Crystal Symphony sailing into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  which is tops with travellers this year.
Crystal Symphony sailing into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is tops with travellers this year.

SOUTH America is hot, Asia is sizzling, Russia and Myanmar (Burma) are warming fast, and Africa, Sri Lanka and India are rising up the charts.

australiancruisingnews.com is talking cruise destinations – not climate change – as holidays on oceans and rivers across the world keep growing in popularity.

While cruising was once seen as a holiday away from land based pressures, it is now rated as the trouble-free way to see the world on a comfortable floating home-away-from-home.

Demand for newer ports usually comes from serial cruisers who know the ease of cruising and want to add to their ever-growing list of destinations visited.

And so international cruise itineraries grow.

Cuba, an island off the south-eastern tip of the US, is rising fast for Castro, communism, faded colonial buildings and people with little material wealth who still know how to party big-time.

Papua New Guinea’s vibrant colours, Japan’s rich culture, South Korean’s unique style, and China’s fast developing cruise ports, are all  in demand,  as is Indonesia with more cruise ships visiting than ever before.

Africa, particularly the west coast, India for life in all its extremes, and the spicy island of Sri Lanka, and Myanmar (Burma) are also in demand.

Sporting events such as World Cup soccer and the next Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro are currently attracting international cruise ships to ports in South America. At the same time Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 has rated Brazil #1 in its list of Top 10 countries.

Central America is also in demand by cruise passenger who want to transit the Panama Canal this year which marks the centenary of its construction. At the same time nearby Costa Rica is growing in popularity for eco-tourism experiences.

Baltic ports also continue to show growth with Russian river cruises in strong demand.

On the Aussie front, New Zealand, South Pacific islands including Fiji, and Western Australia’s Kimberley region, are thriving with the big-ticket item being a circumnavigation of Australia that takes in the nation’s major coastal cities as well as many smaller ones.