Five Scenic Cruises You May Not Have Thought About
You may associate cruises with being stuck on a gigantic ship in the middle of the ocean with views of only water and the horizon. If you seek luxury and ease of travel, but yearn for spectacular scenery, read on to discover five scenic cruises that will take your breath away.
The Norwegian Fjords
For those who love nature at its wildest, there is no better place to set sail to than the fjords of Norway. Huge ships appear microscopic amongst the humongous mountains, cascading waterfalls and vast amounts of water, as you peacefully drift up and down the unusual gouges in the landscape. Hop off to visit the picturesque towns of Bergen and Flam, hike up a mountain or catch a train to a dramatic view point where you can peer down at your cruise ship.
Skip the usual destinations further east in the Indian Ocean, and take a cruise around the Madagascan shoreline to discover the boldly diverse scenery of the African island. As you sail past the nearby islands and catch your first glimpse of Madagascar, you will spot towering volcanoes, dense forests, idyllic beaches and tranquil coral reefs teaming with colourful sea life. Ensure that you hop off the boat to explore the expansive island in more depth and discover its vibrant wildlife and tropical rainforests.
For a truly serene experience that very few people will ever discover, book onto a cruise to the world’s most southerly land mass. Whilst there are very little opportunities to depart the ship, with the exception of tours on smaller inflatable boats, the scenery will more than make up for this. As you drift amongst huge white icebergs and spectacular snow-covered landscapes that contrast beautifully with the azure sea, there will be ample opportunities to spot wildlife including whales, penguins and elephant seals.
One of the most important national parks and marine reserves in the world, the Galapagos Islands and their surrounding waters are home to a vast amount of endemic animals. Sail for over 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador to take in the views of volcanoes, isolated beaches and unexpected rocky structures jutting out from the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled to spot unusual wildlife, including giant tortoises, sunbathing iguanas, penguins, a variety of whales and Darwin’s famous finches.
Located in the Fjordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, nothing can prepare you for the impressive landscape of Milford Sound. Named ‘The World’s Top Travel Destination’ in 2008 and dubbed ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’ by Rudyard Kipling, the Sound is surrounded by steep rock faces and scattered with towering waterfalls. Untouched by modern civilisation, the dramatic landscape is somewhat humbling as your boat sails close to the cliffs and plummeting water as the Sound narrows. The still and reflective waters of the Sound make for perfect photography opportunities.
Still confused about which cruise to take? Check our the Wise Traveller Top 7 Tips to Selecting A Cruise.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.