When you embark on an ocean cruise, the world comes to you. From the far-flung to the famous, there’s no shortage of exotic and beautiful destinations touting spectacular waterfront locations that are perfect for pulling in to explore. Whether you’re a regular cruiser or you’re ready to make your maiden voyage, here’s a rundown of our top five ocean cruising destinations.
You’re not limited to a gondola to cruise in Venice – just the winding backwaters, though admittedly, that is the most fascinating part. Cruise ships too can pull up right on the edge of this magnificent sinking city, in prime position to set off on foot or on float. A sure-fire highlight of Europe whether travelling on land or by sea, Venice holds a certain romance and sucks you in with its spell-like charm. Narrow cobblestone walkways beckon you to discover where they lead and the never-ending maze of arched bridges spanning canals never get tiresome. Colourful shopfronts stand adorned in Venetian glass and art, gelato and aperitifs appear in colourful chalk on blackboard menus and street performers entertain as readily as do historic churches and bustling piazzas ripe with people-watching potential. Young or old, Venice is simply irresistible.
See Venice on Princess Cruises' 12-night Grand Mediterranean Cruise from Venice to Barcelona.
Forget long and dusty drives through the red-ochre plains of Western Australia’s northernmost reaches – take the scenic route. Witness the rugged and remote Kimberley Coast met by aquamarine waters in all its spectacular glory from the best vantage point possible: the sea. Cruise into Broome, on the western edge, for an up-close encounter of this fascinating corner of Australia where the desert meets the ocean. Home to rich Aboriginal culture, glistening pearls that draw worldwide envy and the famous Cable Beach, a picture-perfect 22-kilometre-stretch of pure sands, the experiences here vary. The general mode though is one of relaxation – and awe – particularly at dusk, when the red-tinged shores are set ablaze in fiery colours as the sun dips below the watery horizon.
See Broome on Princess Cruises' 15-night Northern Australia Explorer Cruise.
A quintessential South Pacific paradise, cruising Fiji brings the chance to not only lap up the island vibes on shore where swaying palms cast dancing shadows and powdery white sand clings to your toes, but also to catch a bird’s eye view of the glistening archipelago as you ever so gently glide in. On much-loved Viti Levu, Denarau Island begs travellers to revel in the riches of resort life while Suva throws in a heady mix of cosmopolitan flavours, shopping and cultural experiences. Vanua Levu, coming in at number two of 333 islands based on size alone, presents a paradise of lush natural beauty, peaceful waters brimming with adventure and more than enough hibiscus flowers to tuck behind one’s ear. But still, Fiji demands a closer look. Dravuni Island is the perfect antidote – a tiny patch of land that rises from the azure waters and guarantees peace, fabulous views and the sweet taste of seclusion.
See Fiji on Princess Cruises' 14 Night Fiji & South Pacific Cruise from Sydney.
Beyond the deep blue Mediterranean waters and golden sands dotted with umbrellas and bodies soaking up the Iberian sun awaits the heart of Spain’s second-largest city: hip yet classy Barcelona. Famous for its surreal and colourful Gaudi architecture, the bricks and mortar of the city is more than awe-inspiring, ranging from old Gothic churches to modern skyscrapers. Open the doors to discover famous art museums, chic shops and confectionary shops galore, while vibrant festivals regularly play out in the streets. You’ll also stumble across charming cafes and restaurants tumbling out onto the pavement where fresh seafood and rich Catalan flavours grace plates that are lingered over until late into the night. Art, culture, cuisine and nightlife meet head-on in cosmopolitan Barcelona, while outdoor adventures lurk on the outskirts, from the hills to the sea where your cruise ship awaits.
See Barcelona on Princess Cruises' 12-night Grand Mediterranean Cruise from Venice to Barcelona.
Many travellers think Singapore and think shopping. Think again. This sky-high metropolis of fashion, food and all-time favourite attractions is a repeat offender on many Asian seafaring itineraries. The starting or finishing point on many cruises, travellers who wish to linger longer here generally can. Be lured to Orchard Road to work-out your credit card in the glitzy boutiques, ride the famous Singapore Flyer for panoramic skyline views, and battle the crowds for a delicious bite in hawker food markets and celebrity-chef restaurants. From the Arab Quarter to the lush nature reserves, Singapore presents a neon-lit show of big-city sights and delights to top off your relaxed summery cruise. But beware: the bustle is sure to whip you out of your cruise-induced coma of leisure.
See Singapore on Princess Cruises' 12-night Treasures of Asia Cruise from Fremantle.
Did You Know?
The hugely popular 70s TV series The Love Boat was filmed on the Princess Cruises fleet! The pilot episode was filmed on the line’s original Sun Princess cruise ship in Mexico, but the series was then filmed across numerous boats and in destinations spanning the globe.