Luxury at sea, a 2018 trend

A Royal Loft Suite on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.

Travelers are increasingly choosing suites on larger ships and sailings on luxury small-ship lines and river cruise lines, according to AAA Travel.

After analyzing its cruise bookings for the past 12 months, AAA Travel said sales "increased substantially in the last year, while bookings of suites on large cruise ships and sailings on small, luxury cruise lines have exploded, by high double-digit percentages in some cases."

Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel, attributed the interest in smaller luxury lines to a growing desire among travelers for "an intimate experience." He said that is leading to "tremendous interest" in the likes of After analyzing its cruise bookings for the past 12 months, AAA Travel has found that Seabourn, Azamara Club Cruises, AmaWaterways, Viking River Cruises, Uniworld and others.

Sutherland said travelers are increasingly attracted to suites on larger ships because they "are not shying away from paying for premium experiences."

AAA also identified trends around cruising destinations. While Europe, Alaska, the Caribbean and Hawaii are the most popular, bookings to Hawaii and Europe are "growing substantially compared to other popular destinations," AAA said. Following years of growth, Alaska bookings appear to have leveled off.

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