Written by 8:40 pm Ports

Cruise Guide: Alaska, Caribbean cruises tops in 2008

By Michael Coleman

Alaska is hot according to a new survey.

The 49th state has not only become a staple among cruise lines in recent years it is now expected to become the most popular 2008 cruise ship destination in the world.

Alaska is a bright spot in the travel landscape – particularly for cruising, said Roger Block, executive vice president of the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associate Division. 

Black was referring to results gleaned from the companys Travel Trends survey, an annual poll of some 500 travel agents from across the nation.

Whats hot? Whats not? Some of the results might be surprising to the savviest of cruise travelers, including the fact that Alaska is projected to be the years top cruise destination.

For the first time ever, said Block. Alaska ranks as the top cruise destination being booked so far for the new year, beating out its Caribbean competitors.” 

Almost 30 per cent of agents polled pegged Alaska for the top spot. Western Caribbean voyages came in second (20.5 per cent), Eastern Caribbean third (15.5 per cent) and Mediterranean sailings fourth (8.7 per cent). Rounding out the top five were trips to the Southern Caribbean (6.3 per cent).

In terms of the most popular international destinations, cruising or otherwise, agents listed Caribbean cruising at number one (70.8 per cent). Trips to Cancun, Mexico (68.6); Riviera Maya, Mexico (32.4 per cent); Rome, Italy (31.4); and Mediterranean cruising (24.3 per cent) rounded out the top five projections.

Anyone who has cruised the Mediterranean in recent years should not be surprised by the revelation that such trips are so appealing. Mediterranean cruising previously ranked #15 in Carlsons international destinations category in 2004 and #10 in 2007, beating out traditional, land-based favorites such as London; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and several Mexican destinations.

Carlson said in a statement that “not only is there greater [Mediterranean cruise] inventory than ever before, many U.S. travelers are finding this is the way to travel to Europe in order to get the most for their money as possible.” 

Added one Carlsons travel agent: “With the dollar performing so poorly, we have been encouraging clients who might have steered away from an expensive European vacation to book a Mediterranean cruise – where your accommodations and meals are fixed pricing and you can still visit major tourist attractions throughout most of Europe while traveling with ease on the ship.”  

The Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associate network is part of the Carlson family of businesses, a global leader in the travel and hospitality industry that includes, among a host of companies, Regent International Hotels, Regent Seven Seas Cruise, Radisson Hotels & Resorts and T.G.I. Friday’s.

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