32 of the best places to travel on a cruise

 32 of the best places to travel on a cruise .
Credit: Future/Getty

Cruise holidays are a popular choice for holidaymakers, largely because travellers can visit multiple bucket-list destinations during one trip.

More and more travellers are opting for a cruise holiday, with stats from Barrhead Travel revealing bookings have tripled since before the pandemic. Not only are cruise escapes perfect for adventurers, but they're also a great choice for those who want a relaxing holiday, with incredible pools, relaxing loungers and usually a spa on board to take advantage of in between sightseeing.

But choosing the right destination can be difficult, with so many cruise destinations available in Europe and further afield. From cruising the River Rhine or River Rhone to a far-east adventure on The Mekong, these are the best places to travel on a cruise.

32 best places to take a cruise

Alaska

Alaska
Alaska

Alaska is a real bucket-list destination, offering such a different culture, climate and landscape in comparison to the UK. One of the best ways to experience this cold-weather destination, with its icy clifftops, imposing glaciers and incredible sea life is from a cruise ship, where you can retreat into the warmth of your cabin whenever you want.


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The Caribbean

Caribbean
Caribbean

The ultimate hot-weather cruise destination, the Caribbean's azure waters and sandy shores have earned the area its global reputation as the best place to experience slow-paced island life and a year-round sunny climate. It can be difficult to choose just one Caribbean island to explore, so the benefit of a cruise is that you can get a feel for multiple destinations and experience their individual characters.

The River Nile

The Nile River
The Nile River

The River Nile has much to offer as a historical cruise with the opportunity to soak up ancient sights at every turn, including the famous Pyramids of Giza. Cruise trips are available with expert guides who will be able to enlighten passengers about the stories behind the temples and tombs on the banks of the river.

The Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands - consisting of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera - each have their own individual character, from the spiritual island of Ibiza to Menorca's wild and unspoilt landscapes. They're relatively in close proximity, making for a relaxing journey between the islands, with show-stopping sunsets, glittering sea and hidden coves along the way. nearby

Italy

Italy
Italy

There are plenty of options for stunning Italian cruises with Rome's cruise port Civitavecchia and Venice cruise port among the biggest in Europe. Italy has so much to offer in terms of culinary experiences and cultural sights, so the country lends itself to a cruise tour where travellers can cover a lot of ground.

Vietnam

Vietnam
Vietnam

While cruising isn't as popular in Vietnam as other destinations such as the Caribbean, it boasts some of the most beautiful bays in the world including Halong, Lan Ha, Lang Co and Nha Trang. A Vietnam cruise can also be combined with a winder voyage around the Far East, exploring destinations like Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands

One of the main draws of The Galapagos Islands is the incredible wildlife that lives on its 127 islands, islets and rocks. There are options for a day-long cruise to get a taste of what the islands have to offer, or a longer five, seven or ten-day cruise where travellers can journey to more remote spots and take part in activities like snorkelling and diving.

Norwegian Fjords

Norwegian Fjords
Norwegian Fjords

The Norwegian Fjords are a great choice for UK travellers, with departures to this picturesque part of Scandinavia departing from Southhampton. Sailing through the Fjord and taking in vast and lush green valleys and snow-capped mountains is another bucket-list experience and a romantic option for couples who want to create special memories during a milestone trip.

The Greek Islands

The Greek Islands
The Greek Islands

There's no better way to experience the magic of the Greek islands than by boat, with the opportunity to take in their distinct characters, from party island Mykonos to picturesque Santorini and lesser-known beauty spots like Ios and Milos. Santorini has a unique cruise port thanks to its volcanic landscape, making it a popular place for many to begin their voyage.

Japan

Japan
Japan

Japan offers one of the most picturesque cruise destinations in the world, with the opportunity to sail around the stunning Kujūku Islands on the west coast of Kitamatsuura Peninsula and take in the sights of the mainland by sea, stopping off to sample fresh sushi, stroll through perfectly manicured gardens and explore ancient temples.

Mexico

Mexico
Mexico

Mexico undoubtedly has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to see by sea, typified by soft white sands, tropical palm trees and lively beach bars. Mexico is great for travellers who want an adventurous holiday, with a varied landscape of volcanoes, jungles and beaches to discover.

Antarctica

Antarctica
Antarctica

Once a destination for adventurers rather than tourists, Antarctica has become a popular cruise destination, offering almost other-worldly landscapes. Discover marine mammals and rare seabirds sailing around the destination's icy landscapes. As a more niche cruise destination and a definite bucket-list experience, cruises to Antarctica can be more expensive, however.

The British Isles

The British Isles
The British Isles

The UK shouldn't be discounted as an incredible cruise destination, with so much to offer close to home. A British Isles cruise will typically take travellers through England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, exploring the sights of some or all of these beautiful destinations.

Singapore

Singapore
Singapore

Singapore is often regarded as a stop-gap on the way to destinations like Thailand or Australia, but it's also an incredible destination in its own right. A cruise around the island will allow travellers to sail along the iconic Marina Bay, where you can admire the city's glittering skyline from the water.

