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.
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 two-week Alaska Grand Tour could take a visitor to Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Skagway, and Sitka. Part of the trip would be by cruise ship and part by bus tour.
A cruise in the Baltic can take you on shore excursions to some of Europe's most intriguing cities. My favorite ports on a Princess Cruise in the Baltic were St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Berlin via Hamburg.
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.
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.
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.
Summer visitors come each year to Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, mainly by cruise ship, to experience the glaciers and the wildlife., such as humpback whales.