Having cruised all of the major and popular regions of the world (South Pacific, New Zealand, Caribbean, Mediterranean etc) you may now have a thirst for something a little more exotic, unique or interesting.
From Asia to South America, there is a unique itinerary to satisfy pretty much every taste and region, with big, medium and small ships providing a variety of options. We have rounded up our pick of the most unique cruise itineraries out there to get your cruising taste buds salivating for something outside the norm.
Mystical Maldives & Sensational Seychelles
Mumbai to Mumbai – 20 nights – Azamara Journey – Departing April 2017
It’s an intriguing part of the world to see and Azamara Club Cruises is delving deep into the Indian Ocean in line with its image as the “Destination Immersion” brand.
Embarking in Mumbai, this 20-night “AzAmazing” itinerary calls into Kochi, India before continuing on to four ports in the Seychelles before arriving in the Maldivian capital of Male and the remote uninhabited island of Kuda Bandos. It’s very much outside the usual areas cruise lines tend to tread.
Continuing northward as it heads back to Mumbai, the final days of the voyage sees guests call into Colombo, Sri Lanka for an overnight call into the city and Goa, India before disembarking back in Mumbai. As one of the only voyages to go to both the Maldives and Seychelles, this unique itinerary also allows you to pair this with a Golden Triangle land tour for more of an Indian cultural injection.
The Northwest Passage
Anchorage to New York – 32 nights – Crystal Serenity – Departing August 2017
Sailing from Anchorage, Alaska this unique itinerary aboard Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity takes passengers high up into the Arctic Circle and straight into Polar bear territory.
Almost unchartered by modern cruise ships, Serenity follows a path set by an accompanying ice breaker to ensure free passage for the voyage. Unique excursion opportunities have been developed with guests able to undertake once-in-a-lifetime events including a “polar plunge” where guests strip down to as little as they dare and dive into the ice cold water, while numerous opportunities to sight polar bears are also included.
The ultra-luxury Crystal Serenity sails with just over 1,000 passengers and is the first mid-sized vessel to cruise the Northwest Passage (the strait of normally frozen water that runs from Alaska across Arctic Canada to Greenland. The voyage is one of the line’s hottest (no pun intended) tickets for 2016, selling out within hours of it being announced and customer demand being sufficient for a repeat next year.
Havana to Havana – 7 nights – MSC Armonia – Departing December 2016
Dancing the night away on the streets of Havana is a unique experience anytime, but to do so on Christmas Eve adds that extra memorable element.
Embarking in Havana on Christmas Eve, this unique itinerary sees guests enjoy three days in the Cuban capital, with both Christmas Day and Boxing Day spent docked. After all that colour and flair, a day at sea will be just what you need to experience the recently upgraded MSC Armonia prior to port calls in Mexico, The Cayman Islands and Jamaica. The ship then heads back to Havana with guests able to then experience New Years Eve in the party city.
Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale – 14 nights – Crown Princess – October 2016 & 2017.
Sailing through the ever-changing Autumn colours, guests on this unique itinerary embark in the French influenced Quebec City before continuing through ports in Atlantic Canada, with highlights including Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick featuring alongside emerging destinations Sydney, Nova Scotia and Ville Saguenay, Quebec.
Passengers will also experience historically significant ports like Boston and Newport, Rhode Island before visiting Norfolk, Virginia where guests can visit Colonial Williamsburg, once the capital of the settlement of Virginia and the capital of Colonial America.
Safaris & South America’s Islands
Ushuaia to Cape Town – 21 nights – Le Lyrial – Departing March 2017
Sailing aboard Ponant’s newest vessel, the luxurious Le Lyrial, this itinerary navigates across the Southern Atlantic Ocean from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope, with stops in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. It then makes its way north towards Africa, with ports of call including Nightingale Island – one of the most remote locations in the world – and Gough Island, famed for its unique rock formations and seal colonies.
Ponant’s unique approach to itineraries sees additional flexibility built into the schedule, allowing for time should marine life such as whales present themselves en route. An overnight stay in Cape Town provides a full opportunity to discover the African city before disembarking, with many guests choosing to continue to explore Africa by way of safari.
Canaries & Iberia
Southampton to Southampton – 16 nights – Aurora – November 2016 & 2017
Originating in the major British cruising hub of Southampton, guests are transported from traditional England to the diverse region of The Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula onboard this P&O Cruises UK adventure.
Tropical beaches intertwined with diverse Spanish and Portuguese-influenced culture are prominent on this itinerary, with an extended call into Tenerife and an overnight in the Portuguese city of Madeira allowing for maximum time ashore. Calling into Agadir also affords a touch of Moroccan culture and spice before continuing back to Southampton.
Another unique element which adds to this itinerary is finishing in England in time to appreciate a white Christmas in Europe. Guests will disembark just in time for the pomp and ceremony that is Europe during the magic that comes with the end-of-year holidays.
Athens to Venice – 9 nights – Star Pride – Departing May to September annually
Sailing aboard the intimate Star Pride, guests on this once-in-a-lifetime voyage sail along the Dalmation Coast before reaching southern Greece and the famed Corinth Canal – one of the tightest commercial passages in the world.
Mere centimetres separate either side of the vessel from the cliff face, and guests can stand as the ship literally nudges its way through the canal. You can even see where inscriptions of ships past have been made in the old sandstone and can be informed of the significance of the canal on Greece’s trading partners and its influence in wider European trade relations.
Voyage to the Midnight Sun
Amsterdam to Amsterdam – 19 days – MS Koningsdam – Departing June 11, 2017
Sailing from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, this itinerary calls upon ports along the Norwegian coast including the most northern point which can possibly be reached by cruise ship – Liefdefjord on Norway’s North Cape.
This voyage sees the sun fail to set for most of the voyage, allowing guests to discover ports only visited two or three times per year at most. So remote are many of the ports that shore excursions aren’t officially offered by Holland America Line, and many residents of each town instead offer to take passengers on tours of the local area and to see points of interest for a small token of compensation.
Guests also have the chance to scenic cruise the polar ice cap, a unique opportunity only offered on this voyage and one highly dependant on weather conditions at the time.
What’s the most unique itinerary you have heard of? Tell us in the comments below!