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The best cruise destinations for 2024

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So many places, so little time - and the best cruises for 2024 are ideal for seeing as much of the world as you can.

BROWSE THE BEST CRUISES

One of our favourite things about a cruise is that you can visit multiple bucket-list destinations in one holiday and discover new treasures along the way. The best cruises let you explore places which are difficult to reach on foot, like some of Scotland’s most remote islands and Croatia's hidden coves.

They also open up spectacular views you wouldn’t get on land, such as fairytale castles dotted along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers or the rolling vineyards flanking the Douro Valley.

Choosing a cruise means seeking new adventures, perhaps travelling to a continent you’ve never set foot in before or trying new activities like hiking, wildlife spotting or cooking. There are other ways to expand your horizons on a cruise too, such as seeing some local entertainment or making new friends on board.

As it’s become ever-more important to us to take a stress-free holiday, we've rounded up the very best cruise packages that won’t disappoint, with everything from the best river cruises to amazing cruises for couples and excellent cruises around the UK.

It doesn't matter when you're looking to sail either, as these cruises take in all the seasons. Fancy some winter sun? We've got an epic Costa Rican cruise for that. Feel like a spring cruise to escape the summer crowds? We've got the perfect cruise around Japan at the height of cherry blossom season. Japan cruises are always popular and tend to sell out early, but we've got you covered with an excellent 2025 sailing already available — make sure to take a look before it sells out.

However or whenever you want to travel, there's a trip for you and the best cruises in 2024 take you to the most incredible destinations. You can travel with celebrities on star-studded holidays, visit lesser-known towns and villages to get a real taste of a location and sail to amazing wildlife destinations.

These are the best cruises for 2024.

Venetian Lagoon - Best cruises

Venice is a city that's famous for its water, and a cruise around the Venetian Lagoon reveals more of this romantic and fascinating destination than a hotel city break ever could.

On a Venetian cruise, you can visit the islands of Venice's northern lagoon, including Mazzorbo, Torcello and Burano during a sailing on the luxurious SS La Venezia. Burano is known for its traditional lacemaking and its vividly colourful fisherman cottages lining the lagoon.

The opportunity to visit Burano isn’t the only reason to pick a cruise in the Venetian Lagoon. On Good Housekeeping's special cruise, you’ll sail in the company of top chef James Martin, who will give a talk and Q&A about his career, and design and cook a grand gala dinner on board the luxurious ship SS La Venezia.

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Alternatively, fans of acclaimed chef Angela Hartnett can spend time with her, visiting the famous Rialto food market before watching an exclusive cooking demonstration.

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If you fancy an autumnal sailing with more of a musical theme than a foodie one, you might choose to join an eight-day cruise of the Venetian Lagoon in the company of world-famous tenor Russell Watson, who will give a special talk and Q&A, sign your complimentary CD, and give an exclusive intimate concert.

You’ll have a chance to explore the highlights of the Lagoon as well, with trips to its islands of Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello and private visits to Venice's iconic Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica.

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The Netherlands - Best cruises

There's no better time to visit the Netherlands than in the spring when the country's world-famous flower fields burst into kaleidoscopic colour.

They make the already iconic Dutch countryside even more spectacular, with historic windmills lining canals and river banks surrounded by vibrant fields of tulips.

Good Housekeeping has a five-day cruise of the Netherlands in April, where you'll be joined by Gardeners' World presenter Adam Frost to see the country at its most colourful as you sail the Dutch waterways. Adam will give a talk and Q&A, sharing expert tips that you can apply in your own garden.

You will also visit the incredible Keukenhof Gardens to witness an astounding seven million flowers covering 80 acres in a riot of colour, where innovative landscaped gardens nestle amongst sparkling lakes, water gardens and blooming shrubs of every hue.

There's also time to explore the outstanding art, architecture, and vibrant cultures of the Netherlands' two largest cities; Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

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blooming colorful tulips flowerbed in keukenhof public flower garden with windmill lisse, holland, netherlands
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Iceland - Best Cruises

Iceland is one of Europe's top destinations for a holiday that will wow you with its natural landscapes. Here you'll witness otherworldly terrains with vast lava fields, bubbling mud pools, and spouting geysers. Then, of course, there are its colourful, cosmopolitan cities, like the capital, Reykjavik.

There's also a good chance of seeing the breathtaking Aurora Borealis here, allowing you to soak in the magic of these wild landscapes as entrancing waves of light dance in the skies above you. Watching as the night sky comes alive with vivid dancing swathes of pink and green above Iceland's famous landscapes is a truly unforgettable experience.

Good Housekeeping is offering a special 12-day cruise which will take you to Iceland at peak Northern Lights season, and, while sightings are never guaranteed, you have a very good chance of catching a display. You'll also get a chance to spot the lights on a trip to the fascinating Orkney archipelago and Runavik in the Faroe Islands.

