Cruises to places like the Bahamas and the Caribbean are a dime a dozen. To get the most for your money, consider a cruise destination that isn’t the typical choice of the masses. There are a few you may never have thought of, that you owe it to yourself to check out. Here are five overlooked cruise destinations:
European River Cruises
The rivers of Europe are likely not the first option for those just getting into cruising. Yet taking a river boat tour of Europe is an outside the box way to take a traditional vacation. You can travel across France on Avalon Waterways or float through Germany on Viking, the options are endless. See some of the world’s most famous cities like Paris, Budapest, Amsterdam, Munich and more. Rivers like the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Douro and more are your pathway to an infusion of culture and adventure in your life. Many river cruise lines place a special emphasis on an extravagant culinary experience to go along with entertaining and informative shore excursions.
The Canary Islands are the ideal spot for long, lazy days far away from the grind of daily life. A tiny archipelago off the western coast of Africa, the Canary Islands were colonized by the Spanish and their cultural influences remain prevalent all over the islands. A subtropical climate and fantastic volcanic geologic formations to explore makes the island chain a hidden gem cruise destination. The largest island, Tenerife, is where you’ll port, but make sure you spend time exploring the smaller islands for a truly serene experience.
If seeing the beauty of the world is important to you, then might we suggest America’s wildest state; Alaska. Taking in breathtaking landscapes from a ship is an experience you’ll never forget. Book a trip with a major line like Princess Cruises and you will spend days exploring the state’s Inside Passage which spans from the mainland to Alaska’s southern islands. You will depart from Vancouver, Canada and spend a at sea before delightful afternoon in Juneau. For a taste of local culture, explore the many fascinating museums highlighting the region’s gold rush history and more. Whether you go hiking, shopping or fishing, you’ll experience life like the locals do in the great outdoors. Stops along the way like Skagway or Ketchikan are can’t-miss as well.
The Galapagos Islands are among the many overlooked cruise destinations mostly because they’re located way out in the Southern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. Made famous by Charles Darwin and his fabulous finches, the Galapagos are home to flora and fauna you literally cannot see anywhere else. Their distance from the rest of the world over millions of years of evolution spun a fascinating story of life and change. Smaller adventure cruise ships are what get you close to the wildlife and have all the fun excursion toys to make your trip a lot more fun.
One of the most interesting cruises someone could take is one that navigates the Panama Canal. Know as repositioning cruises because the ship is moving from one region of the world to another, Panama Canal crossings needs to be on every cruiser’s bucket list. First opened in 1914, the canal is an engineering marvel which connects Panama City and Colon with a continuous waterway. Locks along the way regulate the water levels for a safe passage all the way through.
RELATED: What is a Repositioning Cruise?
If you’re looking for some overlooked and underrated cruise vacations, try some of the ones above and let us know what you think in the comments below!