When you think of cruises, you may think of sailing around a tropical or sub-tropical locale such as the Caribbean Sea or the Hawaiian islands. However, not everyone is interested in visiting those areas of the world. If you would prefer not to take a tropical cruise, there are many alternatives available. Here are five cruises you can take outside the tropics.
1. The British Isles
Despite its small size, the European continent has a wealth of vacation and touring locations to choose from. Britain, Ireland and the surrounding smaller islands that make up the British Isles may not be the first place you think of to take a cruise, but they are increasingly popular choices. They are relatively small landmasses, so you can cover large areas on a British Isles cruise. The isles also have a lengthy and fascinating history, so you will have many options for excursions, sightseeing, shopping and learning in many different locations, from the Scottish highlands to metropolitan London and Dublin.
Antarctica is an increasingly popular cruise destination. While there aren’t any ports or cities, there are places where you may be able to leave your cruise ship for excursions. Depending on your cruise line, you may be able to go kayaking or sailing or visit certain areas on land. Antarctica can be a difficult place to get to, but with its spectacular views and the unique experiences you can have, going on a cruise there can be well worth it. Most cruises take passengers along the Antarctic Peninsula, where they can look for wildlife such as seals, whales, penguins and other birds or take in dramatic views of the coastline, glaciers and icebergs.
3. New Zealand and Australia
If you want to visit unique places in the world, look no further than New Zealand and Australia. These countries have varied landscapes, unique wildlife and fascinating histories you can visit and learn about on a cruise. If you go on a cruise to New Zealand, you may be able to visit Doubtful Sound, where you can see both the coastline and the dramatic mountains beyond. A cruise to New Zealand or Australia is something an adventurous spirit may find most interesting. Not only can you go sightseeing but you can also participate in more demanding excursions, such as hiking.
4. The Northeastern United States
The northeastern United States isn’t necessarily a place people think of when they decide to take cruises, but it’s just as full of unique experiences and beautiful views as other cruising options. From Maine to New Jersey, you can see everything from brilliant fall foliage to bustling cities. The northeastern United States is full of rivers, inlets and bays where you can visit important historical locations such as Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Virginia, or look for local wildlife. You can also visit cities bursting with culture and experiences, such as Philadelphia, Boston and New York City or go to any number of beautiful parks, forests and coastal locations.
5. Northern Europe
If you want to experience European culture while seeing breathtaking natural wonders, your ideal cruise might be a trip around northern Europe. Comprising the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the British Isles, Iceland and Finland, Northern Europe is full of spectacular geological structures, rich cultures and vast natural wonders. You can take cruises along the Scandinavian coast to take in the fjords or travel north of the Arctic circle. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may have a chance to see the northern lights or the polar sun.
If you’re thinking about taking a cruise outside the tropics, take some time to consider where you want to go. Would you prefer the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere? Do you want to see North America or Antarctica? Would you be interested in cruising around or within Europe? Answering these questions is essential to deciding what cruise line you want to use and what excursions or activities you’ll be able to participate in.