But the best thing about cruise holidays is that you can pretty much travel to any location and you’re still going to have the comfort of the finest accommodations, food, and amenities. We’ve picked out 10 incredible destinations that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a cruise holiday. We hope you find these as inspirational as we do!
This uniquely-shaped country (4300 km long and 175 km wide) is home to many diverse climates, ranging from the world’s driest desert (Atacama) to fjords and glaciers. For one of the ports of call, Valparaiso in Santiago is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and you’ll probably have a hard time leaving once you step off your ship.
The chances are, you probably heard of Antigua, a massively popular cruise destination in the Caribbean. But Antigua is just one of the islands in the region and Barbuda is not to be missed. The lesser-known sister of Antigua, Barbuda is an up-and-coming cruise destination that hasn’t yet been spoiled by ambitious development.
Akureyi is an Icelandic town situated just 100 kilometres from the Arctic Circle. Its temperate climate and the vast botanical gardens with over 2000 species of flora make Akureyi another unique cruise destination.
4. Los Roques
This archipelago off the Venezuelan coast boasts a wide variety of marine life and birds, which is always good news for wildlife enthusiasts. You’ll think you’ve arrived in paradise upon arrival to this tiny island, with crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see.
Komodo is one of over 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. The Komodo National Park is home to the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world, but even if you don’t like reptiles, it’d be difficult to pass up a trip to this magnificent park that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indonesia offers a great deal in terms of history, culture and natural beauty and is an ideal alternative cruise destination.
Alaska is not exactly on the top of the list for cruise-goers. This is all the more reason to visit, as its wildlife and landscape are unforgettable and it’s not overwhelmed with tourists.
Navigating the Drake’s Passage is no small endeavour, and not for the weak hearted! But if you have the endurance, courage, and adventurous spirit for it, you’ll be rewarded handsomely with a lifetime’s worth of storytelling rights. Antarctica is truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of destination, and is ideal for those looking for something special.
Portugal is one of the lesser-visited countries in Europe in terms of cruise passengers, but not because it’s not worth a visit! While most tourists flock to the Algarve, the west coast is a criminally over-looked region of the country and is a must visit. Small coastal towns and epic cliffside walks are what Portugal’s western coast is all about.
Japan is a fascinating country with something for just about everyone. Whether you want to explore the history and cuisine of Tokyo, Kobe or Otaru, or if you’re just keen to experience a different way of life from what you’re used to in the West, Japan is a wonderful alternative cruise destination.
10. Galapagos Islands
If you want to be inspired in your own way and have your mind opened up to new ideas just as Charles Darwin did in 1831, choose the Galapagos Islands for your next cruise holiday. With incredible wildlife and majestic scenery, the Galapagos Islands should be anybody’s ‘natural selection’.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Don McCullough, Doug88888, A bloke called Jerm, Moyan Brenn, capiotti, …your local connection, Kass Lamb, Hamish Moffatt, michael clarke stuff, Marufish, Derek Keats