Cruising is as popular as ever, and with 30 million people expected to jump on board this year, it's going to be a busy summer indeed. Among the trending destinations are old favorites that keep us wanting more and new destinations that are generating buzz. Here are the top trending cruise destinations for this summer.
The Mekong River, Southeast Asia
The whole of Southeast Asia is experiencing a surge in tourism due to its comparatively low cost and undeniably vibrant culture. Cruises along the Mekong River are set to soar this summer. Flowing through many countries, including China, Thailand and Vietnam, there is no end of thriving communities, spectacular jungles and bustling cities to explore. Vietnam will continue to pull in crowds with its chaotic capital, Hanoi, and breathtaking Halong Bay, creating a sensory cocktail. Meanwhile, the Upper Mekong is growing in popularity too, with river cruises from Laos to China offering a more intimate cruise experience.
The Nile, Egypt
After a turbulent few years, the Nile is set to see a comeback as a top destination this summer. The country still has a way to go to top pre-2011 numbers, but with drastically increased bookings last year, 2019 looks set to follow suit. As both safety concerns and costs have dropped, there is no better time for an Egyptian cruise. Giza has experienced a great renovation in support of the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, which will house the entirety of Tutankhamun's burial collection along with a wealth of other treasures. While the museum doesn’t look like it will open its doors this year, cruise ships are stepping things up a notch in anticipation. Sanctuary Retreats is launching weekly sailings of its boutique wooden boats, and Oberoi’s ship has had a full refurb and has a new itinerary that includes the resting place of Ramesses II.
The Baltic Region
The Baltic region has been a trending cruise destination for a while now, and with the high season from June to August, summer is the perfect time to visit. Cruises give passengers the chance to visit the many highlights of the Baltic states, including the cities of St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. Not to mention the opportunity to experience the glow of the midnight sun. Then you have Denmark. Copenhagen is bursting with urban farms, award-winning street food and craft markets. Meanwhile, port cities such as Tallinn in Estonia are giving the big cities some competition with untouched architecture, modern twists and cultural festivals galore.
Singapore has gained popularity among millennials across the globe thanks to the book and film Crazy Rich Asians. The diamond-studded city sparkles with light shows, wows with flashy designer malls and amazes with futuristic architecture. Now the city is the perfect departure port for cruise ships. Cruises head out to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as smaller private islands, offering a contrast to the jungle of the city.
Another revival destination, Turkey has bounced back from the attempted coup in 2016 and has opened its doors to the big cruise liners once more. The country is set to be a top destination this year as the value of the Turkish lira has fallen significantly. The Turquoise Coast has no shortage of rich cities, bustling markets and incredible ruins. What’s more? Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, is gearing up for an expansion of its cruise terminal, setting Turkey up as a top cruise destination for future years too.