Are you comparing cruise itineraries and looking for someplace new to visit? Perhaps you’ve done several Caribbean or Mediterranean cruises and are looking for a new destination to consider. Here’s a look at some incredible cities that you didn’t know you could cruise to.
Most people know cruises regularly visit touristy spots like Dubrovnik, but if you’re looking for a different experience, head north to Opatija. Here, you can stroll along the Lungomare, which is lined with beautiful gardens and opulent villas. You’ll also find the Walk of Fame that pays homage to numerous famous Croatians, including inventor Nikola Tesla. Be sure to snap a photo of Hotel Kvarner, the first hotel on the Adriatic Sea, dating back to 1884. One of the best ways to explore Opatija and nearby islands is on small ship cruises like those offered by Katarina Line. Katarina Line specializes in boutique cruises and visits Croatian islands that are far less crowded, like Krk and Rab.
The picturesque city of Cartagena is a port on a number of Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises, including Royal Caribbean itineraries. Explore Cartagena’s 16th-century walled Old Town that lies along the Caribbean Sea. Once a shelter from storms and pirates, today it’s where you’ll find an excellent array of restaurants, shops and bars. Since hotels can be pricey along the coastline, visiting Cartagena by cruise can save a few dollars. Other sites of interest include Playa Blanca on Baru Island, a 45-minute boat ride from the port, and the San Felipe de Barajas Castle.
Petropavlovsk–Kamchatsky is only accessible by air or sea, and some cruise lines, including Oceania Cruises, visit this remote city. It has been called one of the best volcanic regions in the world. Visitors are surrounded by mountainous terrain; so much so that there is no point where the horizon is visible here. Excursions in Petropavlovsk–Kamchatsky tend to be geared to outdoor adventure as you can take an ATV to the base of an active volcano, hike to the summit or get a glimpse from above on a helicopter charter.
Ushuaia is located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, and is a resort town nicknamed the “End of the World.” It’s considered to be the southernmost city in the world and is the gateway to Antarctica as many itineraries begin here. However, Ushuaia is also a port on numerous South America cruises, including Norwegian Cruise Line itineraries. Located along the Andes foothills, it has rough winters and massive glaciers. Things to do in Ushuaia include exploring Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego and taking a cruise along the Beagle Channel. Don’t miss Isla Martillo for the penguins or Laguna Esmeralda for views of a stunning blue-green glacial lake.
The Emilia Romagna region of Italy is renowned for its cuisine. Many iconic Italian ingredients and dishes come from this region, especially in cities like Bologna. Book an Adriatic Sea cruise along the Italian coast and you’ll likely have a stop in Ravenna. This city is a gateway to spending the day in Bologna devouring delicious eats and exploring important historical sites like the oldest university in the western world. While in Bologna, explore the open-air market and stop in stores to buy regional products.
There is also no shortage of things to see in Ravenna if you want to stay close to the ship. Ravenna is renowned for its Byzantine-era architecture, with some of the best-preserved examples in the country. It’s also the final resting place for Dante Alighieri.
If you have an interest in exploring the Baltic region, there are several cruises that include more than just Tallinn, Estonia. Look for itineraries that include a stop in Riga, too. The port is a short walk to the old town, which is beautiful and quite historic. Since Riga was once part of the Soviet Union, you have a chance to peek behind the iron curtain at a number of Soviet-era buildings still present. Be sure to save time to explore the massive Central Market, housed in old airplane hangars, where you can try a variety of intriguing local eats. Try sprats, the local smoked fish, and bring back some Baltic rye bread if you have space in your luggage.