Seven of the best, most picturesque cruise ports on the planet.
Thinking of taking a cruise holiday? While amenities and entertainment on board are a big part of the fun, sometimes it’s pulling into port that really brings an enchanting touch of travel magnificence.
1. Venice, Italy
Both up close and from afar, the majestic appeal of Venice is hard to dispute. The port here – Stazione Marittima – is one of the busiest in the region, and sits adjacent to the town’s historic district. When pulling in make sure you have your camera out; the views of the buildings, palazzos and canals are hard to beat. And if you’re staying on the canals, you can splurge and treat yourself to a private boat transfer from the port right up to your hotel dock.
2. Hong Kong
Combine the green hilltops of Victoria Peak with impressive high-rise skyscrapers, and you get the wonderment of Hong Kong. At night, the city becomes a neon dazzler, making it a spectacular time to arrive. The harbour has two main ports – Ocean Terminal, which drops you right at Tsim Sha Tsui, and Kai Tak, which sits on the east side of Kowloon Bay and features a rooftop garden with beautiful views.
3. New York City, US
It’s difficult to pass up the appeal of the Big Apple’s skyline on one side and the towering Statue of Liberty on the other. In New York, most big ships will pull into the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in the neighbourhood’s west, meaning it’s just a short skip and jump to the heart of the city. Others will leave you at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, right across from Governors Island.
4. Santorini, Greece
Rugged mountain cliffs, whitewashed houses and the blue rooftops of Santorini make this pulling-into-port journey unforgettable. The cruise port at Santorini, Skala, is located at the foot of the Caldera Cliffs, and you’ll need to take tenders to reach land. From Skala, it’s also possible to ascend to the top of the cliffs, either by cable car or a mule ride – highly recommended for the marvellous views.
5. Salvador, Brazil
If you’re looking for an alternative to the bustling craze of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, just a little further up the coast, is a brilliant cruise stop. Once you get past the more modern aspects of the city’s buildings, you’ll find that Portuguese colonial history is rich here, and the city acts as a wonderful gateway to the Bay of All Saints and the Bahia region in general.
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Few things in life are more beautiful than arriving by ship at Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. You’ll either arrive by ship at the famous bay, where you can transfer onto a tender, or at Grus Port, in the historical area. Either way, orange-roofed stone buildings, tree-topped cliffs and azure waters are set to welcome you.
7. Stockholm, Sweden
You don’t really need an excuse to add the colourful city of Stockholm to your Baltic cruise itinerary, but that’s not to say that coming into port at this city isn’t an incredible introduction. On their way in, ships must navigate the dense archipelago of Stockholm, bringing views of islands, islets, greenery and quaint cottages along the way.
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