There’s no doubt that cruise holidays are becoming more and more popular. Although it may sound like being trapped on a boat, the reality is actually far more freedom than you would get on a standard holiday.
Cruising take care of the boring stuff like hotels, and instead allows you to go to sleep in one country and wake in another! You can see multiple cities, countries and regions within days on a single cruise. Very few standard holidays can match that claim.
There is now a plethora of different cruise itineraries available from Africa all the way to Antarctica. There is also a host of different ships to choose from. Not every ship has a pool, cinema, and theatre, some are instead equipped for active leisure such as wildlife watching and sea kayaking.
So, how to choose the right cruise? Well, it’s not easy, but I’m here to give you my personal favourites which will hopefully inspire you.
Mombasa To Cape Town
This is one of the great African cruise itineraries. It takes passengers down Africa’s east coast from Kenya to South Africa, visiting Tanzania, Zanzibar, the Comores Islands, and Mozambique along the way. The cruise takes you into the heart of Africa’s diverse landscapes and gives you a great sense of each country and location you visit. The highlight for me was visiting multiple safari destinations which had elephants, jackals, crocodiles, hippos, and hundreds of bird species. The cruise offered such variety of wildlife and history, and the guides really helped bring the destinations to life.
The Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage has only recently become a cruse destination. Several years ago the ice was to thick for cruises to safely navigate the infamous passage. Now though this is one of the greatest cruise routes ever offered. Most itineraries sail from Greenland across the Canadian Arctic and onto Northern Alaska. Not only do you have the chance to see musk ox, Arctic foxes and polar bears, but historical sites left behind by the ancient Thule culture. Another highlight is visiting remote Inuit settlements where the old ways of living still hold sway.
I really can’t think of a more picturesque cruise destination than the fjords of Norway. This beautiful coastline is simply stunning and dramatic. Although plenty of cruise lines sail here, Hurtigruten is very good as they have a hop on-hop off system which gives you greater freedom to explore places in detail. If you want to extend your trip you can include Svalbard which is home to numerous polar bears. You can even cruise Norway during winter on special Northern Lights cruises which are apparently very epic.
Alaska To Wrangel Island
Alaska in its own right is a stunning cruise destination, especially if you love seeing glaciers calving. However, certain expedition itineraries offer the chance of combining Alaska with the Russian Arctic. This is without doubt one of the most epic cruises on earth as you get to see brown bears, black bears and polar bears in the same trip! You also get to explore the remote Kamchatka coastline which is home to lush forest and numerous active volcanoes. Wrangel Island is the real highlight though – you’ll see musk ox, polar bears, and an eerie landscape that is difficult to describe.
The Kimberley Ranges, Australia
Rugged red peaks, enormous waterfalls and deep canyons await cruise passengers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Sail along the coast whilst making short river excursions to see waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art, and crocodiles! There is host of activities on offer such as snorkelling, mud crabbing, fishing, hiking, and even helicopter rides. If you want to experience Australia in her rawest form, the Kimberleys are the perfect starting place.
Antarctica is fast becoming one of the most amazing cruise destinations on earth. The strange, icy landscape feels otherworldly and many passengers describe Antarctic as alien. There is no denying its beauty though. Colossal icebergs dwarf your ship and whales breach the cool, clear waters. There are very few places on earth where the wildlife is so carefree. Expect penguins to walk right past you and whales to approach your boat for a closer look.
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