Is there anything more idyllic than waking up on a cruise ship and drawing your blinds to reveal an endless expanse of ocean? Add in cocktails by the pool, daily entertainment, exquisite food and shopping galore, and you have all the ingredients for the perfect holiday. That’s not even touching on the destinations you stop off at along the way!
From the Greek Islands and Norwegian fjords to Egypt’s River Nile, cruises can take you all over the globe. So, if you want to tick multiple countries, cities or ports off your travel wish list, a cruise holiday should definitely be on your radar for 2022.
The cruise industry was hit hard during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – but thankfully it’s now back up and running. To give you some inspiration, here are five of the world’s most popular destinations to visit on a cruise.
The Norwegian fjords
If you’re more interested in adventure than sun, sea and sand, Norway’s dramatic fjords are sure to deliver. Carved from glaciers, these long, narrow, saltwater inlets make up the majority of the country’s northern coast and boast some of Scandinavia’s most exceptional scenery.
A cruise is undoubtedly the best way to soak up the sights. Exploring from a ship means you can get close to Norway’s tumbling waterfalls and skyscraper cliffs, looking out for rare seabirds and even a glimpse of a sperm whale if you’re lucky. Most Norwegian cruises will also stop at remote fishing villages along the way, where you can sample some of the freshest and most delicious seafood.
What’s more, with hotel and food prices in Norway renowned for being sky high, a cruise can also be the most affordable way to experience this part of the world.
The River Nile
As far as river cruises are concerned, there aren’t many that could compare to a voyage along the Egyptian stretch of the River Nile.
Measuring about 4,160 miles in length, shared by eleven countries, the Nile is widely considered the longest river in the world. There’s no better way to put its sheer scale into perspective than to sail along a portion on a scenic river cruise. Starting in Cairo, capital city of Egypt and home to the ancient Pyramids of Giza, many Nile cruises will take you on a captivating journey through Luxor and its royal tombs, all the way to Aswan and its spectacular High Dam. Whether you’re into your history or simply want to soak up the culture, it’s impossible not to be blown away by the 7,000-year-old history you’ll witness at every turn.
The Greek Islands
With more than 6,000 Greek islands peppering the Aegean and Ionian seas, it’s no surprise that island-hopping cruises around Greece are some of the most popular cruises around. This is a corner of the world made for exploring by ship.
Start in Athens and spend your first couple of days exploring the capital before embarking on your journey. Top cruise destinations include Mykonos with its waterside cocktail bars and white-sand beaches, Rhodes with its Old Town and uninterrupted swathes of sand, and Santorini, where the sunsets are world-renowned. Many cruises will also take you to the archipelago’s lesser known islands too, Chania and Thessaloniki being good examples.
The Caribbean’s wealth of white-sand beaches washed by turquoise seas make it an incredibly popular cruise destination for sun-seekers.
Thanks to the islands’ close proximity to one another, you could wake up in a new country every day. Snorkel with turtles in Tobago, enjoy the sounds of reggae and taste of jerk chicken in Jamaica and brush up on your colonial history in Barbados. Although equally colourful, each island has its own distinct character, meaning there’s enough to please wildlife lovers, history enthusiasts, foodies and anyone who just wants to laze on the beach.
Coined ‘The Last Frontier’, Alaska is the USA’s most sparsely populated state – and its wildest.
A cruise here will make you feel like you’ve walked straight into one of David Attenborough’s documentaries. Sail past gigantic glaciers, snap photographs of sea lions from the ship, take a shore excursion to see brown bears and witness breaching whales; the cruise itineraries around Alaska’s largely untamed landscape are hard to beat. You can also expect visits to Alaska’s state capital of Juneau, only reachable by air or by water, Glacier Bay National Park, and Skagway, a compact city saturated with history from the Gold Rush era.