With 2017 kicking into high gear, Travel Agent and other voices in the travel industry are taking stock of the “next big things” to watch in the coming year. Based on the news today, adventure remains a trend to watch.
According to a new study of the OTA Kayak’s internal search data, up-and-coming destinations like Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, are drawing traveler interest as we head into the New Year, along with beach destinations in Asia, the South Pacific and cities in Europe made newly budget-friendly by the falling value of the Euro.
Cuba, in particular, continues to draw the eyes of travelers curious about the once-forbidden destination. Recently Apple Vacations announced new cruises to the country from Jamaica onboard the recently renovated Celestyal Crystal, with departures beginning February 17. Despite Carnival Corporation’s plans to cancel Fathom’s Cuba cruises on the Adonia by June, plenty of other cruise lines still offer cruises to the island. Carnival Corp. said it plans to offer social impact excursions from its other cruise brands, although details on that have yet to be announced, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has received approval to operate cruises on its Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line brands. Royal Caribbean and small ship line Pearl Seas Cruises are also planning their own itineraries. Our cruise editor, Susan J. Young, has rounded up a comprehensive guide to Cuba cruises here.
Adventurous places are also popping up in our Trending Destinations Special Report, which is spotlighting some of the top places to go this year all of this week. In particular, today we’ve got our eye on Nicaragua, which, between the new high-end Mukul hotel and a slew of sights like one of the planet’s only lava lakes, has something to offer adventure-seekers at every price point.
Other suppliers, too, are targeting adventure. Royal Caribbean just inked a deal with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) that will let guests get their Open Water Diver certification while on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Additionally, Ensemble Travel Group just signed luxury active travel provider Butterfield & Robinson to its network of specialty partners.
Keep checking back all this week for our continuing look at the hottest Trending Destinations this year, adventure-focused and otherwise.