A cruise holiday doesn’t have to involve visiting the most popular tourist destinations or enjoying ‘typical’ cruise-style activities. If you like to do things differently when you’re on holiday, we’ve sought out some of the most obscure places you can visit on your favourite cruise destinations.
The Flooded Crypt of San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
Many visitors come to this Gothic- and Renaissance-style church to admire the beautifully ornate main hall and façade but venture below ground to the burial basement and you will discover a strangely attractive feature. Like many of Venice’s buildings at this level, it’s partially flooded. But these quiet waters only seem to add an ethereal quality to the sacred tombs, extending columns and vaulted ceilings.
Museum of Modern Art, Dubrovnik, Croatia
This unappreciated art museum is home to around 3,000 works from Croatian artists, such as Vlaho Bukovac, Emanuel Vidović, and Mirko Rački. Originally built as a family mansion in the 1930s, this converted artspace has an air of calm. Situated just outside the city centre, it offers a pleasing way to spend a few hours learning more about this country’s culture.
Chocolate Museum, Barcelona, Spain
The Chocolate Museum was created to portray the 500-year history of the arrival of this sweet treat in Spain, which was brought in by Central American pillagers led by Hernan Cortes. Alongside impressive, wholly chocolate-made sculptures of Spanish architecture, including the infamous Sagrada Familia, you’ll also find chocolate versions of cultural icons, such as Minnie Mouse and Louis Armstrong. These sculptures may be glass-encased, but for chocolate-lovers, this museum will still be hard to resist!
Totem Bight State Historical Park, Ketchikan, Alaska
Alaska is usually regarded as a destination for stunning natural landscapes and incredible wildlife. However, if you enjoy a historical element to your holidays and find yourself with some time to spare in Ketchikan, the Totem Bight State Historical Park is well worth a visit.
Bringing native Alaskan culture alive with 15 expertly carved totem poles and a colossal clan house, built under the supervision of Alaskan architect Linn Forrest in 1940, the park provides a compelling insight into the tribal lore and mystical stories that surround this intriguing culture.
Harrison’s Cave, Barbados
This cave of geological wonder was almost forgotten, left unexplored between 1795 and 1974. Named after Thomas Harrison, a renowned 18th-century landowner, Harrison’s Cave has since become a celebrated tourist attraction, its calcium-rich water dripping from the ceiling and walls to create spectacular rock formations. And since the construction of tram lines, offering rides through the caves, it has become even more accessible.
Glistening Waters, Falmouth, Jamaica
Glistening Waters is one of only a few places in the world lit up at night by microscopic dinoflagellates. Millions of these unicellular organisms emit an alluring blue-green light. And, when disturbed by boats or swimmers, they leave shimmering trails and an almost ghostly ambience in their wake.
The dinoflagellates’ bioluminescence is a defence mechanism that only occurs at night. They effectively recharge themselves during the daytime, so make sure you schedule your visit after dusk, or all you’ll see is a rather attractive lagoon!
European River Cruises
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is known for its art, history and culture, but its botanical attractions are not often highlighted as a place to visit. One place deserving more recognition is the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam. Established in 1638 to ward off the Black Death by growing medicinal herbs, it houses rare and exotic plants from all around the world.
Most revered by botanists are offsets from Wood’s Cycad, a 2,000-year-old agave cactus and a 150-year-old Victoria amazonica water lily. If you’re seeking a few hours escape from the buzzing Amsterdam cityscape, the tranquil beauty of these botanical gardens make for an ideal location.
Clock Museum, Vienna, Austria
There’s no chance of being late for your ship’s departure if you visit Vienna’s clock museum! Filled with over 1,000 clocks in one of the oldest houses in Vienna, this museum is incredibly fascinating. The clocks are arranged in chronological order and range in size from ornate pocket watches, sundials and cuckoo clocks to grandfather clocks and Japanese pillar clocks.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable pieces of engineering is the astronomical clock, produced by an Augustinian friar in 1679. It’s calibrated up to the year 9999 and has multiple layers of golden gears and over 30 readings and dials.
Would you like to visit any of these destinations? What is the most obscure place you have visited on your favourite cruise? To explore your options or book your next cruise, please get in touch with our cruise specialists.// END - About the Author ?>