Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.


One of the best reasons to go on a cruise holiday is the ability to explore multiple destinations in one trip, all without the need to move your suitcase from one hotel to another. Typically, cruises are popular among older generations, but that needn’t be the case; many younger people are also embarking on cruises and exploring the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe. For the particularly adventurous – and those looking to really get their sea legs – there are longer world cruises available, offering a chance to visit North and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand in one go.

In addition to the stops and excursions along the way, those on board can take part in a huge range of activities and events on board the ship. Many of the larger cruise ships feature several pools, bars, restaurants and casinos – some even have miniature golf courses, cinemas and roller coasters. In terms of entertainment, there’s no shortage, whether you’re looking to belt out a hit at karaoke or get suited and booted for a formal black tie gathering. Whatever your interest, there’s likely to be something to keep you occupied, above or below deck.

Whether you’re looking for a short trip or want to embark on a round-the-world voyage, our team of travel experts have created guides on the world’s best cruises to help you plan the most memorable holiday.

Top cruise destinations

Whether you're looking to go on a European jaunt or the adventure of a lifetime in the Caribbean, we've got the lowdown on the best destinations in the world to make sure your cruise is unforgettable.

Top cruise lines

From Cunard to P&O, these are the world's top cruise lines to book your dream trip.

River cruises

As the name suggests, river cruises take passengers down a particular waterway (or waterways). The ships are smaller than their ocean-going cousins, which allows for a more intimate, community feel on board. Along the routes there are opportunities to stop off at major cities and towns, and river cruises are a great way to see the sights from a different perspective.

Some of the most popular river cruise destinations are the Nile in Egypt, the Ganges in northern India and Bangladesh and the Mississippi river in the USA.

Expedition cruises

Expedition cruises are more activity-focused than others, and offer passengers the chance to dive deep into some of the world’s more remote areas, such as the Arctic and the Galapagos. In warmer regions, passengers can enjoy water sports like scuba diving, while in other locations, it’s about spotting rare wildlife and experiencing areas of natural beauty – some even get the chance to witness the Northern Lights.

Some of the most popular expedition cruise destinations are Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands and Greenland.

Ocean cruises

Typically accommodating more than 1,000 passengers, ocean cruises are more traditional and the ships are much larger. In addition to having more space, these ships have a vast amount of amenities on board and an expansive team on hand to cater for guests.

The most popular ocean cruise destinations include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Cape Verde.

Yacht cruises

For a luxurious holiday, some may opt for a yacht cruise. Carrying around 6-12 passengers depending on the size of the vessel, yacht cruises give passengers more freedom with their itineraries, and exude opulence. There are certain marinas and small docks that cater for these types of cruises.

Some of the most popular yacht cruise destinations are St Tropez and the French Riviera, Greece and Italy.

Luxury cruises

Holidaymakers on board can enjoy the finer things in life – everything from butlers and gourmet food to private dining and decadent interiors – when on a luxury cruise.

Some of the most popular luxury cruise destinations are the Mediterranean, New Zealand and the South Pacific and Canada.

FAQs about cruises

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in