Be covered in minutes - Freephone Our UK Call Centre
0800 848 8608
Home » Blog » Where the world wants to cruise

Where the world wants to cruise

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 10 May 2024 | Created: 9 May 2024

The cruising world has changed significantly in recent years, with major updates from cruise lines designed to attract more diverse crowds. With water parks and adventure activities, themed cruises that range from entire music festivals to Disney on the sea, as well as advanced technology and shorter, more flexible itineraries than ever – people are considering a holiday at sea more often.

In fact, recent research we conducted revealed that a massive 66% of Brits are seriously considering a cruise for their next holiday, with cruise holidays more likely to be chosen by people who prioritise the importance of wellbeing (74%), quality (73%) and safety (72%) when choosing the style of trip that best fits their needs.

With more people wanting to cruise, and new routes popping up all the time, we looked at global search data to find out which are the most popular cruising destinations in different countries around the world. By analysing the average monthly search volume for popular cruising destinations, we were able to see which travel hotspots came out on top.

Here’s what we learned…

Where is the most popular cruise destination?

The number one cruising destination is the tropical paradise of the Caribbean. Home to some of the world’s busiest cruise ports, private islands like Disney’s Castaway Cay or Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, and accounting for over 70% of the region’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it’s a widely popular choice for getaways all year round.

The rest of the world’s most popular cruise destinations include a variety of different types of cruises, ranging from idyllic summer boat trips through the Mediterranean, to chillier adventures in Antarctica and along the pristine Norwegian fjords, where cruise dwellers hope to spot seals and whales, or even the spectacular Northern Lights.

The top 20 most searched for cruises worldwide


Rank  Cruise Destination/Type  No. of searches (April 2023 – March 2024) 
1  Caribbean Cruise  2,824,180 
2  Mediterranean Cruise  2,146,670 
3  Alaska Cruise  1,804,940 
4  Nile River Cruise  1,025,830 
5  Antarctica Cruise  969,670 
6  Seine River Cruise  695,040 
7  Norwegian Fjords Cruise  674,230 
8  Danube River Cruise  548,840 
9  Mississippi River Cruise  462,580 
10  Hawaii Cruise  454,670 
11  Around The World Cruises  424,920 
12  Rhine River Cruise  416,320 
13  Greek Isles Cruise  409,470 
14  Douro River Cruise  363,060 
15  Panama Canal Cruise  342,420 
16  Transatlantic Cruise  339,180 
17  Northern Lights Cruise  300,150 
18  Great Lakes Cruise  168,580 
19  Baltic Sea Cruise  153,360 
20  Maldives Cruise  152,550 


Looking deeper into our data tells an even more interesting story however, with many holidaymakers seemingly most interested in using a cruise as a way to explore more of the continent they are from, while the pull of the ever-popular Caribbean is still very evident.

To help visualise this, we’ve compiled each country’s most searched for cruise in the map below!

Map of the most-searched for cruise destinations across the globe.

Europe’s favourite cruising destinations

Europe itself is renowned for its rich historical, diverse cultural, and thriving culinary scenes, and is also home to its own incredible cruising routes. From the sun-kissed Mediterranean Sea to the vast and impressive Norwegian Fjords, as well as beautiful river cruises along the Danube and River Seine, there’s a wealth of places to explore Europe by boat.

Greece is one of Europe's most popular cruise destinations.

While the rest of the world seems to want to head to the Caribbean on a cruise, for Europeans it seems the glistening world of the Mediterranean is all they need. Just three countries on the continent want to head to the Caribbean, including Lithuania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom – which echoes our previous UK-focused research on this. Meanwhile the vast majority want to explore the Mediterranean, visiting the likes of Spain, France and Italy in the West, Greece, Turkey and Croatia in the East, or Malta, Egypt and Cyprus in the South.

Many European countries are also vying for a trip down one of Europe’s iconic rivers. River cruises tend to use smaller, more intimate, ships, and are a great choice for people who wish to avoid motion sickness. Denmark, Hungary and Moldova are all keen to set sail down the Danube (which offers diverse landscapes from 10 different countries), while for Iceland and Ireland, it’s the River Seine that attracts them the most – an ideal route for people wishing to soak up lots of art, while visiting charming French towns.

Interestingly in certain parts of Europe, the call of the Nile is also extremely strong, with countries such as Austria and Italy searching for cruises down the famous Egyptian river.

Asia’s favourite cruising destinations

The South China sea is a popular cruise choice.

