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Lots Of Different Ways To Float Your Next Vacation

Holland America
A Holland America cruise ship, tied up in Seattle.

Christina Opalka has been researching travel trends for the cruise industry since the 1990s. This week, she offers her perspectives on why it’s worth your time to make your next vacation buoyant.

Not All Cruises Are The Same

There are megaships you can stay aboard for the entire trip, with restaurants, theaters, spas, pools and more. And then there are smaller ships focused on remote natural wonders, where you can get in a kayak with a guide and paddle near a glacier.

Bigger ships are especially good for multi-generational trips, allowing grandparents, kids and everyone in between to choose their own adventure. Smaller ships are good for couples or singles, whether you’re cruising down a smooth river in Europe or hopping off the ship at each port to hike through the jungle.

Not Always Expensive

You don’t have to drop thousands of dollars and go to Panama to have a good time. There are plenty of options in the Puget Sound area for day cruises or transportation to nearby destinations, Opalka says. Un-Cruise Adventures takes passengers along the Columbia River. The Victoria Clipper can do whale-watching tours or take you to Victoria. Argosy Cruises offers shorter tours in and around Seattle.

Industry Developments

A cruise brand called “Fathom” is taking reservations from the U.S. to sail to Cuba. Expect more of this as Cuba-U.S. relations continue to thaw.

Locally, Seattle-based Holland America is working with Woodinville-based Chateau Ste. Michelle to let passengers create their own wine blends while aboard.


"Going Places" is KPLU's weekly exploration of travel topics. Christina Opalka has researched travel trends for the cruise industry since the 1990s. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley, will be back next week.

Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.
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