When most people think about going on a cruise holiday, it’s usually a picture of ocean liners in the Mediterranean or Caribbean, surrounded by crystal clear blue waters, white sand, and of course, sun.
But ships don’t just sail to warmer climes and the sun-drenched islands, and it’s not all about cocktails on deck. Some of thebiggest cruise companies, such as P&O and Cunard Cruises now travel to some of the world’s most beautiful and unexpected places, and in doing so, they reveal much more of the planet’s scenic treasures than you might expect…
It’s probably not quite the Mediterranean hotspot that you were expecting to see on this list, but the calm and cold waters of Alaska have bewitched travellers since time immemorial. The best time to cruise Alaska is from May – September, as that’s the time of year that the region’s famed Inside Passage promises great sights, such as clear waters, icebergs, whales and even grizzly bears, if you’re lucky.
Of course, no scenic cruise list can be complete without mentioning Norway’s beautiful Fjords, which provide many opportunities for gazing in wonder at the contrast of emerald-covered mountains against turquoise sea. Head there anytime between May – August, and go straight to Geiranger, to see the most scenic fjord of all, which boasts spectacular waterfalls that seemingly fall from the clouds and into the sea.
A trip to New Zealand offers lots of opportunities for travellers to explore the best of the north and south islands, but people often forget that there is also 1500 miles of coastline to explore, too! Cruises in the region are well-established, and there are nine ports in New Zealand to choose from. The best advice is to book a trip that takes in some of each island’s best docks, such as Wellington and Tauranga in the North Island, and the epic Milford Sound in the South Island, used as a location in the Lord of the Rings films.
So, when you book a cruise, try not to get waylaid by palm-fringed shores and watersports; at least not until you’ve explored every avenue a world cruise can take you down.