Even if you’re a seasoned traveller, there might be a few experiences you’ve yet to cross off your bucket list. A world cruise is, for many, a truly eye-opening experience, daunting and exciting in equal measure. A world cruise under the belt is the mark of the well-travelled cruiser, giving those lucky enough the chance to explore the uncovered gems and hidden treasures in true explorer fashion.
Here, we’ll showcase a selection of underappreciated sights from some of our favourite itineraries that you should check out during your time sailing the seas of the world.
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur: The site of one of the country’s holiest Hindu temples, the Batu Caves are enormous limestone caves whose importance as a religious pilgrimage dates back more than 120 years. With a huge statue at the entrance, and a lengthy 272-step climb to the peak, its scale is impressive, but its stunning view of the city centre’s skyline is what makes this worth visiting while you’re here.
Nusa Dua, Bali: Located near Hotel Grand Hyatt, Nusa Dua is home to a spectacular natural sight: the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing against rock cliffs, producing a huge column of water created by the narrow space within the rock cliff where pressure builds. If you’re brave enough to see it up close, you will get soaked, but from afar it’s a glorious sight to witness.
Carne de Vinho d’alhos, Portugal: Yes, we’re putting a sandwich on this list because why not? You’ll have built up an appetite doing all that exploring, anyway. Served at the Farmers’ Market in Funchal, the Carne de Vinho d’alhos is an unbelievably good wine, garlic and pork sandwich that the locals swear by. Prepared with bay leaves, vinegar and salt, and served on papo-seco, the local bread, it’s sometimes consumed with a tot of brandy too, for an extra indulgent treat.
Kolmanskop Ghost Town, Namibia: A ghost town might not be something you’d make a beeline to during a cruise, but Namibia’s Kolmanskop Ghost Town is a snapshot of a forgotten time. Formerly a diamond mining town in the 1900s, the dilapidated remains of its sand-filled buildings are haunting and eerie, but it’s also a fascinating, unique experience away from the beaten track.
Hakodate, Japan: Brimming with life and adventure, from Kurashiki’s Venice-style serenity to Nakasendo Way’s traipse through the heart of the country, Japan is filled with treasures. But for a true slice of Japan, we’re going with Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaido. An over-looked hub of the island’s storied seafood industry that’s bustling with energy, not to mention, some incredible seafood dishes using fresh fish, squid and the town’s famous hairy crab.
Paley Park, New York: An incredibly tucked-away area that’s almost like another country, a secret shortcut down 6 ½ Ave leads to a pedestrianised area that’s one of the city’s most serene parts. Leading to Paley Park, you’ll find a 20-foot waterfall that’s totally unlike the iconic urban sprawl the Big Apple is famous for.
Glistening Waters, Jamaica: A truly mesmerising sight offers a wonderfully unique experience, Glistening Waters in Falmouth is a night time treat showcasing Mother Nature at her most spectacular. A serene lagoon filled with micro-plankton, the waters’ denizens glow a brilliant blue when sufficiently moved, creating a wonderful neon lightshow that you have to see while you’re here.
Rangiroa, French Polynesia: With five archipelagos, 100 islands, and some of the bluest waters in the world, French Polynesia is picture-postcard perfect. Just about anywhere here is a gem, but if you’re feeling adventurous, Rangiroa’s waters offer plenty of opportunity for exploration, whether you’re a novice or a well-seasoned diver. With water as clear as day and a whole host of sea life to great you, this is a snapshot of pure paradise.
Karaka Bay Beach, Auckland: With superb views and an unmatched ambience, Karaka Bay Beach is a great bit of buried treasure. Secluded and serene, it lets you take in New Zealand without the distractions and frustrations of the usual tourist crowd. A 30-minute drive out from the city centre, make a day of lounging on the beach with your partner (or family), and take it easy. It’s beautiful and picturesque, with a languid pace that’s perfect for recharging the batteries before you start the rest of your journey.