Step ashore and find cultural hotspots, discover eclectic lifestyles and unearth the best ports that the world has to offer.
Cruising offers a wealth of destinations to choose from, so where do you go? Do you cruise to the Caribbean? The Adriatic? Europe? The Far East or our very own British Isles? Once you’ve narrowed down your continent, there are still a variety of itineraries to whet your cruising appetite.
So, we’ve put together a list of our Top 5 Must Visit Ports to make your cruise experience one to remember – because there’s nothing like falling in love with a new destination upon arrival.
1) Neko Harbour, Antarctica
A unique port only accessible by cruise, docking in Neko Harbour is unlike any experience in the world. Antarctica is a living, breathing ice-kingdom, and with a visit to this Antarctic gem, you’ll bear witness to majestic glaciers and an incomparable winter wonderland. Neko Harbour was discovered in 1898 by Adrien de Gerlache from Belgium and named after a Norwegian whaling ship that operated in the area from 1911 to 1924. Now, the Harbour is home to several hundred Gentoo penguins, Leopard seals and Minke whales. If you’re seeking shops and nightlife, this probably isn’t the port for you, but if breathtaking landscapes and thriving wildlife are your forte, then this could very well be the destination for you.
2) Casablanca, Morocco
Immortalised on screen, Humphrey Bogart’s character famously asks: “Why did you have to come to Casablanca?” A loaded question, as there are plenty of reasons to visit this city. The destination that gave the movie its namesake, Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and as North Africa’s busiest port, it more than earns its right on this list. This is a consistently forward-moving city, where handsome Mauresque buildings rub shoulders with progressive projects such as the redevelopment of the of the Parc de la Ligue Arabe and the seaside Hassan II Mosque proudly displays its marble interiors and the world’s tallest minaret.
3) Stockholm, Sweden
With its myriad of terracotta buildings, narrow streets and medieval architecture, Sweden’s capital exudes a beauty unmatched by many other cities. Spread across 14 different islands 57 bridges provide seamless access to each distinct neighbourhood, each with its own distinguishable character. A visit to Stockholm is a vibrant and cultural affair with innovative cuisine, intriguing museums, fantastic shopping opportunities and quaint parks around every corner. Another unique aspect of Stockholm, is that your arrival by cruise ship means that you must thread a needle between the beautiful, cotton-thin Swedish archipelago home to islets, skerries and pretty cottages burrowed in the surrounding hillsides.
4) Flåm, Norway
A rather humble destination is next on our list and it comes in the form of the small village of Flåm. Often coined the ‘quintessential Norwegian fjords experience’, Flåm (despite its modest nature) will utterly take your breath away. Lush green hills, thundering waterfalls, narrow valleys and placid waters are all untouched by development and provide the perfect backdrop to your Nordic adventures. Flåm itself presents coloured houses and a quaint ambiance, but this destination is so much more than just a pretty face. One of the main pulls of a visit to Flåm is its famous railway, the Flåmsbana, which winds up a majestic mountain via narrow gorges and steep inclines, passing waterfalls all along the way.
Singapore is the ultimate Asian metropolis and, at risk of receiving a culture shock upon arrival, the best thing you can do it to delve straight in. Explore the medley of architecture – from futuristic skyscrapers to traditional buildings; taste your way through the superb cuisine on offer; discover the fusion of Chinese, Indian Malay influences that reverberate through the bustling streets and come fully-equipped for a pleasant assault on the senses as no other destination is as vibrant, fluorescent or exciting as this. But it’s not all go, go, go – you can find some respite in a quiet bar and sip a Singapore Sling, or wander through the exotic Botanical Gardens.
Written by Francesca Hayden for ROL Cruise. To find further inspiration for your next cruise holiday please visit www.rolcruise.co.uk.
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