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The Most Popular Cruise Destinations- Ranked

Wondering where to go on a cruise? Cruising is a popular way to vacation. It’s so popular that many people become addicted to cruising. According to data from the cruise industry, 82% of previous cruisers plan to cruise again, with 10% setting sail 3-5 times a year! But where are they cruising to? Below, you’ll find the most popular cruise destinations based on a survey conducted by the cruise industry.

The Most Popular Cruise Destinations Ranked

1. Caribbean Cruises

The Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda are by far the most popular cruise destinations. In 2023, the number of passengers going on cruises to these destinations reached 12.9 million, representing a 7.3% increase from 2019. That’s almost 1 million more passengers! 

The popularity of Caribbean cruises is no surprise, given the accessibility from various US ports such as Boston, New York, Charlotte, SC, Norfolk, VA, Baltimore, MD, New Orleans, Galveston, TX, and Florida. You can’t beat the convenience of driving to a cruise port and going on an all-inclusive tropical island vacation without having to fly.

Most Popular Cruise Destinations

2. Mediterranean Cruises

The Mediterranean was the second most popular cruise destination. In 2023, 5.5 million passengers went on a Mediterranean cruise, a 23% increase from 2019. 

Going on a Mediterranean cruise is one of the easiest ways to explore Europe. For example, an Eastern Mediterranean cruise is an effortless way to visit multiple Greek islands without the hassle of packing and unpacking. Otherwise, you’d have to deal with ferry rides between Greek islands, which can be quite cumbersome when managing luggage and coordinating hotel stays.

3. Europe Cruises (Non-Mediterranean)

Europe cruises, including Baltic and British Isle cruises, ranked as the third most popular cruise destination. In 2023, there were 3 million cruise passengers on non-Mediterranean European cruises, a 6.6% increase from 2019.

4. Asia and China Cruises

The Asia and China cruise destinations are ranked as the fourth most popular choice for cruises. In 2023, approximately 2.6 million passengers went on an Asia or China cruise. Although this is a 35.6% decrease from 2019, likely attributed to the impact of the pandemic.

Most Popular Cruise Destinations

5. Alaska Cruises

Alaska cruises came in as the fifth most popular cruise destination. In 2023, a staggering 1.7 million passengers went on an Alaska cruise, which is a substantial 35.8% increase from 2019. 

The growing appeal of Alaska cruises is understandable, considering that Alaska’s road infrastructure is inadequate for a road trip and often requires seaplane travel between cities. Going on a cruise remains the most convenient and cost-effective way to explore Alaska.

6. California/Mexico Cruises

The Pacific Coast, California, and Mexico cruises emerged as the sixth most sought-after cruise destination. In 2023, the number of California/Mexico cruise passengers reached 1.4 million, a 24.1% increase from 2019. The appeal of being able to drive to a nearby cruise port for a vacation contributes to the attractiveness of cruising for many West Coast cruisers.

7. Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Cruises

Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific cruises were the seventh most popular cruise destinations. In 2023, there were 1.3 million cruise passengers, an 8.4% increase from 2019. 

8. South America and Panama Canal Cruises

South America and Panama Canal cruises were the 8th most popular cruise destinations. In 2023, the number of passengers on these cruises reached 1.1 million, a 34% increase from 2019.

9. Africa and Middle East Cruises

Africa and Middle East cruises came in as the 9th most popular cruise destination. In 2023, there were 539,000 cruise passengers sailing the Africa and Middle East cruises. That’s a 4.6% increase from 2019.

10. Transatlantic Cruises

The least popular cruise destination turned out to be transatlantic cruises. In 2023, 367,900 passengers went on transatlantic cruises, which is a 3.1% increase from 2019. This is not surprising, considering that transatlantic cruises tend to be longer and usually take place during off-peak seasons, making them less accessible to many people. Do you have an upcoming cruise? Here are 10 Things to Never do in Cruise Ports

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Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it. Use it to plan your shore excursions on port day and activities on sea days. I hope you like it!

Cruise Port & Sea Days Planner
Cruise Sea Days Planner

Check out these free cruise printables

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