Cruising from Australia is convenient and a fantastic, relaxing holiday - but after a few idyllic sojourns in the South Pacific, some cruisers might feel the pull of the big, wide world. There are some amazing destinations out there offering different things to what you'll find in our corner of the globe, and you can find an international adventure right here amongst our range of global cruises.
There are plenty of places you can see from the comfort of a cruise ship - especially taking into account expedition cruises, river cruises and other adventures. However, there are a few spots which tailor themselves naturally to an amazing cruise holiday. Here are some favourite international cruising grounds to try!
Leading the world in terms of cruise traffic is the Caribbean, and those who have been there will know it's no wonder it’s such a popular destination. Stretching between North, Central and South America, this sea is a wonderland of island nations, with ports ranging from bustling tropical cities to scarcely inhabited paradises.
With ships leaving from major US ports like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Galveston, as well as more local spots such as San Juan, in the Caribbean, is easy to access for international travellers. Just about any cruise line you could wish to book offers cruises there, so you'll be spoilt for choice - particularly during the high season between December and March.
There are far too many wonderful places around the vast Caribbean to cover them all. Here are a few of the most popular spots!
- The Bahamas is a solid favourite, and it's not far from Florida so those who want a short Caribbean cruise can see it in just a few days. The iconic Atlantis Paradise Island resort is a landmark of the region, there are plenty of wonderful beaches, shopping and dining opportunities galore and a fascinating piratical history.
- St Maarten/St Martin is an island split between two nations, half Dutch and half French. This means a lovely mix of architecture, heritage and language to be explored and experienced, all in an idyllic Caribbean island setting.
- Mexico's Caribbean coast provides some mainland adventure on the Yucatan Peninsula. Soak up the celebratory atmosphere in Cancun, or enjoy the natural attractions in and around Cozumel.
- Honduras, and specifically Roatan, is a spectacular destination for those who like diving and snorkelling. The Caribbean's largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, lies just offshore and teems with marine life.
- Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan are a cosmopolitan oasis in the region. Get a dose of busy urban excitement here, with diverse dining, lots of retail therapy and endless colour.
These and more wonderful Caribbean cruise ports are awaiting your visit - millions of North Americans can't be wrong now, can they?
With fewer palm trees but more wine and cheese, the Med is Europe's answer to the Caribbean. The enclosed ocean, stretching from Gibraltar in the west to the Holy Land in the east, provides cruisers with an overwhelming variety of sights, sounds, smells, cuisines and cultures. Europe, Africa and the Middle East all border the Mediterranean and add to the medley of wonderful destinations.
If you have a cruise line preference, never fear - most of them offer Mediterranean destinations. Alongside the big international lines like Princess and Royal Caribbean are local operators P&O UK and MSC, as well as many small lines, luxury lines and of course the river cruise ships which ply the waterways of Europe.
Both mainland cities and island towns are counted amongst the many great ports of the Mediterranean, and they are too numerous to count. Here are a few of the countries you might call in to during a Med cruise:
- Italy is a classic Mediterranean cruise destination, very centrally located. It offers some iconic cities to visit - Rome, Venice, Naples and more - along with fantastic food, wine, history, architecture and art. Famous landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum and Saint Mark's Square can be visited during a cruise to Italy.
- France is a hotspot for western Mediterranean itineraries, and the French Riviera has a string of glamorous beachside cities where you can enjoy a cosmopolitan atmosphere as well as some sun and sand.
- Spain's cruise ports include not only mainland delights such as bustling and beautiful Barcelona, but the islands of Ibiza and Majorca where life is laidback and the sun shines on lovely beaches and gorgeous resorts.
- Croatia is a hot favourite amongst holidaymakers of all kinds. The fairytale-looking Dubrovnik is complemented by stunning islands where pale cliffs drop into turquoise waters.
- Greece's best feature is perhaps its myriad islands such as Mykonos and Santorini. These boast the type of whitewashed villages on a cliff that are straight out of the travel books, and the food you can find onshore is to die for.
- Turkey makes for an exciting eastern Mediterranean destination. Ships often visit the amazing history of Istanbul, as well as some more coastal cities and towns which tend more towards the beach resort - but still offer some great Turkish food and culture!
- Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in North Africa are not as commonly frequented by cruises as the previously-mentioned countries, but make for a wonderful experience. The wonderful and colourful sights of Tunis, Algiers and other coastal cities will awaken the senses of any cruiser.
If you can make the trip to the Mediterranean for a memorable cruise holiday, we highly recommend it! It's especially great for anyone who loves a bit of history, or foodies who want to taste the exquisite cuisines of the surrounding continents and nations.
Sure, you can head across the ditch to New Zealand for some stunning fjord scenery - but Alaska has miles upon miles of just such amazing coastlines to an even bigger degree, with glaciers, wildlife and charming towns and cities along the way. It is a hugely popular cruise destination, and a unique one too. The images you'll capture on an Alaska cruise are guaranteed to be postcard worthy!
Princess Cruises are perhaps the most prolific line sailing in Alaska, and they have even set up luxurious onshore wilderness lodges so that cruisers can continue their adventure into the wilds of inland Alaska - these are called cruisetours and are a fantastic way to see the state. Of course, Princess doesn't get to have all the fun for themselves - Holland America, NCL and Celebrity are also commonly spotted in and amongst the fjords, along with plenty of luxury and small-ship lines like Silversea.
There are many Alaskan destinations which different itineraries might visit. Here are some of the most-frequented places in the state to keep an eye out for on your cruise.
- Ketchikan is at the southerly end of the state, often the first call for those departing Vancouver or Seattle. It lies along the Tongass Narrows, in a beautiful setting, and gives access to some wonderful rainforest areas. Don't leave without trying some salmon!
- The Inside Passage is not a stopover but a route between Ketchikan and Juneau which involves some spectacular vistas and often wildlife-spotting too!
- Juneau is the state's capital, straddling the Gastineau Channel and backed by Mt Juneau. It's considered the most beautiful city in Alaska, and is sure to charm passengers with its narrow streets and old storefronts. There are great hiking adventures to be found in the surrounding area.
- Glacier Bay National Park is another scenic cruising spot, where some cruise lines can take you on a visual journey of some of Alaska's most gorgeous coastlines, fjords and glaciers. They are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to yet more wildlife like whales, seals, bears and birds.
- Seward in the north is often at the beginning or end of one-way Alaska cruises, not far from Anchorage where most passengers will fly in. It has some great restaurants and nightlife, and also serves as a gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park should passengers wish to explore further.
If you're considering an international cruise adventure, Alaska is a great choice! It offers something a little different, exchanging beaches and palm trees for unforgettable scenery, pretty towns and interesting wildlife.
If you're inspired by these wonderful faraway cruise destinations, you're in luck - this week is when Cruise Month focuses on international cruising. Take a look at our major sale page and have a browse of what's on offer. You might find the cruise holiday of your dreams!