The true beauty of cruising is that you get to stop off at so many incredible corners of the world all in one holiday. So it only makes sense to explore as much as possible when docked in port and whilst cruise ships are undeniably epic man-made wonders of the sea, it should be your priority to make the most of every natural wonder of your cruising destinations.
So leave the queue for the waterslide, put down that book and step away from the blackjack table – instead explore some of Mother Nature’s own creations- welcome to the seven wonders of the cruising world…
1 – The Northern Lights
With the right timing and a dash of good luck, a cruise to Norway or Iceland could mean a glimpse of this most magical of natural phenomenon, although sadly there are no guarantees. While its nickname may put you in mind of a Newcastle nightspot, the proper name is Aurora Borealis.
If the Gods happen to be, quite literally, smiling down on you during your cruise then be sure to have your camera charged and ready to go. This stunning display of coloured lights streaking across the sky is the very definition of a once in a lifetime ‘money shot’ and the worst possible time for that dreaded low battery icon to make an appearance…
2 – The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Those who are skilled with a snorkel can discover an amazing underwater world on an Australian cruise. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and the only natural living thing on earth that’s visible from space (so give those astronauts a wave!)
3 – Mount Teide, Tenerife
If you’re stopping off at Tenerife on a Canary Island cruise you can forget a lazy holiday. The Mount Teide volcano dominates this island with a summit that’s the highest point in Spain. While no one’s expecting you to pack your climbing ropes, a hike in the Teide National Park is a must for adventurous cruisers.
If you proudly scaled the climbing wall on your ship (along with a group of nonchalant ten year olds), now’s the time to show what you’re really made of!
4 – Bath of Queen Joan, Sorrento
Feel like a queen on a Mediterranean cruise that stops off at Sorrento, Italy. The Bath of Queen Joan is a hidden rocky cove where you can swim amongst ancient Roman ruins in turquoise waters. This magical swimming spot is like something out of a fairytale and makes a romantic excursion for lovers inspired by the passion of Bella Italia (the country, not the restaurant chain…)
Just remember that the water really is crystal clear before you get too amorous, mind.
5 – Skaros Rock, Santorini
From Italian Queens to Dancing Queens, a cruise to the stunning Greek island of Santorini can take you to Skaros Rock, one of the locations for the romantic comedy Mamma Mia.
You’ll definitely be “having the time of your life” taking in the glorious island views from the top of the rock. Dance and jive your way round the island and discover the famous picturesque sights on the way.
6 – Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
While, historically, icebergs and cruise ships don’t make the best of bedfellows, Your Heart Will Go On a little bit more fulfilled if your scenic Alaska cruise takes in the Hubbard Glacier. At 76 miles long and 40 storeys high, this towering glacier is guaranteed to make your jaw drop.
Brave the cold to watch out for for the whales, seals and otters swimming nearby as well as the brown bears, moose and deer that you might spot wandering around ashore. This is one cruise that you won’t be needing the swimwear and suntan lotion for.
7 – Stromboli Volcano, Sicily
If you have some free time to spend in Sicily on your cruise, swap a ship for a boat and take a trip around the volcanic island of Stromboli. Only the very brave (or foolish) would dare disembark here as this rebel of a volcano refuses to lie dormant. Instead it’s very much alive and kicking, proving this point regularly by spewing lava fountains, gas and ash.
While there are a few hardy inhabitants of the island (we imagine that property is very cheap and overcrowding non-existent!), this is one natural wonder that’s best seen from the water.
As tempting as your favourite sunlounger is, we recommend that you take the time to see Mother Nature’s most incredible offerings on your cruise for a best of both worlds holiday adventure. Which was your favourite? Which have you already ticked off your list? Impress us with your own stories in the comments below and discover more must-see spots below…
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