Let’s face it: choosing a cruise can be hard work. You have to decide which line to take, which ship to sail on, and finally, where in the world you’d like to sail to. Of course, for any true cruiser the planning stage is just as much fun as the sailing itself.
Sometimes, however, it can be tough to answer the question: where should we go?
Not to fear: we’re here to help, after all. Here’s five often-overlooked cruise destinations that we think everyone should know about – and sail to.
The best thing about Iceland is that it really is just as deep and mysterious as its name implies. But it’s also a very popular cruise destination on many Northern European voyages and transatlantic cruises throughout the summer months. Where else in the world can you see volcanic landscapes, breathtaking waterfalls, and geysers that rocket skyward?
Our Favorite Port: Akureyri. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Akureyri is a sleepy little town with a few surprises, like an ice-free harbour year-round, thanks to the geothermal heat that warms the ground and every house in this picturesque port of call.
Even if you haven’t personally been here, Norway is a bit like the New York City of Northern Europe: chances are you’ve seen its beautiful waterfalls, lush green hills and quaint villages in so many pictures and movies that you’ll feel as though you already know it like the back of your hand.
But nothing compares to standing in the midst of the beautiful Geirangerfjord in person, gazing up at the Seven Sisters waterfall as it towers over your ship. It’s breathtaking, inspiring, and populated by some of the nicest people you’re likely to meet anywhere. Sail here once – you won’t be disappointed.
Our Favorite Port: It’s a tough call, but the northern town of Alesund won us over with their heart-wrenching fireboat sendoff, complete with Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” piped over loudspeakers hidden near the pier. Easily the most impressive sailaway ever.
3. Southern Caribbean
It’s tough to go wrong with a Caribbean cruise, but the Southern Caribbean boasts more unique islands than you can shake a stick at. If you’re put off by the commercialism of Cozumel and St. Thomas, consider a cruise that goes further south to places like Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, and Aruba. These islands tend to be more picturesque (certainly more so than the Western Caribbean, which is mainly flat) and less overrun with tourists and trinkety souvenirs.
Our Favorite Port: without a doubt, St. George’s, Grenada. See the town, but be sure to get out and explore the countryside. You’ll be glad you did.
You can be forgiven for not considering India as a cruise destination. Despite having more than 3,000 Km of coastline, India has done very little to promote cruise tourism. Despite that cruise industry has flourished, although partially. Islands like Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar are only accessible through cruise ships.
These cruises offer perfect escape from the city noise. Places like Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar are perfect cruise destinations in India as they receive few tourists. As a result, the natural beauty of these places is preserved.
Besides these usual suspects, Goa is also a good place for cruise vacation. Cruise ships takes you to a ride to various exotic beaches of Goa where you can party whole night. A lot of cruise ships also have casinos for you to have fun.
5. Canada & New England
Peggy’s Cove, located just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photo © Aaron Saunders
It’s amazing how many people pass over this itinerary because they think “it will be cold!” That was far from the case last summer, when we endured record-breaking heat in Manhattan, Bar Harbor, Portland, Halifax and St. John, New Brunswick. Go in mid-to-late October if you want to see the best of the fall colors; go during the late summer if you want to miss the worst of Hurricane season, which typically slams the upper Atlantic coast in September.
Our Favorite Port: Again, a tough call, as there are many varieties of this itinerary on offer. But our reigning favorite is still Halifax, Nova Scotia. With history oozing out of every street, a beautiful downtown district, and nearby Peggy’s Cove, it’s hard to not enjoy your time here.
Of course, there are many, many destinations that are off the beaten path and deserving of your cruising time. It’s just a matter of finding them.