So many of us get to see so little of the world that we inhabit, often pushing it further and further down our list of priorities. However, taking a cruise can be one of the most efficient ways to see different places all at once.
Many cruises offer a range of activities to participate in whilst you’re aboard, such as bingo, cooking classes and even mini roller coasters, making at-sea days sail by.
With that said, our experts at Slingo have researched which destinations are the most popular for cruises. We looked at factors such as the average price’s of cruise lines, as well as the average review rating for cruise lines, the increase in popularity of various cruise destinations and the number of searches they get on social media.
Most Affordable Cruise Lines
1. Princess Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £1,204
Princess Cruises comes out as the most affordable cruise line, with the average cost of their cruises coming to around £1,204 per person. The cruise line is best known for its expertise in Alaskan cruises, with an emphasis on the dining experiences they offer, as well as their live entertainment.
2. Celestyal Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £1,336
The second-most affordable cruise line is Celestyal Cruises, costing an average of £1,336 per person. Celestyal cruises are rather port intensive, as such; passengers tend to engage in more offshore excursions and activities, instead of those on the ship. Additionally, they are best known for their Greek cruises.
3. Celebrity Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £1,370
Despite the name, Celebrity Cruises doesn’t necessarily come with a celebrity price tag. On average, their cruises cost an average of £1,370 per person. However, this cruise line is known for offering an extremely luxurious experience, with contemporary accommodations, premium dining and exquisite entertainment. They appear to mainly specialise in Mediterranean cruises, featuring countries such as Spain, Italy and Turkey.
Most Expensive Cruise Lines
1. Ponant Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £9,063
Ponant Cruises is the most expensive cruise line, costing an average of £9,063 per person. The cruise line is described as upmarket and having upscale ships, which the price appears to reflect. Ponant is also known for the social atmosphere on its cruises, with Mediterranean and exotic itineraries.
2. Scenic Ocean Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £8,989
The second-most expensive cruise line is Scenic Ocean Cruises, costing just under £9,000 per person on average. This is another cruise line with descriptors to fit the price tag, often being labelled as an ultra-luxury cruise operator. Their cruises usually take passengers to chillier climates, such as Antarctica and the Arctic.
3. Silversea Cruises
Average Cruise Cost: £8,645
Silversea Cruises cost an average of £8,645 per person, making them the third-most expensive cruise line. This cruise line is known for its all-inclusive and highly luxurious cruising experience. Additionally, they offer a diverse range of cruise destinations, including Africa, Asia and many European and Mediterranean offerings.
The Highest-Rated Cruise Lines
Average Review Score: 4.6 | Number of Activities: 12
AmaWaterways is the cruise line with the highest average rating, scoring 4.6 out of 5. They are known for their short excursion heavy cruises, as well as wine-themed cruises. While activities will vary from ship to ship, they offer around 12 different activities. As mentioned, excursions are one of them, with specific walking group activities available. On the ship, there are yoga classes, as well as resistance band workouts and more, as part of their wellness program.
2. Scenic River Cruises
Average Review Score: 4.4 | Number of Activities: 4
Scenic River Cruises have an average review score of 4.4 out of 5 on Cruise Critic, making them the second-highest-rated cruise line. They offer an upscale experience, going so far as to offer butler services with every cabin, as well as calling their ships “Space-Ships”, due to their high space-to-passenger ratio. Activities include daily excursions, a 25-mile bike ride, and cultural shows called Scenic Sundowners.
3. Azamara Cruises
Average Review Score: 4.3 | Number of Activities: 14
Tied as the third-highest-rated cruise line, we have Azamara Cruises, with an average review score of 4.3 out of 5. Azamara is known for providing an experience that resembles a hybrid of luxury and destination-immersive cruising. The activities offered include excursions, specifically to UNESCO World Heritage sites, an at-sea version of New York Broadway shows, and culinary demonstrations, as well as wine tastings.
3. Uniworld Cruises
Average Review Score: 4.3 | Number of Activities: 9
Sharing third place, we have Uniworld Cruises; a luxury all-inclusive river cruise line, operating incredibly unique ships with very exclusive itineraries. Some of the activities they offer include gym and spa facilities, culinary classes, wine tastings, and local group performances of traditional regional arts.
Cruise Destinations Increasing in Popularity
1. Atlantic Islands
Year-on-Year Change in Search Volume 2022-2023: 250%
The cruise destination that has increased in search volume the most over the last year is the Atlantic Islands, with a 250% increase. The Atlantic is home to a vast array of gorgeous island destinations - and a cruise is a perfect way to sample many of them in a single outing.
2. Norwegian Fjords
Year-on-Year Change in Search Volume 2022-2023: 235%
This one is a popular option for those who want to have a chance of glimpsing the Aurora Borealis, as well as the unique landscape. Google searches for cruises to the Norwegian Fjords have increased by 235% in the last year, which is more than double.
3. Italian Riviera
Year-on-Year Change in Search Volume 2022-2023: 191%
The cruise destination with the third highest increase in popularity is the Italian Riviera, with Google Searches having nearly doubled in the last year. The Italian Riviera is a crescent-shaped stretch of the Mediterranean, between the South of France and Tuscany. The area has breathtaking cliff views, shimmering turquoise coves and quaint fishing villages, as well as some resort areas.
Most Popular Cruise Destinations on TikTok
Number of TikTok Views: 63,600,000
The number one spot for the most popular cruise destination on TikTok goes to the Caribbean, with an overwhelming 63.6 million views as of May 2023. The Caribbean is a popular destination for any holiday, but given the region's series of gorgeous islands, it lends itself pretty well to a cruise getaway.
Number of TikTok Views: 18,700,000
With 18.7 million views on TikTok, Alaska comes out as the second-most popular cruise destination on the site. An Alaska cruise will allow you to see the various glaciers off the US state's coast. There is also the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife between July and August, with stops in some of the port towns.
3. The Nile
Number of TikTok Views: 13,100,000
The third most popular cruise destination on TikTok is the Nile River, with around 13.1 million views. Taking a cruise on the Nile is a great way to sample many of the ancient sites in Egypt, such as the Giza Plateau pyramids, the Karnak and Luxor Temples and the Valley of the Kings.
The Most Popular Cruise Destinations on Instagram
Number of Instagram Posts: 147,976
Proving itself as a social media sensation, the Caribbean, which is already the number one most popular cruise destination on TikTok, has also come out as the most popular on Instagram, with just under 148,000 posts.
Number of Instagram Posts: 122,620
Just as with TikTok, the second most popular cruise destination on Instagram is Alaska, with more than 122,000 posts tagging Alaska cruises.
3. The Nile
Number of Instagram Posts: 72,351
We have another result mirroring TikTok, with the Nile coming in as the third most popular cruise destination on Instagram, with just over 72,000 posts.
Then using The Cruise Line, we took the most expensive cruise for each destination, based on the cost of a 10-14 night cruise, per person in GBP (this data was accessed 04/05/2023).
We then used Google Keyword Planner to get the increase in search volume between March 2022 and April 2023, worldwide. For the search terms, we used the name of each destination in addition to the word “cruise” (this data was accessed 05/05/2023).
We then used TikTok and Instagram to see how many views/posts there were for each destination, similarly to Keyword Planner, we used the destination and the term “cruise” to search the hashtag for each destination (this data was accessed (05/05/2023).
And then we used Cruise Critic to search for each destination and take the average rating, which the site provides by default under “reviews” for each destination. Blanks indicate a lack of data.