Popular cruise packages (Top 13 cruise guest favorites)

During many years in the travel industry, we have researched, created, marketed, and sold numerous cruise packages for customers. The different combinations of land and cruise packages are endless, with most customers choosing at least to spend a few days exploring the city of departure and surrounding area before boarding their cruise ship. The most popular cruise packages cover all regions of the world.

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Packaging your cruise vacation with pre-and post-cruise land adventures

Extending a cruise holiday with a hotel stay before and after a cruise is important for many travelers. The expense of flying to a port city often means you want to extend your stay and experience the country you are visiting – whether as a first-time visitor or a returning guest.

Building your package is not difficult. It just takes planning and research. And that’s where Cruise Trail can help you. We have a variety of inspirational packages for you to read through. With expert cruise advice, travel news, and solid tips regarding flights, hotels, and activities, we can help you make your cruise vacation more memorable.

Top 13 popular cruise packages booked by cruise travelers

Below are the 13 most popular packages chosen by cruise travelers like you. Considering available time and budget, these are the most popular choices for a complete land and sea cruise vacation package.

Click on the information below to bring you to a full page detailing each package.

1) Cruise package Mediterranean from Barcelona

Cruise ship at the sea on cruise package Mediterranean from Barcelona  cruise

Barcelona is known for trendy boutiques, fantastic architecture, and outstanding cuisine. The Catalan capital has everything: shopping, beaches, great food, world-renowned art, friendly locals, and cozy neighborhoods.

Staying in this great city is the perfect way to kick-start your Mediterranean cruise holiday from Barcelona. Remember that day one will be a travel day, so often the first day and night you don’t manage to see that much in a city, depending of course what time you arrive. Five nights will allow you to have four full days of sightseeing in Barcelona, and we think this city deserves your time.

The city is a beautiful place to be – remember, it’s on the coast, so you have a perfect city-beach combination. And the surrounding area of Catalonia offers medieval villages, world-class vineyards, and the opportunity to learn about Spanish history and culture.

5 hotel nights in Barcelona followed by a 7-night cruise

One of the most popular cruise packages for a Mediterranean cruise is five nights in Barcelona and a 7-night cruise. Read our Barcelona page about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries. And for an inspirational package, check out our Mediterranean cruise package from Barcelona with Royal Caribbean cruises here.

2) Cruise package Mediterranean from Rome

Tiber and St Peter Basilica (Vatican) on Mediterranean cruise from Rome

Discover one of the most visited cities in Europe – Rome, the Eternal City – followed by a 7-night Mediterranean cruise. Best of all, it’s easy to book yourself, so you have complete control over your vacation!

3 hotel nights in Rome followed by a 7-night cruise

We usually recommend a 12-night vacation package. That is five nights in Rome before a 7-night cruise so that you discover the famous sights of Rome and life in this busy, ancient city, local hotspots, and authentic Italian cuisine.

However, in reality, Rome is an expensive city. Therefore it’s not surprising that the most sold package is three nights in Rome and a 7-night cruise. Find out about tried and tested hotels booked repeatedly by cruise customers, transportation options, getting to the cruise port, and daily itineraries on our Rome page. And for inspiration, check out our Mediterranean cruise package from Rome with Royal Caribbean here.

For customers coming to Europe from further afield, that is, most often from Canada, the USA, and Australia, the most popular cruise packages are often longer, being 10 or 11 nights, and are even followed up by post-cruise hotel nights. Flights into Europe are not cheap, and it makes sense when traveling so far that you stay as long as you possibly can – time and budget allowing.

3) Cruise package Caribbean and Bahamas from Miami

Relaxing beach on cruise package Caribbean and Bahamas from Miami

The Port of Miami is the busiest passenger cruise port in the world. It is home to one of the most well-known cruise lines, Royal Caribbean, and offers one of the world’s most visited regions – the Caribbean and the Bahamas. A top favorite for sun-seekers everywhere, a visit to this region doesn’t happen just once for many cruise guests—especially those living in cooler climates needing to escape the chill of winter.

