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7 Wonders of the (Cruising) World: Bucket List Cruises

Cruise Advice

There is no end to the incredible destinations you can visit by cruise, but in the spirit of embracing the journey, we explore some of the world's iconic cruising wonders. These experiences can only be enjoyed by ship and are not to be missed, so here is some inspiration to add to your cruising bucket list…

Travel can be as much about the journey as it is the destination, and cruising offers the perfect combination of both: the ability to tick off several places in one go with the convenience of returning to the comfort of a luxury ship each day and enjoying the effortless journey as you sail from one place to the next.

7 Wonders of the (Cruising) World

1. Panama Canal

An incredible feat of engineering, the Panama Canal stretches approximately 50 miles linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is on many a cruiser's must-do list. The entire transit takes less than a day so make sure when you are choosing a Panama Canal itinerary that it features a daylight transit, as you don't want to miss the action if the ship is sailing through overnight.

An exciting journey awaits as you sail through peaceful waterways, enjoying the changing scenery and watching out for wildlife, interspersed with the thrill of moving through the imposing locks.

the panama canal

2. Crossing the Equator

We know it's an intangible line around the globe but crossing the Equator by ship is almost a cruising rite of passage. Make sure your cruise includes one of the countries that the Equator passes through: Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, the Maldives and Indonesia are the most likely contenders. Celebrating the crossing is steeped in maritime tradition and although it probably won't be the main reason for choosing a particular itinerary, you will likely enjoy some festivities on board to mark the occasion.

Your leisurely sea day will include a ceremony on deck with challenges, games and a convivial atmosphere between crew and guests, not to mention some special royal visitors.

maldives, one of the countries on the equator

3. Northwest Passage

This legendary Northwest Passage route takes you over the top of North America through the narrow passages and waterways of Canada's high Arctic. The passage is not navigable for most of the year due to ice, and even during the short window of operation for most cruise lines, there is no guarantee you will complete the journey.

Several operators offer a Northwest Passage itinerary, predominantly small expedition vessels, which allow you to get up close to this region of pristine wilderness and sail a journey that few have achieved.

whales in greenland along the northwest passage

4. Corinth Canal

A waterway navigable by only the smallest vessels, highlighting one of the many benefits of small-ship cruising, the Corinth Canal is characterised by its steep limestone walls and narrow passage.

At only four miles in length, the transit is fairly swift but is a source of excitement for guests on board as your ship squeezes through with minimal clearance. The journey may feature on itineraries visiting the Greek Islands and into the Ionian Sea, and the 112-guest yachts of SeaDream Yacht Club sail through on several of their Mediterranean voyages.

crossing the corinth canal

5. Amazon River

Although some traditional cruise ships operate voyages along the Amazon River, an expedition offers the best way to explore deeper into the river's hidden waterways, narrow tributaries, and varied ecosystems.

Take to the water in Zodiacs and kayaks with your expert expedition team to discover the riches of this diverse and remote region and keep an eye out for the unique wildlife found here. As the largest river in the world, the Amazon is a true cruising wonder, and you can explore on board Seabourn's purpose-built expedition vessel Seabourn Venture.


6. Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is a necessary undertaking when sailing to Antarctica from South America and this two-day journey can be a source of trepidation for many guests. Considered a rite of passage on Antarctica voyages but with a reputation for rough seas, there really is no predicting the conditions on the crossing so it's best to be prepared.

In this instance the destination really is worth the journey and sighting the first glimpse of the White Continent as you approach is unforgettable and a truly special cruise experience.


7. Transatlantic Crossing

Crossing the vast Atlantic Ocean by ship offers the ultimate way to relish the journey and enjoy the experience of cruising. This iconic route can take many forms, but the journey maintains a sense of excitement experienced back in the Golden Age of cruising, and a classic voyage between Southampton and New York can be enjoyed on board the ocean liners of Cunard.

Other itineraries might offer the chance to visit remote outposts such as the beautiful Azores, a rare gem often only visited on transatlantic voyages.

cunard's queen mary 2 on a transatlantic crossing
Meet the author

Louise is Marketing Executive at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for nearly a year and in travel for over 8 years. Most recently she's cruised on Explora Journeys and has also sailed with Crystal Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Seabourn, Ponant and Uniworld. Her favourite destination is New Zealand however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Pacific Islands, Norwegian Fjords, Indian Ocean and South Africa. When she’s not travelling she loves cooking and trying new restaurants.

More about Louise

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