Time and time again research proves that the number one reason people take a cruise is to see a destination. That might sound obvious, but in an era where certain cruise lines are developing more megaships – it is interesting to note the different ways in which the industry is developing.
But, what are the best places to visit by ship? It’s hard to narrow it down. We’re talking about the regions which are often inaccessible by any other means and look to be almost tailor made for cruising. We’ve highlighted some of our favourites – although certainly not all – to give you a little taster of what’s available.
It could be a great angle to approach potential customers with. Especially when you tell them that the view from their ‘hotel’ window will keep changing…
74-night South Pacific Explorer and Great Barrier Reef
Holland America Line has produced some awesome itineraries which are bucket list contenders in their own right. This is certainly one of them. Departing Vancouver on a 74-day marathon, the ms Volendam calls at Los Angeles, Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia before reaching Australia on day number 24.
From Sydney the mammoth 50-day circumnavigation begins with calls at pretty much every Australian port imaginable.
If there is a better way to explore this great land in as much detail, we are certainly yet to come across it.
Prices start from just £5,498
Glacier Bay to Seattle
Setting off from Seattle, this Norwegian Cruise Line voyage takes in some of the major sites that Alaska has to offer, including Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan.
An Alaska cruise is one of those trips that you can enjoy from the privacy of your own balcony – watching the unbelievable scenery just roll by. Although Norwegian offers helicopter rides over ice fields for those who want to go out and explore a little more.
This is one of those trips which really is best enjoyed by cruise ship.
Keep your eye out for whales too!
Prices from just £409
With this summer’s FIFA World Cup now just weeks away, the frenzy building up around Brazil has reached fever pitch. The land of samba has a huge amount to offer tourists away from its national sport too – with glorious beaches, sprawling metropolises and lush rainforests. All of which are accessible to cruise passengers.
We’ve elected for an 18-day Princess Cruises voyage that starts in Fort Lauderdale and ends in Rio de Janeiro and includes calls at Recife, Salvador and Santos – as well as Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.
Not bad at all from just £1,119 per person.
Departs January 2015
Inner or outer loop itinerary
Renowned for its fearless wildlife, the Galapagos Islands have become a mecca for animal lovers the world over. From marine iguanas to species of giant tortoise – there are animals here that are totally unique to the area.
Celebrity Cruises offers two different Galapagos itineraries – an outer loop itinerary (Baltra, Daphne Island, Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez) and the inner loop itinerary (Baltra, Daphne Island, Puerto Egas and Rabida).
Follow in Darwin’s footsteps and visit one of the most remote natural zoos on earth.
Prices from £6,398
Russian Far East
Nome, USA to Otaru, Japan
Over the past few years The Russian Far East has opened up to foreign visitors and as such many of the ports of call are not only new to Silversea’s own plans but they also won’t be found on any other cruise itinerary.
The line’s expedition ship, Silver Discoverer, will call at little known ports like Provideniya, Gabriela Bay, Dezneva Bay and Lavrova Bay as part of a cruise which is perfect for those wanting to explore an area of the world not currently inundated with cruise calls.
With a final destination of Japan, the cruise calls at 23 Russian ports on the country’s far eastern borders.
The voyage will be an opportunity to marvel at natural landscapes, including pristine tundra and huge volcanoes, meet the indigenous Chukchi, Aleut and Korya as well as look out for grey whales, Arctic foxes and brown bears.
Prices start from £8,950
Exploring Ancient Arakan
As expedition companies increasingly look to the unexplored parts of the world, Pandaw River Cruises has announced its next itinerary: Arakan.
The region, which was an independent kingdom up until the 18th century but now a part of Burma, is very underdeveloped – with no deluxe accommodation or comfortable means of exploring the area currently available.
The itinerary, which won’t launch till October 2015, starts and ends in the colonial city of Sittwe and includes calls at Wabo, Ponnangyon, Mrauk U and the Tattoo Villages deep in the country’s interior.
The region is so unexplored that Pandaw has said the itinerary could yet change – depending on the upcoming recce voyage.
There is also a 10% discount on bookings before May 2015.
The great Antarctic expedition
The name of this cruise says it all. An opportunity to visit one of the true remaining untouched continents – with a trip which is only available by sea.
Hurtigruten is offering a number of Antarctic itineraries, which start in the southern most city in the world Ushuaia, after a regional flight from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires.
Most trips last between 19 and 25 days and include calls at the destinations including the Falklands, South Georgia and South Orkney – as well as landings on the White Continent itself.
A well known highlight of Hurtigruten’s tours in particular is the opportunity to camp out on the ice. A unique experience and one that passengers will not want to miss out on.
Prices start from £5,154