Cruises have just kept increasing in popularity over the last few years. More and more holidaymakers are realising just how great an experience a cruise can be. It’s a unique type of holiday, but is one many are reluctant to try - this is understandable, as it’s quite different to every other type of holiday out there. However, the level of luxury and relaxation one can bask in whilst on a cruise is unparalleled. Especially during the summer.
Cruise liners are quite rightly hoping and anticipating that summer 2014 will be a great one for cruise holidays, and they are expecting great numbers of passengers throughout the season.
Living in the United Kingdom, it could be fair to assume that we’re probably not going to have such a great summer; we’ll most likely get a few days, maybe a week, or possibly a fortnight of nice weather combined - if we’re lucky. This is nothing new, of course - we have notoriously bad luck when it comes to weather in the UK. For this reason, a summer 2014 cruise holiday - especially an exotic one - could be the perfect solution for anyone seeking some much needed warmth and rays.
Luckily for any potential cruise passenger, there are countless destinations to choose from all over the world, and there’s surely one (or several) out there for anyone, no matter what their taste. For those who don’t want to stray too far, there are some absolutely wonderful port cities in mainland Europe - all of which you can access by way of a cruise ship. Some, however, love travelling far away to the other side of the planet, and there are some great destinations like the Caribbean and Hawaii which will prove to be truly unforgettable. You can even enjoy a cruise holiday in Australia, which is a country well worth seeing - especially by cruise as it’s such a unique and enjoyable experience.
So, you’ve decided to give a cruise holiday a try - but where should you go? Well, the possibilities are quite frankly endless! The world has so many great port cities and locations which are ideal for cruise ships that picking which one can sometimes be rather difficult. However, below is a list of places which should be all-encompassing and provide the solution for anyone who is unsure where to go.
A lot of British holidaymakers forget just how close we are to the delights of mainland Europe. There are so many fantastic port cities on the continent - it’s unbelievable. Given that so many are so close to us, they take no time to get there at all, which is perfect for those who don’t quite have time for a three-week cruise in the Caribbean! Here are some ideas below of where you could visit on a cruise which is close enough to home:
Venice - one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy, Venice is a truly unique city which has been popular with holidaymakers and tourists for a great many years now. Iconic because it replaces streets with waterways, Venice is somewhere everyone should visit at least once in their life. It’s also a very popular cruise destination - one of the most popular in the world, one could argue. Its location makes it easily accessible and an ideal place for cruise ships to dock - and once you get off the ship and onto the docks there’s a whole world of possibilities.
The Venetian architecture itself is world famous - its Gothic structures have been a heavy influence on many architectural styles since, and there are many examples of it all over the world (even some here in the UK!). There are so many fantastic bars and restaurants all over the place in Venice, where you can enjoy authentic cuisine and a much needed drink or two; sampling the local food is a must when you go to anywhere in Italy, as it caters for everyone.
The Norwegian Fjords - there are few sights in Europe which compare to the Norwegian Fjords from the perspective of the deck of a cruise ship. The scenery is utterly awe-inspiring and is packed with majestic waterfalls and gloriously green cliff faces. Though the Fjords have always been famed for their beauty, it could be said that they are more popular now than ever - part of which is thanks to cruise holidays, which allow you to see the Fjords in all their glory from the water.
Again, like Venice, the Fjords are not a million miles away - in fact they are surprisingly close; most of the cruises around the Fjords are no-fly ones, too (which basically means you won’t have to get a plane and then get on the cruise ship - you’ll start on the cruise ship and come back on it!). The vast majority of cruises in the Fjords are only seven-night ones, which makes this a great option for anyone looking for just a week away, or someone who has other holiday plans for later in the year.
In the summer, the Fjords will be absolutely magical - you’ll experience blue skies and great weather, which all the sunbathers out there will no doubt be glad to hear! It’s also a bit of an unusual choice for the summer - or rather, less popular than the likes of the Caribbean and such; this is not to say, however, that the Fjords don’t make for an ideal summer cruise destination.
Certainly an idea to consider if you’re fond of the sun and particularly warm weather, exotic cruises are a great option. They’re highly popular, and for good reason - there’s nothing quite like sunbathing on the deck of a massive cruise ship in the middle of the sea with a drink at your side and a book in your hand. During an exotic cruise, you can enjoy the weather on the deck at all times of the day - during the daytime it’s blistering heat and optimum tanning conditions, whilst in the evening you can enjoy a slighter cooler atmosphere.
