Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise


Cruising offers a unique opportunity to explore multiple destinations while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a floating resort. With a myriad of cruise routes available around the world, choosing the perfect itinerary can be a daunting task. To help you plan your next maritime adventure, we’ve curated a list of the 28 best cruise routes and places to cruise, each offering breathtaking scenery, cultural immersion, and unforgettable experiences.

Sail from Paris to Normandy, France

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

Paris is wonderful all year thanks to its world-class museums, boutiques, and culinary options. After a few days in the City of Light, set sail for a week-long cruise along the Seine River, with views of the Eiffel Tower as you cast off. Stop at lovely Giverny to see Impressionist artist Claude Monet’s residence and gardens in full bloom. After that, go to the Normandy beaches where Allied soldiers landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Avalon Waterways offers eight-day cruises for this itinerary on a variety of dates, all of which include breathtaking river views, historical ports, and limitless French wine and cheese. Viking Cruises offers a comparable route.

Take a voyage across Africa

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

For an amazing journey, spend a few days in Cape Town, South Africa, before flying inland to Kasane, Botswana, to board the Zambezi Queen for a cruise along the Chobe. Every window on this tiny AmaWaterways ship with 28 passengers offers unobstructed views of the river and scenery. Take a safari to Chobe National Park, which has Africa’s biggest population of animals. After seeing elephants, lions, zebras, and gazelles, your tour will conclude at Victoria Falls. If you prefer a larger ship, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a 12-day cruise through six South African and Namibian ports.

Enjoy tulips and windmills in Holland and Belgium

This region’s yearly springtime show runs from mid-March to mid-May, with tulips typically peaking in mid-April. That’s the greatest time to take a river cruise through the canals of Amsterdam and Bruges to view these magnificent European cities and the iconic windmills in the countryside. Cruisers can enjoy endless displays of the bright and famous flowers of the Netherlands, particularly at Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offers a 10-day, all-inclusive Tulip and Windmill Cruise from Amsterdam to Antwerp, Belgium. Alternatively, choose a luxury Crystal Cruises river boat for a weeklong Blooming Tulip tour departing from Amsterdam.

Explore Alsace, France

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

The unique Belmond Lilas barge is solely available for private hire and may accommodate up to eight guests. Book ahead of time to discover the welcoming region of Alsace, which offers breathtaking scenery both on and off the ship. The six-night itinerary from St. Leger Sur Dheune to Pontallier, France, has everything you need to have a stylish and enjoyable cruise. Sip Champagne on the deck while watching the French countryside pass by, indulge in gourmet cuisine and wine tastings in Chagny, and take private tours of 12th-century medieval strongholds in the charming village of Rully. Larger cruise lines, such as Holland America Line, also provide sailings to idyllic French destinations.

Make a transatlantic crossing

Step back in time and experience the majesty of a transatlantic trip on the luxury Queen Mary 2. This flagship of the sophisticated British Cunard Line accommodates approximately 2,700 passengers and has a tight dress requirement, including numerous formal nights throughout the voyage. On board, you may enjoy luxurious drinks, nightly entertainment, educational lectures, and excellent dining as you travel to destinations in Europe, Asia, and Australia. You may even bring your dog along, courtesy to the line’s at-sea kennel, the only cruise ship pet facility of its kind.

Discover the best of northern Europe

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

The Viking Homelands itinerary offered by Viking Ocean Cruises features stops in eight picturesque countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. “Scandinavia is Viking territory, and the Viking Homelands itinerary follows the Viking explorers’ traditional trade routes.

According to Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, visitors can see Baltic Sea cities, Norwegian fjords, rural historical monuments, and old Viking settlements to gain insight into Viking life. “One of our signature itineraries, I’m pleased to offer it for guests to experience my home country of Norway and the homelands of the original Viking explorers,” he said.

Take a luxury trip to Monaco

Monaco offers an intriguing combination of culture and beauty for cruisers, particularly those interested in racing. Join a Windstar Cruises yacht for an exclusive seven-day cruise that includes stops in places such as Rome and Portofino, as well as unique access to special Grand Prix activities and Formula One races in Monte Carlo. If you want to see Monaco without the racing theme (or on a larger vessel), try a Mediterranean cruise with Oceania Cruises, which often includes a stop in this lovely location.

Cruise around the Cyclades islands

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

The Cyclades, located southeast of mainland Greece, are some of the most beautiful islands in the world, including Delos, which is known as Apollo’s birthplace. The Cycladic islands of Santorini and Mykonos are well-known to big cruise lines such as Silversea and Celebrity Cruises, but reserving a private yacht may provide an even more unique experience.

“Between the geographical makeup of the Cyclades Islands and the mythic nature and narrative behind each stop, the exquisite and traditional m/s Erato yacht is the ideal vessel to tour the Aegean Sea,” says Kathy Stewart, Butterfield & Robinson’s Western Europe regional director. “This private excursion has it all: an enviable mix of biking and hiking adventures, authentic Greek culinary experiences both on ship and on land and ancient history woven throughout.”

