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Our pick of the 5 best cruise destinations (2021)

Ready to start planning your next vacation? If you’re already daydreaming about next year’s cruise, consider one of these best cruise destinations to visit in 2021.

While all of our destinations provide incredible vacation experiences, our new destinations promise something extra special for the approaching year. From up-and-coming hot spots to new ports of call full of natural wonders, you’ll find a top cruise destination to visit no matter what type of getaway you’re looking for.

The Greek Islands

Explore the endless beauty of Greece on a cruise to the Greek Islands, including two new port destinations: Hydra and Zakynthos. Our Greece cruises sail to up to ten ports, including popular islands such as Mykonos and Santorini, and more underrated Greek islands such as Chania and Thessaloniki. Zakynthos, which is also known by its Italian name, Zante, is a livelier resort island featuring limestone cliffs with spectacular views of the sparkling blue water below. Swim in the Ionian Sea or enjoy fresh seafood and a glass of crisp white wine at one of the island’s many open-air tavernas.

The Caribbean

With sunny weather year-round and endless beautiful beaches to choose from, the Caribbean is one of the top cruising destinations at any time of the year.

Sail on a Southern Caribbean cruise to the idyllic ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao—where white-sand beaches and stunning snorkeling excursions await. Enjoy two different cultures on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Maarten, noting Dutch and French influences in the food, architecture, and cafes. Spend the day at one of the more popular beaches, Maho or Orient Beach, and try activities like jet-skiing and snorkeling.

Enjoy a more relaxed afternoon at Grand Case Beach, where you can go on a gentle swim in its calm, turquoise waters. If you’re looking to explore the Western side of the Caribbean, consider a cruise to Costa Maya, an exciting destination located in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Spend your port day lying on one of its many sandy beaches and enjoying a tropical cocktail.

Explore the diverse coral reefs underwater during a snorkeling or scuba session. Discover ancient Mayan ruins in nearby archeological sites, or allow a Mayan shaman to perform a healing ritual and soothe all your worries away.

Western Europe

Discover the highlights of Western Europe on a cruise along Italy’s famous boot shape. Some of the best shore excursions in Italy include boarding a romantic gondola ride, strolling through intimate streets, and admiring the charming bridges in Venice.

Discover Taranto, one of our new destinations for 2021. Located in the charming Puglia region of Southern Italy, Taranto is a small city with a historic town center, stunning beaches, and the world’s largest collection of Greek terracotta artifacts in its impressive archeological museum. Visit nearby Sassi di Matera, a breathtaking collection of ancient limestone cave dwellings.

On an Italy cruise, you’ll journey to popular destinations like Naples, where you can try the city’s famous pizza or explore the ruins of Pompeii; Rome, the Eternal City full of history and culture; and Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, where art, architecture, and food abound.

Outside of Italy, you’ll stop in seaside towns in Croatia and Montenegro, where you can dive in turquoise waters and walk around their glittering coasts. During a day in Provence, stock up on cheese and lavender. If your cruise starts or ends in Barcelona, spend a few extra days experiencing the rich culture of this captivating city.


Thanks to its majestic wildlife, wild terrain, and breathtaking glaciers, Alaska is one of the best cruise destinations in the world. Sail through the Inside Passage and see impressive icebergs and glaciers from the comfort of your own veranda stateroom. Watch blocks of ice fall off of Hubbard Glacier, a natural phenomenon known as calving, and create a thunderous noise as they reach the water below.

Explore cities such as Skagway and Juneau, where you can experience dog sled races and whale-watching tours, and Ketchikan, where you can bike through a rainforest or experience ancient totem poles.

Discover Alaska’s interior with a cruisetour. Hike Denali National Park, float down Fairbanks’ Chena River on a sternwheeler, and board the Wilderness Express, a luxury train boasting expansive views of the landscape beyond.

Read: Best Time to Cruise Alaska


Iceland is an incredible cruise destination for nature lovers. You’ll get the chance to see Iceland’s massive waterfalls, soak in their famous hot springs, walk along nature trails through misty national parks, and possibly even see the magical Northern Lights.

Most of our cruise itineraries include an overnight stay in Reykjavik, allowing you to enjoy plenty of time to explore Iceland’s waterfalls and other natural attractions.

Read: What to Pack for Iceland

Panama Canal

Witness a masterpiece of engineering during a cruise to the Panama Canal. Get a front-row seat to the incredible design that has made the Panama Canal work so efficiently for over a hundred years. Marvel at its intricate lock system and see how it manages water flow to allow massive ships to safely pass through the narrow canal.

Depending on your itinerary, you’ll visit ports throughout Central America, the Caribbean, the United States, and even Cartagena, Colombia. 2021 Panama Canal cruises sail between San Diego and Fort Lauderdale, or round trip from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

Southern Japan

On a cruise to Japan, you’ll discover a fascinating country with a storied history, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking natural beauty. In Tokyo, marvel at the fascinating combination of modern design and technology with ancient architecture and tradition. While in Shimizu, see the iconic Mt. Fuji, the snow-capped mountain that dominates Japan’s landscape. You’ll soon understand why this natural wonder is considered a sacred symbol for the Japanese.

Read: Tokyo 3-Day Itinerary

Discover Ishigaki, one of our new port destinations in 2021. A favorite vacation escape for Tokyo residents, Ishigaki, which is sometimes called the most beautiful place in Japan, has untouched beaches, coral reefs, palm forests, and amazing cuisine.

In Kyoto, spend the entire day visiting some of the 2,000 temples and shrines scattered throughout the city, or take a picture at the shining Golden Pavilion or the vermilion torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Discover some of the best food to eat in Japan.

Read: Two Days in Kyoto

Other Japanese ports you can visit in 2021 include Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where you can learn about the effects of the atomic bomb blast; Okinawa, where you can explore a cultural theme park or an ancient cave; and Kochi, where you can visit a sake brewery or discover the history of the samurai.

Source: Best Cruise Destinations To Visit In 2021 | Celebrity Cruises

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