5 great cruise destinations guaranteed to give a great first impression
We are conditioned to mass air travel these days. Every minute of the day, a plane lands at a major airport such as JFK. Except for the flight controller and the pilot, nobody bats an eyelid at the sight.
And yet, some cities are only really seen at their best when approached from the sea. Few things cap a voyage so perfectly as the spine tingling procession past the incredible monuments of Venice, or sailing from the mountain framed backdrop of the mesmerising Hong Kong skyline. So, without further ado, here’s ‘five of the best’ that you should surely be adding to your bucket list.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is sultry enough, but a breakfast arrival is a feast for the senses too, as you sail into the vast Guanabara bay. Fringed by world famous beaches such as Leblon and Copacabana, Rio’s twin landmarks of Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain sheer out of the water like giant exclamation marks. It makes for a sensational arrival in one of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic cities.
Istanbul is all soaring minarets and stunning palaces such as Haghia Sophia, their spires reflected in the early morning Bosphorous as the famous ferries bumble back and forth, and the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. Only here can you sail into the arms of two continents at the same time; the city straddles both Europe and Asia.
Sydney is a vast, rollicking metropolis in its own right, but an early morning arrival into Darling harbour brings you up close and personal with the vast, impassive span of the famous Coathanger Bridge. Nearby, the quixotic, snow white sails of the Opera House splinter the southern skyline, unmistakable proof that you really are in a different world.
It goes without saying that South Africa is a great cruise destination. Cape Town is dominated by the massive, cloud kissed bulk of Table Mountain looming over a beautiful harbour, sprinkled with small yachts and a gorgeous waterfront full of quaint restaurants and shops.
New York remains the daddy of them all. The approach to Manhattan is almost ceremonial, as the Empire State and Chrysler buildings loom above the bustle of Midtown, and the Statue Of Liberty heralds your approach to the stunning, steel, glass and concrete forest of skyscrapers. Still a platinum chip jaw dropper every time.
All of these are beautiful in their own right. Oh, and if your voyage starts and finishes in one of them, then it’s double the pleasure. Win-win.
These stunning cruise destinations and more are featured in the latest edition of our Luxury Cruise Collection. Have a look here.
Words by Anthony Nicholas – follow him on Twitter here.