5 of the Best Routes for Cruising
There are many places that you can visit on a cruise ship; in fact there are relatively few coastal locations that are inaccessible these days, giving cruise lovers a bit of a headache when it comes to choosing the itinerary for their next trip. Whether you have traveled on many cruise ships over the years or are planning your first such vacation, the following list may be of some help. I have chosen the 5 routes that I think have the most to offer, and in each case, explained why I think they are worth considering.
1. Greek Isles
With the Far East, Australia, Alaska and the Caribbean all vying for your attention when you browse the selection of cruise itineraries, you may wonder why I would include this area in my top five. However, anybody that has actually been on a trip around the Greek Isles in a luxury liner will not be wondering if I have taken leave of my senses. Even with all the other options available today, the fantastic weather, beautiful scenery and ancient culture that can be enjoyed when cruising the waters of the Aegean still make this route an absolute must on any serious short list.
Photo credit: David Pedler
This is a country that everybody should visit at least once in their lifetime, and more often if they get the chance. With the rapid industrialization of countries across the globe that started in the Victorian age and is still happening in some agrarian societies, there are far fewer unspoiled locations for 21st century tourists to explore than there were for their predecessors. Australia is one of the exceptions: owing to its vast size, there are plenty of pristine areas that you can explore on shore excursions when cruising around the country.
Photo credit: Paul Bica
3. French Polynesia
More particularly, the Society Islands, which form part of this overseas territory of France. Any holiday that starts and finishes on a luxury cruise ship in Papeete Harbour, Tahiti, is sure to be special. Much has been written about the idyllic lifestyle enjoyed by islanders in the South Pacific so I will not repeat it here. All I will say is, if you do not appreciate getting soaked to the skin on a daily basis, you should avoid visiting this part of the world during the months of December and January, when the monsoon season really starts to live up to its name.
Photo credit: Pierre Lesage
Just over a week may not be enough time to really get to grips with the culture and cuisine of this fascinating nation but it is certainly long enough for a good taster. Tokyo, Nayoga, Kobe and Kagoshima are some of the most interesting ports of call on Japanese packages of this length and all are included in many cruise itineraries. Kobe, being both the place where the delicious beef dish of the same name originated and home to Arima Onsen, a famous hot spring resort, is one of the highlights of such trips, in my opinion.
Photo credit: oisa
My favorite itineraries in this part of the world are those that focus on Norway, its beautiful fjords and some of the Arctic islands which come under the administration of the Kingdom of Norway. Spitsbergen is one such island and the settlement of Ny-Ålesund, which is in one of the most northerly locations of any permanent settlement in the world, can be found here. Cruise ships that ply their trade in the area often visit this port and give passengers the opportunity to explore this island of mountains and ice.
Photo credit: Tunde Pecsvari