Where to sail next? Avignon, France, is best, Cruise Critic readers say


What are the best cruise destinations for 2019?

The Rhone River city of Avignon, in southeastern France’s Provence region, snagged the top honor this year in Cruise Critic’s annual destination popularity contest. French Polynesia’s Bora Bora came in second, followed by Alaska’s Glacier Bay, Vienna and Singapore.

Canada’s Quebec City was named the top cruise destination in North America.

The Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards are based on consumer reviews and ratings published on during the past year.


The website’s readers, who submit reviews and ratings each year that cover more than 500 worldwide ports, rank the top cruise destinations across 18 regions worldwide. The awards also highlight preferred cruise lines visiting each region.

Some of the destinations, such as Avignon, a favorite with European river cruisers, aren’t so well-known.
“There are a ton of off-the-beaten-path cruise destinations worthy of consideration,” said Colleen McDaniel, editor of Cruise Critic, “everywhere from Avignon in France and Huatulco in Mexico, all given top marks from cruisers themselves.”

The Caribbean, nonetheless, continues to be the most visited cruise destination annually. This year consumers rated the island of Bonaire, the Mexican city of Cozumel and King’s Wharf in Bermuda as top Caribbean destinations.

Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay in the Bahamas remained the most highly-rated cruise line private island, winning the award for the fourth year in a row.

The top 10 list of popular destinations also includes Vienna; Singapore; Kirkwall, Scotland; and four Norwegian ports: Flam, Eidfjord, Oslo and Geiranger.

In Hawaii, the top port was Honolulu, and in Mexico the Pacific resort town Huatulco received the top ranking.

Cruise lines were also rated in the awards. Princess Cruises ranked highest in 11 categories, winning top honors for cruises in Australia and New Zealand, the Baltic and Scandinavia, and the U.S. and Canada.

In Alaska, Holland America Line was rated the best large ship line, and Lindblad Expeditions was ranked the best small-ship line.

In the river categories, Avalon Waterways was named the best European river cruise line, and American Queen Steamboat Co. was ranked the best river line in the U.S. and Canada.