If you live somewhere with triple digit summer temperatures, a cruise is just what you need. No, we're not talking the Caribbean; these are five great cruises to escape summer heat.
Visiting Norway on a cruise ship is ideal, as many of the towns are small enough to explore in a few hours. Plus, you’ll get some of the best views from the water. Norway isn’t known for having the best weather, but summer is your best chance at some clear skies. The temperatures are still low in the summer, so you’ll want to pack layers.
When researching cruise options, make sure you choose an itinerary that primarily includes stops in Norway. Some cruises may start in and/or visit other European cities, which means less time in the fjords.
For a unique experience, consider Hurtigruten, which is a Norwegian cruise line, ferry and cargo company. Every port is in Norway, and you have the flexibility to go only a portion of the journey or the entire route. The ships are shuttling locals and cargo, so they are always going back and forth. You won’t have all the entertainment options you may be used to with other cruises, but wouldn’t you rather be enjoying the scenery here anyway?
A cruise to Alaska is a great option, even if you’re not trying to beat the heat. You’ve got massive icebergs, delicious seafood, the midnight sun and no shortage of wildlife sighting opportunities — what’s not to love about a cruise to Alaska? The cruise season here runs from late April to early September, and summer is peak time for travelers. Expect rates to be the highest for cruises in July when kids are out of school. This is also the warmest time of year, but you’ll still need a light jacket for rain and chilly nights.
Greenland and Iceland
Now is the time to book a cruise to Greenland, before it becomes crowded, as more cruise lines are expected to start making stops here. Like other icy destinations, not every cruise ship can navigate the waters. Vessels need ice-strengthened hulls to be better protected from the massive icebergs seen throughout the region. Right now, that means your chances of seeing wildlife can be greater than seeing another cruise ship, but this will likely change soon. Overall warmer temperatures have made cruises like Northwest passages itineraries more accessible.
Consider an itinerary that includes a stop in Iceland and even one in Svalbard. Cruise lines like Norway’s Hurtigruten offer specialty Greenland and Iceland cruises, including a 16-day Viking Heritage itinerary that includes 10 stops in Greenland as well as two in Iceland.
The Baltic region is another great cruise destination if you want to avoid high summer temperatures. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia make up the Baltic states, and most Baltic Sea cruises include a stop in Tallinn, Estonia. Depending on the length of the cruise you choose, other popular ports of call on a Baltic Sea cruise include Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen.
Aside from the rain, you’ll still want a coat for this cruise. Temps only hit the 70s in summer and drop to the 40s at night.
Want to visit the Aleutian Islands? Consider Ponant, a French cruise line known for its luxurious amenities and small ships (less than 300 passengers). Their 13-day Magnificent Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands itinerary starts with a flight from Seoul and finishes off in Juneau. Expect to get up close to some of the most active volcanoes in the world and have multiple chances at spotting wildlife like orca whales. Shore visits are done in zodiac inflatable boats, so no crammed excursion tours here.