The cruise industry had a fruitful 2016, and the new year is looming with the promise of more exciting things ahead for everyone who loves to journey on the open sea.
Have you already booked your 2017 adventure? If you’ve been setting your sights on some popular destination for your cruise – this may be the best time to rethink your options.
Make your 2017 travels extra thrilling by signing up for a cruise to less known but equally amazing ports! But, where to? The three underestimated ports below should give you some ideas:
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
The picturesque coastlines of Central America’s Puerto Limon, Costa Rica gives you the perfect venue to get your much-needed dose of sand, sea, and surf. Close by is Playa Bonita, a must-visit stretch of beach for both surfing and swimming.
But, more than its breathtaking waters, what this port offers in abundance is eco-tourism at its finest. It is home to nature reserves like Tortuguero National Park, 19000 hectares that is home to about 170 species of reptiles, a variety of sea turtle species, 300 bird species, and the West Indian manatee – an endangered animal believed to be now numbering to just 100 in the said park.
Cahuita National Park is another stunning destination in the Costa Rican paradise of Limon. While smaller in terms of land coverage, it actually protects 22,400 hectares of marine life – including the largest coral reef in the country, sharks, turtles, manta rays, sea urchins, and so much more. The ecological zones on land are sanctuaries for monkeys, iguanas, sloths, and a lot of bird species.
The Afro-Caribbean population in Puerto Limon also offers plenty in terms of culture, and this shows in their busy marketplace, which is teeming with unique wooden carvings and traditional souvenirs.
Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America, and Celebrity Cruises are just three of the cruise lines that offer you the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind paradise.
Khasab, Oman and other Middle Eastern regions
Leave the Bahamas and Caribbean islands to the others – make your 2017 cruise worthy of Instagram-envy by checking out destinations like the Middle East. Mysterious and magnificent, the Middle East gives you an unrivaled destination that is sure to make your journey a true adventure.
Khasab, Oman is one such port. Capital of the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab was built and occupied by the Portuguese in the 17th century, giving it a truly unique culture and infrastructure. A few of the favorite things-to-do in the area is to pay a visit to the Khasab Castle, a 17th century marvel, formerly home of the Wali and prisoners, and now a museum.
Dhow boat excursions in Khasab should also be in your bucket list – they’ll take you dolphin watching, swimming, snorkeling, and visiting colorful fishing villages. Feel like trying a Middle Eastern adventure? Go for a 4WD mountain safari and experience a breathtaking ride on the desert peaks of Musandam!
You’d also want to see with your own eyes the brand of luxury only Middle Eastern cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi can offer – from towering hotels, to mesmerizing mosques, and grand museums, you’ll surely be left amazed.
How to get these outstanding places? Make the most of your trip by going onboard Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises.
Cape Town, South Africa
If you want the year’s trip to be different from your usual summer escapes, choose a cruise to the West African coast and bear witness to the so-called ‘final frontier’.
Nature is at its most enthralling in this part of the world, with colorful sand dunes, a rich marine life, and lush mountains and wildlife -you know you’ll get the best that this planet can showcase.
Whale-watch in Walvis Bay or explore the many wonders of remote Bom Bom Island – there is no shortage of adventures to enjoy in the area. The awe-striking Table Mountain towers above the city’s accommodations – and you’re free to explore and marvel at it when you go to port.
Cape Town and nearby areas like Namibia and Ghana will also regale you with their quaint villages and unique culture – there will be plenty of stories to share amongst cruisers and locals, and they’re ones you’re most likely to enjoy sharing when you get back home.
Don’t forget to visit local markets, and do give in to the lure of mysterious spots like the old mining town of Kolmanskop. These two excursions will open doors for you to discover the seemingly ‘magical’, mind-boggling culture of the region, which are sure to add an unforgettable dimension to your travel journal.
Book a cruise to these destinations via lines like MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Cunard.