Top 8 Bucket List Cruises You Really Should Try

If you’re looking for the ultimate vacation experience, the world can be boundless, particularly when you imagine yourself exploring it by ship. World cruises are at the top of many people’s bucket lists but what about particular destinations?

There are seven continents and seven seas waiting for you to explore and cruising is a fantastic way to experience all that’s on offer, but where to head first? To help with your quest, here is a selection of eight iconic cruises that anyone serious about exploring the world should do at least once.

1. Antarctica

The best time to visit Antarctica is between November and March and you’ll find several cruise lines to choose from for your Antarctic voyage. 

This cruise is entirely different from any others on the list or any you might have already taken. The beauty you’ll experience firsthand is unparalleled. It includes landscapes of stark cliffs, towering icebergs, and majestic glaciers that are best explored by ship.

Pick the right cruise line and you may be able to enhance your experience even further with the help of zodiac boats, kayaks, submarines, and helicopters.  

2. Galapagos Islands

Mention the Galapagos Islands and most people think of Charles Darwin and his famous book “The Origin of Species”. He only visited the islands for five weeks, but what he experienced was an inspiration.

You can cruise the Galapagos Islands any time of the year and you’ll find cruise lines offer a range of choices from one-week itineraries to multi-day land extensions that include Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Urubamba. 

These islands, which are located approximately 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are a wonderland for animal and nature lovers. A cruise around the islands is the best way to uncover their secrets.

Take the opportunity to explore and you’ll get up close with a myriad of wildlife including sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, penguins, and finches. 

3. The Mediterranean

Many would-be cruisers head for the Med because it promises sunshine and allows you to work up a tan. But that’s not all a Mediterranean cruise has to offer. 

The best time to head to the Med is between April and November, but if you don’t like crowds, May to August is best avoided as some ports can be overrun with tourists. 

A western cruise itinerary will encompass Greece, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. An eastern-focused cruise will drop you at Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Israel, and visit the Holy Land. 

4. Japan and China

Take a cruise to Japan and China and you’ll be able to walk on the Great Wall and enjoy cherry blossoms. Other experiences you’ll get to enjoy include:

  • Tokyo, Japan’s capital city
  • Shinkansen Train that travels at bullet speed
  • Hakone National Park
  • Kyoto’s geisha culture
  • Ming Dynasty-era gardens in Shanghai

The best time to visit is in the Spring, between March and May. Alternatively, try Autumn, from September to November, when Japan is at its most vibrant. 

5. The Baltics and Northern Europe

For the more curious among you, this part of the world has a lot to offer. There is a kaleidoscope of ancient histories, artistic traditions, cultures, and languages to learn. Cruising is the perfect way to experience it all at a sensible price. 

The go-to Baltic destination used to be St. Petersburg, Russia, but it’s been replaced by ports such as Helsinki in Finland, Visby in Gotland, and Gdansk in Poland. 

The best time to visit used to be July and August, but you’ll find plenty of choices between late April and September. If you want to witness the midnight sun, June is the time to travel. This is when the days are bathed in sunshine and last almost 24 hours. 

6. Luxury Transatlantic Crossing

How about adding a dream voyage across the Atlantic to your bucket list of cruises? There are some elegant liners that will provide an unforgettable and romantic experience for your journey from New York City to England or vice versa.

Cunard, for example, has been crossing the Atlantic for almost 200 years. You’ll get to experience the glamorous side of cruising during your 7-day escape from everyday life.  

7. Cruise on the Nile

If you long to see the great pyramids of Egypt, a Nile River cruise is one of the best ways to make your dream come true. 

Make sure to include a few pre-cruise days so you’ll have time to explore Cairo before flying to Luxor and then cruising to Aswan over several days. There is bound to be a selection of excursions that offer opportunities to visit Egypt’s most beautiful historic sights. 

8. Amazon

No bucket list would be complete without an adventurous Amazon River cruise. Your cruise might include a daily excursion to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve where you can spot sloths, monkeys, macaws, pink dolphins, and toucans.

Other must-do experiences include visits to local indigenous villages where you’ll get to taste some regional cuisine and local culture.     

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