Gateways
  • Romancing with sea
  • Date: 2015-10-07

  • Nothing is more soothing than witnessing the spectacular vistas at the deck of a ship amidst the peaceful waves in the lap of sea. No matter what, travelling by any means is always a refreshing experience in itself but watching the world pass by between various destinations from breathtaking islands to captivating shores is something beyond comparison. From a comfy cabin to endless amusing activities for entertainment such as bars, spas, music and dance shows, and a unique set of sport activities, a cruise journey is all about heading for a relaxed vacation.

     

    Each cruise line and destination is full of so many mesmerising experiences that once you are back on the land, the endless sailing reminiscences keep striking back as a beautiful memory like those endless waves knocking the ship now and then. Whether it’s a sail across the fascinating Alaska or the lush green beauty blossoming in tropical backdrops of Hawaii and Bermuda, or cruising in turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean, a journey on cruise in itself is such a splendid experience that the magnificence of the port destinations further lends charismatic kick to the journey. Travel with Style brings you a list of some of the most stunning cruise destinations in the world.

     

     

    Alaska
    If you are looking for a place that includes everything that an adventure lover can dream of, Alaska’s expanse of spectacular landscapes, swarming wildlife, picturesque towns and breathtaking sights of ice-shelves breaking off into icebergs will leave you awestruck for sure. It is deemed as one of the most fascinating and magnificent coastlines in the world and there is no other way to explore this USA’s biggest State than cruising. Though, glaciers are the main draw for many cruisers, spectacular fjords and mountains along Alaska’s coastline, as well as many islands, bays and inlets along with the icy backdrops that unfold while passing the inside passage is truly majestic. Commencing from Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco, hundreds of cruise ships ply the waters of Alaska, offering the cruisers baffling array of experiences. The route goes all the way up to Juneau; the eccentric capital of Alaska encircled with snow-capped peaks and sea with not so well developed road connectivity, making cruising the only way to actually travel around here. The cruisers have so many choices to look up to when it comes to land excursions in Alaska, native Indian cultural parks, kayaking trips with whales and sleigh rides on glaciers to salmon bakes at remote lodges, a scenic ride on the historic White Pass Railway, and seaplane flights to far-flung fjords, glacier climbing and trips to see wild bears. As Alaska is so far north, walking around the deck after dinner and seeing Alaska in all her glory in muted daylight is a real thrill.

     


    Who goes there?
    There is no shortage of cruise ships visiting the shores of Alaska, from small-ships that offer a magnificent close-up experience, to larger ships that can cover more territory and give a great overview of the area. For a small-ship, luxury experience you can’t go past Oceania Cruises, Silversea, Crystal Cruises or Lindblad Expeditions. Larger cruise lines that visit this northern frontier include Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line.

     


    Best time to go
    The best time to cruise Alaska is between the months of May and September, June and July are the warmest months and have the longest days, so a cruise during these months offers great opportunities to see calving glaciers. Also, your chances of seeing wildlife are better if you plan to head here in summer.

     

     

    The Caribbean
    Spread across the Caribbean Sea between North and South America and easily accessed from Europe, the region is perfect for cruising, with many of its ports and beaches considered to be among the best in the world. One of the most admired cruise destinations in the world; the cruise ships in The Caribbean operate throughout the year and make for a perfect family getaway. The Caribbean offers a collection of dazzling islands set in jeweled seas where you can immerse in colourful cultures or just sink into a deckchair on the beach with an exotic cocktail in hand. Each island in The Caribbean has its own exceptional style, culture and cuisine. Along with the beauty and tropical sunshine at white sand beaches, you come across so many thrilling activities and exotic wildlife wherever you turn. From the sophistication of Georgetown in the Grand Cayman islands to the paradisial enclave of Basseterre in St Kitts, your Caribbean cruise will take you on a journey filled with sights, sounds, tastes and colours. Jamaica is one of the most preferred stops on Caribbean cruises and it has so much to offer from shopping at Montego Bay to romantic sunsets at Negril and waterfalls and mountain adventures at Ocho Rios as well as the waterslides of Mystic Mountains and memorable animal encounters at Dolphin Cove. Another destination here includes Puerto Rico which is popular for water sports and historical explorations. The north shore is a haven for thrill-seekers, from water sports to canyoning, and there’s plenty of nature to explore from mountains to desert plains at Dominican Republic.

