Top 5 destinations for a cruise with a difference

Wednesday, 13 June 2014 2:58 PM

When it comes to luxury cruise holidays, it's likely the destinations that immediately spring to mind are the Caribbean, the US and the Mediterranean. But there are some less frequented regions that offer a truly unique cruise experience - so consider one of the following for your next break.

1) Antarctica

Arctic Circle cruises are pretty well-known, but you might not be aware that you can also set sail for Antarctica on the other side of the world. These cruises typically depart from South America and try to enable passengers to see as much of the unique wildlife in Antarctica as possible.

Itineraries will usually depend on a number of outside factors, especially the weather, but popular stops on Antarctica cruises include Paradise Harbour, Deception Island, Petermann Island and Wilhelmina Bay. You might spot seals, penguins, albatrosses and creatures that normally spend much of their time under the sea.

2) The Middle East

Some areas of the Middle East are more visited on cruise holidays than others, such as Egypt. However, that doesn't mean the rest of the region isn't worth exploring. If you want to learn more about this culturally-rich part of the world, you can choose from itineraries that see your ship dock in countries as diverse as Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen and Oman.

There's also the United Arab Emirates to consider. Aside from the perennially popular Dubai, destinations of note include Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, which is situated on the gulf of Oman. You'll be able to laze on golden beaches, explore souks and mosques, and generally immerse yourself in a completely different culture.

3) Alaska

Many US cruises head to the sunny climes of Florida and similar locations, but Alaska is well worth considering for a holiday with a difference. The state features some gloriously icy scenery and an abundance of wildlife - imagine seeing whales gliding through the water or eagles soaring overhead as you travel along the stunning Alaskan coastline.

Cruises to Alaska usually begin elsewhere on the west coast of North America, with typical departure ports including Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. These itineraries provide a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of two countries, so consider Alaskan cruises if you're fascinated by this part of the world.

4) Far East

It's easy to think that countries in eastern Asia are much too far away to cruise to, but it's possible to enjoy a typical two-week break here by booking a fly-cruise. Of course, if you have more time (and money) on your hands, you can embark on the ultimate adventure and spend several months touring the region as part of an unforgettable world cruise.

You'll be able to see some of the world's greatest sights by cruising to the Far East. Your itinerary could include stops in Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali and multiple destinations in Malaysia and Vietnam, making for a truly varied holiday.

5) Pacific islands

If you're now intrigued by the idea of a long-haul cruise, the islands of the Pacific could offer more options for you to consider. You'll be able to enjoy some stunning ocean scenery and see a host of historic attractions as you sail between destinations such as Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.

This type of cruise is perfect if you love beaches, water sports and exotic surroundings, so think about booking this kind of holiday if you're searching for a viable alternative to more traditional Mediterranean or Caribbean cruises.

Top 5 up and coming cruise destinations

Top 5 up and coming cruise destinations

Choosing where to take a cruise holiday is no easy decision, but if you're looking for somewhere a little bit different for your getaway, read our guide to the top five up and coming destinations to sail to and you could find yourself on a trip of a lifetime.

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Disney cruises are ideal for young families

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