More cruise lines are setting their sights on far-flung destinations with exciting ports of call in all corners of the globe. KRIS MADDEN navigates some of the emerging hot spots for cruising.
Asia has seen tremendous growth in the cruise industry, with a staggering 2.17 million passengers carried on Asian cruises in 2015. Many river cruise lines are deploying ships throughout the region with particular attention to Southeast Asia, especially Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Pandaw offers a 10-night cruise of Pagan and the Upper Irrawaddy in Burma. Prices start from $5090 and include drinks and tips for crew, daily excursions, and a flight from Yangon to Kalewa for the start of the cruise.
The Adriatic coast is absolutely spectacular – rugged mountains rising out of clear blue seas, with hundreds of tiny, unspoilt islands and postcard perfect medieval towns and villages. Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia have become very popular in recent years, but cruising offers a chance to explore further and see some equally spectacular but lesser-known destinations like Montenegro and the Albanian Riviera.
Globus’ 10-day ‘Dubrovnik and Adriatic Odyssey’ is the latest in a growing series of sea cruise itineraries in the Globus Europe program, travelling aboard a stateof- the-art, three-masted yacht, the 24-cabin Panorama. The itinerary includes Dubrovnik; the Dalmatian island of Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo; Montenegro; and the Greek islands of Paxos and Corfu. Prices from $4840 per person twin share.
Iceland has seen a significant increase in the number of expedition vessels visiting its 13 cruise destinations. In 2015, there are 415 booked cruises, a 36 per cent increase over last year. As more passengers visit the capital city, the Port of Reykjavik is working to accommodate larger cruise vessels and has invested in a new pier that will allow two mega ships to be berthed at the same time. Princess, Ponant, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line all visit the island nation.
Silversea Expeditions has a 9-day ‘Reykjavik, Iceland to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland cruise departing August 2016 aboard the luxury Silver Explorer. Prices start from $10,450 per person.
Australia will see its biggest cruise season ever to date this summer. Between now and April next year, a record flotilla of 38 different cruise ships will sail Down Under, with eight ships making their maiden visits. Between them, cruise ships will make more than 800 calls to Australian ports, including 40 maiden ports.
Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas will be the biggest cruise ship ever to sail from Australia. The maiden local cruise season will see the 3800-guest ship visit ports across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. An 8-night South Pacific Cruise departing 16 December 2015 sails from Sydney, visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Prices from $1,666 per person.