Some places are best experienced by boat

03 October 2017

Uncover the world's secrets by boat

Sure, you can fly all around the world by plane to fabulous destinations in no time at all. But sometimes, life is about the journey as much as it’s about the destination. And, there are some places you just can’t reach by plane. Tucked away in some of the farthest corners of the globe or isolated with only miles of ocean around, hide some of the most fascinating places on earth.

From fun-loving private islands to shoreline scenery that’s best viewed from afar, wildlife that can’t survive elsewhere and territories where only birds can fly into land, there are some places that are best visited by boat, and others where that’s your only choice! Where will you discover?

An island paradise on Half Moon Cay

Located 155km south east of the Bahamian capital, Nassau, lies the island of Half Moon Cay, or Little San Salvador as it is officially named. This 2400-acre island boast a two-mile stretch of powdery white sand, calm turquoise waters and plenty of wildlife. It is deliberately undeveloped meaning it is rugged, beautiful and authentic. On the island you can go kayaking, horse riding, enjoy a nature trail or simply enjoy feeling of sand between your toes as you walk from your cabana to the shore and back. However, this island paradise is owned by Holland America Line so you can only access it on a HAL cruise. Luckily for you, HAL are generous enough to share the goodness with Carnival passengers, so a Carnival cruise is your other option for entry to the island. What are you waiting for?

An animated playground on Castaway Cay

Also one of the Bahamas’ 700 islands is Castaway Cay. But rather than being a desert island where you’ll only have Wilson for company, Castaway Cay is bursting with colour, music and adventure. Disney characters roam the island, and you can swim with sea life at the Snorkelling Lagoon, head to Spring-a-Leak water park, cool off at Olaf’s Summertime Freeze and have a dance party with Lilo and Stitch. You might have noticed a strong Disney theme, and it’s no surprise since the island is owned by Disney cruise lines, and so your only way onto this land of family fun is via one of their cruises.

Other-worldly panoramas in the Norwegian Fjords

The rugged landscape of Norway’s Fjords is arguably some of the most beautiful scenery in the world: the sheer cliff faces rising vertically out of the icy water, the foliage-dense land sloping upwards and rocky mountaintops towering thousands of feet above you. But sights like these can only be truly appreciated when they fully surround you. Cruising through the Norwegian Fjords is the only way to have the water stretch out in front, the land neighbouring you on either side and the unpolluted sky and stars shining above you. Plus, the leisurely pace and ever-changing landscape means you will see so much and not get bored. Since this area of the world is so stunning, it’s no surprise many cruise lines offer voyages here.

A Darwinian discovery on the Galapagos Islands

There’s a place where 97% of the reptiles, 80% of the birds and 30% of the plants you will see are endemic. That means you can’t find them anywhere else in the world. The 20 islands which make up the Galapagos are sure to amaze you with unique species, varying landscapes and a friendly population of around 25,000. Sure, you can base yourself in San Cristóbal or Santa Cruz and take day trips to explore the islands, but you might find you are limited by how far you can go before it’s time to head back. The best way to experience all that Galapagos has to offer (and it’s a lot) is to sail from one destination to the next, this way you can spend your daytimes on land and travel through the night. Celebrity cruise lines and Silversea are just two of the cruise lines operating intimate tours of the islands.

Ice-cool adventures in Antarctica

Much more than a cruise, an expedition with Hurtigruten will take you places many others can only imagine. Hold on to your seats (literally) as you make your way through the notorious Drake Passage and cross the Antarctic Circle. Hike on an active volcano, photograph truly wild wildlife and kayak your way through a jungle of icebergs. The Falkland Islands might not be top of your must-visit list, but the town on Stanley is a surreal home from home with English pubs, red phone boxes and buses. Plus, many of Hurtigruten’s Antarctic cruises call here, so you can be one of the few to visit this unique British Overseas Territory.

Cultural encounters on St. Helena

When you think of Atlantic islands the mind jumps to the Canaries, the Azores or Cape Verde. But a few thousand kilometres south lies the remote island of St. Helena. You’ll notice a culture contributed to by language, food, music and traditions from Britain, China, Madagascar and Malaysia. With unforgettable scenery, a temperate year-round climate, 500 years of turbulent history to uncover and small population of many descents, St. Helena is certainly a unique place very few get to visit. Since the island is not yet accessible by commercial airlines, boat is by far the easiest and safest way to visit. Fred Olsen cruises offer a Remote Islands and Desert Dunes cruise where you will stop at St. Helena as well as Cape Town, Namibia, Senegal, Cape Verde and more.

For even the most frequent jet-setter, there is an inexhaustible amount still waiting for you to discover. Whether it’s relaxing on a paradise island or an expedition to some of the most inhospitable places on earth, by sea is by far the best way to uncover much of what the world holds secret. So, where will you sail away to?

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