Experience the South Pacific

When asked about his bucket list destinations, Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, replies, “The South Pacific is incredibly magnificent. It’s no surprise that so many people want to visit, and I’m certainly one of them. There is no better way to enjoy Tahiti and the surrounding South Pacific than aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship. From a ship, you can see the stunning terrain of French Polynesia’s volcanic islands.” Spend ten or more nights cruising through the gorgeous waters surrounding Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, and other islands onboard the Seven Seas Navigator.

Explore Seychelles, Maldives, and Sri Lanka

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

According to Navin Sawhney, CEO of the Americas for Ponant Yacht Cruises and Expeditions, a voyage to these three Indian Ocean sites should be on your bucket list. Prepare for an adventure aboard a Ponant Explorer ship, each named after a French explorer. These vessels, designed with the seclusion of a yacht and only 92 guest rooms apiece, provide cruises through beautiful tropical waters as well as excursions for scuba diving, water sports, and wildlife viewing. For a larger ship experience, choose Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises, all of which visit these exotic destinations.

Visit Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands

Sujith Mohan, a cruise industry veteran and general manager of Viking Cruises, has traveled the world seeing various fascinating sites by ship. Antarctica ranks first on his list of unforgettable travel experiences. National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions and Quark Expeditions, for example, offer itineraries to this remote corner of the world ranging from eight days to four weeks. Major cruise companies such as Viking Cruises and Celebrity Cruises frequently visit this region. Regardless of the cruise line you choose, prepare to get up close and personal with seals, whales, and several species of penguins via kayak or Zodiac boat, as well as marvel at the snowcapped icebergs on an unforgettable journey.

Go on an around-the-world cruise

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

Sailing across the world is an incredible way to see the world in a single trip. On a four-month cruise with Viking Ocean Cruises, passengers can see more than two dozen countries across six continents, stopping at over 50 ports of call. Food, beverages, travel, excursions, and other expenses are also covered.

This voyage’s destinations include Sydney, Singapore, Rome, Barcelona, as well as stops in the Caribbean and South America. Silversea Cruises, Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Princess Cruises all provide global cruises. Just keep in mind that international cruises are not cheap. Prices can range from $15,000 to over $200,000 per person, depending on the cruise line.

Sail through the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a must-see for many tourists. A variety of lines offer the 40-mile travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. Consider UnCruise Adventures’ Costa Rica and Panama itineraries, which are often offered in the winter months. According to Tim Jacox, the line’s president and chief operating officer, this voyage will involve a full Panama Canal transit.

“Panama is more than just a waterway. We uniquely combine adventurous travel on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the canal with indigenous culture. Kayaking, trekking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding lead to uplifting encounters with Embera native communities in the Darien jungle and Guna Yala Indians on the old San Blas Islands,” he adds. Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and other major cruise companies go through the Panama Canal.

In the fall, you can cruise from New York to Montreal

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

The stunning scenery along the St. Lawrence River and panoramic vistas of eastern Canada’s craggy coastline, set against the backdrop of autumn’s changing colors, are reason enough to bookmark this itinerary. Travelers can visit Prince Edward Island to eat its famous seafood, or they can stop in bustling cultural and gastronomic hubs like Montreal, Quebec City, Boston, and New York City. However, with such a short window in October to see the peak of the fall leaves, make your arrangements at least a few months in advance. Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises are among the cruise lines that provide this itinerary.

Embrace the Last Frontier

Chris Owen, a cruising-focused travel writer, has witnessed a number of notable ports of call from the balcony of a cruise ship’s stateroom. Alaska is one of his top choices for a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, particularly for multigenerational groups. He believes that every American should visit this beautiful place in the northern territories. While Holland America Line and Princess Cruises dominate the market, other major cruise companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises also provide itineraries to Alaska. Furthermore, discounts on Alaska cruises are offered during the sailing season, which runs from May to September.

Explore the American heartland

Discovering the Best Cruise Routes and Destinations to Cruise

If you want to see America’s heartland and the Deep South, take the American Queen, the world’s largest river steamer, on a journey down the Mississippi. Itineraries take you to little storybook communities rich with American history and reminiscent of bygone eras. Stop in major towns like St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee, for barbecue and blues before traveling to the Mississippi Delta and the South to learn about their rich and tangled history. Enjoy the best of Americana while gently floating down this classic American waterway before disembarking in the always-vibrant New Orleans.


With so many incredible cruise routes and destinations to choose from, the world truly is your oyster when it comes to planning your next maritime adventure. Whether you’re dreaming of exploring ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean, witnessing the wonders of the Galapagos Islands, or cruising through the majestic fjords of Alaska, there’s a perfect itinerary waiting to whisk you away on the voyage of a lifetime. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and set sail to explore the 28 best cruise routes and places to cruise around the world.