A cruise is the perfect choice if immersing yourself in some of the world’s most beautiful scenery is what you really like to do on holiday. Think about it. You’ll always have a view of the ocean no matter which luxury cruise line you choose and whatever class of suite you’re staying in, so you’ll be able to drink in many a panoramic coastal vista before you eventually dock.
Speaking of exploring, there are some excellent bespoke excursions on offer from all the luxury lines, from Azamara’s Azamazing Evenings to Regent Seven Seas’ incredible shore experiences, which are all included in your cruise fare. Added to that, owing to their smaller size, some cruise ships are often able to dock in more remote ports of call, giving you more opportunity to experience areas of beauty you otherwise may not have got to see. Here’s a look some of the areas of natural beauty you could visit on a luxury cruise.
The Galapagos Islands
A destination synonymous with fabulous fauna is the Galapagos Islands. This national park and biological marine reserve is home to a huge number of species which you won’t find anywhere else in the world, which makes them a natural go-to destination. Perhaps most famous are the land and marine iguanas – the latter of which is the only iguana which feeds in the sea – and also the Galapagos giant tortoise. It’s not just denizens of the sea which the islands are famous for, as Blue-footed Boobies, Waved Albatross and Great Frigatebirds are all indigenous. A number of cruise lines make island calls, but Silversea’s Silver Galapagos is one ship which offers a particularly immersive experience.
If you’re familiar with the New7Wonders of the World, you may be interested to know that there’s also the New7Wonders of Nature. Obviously, these ‘new’ natural wonders have been around for hundreds and thousands of years but this initiative was a great opportunity for people to rediscover them. One of the most spectacular is Iguazu Falls. This incredible natural wonder lies on the border of Argentina and Brazil and can be best seen if you book a South American cruise and stay, giving you plenty of time to take in some of the 275 drops the falls comprise of. Fringed by lush greenery, they truly are a sight to behold.
When the world’s second-longest river passes through the world’s biggest basin as well a rainforest where a third of all known species of animals in the world live, you know it’s a must for nature-lovers. There are over 3,000 different species of fish alone to be found in the Amazon Basin but the river’s also home to species of dolphin, manatee and otter, too. There are a number of South American and world cruises on offer by lines such as Crystal Cruises which give you the chance to sail this iconic natural waterway for yourself and experience it in all its glory.
The Great Barrier Reef
A number of Australia cruises will give you the opportunity to see for yourself one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the awesome Great Barrier Reef. If your cruise stops at Queensland, you’ll have every opportunity to explore this incredible expanse of over 2,900 different reefs in an area which comprises 133,000 square miles. Many of the species you may encounter here are endemic to the region and there are over 1,500 species of fish living on the reef, making any scuba excursion an utterly memorable experience. There’s also the chance to spot whales and dolphins, as over 30 different species live on the reef, as well as sea turtles and dugongs.
Ha Long Bay
This stunningly-beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations and with good reason. Ha Long Bay’s beautiful waters are attraction enough but when you take into account the thousands of greenery-topped limestone islets which can be found all over the bay and the endemic plant and animal species, they make for a truly breathtaking sight. Even your intimate luxury cruise vessel will be too large to navigate between the smaller islets, but boat excursions are available so that you’ll be able to get a closer look. There’s plenty of history here too, as evidence of prehistoric man has been found in the area.
Expanses don’t really come more awesome than the Arctic and for the more adventurous of nature lovers, a cruise exploring this icy wonderland is the perfect option. The scenery is sure to be nothing short of breathtaking as you sail expansive glacial bays, where soaring snow-capped mountains provide a stunning backdrop. A luxury Arctic cruise can also give you the opportunity to see for yourself one of nature’s most awesome giants – the polar bear – in its natural habitat. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also possible to see reindeer, walrus, seals and whales during your luxury Arctic expedition.
The Aurora Borealis
A completely different kind of natural wonder, in that it’s not on Earth at all, rather above it. The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights as it is most commonly known, is an incredible natural light show and one of the Earth’s most amazing natural sights. Many Arctic and Norwegian fjords cruises take place at a time of year which offers you a great chance of seeing the fantastic display for yourself, though a sighting is never guaranteed. You’re probably most familiar with the green lights, though count yourself as one of the truly privileged if you catch sight of the rarer red or blue lights
Planning your trip
Here at Cruise118, we have a team of expert cruise concierge on hand to help plan every aspect of your trip. With a wealth of destination experience, they’ll be able to find the best cruise for you to see all the landmarks on your bucket list. Just give us a call on 0207 980 2847 for a chat.