Big ships, balcony staterooms, fine dining, cocktails by the pool, and exploring fun and exotic destinations are just some of the many alluring elements of which today’s cruising experience offers. Some cruise fans, however, are looking for an adventure or a trip with a difference, but whatever your reasons for looking for a unique cruise holiday, there are plenty of options. Here are some to consider:
Antarctica is a wilderness of ‘another world’ that can only be reached easily by ship. During a short southern hemisphere summer season, cruise travellers can enjoy its many wonders from the decks of a variety of expedition ships, which push through ice floes with ease, placing guests on the doorstep of the white continent. It’s a cruise of wonderment, offering a landscape of spectacular iceberg sculptures and glacier calvings, encounters with Gentoo penguins, spotting seals, whales and seabirds and more.
Tahiti by freighter
Travel to Tahiti and it’s easy to see why Captains Bligh and Cook, and the French painter Paul Gauguin, fell deeply in love with this fascinating archipelago. Idyllic islands, a warm ambience, colourful coral reefs, sacred Polynesian sites and pristine beaches are just a few things on the menu. You can cruise Tahiti on mainstream cruise ships; however, more intrepid travellers may prefer the Aranui 3, a mixed passenger/cargo ship, which operates between Tahiti and the remote Marquesas Islands, carrying 200 passengers and delivering essential supplies to the islands.
Cruise the Artic in winter and you’ll have a chance to see the aurora borealis, or the northern lights as they’re more commonly known. It’s one of nature’s most spectacular shows. While in the warmer months, you can enjoy other alluring experiences, such as cruising the dramatic Norwegian Fjords, and encountering the wildlife with the mighty ‘kings of the arctic’ – polar bears. There are a growing number of cruise lines venturing here, with itineraries featuring offbeat destinations, including Iceland, Greenland and Norway.
A transatlantic crossing
Hop aboard Queen Mary 2 for one of the world’s iconic voyages between Southampton and New York. Today, it’s a wonderful opportunity to relive a bygone adventure in the modern era on a week-long, no-ports crossing, as well as being arguably the most romantic way to arrive in the Big Apple. Queen Mary 2 is one of the largest passenger liners ever built, but her season of transatlantic crossings routinely sells out months in advance, so plan well ahead for this trip of a lifetime.
Venice and the Po River
A cruise here is a wonderful change of pace, as well as an opportunity see the magical city of Venice and its canals, as great voyagers once did. Uniworld’s River Countess is one option for this trip – a modern riverboat that meanders along the Grand Canal offering many sights to savour, including the dramatic Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces and the bridges that cross the waterways. Elsewhere on the Po River other highlights include Padua, the grand city of Ravenna, Bologna, and the scenic city of Verona.
This is a cruise with a difference, which makes for a relaxing, casual and yet invigorating high seas holiday. On a typical voyage you’ll discover the ancient sites, bays, coves and harbours of Turkey, Greece and Italy, following in the footsteps of mariners and traders from history. You’ll also cruise in style, as there is plenty of choice when it comes to gulets – traditional Turkish boats, that can host groups from two to 24 people, with options for master, double or twin cabins.
To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au.