Lonely Planet Writer

Cruise-goers pick their favourite spots as the world's top cruise destinations

If you’re debating where you want to go on a cruise, then why not let avid cruise-goers help you decide. Cruise Critic, a review site and online community, announced the winners of its Cruiser’s Choice Destination Awards.

Budapest cityscape, Danube river, Chain Bridge and Parliament.
Budapest is the top destination according to cruise-goers. Image by ©Zsolt Hlinka/Getty Images/Moment RF

The site determined the top spots for cruise-lovers around the world, based on consumer ratings and reviews submitted on the site. While the awards break down the best ports in regions around the world, Budapest – a stop on many European river cruises – was named the Best Cruise Destination for 2017. The Hungarian capital took the top spot for its history and beauty, noting that many passengers even extended their stays in the city before or after their sailing in order to enjoy it for longer.

A view of Quebec City from a hill overlooking the water.
Quebec City was named the best port in North America. Image by ©compassandcamera/Getty Images

In fact, European river cruise ports took three of the top five spots for highest-rated cruise ports. After Budapest, Wurzburg and Vienna made the top five. Glacier Bay in Alaska took the number two spot, while St. Petersburg, Russia was number four. Last year’s awards – which were the first from Cruise Critic – named St. Petersburg as the top destination in the world. The former Russian capital has also captured cruisers’ hearts with its sensational architecture and fascinating history.

An aerial photo of Tunnels beach. Tunnels is located on Kauai's North Shore and is named after the tunnels that snorkelers and divers can observe when navigating the reef.
Kauai was named the best port in Hawaii. Image by ©bjonesmedia/Getty Images

Alaskan cruises have become a popular choice for travellers looking for something more unique than a Caribbean sailing, and Glacier Bay was named the best port in the state. For travellers who wanted a cruise to another unique American spot, Hawaii’s best port was determined to be Kauai. But those aren’t the only spots in the US and Canada, as travellers along the mainland named Canada’s Quebec City as the best stop.

With many cruise lines stopping at their own private islands, reviewers were quick to claim Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay as the best for the second year in a row. One of its standout features is Serenity Bay – an adults-only beach –which is an unsurprisingly favoured amenity for reviewers.