When I was a child, I thought of cruising as a time to go to the Bahamas, or Mexico, play on the beach, and go on waterslides. Now that I have grown, my interests have shifted. That is part of the magic of cruising: People take cruises for a multitude of reasons. Some do it to relax, some do it for adventure; some cruise to meet people, some cruise to get away from people. Whatever the reason, cruising provides an escape from the ordinary.
I like cruising because it provides me the opportunity to learn about different cultures, and journey to countries I have never visited. A cruise is the most effective and efficient way to travel because of the number of destinations to which you can travel in a short period of time.
Below, I have outlined five cruises that I would love to take. Some of these cruise I have chosen for cultural immersion, some are places that I have never been, and some are places that I know and love. Here are my Top 5 Aspirational Voyages for 2019.
1. First on the list is an itinerary offered by Silversea. The Silver Discoverer will sail from Darwin to Bali on June 24, 2019. This cruise will spend 15 days exploring Indonesia. This cruise is number one on my list for multiple reasons, one being that I have never been to Indonesia before – but perhaps the most notable part of the voyage is the shore excursions offered. Snorkeling is offered on many cruise lines, and is something I have done many times before – although I have a tendency to get stung by jellyfish. Aboard Silver Discoverer, guests will have the opportunity to snorkel in the Coral Triangle, which proves to be extremely beautiful from a Google search alone.
What sells the trip for me, however, is a visit to Tanjung Puting National Park and Camp Leakey to learn of Dr. Biruté Galdikas’ work with orangutans. Monkeys and apes are my favorite animals, and as soon as I heard about this excursion, I knew that this itinerary had to be at the top of my list.
2. Second on the list is Regent Seven Seas Mariner, which will offer the line’s first immersive Cuba itinerary on her October 15, 2019 voyage. This itinerary calls on Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. Cuba seems like such a magical place. From the retro cars to the colorful buildings, it is certainly picturesque.
Cuba is also a place that is extremely foreign to most people. Although Cubans speak a language that most of us have heard and are in a location close to which many of us have traveled, there is so much of their development that I, as an American, missed out on since travel to Cuba was banned for the majority of my life. I would love to explore this beautiful country.
3. Next, we have a 14-day holiday cruise through Thailand and Vietnam aboard Seabourn Ovation. This cruise starts December 22, and ends on January 5. While this cruise technically starts in 2018, it ends in 2019. I included this cruise on the list, because Vietnam is one of my favorite countries, and hey, Seabourn is not a bad way to experience any destination.
Christmas Eve will be spent at sea and Christmas Day at Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand. Then the ship will travel on to Cambodia and Vietnam, with two days in Ho Chi Minh City before celebrating New Year’s Eve at sea, and New Year’s Day at Da Nang (Hue), Vietnam. A day in Halong Bay, Vietnam, will follow before arrival at Hong Kong. Although I have been to Vietnam, my only time in Thailand has been at an airport. I can not think of a better time to explore Bangkok than on an already magical Christmas Day.
4. Fourth, The Secrets of Croatia & Greece via the Corinth Canal itinerary aboard Windstar’s Star Pride. This eight-day voyage will travel from Venice to Athens by way of Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. Although I have traveled in Europe quite a number of times, I have never explored the Mediterranean. Having traveled mostly in Northern and Western Europe, I feel as if I am missing out on something.
This cruise starts in Italy and ends in Greece, two countries that I have only ever heard about – and never seen. Although I am claustrophobic, the navigation of the Corinth Canal is a special opportunity that only a small ship could provide. Hopefully, I would be able to put my fear aside and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that navigation would provide.
5. Lastly, the Ultimate Seafarers & Baltics itinerary aboard Scenic Eclipse. This itinerary is a 22-day voyage from Barcelona to Stockholm. Although there are not many details of this voyage, it still made my list because it starts and ends in two of my favorite cities. Apart from that, the Scenic Eclipse provides such a unique cruising experience. This itinerary should provide guests the opportunity to bike ride, take helicopter and zodiac tours, travel with local guides, kayak, and more, as those have been marketed features of the ship.
So those are my top five aspirational voyages. What are yours?