Travelling aboard a luxury cruise ship is often the best way to explore new places, but some cruise lines offer experiences that are just a notch above the rest.
In its most recent issue, National Geographic Traveller put together a list of the 21 best cruises in the world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Nile River.
Below, we’ve selected our favourites from the list, highlighting ships that include perks like “snow rooms” and spa services, and others that offer travellers unparalleled experiences like tours of tropical gardens in the Marquesas Islands. All captions are by National Geographic Traveller.
'The 62-passenger Crystal Esprit, the first yacht from this famed luxury line, spends winters at these Indian Ocean islands. Release baby turtles into the surf and admire the giant coco-de-mer palms.'
'Aqua Expeditions' Aria Amazon sails through the Peruvian rain forest, with visits to indigenous villages and a chance to fish for piranha. Onboard, menus celebrate local fare with ceviche, river fish, and hearts of palm salad.'
'Lounging on pillows stuffed with Egyptian cotton on the top deck of Nour El Nil's Meroë, you'll feel like a modern-day pharaoh as you journey past date palms, ibis, and the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo.'
'The orchid-adorned 68-passenger Scenic Spirit launched last year with every cabin a one-bedroom balcony suite. On land, tour the monastery in the old Cambodian capital of Oudong and receive a monk's blessing.'
'The Paul Gauguin was built with a shallow draft for navigating Polynesian lagoons. The line invites local singers and dancers to perform and offers spa treatments that use monoi oil, made from local tiare flowers.'
'The three-masted Le Ponant visits a variety of small western Mediterranean ports and locations along the Corsican coast. Onboard, toast new friends with flutes of Veuve Clicquot paired with Ladurée macarons.'
'Half cruise ship, half freighter, the Aranui 5 spotlights its friendly local crew on its 14-day voyage to this remote South Pacific archipelago. They share family stories while leading trips to ancient tiki sites and tropical gardens.'
Other destinations in the issue include the Danube River, the Burgundy Canal, and the Mississippi River.
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