May to September - In the months from June to August, the temperatures in Alaska are at their warmest, and the conditions are moderate, making it quite pleasant. The further into summer you are, the better chances you have of seeing wildlife on the various expeditions. In May and September, the crowds are smaller, and the prices are cheaper as a result of the cooler weather.
November to March - The summer months between November and March make up Antarctica's main cruise season. During winter, the ice extends and the region becomes too dark and cold to safely travel around. December & January is best for wildlife spotting, whereas February & March is best for whale watching!
All Year Round - The cruise season never ends in Asia, due to the region's warm and comfortable climate all year round. However, most ocean cruises operate between April and November, outside of the monsoon season between June & September. River cruises also operate year round however some cruise routes may be cancelled or altered during the dry season if the river bank retreats.
All Year Round - Australia is a year round cruise destination with ships from P&O Australia, Princess Cruises & Carnival Australia based permanently in Australia. The main cruise season, known as “Wave Season” is from November to March when all of the popular cruise lines send their ships down under for the summer season.
March to November - The European River season runs from March to November – plus special festive-market and New Year's departures – with itineraries ranging from short taster cruises to culture-rich, fortnight-long voyages. With spectacular scenery, charming villages and cities such as Cologne, Vienna and Budapest, it's easy to see why the Rhine, Main and Danube attract the highest number of cruisers.
All Year Round - Hawaii is an all-year cruise destination, with average temperatures ranging from 24 degrees celsius in the winter to 29.5 degrees celsius in the summer. Some cruise lines offer week-long cruises all year round, while others focus on the peak school holiday seasons and offer more sporadic sailings. December to May is best for whale watching.
March to October - Families from all over the world flock to the Mediterranean summer sailing dates from May to August, making for a nice cultural mix of passengers. But, this also means bigger crowds, higher prices, and hotter temperatures. March, April, September & October are the times to cruise the mega-ships, without all the children.
All Year Round - The Mexican Riviera is a year-round cruise destination especially for the active travellers. There is an abundance of beautiful beaches great for water activities, such as snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing and scuba diving.
All Year Round - New Zealand is best enjoyed during the peak summer months of December, January and February, although cruises to New Zealand are offered all year round from Australia. If you are cruising outside of peak summer times, it's best to come prepared for cooler temperatures and unexpected weather events!
May to September - Northern Europe is at its loveliest during the summer months from June to August, with balmy temperatures and cities that turn themselves inside out. Mid-June to early July is particularly interesting because of the midnight sun, which only disappears for 3-4 hours each night. Early June & September is less crowded & the prices are lower.
Scandinavia & Baltics
March to November - Most cruises only operate in the warmer months between May and September, with some cruise lines offering tours in March, April, October and fewer in November. Temperatures may be a bit more brisk at these times, but you'll avoid the peak season crowds, and cruise prices tend to be lower.
November to March is high cruise season for coastal South America, though most cruise lines operate on the Amazon during the dry season from June to November.
All Year Round - The South Pacific is blessed with tropical climates making it the perfect year round cruise destination. Cruises operate year round from Australia, Fiji and Tahiti. Expect better weather during the dry months from May to October, making it a perfect winter escape.
All Year Round - The Galapagos Islands are a great year-round cruise destination however, the high season for tourism tends to coincide with school holidays from December to January & June to August. Avoid the peak season crowds and cruise prices will tend to be lower.
Choose your destination based on your cruise style:
Everyone cruises for different reasons, some people go cruising to meet other likeminded travellers, some want to immerse themselves in exotic culture, and some want to be awed by spectacular scenery. No matter why you like to cruise, there’s bound to be a destination that suits your interests! That’s why we have come up with the best cruise destinations for all types of passengers. Read on for our top picks, as well as some valid runners-up.