s paradise Labadee or Holland America’s Half Moon Cay.
Caribbean Cruise Lines: Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Silversea, Windstar, Regent Seven Seas, Norwegian, Carnival, others.
Cost: $54/night to $300/night
(Courtesy: Princess Cruises)
It used to be that an Alaskan cruise was a little wild, a little living-on-the-edge. But now, it’s possible to explore the glaciers and wildlife without missing out on any luxury. You can even bring the family. Princess offers a junior ranger program through the National Park Service, and you can’t go wrong with kids on Carnival or Celebrity ships. The key to your Alaskan adventure is deciding what you’re looking for: a naturalist wilderness experience or a relaxing, pampered boat ride with incredible scenery. Lindblad Expeditions partners with National Geographic to offer daily explorations led by naturalists. Or, enjoy the slick luxury of the Silversea ships and the seawater therapy pools on Celebrity’s boats. Almost all Alaskan cruise lines will visit Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka. You can also travel to Denali National Park, helicopter to a dog-sledding camp, or go on a whale-watching boat to spot a pod of Orcas. And, Alaskan salmon and crab cakes are a staple in any ship’s dining room.