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Cruise Destinations and Timings (Peak Seasons, Popular Itineraries and Weather)

In this article, we will explore the most popular destinations that cruises visit – so that you can make the right choice for you.

What are the Main Cruise Destinations?

  • The Caribbean
    • Over 30% of cruises are to the Caribbean
    • Caribbean cruises are split into Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean
    • Many cruise lines have private islands in the Caribbean
    • Peak Season: December – April

I have cruised the Caribbean with multiple cruise lines, most recently with MSC and you can find that video here:

​I Took The Cheapest Cruise in The Caribbean (Only 23% Full)​

  • Mediterranean
    • Can sail from the UK, or fly
    • The average cruise length is 7 nights
    • Peak Season: May – September
azamara onward ship port
Exploring the Mediterranean on Azamara Onward.

I have cruised to the Mediterranean many times and it’s one of my favourite destinations to visit.

Check out this video where I visited some of the most popular Mediterranean ports with Costa Cruises:

​I Survived a Week on Cruise Critic’s WORST RATED Cruise Line​

  • Baltics
    • Typically visit Estonia, Finland, and Sweden
    • Lots of history, culture and walking tours

Peak Season: May – September.

Check out my top Baltic travel tips if you are planning a baltic cruise:

​15 Baltic Cruise Tips You NEED to Know​

  • Norwegian Fjords
    • A very popular destination to sail to from the UK
    • Hurtigruten and Havila are the only lines that sail to Norway in winter
    • In summer, some parts of Norway have sunshine 24 hours a day
    • Peak Season: May – September
Geirangerfjord, Norway
Geirangerfjord, Norway.

I recently took a Norwegian fjord cruise with Royal Caribbean and also visited with Fred Olsen to find the Northern Lights (we did see them)! Check out those videos here:

​Everything I Loved and Hated About Cruising With Royal Caribbean to Norway​

​Cruising Into The Arctic Circle to Find The Northern Lights​

emma cruises husky farm fred olsen excursion
Cruising into the Artic Circle in search of the Northern Lights.
  • Canary Islands
    • Includes places like Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote
    • Warm year-round
    • Peak Season: May – September

I recently cruised from the UK to the Canary Islands and encountered some bad weather. Check out my review and photo guide of the cruise here:

​P&O Ventura – Christmas Cruise Review (Entertainment, Ship, Food & More)​

  • Northern Europe
    • Includes places like The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain
    • Some ports are industrial and require transfers
    • Peak Season: May – September
The Famous Cube Houses In Rotterdam, 2023.

It was on the MSC Preziosa that I introduced my friends to cruising for the first time. It was a very cheap week. It cost under £500 each for a balcony cabin.

Find out more about that cruise here:

​I Took my Friends on a CONTROVERSIAL Cruise Line – MSC Cruises​

  • Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
    • Often visited on repositioning itineraries
    • Most cruises are 7-10 days in length
    • Peak: October – April

I’m yet to visit Australia, but I’d love to!

  • Alaska
    • Popular places to visit include Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway
    • Weather can be unpredictable
    • Peak: June – August

My first cruise was to Alaska. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a YouTube channel when I was 11, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one – It was Fantastic!

Taken on my trip to Alaska back in 2005
  • Hawaii
    • Round trips from the US are available as well as cruise/fly itineraries
    • Many repositioning cruises visit Hawaii
    • Peak Season: December – March

I’m hoping to visit Hawaii again soon. It’s a long way from the UK – but worth it, I’m sure!

Me, enjoying Hawaii in 2005!
  • Asia
    • Vaccinations may be required and the cruise line may keep your passport when you are onboard.
    • Popular destinations include Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.
    • Peak: November – March

My favourite cruise was the one I took from Singapore to Tokyo onboard the Golden Princess. (She has now been renamed Pacific Adventure and sails for P&O Australia.)

It is a little complicated with the VISA requirements, so check out my tips here:

​7 Asia Cruise Tips, Packing, Visas & More​

shibuya crossing japan tokyo asia cruise
Shibuya crossing, Tokyo 2018

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding on a Cruise:

  • Do I need to cruise during the school holidays? (If you can avoid it it’ll reduce the cost a lot!)
  • Are there certain times you can’t take off work?
  • Is there a limit on how much time you can take off work in one go?
  • Is good weather important to you?
  • Do you want to cruise over a specific date?
  • Do you mind cruising at popular times when the ports will be busiest?

Is The Cruise You Want to Take Available Year-round?

Some cruises mostly happen at certain times of the year, like repositioning cruises and Transatlantic crossings.

These usually happen in Autumn and Spring.

There Are a Few Things You Can do to Find a Cheaper Cruise:

  • Avoid the school holidays if at all possible.
  • Sometimes moving a cruise just by a week can have a dramatic impact on the price. The cruise maybe £200 per person cheaper just by going a week earlier!
  • Consider cruising midweek – midweek instead of weekend to weekend as this is often cheaper.
  • Look out for identical sister ships, sometimes one will be cheaper than the other even for the same itinerary.
  • The more flexible you can be on location the better chance you have of finding a bargain!

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.