TripAdvisor has come out with its Travelers Choice Awards for the top global destinations of 2019, and we were happy to see that all 10 cities are prime stops for cruise travelers.
The travel site suggests that the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had a lot to do with London rocketing to the top spot. For instance, bookings of tours of the changing of the guard with a visit to Buckingham Palace rose by 231 percent over the past year.
The Greek island of Crete, at No. 4, was the biggest surprise to us. Alas, no U.S. city made the top 10 list for 2019, while New York, Maui and Oahu came in as the top three U.S. destinations in the opinion of Trip Advisors' members.
Here are the top 10 global destinations to consider for your next trip:
1As one of the most cosmopolitan destinations in the world, London entertains more than 20 million international visitors a year. With a rich heritage and history that greets you everywhere you go, the city still possesses an air of the medieval, with a backdrop of St. Paul's Cathedral, which has stood since the 1600s, to the iconic Big Ben. Yet this thriving metropolis is one of the centers of art, fashion and culture in Europe. Check out Buckingham Palace, Camden Market, the Tate Modern, the Royal Opera House, Abbey Road and a pint or two of British ale.
2Paris is a pleasure to behold, whether it’s from the graceful bridges spanning the Seine, atop the Eiffel Tower or among the backstreets and hidden courtyards of the Left Bank. It’s simply the ultimate destination for anyone who loves art, superb food, café life, history, shopping and iconic architecture. And while you may not associate Paris with cruising, the city is magical when seen from a river cruise ship.
3Rome, one of the oldest named cities in the world, dazzles the eyes at every turn with glorious architecture and lively piazzas adorned with elaborate fountains and sculpture. Innumerable sidewalk cafes serve as places to perch while art- or people-watching. Truly the Eternal City, it’s a blend of ancient empire, Renaissance treasures and up-to-the-minute fashion and energy.
4More like a separate country than just another Greek island, Crete casts a spell with its untamed landscapes and ancient sites shrouded in legend. Cruise visitors will discover an island of ancient treasures, ruggedly beautiful mountain and coastal scenery and the lively port of Heraklion with its outdoor markets, sidewalk cafes and fortified walls built by Venetian occupiers many centuries ago.
5Seaside resorts and ancient Hindu culture exist side by side on this alluring island. While Bali has its share of pleasant beaches, even more arresting beauty lies in its interior landscape of emerald green terraced rice fields, waterfalls and volcanic mountains. It also abounds with places to experience a living, breathing ancient culture through its temples, ceremonies, dances, rituals and crafts linked to the Hindu faith.
6Phuket is among Thailand's most popular tourist areas and one of the premier travel destinations in Southeast Asia. A crossroads for trade, Phuket has been a melting pot of Thai, Malay, Chinese and Western influences. Travelers, drawn to the island's beaches, crystalline waters and dramatic, forested hills, have turned Phuket into a vacation haven where beach, sea, sun and a fair amount of hedonistic revelry are the draws.
7Barcelona is a beautiful, vibrant city, full of what European cities are known for: outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums and churches. The city offers an extensive and reliable Metro system when you want to travel a distance, but don't resist walking through the many wonderful neighborhoods. The core center of town is focused around the Ciutat Vella("Old City"), while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.
8Over the past three decades, Istanbul has gone through an evolution that has transformed it into a dynamic metropolis of about 15 million residents. Full of extraordinary outdoor vendors, wonderful restaurants, interesting sites and glorious museums, Istanbul can seem overwhelming. So pace yourself. Take in the Blue Mosque, Haga Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar with its thousands of shops to browse.
9The “Red City” of Marrakesh brims with markets, gardens, palaces and mosques. Explore the charming courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina or find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle.
10Dubai is on course to welcome 20 million visitors by 2020. A number of cruise lines — Princess, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Cunard, Oceania — call on Dubai, largest city in the United Arab Emirates, as part of a regional or world cruise. It's a destination that mixes modern culture with history, world-class shopping and entertainment.
Interested in any of these destinations? Call a Cruiseable travel advocate at 1-877-322-3773 or send us an email.