Popular cruise packages (Top 13 cruise guest favorites)

Having working with the cruise industry for many years, we have researched, created, marketed and sold numerous different 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

Whilst for some the cruise is always the focus of the vacation and 2 nights is enough in a pre-cruise hotel, for others it’s important to extend their vacation a little bit further. The expense of flying to a port city often means that you want to extend your stay and really experience the country you are visiting – whether it be as a first time visitor or a returning guest.

Building your own 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. Together with expert cruise advice, travel news and solid tips regarding flights, hotels and activities, we can help you make your cruise vacation extra memorable.

Top 13 popular cruise packages booked by cruise travelers

Here below we share with you the 12 most popular packages chosen by cruise travelers just like you. Taking into consideration available time and budget, these were the most popular choices when looking at a complete land and sea cruise vacation package. We hope these packages inspire you! Click in 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 it all – shopping, beaches, great food, world-renown art, friendly locals and cosy neighborhoods.

Staying in this great city is the perfect way to kick-start your Mediterranean cruise holiday from Barcelona. Remember that day 1 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. 5 nights will allow you to have 4 full days sightseeing in Barcelona, and we think this city deserves your time.

Not only is the city itself a wonderful place to be – remember it’s on the coast so you have a perfect city-beach combination – but the surrounding area of Catalonia offers medieval villages, world class vinyards 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 5 nights in Barcelona and a 7 night cruise. Read all about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Barcelona page. 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 – Romw, 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

What we usually recommend is a 12-night vacation package. That is 5 nights in Rome before a 7-night cruise so that you discover not only the famous sights of Rome but life in this busy, ancient city, local hotspots and true Italian cuisine.

However in reality, Rome is an expensive city. Therefore it’s not surprising that the most sold package is actually 3 nights in Rome and a 7 night cruise. Find out about tried and tested hotels booked time and again by cruise customers, together with 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 from 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 who can blame you when travelling so far staying 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 many of the world’s biggest cruise lines and offers one of the world’s most visited region – 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 own 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 longer cruise as the sailing distance is of course 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 3 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 3 nights in Athens followed by a 7-night cruise. And you can, of course, extend your stay with more pre- or post-cruise hotel nights. Most cruise customers find that with 2 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, then 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 packages for a Mediterranean cruise, 3 nights in Athens and a 7 night Greek Isles cruise. Read all 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.

Often cruise itineraries to the Norwegian Fjords are packed full of daily port stops. It’s a cruise where you should be exploring nature on land as much as possible. as the scenery is that 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. With teens ourselves we have visited the fjords more than once and can tell you that 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 from Amsterdam in The Netherlands. And most cruise guests spend 3 nights in the departure city before transfering to the port to start their cruise. 3 hotels nights gives you 2 whole days of exploring. And whilst we usually recommend 5 nights to fit in excursions further afield too, the most booked packages for a Norwegian Fjords cruise is 3 nights in Southampton (or London from where you can easily transfer to Southampton port) and a 7 night cruise.

Read all about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Southampton or our London page. And for an 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 most 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.

The majority of 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 having to worry about booking more flights. We can’t emphasize enough how fantastic this region of the world truly is. Please 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 followed by a 12-night Australia and New Zealand cruise and finishing with 4 nights in Auckland

Starting in the stunning city of Sydney, 5 nights will give you 4 sightseeing days before your cruise starts. Factor in jet-lag and you will absolutely need your first evening and night to recover and try and get that internal body clock on Australia time. In all honestly 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 10 days if you want to include ports in Australia and also end up in New Zealand. The fjord landscape in the southwest of New Zealand is remarkable. You will also get to experience the wide open landscapes from Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth. Follow up the cruise with a stay in Auckland, never just leave the ship and head for the airport!

So the most popular cruise booked in this region is starting in Sydney and ending in Auckland on a 12-night cruise. The whole package being 5 nights Sydney, 12-night cruise and 4 nights in Auckland.

