Out to Sea for Oct. 17/15
(c) By Jim and Barb Fox
Cruise travel is getting even more “amazing” with a growing number of destinations accessible by ship around this ocean-linked world.
As part of “Plan a Cruise” month, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has unveiled the “11 most amazing and unexpected” destinations.
“While Caribbean paradises may be the first cruise destination to come to mind for many, cruise lines are continually expanding cruise locales to include hidden gems of the world and surprising locations,” it says.
|One of the most scenic ports to sail out of is San Francisco, passing by Alcatraz island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. (Jim Fox photo)|
Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA acting chief executive, said from small European towns to bustling ports in Southeast Asia, “cruise travellers can discover some of the most amazing travel destinations” aboard a cruise ship.
There are some 1,000 cruise ports and destinations throughout the world, with the number growing as ships sail rivers and oceans “striving to deliver new cruise vacation experiences for travellers.”
“Amazing” river cruises
Here is CLIA’s list starting with sojourns on the world’s most famous rivers.
|River Orchid with Uniworld’s Boutique River Cruise Collection sails Southeast Asia’s longest river to visit Vietnam and Cambodia.|
-- Cambodia’s Villages: Cruise vacationers can wander the villages along the Mekong River and immerse themselves in ancient culture complete with a native Peking duck welcome dinner. Uniworld’s Boutique River Cruise Collection sails Southeast Asia’s longest river to the “timeless wonders” of Vietnam and Cambodia.
-- Nuremberg Christmas Market: Visit Germany’s most famous market aboard a CroisiEurope cruise. It embraces the holiday spirit by taking travellers along the Rhine River to visit markets in Strasbourg, Nuremberg and Rudesheim.
-- Queen of the Nile: Travellers looking to explore the magic and the mystery of the Nile can set sail on the world’s longest river for nine days with Avalon Waterways’ Highlights of Egypt cruise. Cruisers explore 5,000 years of history at the Luxor Temple, Temple of Isis and Great Pyramids of Giza.
-- Pretty Provence: Venture deep into Provence aboard Tauck’s A Taste of France cruise. Focusing on French cuisine and village life, this Rhone River cruise sails through vineyard country and visits the indoor food market in Lyon.
-- Famous Pagodas: Travellers can sample the hidden wonders of Myanmar with AmaWaterways’ cruise through Yangon. On the cruise along the Ayeyarwady River learn ancient pottery techniques, visit a rice farm, explore Mt. Popa and the Schwedagon Pagoda that’s a gold-plated, ruby and diamond-covered marvel.
-- Trailing Lewis and Clark: American history comes to life with American Cruise Lines’ Lewis and Clark cruises along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon. They follow the epic route with excursions to Portland’s busy waterfront, volcanic craters in Rainier and the Rock Fort Campsite aboard a paddle wheeler.
|Holland America’s Rotterdam sails through the Panama Canal as passengers line the decks for a good view. (Jim Fox photo)|
Top “unexpected” ocean cruises
-- Beauty in Bangkok: Oceania Cruises’ Quintessential Far East cruise takes guests from Bangkok to Beijing to see breathtaking sights and hidden cities. Explore Thai culture with onshore adventures, a visit to the Ayutthaya ruins and other ports of call.
-- Marco Polo: Seabourn’s Route of Marco Polo cruise from Greece to Singapore follows the merchant traveler’s trail. There are visits to the Parthenon, Crusader castles in Jordan and a tea tasting at a plantation in Sri Lanka.
-- Perusing the Panama: A cruise is the perfect way to enjoy the sights and all the grand canal has to offer. Paul Gauguin Cruises sails through pristine waters and lush greenery, offering a multitude of adventures including a visit to a private wildlife reserve.
-- Antarctica – the Cooler Destination: Cruisers can journey to the majestic White Continent on Ponant’s luxurious yacht cruises where giant icebergs and natural beauty abound. Experience this polar paradise with penguin colonies and outings in Zodiac dinghies.
-- Around the World: Epic journeys such as Crystal Cruises’ Grand Pacific Panorama let cruisers see all corners of the world from San Francisco and Australia to Fiji and beyond. They “soak in the beauty of the globe,” with a hike through the Garden City of Kuala Lumpur, a mangrove wildlife safari and tram ride through Bangkok’s ancient city.
|Ad Cruise passengers dip their toes in the waters of the Panama Canal in a stop at the Gatun Yacht Club. (Barbara Fox photo)|
If you sail:
CLIA represents 60 cruise lines whose ships carry 23-million passengers a year. To find out about cruising and links to the lines: cruising.org
The association and member lines are giving away a cruise a day this month. Details: cruisesmile.org
Jim and Barb Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more Out to Sea trip tips: http://outtoseatravel.blogspot.ca