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8 iconic film locations you can visit on a cruise

Cruise Advice

Have you ever found yourself watching a film thinking that looks like a lovely place to visit, perhaps dreamt of reliving a scene from your favourite movie, or simply watched and wondered where an iconic moment was filmed?

At the moment we're all getting used to being armchair travellers, so we've put together this list of eight fantastic locations featured in a variety of films, old and new. Some are classic destinations, others are not so well known, and all of them can be visited by cruise...

1. Mamma Mia - Greek Islands

'Mamma Mia' - we all know the songs, and whether we want to admit it or not, we've all caught ourselves singing along at some point. Star Clippers have special 'Mamma Mia' themed voyages visiting the Greek islands of Skopelos and Skiathos, both of which feature heavily in the film. In Skopelos you can visit the Agios Ioannis chapel where the wedding scene was filmed, and enjoy the spellbinding sea views that Greece is famous for.

Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri, Skopelos, Greece

2. The Lord of the Rings - New Zealand

It's no secret that The Lord of the Rings series was filmed in New Zealand, and you can find the location used for Hobbiton in the Waikato region of the North Island. After filming ended in 2009 the set was left in place, including 44 Hobbit Holes, and you can now relive the films and embark on your own Middle Earth adventure, including a visit the famous Green Dragon Inn. Make sure you pick a cruise itinerary that calls at Tauranga to make the trip, as it is much closer than Auckland.

Hobbiton film set, New Zealand

3. Jurassic Park - Hawaii

The dinosaurs may not be real, but the Hawaiian backdrop certainly is! Much of the filming for 'Jurassic Park' took place at the Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve on the island of Oahu, approximately 45 minutes from Honolulu, and the Reserve offers a fascinating film tour. Other filming locations in Hawaii include Makai Research Pier, featured in 'Jurassic World', where the ferries arrive for people entering and leaving the park. Plenty of cruise lines visit Honolulu, but we recommend staying at least a night here if you want to see everything Oahu has to offer.

Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii

4. The Sound of Music - Austria

The majority of the filming for 'The Sound of Music' took place in Salzburg and the surrounding areas, so why not visit on a Danube river cruise and follow in the footsteps of the Von Trapps. AmaWaterways offer a full day excursion to Salzburg where you can visit the historic centre, Mirabell Gardens, Residenz Square and the Old Market. En route to Salzburg you can also stop at Mondsee, home of the Basilica St. Michael, where the wedding scene was filmed.

Horse and carriage in Salzburg, Austria

5. Various - Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

The Griffith Observatory is featured in more films than we can list here, including 'Rebel Without a Cause', 'The Terminator' and, more recently, the Oscar-winning 'La La Land'. Perched on a hillside in Griffith Park, this is one of the city's lesser known tourist spots, with panoramic views of downtown LA and the Hollywood sign. Crystal Cruises have a great choice of voyages starting or ending in Los Angeles, and a trip to the observatory is a great way to enjoy that last bit of Californian sun before a late flight home.

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Skellig Michael

The island of Skellig Michael, or 'Star Wars Island' as it is becoming known locally, is the larger of the two Skellig islands located off the coast of county Kerry. The island features in 'The Last Jedi' as the home of Luke Skywalker, where Rey finds him living in hermit-like isolation. A cruise is the perfect way to reach this rugged and windswept island, and Silversea's lovely Silver Wind is due to visit in June 2021.

Skellig Michael, Ireland

7. Escape from Alcatraz - San Francisco

Alcatraz Island has a long and colourful history, from its origins as a military base to the Native American occupation of 1969-71, but it was the filming of 'Escape from Alcatraz' that led to the prison structure being renovated and ultimately preserved for the public. Today the island is open to visitors, and you can learn about famous prisoners including Al Capone, George 'Machine Gun' Kelly and Robert Franklin Stroud (the 'Birdman of Alcatraz'), as well as Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin, whose notorious escape inspired 'Escape from Alcatraz'.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

8. James Bond - Scotland

James Bond's father was Scottish, and the young 007 was educated at Fettes College, so it's no surprise that Scotland has featured in several Bond films. Eilean Donan Castle was used as the Scottish headquarters of MI6 in 'The World is Not Enough', while more recently Glen Coe and Glen Etive featured in 'Skyfall'. In our view there is only one way to take in the beauty of Scotland, and that's on board the Hebridean Princess. This charming little ship has even been 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', chartered by the Queen for her holidays, and was rumoured by some newspapers to be on standby to evacuate the royals if Brexit turned ugly!

Glen Coe, Scotland
Meet the author

Georgia Starr is a former Operations Executive at Mundy Cruising

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