Have you ever wished to see the funfair in Rio, the aurora borealis, or the cherry blossoms in Japan? Maybe you wish to identify arctic bears in the ice or find the Galapagos giant tortoises, as reported by The Times.
These cruises will help you be in the best places — at the right time — for the world’s greatest natural and human spectacles.
Sail through the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is one of history’s greatest engineering achievements and is enthralling from beginning to end, so you don’t have to be a shipping nerd to be amazed by it or the thrill of transit. This Windstar Star Pride cruise is successful for several reasons. Your transit will start during the day, allowing you to observe all the locks, the tranquil Gatun Lake, the tight turns, and the enormous cargo ships cramming through them. The next two stops are in Colombia, at Santa Marta, where the beaches are bordered by rainforest, and in colourful old Cartagena. A win for merging culture, science, and nature may be found in the San Blas Islands, which offer some of the most spectacular snorkelling in the Caribbean, and the forested Bocas del Toro archipelago, which is abundant in marine and jungle life.
Details Seven nights’ all-inclusive from £3,999pp, including flights and $100pp spending credit, departing on December 2, 2023 (windstarcruises.com)
See the northern lights
Go as far north as you can to increase your chances of viewing the aurora borealis. When you travel in March, you’ll get a decent mix of daylight hours for activities like husky sledging, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, and night for activities like aurora hunting. From Bergen to Tilbury, Viking’s In Search of the Northern Lights cruise stops in Narvik, Tromso, and Alta—all excellent places to see the aurora—and offers extra experiences that include glamping, a stay in a tepee at a husky kennel, and a stay in an ice hotel. At Tromso and Alta, overnight stays allow you to spend as much time outside as necessary with a local guide who is familiar with the best viewing locations. You’ll travel on the tranquil Viking Venus, which features a superb spa and Scandinavian-inspired design.
Details Twelve nights’ full board from £4,340pp, including flights, tips and some activities, departing on March 12, 2024 (vikingcruises.co.uk)
Experience the Rio Carnival
Take in all the glitz and spectacle of the most famous funfair in the world on this 12-night roundtrip voyage on the Azamara Quest, which can accommodate 690 passengers. The two nights you spend moored in Rio de Janeiro, where you’ll be for the Sunday and Monday of the four-day festival, are of course the highlight. The itinerary also includes stops in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and the opulent beach resort of Punta del Este, as well as an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, where optional activities include tango lessons, a day spent playing gaucho on a cattle ranch, and a tour to the Iguazu Falls.
Details Twelve nights’ all-inclusive from £2,489pp, departing on February 6, 2024 (azamara.com). Fly to Buenos Aires
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Source: The Times