Whether it’s experiencing Papua New Guinea’s beautiful islands and fascinating cultures or taking a journey into the past as you visit Baltic cities such as St Petersburg and Tallinn, there are many cruise holiday options that will awaken your sense of wonder and reward your curiosity – here are some of our favourites.
The Polish city of Gdansk can draw on more than a thousand years of history in its efforts to captivate you – fairy-tale castles, vast ancient churches and a proud heritage all combine to create one fascinating city that’s filled with stories.
You may be surprised to learn that Russia’s beautiful St Petersburg is not even as old as New York City, but is nonetheless home to a collection of art and architecture that makes it one of the true treasures of Northern Europe.
Sleepy Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland is a quaint town of just 20,000, nicknamed the ‘City of Roses and Ruins’ for its ancient streets encircled by medieval walls. Venture outside the town itself and explore the island’s quiet roads, lined with flower-filled meadows, stopping to sample locally produced cheeses and jams.
A Baltic cruise is a showcase of all the beauty, history and heritage of these lands, which promise to captivate you with their stunning scenery and entrance you with their stories.
Step ashore in Hokkaido and you’ll feel a million miles from the buzz of Tokyo. Stunning natural beauty, historic landmarks and amazing seafood are all part of what makes Japan’s northernmost island truly unique.
Take a walk through the Fisherman’s Wharf area of the city of Kushiro and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and boutiques to tempt you. On the opposite side of the island, the city of Otaru offers a chance to take a step back in time – you can explore the famed “Herring Mansions” to see how the fabulously wealthy fishing tycoons once lived, sample the wares at a an 85-year-old Scottish-style whisky distillery or enjoy a soak in the ancient, natural hot springs of Jozankei. Hokkaido’s third-largest city, Hakodate, is not just famed for its incredible seafood: the nearby village of Fukushima has also produced two grand champions in Sumo wrestling. If you’re interested in the history and drama of this amazing sport, a visit to the city’s Sumo Museum is a must.
Don’t be fooled by the name: Papua New Guinea’s Conflict Islands were named for a 19th century survey ship which charted the tranquil waters that surround them. The group of 21 islands, which encircle a vast lagoon on the rim of a sunken volcano, are a magical spot in which to enjoy time on, in and under the water – whether you’re lazing on one of the islands’ many secluded beaches, visiting a sea turtle nursery or snorkelling over stunning coral gardens.
Rabaul was the capital city of the former German colony known as New Pomerania, and the period of tumult it experienced during the 20th century is part of what makes it so fascinating to visit today. The Kokopo War and Cultural Museum is home to an impressive collection of WWII vehicles, weapons and historical photos from Japan’s occupation of Rabaul, while Karavia Bay is home to a Japanese barge tunnel complete with five rusting barges still hiding inside – part of a complex network of tunnels that concealed munitions stores, pathways and even 15 hospitals.
If you’re more interested in Papua New Guinea’s unique geography, a visit to the Volcanological Observatory on Mt. Tovanumbatir is a must – the centre is responsible for monitoring the country’s 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes, and, as a bonus, offers breath-taking views of Simpson Harbour.
Every leg of the journey, you’ll enjoy the great natural beauty and warm, friendly welcome that these incredible islands have to offer.
This is just a small selection of some of our favourite cruise itineraries, designed to take you off the beaten track and introduce you to some unique parts of the world which you may not otherwise have considered. Ask your personal travel manager for details.