World’s Top Cruising Destinations – Part ll
By: Kim Michele
From Sweden we cruise on to Copenhagen, home of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and Tivoli Gardens. Established in 1841, Tivoli is the world’s oldest amusement park as well as being a national symbol, Denmark’s pride and joy. The park is their most visited tourist attraction as well as being the inspiration upon which Walt Disney based Disneyland. This makes for a really fun day, no matter what your age.
Cruising further north we are promised a look into a world very unlike our own, a city with centuries of history and the stories to match. St Petersburg, Russia is just that place. Adorned with incredible architecture, one of its most famous and awe inspiring buildings is the State Hermitage Museum. Situated along the River Neva in the heart of St. Petersburg, the main building was originally the Winter Palace and residence of the Russian tsars built in the 18th century. Their priceless collection of over 3 million works of art took over 2 and a half century to put together. Visiting this one piece of history makes the cruise worth every minute. Some of the smaller ships are able to sail right up the River Neva and dock not far from the Hermitage which makes for an incredible view.
Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, Russia
Although we could spend our entire cruise in Scandinavia, there are many other places to visit. The Mediterranean has always been one of our favorite cruising grounds, Venice, the Greek Islands, Kusadasi Turkey, Tenerife, Barcelona, Cannes and more. No matter where you go, you are guaranteed to have a great time and see some amazing sights.
But let’s not stop there. If you are up for a true adventure, why not cruise down the Amazon? Now there is something you don’t experience everyday. Although South America is filled with treasures, the Amazon River has to be one of its best kept cruising secrets. Who would have guessed that you could be on a cruise ship in the middle of the continent? The ship enters the river mouth in the northern part of Brazil and winds its way up the great river as far as Manaus before docking for a few days. The sights, tours and experience are the perfect makings for an unforgettable trip.
Back to the northern hemisphere, one of the most breathtaking places to visit is of course, Alaska. God’s country at its finest, Alaska offers its visitors a rare glimpse of the true wilderness. Not only do you see the land based wildlife, but nothing can prepare you for the sight of schools of whales playing and feeding just meters from the ship. The sea life is remarkable. However your days in port are anything but boring. Instead they are filled with helicopter rides, dog sledding, glacier moon walking and delicious salmon bakes. There is hiking, biking, floatplanes and train rides and plenty of traditional saloons and extraordinary totem poles. The only way to see the true beauty of Alaska is by ship. Sailing through the Inside Passage is a view best enjoyed from the comfort of your balcony with hot toddy in hand. But if you are looking for a view to top that, try getting up close and personal with a glacier as the ship sails right up it. This would be the best time to be out on deck so you can witness first hand the huge ice-carvings breaking away from the glacier. There is nothing like coming face to face with nature.
No matter where you cruise, be sure to take advantage of everything the ports have to offer. Paying close attention to the ships itinerary can be the difference between taking a cruise and having a memorable vacation.