3 hotel nights in Miami followed by a 10-night Southern Caribbean cruise

One of the most popular cruise packages in the Caribbean includes stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, San Juan, St Thomas, Jamaica, and Nassau in the Bahamas. And the cruise line’s private island. That includes Perfect Day at Coco Cay for Royal Caribbean, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve for MSC Cruises, and Princess Cays for Carnival Cruise Line, to name a few.

To reach the Southern Caribbean, however, you will need a more extended cruise as the sailing distance is further from Miami. A 10-day cruise will include some of the more popular stops plus those dream destinations of St. Kitts, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. And that’s why the most booked Caribbean cruise package is three nights in Miami plus a 10-night cruise.

4) Cruise package Greek Isles from Athens

Landscape view of Santorini Island on a Cruise package Greek Isles

Start your Greek Isles cruise adventure by exploring Athens for a few days before you set sail. 

We recommend a 10-night package for a fantastic Mediterranean cruise from Athens in Greece, or to be more exact, the port of Piraeus, just a 30-minute taxi ride from Athens.

The package is three nights in Athens followed by a 7-night cruise. And you can extend your stay with more pre- or post-cruise hotel nights. Most cruise customers find that with two full days in Athens, you can see much of what the city is known for – ancient Greece, The Acropolis, and the statues and monuments that tell the stories and legends of Greek gods and the history of the people in this region.

And for those customers who have the destination of ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese region in southern Greece on their bucket list, an extra day is needed for this fantastic full-day excursion to the home of the first modern Olympic Games of 1896.

3 hotel nights in Athens followed by a 7-night Greek Isles cruise

So this choice of popular cruise packages is one of the most booked for a Mediterranean cruise, three nights in Athens, and a 7-night Greek Isles cruise. Read about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Athens page. And for an inspirational package, check out our Mediterranean cruise package from Athens with Norwegian Cruise Line here.

5) Cruise package Norwegian Fjords from Southampton

Bergen, Norway on a cruise package Norwegian fjords

Who could resist a cruise to the Land of the Midnight Sun? Norway’s summer months in May, June, and July enjoy long, sunny, warm days – and the further north you go, the lighter your nights. And a cruise is the perfect way to visit the Norwegian fjords.

Cruise itineraries to the Norwegian Fjords are often packed with daily port stops. It’s a cruise where you should explore nature on land as much as possible. The scenery is stunning.

A cruise to the Norwegian Fjords is also extremely popular with families who have tweens and teens, as the hiking and biking tours are adventurous and action-packed. Climbing a glacier or kayaking in crystal clear waters is a memorable experience for everyone.

3 hotel nights in Southampton or London followed by a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise

A cruise vacation to the Norwegian fjords can be packaged up in many different ways depending upon which cruise line you choose. You can depart from Southampton in southern England, Copenhagen in Denmark, or Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

Most cruise guests spend three nights in the departure city before transferring to the port to start their cruise. Three hotel nights give you two whole days of exploring. And while we usually recommend five nights to fit in excursions further afield, the most booked packages for a Norwegian Fjords cruise are three nights in Southampton (or London from where you can quickly transfer to Southampton port) and a 7-night cruise.

Read about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Southampton or London page. And for inspiration, check out our Norwegian Fjords cruise package from Southampton with Royal Caribbean here.

6) Cruise package Australia and New Zealand from Sydney

Sydney Opera House on an Australian and New Zealand cruise package

The chance to board a cruise ship and cruise out of Sydney harbor is a spectacular sight. Experience sailing past the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House towards the open waters of the South Pacific Ocean.

A vacation to Australia and New Zealand will likely be one of the longest vacations you will ever book. Price and sheer distance will want you to make the most of your time down under with extra hotel nights and transportation to get you around. And it’s wise to budget accordingly.

Most cruises in Australia and New Zealand start in Sydney and end in Auckland or vice versa. And that means you travel between the two countries on the cruise ship without worrying about booking more flights. We can’t emphasize enough how great this region of the world truly is. Visit at least once in your lifetime. And if you have a bucket list, place a cruise in Australia and New Zealand at the top of that list.

