Vacation season is fast approaching and it's time to book that next cruise. Where should you head? We encourage you to consider one of these 10 cruise destinations you don't want to miss.
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
While Montreal is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its often overlooked little sister, Quebec City, is equally gorgeous. One of the great things about Quebec City is that travelers can get a taste of France without traveling to Europe. On arrival, you’ll see the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel towering over the city. You'll find yourself in a great walking city, and we encourage you to slip on your sneakers and traverse Rue du Petit-Champlain, the city’s most iconic street.
Budapest has become a prime destination for Europeans seeking a quick getaway and overseas travelers seeking something a little different. Dubbed the “Paris of the East” due to its sense of romance and the city lights, it’s become a top destination for cruisers, too. Budapest is beloved for its architecture, history, Great Market Hall, Jewish Quarter and nightlife; but the things people seem to love the most are its thermal springs and baths.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Dubrovnik is the ancient fortified walls surrounding the city. Do they look familiar? You’ve probably seen them in Game of Thrones or Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Take a tour if you're so inclined. Dubrovnik is also a great walking city full of culture and history, dating back to the seventh century, and is free of cars. It’s full of old churches, monasteries and synagogues and has one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe at the Franciscan Monastery. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see red-roofed terra cotta buildings dotting the backdrop of the Adriatic Sea. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of Banje Beach.
Villefranche-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Villefranche is an Italian-influenced city on the French Riviera, between Monaco and Nice, about an hour’s drive from the Italian border. It dates back to the 14th century and has a romantic, historic feel to it. Villefranche is known for its steep, staircased hills and 16th century chapels and architecture. Église Saint-Michel, The Chapelle Saint-Pierre and the Saint Elme Citadel are among the best in town. If you’re into darker attractions, check out Rue Obscure or “Dark Street.” It’s an ancient passageway under waterfront houses.
Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa is an interesting location — it’s situated in the remains of a literal volcano. Just a short trip from Christchurch, this British/French settlement is known for its natural beauty. Akaroa is home to a penguin colony, dolphins and alpaca farms for you to visit. Among the shimmering waters and rolling hills, there are plenty of places to take nature walks, go sailing or take out a kayak.
St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg is popular for its canals, boulevards and architecture. The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is probably the most popular building in the city with its five domes that resemble Christmas ornaments, but the history behind the location is a lot darker. It’s built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. The Fabergé Museum, Winter Palace and Mikhailovsky Theatre are also well worth a visit. If your visit falls between May and July, be prepared for the White Nights festival. St. Petersburg gets 24 hours of daylight during these months and throws parties, street festivals and concerts to take advantage of it.
Glacier Bay, Alaska, U.S.A.
A cruise to Glacier Bay is probably the most unique experience on the list because cruisers don’t ever leave the boat. The ship spends about 10 hours slowly sailing through the area where cruisers can see exotic wildlife, the snow-capped Fairweather Mountains and Margerie Glacier, a 21-mile long, 250-foot high tidewater glacier. Bring binoculars for an optimal experience.
Arles, Hauts-de-France, France
Arles is an ancient community nestled in the south of France with Roman ruins as some of its main attractions. The 2,000-year-old Arles Roman Arena is perhaps the most famous landmark. Many other buildings in Arles are Roman or Roman inspired, including the Cloisters at St. Trophime and Place de la Republique (Republic Square). The other claim to fame here is that Vincent Van Gogh spent 18 months creating some of his best work in Arles. For a more scenic view, ride a bike at Quai Larmartime. It allegedly inspired Starry Night.
Würzburg's history can be traced to about 1,000 B.C., to the origins of Marienberg Fortress and the settlement of the Celts in the region. It’s also home to Romantic Road, a 460 kilometer (285 mile) stretch lined with medieval castles reminiscent of fairy tales, ending in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, this is the place to go.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Located in the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, this resort city is the perfect destination for thrill-seekers, water sports lovers and marine life aficionados. Surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and parasailing are all commonplace here. Cabo is also a hot spot for activities like fishing and golf. Jacques Cousteau once called Cabo “The World’s Aquarium,” as it’s one of the world’s most biologically diverse places. Whale watching in the winter (December-March) and marlin watching in the fall are among tourists’ favorite activities, and a wide array of wildlife can be found year-round.