There are some cruise itineraries that I simply don’t have interest in due to the fact that the ports where they stop are miles from the actual destination. Yes I know, just because your cruise is stopping in the “port” of Rome (which actually is Cittavecchia), doesn’t mean you actually need to go INTO Rome. However, the allure of a cruise to me is getting off in the destination where you actually want to be. That’s one of the reasons why I loved my cruise to Norway as much as I did. So here are five cruise itineraries that meet my personal sailing preferences.
What person wouldn’t want to sail through one of the great engineering marvels of the modern world? Especially considering it was constructed long before modern technologies were the norm in construction and physical labor was how things were built. I also love that most Panama Canal itineraries include a stop in Cartagena, Colombia’s Caribbean Sea port whose historic quarter looks like it could be straight out of 17th century Spanish Colonial times. On the day the ship would go through the locks, I would just love to be out on deck taking it all in.
As much as I loved my cruise to Norway, I know that I would also have loved a cruise to the Northern European capital cities, one that makes stops in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and Russia. I’ve really started to love trips in which nature is the sole focus, and yet a part of me still loves the amazing culture and history of Europe’s majestic cities. I have no doubt that my camera would love snapping away in such an incredible place as St. Petersburg, as well as Stockholm. My only hesitancy in this cruise itinerary is that I would be sad about not having nearly enough time in each spot.
While I really don’t have much interest in a Western Mediterranean cruise (one that docks in countries like France, Italy, and Spain-I’d much rather be land-based in those spots), the Eastern Mediterranean is another matter. How I’ve longed to visit countries like Croatia and Greece and also famous places on Turkey’s coast like Ephesus (okay, so this is the one exception where I wouldn’t mind a long bus ride if it means seeing such incredible ruins) and Bodrum. I know many people “decry” when big cruise ships are in port, meaning the area is overrun with visitors, and yet in a place like Croatia or Greece, I can’t think of a better way to get around while still visiting countless sites.
While this would be a quasi-repeat cruise due to revisiting some of the same ports I did on my cruise to Norway, this would be different as the cruise actually crosses the Arctic Circle (the farthest north I went on my Norwegian cruise was Alesund, which if you look at a map of Norway is really not too far north). Experiencing the Midnight Sun phenomenon was such a memorable experience and I can only imagine how much more awe-inspiring it is that much further north. I also love the idea of sailing again through Geirangerfjord but also other ones like Hardangerfjord, Trondheimsfjord, and the North Cape.
As cruise itineraries go, I know this is one of the more “boring” ones since the ratio of sea days to days in port is definitely skewed. But as an American whose ancestors all came from Europe and all sailed across the Atlantic Ocean (admittedly in much harder and unimaginable conditions) when they traveled to the New World, it’s still an experience I’d like to have myself. I would try to go with an itinerary that had a healthy number of spots, one that began in Barcelona (a city I’ve wanted to return to for ages) and made ports of call along the way elsewhere in Spain but also Portugal and maybe even the Azores (that’s the name dropper, I feel).
Are there any cruise itineraries you’re wanting to experience?