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people with auroras and moon light at the jokulsarlon, breidamerkurjokull glacier, vatnajokull ice cap, iceland
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Vietnam and Cambodia - Best cruises

A cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia is a fantastic way to discover the rich cultures, fascinating histories, and delicious cuisines of these two Southeast Asian gems. The countries are connected by the mighty Mekong River, which is a destination in itself, providing a home for diverse ecosystems and fishing communities on the delta and with ancient archaeological wonders along its banks.

Good Housekeeping is offering a 17-day tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, which includes seven nights cruising the Mekong on board the Mekong Jewel - an ornately decorated luxury ship.

You'll visit Ho Chi Minh City, where skyscrapers tower over ancient temples, Phnom Penh, Cambodia's thriving capital, and Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, where you can visit excellent museums and historic sites before indulging in some delicious Vietnamese street food.

There are excursions to the sprawling temple complex of Angkor Wat, the remnants of the last capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Thom, and to local villages and markets on sampans - traditional wooden boats.

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Northern France - Best cruises

If you want to enjoy pretty coastal towns with a touch of history, a cruise to Northern France can offer you all of this without having to spend a huge amount of time at sea.

Sail to the Normandy region and you'll discover charming harbourfront towns like Honfleur, where you can sample local delicacies like camembert and Calvados, a rich local brandy made from apples and pears. Originally occupied in the 9th century by the Vikings, Honfleur has attracted artists for many years, including a young Claude Monet.

Join Good Housekeeping on a cruise to Normandy on board the luxurious ship Borealis. On the way to Northern France, you'll make several stops in the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands, including Guernsey, with its elegant Georgian and Regency architecture, and St Mary's, a marine conservation zone with lovely coastal walks.

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waterfront with beautiful old buildings in honfleur, famous french town in normandy
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Japan - Best cruises

As each new spring begins, millions of Japanese residents and tourists wait with anticipation for the first buds of the pink cherry blossom, known as sakura, to appear.

These blossoms are a symbol of renewal, vitality and beauty, and they make Japan's already spectacular cities and landscapes even more breathtaking than usual.

You'll have the chance to experience this phenomenon for yourself with Good Housekeeping's once-in-a-lifetime two-week cruise around Japan. The journey begins and ends in Tokyo, where you'll find soaring skyscrapers contrasting with blooming gardens and traditional noodle houses.

Along the way, you'll stop in Hiroshima, where you can learn about its devastating Second World War history, Osaka, where you can see some of the country's most ornate shrines and temples, and you'll even make a stop in Busan in South Korea to enjoy the city's subtropical landscapes.

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Scottish Highlands - Best cruises

Loch Ness, Loch Nevis, the Sound of Mull, Iona, Eigg, Skye, Fort Augustus, Fort William… these names conjure up images of glistening waters, wild landscapes and towering castles, majestic flora and fauna, and ancient myths and legends.

A cruise in this part of Scotland would surely be a contender for the most scenic of British getaways. You can travel through the Highlands and islands of Scotland to explore the endlessly beautiful Caledonian Canal, the magical islands of Scotland's western shore and hidden sea lochs that are only accessible on the water.

The deluxe Lord of the Glens hosts a maximum of 54 passengers and is one of the best ways to sail the Highlands. Guests stay in outward-facing en-suite cabins and enjoy superb cuisine throughout.

You can experience this ship on a exclusive sailing with weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, who'll join you on a journey through the tranquil Caledonian Canal and onwards towards the Sound of Mull, sharing stories of her Scottish family's history.

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Egypt - Best cruises

If you're looking for a culture and history-filled cruise a little further afield, a river cruise through Egypt is a great option. Sailing along the Nile allows you to visit magnificent temples including Kom Ombo, Philae, Edfu and the Valley of the Kings, the ancient burial grounds of Egyptian royalty.

Good Housekeeping has a fabulous 12-day trip to Egypt packed full of historical and archaeological excursions. The trip begins in Cairo, where you'll take a trip to Giza to see the ancient pyramids and the Great Sphinx before heading to Luxor and boarding an opulent river ship for your seven-night cruise.

Making this cruise extra special is the company of historian Lucy Worsley. Lucy is an expert in Agatha Christie and will share her knowledge of the author's work during Q&As and talks, pointing out her connections to Egypt and the locations which inspired one of her most famous works, Death on the Nile.

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Antarctica - Best cruises

Choosing the best Antarctic cruise can seem like a daunting task. It’s an investment of your time and money and likely something you may only do once and remember in exquisite detail. It’s a remote and thrilling part of the world to explore, where 12 million penguins live in the coldest, highest, and driest place on earth.

To get the best out of this bucketlist experience, you need to go with experts who will take care of everything. Hurtigruten expedition cruises have explored Antarctic waters for over 20 years, and their premium ships have been designed so guests can explore the region comfortably.

