We’re celebrating 16 years of Outlook Traveller with a bunch of great travel ideas for you. These include Destinations, Drives, Adventures, Cruises, Food, Festivals and Hotels. Here we bring you 6 exciting cruise experiences that will make you want to plan a sailing holiday.
They say if it's a good ship, it's a holiday in itself. That's got be true, because we have a list of cruises for you that we think you should try at least once in your lifetime. Sail the Indonesian waters with Amandira voyages; go on Greek voyages in the Mediterranean; experience a traditional Arab house boat on the Nile in Egypt; cruise down the Ganges, or down the Kamchatka Peninsula, home to 160 volcanoes in the Arctic Tundra; or sail around Antarctica away from any signs of people! Cruise, because it's an experience one must have–at least once in a lifetime.
Amandira Voyages, Indonesia
Spices, at one point of time, were the world’s most expensive commodity. Fleets of ships travelled between the eastern and western hemispheres, bearing cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Among them was the phinisi, a two-masted Indonesian sailing vessel. Amanwana’s modern take on these ancient cargo ships, Amandira, was handcrafted by the Konjo tribe in 2015, keeping the traditional design intact, but with contemporary amenities and modern tech. It sails around in the Indonesian Archipelago, from Amanwana to the Komodo National Park and the Raja Ampat Islands. The area stretches over 50,000 sq km and holds 580 types of coral and 1,397 species of fish. You can also opt to sail its sister boat, the Amanikan (aman.com/resorts/amanwana/amandira).
Azamara Greek Voyages
Sail through one of the world’s most culturally rich regions and explore a bygone empire with Azamara’s club cruises through the Greek islands. With itineraries ranging from a week to 10 days, the cruise starts from Athens, travelling around the many islands dotting the Mediterranean, each with a distinct culture of its own–from Crete, known to be the birthplace of Zeus, to Santorini, believed to be the lost paradise of Atlantis. The cruises are popular with the LGBT community, and are known for their onboard socials where guests can mingle (azamaraclubcruises.com).
On the Nile, Egypt
As civilisations are wont to do, the Egyptians settled themselves on the banks of the largest source of water around them–the Nile. Cruises down the river have been a thing since the time of the Pharaohs. You can tour the river and the remains of the civilisation the Nile once nurtured either in your everyday cruise boat, or in a dahabiya, a traditional Arab house boat. The cruises are roughly a week long, plying between and around Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. To go further than Aswan, however, one would have to disembark from a cruise ship into a smaller vessel. Cruises are offered by all major travel companies, including one by the Egyptian Tourism department. (egypt.travel).
Along the Ganga, India
Some would say that the Ganga is almost synonymous with the idea of India. Known to cleanse one of sin, the river has seen the rise and fall of thousands of years of civilisation, both mythical as well as historical. A cruise down the Ganga is quite the treat, with a number of historic sites, both Mughal and Colonial. Expectedly, along the river are a number of places holy to the Hindus. It also flows past Bodhgaya, where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Assam Bengal Navigation offers cruises from Kolkata to Farakka, and, in certain seasons, all the way to Varanasi (www.assambengalnavigation.com).
Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
The Tundra may not exactly be the most hospitable of places, but a cruise down the Kamchatka Peninsula is quite literally a song of fire and ice. It is home to 160 volcanoes, 29 of which are still active. It’s also home to an array of wildlife such as the proverbial Russian bear, the brown bear, as well as birds like puffins and bald eagles. Known as Russia’s ring of fire, it’s a whole world away from the Russia the world thinks it knows. With winters that can plummet down to -25°C, it's best visited in summer, between the months of May and September (visitrussia.com).
Accessible only in the summer, this is quite literally, the end of the world. A zone inhabited by penguins, leopard seals and all kinds of marine mammals and no humans. It is a great place for adventure, with activities ranging from kayaking to mountaineering. Take the cruise off the coast of Argentina or New Zealand, and spend a week exploring the world down under. Antarctica is also the home of the Southern Lights, a light show caused by the collision of electrically charged particles with gases in the atmosphere.