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Now is the Time to Book: Cruise Trends for 2024

Travelers looking for one-of-a-kind experiences in the new year

Cruise by Roderick Eime
Photo copyright Roderick Eime

Spending time at sea looks different for every cruiser, and this year’s trends prove travelers are tailoring their cruising experiences to meet their unique wants and needs. AAA Travel says smaller ships, solo trips, and splurge-worthy suites are some of the biggest trends for 2024.

“We are seeing a significant increase in the number of travelers who are choosing unique experiences like expedition cruises,” said Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA East Central. “This trend tells us that travelers are willing to be adventurous and spend more to have an unforgettable cruise vacation.”

AAA Travel has also noticed another trend: more travelers are booking cruises earlier and earlier, in some cases more than a year in advance. This ensures they get the itineraries, cabins, and shore excursions they want. Because inventory can be more limited, working with a trusted travel advisor becomes more important.

“Travel advisors help you navigate the waters and get more value for your dollar,” Powell added. “And those advisors not only can help book the right cruise for you, they also have access to deals that you might be able to find otherwise.”

Expedition cruises are growing in popularity with more travelers looking to get up-close and personal with nature. Top destinations include the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, the Galápagos, and the Northwest Passage.

  • First-Timer? Try HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) to the Galápagos Islands. The MS Santa Cruz II offers some of the best island coverage and wildlife viewing opportunities in the Galápagos. With multiple naturalist guides aboard the Santa Cruz II, choices include a wide range of activities like hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and touring on a glass-bottom boat.
  • Regular Cruiser? Try Seabourn to the Northwest Passage. Join the Seabourn Venture for a 23-day journey sailing from Greenland to Nome, Alaska through the Canadian Arctic. Along the way, the 24-person expedition team will deliver immersive experiences by land and sea. Travelers can also indulge in the luxurious amenities of the all-inclusive ship with complimentary spirits, wine, and caviar.

More travelers are booking cruise vacations just for themselves. According to CLIA’s State of the Cruise Industry Report 2023, cruise lines are taking notice and increasing the number of single cabins in new ships and retrofitting some of their existing ships to better accommodate solo passengers.

  • First-Timer? Try Celebrity Cruises to the Caribbean. The Celebrity Ascent features the Edge Single Infinite Veranda stateroom designed exclusively for singles. These cabins take the room right to the water’s edge, giving open air access to the sea with the touch of a button.
  • Regular Cruiser? Try AmaWaterways to Europe. European river cruises are growing in popularity, and for solo travelers, they offer an intimate atmosphere conducive to meeting other passengers. Pro tip: AmaWaterways often has sales that waive the single supplement fee.

AAA Travel has seen a spike in early bookings of balcony cabins and luxury suites. These prime categories are selling out faster than before, so travelers looking to splurge on their next cruise vacation should book well in advance.

  • First-Timer? Try Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas. On Utopia of the Seas, families can book the Ultimate Family Suite. A two-story, three-bedroom suite that sleeps up to 10 guests. The suite has a cinema, karaoke station, private whirlpool on the balcony, and a slide to go from the second floor to the first!
  • Regular Cruiser? Try Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the Mediterranean. The Regent Suite on the new Seven Seas Grandeur is the largest suite at sea at almost 4,500 square feet. This two-bedroom, two-bath suite has its own spa with sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi, plus two wrap-around balconies, a six-seat dining room, and a baby grand piano!

Browse more cruises and find travel inspiration on Trip Canvas, AAA’s free travel-planning tool.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 70 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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AAA East Central is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.