Ready to start planning your next vacation? If you’re already daydreaming about next cruise, consider our picks for best cruise destinations to visit in 2021.
Cruising has had an interesting evolution over the last century, from the luxurious expeditions to Antarctica to the proliferation of the mega-ship, with outrageous amenities like roller coasters and robot bartenders on the high seas. Today, there’s an entire range of sailings that span these two categories—and many more, from intimate river ships exploring historic Europe, to adventurous expeditions to the Galápagos, to intimate, yacht-like experiences that are the ultimate in luxury. And while 2020 has been an odd year for cruising, we’re ever curious about where you’ve gone, what you’ve loved, and who you went with while you were able to sail over the last year. For Condé Nast Traveler’s 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, here are the cruise lines you loved most, proving our theory that there’s a cruise out there for everyone.
If you’ve never been on a cruise, it’s time to start saving up and planning. Taking a cruise is a luxurious, convenient way to travel and to experience new places. A cruise takes away the worry and hassle of finding lodging and transportation in between stops and gives you the convenience of delicious dining options onboard and lots of activities to do while aboard the ship. There are many incredible cruise destinations for you to choose from. Here are 5 of the best cruises to go on this year.
A cruise through the Caribbean is one the most popular ones you can take. Some itineraries for a cruise in the Caribbean include stops in the Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). Other journeys through the Caribbean stop in Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominican Republic and others. All of these stops have incredible things to see and do. Notably, there are many beaches and places to snorkel, along with other water activities. You can also find lots of shopping and historical sites.
Bermuda is another favorite cruise destination, with its beautiful beaches, including Horseshoe Bay Beach known for its pink sand. Hike through a jungle or learn about Bermuda’s history and its mix of British and American culture. Find many shipwrecks or see the wildlife on a snorkeling excursion. There is a lot to explore on Bermuda cruises, and many of them also stop in Newport and Charleston.
Mexico is a very popular cruise destination, with most ships making stops in some combination of Cozumel, Costa Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Ensenada or Cabo San Lucas. No matter which ports you stop in, you can enjoy the local cuisine and spend time on the beach. Near Cozumel, you can visit Chankanaab National Park or see the ancient Mayan city of Tulum. There are also other adventures to take in Mexico like horseback riding and snorkeling.
Europe is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in general, and it’s true for cruises too. There are so many different cruise options when it comes to Europe, so which one you pick will depend on which cities you want to see. Popular stops on European cruises include Southampton, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Lisbon and Seville, among many others. At any European port, you will find exquisite dining and remarkable sights to see. In Southampton you can see the famous Stonehenge. Take tours of Barcelona along with wine tasting. See St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican in Rome. Enjoy some Roman street food while you’re there too. There are endless amazing things to do and see on any European cruise.
Australia and New Zealand
A cruise of Australia and New Zealand is a unique and unforgettable experience. Cruises to these amazing destinations often start in Sydney, home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and many other museums and activities. Here you can taste the infamous Vegemite and see the wildlife including kangaroos, platypus and Tasmanian devils.
From Sydney, a cruise will make stops in Milford Sound, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland and others. Along the way, take in the sights of the breathtaking mountains and learn about the culture of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Māori traditions are still very much a part of modern day New Zealand. At the Tauranga port, you can take a tour of the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set and at the Christchurch port, you can visit the International Antarctic Centre. Also, see the islands’ wildlife that you can’t see anywhere else in the world, including the native kiwi birds. Taste the incredible cuisine including the famous New Zealand lamb.
Any cruise you choose to take will be a fun and relaxing way to see some of the world’s most amazing destinations, without the added stress of lodging and transportation. Experience new places on one of these 5 cruises.