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13th February, 2020

The top cruise destinations around the world

We’re big advocates of cruising. In fact, we think it’s one of the best ways to travel and see the world - and now, more and more people seem to be agreeing with us. Millions of cruises are sold in the UK every year - including record numbers in the past couple of years - with people of all ages and walks of life taking to the open seas looking for their next adventure.

One of the biggest advantages to cruising is the ability to see tons of memorable and mesmerising destinations, all within one holiday. Whether you’re a fan of beautiful beaches or the bright lights of a big city, there’s a cruise itinerary out there to please just about everyone. But with so much choice, how do you decide where to visit next?

To help get you inspired, we’ve spoken to some cruise bloggers and influencers who know a thing or two about enjoying the wonders of the open ocean.

Danielle Fear - owner of www.CruiseMiss.com

On your cruising adventures, what has been the best destination you’ve explored?

That’s a hard question, as I’ve been fortunate enough to visit so many places, but one destination that always stands out for me is Norway.

What was it about that destination that you loved?

I like the contrast between summer and winter cruising here. In the summer, the splendid and incredible scenery is what draws people in. Lush green mountains tower high above crystal clear and calm waters - best seen via a cruise ship. There’s nothing quite like sailing through the Norwegian Fjords, especially during the Midnight Sun.

In the winter, it’s all about the shoreside experiences and getting hands on with the locals. You can visit Sami camps and learn about their traditional way of life, go husky sledding, and even have a reindeer ride across frozen lakes - and there’s tons of snow!

What advice would you give someone planning a cruise to that destination?

You must visit Norway in summer and winter to really get a feel for how amazing this destination is. The contrast is just surreal. Yes, it’s cold in the winter, but pack an extra pair of leggings and socks, and you’ll be fine.

Becky Wiggins - owner of www.englishmum.com

On your cruising adventures, what has been the best destination you’ve explored?

It's so difficult to choose! I loved exploring the mighty St Lawrence River in Canada, and I have a soft spot for the Caribbean, but I think the Greek Islands top my list of favourite destinations.

What was it about that destination that you loved?

I think there's something mystical about the Aegean: the islands there are the birthplaces of some of the world's oldest civilisations, and I love visiting ancient sites and discovering the history and mythology of the area. The pretty whitewashed villages, friendly locals and delicious food help too!

And what advice would you give someone planning a cruise to that destination?

Before choosing a Greek island cruise, compare itineraries and choose one that visits the smaller islands like the pretty, seahorse-shaped island of Patmos, as well as the big hitters such as Santorini and Mykonos. Many Greek cruises depart from Athens, but look out for itineraries starting from Rome, where you'll have a chance to explore the Eternal City before your Greek odyssey.

Julie Peasgood - Contributing Editor at Cruise International

On your cruising adventures, what has been the best destination you’ve explored?

It’s a close contest, but Yangon in Myanmar.

What was it about that destination that you loved?

The world-renowned Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon; encrusted with thousands of diamonds and rubies and draped in 60 tons of gold, it’s the most sacred of all Myanmar’s Buddhist stupas. Monks and nuns, families and friends congregate here to worship, eat, celebrate and relax. I will never forget how incandescent it looked in the setting sun – it’s etched in my memory forever.

And what advice would you give someone planning a cruise to that destination?

There isn’t the luxury of many locals being able to speak English, because of this (and the amount of admin involved with visas etc) travelling by cruise is in my opinion the best way to see these destinations. The ship sorts out all the headaches and you’re just left with the good bits!

Book up for as many excursions as your budget allows, and definitely try to visit Scott’s market in Yangon - a vast emporium filled with stalls selling lacquerware, jewellery, silk, teak wood carvings and traditional handicrafts.

Gary Bembridge - owner of www.tipsfortravellers.com

On your cruising adventures, what has been the best destination you’ve explored?

Of all the places I have been, nothing has been as unique and remarkable as Antarctica.

What was it about that destination that you loved?

When you are there you feel you are part of something truly special. It is still a relatively unvisited part of the world due to its remoteness, limited season, and cost. The scenery is spectacular and the wildlife, which is all around, is magnificent. From the thousands of penguins that are fearless on land and scurry all around you, as there are no land-based predators, to the seals floating by on ice, to the massive whales breaching and swimming around the ship and zodiacs. Every day I thought I had seen the best landscapes and icebergs, only for it to be surpassed the next day.

And what advice would you give someone planning a cruise to that destination?

Start saving! It is an expensive trip, and so you need to build up a good pot of money. Research your options carefully, as you can go with anything from a basic expedition ship through to a five-star luxury line, so find out what will give the experience you really want. Be ready for the Drake Passage crossing as that can be very rough indeed. Also, make sure you have all the right gear. Some lines have direct-to-ship services where you can hire to buy the equipment, and saves you having to carry it all the way there!

Booking your next cruise with Saga Cruises

When you’ve finally decided on your dream destination, let us help you get it booked. At Saga Travel, we pride ourselves on our boutique cruising experiences - with smaller, luxury ships, all balcony cabins and speciality dining being just a few of the ways we like to ensure that guests have the best time possible. Plus, thanks to our all inclusive cruises, everything is included from the beginning - meaning you don’t have to worry about receiving a big bill at the end of your trip.

Let our cruise experts tailor your experience to be everything you’ve ever hoped. Get in touch today to find out more.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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