Good Housekeeping’s Antarctic cruise on MS Fridtjof Nansen has one of the lowest possible CO2 footprints of all expedition ships in Antarctica, thanks to a special hybrid engine on this future-ready vessel.

You’ll depart from Ushuaia, a city nicknamed ‘End of the World’ and head through the icy waters of the Drake Passage, home to the incredible marine life you may have only seen on screen, where the white wonderland envelopes you on an adventure like no other.

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The Hebrides - Best cruises

For a slightly different kind of island holiday - one that's more about getting out and about in wild, untamed nature and spotting incredible wildlife - try a cruise around the dramatic Hebrides.

These Scottish islands offer rugged coastlines, varied flora and fauna and delicious local whisky to taste at several historic distilleries.

Each island has its own special charms. There's the outstanding wildlife haven of Arran, the Isle of Mull with its brightly painted harbourfront houses, the 'whisky island' of Islay, world-renowned for its peaty single-malts, and the uninhabited Hirta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Join Good Housekeeping for an unforgettable island-hopping island-hopping expedition cruise around this enchanting part of the UK. You'll sail on the modern and environmentally progressive MS Spitsbergen, which will take you to the Isle of Mull, Arran, Islay, Hirta and more.

When not exploring on land you can make the most of the ship's excellent facilities, like hot tubs, a panoramic sauna, and a well-equipped gym.

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If you're interested in exploring the Hebrides but looking for a slightly shorter cruise, we have an eight-day sailing that will take you to Iona, Eigg, and Skye, as well as many other jaw-dropping locations on the mainland.

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Greece - Best cruises

The idyllic Cyclades, a collection of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, are known and loved for their pretty white-walled houses draped in pink bougainvillea, sandy beaches and bright blue waters.

But there is more to the Cyclades than just sun, sea and sea. These isles have a rich history, shaped by their many past conquerors, including the Minoans, Persians, Byzantines and Romans. You'll see remnants of these cultures in the architecture, from the Monastery of the Apocalypse Patmos to the cliff-clinging monastery of Hozoviotissas on Amorgos.

Discover a range of these intriguing buildings and monuments with Good Housekeeping on a cruise of the Cyclades. You'll be sailing with the company of novelist Victoria Hislop, who has written a number of novels set in Greece and its islands and has a profound passion for the country's history. As well as the Cyclades you'll also spend time in Athens and Kusadasi, a beach resort in Turkey.

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samos is a greek island in the eastern aegean sea, south of chios, north of patmos
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Douro River - Best cruises

Anyone wanting to explore the Douro wine region should choose a cruise along the Douro River. This scenic waterway is central to the Portuguese wine trade and is flanked by rolling hills and vineyards, with storybook villages rising from the banks.

The Alto Douro, the name of this wine-producing valley region, holds UNESCO status and is one of the oldest and most renowned wine-making regions in the world.

Good Housekeeping offers an exclusive cruise along the Douro, where you can truly soak in the beauty of this golden valley as you travel.

Whereas some cruises like their passengers to dress in their finest gowns for dinner, A-ROSA ALVA has no such rules. Instead, an eight-day cruise invites its guests to relax on a wine-themed voyage where you'll visit multiple wine estates. Depending on the time of year, you might even get the chance to take part in a traditional grape harvest, including crushing the grapes underfoot in traditional granite troughs.

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Southwest France - Best cruises

A cruise is the perfect way for food and wine lovers to explore the Bordeaux region and be utterly spoiled by the bounty of gourmet treats here. If you’re going to take a food-themed cruise, what could be better than travelling in the company of top chef, Monica Galetti?

Discover mouthwatering cuisine on this luxury, exclusive and all-inclusive eight-day gourmet cruise through along the Gironde, Garbonne and Dordogne rivers, visiting Saint-Emilion, Cadillac, Blaye and Libourne. You'll be sailing on board the opulent S.S. Bon Voyage, a luxury ship which truly captures the refined elegance of France in its décor.

Along with exciting stops and a beautiful ship to enjoy, you’ll have the opportunity to watch Monica in a live cooking demonstration, and she'll join you on a visit to the farmer's market in Libourne where you'll pick up some fresh ingredients.

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Sweden and Norway - Best cruises

Sailing the pretty waterways of Scandinavia is an excellent way to discover some of Sweden and Norway's best cities and rural landscapes. From the idyllic Oslofjord, lined with dense forests and dotted with attractive islands, to the Dutch-style canals in Gothenburg, these waterways allow you to see the best of Norway and Sweden.

Good Housekeeping has a Scandi springtime cruise over the Easter bank holiday weekend, which will take you from Oslofjord to the canals of Gothenburg, stopping to explore Oslo on your way. In the Norwegian capital, you'll have time to see the city, perhaps visiting the National Museum, where Edvard Munch's The Scream is hung.

