Which cruises should you pay extra for a balcony?

It’s pretty much a given that if you are heading to the scenic sights of Alaska or even staying closer to home and visiting New Zealand and its stunning fjords that you should always fork out a little bit extra to have a stateroom with a private balcony to enjoy the vistas. There are a few other left of centre cruises where we think a balcony is worth the slight premium.

Royal Caribbean’s Atlantic Canada & Quebec Autumn Colours

View the many lighthouses along the New England coast with Royal Caribbean.
Lighthouses abound along the New England coast.

If you have ever wanted to discover Anne of Green Gables country, a cruise to Canada’s Maritime Provinces provides you with dozens of opportunities to whale watch as well as admire the stunning countryside. A balcony cabin ensures that you get the greatest chance of seeing every whale encounter, while the balcony will also allow you to enjoy the sights of when the ship makes its way up the St. Lawrence River and into the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park – which is home to no less than 10 different species of whale!

Princess Cruises’ Northern Australia Explorer

The Red cliffs at Sunset of the Kimberly Coast of Western Australia
The red cliffs of the Kimberly Coast of Western Australia

Snaking around the coast of Northern Australia from Fremantle to Sydney or Brisbane, a highlight for most travellers is the afternoon spent scenic cruising the Kimberly Coast. Whilst only a short four or five hour experience, it provides guests with the opportunity to view one of Australia’s most remote gems. We recommend a balcony to fully appreciate the scene as the romantic sunset along with a well-timed bottle of champagne is best appreciated with your one and only – not every man and their dog on the Lido or Promenade decks.

MSC Cruises’ Black Sea, Bosphorus & The Dardanelles

MSC Armonia one of MSC Cruises' smaller vessels regularly calls upon Istanbul Turkey
MSC Armonia, one of MSC’s smaller vessels regularly calls upon Istanbul.

Sitting on your balcony as you literally see Asia on one side and Europe on the other is pretty cool, however that’s only just a taste of what’s to come. It’s with quick emergence that you will see the grand city of Istanbul engulfing the land surrounding The Dardanelles.

While most ships cruising the Eastern Mediterranean call into Istanbul at least once, the solitary passage in and out of the Black Sea sees all ships travel back out past Istanbul – many doing so at night when the city is gloriously lit up. Lying in bed and seeing the skyline is quite the wow factor – as is watching the plethora of tiny fishing boats, ferries and other craft crisscrossing between the city’s two continents.

Hurtigruten’s Cape Verde & Canaries

One of many insects encountered by CruiseAdvice near the African Island Nation of Cape Verde
One of many insects encountered by Cruise Advice near Cape Verde.

We not only love this cruise for its unique Morocco to Brazil itinerary, but also because it’s one of the few itineraries that call to the tiny island of Cape Verde in Northern Africa. About a day out from arrival in Cape Verde, an amazing array of birds and insects will appear, with the tropical location seeing large cicadas make their way and perch themselves on your balcony railing. The harmless Cicadas ranged up in size to around that of a fist.

Bird spotters will also take great pleasure in more than 180 bird species that find themselves on the archipelago as they fly along the ship. Add in the many sea days experienced on this Trans-Atlantic crossing and you’ll have a super private place to find your zen.

Azamara Club Cruises’ Monte Carlo Grand Prix

Plenty of cruise ships find their way to Monaco for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The annual Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix draws many cruise ships.

When Azamara Journey docks in Monaco, she will hold pole position along with most of the world’s super yacht fleet, front and centre with views of the race circuit. Passengers lucky enough to snap up balcony staterooms will have the privilege of not “sharing” the view with anyone else, while all other guests will need to stand on the public decks taking in the view. You might want to hope also that your balcony faces the circuit, not out to sea.

Holland America’s Cape Horn & Antarctic Explorer

View Cape Horn from your Holland America Line balcony.
It’s the most southern point of South America and a highlight of Holland America Line’s voyages in the area.

Whilst it may be slightly cooler at the southern latitudes, guests with a balcony receive an unexpected bonus from these temperatures – the chance to sight the first ice! Holland America, which has been operating cruises to the seventh continent, provide guests in balconies and suites aboard MS Prinsendam with binoculars to keep an eye out for the first sightings of ice. In addition, the dramatic birdlife will have guests captivated as they keep watch for resident albatross and other southern varieties.

Seabourn’s Amazon & Brazil Explorer

Small Ship Line Seabourn offers some of the highest ratios of Balconies aboard it's mutli ship fleet as they sail around the world
Small Ship Line Seabourn offers some of the highest ratios of Balconies aboard it’s fleet

Small luxury line Seabourn takes on the Amazon in a special Buenos Aires to Manaus voyage, which has guests traversing the Amazon River in style. Sitting on your private balcony while enjoying Seabourn’s famous in-suite breakfast and watching the landscapes roll by has enchanted guests from around the world. Overnighting on your final night at Manaus provides a final opportunity to use your balcony as the city twinkles behind the port.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America in Hawaii

Pride of America sailing along the Napali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America is the ship found most often in the Hawaiian Islands.

Despite this seven-night cruise featuring no full sea days, the cruise has two overnight calls perfect for leaving the balcony door open at night and taking in the tropical smells of Hawaii as you sleep. Guests can also use the space to appreciate scenic cruising of The Nāpali Coast State Park, an area which is generally affected by wet weather, ensuring the few covered Promenade decks are full three to four people deep!

Tell us below in the comments which voyages you’d happily pay the balcony premium on.