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Mexico named most popular cruise destination in 2017

Mexico named most popular cruise destination in 2017
Mexico, and its archaeological sites such as Tulum, a pre-Columbian Mayan walled city south of Cancun, are hot destinations for cruise passengers. (Princess Cruises)

Mexico has had highs and lows as a tourist destination in the past decade. Still, it won the popularity contest in an end-of-year cruise trends report by CruiseCompete.com.

It was the "most popular country visited" for those sailing on general cruise ships in the Cruise Trends 2017 Annual Report, which collates data for the last 12 months "to produce a snapshot of the most popular consumer trends in cruising," according to the company.

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The country has a lot going for it, including 5,000 miles of coastline, some of the world's most renowned archaeological sites and Spanish colonial cities full of cultural flavor.

Mexico aside, luxury line cruisers were more apt to choose the United States, and river cruisers were more likely to choose Germany as their favorite country.

Ensenada, Mexico, is a popular port stop for Southern California cruisers. This is the Crown Princess in port.
Ensenada, Mexico, is a popular port stop for Southern California cruisers. This is the Crown Princess in port. (Tom Politeo)

Despite Mexico's crime problems -- in August, the U.S. State Department warned that travel to some parts of Mexico is risky -- cruisers continue to enjoy sailing to its ports.

Cozumel, Mexico, in fact, was named "the most popular cruise port visited" for general cruise ships in the Cruise Trends report. River cruisers picked Vienna, and luxury line cruisers picked tiny Gustavia, the capital of St. Barts, in the Caribbean.

The hurricanes that beset the Caribbean in 2017 didn't dampen its appeal to cruisers: It won the "most popular region visited" contest for general cruise ships.

"Even the hurricanes cannot take away the allure of blue skies, emerald blue waters, private islands, interesting foods, people and warm weather," said Heidi M. Allison, senior partner of CruiseCompete.com.

Those sailing on luxury lines or river boats were more likely to pick Europe as a favorite.

"It still offers much cache for visitors who feel comfortable over there and for those travelers who have not yet been there," Allison said.

Destinations feeling a surge are Asia and the Far East, she said, with rankings in the top 10 for all categories of cruise ships. "If travelers have not been to Asia and the Far East yet, it certainly is on their list of places to visit."

The data for the report are derived from the total number of quote requests CruiseCompete travel agents receive. The website, which claims 1 million members, compares offers from multiple travel agencies to find the best price.

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Twitter: @latimestravel

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