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Latest Trends in Cruise Vacations

With destinations as varied as the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, European waterways, and, increasingly, Alaska, more Americans are setting sail on cruise vacations in 2017.

In a recently released survey by Travel Leaders Group consisting of 1,062 agents who book cruises for their clients, nearly 87 percent said that their 2017 bookings are equal to or higher than last year, with interest in luxury and premium cruises especially strong, increasing by 10 percent and 8 percent respectively. A Western Caribbean cruise is the most popular itinerary, followed by Alaska, the Eastern Caribbean, European river cruises, and Mediterranean cruises. Barcelona, Rome, and Venice are among the most popular spots for travelers who want to set sail on the Mediterranean.

While the allure of a Caribbean cruise to millions of American travelers is undeniable, what’s truly impressive is the phenomenal growth over the past two years in Alaska cruises. Cruise ships brought more than 1 million visitors to the state in 2016 and the number is expected to grow in 2017. The Alaska cruise season runs from May to September, and cruise lines are deploying more ships than ever to keep up with the increased demand, allowing a record number of travelers to experience the breathtaking sights of America’s last frontier. For example Holland America Line, which is celebrating its 70th year of sailings to Alaska in 2017, is rerouting a ship from Europe for the summer season, bringing the cruise line’s vessels in the region to seven, with 135 total departures.

Cruise vacations routinely pop up at the top of Americans’ favorite international destinations on Travel Leaders Group’s Travel Trends surveys. Given the number of options, it’s easy to see why.

Travelers can choose from larger ships brimming with activities to smaller vessels that provide much more intimate experiences. Travelers are also opting for river cruise experiences; particularly popular is the chance to sail along Europe’s rivers that dock right in the hearts of historic cities. There are also specialized voyages that offer something for virtually every interest, to ships that offer a unique perspective on magnificent scenery from Alaska’s glaciers to the sun-drenched Mediterranean.

On a cruise, travelers can easily visit several locations as their hotel room comes with them. And with activities for all ages, they’re great for families that want to plan a multigenerational vacation that includes grandparents, parents, and children.

Luckily, travelers have someone to help them sort through all of the tantalizing choices and plan the perfect cruise vacation.

To help meet the needs of their clients, cruise travel agent specialists are constantly educating themselves, both through firsthand experiences and with in-depth training from suppliers. While that level of expertise requires a significant investment of time, it enables these cruise experts to become trusted resources, able to create ideal getaways. The goal of these travel experts is to ensure that they’re meeting each client’s needs by matching them with the right cruise line, ship, and itinerary that will give them a perfect trip.

For help planning a cruise vacation of any variety, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793 or

© Travel Leaders Group