Home to its own wealth of cruising options, from the Mekong River that takes passengers through Vietnam and Cambodia, to the Yangtze River in China which offers breathtaking scenery, ancient temples and lush vegetation, Asia is a cruising hotspot in its own right.

When it comes to where Asia wants to cruise, however, it’s the Maldives on home soil that takes the top spot, with seven different countries searching for cruises there more than anywhere else. Among them are Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. With smaller ships, a plethora of phenomenal diving opportunities, and islands surrounded by turquoise waters – it’s an impressive destination to sail around.

Asian countries also want to head to Europe by boat, travellers in China want to sail around the Mediterranean, while Bhutan, Sri Lanka and India want to cruise down the Seine River.

Africa’s favourite cruising destinations

Africa is full of exciting cruises to try.

With a mammoth amount of coastline to explore, as well as a delicious gastronomic scene and thriving wildlife opportunities, sailing in Africa is also popular with many cruisers. But where do Africans want to explore?

Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius are among the nine countries that want to visit the tropical shores of the Caribbean, while in comparison, Namibia, Senegal, Togo and others want to explore the dazzling Mediterranean. Egypt and Morocco are searching for cruises in the Maldives, while Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe want to cruise closer to home, along the Zambezi River, one of Africa’s largest rivers that showcases iconic destinations like Victoria Falls, and where passengers can disembark to national parks and spot the nation’s impressive wildlife.

North and Central America’s favourite cruising destinations

Alaska, USA is a popular cruise choice for nature lovers.

North America is home to the Caribbean, the world’s most desired cruising destination, and as such it’s no surprise that 19 different countries found in North and Central America just want to stay and explore it.

The Caribbean cruising industry attracts nearly 35% of the global cruise market, with many cruise liners offering the most advanced ships in the industry. From robotic bartenders to multi-story water slides and surf simulators, there’s no end of things to do while cruising around its 7,000 islands, islets, reefs and cays.

For the United States and Canada however, it’s not the Caribbean, but Alaska that people most want to experience.

With glaciers that make you feel like you’re in a Planet Earth documentary, as well as rich wildlife, dog sledding excursions, and even midnight sun if you travel during the summer months, it’s an adventurous cruise you won’t forget in a hurry.

South America’s favourite cruising destinations 

The Galapagos islands.

South America is the gateway to Antarctica cruises, which leave from Ushuaia in Argentina, and have risen in popularity in recent years. South America itself however is also home to many cruising routes that attract tourists from all over, including journeys along the Amazon River, as well as options to sail around the Galapagos Islands.

However all but two South American countries most want to cruise around the Caribbean. Travel makers from Brazil want to sail down to the Antarctic, while tourists from Suriname also want to cruise throughout Alaska.

Oceania’s favourite cruising destinations

A cruise to Antarctica is an incredible journey.

Oceania is a diverse region that is home to the Pacific Islands as well as Australia and New Zealand. With the Great Barrier Reef, as well as places like Fiji and French Polynesia, which offer cruise lovers unbeatable scenery and fantastic weather – Oceania is yet another brilliant choice to cruise around. So where do its inhabitants want to cruise?

While Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu all search for cruises on their home soil more than anywhere else, it’s Antarctica that Australia and New Zealand most want to visit. Cruises to Antarctica have become widely popular in recent years, with TikTok partially responsible for popularising the ease at which people can travel to such a remote destination. Icebergs, glaciers, and a vast expanse of snow, as well as penguins, whales and seals will all delight any visitor that is brave enough to take on the cold.

Whether you’re heading to the icy climes of Antarctica to spot the local wildlife and maybe even the Aurora Borealis, or you fancy a hotter, more tropical adventure across the Mediterranean or Caribbean seas, ensure you’re equipped with the right kind of cruise Travel Insurance before you lift the anchor.


We compiled a list of over 100 cruising destinations and routes from every continent and used Google Keyword Planner to ascertain the search volumes from for each between April 2023 and March 2024. Each cruising route was translated into the respective country’s language before the search volumes were gathered.

To determine the most searched cruising routes globally, the total searches for each route, in every country were collated.

Not all countries provided enough search data to be featured, meaning that we included only the countries with enough data to analyse and in turn, excluded any countries where search volumes were too low to be conclusive.

All data correct as of April 2024.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The cruising world has changed significantly in recent years, with major updates from cruise lines designed to attract more diverse crowds. With water parks and adventure activities, themed cruises that range from entire music festivals to Disney on the sea, as well as advanced technology and shorter, more flexible itineraries than ever – people are considering a holiday at sea more often.