In Gothenburg, you'll enjoy a trip to the world-renowned Trädgårdsföreningen, the Garden Society of Gothenburg, which features manicured lawns, colourful flower beds, lush woodlands and a Palm House with exotic plants.

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Costa Rica and Panama - Best cruises

For a dream journey that’s far from your average cruise, try an exceptional voyage to Costa Rica and Panama aboard Star Clipper, a traditional tall ship with 36,000 feet of billowing sails.

You’ll sail down the west coast of Central America on this opulent vessel that evokes the romance of a grander age. Over the week-long cruise, you'll first get to know Costa Rica, sailing into the shimmering turquoise bays that hold a bounty of exotic marine life.

Heading south to Panama, you’ll then stop at two paradisiacal islands, Coiba Island and Parida Island. Both are celebrated for their white-sand beaches, lapped with jade-hued water.

This is a wonderful winter sun destination, giving you the chance to both relax and explore while learning about these countries' fascinating ecosystems as you take part in a number of adventurous activities, from snorkelling and diving to ziplining through the rainforest canopies.

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Croatia - Best cruises

If you're looking for a sunny Mediterranean cruise you'd do well to consider Croatia and its stylish seaside towns and dozens of sun-kissed islands and islets off the glittering Dalmatian Coast.

With their astounding natural scenery, stylish coastal towns and off-the-beaten-path beaches, Croatia’s islands are wonderful to explore by small ship where you can dock in hard-to-reach corners only accessible by boat.

There mainland has no shortage of attractions either, with bustling cities to be explored too, like Dubrovnik, with its labyrinth of limestone streets and alleyways, palaces, churches, monasteries and picturesque piazzas, and Split, which has a long and varied history and excellent museums.

On Good Housekeeping's cruise you'll dock in Hvar, Dubrovnik and Split as well as one of Croatia's most beautiful beaches at Zlatni Rat - the Golden Horn - whose distinctive shape has made it an icon of Croatian tourism. You'll also visit the island of Mljet and discover the Mljet National Park with its serene saltwater lakes and verdant pine forests.

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Germany - Best cruises

The Rhine Valley is a captivating part of Germany, characterised by storybook castles and hilltop vineyards. A cruise on the Rhine is particularly inviting during the weeks leading up to Christmas, when the towns, villages, and cities along its banks go all out for their famous Christmas markets.

Good Housekeeping has a Christmassy cruise which will take you to the best of these markets. Starting in elegant Cologne, you'll see the incredible Gothic cathedral before boarding your beautifully appointed ship and setting sail along the Rhine.

You'll make several stops along the way, including in Mainz, Frankfurt, Koblenz, and Rüdesheim. At each stop you'll have time to browse the fairytale markets, picking up unique gifts and trying local delicacies as the heavenly scent of roast almonds, mulled wine and spiced cider fills the air.

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Looking for inspiration for your next holiday? Grab a cuppa and browse our brochure packed with unique escapes.

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The Caribbean - Best cruises

The Caribbean is a classic cruise destination — and it's not hard to see why. A Caribbean cruise offers the chance to kick back in sunny climes, enjoying cocktails on the deck before making a pit stop on a powder-soft beach lapped by warm, turquoise waters.

If it's your first time visiting the Caribbean, a cruise which stops off at several different locations is a great way to get a glimpse of the cultures and cuisines of various islands, giving you a fantastic introduction to the region.

If this sounds appealing, you'll love Good Housekeeping's Caribbean islands cruise. You'll visit several sunny islands, including Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. You'll sail on the sleek MSC Seaside, where you can lounge by the pool, visit the MSC Aurea Spa, or even take in a Broadway-style show as you sail.

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caribbean view from shirley heights, antigua and barbuda
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India - Best cruises

The Ganges is India's most sacred river, meandering 2,500km through the country from its starting point high in the Himalayas. Flowing through sprawling cities, tiny villages, and spectacular nature, a cruise down the Ganges is a fantastic way to see some of India's best attractions.

On a Ganges cruise, you can visit highlights like the Rajbari temple complex in Kalna, the artisan village of Matiari, and the neoclassical Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad.

Good Housekeeping has a once-in-a-lifetime tour of India, which includes a seven-night cruise down the Ganges. After exploring India's Golden Triangle – including an unforgettable trip to witness both sunrise and sunset over the Taj Mahal – you'll board the luxurious Ganges Voyager II, a spectacular ship adorned with hand-painted murals.

Another highlight of any trip to India is the food, and you'll be joined on board by the Michelin-starred British-Indian chef Atul Kochhar, who'll share his passion for Indian cuisine in a live cooking demonstration.

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amber fort and maota lake at sunset jaipur, rajasthan, india, asia
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