While a week or two spent cruising in the Med can be a fantastic holiday, sometimes something a little more special and unique is in order. Whether celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or simply feel that it’s time you really treated yourself, why not consider ticking off one of those must-see destinations that’s long been on your bucket list? If you’re not sure where that might take you, have a look at our favourite five cruises for your bucket list.
Alaska cannot be compared to anywhere else in the world; its raw and dramatic landscape will inspire you to explore every inch of its natural beauty. Travelling here by cruise gives you the opportunity to explore the wonders of the deep blue ocean and the rugged delights hidden inland. With sailing routes delving deep into the Inside Passage, past glaciers, waterfalls, and through winding fjords, you can visit the unspoilt and uncrowded treasures of the region.
A true highlight of an Alaskan cruise is gliding through the Inside Passage. Huge glaciers have carved the way for deep blue fjords filled with icy indigo waters, in which you’ll find some of the most spectacular wildlife in the world. This network of winding passages weaves its way from south eastern Alaska, through British Columbia, to the State of Washington.
Set sail with Princess Cruises for an award-winning Alaskan itineraries and superb add-on stays including the fantastic and innovative Denali Treehouse.
This Far Eastern mecca feels more like a different planet than an archipelago of volcanic islands. What makes it bucket-list worthy is the fascinating fusion of sacred Japanese traditions and futuristic modern living. Tokyo is the starting point for many cruises; astonishing and spellbinding, this metropolis offers an insight into an adrenaline-fuelled neon future. More traditional cities such as Kyoto showcase the country’s heritage with no less than 17 UNESCO-listed historical monuments and over 1,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.
Cruise and stay packages are the perfect way to explore Japan. One of our most popular packages even offers the chance to meet some adorable Snow Monkeys. You’ll enjoy an unforgettable tour to Nijo Castle, Mount Fuji Hakone Mountains, and Jigokudani Monkey Park. The monkeys completely disregard their human watchers so you can observe them playing, and even swimming in the pools.
Nowhere is more deserving of a feature on a bucket list than Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. This volcanic archipelago is a hot-spot of natural activity and evolution, leaving endless explorations to be had. The unspoilt landscape is home to many unique animals including the Galápagos giant tortoise, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and lava lizards. What makes these animals so special is Darwin’s theory that because of their segregation from other members of their species, the residents of the islands have followed their own evolutionary paths.
The wildlife isn’t the only alluring quality of the islands. Its volcanic history has created a lunar landscape, due to a series of volcanic eruptions that have created new land that was unseen in Darwin’s time.
The perfect way to hop through these diverse and captivating islands is on a cruise. Sail on Celebrity Xpedition as one of just 100 guests, and experience this incredible part of the world.
4. The Rhine in Flames
One of the longest and most important rivers in Europe, the Rhine weaves its way through six countries, from its source in the Swiss Alps to the North Sea. Enchanting castles stand proud on the hilltops, steep vineyards overlook the water, and lush forests fill the banks of this winding wonderland. The only thing that can add to a magical cruise here is a festival. An event that has enticed people annually for more than 50 years, the answer to this is the brilliant Rhine in Flames.
During the festival many events take place during the day in all the riverside towns and cities of Germany, but the real highlight happens after dark. The sky lights up with a kaleidoscope of colours bursting in the air in a magical firework display, above the glistening river to the sound of music. Other festive events include wine tasting, boat parades, and local parties. Take a look at our guide to cruising the River Rhine for more information.
5. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix & Cruise
The combination of a relaxing cruise and the fast-paced action of the F1 Grand Prix is an experience not to be missed. Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi hosts over-the-top-extravagance and no-expenses-spared furnishings. It is believed that this is the most expensive Formula1 track ever built, at a staggering cost of almost $1 billion. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix brings the racing season to an end, and there are always plenty of ‘edge of your seat-worthy’ moments. You can spend the whole weekend immersed in the action, or simply join in with the buzz of race day.
Many Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cruises give you the opportunity to explore the delights of the Middle East and Asia. During these you can explore the dazzling delights of the Emirates, Oman, and Jordan, which offer a fascinating fusion of desert sands, modern architecture, and sacred traditions.