     


    Who goes there?
    Major cruise lines include Carnival, Disney, Princess and Royal Caribbean International. Seasonal cruises are offered by Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Pceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises from North America and by Costa, MSC Cruises and Silversea from Europe.

     


    Best time to go
    The best time to sail along the Caribbean cruises is from December to March, while, June to November are not a very good option to sail across here as the chances of  storms and hurricanes are most likely high. 

     

    The Mediterranean
    With a rich historical heritage and some of the fascinating structures listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Mediterranean Cruises offer hundreds of offshore excursion options for its cruisers as the sea borders some of the most renowned countries in the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. Between the history of the area, its natural beauty, the delicious local cuisine and the esteemed arts and cultural centers, one of the best ways to explore this astonishing area is onboard one of the many Mediterranean Cruises. The natural beauty of the area will leave you speechless and gives you a chance to soak in the diverse cultures of the countries here. This includes a trip to the Parthenon and the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Antoni Gaudi architectural structures throughout Barcelona, Roland’s Column in Dubrovnik, Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, or a visit to the Roman Baths in Naples. From elegant Italy to sunny Spain, from the expanse of vast Greek islands to tiny Malta, the Mediterranean cruises cover the best of Europe. From the cliff-side taverna overlooking the deep blue Aegean Sea to a gondola ride through Venice’s canals, the unparalleled romance of this region speaks volumes. With destinations just as luxurious as onboard offerings, this cruise destination presents a fantastic spectacle of Europe’s most breathtaking views including the Amalfi Coast, Greek Isles, Canary Islands and more. The romance of the Mediterranean and Greece is truly amazing as it comes across as a destination where life moves at a relaxing pace and gives the explorer a chance to witness the stunning architectures in Spain and journey through the lush Italian countryside to awe-inspiring museums and cathedrals.


    Who goes there?
    The luxury liners of Silversea and Crystal Cruises, Swan Hellenic and MSC Cruise, Oceania Cruises offer tours of the region as well as long distance cruises from Barcelona to Miami, Istanbul to Dubai and other routes.
    Best time to go
    Cruise lines travel the Mediterranean all year round, but the high season falls during the summer months of May to September. 

     

    The Bahamas
    With endless excursion activities on more than 2,000 islands, the Bahamas has long been a favourite spot for luxury getaways and has a lot in their pocket which catches the fancy of travellers, from a relaxing day on the beach to so many water sports as well as a walk down the heritage lane through world-class museums. Whether you’re looking for a tropical adventure, a little romance or just a great time with the kids, the Bahamas provides plenty of opportunity for fun-in-the sun on its sail. Close to the East Coast of the United States, The Bahamas offers a terrific escape from harsh winters in the north. With miles of stellar beaches, chic shops, luxurious resorts, fascinating towns, The Bahamas has one of the highest repeating cruise passengers on its board. From the fast-paced lifestyle of Nassau/Paradise Island to the idyllic solitude of remote islands, there’s something for everyone in The Bahamas. 
    The Bimini islands, including Cat and Gun cays, are a common first stop for cruisers. Andros is the largest islands in the Bahamas and is the area most frequented by cruisers. If you’re into scuba diving, Andros boast a barrier reef that extends more than 140 miles along the island’s east coast and to a depth of 6,000 feet making up part of the western edge of the trench known as the Tongue of the Ocean. If you’re looking for peace and quiet as most of the cays remain undeveloped and uninhabited, go for Berry Islands. Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas, and as such has attractions, groceries, marinas and marine services, and an international airport. Eleuthera is a beautiful and somewhat out of the way place for cruisers. The island is nearly 100 miles long and just a half mile wide in most places. While you’re here, be sure to take some time to relax on the famous pink sand beaches. For many sailors, the Exuma islands are cruising paradise as they offer great sailing, snorkeling, and fishing. There are a variety of anchorages to choose from all along the 130-mile chain that offer everything from solitude to a national park to a popular cruisers’ destination. The Exumas are some not to miss stops are the iguanas at Allen’s Cay; the sunken plane at Norman’s Cay; Thunderball Grotto at Staniel Cay; Mangrove Creeks at Shroud Cay; and the Moorings at Warderick Wells. If you’re looking for some adventure and are a competent and self-sufficient cruiser, consider checking out some of the islands that are way off the beaten track. 


