Many potential travelers yearn to see and understand what a tropical rain forest is all about. Small nature-oriented cruise ships offer a way to visit the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica's west coast, including Curu, Corcovado, Manuel Antono, and Cano Island.
A Mediterranean cruise may start in Spain, Italy, or Greece. My Celebrity cruise began in Crete, Greece, and proceeded to Santorini, Gythion, Malta, Rome, and Florence, with port-of-call day trips in all those locales.
Hawaii became available dependably and year round on the cruise scene, due to the commitment of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to position an American-flagged vessel, now Pride of America, in Hawaiian waters.
A week of small-ship cruising from Juneau, Alaska, through the wilderness waterways of the Alaska Southeast can get you close to humpback whales, orcas, glaciers, bears, and hundreds of islands covered with rain forests. You may see Endicott Arm, Tracy Arms, Sawyer Glacier, Keku Channel, the Tlingit Indian village of Kake, Bay of Pillars, Sitka, and Glacier Bay. In Juneau, see the Mendenhall Glacier, Mount Roberts Tram, the Lynne Canal, Alaska State Museum, and Gastineau Fish Hatchery.
The Wind Spirit ranks as an upscale small ship, and it's a great way to cruise the Caribbean.
An encounter with Egypt's pharaonic treasures could start in Cairo, with a look at the pyramids of Giza and at the Egyptian Museum, which displays the King Tut tomb artifacts. Then travel to Abu Simbel to see the colossal Ramses II statues. Finally, cruise the Nile between Aswan and Luxor, with attention to the great tombs of Ramses II and Nefertari at Luxor.
For over a century and a half there was a steamship prize--called the Blue Riband--for speed in the North Atlantic crossing.
Some smaller cruise ships and ferries call at or explore Prince Rupert, Ketchikan, Tracy Arms, and Haines. Here are portraits of four lesser-known ports and destinations in Alaska.
Cruising the Three Gorges section of China’s Yangtze River exposes a traveler to a stunning scenic section of this third longest river on Earth. The river between Chongqing and Wuhan is gorge country. From the Chinese perspective, the dam has three main virtues--flood control, electric power, and improved ship navigation.
A Southern Caribbean cruise itinerary can begin in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and take in various islands, such as Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, Tortola, and St. Thomas-St. John. Exploring historic San Juan and then choosing nature outings on the islands is a good strategy for the trip. .
A South Pacific cruise can take you to some better-known islands, such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Rarotonga. The cruise may also touch upon some more-remote islands, such as Atiu, Aitutaki, and Mopelia.
Whether watching mammoth chunks of ice crash from an Alaskan glacier or when scanning the Caribbean horizon for the next island, just what are the attractions of a cruise ship vacation?