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Patmos, as seen from the Monastery of St. John (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

5 New Cruise Itineraries You Have to Try in 2024

Patmos, as seen from the Monastery of St. John (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders

Last updated
Dec 21, 2023

Read time
5 min read

It’s a new year, and new years' bring new opportunities. That’s also true in the world of cruising: while tried-and-true cruise itineraries are always popular choices, each year cruise lines roll out a variety of brand-new itineraries for cruises that set out around the world.

We’ve scoured the brochures and read the press releases, all in the name of finding some of the most interesting new cruise itineraries for 2024. From sailing adventures to small ship cruises to unusual adventures on the seven seas, these are the five new 2024 cruise itineraries that you absolutely must try.

On This Page

Sailing Through Greece from Kos aboard Island Windjammers’ Lyra

Lyra sailing ship (Photo: Island Windjammers)

Island Windjammers has been operating casual sailing cruises in the Caribbean since 2008. Its fleet includes the 101-foot-long Diamant, and the larger 156-foot Vela, both of which make their home offering a variety of six and 12-night Caribbean cruises.

In 2024, however, Island Windjammers is dramatically expanding its horizons by offering its first-ever season of sailing cruises from Greece.

A suite on the Lyra sailing ship (Photo: Island Windjammers)

Departing aboard the 98-foot, eight-passenger luxury sailing ketch Lyra, Island Windjammers’ new 10-night Greek Isles sailings are about as off the beaten path as you can get. Departing from Kos (which lies just south of Bodrum, Turkey), Lyra then bobs casually around the Greek Dodecanese Islands, going where the weather takes it during the day, and anchoring in sheltered bays and inlets at night.

The Monastery of St. John lies high atop the Greek village of Patmos. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

On its 10-day voyages, Lyra will call on towns and locales. You may never have heard of, including Panteli, Arki, Patmos, Loipsi, Kalymnos, Levitha, Kefalos, Tilos and Nisyros. Of those, Patmos is arguably the most famous, with smaller cruise ships routinely tending passengers ashore to see the imposing Monastery of St. John the Theologian.

If you think you’ve seen Greece before, chances are good you’ve never seen it this way – or this relaxed. So grab a drink and head on up to Lyra's teak decking; the warm tradewinds of the Greek Islands are calling.

Snag a Spot on Holland America’s Month-Long Alaska Cruise

Holland America ship in Alaska (Photo: Holland America Line)

There are plenty of exciting things happening in Alaska in 2024, but perhaps none is as unique as Holland America Line’s massive 28-day voyage that departs roundtrip from Seattle aboard Westerdam.

Dubbed the “Alaska Arctic Circle Solstice”, this unique sailing departs June 9, 2024, and covers nearly all that Alaska has to offer by sea, including rare visits to Dutch Harbor, a crossing of the Arctic Circle, and scenic cruising past Little Diomede Island that lies on the border between the United States and Russia.

Westerdam also sails to many areas of Alaska that just aren’t possible on a standard weeklong voyage from Seattle. Some of the more exotic ports of call on this itinerary include a stop in Valdez, Alaska; calls on Nome, Homer and Kodiak, as well as the chance to visit both Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier, all on the same itinerary.

A cruise ship near Hubbard Glacier, Alaska (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

What’s more, this cruise still calls on all the mainstay Southeast Alaskan ports you’d expect, including Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and even Seward (for Anchorage).

Finally, this itinerary eschews Victoria, British Columbia for the Canadian port town of Prince Rupert – a nice change to the ordinary.

If you can’t take part in 2024, never fear: Holland America Line will be repeating this grand voyage to Alaska again in 2025.

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Cross the Pacific Ocean with Carnival Cruise Lines

Himeji Castle, Japan (Photo: Thanaprus.N/Shutterstock)

Carnival is perhaps most famous for its short, close-to-home and largely warm-weather-focused cruises to places like the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera. So perhaps that’s why the line’s one-off, ultra-cool 31-day Transpacific Crossing between Brisbane, Australia and Seattle caught our eye.

Priced at less than $100 per person, per day at the time of this writing, this exciting 31-day crossing takes place onboard Carnival Luminosa and visits ports of call in Guam, Japan, and Alaska before arriving in Seattle.

Of particular note is the itinerary’s focus on Japanese ports of call: Carnival Luminosa will call on Yokohama (Tokyo), Aomori, Kushiro, Naha, and Hiroshima before crossing the International Date Line and sailing for Alaska. Seeing Carnival focus on such an in-depth exploration of Japan is a bonus for fans of Carnival’s value-priced cruises, and is a fantastic chance to explore Japanese history, culture and cuisine up close.

Carnival Luminosa (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

In Alaska, Carnival Luminosa finds the time to stop in Seward (Anchorage), along with Juneau and Ketchikan, and scenic cruising at Hubbard Glacier, before making its way to Seattle.

This sailing departs April 1, 2024, but is far from the only Transpacific Crossing that Carnival offers: Carnival Panorama will sail from Long Beach to Yokohama on August 22, 2024, and from Singapore to Long Beach on October 12, 2024.

Cruise the Florida Keys with American Cruise Lines

Overlooking Key West (Photo: Jorge Oliver)

One of American Cruise Lines’ newest itineraries is offered aboard its newest ship: the hybrid river-small oceangoing ship catamaran, American Glory. Known as a “Coastal Cat”, this 100-passenger ship and its sister-ships can duck nimbly into rivers and inland waterways while still being versatile enough to do some offshore ocean cruising, too.

Enter American Cruise Lines’ Florida Gulf Coast & Keys cruise. You might have visited Key West on a cruise before, but chances are good you’ve never done it like this.

American Glory on its sea trials (Photo: American Cruise Lines)

Starting from St. Petersburg, Florida (with an optional pre-cruise stay in nearby Tampa), this weeklong itinerary includes two days in Key West, an additional day in St. Petersburg, and visits to Punta Gorda and Marco Island – the latter the gateway to Everglades National Park.

The overnight call in Key West is long enough to allow for exploration of another of Florida’s lesser-seen sights: Dry Tortugas National Park, which lies 68 miles (109 kilometres) off the Florida Keys.

Coastal Cat American Legend, which debuts in 2024, will also operate this itinerary, meaning travellers can enjoy one of American Cruise Lines’ newest and most exciting itineraries aboard its newest and most exciting ships, too.

Explore Malta, Morocco and the Mediterranean with Viking

Valletta, Malta (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Ocean, river and expedition cruise line Viking is rolling out several new itineraries in 2024, but the all-new 16-day “Malta, Morocco and the Mediterranean” itinerary is a real winner.

Debuting on November 16, 2024, this sailing operates roundtrip from Barcelona onboard Viking Saturn. What makes it particularly unique is that most Mediterranean sailings typically hug the coasts of France, Spain and Italy – and at first blush, this sailing is no exception. Viking Saturn visits popular ports like Marseille, France and Civitavecchia, Italy, for Rome.

Viking Mars in Valletta (Photo/Jeannine Williamson)

But Viking Saturn also calls on some less-explored ports, including Corsica, France; Valletta, Malta; and Tunis (La Goulette), Tunisia. Equally fascinating are Viking Saturn’s calls on Algiers, Algeria and Casablanca, Morocco, and the ship’s foray into two of Spain’s iconic ports of call: Seville (Cadiz) and Granada (Malaga).

There are currently only three departures for this new itinerary: November 16, December 1, and December 19, 2024. It’s a neat twist on the common Mediterranean cruise itinerary, bundled together with ports of call that explore destinations, cultures and customs that are anything but common.

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Publish date December 21, 2023
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