    Who goes there?
    Cruise lines offer dedicated tours of the Bahamas, and may include a shorter stay on the islands as part of larger itineraries of the Caribbean. Some of them include Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity cruises, Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.


    Best time to go
    The cruise season never stops in the Bahamas, though the winter months of December to February are when the islands are at their busiest.

     

    Hawaii
    Hawaii is one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations, and travelling with a cruise offers a more intimate experience of the paradise islands. A truly cosmopolitan region, Hawaii’s fusion of Polynesian, American and European influences is reflected in its unique cuisine and culture. With their dramatic landscapes, sculpted by volcanoes, lush rainforests and sugary sands, the Hawaiian Islands are truly spectacular. A popular setting among filmmakers, the Hawaiian Islands superbly combines dramatic sites including the world’s largest volcano with first-class holiday activities. Regardless of whether you plan for a short or long journey, Hawaii is bound to overwhelm you with its bounty of attractions and activities. Hawaii is a magnificent blend of lush rain forest, sky-high waves, ancient kingdoms and beauty of volcanic proportions. Be it exploring across the Kualoa Mountain Ridge, or learning an authentic hula dance, this will be the vacation where you discover what paradise means to you. The Hawaiian chain consists of hundreds of islands, each unique and beautiful. This series of tropical islands has it all from white-sand beaches, palm trees, tropical fruit drinks with paper umbrellas, to a rich local culture of food and music. To get the real sense of the islands and the magical pull that brings people back year after year, raging waves dotted by tan surfers on sleek boards, deserted beaches framed by swaying palms, this cruise destination is truly marvelous.


    Who goes there?
    Most Hawaii cruises are either circuits of the islands beginning and ending at Honolulu, round-trip cruises from the American mainland, or reposition in cruises such as from Sydney to Honolulu. Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line offer year round options to sail here. 


    Best time to go?
    Hawaii is an all-year cruise destination, with average temperatures ranging from 24 degrees celsius in the winter to 29.5 degrees celsius in the summer. The best time to cruise largely depends on the type of activities you are planning to get involved in. Whale watching cruises operate from December to May and the best surfing conditions are between November and February.

     

    Australia
    From its sand-kissed beaches to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Bass Strait and Tasmania’s historic ports, cruising in Australia is fun for sure. The blossoming coastline of sandy beaches lend Australia a distinguishing and exceptional beauty backed by its deep rich history. Bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean and the in the east by the South Pacific, Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and undoubtedly one of the most cosmopolitan. This is a colossal island with a relatively small population where life pretty very much revolves around its spectacular coastlines. 

     


    Whether you are fond of outdoor adventures or have an interest in culture, the Australian waters have so much to offer that you will go crazy while you are here. The sparkling lights of Sydney Harbour Bridge at dusk make for a perfect journey as you sail out through Sydney Heads. Cruising through the Great Barrier Reef gives a chance to the cruisers to enjoy the beauty of Whitsundays’ 74 unrivaled islands, secluded beaches and fascinating landscapes. Another major thrilling alternative is a wildlife cruise along the Adelaide River in Litchfield National Park which is an abode some of the biggest crocodiles in the world.

     


    Who goes there?
    Cruise lines such as P&O Australia, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia offer fantastic cruises around Australia all year round. Other major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Cunard Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises also offer Australian journeys here.


    Best time to go
    The main cruising season in Australian waters is the best to explore from to November to March.


