Street art, incredible surf, world-famous landmarks… a Southern Hemisphere cruise is the ideal way to tour beautiful cities on the far side of the world during the colder months back home. You can even see a few urban hotspots on a single voyage, with no need to pack and unpack during your journey.
Today we’re taking a look at the most impressive towns and cities waiting for you to discover in the Caribbean and the Southern Hemisphere on your next cruise holiday.
Meaning “Fair Winds”, Buenos Aires is a hugely popular port of call on South American itineraries and Southern Hemisphere cruises. This cosmopolitan cultural hub is best seen with a city stay before you cruise – giving you the chance to tour the Evita Museum, visit traditional Gaucho ranchers in the Pampas region, and even take a Tango class with the masters.
World-class clubs and restaurants, a thriving arts and music scene and some of the most beautiful sunny surroundings in the world. It’s impossible not to like Sydney, and with so many iconic landmarks, inviting shops and bucket list adventures to enjoy (climbing Harbour Bridge or hugging a koala, anyone?) this lively city makes the perfect place to begin an adventure in the wider Pacific.
Rio de Janeiro
The carnival capital is another popular destination on Southern Hemisphere cruises, and offers some spectacular sightseeing in the form of Sugarloaf Mountain and the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Rio is also Brazil’s cultural capital, with more than fifty museums to explore during your time here.
Water sports and eco tours by kayak are just a couple of the adventures open to you during a visit to St John’s in the Caribbean. The capital of Antigua and Barbuda, St John’s is home to a great selection of boutiques and shopping malls as well as natural and historic sightseeing – from Fort James and the Botanical Garden to the bright towers of the cathedral.
If there’s one thing that Valparaiso stands out for, it’s street art. Dancers, skeletons, animals and superstars cover the walls of homes and shops in vivid colours all across the city, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to see the best of the bunch with a guided city tour.
Dwarfed by the dramatic cloud-cloaked Table Mountain at its back, Cape Town is a fantastic destination to escape the colder nights and darker days back home. Relax on the beach or by the waterfront, take a trip up to the heights in a cable car, or see the local flora and penguin colony with a visit to the National Botanical Garden or Table Mountain National Park.
As the capital of the gorgeous Bahamas, it’ll come as no surprise that there are plenty of tourist attractions in beautiful Nassau. Here you’ll find sprawling modern resorts, historic forts, stunning beaches and old-world colonial beauty… and even tropical gardens and a museum dedicated to the region’s pirating past.
New Zealand’s largest city is something of a yachting capital, and boasts a great choice of surfing hotspots if you’re looking for an active adventure ashore. Surrounded by beautiful Tolkienesque countryside and home to a high concentration of arts, comedy and music festivals, this is a hugely popular destination on voyages in the Southern Hemisphere.
Striking the perfect balance between visitor-friendly attractions and secluded paradise surroundings, Gustavia is home to historic forts and some achingly beautiful beaches – and gives you the perfect chance to dive beneath the waves on a scuba adventure. Look out for submarine tours too, and a fantastic choice of fine dining all across wider St Barts.
Uruguay’s bustling capital city is brimming with culture, with a choice of beautiful classical architecture ranging from the Solis Theatre to the Palacio Salvo and Taranco. Look out in particular for the stately Estevez Palace and the National Museum of Visual Arts, making this the perfect place for keen culture lovers. Montevideo is a great choice on Southern Hemisphere cruises, with a warm summertime temperatures around January when it’s cold and dark back home.
The city of Cairns in Australia is characterised by its bright modern architecture, and offers its visitors a fantastic choice of shopping and dining out if you’re looking to escape the winter blues. Cairns is also the gateway to one of the most spectacular natural sights you’ll find on a Southern Hemisphere cruise – the Great Barrier Reef.
If one place epitomises the laid-back charm of the Caribbean, it’s Willemstad on Curacao. The buildings here are painted in shades so bright they seem almost neon – and the relaxed market and clear love of music here make this a wonderful place to escape to on your next Southern Hemisphere cruise.
Not exactly a bustling modern city, but Machu Picchu is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions for travellers on Southern Hemisphere cruises. The climate may not match the Caribbean, and the high overgrown mountains here are often cloaked in cloud – but the chance to see the magnificent lost city of the Incas is undoubtedly a travel experience that will stay with you for life.
Known as the most southerly city in the world, Punta Arenas is the gateway for many expedition cruises setting sail for the silent icy beauty of Antarctica. The local penguin colonies are the big attraction here, and while the wild rugged landscape may be chilly, this is the perfect time of year to experience the far limits of South America and even the frozen continent on an unforgettable Southern summer adventure.
The paradise capital of American Samoa, the city of Pago Pago is a world away from, well, everything. Southern Hemisphere cruises sailing into the South Pacific can take you to some jaw-droppingly beautiful destinations like Bora Bora and Tahiti, but it’s the rolling green hills, rich blue waters and visitor-friendly attractions of Pago Pago that have many travellers deciding to up and leave their grim grey Northern winter behind.
We have a fantastic choice of Southern Hemisphere cruises that can take you to destinations enjoying the height of summer from December to March. Call our Cruise Concierge free on 0808 1234 118 and find out how we can cancel winter for you in 2014 and 2015.
Images courtesy of RayandBee, Kotaro and NP of American Samoa; Wikimedia Commons.