Read all about where to stay, transportation options, and daily itineraries on our Sydney and our Auckland page. We have two exciting packages to inspire you to start planning your cruise to Australia and New Zealand. The first is here with 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 huge diversity of stops at fantastic locations. It’s where culture, nature, history and tradition converge into an utterly unique experience. And what a way to see Britain at it’s best! Cruising on a luxury liner, on an adventure through the English Channel, the Irish Sea, on to the Scottish Highlands and beyond.

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

Many British Isles cruises lines start out from the port of Southampton or from Greenwich, London. The most popular package is 3 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 the magical northern lights. And some of the highest living standards in the world.

Cruise itineraries that include Stockholm, capital of Sweden and Copenhagen, capital of neighboring Denmark, will often include the Russian city of St. Petersburg. A cruise is one of the best ways to experience the iconic city of St Petersburg. Book an excursion with the cruise line then most often your visa will be included in the price.

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

9) Cruise package New Zealand and 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, then you will find them on a cruise from New Zealand to Sydney.

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

5 hotel nights in Auckland followed by a 12-night New Zealand and Australia cruise and finishing with 4 nights in Sydney

A cruise package vacation visiting New Zealand and Australia in one and the same trip is a travel combo that is hard to beat. Most popular is to spend 5 nights in Auckland – you’ll want to rid yourself of jetlag when you arrive – which leaves you with 4 whole days to explore the city and even venture further afield to see this stunning landscape.

The cruise will be at least 10 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 which allow you see as much as possible in the relatively short time you are visiting.

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 grand state of Victoria. Or take a 3 hour domestic flight to enjoy the sight of magical Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock.

Read about our fantastic suggestion for your cruise in 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 north-east corner of the USA, rich in history as one of the earliest English settlements of pilgrims in the “New World” and with endless possibilities for activities and adventure.

New England cruise itineraries include some or all of the cruise ports of Boston, Bar Harbor, Portland and Newport. Enjoy small town charm and bustling cities. Discover where independant America all began. Then step out into the outstanding 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 3 days in New York followed by a 9-night cruise. And if you can find a cruise to suit your travel dates that’s even longer to include more destinations, then 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 that have a dedicated itinerary sailing around the Hawaiian islands. Their ship Pride of Amercia has navigated these waters for many years.

Combining the fantastic city of San Francisco with a domestic flight to Honolulu and a cruise around Hawaii is not difficult to book yourself. We recommend that you also book a couple of nights in Honolulu as well, 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, delay 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 remains on of the most sought after cruise itineraries amongst cruise travelers. For visitors living outside of California, combing a cruise in Hawaii with San Francisco is one of the most popular cruise packages to book. The package consists of 4 nights in San Francisco, 2 nights in Honolulu where the cruise starts, followed by 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 hopping on and off flights. And shore excursion are wide and varied, many of which 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 totally unique experience. And many cruise guests combine their cruise with on land adventures before leaving from Vancouver.

Imagine a rail journey to the beauty of the inland regions of Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali. Then a journey through the Canadian Rockies, plus a cruise – all in one vacation. The itinerary selections are many, and cruise companies such as Celebrity Cruises offer these 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 vacation to include a land package in Alaska or the Canadian Rockies, then you can do what the majority of cruise travelers do and book yourself a package consisting of 3 hotel nights in fabulous 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 more and more 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 to spot the Northern Lights has resulted in the cruise industry answering this demand for cruise itineraries to visit Iceland. Often paired with visiting the British Isles or Ireland, just know you will have a few days at sea whilst your ship navigates the water of the North Sea. The journey, however, will be worth it.

Combining a cruise to Iceland with stops in beautiful Ireland is a wonderful way to see highlights of these 2 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 actually starts in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. The best time to travel is in the summer and cruise lengths are often around 12 nights, with the first 2 days being sea days. These 2 sea days allow you to enjoy your cruise ship whilst the journeys take you from Amsterdam to Iceland, often with the captial Reykjavik being the first port of call here. Then you’ll visit Ireland on the way back from Iceland. Find out more about start 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..