These are the best long and short cruises to put on your 2019 bucket list.
Amazon Jungle – Aqua Expeditions
Aqua Expeditions’ Aria Amazon (pictured above) takes guests deep into Peru’s Amazon Jungle, from Nauta up the Maraňón River – a tributary of the Amazon – and into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in the heart of Peru’s Amazon jungle. It’s a sleek glass-and-steel capsule containing 16 design suites that overlook the jungle vista through panoramic windows. There’s a Jacuzzi on the observation deck, where you can seek relief from the equatorial humidity while sipping a cocktail and scanning the river for signs of its legendary dwellers; or you can immerse yourself in this seething, steaming mesh of wilderness on the many excursions included on the cruise itinerary.
Alaska and Vancouver – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Explore the majesty of Alaska and British Columbia from the comfort of Regent’s newly refurbished luxury ship. This 10-night cruise departs Seward at the mouth of the Kenai Fjords National Park on 3 July, with activities including dogsledding on the Mendenhall Glacier, searching for bears at Icy Strait, and visiting a Native American village in Ketchikan.
Iceland – Ponant
All aboard Ponant’s new luxury yacht, Le Champlain, as she takes you on a loop of the stunning Nordic country's coastline. Setting off from Reykjavik, passengers will cross the Arctic Circle and head to the island of Grímsey, home to puffins and towering basaltic columns. From there, venture onto the incredible 1250-hectare nature reserve that calls Seydisfjördur home.
Middle East/Africa – Oceania
Take in the jewels of the Middle East and Africa, including Oman, UAE and the Maldives on an Oceania 30-day voyage from Dubai to Cape Town. On your way, you’ll call into some of the hottest spots in the region, including Mumbai, Reunion Island, Seychelles, and Mozambique. Onboard, get active with your choice of complimentary fitness class, including pilates, strength training and yoga, or indulge in an 80 minute, six-part massage at the famed Canyon Ranch spa at sea
European Rivers – Uniworld
After departing Budapest, passengers on this Uniworld 16-day cruise will make their way down the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers and stop at some of Europe’s most spectacular cities on their way to Amsterdam. Along the way, they’ll visit Vienna, go for a vineyard hike in Weissenkirchen in Austria and meander through the Gothic old town of Cologne, in between other hidden cultural gems that make this itinerary one of the best on offer.
South America – Scenic
Gliding past the soaring coastlines of Patagonia and Chile, passengers aboard the Scenic Eclipse will gaze at sky-scraping cliffs, endless mountain ranges and snowcapped volcanoes. Get a closer look at the fjords and glaciers from one of the on-board zodiacs or kayaks, visit Magellanic penguins on Magdalena Island, round the treacherous sailing waters of Cape Horn and drop into Chile's historic city of Valpariso.
California’s Channel Islands – Lindblad
The ship is your base camp during Lindblad’s five-day “wilderness and wellness” cruise around California’s Channel Islands (some of which comprise a national park). These “floating safaris” depart from the gateway city of Los Angeles, making them the perfect voyage to kick off (or conclude) your American holiday. They mix wellness activities such as yoga, stargazing and paddle-boarding with onshore excursions to check out the island’s wildlife.
Great Barrier Reef – Coral Expeditions
When the day visitors have all gone, guests aboard a Coral Expeditions cruise to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef can toast the sunset on a deserted sand cay and be lulled to sleep above this fabled UNESCO World Heritage Site. The three-night cruise (there are also four- and seven-night itineraries) is a great way to sample the region’s rainforests, mangroves and reefs with visits to Dunk Island rainforest, Hinchinbrook Channel and Nathan Reef.
Queen Mary 2 – Cunard Line
The Cunard Line’s newly remastered Queen Mary 2 hops across the channel from Southampton for an exploration of the Belgian city of Bruges, sails along the northern French coast and calls in at Guernsey on this five-night European taster.
Singapore to Yangon – Silversea
Three countries in five days? It’s possible with Silversea’s Singapore to Yangon itinerary, which includes a stop in Kuala Lumpur. The days are packed with excursions – discovering Paranakan heritage in Singapore, shopping for pewter in KL, taking a cooking class in Yangon; but a full day at sea allows one to flop back with a book or enjoy a spot of whale watching.