Where on earth should you choose for your family’s seafaring adventure? Family Traveller cruise expert, Sara Maceield, selects her top choices for the best family cruises for 2019.
Best for adventure lovers
Prepare to be wowed by the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian fjords; thrilled by high-speed Rib boat adventures plus hiking trips across the mountains; and beguiled by the capital city charms of Oslo and Stockholm. Sail from the UK on Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Best for culture vultures
This area is full of cultural riches headed by jewel in the crown, St Petersburg, where many ships moor for one or two nights, giving time to visit its breathtaking palaces and artistic treasures. Estonia’s capital Tallinn is a medieval delight as is Riga’s old walled city in Latvia. Sail from the UK on Celebrity Cruises and Cunard Line.
6/8 Western Mediterranean
Best for first-timers
An ideal first-time choice for all ages with a rich mix of ports bursting with history and culture, plus beaches, water parks and animal attractions. Sail from the UK with P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International or fly to Mediterranean ports including Barcelona to join Disney Cruise Line.
Best for animal lovers
America’s final frontier is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences, from breaching whales and bears catching salmon to adventures that include sea-plane flights, glacier treks and dog-sledding trips. Better suited to older children, with sailings on Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises from Seattle and Vancouver.
4/8 Greek Islands
Best for island hoppers
Enjoy island-hopping from the comfort of your cruise ship to haunts such as lively Mykonos, rugged Santorini and the chi-chi castaway feel of Patmos. Sail with Greek line Celestyal Cruises or for the wind-in-your-hair feel try tall-ship line Star Clippers, both depart Athens.
Best for beach lovers
The Caribbean is made for cruising with idyllic island hideaways boasting dazzling white-sand beaches and sparkling azure waters. Sail from Miami or Fort Lauderdale on Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises or start your voyage from within the islands, on Marella Cruises from Barbados.
2/8 Galapagos Islands
Best for nature lovers
The ultimate cruise for animal magic where you can swim with playful sea lions and penguins that have no fear of humans. Definitely one for older children due to the long journey, which involves a stop in Ecuador’s capital Quito before the onward two-hour flight to the islands. Celebrity Cruises offers packages that combine three nights in the city with a one-week cruise.
1/8 America’s Eastern Seaboard
Best for town & country
Sailing along the east coast of North America uncovers pretty New England hamlets such as Bar Harbor, the Canadian maritime city of Halifax with its Titanic history; the rugged beauty of Nova Scotia and Gallic charms of Quebec City, with sailings by Holland America Line from Boston.