The awards name the top cruise destinations across 18 regions worldwide. New in 2018, the awards also highlight the best cruise lines to visit each region.
The Eastern Mediterranean port of Kotor, in Montenegro, came out as the number one destination hotspot for UK cruisers. The Baltic Sea port of Talinn, capital city of Estonia, secured second place in popularity, and the Aegean island of Santorini proved third favourite overall, for UK cruise travellers.
Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor, Cruise Critic said “Our data analysis shows that destination continues to be a top consideration for holidaymakers looking to cruise, regardless of whether they are new to cruise or seasoned cruise travellers.
“We are delighted that Edinburgh has pipped so many other wonderful Western European ports to the post to be crowned the best destination in the British Isles & Western Europe. Not only does this highlight the rise in popularity of destinations more known for their immersive, educational and experiential offerings, rather than just their temperate climate or great beaches, but also shows just how attractive Scotland is proving to travellers across the globe.
“This year, we’ve also included awards for the best lines that visit these top-rated destinations, to enable holidaymakers to connect quickly to standout experiences available in the incredible places they’re looking to explore.”
Glacier Bay in Alaska was named the Most Popular Cruise Destination in 2018 – receiving the highest ratings among cruise destinations across the globe. Glacier Bay was also the top-rated destination in Alaska for the third year in a row. It’s one of the best Inside Passage locations for glacier and wildlife viewing, with its Margerie Glacier considered one of the most photogenic glaciers.
Edinburgh secured the top destination award in the British Isles & Western Europe category – for the very first time – beating Barcelona, Rome and Venice, among many others. The beautiful capital city of Scotland sprawls over an extinct volcano, known as Arthur’s Seat, and is dominated by the impressive Medieval Edinburgh Castle. In 2017, Edinburgh welcomed almost 2.2 million visitors and its attractions continue to remain the most popular overall, throughout Scotland.
Cuba’s capital city of Havana was named the Best Cruise Destination in the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya for the first time. While international cruise lines have long visited Cuba, US travellers were only able to begin visiting the island once regulations were eased in 2016. Today, 17 cruise lines visit Cuba, and cruise travel is considered one of the best – and easiest – ways to visit the island as US regulations continue to evolve.
Dubrovnik has been named the Top-Rated Eastern Mediterranean Destination for the past two years, and has done it again this year to score a hat trick. This beautiful, walled Croatian medieval city – a key filming location for Game of Thrones – remains a mainstay on Eastern Mediterranean cruise itineraries. Overlooking the sparkling, clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, the city boasts centuries-old monasteries, churches, synagogues, and even one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe.
Celebrity Cruises was a big cruise line winner, receiving awards in nine of the 18 regional categories – including Best Cruise Line in Alaska, Australia & New Zealand and all three Caribbean regions.
Viking Ocean Cruises stood out among the small cruise lines, receiving four awards, including Best Cruise Line in the Baltic & Scandinavia, Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya, British Isles & Western Europe, and Western Mediterranean.
For full details on this year’s winners, visit the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.