If you’ve never been on a cruise with your partner, it’s not difficult to imagine just how romantic it can be. From eating under the stars to watching the sun set over a breath taking location, it’s hard not to fall in love or rekindle your romance at sea.
With so many destinations to choose from, you might be wondering which the best choices are for loved up couples. Here are five of the best romantic cruise holiday destinations, with a little about what they have to offer:
Maui is the second-largest Hawaiian Island and is abundant with things to do for the cruising couple. At the top of the list is a trip to the summit of Mount Haleakala where 10,000 feet above sea level, the stunning sunrise will leave you both lost for words.
Visitors to Maui often reserve a day to explore the old road to the historic village Hana. With 59 historic bridges to cross, a whole day is needed to fully appreciate this exciting day trip. If you have time, camp overnight at the Pools of Oheo in the Kipahulu district of the Haleakala National Park. These alluring tiered pools are fed by waterfalls and if the weather is good, you can take a dip in their exquisite tranquil waters.
Continuing along the old road, you’ll experience the jaw dropping scenery of the East Maui coastline and have the opportunity to take part in some life changing experiences, from swimming under a waterfall to a hike through a bamboo forest. The Kahanu National Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Garden of Eden are also worth a visit if you can squeeze them into your packed schedule.
Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island and the fourth largest. It is a place of breath taking natural beauty and it’s unsurprising that it has been chosen as the location for many films, including Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Shores, Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Approaching Kauai, you’ll see the beauty of the Na Pali Coast with its rugged, steep cliffs rising out of the sea. Cruise ships will sail close for you to get a good view and take photos.
Kauai is also home to the Waimea Canyon, often called the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. Measuring 3,600 feet deep and stretching 10 miles, its winding path brings one scenic delight after the other, with the Pu’u Kila lookout being the grand finale at the end.
3. St Lucia
With its dramatic scenery, lush botanical gardens and bubbling volcanos, St Lucia is perhaps the most remarkable of all Caribbean islands. The scenery is just as much of a draw as the idyllic sandy beaches, with thick rainforest coating much of the island and the cones of the Petit Piton and Gros Piton looming up out of the sea in the South-West corner.
St Lucia is secluded and upmarket, and a favourite for weddings and honeymoons. On the must-see list is the Rain Forest Adventures Aerial Tram – with gondolas that take you up the side of a mountain above the rainforest at a steady pace, allowing you to take in the dazzling scenery below. With giant ficus trees, bright heliconias and a gushing river, you won’t be disappointed – make sure you book in advance though.
Once you’re done soaking up the incredible views, the Treetop Adventure Park has plenty of thrills and spills to add some adrenalin to your day. Zip line down the mountain or take a hike through the rainforest and see St Lucia up close and personal. While you’re both still buzzing, Rodney Bay Village has enough lively bars and clubs to keep you entertained before you head back to the ship to unwind.
As romantic destinations go, Nassau in the Bahamas and its tiny satellite Paradise Island look like the perfect scene from any glossy tropical holiday brochure. The island is a haven for loved up couples with its powder-white beaches, sparkling turquoise sea, colourful tropical flowers and bright coral reefs. This is your dream holiday and whatever you love doing as a couple, Nassau has something to offer you.
Nassau is the capital and the largest city of the Bahamas. The city itself is interesting and historic with much to offer. There is an attractive harbour, a busy port and a colourful mix of old world and colonial architecture to keep your attention
Cable Beach is a popular choice with visitors – it’s not the largest but is clean and not too hectic. You’ll find everything you might need there, including plenty of charming restaurants and bars, with buses running into downtown Nassau every 15 minutes for a small fee. You can also visit the Casino if you and your partner are feeling lucky or need a break from soaking up the sun.
A day trip to Sandy Toes on Rose Island a little further off shore is a delight. Here you can enjoy the best snorkelling or kayaking, or just relax on the private beach or in the hammocks. There’s also a Beach Bar in the resort for music and laughs.
5. Gran Canaria
A popular destination with tourists, you might question why busy Gran Canaria makes it to our top five in romantic holiday spots. Granted, Gran Canaria has a number of tacky, crowded tourist traps but don’t let this put you off as there are many beautiful areas away from the madding crowd that offer the perfect destination for a romantic excursion. Top of the list is Roque Nublo in Tejeda, a volcanic rock that sits 1,813 metres above sea level. The 360 views over the island are outstanding and well worth a little effort in getting there.
For sun worshipers, Playa de Las Canteras is one of the most popular beaches, with beautiful clean sand, crystal clear waters and lots of big waves for surfers. There’s a natural barrier that breaks the waves before they hit the beach so you can relax and swim in the water too. There are plenty of good restaurants and bars there to choose from and a two-mile promenade to stroll down hand-in-hand.
La Vegueta – the old city – is our final recommendation. The narrow streets are charming to simply wander through and on Thursdays after 9 in the evening you’ll find the delectable Pinxtos offerings in many of the bars. Take the lift up to the Cathedral for some stunning views, and check out the Columbus museum (Casa de Colón) for a fascinating journey through the history of the islands.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: LASZLO ILYES, paul bica, Alex, Bill Dickinson, Juan A. Del Pino, muha