Cruises: Trends to watch for in 2014

(Manja / shutterstock.com)

(Manja / shutterstock.com)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 4:06 PM ET

The Panama Canal, Japan and Australia are predicted to become major cruise destinations next year, according to a newly released report by the world's largest cruise review site.

After looking at industry insights, and past consumer habits and trends, Cruise Critic has come up with a list of trends they predict will define 2014.

One of the top destinations next year will be the Panama Canal, which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year, the report points out.

Given that Japan can be expensive and tricky to navigate by land, trendspotters also predict that cruises will become an increasingly popular way for travelers to see the country.

Similar reasons are given for the island nation of Australia.

Recognizing the desire for customized travel experiences, cruise lines are also giving travelers more options for building their own cruise packages with possible add-on features and onboard credit.

Cruise lines may also begin targeting an unmined  market -- local travelers in port cities --  with shorter, two to four-day cruises that can offer residents a short break or last minute deal.

And smokers may want to consider kicking the habit if they plan to take a cruise, given the industry-wide trend of butting out. Major liners like Royal Caribbean, Cunard, and Disney have said they plan to implement smoking bans on some, if not all, balconies by 2014.

River cruises are also expected to grow in popularity.

Cruise Critic is managed by the world's largest travel website TripAdvisor.


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