The travel industry has watched the popularity of the cruise industry steadily grow over the past few years with newer ships offering an ever-increasing array of impressive features to woo the crowds and holidaymakers embarking on ever-more adventurous routes and excursions.
In short, cruise is big business right now and if your travel business is looking to expand its offering in that direction, it might be useful to know which cruise destinations are proving the most popular amongst travellers.
Well, who better to reveal this information than the travellers themselves? For 2016, Cruise Critic's annual Cruiser's Choice Destination Awards split destinations into 15 separate categories, each with their own ranking of cruisers' favourite places to visit, based on reader reviews and ratings. Here are some of the front-runners that those who choose to cruise simply can't enough of this year...
When it comes to Alaskan cruises, the top three most popular destinations include the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay, the cultural port town of Sitka, and beautiful Skagway with its breath-taking mountain scenery.
A little closer to home, in the British Isles and Western Europe, the world class museums, excellent dining and charming canals of Amsterdam won the city the top spot, closely followed by Cork with its welcoming atmosphere, and Glasgow with its variety of attractions. Lisbon and Bruges also made the top five in this category.
Mediterranean cruisers were won over by the memorable architecture and vibrant entertainment of Barcelona, rating the city as the top port of call in this region. The glamour of Cannes and Naples took second and third place. However, sunny Spain came out as the top country amongst cruisers with the historical city of Cartagena taking the fourth most popular spot and Malaga on Spain's sunny southern shore taking fifth.
Highlights from the classic Caribbean cruise include St. Maarten with its range of entertainment, amenities and beaches; Bonaire with its emerald waters and excellent snorkelling; and Cozumel just off the coast of Mexico.
The trendy city of San Francisco was rated the most popular port for US cruises with Canada's Bar Harbor just behind. Additionally, the enchanting island of Kaui proved to be Hawaii's number one destination amongst cruisers of this region.
The boom in cruise over in Asia has been well-documented as of late. Cruise Critic's ratings showed that the port cities of choice are Singapore with its blend of modern and traditional sensibilities, historical Beijing, and the dynamic Thai capital of Bangkok.
Finally, let's not forget Australia, a region which Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced is the fourth largest source market for cruise passengers in the world. Sydney was rated as the top cruise port Down Under whilst New Zealand's epic scenery made Tauranga, Auckland and Akaroa top choices.
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