In the world of modern-day cruising, ships have become so large they’re often destinations in themselves. But there’s still something to be said for the places your ship will take you. That’s why we here at Cruise Critic have been mulling over what we think will be the top destinations to visit in 2013.
After picking our brains and coming up with locales such as Africa and Hawaii, we reached out to Cruise Critic members on our message boards with a series of three polls to see where their nautical travels will take them in the coming year. We weren’t surprised by the results, but they do differ vastly from our picks.
What we asked: Where will you cruise in 2013?
What they said: We’re not surprised at all that about 63 percent of voters chose the warm-weather Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. Member Dayenu sums it up pretty well by asking, “Where else would you go in January?”
However, not everyone is sailing to the Caribbean by choice. “If air fare wasn’t so high I’d consider other embarkation sites but we can drive to NJ/NY so those are the ships we get,” narrow56 explains.
Coming in second was the Mediterranean with 14 percent, followed closely by Alaska, which seems to be gaining in popularity, with 13 percent of the vote.
What we asked: What river cruise will you take in 2013?
What they said: Although river cruising comprises just a handful of passengers when compared with mainstream cruising, it’s gaining traction in the industry — particularly in Europe, which likely explains why three rivers located there (Danube, Rhine and Seine) were the top vote-getters with a combined 69 percent of the total. Several lines, including Viking, which is launching 10 new ships this year, are increasing capacity to prepare for burgeoning interest.
“We’re looking forward to a whole new world of cruising, but I will miss the glorious sound and feel of the ocean,” says member Live4cruises, a river newbie who departs in June. Meanwhile, Huffy2k is new to cruising altogether and has chosen to kick off the experience with a cruise on a different Europe river. “Doing Viking’s Portrait of Southern France on the Rhone in late March/early April for our 25th anniversary. 1st cruise of any kind, looking forward to it!”
What we asked: Where will a luxury cruise take you in 2013?
What they said: For those who don’t enjoy nickel-and-diming, luxury cruising is the way to go. With things like drinks and shore excursions included in the price, the experience is decidedly different from what you’ll find on a mainstream ship. According to our poll, the majority of luxury cruisers — 38 percent — will be venturing to the Caribbean or Bermuda this year, followed by Europe (particularly the Med, which garnered 15 percent of the vote).
Boards member barnstormer has done Caribbean luxury in the past and was slated to do it again this year with Oceania … until he rescheduled. “… With the help of our TA we rebooked on Oceania – Riviera in September from Barcelona to Lisbon. I like going where you can get away from the commercialism, see history, relax, spoil yourself and sample life away. Now my wife prefers sand, sun and Mai-Tai’s, but this time I won.”
Have you told us about your cruise plans yet? We want to know where you’re headed, so be sure to fill us in below.