10 of the world’s most spectacular scenic cruises

20 January 2017

If you’ve never set sail on a cruise ship before, you might be surprised by what you’ll find. Imagining tiny rooms? Lukewarm dinner? Nothing to do? Instead, picture immaculate staterooms with balconies so you can feel the sea breeze. Fine-dining to rival on-shore restaurants. And thrilling entertainment from Broadway shows to language lessons to climbing walls.

Cruise holidays aren’t all organised fun and non-stop entertainment though, sometimes it’s the scenery that makes a cruise so special. The simple pleasure of watching the world go by as you drift along a river with drink in hand. The excitement of spotting an unknown shore come into view for the first time. These can be what cruise dreams are made of.

With so many worldwide destinations to choose from, we’ve put together some of the most spectacular sights you can see on a cruise to inspire your next choice... 

The Norwegian Fjords

Norwegian Fjords in Norway

Travel to the land of the midnight sun and the northern lights to see the breathtaking beauty of Norway’s fjords. Carved by glaciers, these deep sea lakes are surrounded by steep, snow-capped mountains, tumbling waterfalls and tiny fishing villages. Amongst the dramatic scenery, the waters of the fjords are beautifully still and calm, broken only by the splashes of seals and whales. 

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Cruise along the Mekong River to see one of south-east Asia’s most famous temples, Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest religious monument in the world, as well as an important archaeological site. Built to represent the entire universe, Angkor Wat’s five towers, vast moat and intricate stone carvings are truly spectacular.

Antarctica

Penguins in Antarctica

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a cruise to the far-flung icy lands of Antarctica could be the trip you’re looking for. From the boundless snowy landscape to the loveable resident penguins, Antarctic voyages are rare and unforgettable yet the experience is no longer purely the domain of intrepid explorers, with some amazing niche cruises on offer for passengers with a sense of adventure.

Bamberg Cathedral

Bamberg Cathedral in Bamberg, Germany

Delicious local wines aside, one of the best things about cruising along Germany’s Rhine River is the beautiful sights you come across on the banks. The historic Bavarian town of Bamberg is a picture-perfect example, with the striking spires of the 13th century cathedral at its heart.   

Chile

Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile

Journey to the ends of the earth with a small ship cruise around the tip of South America. Chile’s Patagonia region is home to some of the world’s most dramatic scenery, with jagged mountain peaks, remote valleys and herds of llamas. The freezing glacial lakes and fjords are perfect for exploring in a small vessel, allowing you to get up close with the staggering, other-worldly beauty of this wilderness. 

The Amazon

The Amazon River

We’ve all conjured up scenes of the Amazon in our minds but immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of this mighty jungle river is a completely different experience! The cries of the howler monkeys, the intensely bright flashes of colour as birds and butterflies fly past, and the heady humidity of the rainforest all combine to create an exhilarating river cruise experience. 

Moscow Kremlin

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

The colourful spires and opulent decorations of the Moscow Kremlin are just some of the iconic sights you’ll see on a cruise along Russia’s great river, the Moskva. This historic fortified complex is home to no less than nine palaces and cathedrals, with the Ivan the Great Bell Tower among the most impressive, while the neighbouring Red Square and candy-coloured Saint Basil’s Cathedral only add to the scenic line-up.

The Scottish Hebrides

The Scottish Hebrides

Explore these tiny islands off the west coast of Scotland and you’ll find remote communities, rugged landscapes, and secluded white sandy beaches that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Spot dolphins, otters and eagles as you cruise this stunning archipelago and warm yourself on chilly nights with a nip of whisky.  

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Few sights are more well-loved around the globe than the beautiful Eiffel Tower in Paris. Situated on the banks of the River Seine, this famous landmark reaches the dizzy heights of 1,063 feet. A cruise along the Seine must be one of life’s most romantic treats, taking in the bohemian charm of Paris before exploring the surrounding regions, with sights like Monet’s Giverny home, the picturesque streets of Rouen, and the palaces of Versailles to look forward to.

Hell’s Canyon

Cruise Snake River in Hell's Canyon, USA

Follow in the wake of the early pioneers with a cruise along Snake River in the USA’s Pacific Northwest and discover a land of cascading waterfalls, dense hardwood forests, wide plains and dramatic gorges. Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the West’ and surrounded by the peaks of the Seven Devils Mountains, this awe-inspiring sight is one to really take your breath away.

Tempted to set sail and see one of these incredible destinations? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to find out more!

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