Are you planning your next cruise vacation? Tired of the Caribbean and looking for different cruise options that explore some of the world’s other incredible islands? To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of some cruises to other islands well worth your time.
With numerous cruise lines and varying levels of luxury to choose from, booking a cruise to the Greek Islands is a wonderful alternative to the Caribbean. Cruises in Greece have no shortage of azure waters and idyllic beaches, with the added bonus of thousands of years of history. And, if you consider dates that are at the start or end of the season, you can avoid the larger crowds typically seen in July and August.
Depending on the cruise line you book with and your preferred itinerary, you’ll not only visit iconic islands like Mykonos and Santorini, but you’ll also have a stop in Athens. Smaller lines like Windstar Cruises offer itineraries that primarily focus on the Greek Isles, while larger cruise ships from other lines like Holland America visit the Greek Isles as part of a longer Mediterranean itinerary.
Seychelles, Maldives and the Andaman Islands
The Seychelles and Maldives are considered “bucket list destinations” for numerous travelers, but the perceived high cost of travel scares some people away. Why not book a cruise that will not only take you to the Seychelles and Maldives, but to Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands and Phuket, Thailand as well?
Fred Olsen Cruises offers a two-week itinerary that will make you forget about Caribbean cruises in a heartbeat. Spot rare black parrots in the Seychelles, lounge on atolls in the Maldives and explore Sri Lanka’s former capital city of Colombo while cruising the Indian Ocean. Next, you’ll move into the Andaman Sea where the hardest decision you’ll have to make is whether to snorkel in a noted marine reserve or just relax on the beach.
Tahiti is around an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, and it’s the perfect jumping off point for a cruise around the South Pacific. Paul Gauguin Cruises specializes in small-ship luxury cruises around some of French Polynesia’s most beautiful islands. You can also pick itineraries that include the Cook Islands, Tonga or Fiji. Plus, Paul Gauguin Cruises includes a number of perks like drinks (excluding top shelf liquor), covered gratuities and even airfare on some itineraries, so you’ll save more on this cruise than you might realize.
Japan and Taiwan
East Asia is another alternative to a Caribbean island cruise. Consider a one-week itinerary on Princess Cruises that starts in Hong Kong and visits Taiwan and Japan, including stops in Taipei, Okinawa, Osaka and Shimizu, near Mt. Fuji, before concluding in Tokyo. Want to stay a little longer? Celebrity Cruises has a 14-day itinerary that is similar, with added stops in Kagoshima and Nagasaki.
When it comes to cruises priced comparably to Caribbean cruise options, Hawaii is definitely a worthy contender. Norwegian Cruise Line offers a seven-day Hawaiian islands itinerary that includes an overnight stop in Maui and another in Kauai and is similarly priced to a week in the Caribbean. You won’t waste precious port days transiting to and from Hawaii since your cruise starts and ends in Oahu.
If it’s adventure and wildlife you’re hoping to see, start researching cruise options in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos is home to some of the rarest and most intriguing animals on the planet.
Options are seemingly endless when it comes to picking a Galapagos Islands cruise, as you can choose a budget-friendly four-day cruise on a no-frills boat, a liveaboard if you want to spend your days diving or a luxury yacht where you’ll be pampered at every turn. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible as cruises do tend to fill up, especially for the most desirable excursions and activities.