Malta

Malta
Malta

Historic Malta and neighbouring Gozo have a lot to offer cruisers in terms of cultural spots and natural beauty, with wild coastlines and pretty harbour towns. Stop off and explore the ancient city of Mdina, sit in the pretty squares of Valletta and explore temples dating from around 3,000 BC.

New Zealand

New Zealand
New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most unspoilt destinations in the world, with varied landscapes that are largely unpopulated and ideal for nature lovers. A cruise allows travellers to take in more of this vast and mysterious country and learn more about Māori culture along the way.

South Pacific

South Pacific
South Pacific

A cruise around the South Pacific will typically depart from Sydney, Auckland, or Honolulu and visit paradise destinations such as Fiji and Tahiti. With the opportunity to visit remote parts of the world with unspoilt beaches and peaceful lagoons, it's the perfect cruise destination for those looking for complete escapism.

Bermuda

Bermuda
Bermuda

Bermuda, an island off the coast of the Carolinas in the Atlantic Ocean, is a popular choice with cruisers due to its peaceful and beautiful ports with friendly locals ready to share some local knowledge. Famed for its pink sandy beaches and dramatic rock formations, it's one of the most picturesque beach destinations in the world.

Croatia

Croatia
Croatia

Croatia's islands have something for everyone, from incredible restaurants and sunset cocktail spots in Hvar to unspoilt beaches in Vis and the small-island charm of Brač. There are a huge 1,200 islands and islets around Croatia, with some uninhabited for those who like to go off the beaten track.

The River Rhine

The Rhine
The Rhine

A cruise along The Rhine is one of the world's most popular river cruises, weaving through six countries. The river begins in Switzerland and borders Liechtenstein, before going through Austria, Germany, France and The Netherlands. The stop-off points along the way include some of Europe's most popular destinations.

India

India
India

Beautiful India has some incredible coastlines and harbours where travellers can take in its vibrant sights from the water. River cruises are popular in India, offering a serene way to see the country and learn more about ancient traditions and customs, as well as practice some yoga in peaceful surroundings during stop-offs.

France

France
France

France has so much to offer, from its unmatched fine dining scene to beautiful beaches, quaint villages and rolling countryside. A voyage along the River Rhone will allow tourists to visit foodie paradise Lyon, the stunning Beaujolais wine region and the lavender fields of Provence.

The River Mekong

The Mekong
The Mekong

The Mekong River takes travellers through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, with some of Southeast Asia's most incredible destinations available on one trip. Feast on street food, stop off for relaxing Thai massages, hike up lush green mountains and explore incredible jungle terrine in these vibrant and varied countries.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, formerly a British colony known as Ceylon, is a favourite long-haul destination for many travellers thanks to its rich and varied landscapes, warm hospitality and ancient traditions. Known for its abundance of tea plantations, beautiful temples and endless white sandy beaches, there's so much to explore in Sri Lanka - and a cruise around the island is a great way to discover as much of it as possible.

Morocco

Morocco
Morocco

Mystical Morocco has so much to offer tourists during a cruise, with unique shopping experiences, relaxing spa treatments and incredible local food to discover within its vibrant ports. With a mild climate all year round, it's a great destination for a winter cruise.

Hawaii

Hawaii
Hawaii

Hawaii isn't all beaches - there's lush rainforest, volcanic landscapes and bustling towns to discover and the best way to see as much of the island as possible. Plus the Hawaii sunsets are some of the best in the world - ideally enjoyed on deck with a sundowner in hand.

Australia

Australia
Australia

Stunning Australia is such a huge destination to explore and a cruise holiday ensures you can cover a lot of ground with a cruise holiday. The landscape is so varied, from white sandy beaches to the bush to sprawling cities - so you can ensure that every stop-off is a new experience.

Iceland

Iceland
Iceland

Unlike more popular hot-weather cruise destinations like the Caribbean where the beach is the main attraction, Iceland offers a completely different landscape of snow-capped clifftops and glaciers where you can appreciate the beauty of nature in its wildest form. There's also the opportunity for some magnificent excursions, like bathing in the natural hot springs of the Blue Lagoon during your trip.

Portugal

Portugal
Portugal

Portugal's vibrant towns like Lisbon and Porto are definitely worth a visit and a cruise holiday allows travellers to soak up their culture - and culinary offerings - in one trip. Plus, the allure of the relaxing beaches of the Algarve is another reason to try a trip that encompasses all that Portugal has to offer.

The River Danube

The Danube
The Danube

A voyage along the River Danube is one of the most iconic European river cruises on offer, with the sights of Vienna, Bratislava, Belgrade and Budapest on offer for travellers to explore. Easily accessible from the UK, this is one of the most popular river cruises for British tourists with endless cultural opportunities, particularly when it comes to art, history, music and museums.

New England

New England
New England

There are fewer places more picturesque than New England in the autumn, with vibrant colours of the trees that can be observed from the water. There's also plenty in terms of cultural excursions; sample French cuisine in Quebec City and learn about the rich maritime history of Portland.

The Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands

Scotland is one of Europe's last great wildernesses, with a cruise around the Outer Hebrides offering remote and unspoiled landscapes. There's a wildness to the Scottish isles that feels like you're much farther away from the mainland than the geographical reality with cosy boltholes, whisky distilleries and beautiful beaches to discover.