Out to Sea column for Dec. 31/16
By Jim and Barb Fox
(Note: All photos in this feature were taken aboard Holland America ships)
Today’s cruise vacations are more than a trip to the beach.
Think “exotic” and “amazing” as there are nearly 1,000 cruise ports and destinations around the world and that number continues to grow.
A trip to the tropics might be the first destination that comes to mind but cruise lines are continuously expanding itineraries to reach more exotic corners of the world and hidden gems.
|Cruise vacations let travelers explore scenic beaches in Hawaii. (Jim Fox photo)|
“From sunny beaches in Australia to bustling villages in Asia, cruise travel offers more diverse and unique destinations than ever before,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
|The arch of Cabo San Lucas is a distinctive rock formation at the extreme southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. (Jim Fox photo)|
CLIA has compiled a list of some “most amazing cruise destinations,” starting with these river cruises:
- The Never-Ending Nile: History-loving travellers can sail through 5,000 years of history along the Nile, the world’s long river, on Avalon Waterways’ Highlights of Egypt, roundtrip from Cairo.
Cruisers explore 5,000 years of history with visits to the Luxor Temple, Temple of Isis and the Great Pyramids of Giza.
- The Beauty of Bucharest: This includes a tour of Romania’s capital city and the largest Parliament building in the world on Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s Ultimate European Journey cruise.
It sails from the North Sea to the Black Sea, visiting bustling capital cities and quaint villages.
- Let Them Eat Cake: Travellers sail along the Seine River and take in the storied history of Versailles, Montmarte and more on Tauck’s Rendezvous on the Seine cruise.
Guests indulge in all the luxury and beauty France has to offer.
- The Culture of Cambodia: Travellers will find an unforgettable, exotic getaway on AmaWaterways’ Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong cruise.
Cruisers can also dive into the rich Cambodian culture with regionally inspired cuisine and spa treatments.
|A guide takes a cruising group through the exotic Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary in Hawaii. (Barbara Fox photo)|
- Historic American Trip: U.S. history buffs and those wanting to tour historic sites can sail aboard American Cruise Lines’ Lewis and Clark cruises.
This paddlewheeler cruise follows their trail along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon with excursions to volcanic craters and Portland’s waterfront.
Whatever floats your boat
Ocean cruises open up the vast distance of the world to travellers, giving them access to the globe.
- A Japanese Journey: Experience the beauty and wonder of famous landmarks on Princess Cruises’ Highlights of Japan cruise.
Passengers will marvel at the 410-year-old Nijo Castle in Kyoto, board the famous bullet train to Tokyo and take a scenic drive along Mount Fiji.
- Sailing the South Pole: A journey to the Great White Desert aboard a cruise ship is an experience unlike any other.
Ponant’s luxury yacht cruises offer passengers stunning views of Antarctica’s natural icy beauty and excursions to see penguin colonies and outings in Zodiac dinghies.
- Exotic Africa: Travellers can bask in the urban beauty of Cape Town – from surfing along beautiful beaches to the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Oceania Cruises’ Marvels of Time cruise takes guests from Dubai to Cape Town with stops in Mumbai and the Maldives.
|Passengers gather at the front of the ship to experience history while sailing through the Panama Canal. (Jim Fox photo)|
- Perusing the Panama Canal: For a unique and historic view of the world, cruisers can sail along some of the world’s most famous waterways.
Seabourn’s Panama Canal Odyssey cruise journeys along the Crossroads of the Americas with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Portobelo.
- Beautiful Bora Bora: Paul Gauguin Cruises takes cruisers to the oceanic beauty and white sand beaches of Bora Bora and the exclusive inlet of Motu Mahana for the ultimate in luxurious rest and relaxation.
- Every Corner of the Globe: Cruisers can circle the globe aboard Crystal Cruises’ Grand Continental Odysseys cruise.
|Cruise ship passengers are entertained by a Panamanian folkloric show at the Gatun Yacht Club. (Barbara Fox photo)|
Excursions explore tropical rainforests in Hawaii, shopping for native handcrafts in Samoa, exploring the beauty of St. Helena and indulging in the artistic and architectural wonders of Barcelona.
For cruise line links and details: cruising.org
Jim and Barb Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more Out to Sea trip tips: http://outtoseatravel.blogspot.ca