The Caribbean remains the undisputed leader as a cruise destination for travelers globally. Here are the top 10 cruise destinations being booked for 2013 by Cruise Holidays cruise experts:
2013 Top Cruise Destinations
1. Caribbean (includes Bahamas)
6. (tie) Panama Canal
6. (tie) Trans-Atlantic
8. South Pacific (Including Australia)
9. South America
10. Maritime Canada & New England
Top Cruise Destinations What's Up:
The top five cruise destinations remain unchanged from 2012 to 2013. However, the Caribbean's overall dominance fell slightly, from nearly 60% in 2012 to under 55% of total bookings for 2013 so far. The difference is made up by Europe taking a larger piece of the pie, climbing from 11% to 13% of the total, and Alaska climbing from 6.7% to 8.5%. Hawaii also inched up.
Trans-Atlantic sailings continue to gain favor they are tied for sixth place this year. These cruises, which showcase the romance and steep traditions of cruising, made their debut in the Cruise Trends top 10 in 2011 at ninth place, and climbed to eighth place in 2012. South America joins the top 10 for the first time in at least four years. European river cruising is also the hottest ticket in the industry, according to Schiffner, and contributes to Europe's strong showing this year.
While the top five cruise destinations did not cede their positions, cruise experts say there are still lessons to be learned: While the Caribbean reigns, it does not rule, stated Schiffner. Each year, newer, better, more spectacular ships enter the marketplace. While many of them make their debut in the Caribbean, we're seeing a strong enough demand in Europe that some of the crown jewels of the industry are plying European waters, observed Schiffner. For example, Celebrity Cruises' sophisticated new Reflection and Oceania Cruises' luxurious new mid-size ship, Riviera, will both feature European itineraries in 2013.
262: The Magic Number
The magic number for booking a cruise prior to departure is 262 days out, or just under nine months. That's the average amount of time prior to their cruise that Cruise Holidays clients book their vacations. We have some cruises booked for late 2014 that were booked quite early in 2012. We even have a small number of passengers already booked for 2015, said Schiffner.
*Data studied includes bookings from Cruise Holidays experts located in the United States and Canada, not Cruise Holidays locations in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Photo Credit To Next Trip Tourism