There has never been a better time to hit the high seas for a cruise vacation. An estimated 18.4 million passengers will be cruising the world’s waters in 2010 in search of a remarkable vacation.According to Cruise Market Watch, the worldwide cruise capacity is up almost 7 percent in 2010, as cruise lines add new ships to boost their lines. And with the additional space, some cruise lines are offering value pricing so the new space and the existing spaces are booked.
There are plenty of short-range cruises available for a quick getaway:
- A three-night cruise to the Bahamas for just $199. You’ll see Miami, Fla., Nassau and Norwegian Private Island.
- Or maybe you would like a five-night cruise to the Western Caribbean, starting in Miami and traveling to Ocho Rios and the Grand Cayman – all for $359 per adult passenger.
- Or for $489 per adult passenger, go the other direction toward the Eastern Caribbean for a seven-night cruise to Miami, Samana, St. Thomas, Tortola and Great Stirrup Cay.
- Or, if you want to start on the West Coast, consider a seven-day cruise from Los Angeles, Calif., to Mexico. For $499 per adult passenger, you can enjoy stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and then back to Los Angeles.
These cruises offer just a taste of the quick-trips available from U.S. ports of call. There are plenty of other ventures on both sides of the coast to experience. But with cruising so hot this year, this may be the time to try a trip that’s a bit more alluring – someplace off the Caribbean track.
- How about a seven-night cruise to Australia and New Zealand for just $759 per adult passenger. You start in Sydney, Australia, and will continue on to Noumea and Isle of Pines, both islands making up New Caledonia.
- Starting for around $1,000 per person, you can take a 12-day cruise to Latin America and see sites you’ve only heard about in an atlas. The trip starts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and includes Montevideo, Urugyay; Falkland Islands; a sail by Cape Horn, a stop in Ushuaia, Argentina; a cruising tour of Romanche & Alemania glaciers and the Cockburn & Beagle Channels; a stop in Punta Arenas; passage through the Strait of Magellan; a cruise through the Amalia Glacier Canal and passage through the Darwin Channel Chilean Fjords. The trip concludes in Santiago, Chile.
- Want to go the Far East? How about a five-night cruise of Asia, starting at $1,045 a person. You will start in Hong Kong, China; travel on to Sanya, China; and then head onto Hue and Hanoi, Vietnam; before ending back up in Hong Kong.
- Got dreams of seeing the South Pacific? Consider the $1,595 10-day South Pacific cruise. It will take you to places most people only read about: Tahiti, Rangiroa and Bora Bora – all in French Polynesian.
- Ever dreamed of seeing the Grecian Isles? What better way than on a seven-night European-Mediterranean cruise for just $659 a person. The adventure starts in Venice and onto Bari, Italy. From there, the ship sails on to the Greek isles of Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. Last stop is Dubrovnik, a hugely popular tourist city on the Adriatic Sea.
- Want to get off the high seas? Consider a $999 per person, four-day cruise of the Avalon Waterways. You will start your river cruise in Vienna and follow on to Melk-Dürnstein in Austria; Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia; and finish the tour in Budapest, Hungary.
- For a trip you’ll never forget, spend 10 days exploring Egypt and the treasures of the Nile. Start by spending three days in Cairo, exploring the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, King Tutankhamen’s treasures, the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza. From there, you will fly to Aswan where you will embark on a four-night cruise of the Nile River where you can experience temples dedicated to crocodiles and falcon gods and the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens where 62 royal tombs have been unearthed, leaving many untouched. Conclude your adventure with a visit to Karnak, ancient Egypt’s greatest city. You will wind up back in Cairo in time to take in an evening of modern entertainment or rest up for the flight home the next day. The cost for all this is $2,211 per passenger.
Now that you have an idea of the tame and the more adventurous offerings, you need to take these into consideration when selecting your cruise:
- Is it an all-adult trip, or will you have to worry about little children? Older children will enjoy some of the historical sites more than their younger counterparts.
- Does vacation time allow for a 12-day cruise? Or might a four-night quick getaway suffice for this year’s getaway?
- Is one of these trips on you bucket list? If so, start there. The others will have to wait.