Experience these unforgettable destinations on the holiday of a lifetime.

Alaska

Cruise line: Seabourn
The ship: Seabourn Sojourn
Vital stats: 458 passengers; 335 crew
The journey: Vancouver to Juneau over seven days
Ports of call: Ketchikan, Sitka, Inian Islands, Icy Strait Point, Haines
Departure dates: Multiple dates between June and September
Wining and dining: Four restaurants and three bars
Wellness: Fitness centre, salon, pools, jacuzzis

Glaciers and remote towns, wildlife and Native American history: this Alaskan cruise from Vancouver to the frontier town of Ketchikan and the rugged capital, Juneau, offers a range of compelling experiences. But the journey is equal to the destinations. The landscapes of the island-dotted Inside Passage will inspire wonder, from the treacherous Seymour Narrows to the wide expanse of the Queen Charlotte Sound and Yakutat Bay, where you’ll be whisked by Zodiac to the sheer walls of the 120-metre-high Hubbard Glacier.

The Arctic

Cruise line: Ponant
The ship: L’Austral
Vital stats: 264 passengers; 140 crew
The journey: Longyearbyen roundtrip over eight days
Ports of call: Magdalena Bay, Virgohamna, Texas Bar, Ny-Alesund, Alkhornet, Pyramiden
Departure dates: Multiple dates in May, June and July
Wining and dining: Two restaurants and three bars
Wellness: Fitness centre and day spa

Sail to the top of the world with this exploration of the Svalbard archipelago and fjords of Spitsbergen Island in Norway. Witnessed in comfort from the deck of L’Austral, the polar Arctic’s vast open spaces are humbling. While the ship’s adventurous itinerary embraces the possibility of spotting walruses, whales, puffins, Arctic foxes and the majestic polar bear, highlights of the varied wilderness areas include flower-covered mountain slopes at Cross Bay and the blue glow of the Monaco Glacier.

The Antarctic

Antarctica cruise

Cruise line: Hurtigruten
The ship: MS Roald Amundsen
Vital stats: 500 passengers; 151 crew
The journey: Punta Arenas roundtrip over 18 days
Ports of call: Cape Horn, Stanley
Departure dates: 4 and 20 November; 6 and 22 December
Wining and dining: Three restaurants and two bars
Wellness: Fitness centre, sauna, day spa, jogging track, pool and jacuzzis

This once-in-a-lifetime journey begins with a stop at Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America. After crossing the Drake Passage you’ll soak up Antarctica’s stunning landscapes teeming with exotic wildlife before sailing to the remote Falkland Islands. Later, follow in the path of explorers by looping the Magellan Strait. The beautifully designed new vessel, MS Roald Amundsen, adds a layer of luxury, with a state-of-the-art Science Centre and an onboard photographer who can help to immortalise your adventure.

SEE ALSO: Which Cruise Should You Take in 2020?


The Galápagos Islands

Cruise line: Lindblad Expeditions
The ship: National Geographic Endeavour II
Vital stats: 96 passengers; 63 crew
The journey: Galápagos roundtrip over 10 days
Ports of call: Bartolomé, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, Española
Departure dates: Multiple dates throughout 2020
Wining and dining: One restaurant and one bar
Wellness: Fitness centre, day spa

Discover this intriguing region with a team of naturalists on the state-of-the-art National Geographic Endeavour II. Each day takes in a different island along with a panoply of exceptional animals, including rare Galápagos penguins, giant tortoises, Darwin’s finches, red-footed boobies and marine iguanas. Activities include hiking and kayaking, while the undersea program uses a glass-bottomed boat and hydrophones to bring the mysteries of the ocean to life.

The Caribbean

Cruise line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
The ship: Seven Seas Explorer
Vital stats: 750 passengers; 552 crew
The journey: Miami roundtrip over 13 days
Ports of call: Oranjestad, Willemstad, Kralendijk, St George’s, Castries, St John, San Juan
Departure date: 12 March
Wining and dining: Seven restaurants and four bars
Wellness: Pools, jacuzzis, fitness centre, day spa, jogging track

Savour the indelibly blue waters and easy-going charm of the Caribbean during 11 days of island-hopping. You’ll soak up the colonial charms of the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire before sampling the unforgettable sights of the region, including the preserved forts of St George’s and the cobblestoned streets of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan. The final flourish is the cosmopolitan buzz of Miami, where it’s all about the South Beach scene and the Cuban flavour of the city’s colourful Little Havana.