5 hotel nights in Sydney, 12-night Australia & New Zealand cruise, 4 nights in Auckland

Starting in the stunning city of Sydney, five nights will give you four sightseeing days before your cruise starts. Factor in jet lag, and you will need your first evening and night to recover and try and get that internal body clock on Australia time. You could stay a couple of weeks in Sydney and still not see it all. Luckily we have a detailed 4-day itinerary in Sydney for cruise guests that will cover must-see sights, local hotspots, and some hidden gems.

Your cruise will often be at least ten days if you want to include ports in Australia and end in New Zealand. The fjord landscape in the southwest of New Zealand is remarkable. You will also experience the wide-open landscapes from Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth filming. Follow up the cruise with a stay in Auckland.

So the most popular cruise booked in this region starts in Sydney and ends in Auckland on a 12-night cruise. The package includes five nights in Sydney, a 12-night cruise, and four nights in Auckland.

Read about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Sydney and Auckland page. We have two exciting packages to inspire you to plan your cruise to Australia and New Zealand. The first is here with the Norwegian Cruise Line, and the second is the cruise vacation in reverse, starting in Auckland here.

7) Cruise package British Isles Cruise from London

Lulworth Cove on a cruise package British Isles

A British Isles cruise is a holiday experience like no other. The spectacular coastline around the United Kingdom promises a vast diversity of stops at fantastic locations. It’s where culture, nature, history, and tradition converge into an utterly unique experience. Cruise in luxury on an adventure through the English Channel, the Irish Sea, to the Highlands of Scotland, and beyond.

5 hotel nights in London followed by a 10-night around the British Isles

Many British Isles cruises lines start from the port of Southampton or Greenwich, London. The most popular package is three nights in London before you start a cruise from England’s south coast, followed by a 10-night cruise. For more inspiration and to read about some of the destinations you will visit on a British Isles cruise, read our article here.

8) Cruise package Scandinavia and the Baltics

Cruise packages Scandinavia and the Baltics

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics and discover the Nordic culture and culinary excellence in the land of the Vikings! This region of Europe is known for fresh air, great outdoors, and magical northern lights. And some of the highest living standards in the world.

Cruise itineraries often start in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and Copenhagen, the capital of neighboring Denmark.

The most popular package for this region is a stay of 3 nights in Copenhagen, followed by a 7-night cruise. Read our article here for more inspiration about a cruise to Scandinavia and the Baltics. We love this nordic region, and you will too.

9) Cruise package New Zealand & Australia from Auckland

Cruise package New Zealand and Australia from Auckland

If you are looking for an untamed wilderness, a rich culture, and everything from mountain ranges to clear oceans, you will find them on a cruise from Auckland, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia.

The best time of year to visit is during the spring and summer seasons – that is, September through March. Remember, summer and winters reverse those in Europe and North America. Cruise season is during the spring and summer, with some cruises stretching into the Fall period in April and May.

5 hotel nights in Auckland, a 12-night New Zealand & Australia cruise, and 4 nights in Sydney

A cruise package vacation visiting New Zealand and Australia in the same trip is a travel combo that is hard to beat. The most popular is spending five nights in Auckland – you’ll want to get rid of jetlag when you arrive. That leaves you with four whole days to explore the city and even venture further afield to see this stunning landscape.

The cruise will be at least ten nights, most often 12, to squeeze in as many great stops as possible, and you’ll end up in Sydney. Cruise guests stay an average of 4 nights in Sydney here before heading home. We put together daily Sydney itineraries that allow you to see as much as possible in the relatively short time you visit.

Many guests even choose to extend their Australian vacation further. Domestic flights are easy to book, and you can visit the Great Barrier Reef for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You could also choose to head southwards towards Melbourne. There you will discover one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, Great Ocean Road, in the great state of Victoria. Or take a 3-hour domestic flight to enjoy the sight of the magical Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock.

