Blue Planet-style options
The magnificent nature documentaries that have opened our eyes to the beauties of the planet and the world's great wildernesses ensured that expedition cruises have shot to the top of the list for many.
Whether they have a taste for spectacular glaciers and comical penguins in Antarctica, laid-back wildlife in the timeless Galapagos Islands, hunting for polar bears in the Arctic or pristine wilderness in the Kimberley, small expedition cruises are coming into their own for 2024 and beyond.
Away from the crowds
The taste for less famous but just as good is leading people to search out alternatives to tourist clogged destinations, and here's the good news: the cruise lines do the hard work for you.
Difficult-to-access destinations are by their very nature less crowded, and this is particularly the case for off the beaten track islands in the Caribbean, the Eastern Mediterranean or the Indonesian archipelago.
If travel is your guilty pleasure, you are going to be motivated by supporting tourism as a force for good.
Cruise lines bringing you to underdeveloped areas and creating opportunities for you to come face to face with the people and understand more about their culture, food, language and traditions whilst at the same time investing in the local people and infrastructure are particularly appealing to the authentic traveller, who often prefers a more independent style.
Choosing to travel out of season is consistent with other 2024 trends which focus on getting away from the crowds and supporting the local communities.
Given that most British people have an understandable obsession with going somewhere warm for their holidays, coolcationing may be an alien concept, but think Ponant's itineraries in the Baltic in December, Windstar's Mediterranean cruises in January to March, or May and September Alaska cruises on Silversea or Regent.
Don't you love the terminology? Goccasions are when you celebrate an occasion by going somewhere, and we are seeing an increasing interest in forgoing the standard overpriced party at home in favour of a trip with your nearest and dearest (and that could be one person, or a hundred).
We are seeing a significant increase in private charters, in destinations such as Scotland, Croatia, or northern Portugal. As for what you are celebrating, it could be a wedding, an anniversary, retirement, milestone birthday or medical reprieve. The other day I read that 'puppymoons' are a thing! So any excuse will do.
Food Glorious Food
Our final trend relates to your travel experience: foodies the world over are looking to learn more about their favourite topic.
So whether you are motivated by cookery classes as offered on Explora Journeys, unique S.A.L.T. excursions on Silversea, a new plant-based menu on Windstar, a range of restaurants and dining styles on Regent, or shopping with the chef along the way with AmaWaterways, new food experiences are on offer from a range of cruise lines.