    Fiji
    With an archipelago of over 300 strikingly stunning islands from coral atolls to large volcanic islands, this cruise destination has all the fascinating facets to enthrall the cruisers sailing here. From diving and snorkeling amidst colourful aquatic bounty to the pristine beauty encircling the islands, Fiji’s spectacular beaches are definitely a surprise welcome to astound its visitors. The port destinations in fiji have so much to offer that it is no less than a paradise for the travellers. Be it the captivating architectural aura of its capital city Suva or the entertainment hub packed with infinite activities in Nadi, this beautiful and natural treat amidst a variety of lush green gardens in Lautoka on the Viti Levu island or the underwater bliss at Kadavu island along with the stunning picturesque backdrops, a trip down here will amaze the cruisers for sure. Cruising in this part of the South pacific, one can dive in the beauty of crystal clear waters as it is a great surfing destination as well. Other major attractions include caves, lagoons and ancient volcanoes which lend a very peculiar charm to this breathtaking destination.


    Who goes there?
    One can plan a cruise trip on the tropical islands of Fiji round the year on Princess Cruises, P&O Australia, Carnival Australia, and Paul Gauguin. One can also plan the travel between September and May with Royal Caribbean, Cunard Line and Holland America Line.


    Best time to go
    The best time to cruise to Fiji is generally from April to May and October to November. For diving, surfing and land-based activities such as hiking, winter months are preferable. If one is very much fond of snorkelling, the summer months are the best ones. 

     

    The Galapagos
    The very idea of cruising in the Galapagos fills one with a picture perfect fiction type adventure as it is the land which has witnessed prehistoric volcanic eruptions, swimming iguanas, flightless birds and tortoises in large numbers. This is the destination where nature lovers can actually fell what it means to be on paradise as it has stunning variety of flora and fauna. A journey across its shores lets the cruisers to have an experience of their lifetime with a unique and fascinating journey on each of its island.  Puerto Ayora is the island chain’s major tourism center and offers visitors a beautiful journey in Galapagos’ interior high-lands. With its colour-changing ground vegetation, sea birds and colony of Galapagos land iguanas. South Plaza is a tiny island which is another major attraction for tourists here. Fernandina, the Galapagos’ youngest island and is best known for its not-infrequent volcanic eruptions. This place is a must visit if someone is fond of gaining insights in the geological origins of the islands.


    Who goes there?
    The cruise lines operating here round the year include Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Xpedition; Metropolitan Touring, Isabella II, La Pinta, Santa Cruz; Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic Endeavor, Silversea Cruises, Silver Galapagos. 


    Best time to go
    The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. 

     

    Sailing along the Indian coastline
    With over 7,500 kms of coastline, peppered with places of great interest for a cruiser, India has been blessed a good network of rivers and  water bodies which not only sever as a means of connectivity to the remotest places but serve as an interesting choice with the travellers to explore the country’s untouched terrains on a cruise. Here are listed some of the Indian cruise destinations not to be missed out while sailing here. 


    Lakshadweep 
    With its location off the south west coast, the Lakshadweep islands are a fantastic cruise destination. The journey amidst the enticing coral lagoons, turquoise blue waters, virgin beaches and a plethora of so many water sports and marine attractions, Head to this place if you want to explore the tropical marine life closely. 


    Cochin 
    With its location in the state of Kerala and the enchanting backwaters backed by a picture perfect soothing weather throughout the year, Cochin is the place to look for if one wants to touch upon the traditional treasures. Pleasant houseboat cruises will leave you spellbound while you pass the amazing dense forests.


    Goa
    Being one of the most flocked tourist destinations for river or sea cruises, there is no other place like this if one wants to spend a day filled with cultural blast, right from a gripping sunrise to a moonlit night and a day packed with so many alternatives in entertainment activities. 


    Sunderbans
    With its location off the east coast of India, along the border of West Bengal lie the Sunderbans as a cruise destination has gained a lot of popularity with both local and international tourists. From pristine beaches to a misty river, dense forests, and islands, a marine trip down here gives a chance to have a glimpse of Bengal traditions in its memorable cruise journey.


    Brahmaputra River
    If you want to experience one of the most incredible rive journeys with mesmerising backdrops, a cruise journey along the Brahmaputra River is another cruise destination that you can look upon. If you are heading for a relaxed vacation, this destination is a perfect one to discover the marvel and splendour of its majestic countryside b


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