Choosing the Best Cruise Destination

Woman standing and holding a large globe in front of her face
Finding your perfect cruise destination is key to enjoying your cruise vacation.

Not every cruise destination is suited for everyone but thankfully there is a huge amount of choice out there for all ages and all personality types. In order to have a memorable experience, you want to make sure that you are picking the right cruise destination for you. That involves working out what you want from your cruise. Do you have a sense of adventure? Do you want to immerse yourself in different cultures? Just want to relax? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself.

Here we will make that as easy as possible, as we will have a deeper look into which types of destinations are perfect for different people. This will be able to give you a clear idea of which type of cruise destination will be the perfect one for you.

What are the factors that influence your cruise destination?

Cruises are so much more than just a way to relax, but only if you want it to be. Each cruise destination out there can offer a multitude of different experiences and it’s important to know which one is going to be right for you. But first, you need to know what you want from your cruise destination and the many different factors that are going to influence your choice of a cruise destination. 

These might range from your lifestyle and family situation, to your personality type and interests. Regardless, there is most definitely at least one perfect (or several) cruise destinations for every person in the world. There are so many countries and cities out there to explore that the possibilities are literally endless. However, another significant limiting factor might be your budget. But good news! There are tons of cruise deals out there that would allow you to visit a number of great destinations without breaking the bank.

Taking all these factors into consideration will ensure that you will have the best cruise vacation possible.

Match your cruise destination to your family situation

If you are cruising as a family, the best cruise destinations are going to depend on the age of the children and how long the journey will be. There are plenty of themed cruises such as Disney’s time cruisers and cruise lines that provide great activities onboard such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruises. 

cruise around North America or the Pacific coast can be great for this as you are able to have that cruise experience without worrying about being too far away from home. This also applies to cruises around New England and New York, as well as visiting Canada. Another great option is heading out on a smaller ship and going on one of the many great river cruises that North America has.

If you are a going as a couple, what could possible be more romantic than a Mediterranean cruise? You and your partner can rediscover the definition of love in some of the most romantic locations on Earth - admiring the stunning vistas in Greece, sipping fine wine in Italy or simply strolling the cobbled streets of France. 

A happy couple enjoying their time onshore during a mediterranean cruise
Planning your cruise, you should match the destination to your family situation. | Author: Vitor Pinto

Match your cruise destination to your lifestyle

The type of lifestyle that you have is going to have a big impact on how you choose a cruise destination. It could be that you live at your means and have saved up for a touch of luxury, or you might just simply care about getting to your destinations and exploring on a budget.

If you are after luxury then it’s a good idea to look into the type of cruise line that you are heading out on, as having a balcony and butler service will quickly have you feeling like a millionaire. If it’s just destinations you care about, then getting an interior cabin is ideal. But nowhere screams luxury louder than a Mediterranean cruise to Italy , where you can indulge in fine dining at high-end restaurants and splurge on shopping at some of the biggest brand name stores.

However, if you just want to chill out on your vacation then it’s a good idea to look for destinations where you don’t have to do any traveling to explore. City ports are great for this and a tour of some of the major cities is a great way to take in new destinations without much effort.

Caribbean cruises or the South Pacific could be ideal for a perfectly relaxed vacation. You will be met by friendly locals, a relaxed atmosphere and a host of beautiful white sand beaches in order to drain any stress that you have out of your body. You can also relax while going a little further afield, by discovering Southern Europe. This would be a great choice as the likes of Spain and Portugal are warm destinations that are relaxed and easy to explore. There are also some great beaches that you can visit too.

Match your cruise destination to your personality

If you’re a bit of an adventurer then you might think that cruising is not for you, as you want to see as much of the world as possible and don’t want to be limited by a ship. That’s not the case though, as there are some thrilling shore excursions and adventures that you can take. 

Many Antarctic expeditions are available on cruise ships, or if you don’t want to go that far but want a similar experience, it can be found closer to home. One of the best and most popular cruise destinations for adventure is Alaska, where you will be able to explore the ice locked lands and see some incredible landscapes. A cruise to Alaska will undoubtedly leave you with some memorable experiences. 

If you’re more calm or introverted side, then a Hawaii cruise could be a great choice for your next vacation as it is bound to have a relaxed atmosphere where you will be able to take things at your own pace. It’s also your chance to stay in North America but still visit a destination that feels different and immerse yourself in a different way of life.

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Match your cruise destination to your interests

The particular interests that you have will dictate the best cruise destinations you should visit. It could be that you adore food and want to indulge in all the cuisines the world has to offer or you might just want to be able to take in as much of the world's culture or history or nature as possible.

