CruiseCompete communicates with hundreds of thousands of travelers annually, ensuring that CruiseCompete is both knowledgeable and current about cruise trends and what constitutes a memorable cruise for their many clients. 

What follows is CruiseCompete’s projection of three such trends for 2019.

1.  Dark Skies Cruising – You do not have to be an astronomer to find a dark sky cruise fascinating.

Research by the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute indicates that 80% of Earth’s land mass suffers from light pollution, and 99% of people in Europe and the USA view a night sky that is obscured by artificial lighting. That being the case, when did you last really take a good look at the night sky and what could you see? You could probably spot the moon, or the Big Dipper if you’re lucky, but opportunities for true constellation admiration are few and far between. Fortunately, designated dark-sky spaces are on the increase, granting stargazers better access to spellbinding panoramas.

Cruising is the ultimate vacation for star-gazing, as the open sea has low light pollution, and the cruise lines have itineraries designed specifically for this purpose. For example, Princess Cruises offers stargazing nights that are led by an astrophysicist.

Or, perhaps you’d like a special kind of star-gazing cruise, one that explores the northern lights. It’s one of those magical experiences on nearly every traveler’s bucket list.  You can simplify the logistics of viewing those shimmering colors in the nighttime sky by booking a northern lights cruise. Cunard offers just such an opportunity on their November 2019 12 Night Norway and Northern Lights roundtrip from Southampton. 

2.  Exploring your DNA may offer memorable travel that will give treasured connections to family experienced through travel.

According to ABC News, genealogy is the second-most-popular hobby in the United States, surpassed only by gardening. The study of our family trees and DNA testing has a universal appeal, because most of us have a history that extends far beyond the nation where we’ve been born and bred.

We live in the information age, which allows us to document our family history with a high degree of accuracy, but does it tell us where we really come from? A true connection to history can only be experienced through travel, where names on paper become real, live people, and foreign locations become ancestral homelands filled with the treasures of family history.

2019 will see a surge in travel that reflects people’s desire to visit the cities and countries that feature prominently in their family history., for example, will offer an 11-Day Irish Ancestry Tour that visits Dublin, Cork, County Kerry & Galway in August 2019. This special tour, designed with The Irish Ancestral Research Association, allows for research time in archives/libraries and would be perfectly complemented by a 25 Night British Isles Grand Adventure From Dublin, Ireland to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Or, explore on your own terms with a pre- or post-cruise visit that allows you to study a region in even greater depth. Expand PONANT’s Sep 27, 2019 In the Wake of General MacArthur: The Legacy of World War II cruise, with tours of the cities and countries, reflects your personal history.

3. Mystery, Adventure & Spiritual Inspiration – The Ultimate Cruise Travel Experience

Would you take a mystery trip? One where you won’t know where you’re going, what you’ll see, where you’ll stay or what you’ll be eating? Earlier this year, Intrepid’s first ever trip of this kind, the Uncharted Expedition, sold out virtually overnight with 10 travelers choosing to journey 3,500 kilometers from Kazakhstan to Mongolia reminiscent of the bygone days of Genghis Khan.  Imagine your journey on roads not yet mapped by Google and where there is only intermittent electricity and WIFI, a few cold showers and fermented mares’ milk as a treat along the way!

Also finding favor with seasoned travelers for 2019 is the “mystery cruise”. Saga has one such cruise scheduled, and Fred Olsen has 3 slated this year. The demand for these cruises won’t stop there. Expect them to see a sharp rise in popularity, fueled by people’s sense of adventure and delight in the unknown.

Then there is a different kind of mystery, one deeply spiritual in nature.  There are literally hundreds of cruise itineraries that provide access to sacred places – global sites of healing, guidance, and spiritual inspiration. The significance of these hallowed sites cannot be expressed in words or pictures – to understand the sense of awe they invoke, travelers must experience them in person. 

See a full listing of sacred places that are accessible via cruise ship.