Many people, when they think of cruises, think of exotic climates and places like the Caribbean - in fact, the words ‘cruise’ and ‘Caribbean’ are rather synonymous, one could quite strongly argue! However, that is not to say that there are not other superb exotic cruise destinations which can be just as fun and enjoyable.
Hawaii - to say that this is one of the most prestigious holiday destinations in the world would be putting it very lightly. Hawaii is one of those places we’d probably all go to if we had the chance, and we’ve heard nothing but great things. The hype is indeed justified, too. It’s got all the palm trees and picturesque beaches you’ve seen on those photographs, but Hawaii offers so much more. There are plenty of things to do on Hawaii’s eight main islands, all of which have a great culture and a rich history.
Those interested in history should be sure to visit the Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, and those with an interested in geology should make it their mission to go and see Waimea Canyon State Park (which has been dubbed ‘the Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ due to its sheer wondrousness. There’s also supposed to be a jaw-dropping waterfall in Hawaii too (Akaka Falls!), so be sure to put that one on your list, too.
Florida - experience the Sunshine State in a unique way and book yourself on a Floridian cruise. Many Caribbean cruise itineraries include stops in Florida, as a matter of fact, so you could kill two birds with one stone by booking one which does include a stop in Miami or Fort Lauderdale (or both!). The two cities are only 23 miles apart from one another and they’re both beautiful port cities - both very different though, it should be noted. Miami is lively and renowned for its glamour and party atmospheres, whilst Fort Lauderdale is more laid back and attracts more mature or understated crowds.
The tropical climate of Florida will ensure that at all times you’re scorching hot and receiving a great deal of rays - which you can enjoy both when you’re on the ship and out exploring the Floridian environment! Unlike here in the UK, when it rains in Florida you often find yourself welcoming it - believe it or not it feels really pleasant; anyone who’s been to Florida before will know what I’m talking about.
Seeing Florida by cruise means that you can experience the state in a different way to most other UK tourists, who are off exploring Orlando and Disneyland. Those are indeed great holidays too, but nothing quite measures up to a Floridian cruise once you’ve been on one.
Many cruise ship passengers are happy to do absolutely nothing whatsoever whilst they’re on-board the sailing ship - a sunbathe and a drink is enough for many. Some, on the other hand, like to occupy themselves with one thing or another - whether that’s a book, a game of cards, or DVD on their portable machine.
In everyday life we all like different things, of course, and we all choose to spend our spare time doing what we like. Whilst on-board a cruise ship, the same should apply. It’s a common misconception that cruise ship holidays leave little choice for passengers, but that’s not necessarily the case - the cruise experience is entirely what you make of it.
On-board technology is making great advancements at the moment where cruise ships are concerned, all in an effort to enhance the passenger experience further, and make sure that holidaymakers are satisfied by the cruise experience.
Though many people like to switch off totally when on holiday - leaving their phones and laptops switched off - many people simply can’t do this due to the nature of their work. Technological advancements are paving the way for much better communication - WiFi is now starting to become the norm on cruise ships, so people who need to keep in touch with home or send something to work can do so!
The cruise holiday industry really is engaging with the 21st century by taking such measures as installing on-board WiFi, which is important if it wants to keep up with the times and keep attracting more passengers year upon year.
A great many cruise lines are starting to expand their fleets so that they include a variety of different sized ships. Many larger and upgraded cruise ships are starting to appear, all brimming with ultra-modern styling and technology. This is allowing the cruise holiday industry to tap into new markets - namely the younger generation who aren’t as acquainted with the experience as some older generations perhaps are.
The stereotypical cruise destinations are not the only places you can see whilst aboard a cruise ship nowadays. With increasing demand for cruise holidays, cruise lines have started to branch out in terms of where they travel to, and this will surely increase steadily as the cruise experience continues to become more and more popular.
Whether you’ve been on a cruise holiday before or not, 2014 will be a great year to enjoy one. With countless destinations and itineraries to choose from, there’s something to suit every holidaymaker - so have a look at deals and see what takes your fancy! Those of you who haven’t been on a cruise holiday before, you’re in for a real treat - nothing compares to it!
Here at Cruise Nation we are passionate about the cruise experience and have a great deal of knowledge on all things cruises. If you need any advice or want to know more about the on-board experience, give us an email today - or better still, a call! Our friendly staff will be happy to help you and will give you friendly and impartial advice.
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