In an ideal world all cruises would be a simple case of hopping on a ship at your closest dock, and sailing off to your chosen destination. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, and it’s a sad reality that sometimes you do have to get on a plane to get to the port.
But don’t despair just yet! We’ve been busy researching to find out which are the BEST airports, in order to make the process as painless as possible for all you savvy cruisers. If you really have to fly to cruise, read on to find out where you should be jetting off from…
Singapore Changi, Southeast Asia
Consistently voted as the top airport in the entire world is Changi Airport in Singapore. Known far and wide for it’s incredible architecture, numerous dining and shopping options, 24-hour movie theaters, spas, and overall luxurious feel. The airport also houses relaxation gardens including: an open air cactus garden, a butterfly garden and there’s even a waterfall and koi pond! That’s not even the best bit, terminal 3 has a four storey slide so you can whiz down to the boarding gate!
Hamad International, Doha
Named “the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world” by Skytrax, Hamad International was voted in the top 5 airports for shopping experience. You’ll find more than 70 boutiques, 30 cafes, restaurants, and even a swimming pool and spa. The airport has a reputation for being quite eccentric and when you’ll walk inside you’ll see why… You’re greeted by a massive 23-foot teddy bear being impaled by a HUGE desk lamp. Weird right?
Tokyo International, Japan
Attention clean freaks! Tokyo International was voted the cleanest airport in the world by Skytrax, so you can rest assured that every nook and cranny is tidy and spotless. The airport is also considered to have the top staff, who are both helpful and efficient, thus making your trip as stress free as possible. The highlight of the airport is the observation deck that features 360 degree views of the runway, so whilst you’re waiting for your plane you can relax and watch the comings and goings of the planes!
Housing over 150 shops, and around 50 bars and restaurants, you definitely won’t be short of dining options whilst in Munich. There’s even activities for the kids with a playground filled with climbing frames and a mini golf course all in the airport! Or if you’re looking for something for the adults there’s a microbrewery with its own open air beer garden. Fancy having a crisp beer whilst waiting for your plane to come in?
Taoyuan International, Taiwan
The coolest feature of this airport are the themed gates, yes you heard that right, THEMED gates. Each gate is different, but our particular favourite is the Hello Kitty terminal, where everything is cotton candy pink and the little cute kitty is everywhere! There’s also a free travel library, free Wi-Fi, art and museum exhibits. You’ll be praying for delays just so you get to spend more time here!
Frankfurt airport has a HUGE range of shops available for those wanting to splash the cash before jetting off. You’ll find top boutiques such as Dior, an M&M sweet shop and a range of electronics, so whether you’re picking something up for your trip, or getting those last minute souvenirs you’ll definitely find something here!
A unique feature of Frankfurt is the reservation system, you can simply shop online, reserve your items and collect them when you’re at the airport! Now how’s that for stress free shopping? If you’re wanting something a little more special, there are personal shoppers on hand to assist you with all your shopping desires. We think Frankfurt has everything for the modern day shopaholic!
Zurich is the only airport where you can watch the pilots at work in the cockpit whilst you wait to board, via an observation deck. If the kids are getting impatient you’ll find plenty of things to do, shape them into future pilots in the miniature airport, or they can play in special lounges exclusively for kids! If you’re itching to explore outside there are bikes available to rent so you can explore the grounds. Don’t have kids? Wait in the Wingwalker bar, sip a cocktail and watch the planes take off.
Incheon International, South Korea
For a cultural experience you’ll never forget, visit Incheon International. The airport regularly hosts Korean cultural performances on its own cultural street! Actors will dress in royal costume and parade through the terminal, and you’ll find Korean musicians playing traditional music in the aisles. So whether you’re just there for a layover, or visiting for a longer period you’ll be able to gain interesting information about the location. If you’re hungry for more visit the museum of Korean culture, where you’ll find instruments and dresses to view.
Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
Known as one of the most extravagant cities in the entire world, it’s only fitting that Dubai has an airport to match. There’s boutiques and top of the line jewellers where you can buy actual nuggets of gold! Zen gardens where you can unwind after a stressful journey, snooze cubes for sleeping, tonnes of luxury lounges, a massive swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and even a spa! Airport? We think this sounds more like a luxurious town! It’s no wonder it’s the busiest airport in the world!
Hong Kong International, China
Skytrax’s former airport of the year winner (which has recently been overtaken by the incredibly lavish Singapore). Hong Kong International is still more like a playground for those who love extravagance, than an airport. Pretty much every designer name has a store here including: Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Prada, so you can grab a few much needed designer accessories before your holiday! If you have a long wait in store there’s even an IMAX cinema and indoor golfing, so you can catch a movie or get in a round of golf whilst you wait! Delays needn’t be a dread if you have all that to play with!
So there you have our top 10 airports around the world! What do you think? Have you ever been to an airport that was better than destination itself? What’s the best airport you’ve ever been to? Let us know in the comments and take a look at other exclusive guides below!
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