India

Cruise line: Uniworld
The ship: Ganges Voyager II
Vital stats: 56 passengers; 36 crew
The journey: New Delhi to Kolkata over 13 days
Ports of call: Kalna, Matiari, Murshidabad, Mayapur
Departure dates: Multiple dates from September
Wining and dining: One restaurant and one bar
Wellness: Fitness centre, yoga, day spa

Cruising the river Ganges on board the colonial-themed Ganges Voyager II offers a privileged window onto the colour and energy of India’s vast melting pot of religions and cultures. Watch temples, villages and fields pass by from the comfort of your floating palace then let expert guides translate the rich tapestry during a choice of shore excursions. But first you’ll begin with a guided tour of New Delhi and a visit to Agra, home of that “elegy in marble”, the Taj Mahal. Is it best seen at sunrise or sunset? You be the judge with the chance to do both.

SEE ALSO: Experience the Magic of a Cruise in the Arctic Circle

The Danube

Cruise line: Crystal Cruises
The ship: Crystal Ravel
Vital stats: 106 passengers; 66 crew
The journey: Regensburg to Budapest over seven days
Ports of call: Passau, Melk, Dürnstein, Vienna
Departure dates: Multiple dates from April to November
Wining and dining: Two restaurants and one bar
Wellness: Fitness centre, day spa, on-deck yoga, pool

Immortalised in music, poetry and art, the Danube River connects some of the most charming towns and cities in Europe. Starting at medieval wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site Regensburg, you’ll visit Passau with its Italianate manses, Melk with its boldly Baroque Benedictine monastery and the bucolic beauty of the evergreen Wachau Valley. But the best is saved until last, with stops at two of Europe’s most captivating capitals, Vienna and Budapest, the final port.

The Nile

Cruise line: Abercrombie & Kent
The ship: Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau
Vital stats: 12 passengers; 21 crew
The journey: Amman to Cairo over 14 days
Ports of call: Luxor, Aswan
Departure dates: Multiple dates throughout 2020
Wining and dining: One restaurant and one bar
Wellness: Pool

Three nights travelling amid the luxury of the Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau, a 12-passenger sailboat, is a high point of this sojourn from Petra to the Pyramids. The history of Egypt is inseparable from the Nile and the traditional dahabiya offers first-class access to the ancient lore and other-worldly beauty of this storied land. Explore the clay-red city of Petra, dine beneath desert skies in Jordan’s Wadi Rum and take a dip in the Dead Sea. Spend the rest of your trip discovering the Egypt of Ramses II and Queen Nefertiti, with just a touch of Agatha Christie thrown in.

The Northern Lights

Cruise line: Cunard
The ship: Queen Victoria
Vital stats: 2061 passengers; 981 crew
The journey: Southampton roundtrip over 13 days
Ports of call: Alesund, Tromso, Narvik, Stavanger
Departure dates: 9 October and 4 November
Wining and dining: Seven restaurants and nine bars
Wellness: Pools, fitness centre, jacuzzis, day spa

There’s no better excuse to explore northern Norway’s fjords and fairytale towns than the quest to see nature’s most spellbinding phenomenon, the Northern Lights. Heading deep inside the Arctic Circle, this North Cape voyage takes in the Art Nouveau coastal gem of Alesund, the glacier-like cathedral of Tromso and the ancient port of Stavanger, which straddles a network of islands connected by bridges. The two departures in late 2020 are timed to maximise your chance of seeing the aurora borealis in all its ethereal glory.

New England in autumn

Cruise line: Silversea
The ship: Silver Whisper
Vital stats: 388 passengers; 302 crew
The journey: New York to Montreal over 11 days
Ports of call: Newport, Cape Cod, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Saguenay, Quebec City
Departure dates: 24 September and 16 October
Wining and dining: Four restaurants and six bars
Wellness: Pool, jacuzzis, fitness centre, jogging track, day spa

This itinerary is timed to coincide with New England’s famed autumn displays, when “leaf peeping” reaches its peak as forests of deciduous trees are adorned in shades of orange, red, yellow and green. Enjoy the spectacle from deck or on walks along rugged coastline and be on the lookout for migratory birds such as the Roseate tern. It’s not all about the natural world, with visits to exciting urban centres such as Quebec City and Montreal adding art, history and culture to the mix.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Can Explore the Best of Western Australia by Boat

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