THE SEVEN MOST BEAUTIFUL CRUISES IN THE WORLD
Nature, like everything else, seems differently from the promenade of a cruise ship. We can visit sights that would otherwise be inaccessible to us since cruise ships can go into remote locations.
The scenery is breathtaking from the deck of a cruise ship as it travels through the fjords of Norway and through the tiny lanes of Maine.
We’ve compiled a list of the seven best sightseeing cruises in the world.
NORWEGIAN FJORDS CRUISE
The Norwegian fjords are like their own planet, complete with gushing waterfalls, towering mountains, and crystal-clear, deep waters. The cruises here are laid back and relaxing, allowing passengers to take in the sights and sounds of Norway’s rural countryside and marvel at the region’s unique flora and fauna.
The ports in Norway span from the charming city of Bergen to the quaint village of Flam (population 400). Beautiful landscape may be found at every turn, but the Geiranger Fjord and the Sognefjord, which reaches halfway to Sweden, offer some of the most breathtaking vistas in Norway.
DREAMING OF THE MALDIVES
FRENCH POLYNESIA CRUISE
French Polynesia is a stunning destination thanks to its clear blue oceans, verdant islands, and powdery white beaches. It’s easy to see why this area is a favorite among cruise-goers. Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Huahine are popular ports of call for cruise ships, but Moorea Island is one of the most beautiful places the ships ever see.
There are both white and black sand beaches on this heart-shaped island that is only 12 miles from Tahiti and is surrounded by a lagoon of turquoise blue Polynesian sea. The heart of the island is dominated by craggy, volcanic peaks that are blanketed in vegetation and peppered with waterfalls.
Snorkeling, seeing pearl and vanilla farms, swimming with stingrays, and scuba diving are just some of the activities available to cruise visitors on the island.
Although though Antarctica accounts for a tenth of Earth’s surface, just about 30,000 people travel there each year. There are thousands of penguins, whales, seals, and birds for tourists to see.
Seeing this white landscape is best done from the comfort of a cruise liner. The South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, which is 1,000 miles long, are common stops on many cruises to the region.
Since Antarctica lacks true ports, notable destinations include the likes of Deception Island, Half Moon Island, and the Lemaire Channel. Depending on weather and the likelihood of a safe journey, plans may be altered.
Larger cruise ships typically include indoor and outdoor viewing areas, while smaller boats typically carry inflatable landing craft so passengers can explore the port. Most cruises to Antarctica set sail from South American cities.
Windjammers in Maine are true to their 19th-century tall-ship heritage in that they rely on the wind for propulsion. The Maine Windjammer Association is a fleet of 13 historic sailing schooners, each of which provides a different cruise experience.
Most of the vessels date back to the early 1900s, and seven of them are officially recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
Penobscot Bay serves as both the starting and ending point for cruises; it is a calm body of water dotted with several islands and flanked by the rough Maine shore on all sides. Because of factors like the weather and the captain’s whim, no two cruises are ever the same.
Weekend vacations to weeklong excursions are available at a cost of about $160 per person, per day. Every windjammer has clean, comfortable cabins and serves tasty meals like the classic lobster bake.
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA CRUISE
A visit to Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of any Alaskan cruise. Although the park is inaccessible by car, cruising is a great opportunity to take in its wild splendor.
Passing through the fjords on a cruise ship is a great way to see the ice cliffs, tidewater glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. When ice breaks off and plops into the ocean, the sound is deafening, and Glacier Bay has more active calving glaciers than any other place on Earth.
Animals as diverse as humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, orcas, sea lions, and more make their homes in this remarkable ecosystem. Although the Alaskan air can be brisk, visitors can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a deck chair with a warm blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.
FRENCH RIVIERA CRUISE
For generations, the French Riviera has been a mecca for artists, and with good reason. The Côte d’Azur is a length of coast in the southeastern region of France that is famous for its glitz, blue waters, and beautiful scenery.
Cities like Nice, Cannes, and Monaco are regular stops for Mediterranean cruises. The French village of Villefranche is a popular vacation spot. Passengers from the mega-yachts anchor in the town’s deep port and take tender boats into town.
This lovely village, perched precariously on a slope above the port, looks like it was frozen in time around the 14th century. Notable sights include the 16th-century Citadel, which now serves as city hall and many museums, and the Chapelle St. Pierre, which features works by artist Jean Cocteau.
DOUBTFUL SOUND, NEW ZEALAND CRUISE
The South Island of New Zealand is home to Fiordland (or Fiordlands, as the Kiwis name it) National Park, a protected area that is widely recognized for its natural beauty. Named the “Switzerland of the South Pacific” for its towering peaks and plethora of species, this area has earned its reputation. Several films, notably “The Lord of the Rings,” have used it as a setting.
One of the greatest ways to see the national park is on a cruise through Doubtful Sound. The journey from Lake Manapouri to Doubtful Sound takes around 45 minutes by boat, and then another 30 minutes by bus across Wilmot Pass, New Zealand’s toughest sub-alpine tourist route.
The Fiordland Navigator, a 70-passenger sailing yacht with individual cabins, a dining space, and full food service, is used for overnight excursions by Real Journeys, a reputable local firm.
Doubtful Sound is home to unique wildlife such as bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and the Fiordland Crested Penguin. The Fiordland Navigator anchors daily so that passengers can kayak through the many inlets and bays. There are other options for shorter, daylong cruises.