For an incredible combination of the futuristic and the iconic, it’s hard to beat Tokyo. Although many travel writers choose to focus on the glass and neon that have long defined Tokyo as a sort of space age hub for thrills, the truth is that this pioneering city has more historical prestige than you might have imagined.
This enduring contrast is what makes one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. The Meiji Shrine is undoubtedly the most serene spot in Tokyo, and it’s just a walk from the centre of the city. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a lush, green space cloistered just minutes away from narrow streets and markets. Of course, if you’re feeling less reverent of the past, that classic cityscape is sure to thrill you time and time again.
I’m sure you’re tempted to think that you need sun, sea and sand to make a good cruise destination. Juneau, however, sets out to disprove that with a wintry climate which makes it more of a beautiful destination than a rugged one. Although Alaska is known as a haven for hikers, expedition lovers, and thrill seekers, it’s equally revered for its unbelievable landscapes and wilderness – even without strapping on your hiking boots, you can still experience the very best that Juneau has to offer.
From the centre of the smallest state capital you can see epic mountains, widespread forests, and glaciers while in the comfort of a perfect slice of Americana. It’s the unique nature of the town that makes Juneau such a beautiful destination, not to mention the feeling of being surrounded by natural wonder at every single turn.
Wellington, New Zealand
Another little capital, New Zealand’s finest port has a laidback atmosphere, a unique landscape and an exciting inner city vibe which is an absolute pleasure to explore (despite the one way system). The golden sands of Inner City Bay, however, mean that you get a city break which is nevertheless of huge benefit to your tan.
The cultural scene is booming in Wellington, but make sure to not miss out on the stellar views. The Makara track is a 6 km loop which runs around Wellington and is ideal for getting to see the natural beauty which surround the city. By taking the route which passes by the wild sea coast, you can get to see ancient Maori temples and Makara beach, a massive stretch of gloriously untouched sands begging to be explored. Chic bars, fascinating museums and a vibrant dining scene serve to complement the beautiful destination which is Wellington.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Situated at the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is a beach paradise which won’t have you wading your way through the crowds or fighting for a sun lounger. At just over 1,100 acres, Punta Cana is intimate, yet you’ll never feel like you’re in small region – the landscape is so expansive that you’ll let that worry, and all the others slide.
It’s a wonderful alternative to the more popular resorts throughout the Caribbean. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be finding yourself in the midst of the Dominican Republic’s finest townships, including Santo Domingo.
If reading about Juneau whet your appetite for more icy escapes, then look no further than Oslo. This stunningly cosmopolitan city is embraced by what is known locally as the Oslofjord, a lush green valley that leads into the port proper.
Since the 1960’s Oslo has been known as one of the most beautiful destinations in Scandinavia, attracting sightseers and thrill seekers from all over Europe. Make sure to visit Marinarium for the irresistible chance to swim with nurse sharks and sting rays.