As tempting as it is to just put your finger on the map, the best thing to do when choosing the right cruise destination, is to first determine what it is you want to see and experience.
Make a list of your top expectations and desires for the trip, and then choose the one that ticks off all your boxes.
Visiting Antarctica is an incredible experience, with the rough Drake Passage that takes 48 hours to cross, and the Lemaire Channel with its spectacular ice cliffs.
The Antarctica Circle Cruise takes the less-travelled west-coast route, where you will get to see amazing iceberg formations at Hope Bay (did you know that they glow blue in the water?) and an abundance of seals and whales at Paradise Harbour.
The ship will also make a stop at Deception Bay, on Deception Island, where a hot spring is located. Although it is technically a hot spring, the water is anything but hot. Despite this, the option to swim will be available to you.
The cruise lasts around 14 days and is priced from $8,500 and up.
One of the most popular ways to explore Alaska is via the Inside Channel, and Glacier Bay is by far the most popular destination, due to the calving glacier.
While the cruise usually takes place in summer (April – September), the temperature is still cold. Don’t let this put you off though, as there are plenty of activities available to warm you right up!
While you’re there, be sure to take a flightseeing trip, as this will enable you to see the gorgeous rainforest, abundance of wildlife and stunning icebergs from a unique perspective.
The cruise lasts 7 nights and is priced from $500 and up.
As the Norwegian archipelago of islands, Svalbard offers gorgeous landscapes and amazing wildlife, including roughly 3,000 Polar bears, the arctic fox and the narwhal whale.
The cruise usually takes place in the summer months, from the tail-end of February to the beginning of October, as this is when the ice is thin enough for cruise ships to pass through. If you are hoping to see the Northern Lights, you should choose an itinerary in late February or late September to early October.
There are number of activities available to you, but if you want a specific activity (like swimming or scuba diving) then you should choose your itinerary carefully, as not all cruises will offer the same options. You should also be aware that certain activities may cost extra.
The cruise lasts roughly 10 days and is usually priced between $4,000 and $9,000 or more.
Galapagos is an archipelago of volcanic islands, with warm temperatures all year-round.
As a tropical destination, Galapagos has a lot to offer in the marine life department: sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles and tropical fish, as well numerous wildlife. There are also loads of activities to spice up your cruise, although diving is only permitted to registered and experienced divers.
The cruise can last from 4 nights to 2 weeks, depending on your itinerary and is priced between $800 – $6, 200 or more. However, to get the most out of your cruise, take a 10-night itinerary, which will allow you to visit all the islands.
Tahiti has long been thought of as a tropical paradise, and it is perfect for adventure-lovers, romantic interludes and relaxing getaways.
The French Polynesia Only cruises includes many of the other islands in French Polynesia, including Tahaa, Bora Bora and Huahine, and lasts between 7 – 13 nights ($7,000 – $20,000 or more).
There are also longer cruises, which can last from 20 – 50 nights, and are priced from $1,500 – $10,000 and up. These cruises usually begin in Los Angeles, New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Sydney and Auckland.
Certain cruises will also take you from Tahiti to Easter Island and if this is your preference then choose your itinerary carefully.
Remember that no matter where you end up in the world, your safety should be your main priority. Enjoy your adventure to the fullest, but don’t take unnecessary risks.
Kayla studied Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Management Marketing at Boston Business College in Cape Town. She is currently on a very exciting journey of becoming a travel writer through enhancing her skills by writing about safaris, adventure and travel tips.