Stuck in a travel rut?
Pry your family out of it and go somewhere that little bit different on cruise holidays. Having a limited time at a destination can really get your priorities in focus, travelling to multiple resorts will give you a greater breadth of experience, and you may just meet strike up some lasting friendships with fellow travelers.
Read on for some of the best destinations to consider for a 2014 cruise itinerary:
Iceland: the natural beauty
A cruise could be the optimum way to navigate Iceland’s landscape, eradicating inconveniences like having to dislodge your car from a snowdrift or reasoning with a pack of petulant huskies. It also increases the probability of spotting some majestic whale-life on approach. The usual stops should include the Blue Lagoon, Gulfloss Waterfall and a day in Reykjavik. However, since Iceland’s economic collapse in 2010, diversification has invigorated its tourism with fresh ideas. Be alternative; get entangled in a kitsch knitting tour, sample the wacky local cuisine (ram’s testicles, anyone?) or get your hands dirty with a spot agritourism.
Israel has two main cruise ports: the bustling, hilly city of Haifa lying to the north of the country is a multicultural mix of religious sights, lush gardens and beautiful beach resorts, while Tel Aviv, in the south, offers a slice of contemporary Israeli culture. In Haifa, take in an eagle-eye view of the city on a cable car ride, dip into a couple of its many museums, or hang out in one of the boutique bars or restaurants in the cosmopolitan German colony. In Tel Aviv, hyper-contemporary galleries lure aesthetes with their sparse, elegant art, and trendy design stores beckon wannabe interior designers.
Greece: the original odyssey
Speckling across the Aegean Sea in shards, Greece provides an epic clash of history, culture and natural beauty, making it a diverse cruise destination. Crete boasts the legendary Palace of Minos. Rhodes has the medieval village of Lindos, while Kefalonia has pearly white sands and mystical, azure waters. Mykonos has the best parties, Santorini the finest views. Wherever you end up in Greece, you’ll be discussing it in superlatives until the next port of call.
Cyprus: the best history can offer
If you’re cruising to Cyprus, it’s likely your first port will be cozy Lemesos, the country’s second largest city. The old town, with its imposing medieval castle will delight historians, as will its Apollonian temples. The island also boasts a year round calendar of festivals and street parties, with a carnival at Easter, a beer festival in July and a wine festival in early September to name just a few.
Cruises allow the intrepid traveler the maximum breadth of experience for the minimum of travel exertion, and once you’re unpacked, you’re unpacked until it’s time to land. Just remember to rise early and plan your itinerary well in advance of disembarking at port to make the most of your ocean adventure. Ahoy there!