For over a century and a half there was a steamship prize--called the Blue Riband--for speed in the North Atlantic crossing.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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 cruise to the western Caribbean can take you on shore excursions to the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha in Belize, the Rainforest Aerial Tram canopy tour outside Limon in Costa Rica, and to the canal and Panama City in Panama.
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. .
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.
Cruising the Norway coastal fjords on Bergen Line freighters will appeal to the cruise travel adventurer who delights in a modern freighter and ship. Their Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise, on ships such as the Nordlys, stops at Alta, Nordkapp,Hammefest, and Trondheim. The cruise is also known as the hurtigruten.
The Caribbean is the world's most popular cruise region, due to its sunny weather all year, its proximity to North America, and its many interesting island destinations.