Alaska has been selected as the world’s greatest cruise destination by a jury of the UK’s leading cruise writers and industry experts.
Alaska’s incredible bays, dazzling glaciers and exotic wildlife make it the ultimate cruise destination, just ahead of other nature lovers’ paradises The Galapagos Islands, The Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula.
All four were selected by a panel of 13 experts when asked to nominate their favourite cruise destinations by The Cruise Show, the UK’s only exhibition dedicated to cruise travel.
Russia was hotly tipped, with The Black Sea taking fifth place on the list and St Petersburg sixth.
Venice, a more traditional cruise destination, was highly rated by the panel, featuring at number seven, just ahead of the Mediterranean generally. The Middle East, an up-and-coming cruise destination, completed the top 10.
Cruise expert Jane Archer said: “One of the best things about cruising is the diversity of places you can visit on a cruise ship. There are all the iconic cities in the Mediterranean and Baltic, which attract huge numbers of cruisers, but then you can also get way off the beaten track, discovering remote and exotic places and seeing sights that non-cruisers can only dream about.”
“The cruise lines that visit all these places and many more will be at The Cruise Show, so visiting the show is a very easy way to hear more from the experts about the fabulous places you could be going on your next holiday at sea.”
The Cruise Show takes place at London Olympia on 27 and 28 March.
Top 10 cruise destinations
1. Alaska: “Watching black bears in their natural habitat, catching salmon as they made their way up river, is a moment I’m unlikely to capture again.” William Gibbons
2. The Galapagos: “These sequestered islands are unlike any other cruise destination anywhere on earth and you leave knowing you’ve visited a very special corner of our planet.” Gary Buchanan
3. Arctic: "Before the cruise, circumnavigating Spitsbergen, all I wanted was to see a Polar bear. We saw the first on day one. At 15 I gave up counting. It's desolate, dangerous, but a true once-in a lifetime experience." Jane Archer
4. Antarctic Peninsula: “There’s something awe-inspiring as icebergs the size of Belgium go by. And then there’s the noise of whole regiments of penguins and seals, and the spectacle of nature at its most unpredictable.” Douglas Ward
5. The Black Sea: “The Black Sea has seen civilisations come and go over the millennia and today the intriguing mix of Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian cultures make for an endlessly fascinating travel experience.” Andrew Cochrane
6. St Petersburg: “The magnificent Hermitage Museum and stunning art galleries must be seen to be believed. Peterhof with the amazing gravity-fed cascading fountains, and Catherine’s palaces are simply breathtaking.” Lol Nichols
7. Venice: “The Venetian Festa del Redentore, dating back to 1577, is a stunning time to stay. On July 17, hundreds of decorated boats line up to view fireworks light up the domes and bell towers of the city, all set against the beautiful backdrop of Saint Mark’s Basin.” Stephen Park
8. The Mediterranean: “The best cruise destination is right on our doorstep. You’re set to do a whole holiday brochure in one go as you tour the greatest cities in the world such as Barcelona, Venice, Rome and Nice.” Steve Read
9. The Corinth Canal: “At first sight it is hard to see the narrow entrance to the canal, then – guided by a tug – Minerva enters the narrow, steep-sided canal, with just a metre clearance on each side of the ship.” Colin Stone
10. Middle East: "Offering a blend of countries of varying customs, cruising in the Middle East is a terrific and relatively hassle-free way to visit cities as disparate as Dubai, Muscat and Aqaba. The fact that the sun nearly always shines is another plus!" Carolyn Spencer Brown