Taking a cruise is one of the most popular vacation choices. There are a multitude of options for where to set your course, so here are some of our favorites.

Fjords of NorwayFjords of Norway
Fjords of Norway

Fjords of Norway

Explore scenic salt waterways, ice capped mountains, and remote communities along the Norwegian coastline with a cruise. National Geographic Traveler magazine has named the Norwegian fjords the world’s top travel destination for several years. Cruising season is between May and September, and cruise offerings range from adventurous to luxurious. Hurtigruten Cruises offers the most of these trips each year, which provide access to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and some of Norway’s most beautiful fjords. Most Norwegian cruises last 5 to 7 days and include stops in Bergen and Oslo. Some cruises include rail trips on the famous Flam Railway as well.

Hawaiian Islands
Credit: pmarkham
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Islands

Don’t just settle for one island; experience the very best of Hawaii by island hopping on a cruise! Depending on the length and route of your cruise, you may be able to visit the port cities of Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Kahului, Kona, and Hilo. With over 100 stunning beaches, world-class golf courses, surfing meccas, towering volcanoes, and authentic cultural experiences, Hawaiian cruises are particularly popular among honeymooners and couples celebrating anniversaries.  Seven-day inter-island sailings are popular, although longer trips are available too. And although Hawaiian weather is always pretty perfect, peak demand hits during summer months. Consider booking your cruise between Thanksgiving and Christmas to find the best deals.

 

Panama Canal
Credit: bigstock.com
Panama Canal
Panama Canal

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the world, and the best way to see it is aboard a cruise ship. On your sailing adventure, you’ll learn about the staggering concept of digging through the Continental Divide and the construction of the largest dam on earth, which required the efforts of over 80,000 workers and resulted in more than 30,000 deaths. Today, cruise ships can pass from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, with a full-transit trip lasting about 14 days. The best time to cruise the canal is after the rainy season ends in November. Vacationers can enjoy coral reef snorkeling, shipwreck scuba dives, and a rich diversity of wildlife at the ports.

Antartica
Credit: bigstock.com
Antartica
Antartica

Antarctica

There is arguably no place more remote or mysterious on earth than Antarctica. Once reserved for scientific researchers and zealous adventurers, this is one of the last true wildernesses on the planet, with only penguins, whales, and seals as permanent residents. Most Antarctic cruises take 8 to 25 days, and focus on glacier exploration and rare wildlife viewing. Antarctica is fierce, cold, stunningly beautiful, and not for the faint of heart. Must-see highlights include the pristine Paradise Bay on the west side, where you can view magical ice sculptures and frolicking penguins, the South Pole, which lies at 90-degrees south and 0-degrees west, and the hot springs on Deception Island.

Alaskan Cruise
Credit: Bigstock.com
Alaskan Cruise
Alaskan Cruise

Alaska

Since many of Alaska’s most beautiful areas are best seen from the sea, this is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. The Alaskan cruise season runs from May to September, and a variety of ships offer accessible ways to experience this remote, and often inaccessible, wilderness. Cruise ships often sail the Inside Passage, along the southeast islands, and into Juneau and the Gulf of Alaska, which is best known for its glacier views. The historic White Pass, the Yukon Railroad in Skagway, and Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier are some of the best stops along the way.

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin IslandsVirgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

Get to know marine wildlife up close and personal as you cruise around St. Thomas and through the Virgin Islands. Once home to pirates, the Virgin Islands are now home to some of the world’s most breathtaking harbors, relaxing beaches, and duty-free shopping opportunities. Many cruise ships offer observation submersible scooter rides and snorkeling lessons to get you in touch with local sea creatures. Virgin Island cruises are incredibly popular, so be prepared for some crowds. Beaches are the big draw of these cruises, so make sure to plan shore excursions in this tropical paradise. This is the cruise to take if you’re looking for crystal clear waters, rich island culture, and plenty of places to shop.

The French Riviera
Credit: bigstock.com
The French Riviera
The French Riviera

French Riviera

The French Riviera is one of the most famous and sought-after vacation regions in the world, and for good reason. French Riviera is rich in century-old traditions and culture, with plenty of small villages and authentic festivals to explore throughout the year. Lots of cruise ships travel between Nice, France and Tuscany and Rome in Italy. Exquisite restaurants, top-notch wine, and high-end boutique shopping are the norm in the French Riviera, and art lovers can’t miss the Musee Matisse. Experience old-world glitz and glamour, relaxing pebble beaches, and luxurious properties right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

The French Riviera