1. This September, Cuba received its first commercial flight from the U.S. in over 50 years, opening up a new era of travel opportunity for American tourists. And beginning March 2017, five new cruise lines will be docking in Cuban ports. Guests aboard ships from Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises will have the chance to head ashore and experience the vibrancy of Cuban culture.
2. Luxury expedition ships have become increasingly popular with cruisers seeking out beyond-the-ordinary cruise adventures. In growing numbers, travellers are sailing on ships to remote destinations in the Arctic and Antarctic, the Galapagos Islands and Amazon basin. We’re predicting this is going to be a big year for our most northerly tour location – Svalbard! North of Norway, east of Greenland, and just 700 miles south of the North Pole, Svalbard spells adventure.
3. Lately, more travelers have turned their attention from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea. Itineraries here offer people the chance to visit 7 or 8 countries on a single cruise! Stop at ports in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Germany, Russia and Estonia offer a diversity that's caused a leap in cruise passengers from 2.2 million to 4.2 million people in the past decade. Copenhagen is the most popular embarkation point, and we’re predicting another very busy season for our guides here.
4. Demand for river cruises continues to increase along routes that sail the Rhine, Seine, Rhone and Danube, among others. We’re predicting 2017 will be a particularly busy year for our guides in Budapest, a city and port we’ve watched rise in our ranks in 2016. Cruises that sail along the Danube, and to the Black Sea make Budapest an important – and much anticipated – port. With almost 600 private tours sold here in the past year, this has become one of our best selling destinations, and our local guides in the Hungarian capital book fast.
5. Finally…Alaska. The “last frontier” continues to be in high demand from Americans who want adventure without international travel, and those from abroad who seek a piece of true northern wilderness. The short season and high demand mean our Alaskan ports of Seward, Whittier, Skagway, Ketchikan and Anchorage are always busy. Book soon!
Wherever your cruising takes you in 2017, you can find a wide variety of private shore excursions by using our Shore excursion planner tool. Just enter your ship’s name and sailing date, and you’ll see all available shore excursions at each port of call.