Best cruise destinations for foodies

There are many places that are known for making incredible food. In terms of the best cruise destinations for food, traveling on an Atlantic cruise to Europe is a great idea as you will get to visit a lot of different food cultures within a short period of time. Countries such as Spain and Italy are famous for their culinary skills, Not to mention the fanstastic baked delicacies courtesy of France.

Tasting authentic Asian cuisine is also an amazing experience too, especially if you have the chance to visit China or Japan. Having these types of meals at home is never quite the same and having the real thing can be an out-of-this-world experience.

Best cruise destinations for fans of nature and wildlife

When people think about the best cruise destinations for nature and wildlife the Galapagos Islands are probably never too far away from their thoughts. The diverse and unique system there is a must-see for anyone who loves nature.

Another great way to take in unique nature and wildlife is with cruises to Australia and New Zealand. They have a diverse range of wildlife, that can scarcely be found anywhere else in the world. They are also wonderful countries to visit because of their incredible cities and a notoriously warm welcomes.

An MSC cruise ship that passes close to green mountains and flourishing nature
If you love nature, then a cruise to Australia and New Zealand is just right for you. | Author: Maurício Mascaro

Best cruise destinations for history buffs

The best cruise destinations for history have to be situated in Europe. Seeing the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik, the beauty of Venice, the old empire of Istanbul or the Greek ruins in Athens can immerse you in the rich history of many nations all on the same cruise. 

That is only a quick sample of the destinations available. There is, of course, plenty of history elsewhere in the world but it’s never quite as dense and diverse as in Europe. You can be in one unique historical city one day and see a whole different side of history the next.

Best cruise destinations for culture lovers

As well as history, seeing other cultures different from your own is something that many people find fascinating. A lot would argue that the best cruise destinations for culture are in Asia, as you get to see the world as you have never seen it before.

Another incredible place to sample unique culture is with a South American cruise, where you will be able to see amazing ports and unique cities. Traveling on a South Sea cruise and touring those Pacific islands is another wonderful experience, where the culture also comes with friendly and welcoming people, a relaxing environment and incredible beaches.

Match your cruise destination to your pace of life

If you want to take life nice and slow, enjoy the sand beneath your feet and soak up the rays of the warm sun, then the best cruise destinations for beaches can be found in the Caribbean. It’s an extremely popular place for cruises especially for this reason - in addition to the fact that it is so close.

It can cater to a slower pace of life and is also very friendly, easy to navigate and extremely beautiful. The weather is almost always amazing too and you are sure to have a great stress-free experience. Another great thing about the Caribbean, is that there is also a lot of fun to be had if you want.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more up-tempo and high energy, considering the bright lights of cities like London and New York could be perfect for you. For a change of scenery, a cruise to the Middle East to visit the likes of Dubai and Qatar would also be an amazing experience. 

A Carnival cruise ship heading towards a metropolis to dock at the port
Whether you want relaxation or a taste of exciting city air - your cruise destination should suit you. | Author: Katarzyna Ostrowska

Match your cruise destination to your hobbies

There are many hobbies that people love. It’s always a good idea to check if there are any cruises destinations that are renowned for a particular activity that might just be what you love to do. 

Best cruise desinations for diving

There are many people that love exploring marine life and the best cruise destinations for diving will help you expand that hobby to places that you’ve never been. Mexico is wonderful for sport for diving but it’s also another reason why the Caribbean is so popular, as there are many great spots on the islands too.

Best cruise desinations for golf

Many people love golf and there are many great spots where you would be able to play. The British Isles is the home of golf and has many incredible courses. There are also golf-themed cruises for those that are obsessed with the pastime and can’t even wait to leave the cruise ship to play.

Best cruise desinations for hiking

For those that love hiking, again the Caribbean is a wonderful place. The majestic mountains of St. Lucia, Dominica and Virgin Gorda (BVI) will provide you with some wonderful hiking experiences. The Canary Islands that belong to Spain is another great option for a scenic hike.

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Try somewhere new on your cruise

There are many different types of wonderful cruise experiences that you can enjoy depending on your choice of cruise destination. One of the most remarkable aspects of cruise vacations is the ability to see so much in such a short period of time. There is always something for everyone, wherever you go. And so there are also some destinations that are particularly worth exploring on a cruise ship

Cruises are also great for trying new experiences. Maybe it’s time you went out of your comfort zone and see or do something you’ve never even thought of before. The world is out there for you to explore and a cruise ship helps to bring it all a little bit closer.

If you can’t decide then you could simply see all types of destinations with one of the incredible world cruises that go all around the globe. If you’re still unsure there are also many great resources on our website to enable you to find the perfect cruise for you.

Check out these articles for more information on planning your cruise: