insights from the ultimate cruising team

Bucket List Destinations

Bucket List Destinations

Let’s talk about Bucket List destinations.  If the last two years have shown us anything, it’s how quickly things can change and the opportunities we thought were there for the picking, may not be there after all!  Those who had dream vacations booked or planned for 2020 and 2021 could vouch for that!

We have to seize the day while we can and get out there and make the most of it.  So let’s talk about some of those destinations that you thought you might visit “someday” and start thinking about getting there sooner rather than later.

Antarctica
Antarctica tops many a bucket list.  It’s the destination that everyone dreams of seeing at least once in their lifetime but due to expense and the remoteness, it often gets pushed back.  The good news is that there are a couple of ways you can see Antarctica:

Ex Ushuaia, South America – This is the most well-known way to get to Antarctica.  Fly into Buenos Aires, then another flight to Ushuaia, on-board to head over the Drake Passage and we’re at the Antarctic Peninsula for several days of cruising amid icebergs, whales, penguins and more.  There are several ships that operate in this area, with varying durations and itineraries that may just do the Peninsula or may also include South Georgia or the Falkland Islands. 

Ex Hobart, Australia or Dunedin, NZ – Now here’s a good option for those who don’t relish the thought of a long flight to Buenos Aires!  Cruise to New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands, then head down over the Ross Sea to follow in the footsteps of Scott and Shackleton before heading back up to either Dunedin or Hobart.   There are just a couple of cruise lines doing this itinerary so spaces fill up super quickly but if Antarctica has been a dream of yours but has just seemed a little out of reach, this could be a solution!

Scandinavia/Arctic

At the other end of the earth, there’s the Arctic.  Cruising the Norwegian Fjords heading north into the Arctic Circle is simply spectacular!  Combine this with a visit to Iceland or the Faroe Islands and you’ve got a dream holiday in the making! 

The other option in this neck of the woods is Svalbard and Greenland.  With more polar bears than people, Svalbard is rocketing up the bucket list rankings as it’s a destination that is completely different from anywhere else you have been (most likely!).  For Australians and Kiwis who are used to beach holidays, this is about as removed from our lifestyle as you can get!  See our article on Svalbard here.

Likewise Greenland, with its vast ice shelf, unbelievably long words and place names, and villages only accessible by boat … this way of life is so different to ours, you’ve just got to see it to believe it!

We have several options for cruising in this part of the world with extra savings for back-to-back cruises encompassing more than one area.

The Galapagos Islands

Everyone should visit The Galapagos Islands at least once in their lifetime!  Teeming with bird and wildlife, The Galapagos Islands has more endemic species than anywhere else in the world.  Marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and of course, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise all live here with thousands of other species.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself face to face with a sea lion when going for a swim, or spending hours observing seals, lava lizards and penguins.  Yes, you read right - the Galapagos Islands straddle the equator yet there are penguins!  That’s what makes the Galapagos Islands so amazing – there are weird and wonderful creatures around every corner! 

There are many operators in The Galapagos but we highly recommend the small ships that have their own expedition crew on board.  The knowledge that these guys have is absolutely exceptional – you’ll learn far more than you ever thought possible when out and about with them!

Iceland

Iceland has to be one of the most spectacular countries on earth.  We’re talking breath taking waterfalls and black sand beaches, ravines, rock formations, hot springs, glaciers and more.  Lovers of beautiful landscapes, scenery and nature will be in their element here.  And for anyone with a love of painting landscapes, well quite frankly, you’ll never want to go home!  Add to that the unique culture (did you know many Icelandic people believe in trolls and fairies?) and you’ve got a destination that will both intrigue and charm you!

There are several options for cruising Iceland from a one-way from the UK to circumnavigations.  We recommend spending as long as you can here as there is so much to see.

Alaska

Alaska is on many a bucket list and because it’s easy to access, it’s one that a lot of people tick off quite early on.  There’s a reason why so many people flock to Alaska each year – spectacularly beautiful with some gorgeous wildlife.  What is cuter than otters floating with their babies, or bear cubs learning to fish, I ask you? 

There are several ways to see Alaska but cruising is definitely the most popular.  Cruising Glacier Bay and hearing the almighty crack of the glaciers is something else!   Big ships, small ships – they’re all here taking people on incredible adventures.  Again, we highly recommend the smaller ships which can get closer to shore than the larger ones – they’ve even been known to nose in under waterfalls!  Again, expedition teams are invaluable here so be sure to check out the all-inclusive options.

Remember that at Ultimate Cruising we have access to a huge range of cruise product.  We also have cruise/touring package options and include some amazing extras with our packages.  Give us a call to have a chat about your next trip and what we can offer.