How to Choose the Best Cruise Vacation for You

View of ocean and sunset with clouds and landscape in the distance.

Cruising is an incredible vacation, not only for ease and comfort, but also for the ability to choose worldwide travel. Cruise ships can go all over the globe and even reach places that are only accessible by water. The hardest part of booking a cruise vacation is choosing where to go! Here’s a guide to help you choose the best cruise vacation for you.

First, think about what you want from your vacation. Consider the following questions:

1. Do you want to kick back and relax on board and on shore?

2. Are you looking for action-packed experiences deeper in destinations?

3. Are warm tropical beaches calling your name, or are snow-capped mountains and towering fjords beckoning you?

The best way to decide which cruise is right for you is to first decide what you want from your vacation. If you have a must-see port, find a cruise that includes your dream destination.

View of Half Moon Cay, Holland America's award-winning private island in the Bahamas.
Endless blue ocean views can be seen from Half Moon Cay, our award-winning private island in the Bahamas.

Beach Vibes

If sun, sand and beach vibes are what you’re looking for, explore a cruise to the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii. Though the three regions have a different feel, they all offer a relaxed vacation filled with beach days, warm breezes, sun-kissed skies and opportunities to snorkel and dive. The Caribbean is where island time means taking your time. The ocean is a kaleidoscope of azure with sea life. Plus, you could spend a day at Half Moon Cay, our award-winning private island. Mexico has a colorful culture with vibrant sites and amazing flavors. The spirit of aloha abounds in Hawaii with gorgeous beaches and an abundance of water-based shore excursions. If sun, sand and ancient sites sound appealing, the Mediterranean is worth considering as well.

View of a whale breaching the ocean waters in front of an Alaska glacier and snowcapped mountains.
Experience the magnificent wildlife and glaciers in Alaska.

Glaciers & Fjords

If you’re looking to check off a bucket-list destination full of places that are great for scenic cruising, Alaska, Antarctica and Norway should be top of mind. All three destinations are known for stunning scenery, glistening glaciers and fantastic fjords. With Holland America Line, you’ll have more access to Alaska wildlife and see more Alaska glaciers than any other cruise line. You can also experience the Yukon on an Alaska cruisetour.

When cruising to Norway, you can venture deep into several fjords, and the charming villages visited along the way are rich with Scandinavian heritage. Scenic cruising in Antarctica offers not only glaciers and icebergs, but plenty of wildlife, too. A visit to Antarctica also gives you the chance to explore one of the most remote locations in the world – a place few people ever get to see.

Lights reflect off Rome's colosseum in Italy.
View ancient landmarks across Europe, like the Colosseum in Rome.

Ancient Sites & Traditions

Cultural immersion, impressive architecture and history are the draw of a cruise to Europe or Asia. One Europe cruise could help you visit several countries with places like Rome’s Colosseum, Athens’ Acropolis, Pisa’s Leaning Tower or Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia. Cobblestone streets, centuries-old buildings and diverse flavors make a European cruise memorable. Explore more than 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites across all of our Europe itineraries – sites that represent the best of human heritage and the natural world.

In Asia, ancient cultures and traditions also shine through. Marvel at the shrines, temples and pagodas juxtaposed against gleaming, contemporary cities. And not only is it a cultural journey, but it’s also a culinary one, from tempting street food to steaming dim sum.

Holland America Line also visits South America, Australia, Canada and New England, the South Pacific and more! Once you know where you want to go, surf through our cruise itineraries and reach out to a Holland America Line Personal Cruise Consultant to help you plan your ultimate vacation.

Let the planning begin!


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