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Top cruise trends for 2024

Valery Gulyaev / CC BY-SA 3.0

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – The recent winter storms are motivating many Idahoans to dream of their next warm-weather getaway, and for some, cruising will be an attractive option this year.

“The cruise experience is so customizable. Shipboard entertainment, dining, amenities, and excursions help each cruise line take on a personality of its own, so there are options for just about every interest and budget,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “If you have any thoughts of taking a cruise this year, now is the time to do your homework with the help of an experienced travel agent and grab a great booking before they’re gone.”

AAA says smaller ships are becoming more popular, as are trips for solo travelers and luxury suites. The best itineraries are being booked earlier, in some cases more than a year in advance.

Smaller ships

Ships with a smaller footprint help travelers get up close and personal with nature. River cruises (both international and domestic), the Galapágos Islands, the Northwest Passage, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle are some of the most popular destinations this year.

“In addition to being more maneuverable in some situations, smaller ships may allow travelers to get to know each other, and the ship’s crew, a little better, further enhancing the experience,” Conde said.

Solo trips

According to CLIA’s State of the Cruise Industry Report, cruise lines are increasing the number of single cabins in new ships and retrofitting some existing ships to better accommodate solo guests.

“At times, cruise lines will also waive the single supplement fee that is charged for a room that would normally accommodate more people,” Conde said. “Your travel agent can point you to these opportunities to save. And on a cruise ship, solo travelers will get to meet a community of people.”


AAA Travel reports a spike in early bookings of balcony cabins and luxury suites. With relaxation seen by many as an important investment in their physical and mental health, some passengers are eager to take their shipboard stay to the next level.

“The cruise ship is not simply a floating hotel, and time aboard is as precious as time on an excursion,” Conde said. “Some of the finest suites have theater rooms, private hot tubs, wrap-around balconies, and much more. And many cruise lines offer spas and other ways to unwind.”

AAA cruise advice

  • Book with the help of a travel agent for the best deals, including shipboard credit, complimentary tours, and food and beverage packages.
  • Consider adding a land tour to the beginning or end of your cruise.
  • Make reservations for the spa, preferred excursions, and sit-down dining as soon as possible. The best options will be snatched up fast.
  • Book the first flight in the morning whenever possible. Your plane will probably already be on the ground, giving you a better chance of avoiding delays throughout the day, especially if you’re taking a cruise as part of a holiday vacation.
  • Different cruise lines have different specialties and amenities. Select the best cruise for your interests.
  • Obtain or renew your passport well in advance.
  • Protect your investment with the purchase of travel insurance.

For additional cruise information and other travel inspiration, visit Trip Canvas, AAA’s free travel-planning tool, or reach out to a AAA Travel Agent.

Information about the 2024 AAA President’s Cruise, with stops along the coast of Croatia, Greece, and Italy, can be found here.

Article Topic Follows: Travel

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