15 of the best cruise destinations

best cruise destinations

A new study, from Avanti Travel Insurance, has ranked Tampa as the best cruise destination for 2024. 

The study analysed Trip Advisor reviews to find the best* holiday locations based on food and budget as well as their suitability for seniors, couples and families, to give each destination an overall cruise index score. 

The findings collated by holiday travel insurance specialists, Avanti Travel Insurance, revealed that Tampa ranked as the top destination, with an overall cruise index score of 74 (out of 100). 

Tampa also came out on top as the most family-friendly destination and second for its suitability for seniors. 

The charming island of Cozumel and the city of Barcelona came in second and third place in the overall ranking, with index scores of 71.9 (Cozumel) and 71.8 (Barcelona). Both destinations also featured in the most romantic holiday destinations for couples, with Barcelona scoring 20 (out of 20) and Cozumel (17.2).

As we approach Spring, many will be eager to start booking their annual summer holiday, long weekend or hot stint abroad. And it’s clear that cruise holidays are growing in popularity this year, with Google Trends data revealing that searches for the term ‘cruise destinations’ have soared by 105% in the UK from January 24 to February 24.

Choosing the right cruise for you 

Kelly Johnstone from Avanti Travel Insurance says:  

“Cruises are set to be all the rage this year and there’s a reason why they’ve grown in popularity. 

“There’s nothing quite like a cruise. That’s part of what makes them special, but for the uninitiated, it can be quite overwhelming when it’s time to book. 

“Before picking a shortlist of cruise lines and ships, begin by looking at the destinations, and thinking about the sort of cruise you’re after. All ships have ‘personalities’ and cruise lines cater to different audiences.

“Cruise lines often have specific holidaymakers that they cater to. Some, like Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, are known for their luxury cruises, while others are better for adventures, like Hurtigruten. Then there’s Disney, one of the leading family cruise lines.

“Take your time. This is, for some people, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday – there’s no rush.”

Sara Young, Revenue Manager at Carnival Cruises UK says:

“The demographic for cruises is definitely changing as we are seeing more disrupters entering the market such as the Ritz Carlton who’ve launched their first cruise ships, with more coming in 2024. We are also seeing more cruises aimed at the younger generations, with Virgin offering hen-dos and Disney cruises growing in popularity for families. There are also more cruise ships now going to more unusual places. It used to be that the ships would follow set routes such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries, but now some of the cruise lines have smaller ships that take them to more interesting places such as islands in Scandinavia and routes up to Iceland.”

“Barcelona continues to be one of the most popular cruise destinations as they have the largest cruise port in Europe and 4th in the world. The reason the port is so busy is because of its position at the mouth to the Mediterranean, so ships coming to and from the Mediterranean have to pass by it. Barcelona is full of attractions suitable for everyone including sightseeing, incredible restaurants and nightlife.”

*best cruise destinations in relation to the reviews analysed by the study

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