Please read about our fantastic suggestion for your cruise to New Zealand and Australia from Auckland here.

10) Cruise package Canada and New England from New York

View from cruise package Canada and New England

Explore the beautiful northeast corner of the USA. Rich in history as one of the settlements of pilgrims in the “New World,” there are endless possibilities for activities and adventure.

New England cruise itineraries include some or all of Boston, Bar Harbor, Portland, and Newport cruise ports. Enjoy the small-town charm and bustling cities. Discover where independent America all began. Then step out into the unique nature this area offers.

3 hotel nights in New York followed by a 9-night Canada and New England cruise

Most often, you will start your cruise vacation in fantastic New York. One of the most popular cruise packages is three days in New York, followed by a 9-night cruise. And if you find a longer cruise to suit your travel dates with more destinations, that’s even better. Find inspiration here for your next cruise holiday in this region.

11) Cruise package Hawaii from San Francisco

Waikiki Beach O'ahu on a cruise package Hawaii from San Francisco

Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the few cruise lines with a dedicated itinerary sailing around the Hawaiian islands. Their ship, Pride of America, has navigated these waters for many years.

Combining San Francisco with a flight to Honolulu and a cruise around Hawaii is not difficult to book. We recommend a couple of nights in Honolulu to ensure you get to the port on time. Never fly into your port city the same day the ship is due to depart. Changes, delays, and problems with flights can and do happen.

4 hotel nights in San Francisco, 2 nights in Honolulu, followed by a 7-night Hawaii cruise

This is one of the most sought-after cruise itineraries amongst cruise travelers. The package includes four nights in San Francisco, two nights in Honolulu, and a 7-night cruise. A cruise is a fantastic way to see Hawaii. You visit the main islands of O’ahu, Big Island, and Maui without the need to hop on and off flights. And shore excursions are wide and varied. Many offer activities you may only get the chance to do once in your lifetime: a dream cruise, no less.

12) Cruise Package Alaska from Vancouver

Cruise package Alaska from Vancouver

Once you have been on a cruise to Alaska, you’ll understand why many travelers do this cruise more than once. Visiting the land amidst true wilderness is a unique experience. And many cruise guests combine their cruise with on-land adventures before leaving Vancouver.

Imagine a rail journey to the beauty of the inland regions of Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali. Then a trip through the Canadian Rockies, plus a cruise – all in one vacation. The itinerary selections are many, and cruise companies such as Celebrity Cruises offer land and cruise combinations. So you book everything with just one supplier.

3 hotel nights in Vancouver followed by a 7-night Alaska cruise

If time and budget do not allow for an extended trip in Alaska or the Canadian Rockies, we recommend at least three hotel nights in Vancouver followed by a 7-night cruise.

13) Cruise package Iceland and Ireland cruise from Amsterdam

Cruise package Iceland and Ireland from Amsterdam

In recent years Iceland has become increasingly popular as a sought-after destination for cruise guests.

The allure of a trip to see the spectacular sights of Iceland’s Golden Circle and the Northern Lights has resulted in the cruise industry answering this demand with popular cruise packages to visit Iceland.

Often paired with visiting the British Isles or Ireland, you have a few sea days as the ship navigates the North Sea. The journey, however, will be worth it.

Combining a cruise to Iceland with Ireland is a fantastic way to see the highlights of these two countries. The focus of this cruise is very much once of nature experiences and enjoying the great outdoors.

3 hotel nights in Amsterdam followed by a 12-night Iceland and Ireland cruise

One of the most popular cruise packages for cruise travelers wanting to visit Iceland and Ireland starts in Amsterdam. The best time to travel is summer, and cruises are often around 12 nights. Your first two days are at sea. Enjoy the cruise ship as you sail from Amsterdam to Iceland, with the capital Reykjavik being the first port.

You will visit Ireland on the way back from Iceland, with many itineraries visiting Dublin, Ireland’s capital, or Cork, in southern Ireland.

Find out more about starting your cruise from Amsterdam here, where you’ll see all the information you need to know about where to stay, what to do, and how to get to the port.

Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..