Everything looks different from the deck of a cruise ship – and that includes Mother Nature. Cruise ships reach into areas far off the beaten path, offering scenes we might otherwise never see. And the kind of entertainment you get onboard a cruise is unparalleled, from yoga for the health freaks to goth bands for the music lovers, from wildlife watching for nature lovers to Star Wars parties for the party freaks, the options are just countless.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best cruises around the world.
Aqua Expeditions’ Aria Amazon sails through the Peruvian rain forest, with visits to indigenous villages and a chance to fish for piranha. Onboard, menus celebrate local fare with ceviche, river fish, and hearts of palm salad.
2. Norwegian Fjords
With cascading waterfalls, majestic mountains, and clear, deep waters, the Norwegian fjords are a world of their own. Cruises here are peaceful and unhurried, offering guests the chance to relish the natural beauty, regional wildlife and rural countryside of Norway.
The Zambezi Queen sails the Chobe River, which borders Botswana and Namibia, year-round. You’ll see a menagerie of animals along the banks of Chobe National Park, home to the highest density of elephants in Africa.
Antarctica covers one-tenth of the world’s surface, yet only 30,000 tourists visit this vast continent each year. Visitors are privy to an abundance of wildlife, including thousands of penguins, whales, seals, and birds. The best way to view this snow-covered wilderness is from the warmth and safety of a cruise ship.
Lounging on pillows stuffed with Egyptian cotton on the top deck of Nour El Nil’s Meroë, you’ll feel like a modern-day pharaoh as you journey past date palms, ibis, and the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo.
6. French Polynesia
Crystal blue waters, lush green islands, and white sand beaches — the combination is breathtaking in French Polynesia. Cruise ships often stop at ports like Tahiti, Bora Bora and Huahine, but one of the most scenic destinations is Moorea Island. Just 12 miles from Tahiti, this heart-shaped island is encircled by a lagoon of azure blue Polynesian sea, and has both white and black sand beaches.
The 62-passenger Crystal Espirit, the first yacht from this famed luxury line, spends winters at these Indian Ocean islands. Release baby turtles into the surf and admire the giant coco-de-mer palms.