Cruise Critic Announces 2016’s Top Port Destinations
Are the open seas calling your name? The Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, as voted by members, can help you choose the perfect itinerary. From sun-blessed islands to vibrant cities and incredible landscapes, let’s take a look at some of the most popular port stops across the globe.
And the winners are…
Baltic and Scandinavia Destinations: St Petersburg
If you love majestic architecture, colourful culture and world-class museums, Russia’s second largest city needs to top your list of port itineraries. With the collection of masterpieces at the Hermitage, the extravagant domes of The Church on Spilled Blood, the city views from St Isasc’s Cathedral and the splendour of nearby Peterhof Palace, it’s little wonder St Petersburg is a cruising favourite.
Alaska Destinations: Glacier Bay
Imagine waking up in the morning and seeing majestic, snow-capped mountains reflected in the icy water? Apart from the dramatic landscape of icebergs and sheer cliffs, Glacier Bay National Park gives you the opportunity to spot brown bears, sea otters, mountain goats and sea lions, from the comfort and shelter of your ship.
Australia and New Zealand Destinations: Sydney
Sydney is either glittering in the sun or under an avalanche of lights at night – either way, it’s glittering. From the Opera House and Harbour Bridge creating perfect picture opportunities, to Bondi Beach, high-end shopping in the city and trendy, waterfront bars, it’s practically custom-made for an exciting port stop.
British Isles and Western Europe Destinations: Amsterdam
There’s nowhere quite like Amsterdam, with its quirky attractions, charming canals and fascinating history. You can hire a bike or jump on a canal boat before visiting the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt’s famous ‘The Night Watch’, exploring the Anne Frank House and trying traditional Dutch cuisine in a Brown Café.
Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda Destinations: St. Maarten
An island paradise with it all, St.Maarten is a one stop spot for a holiday made in heaven. You’ll have a hard time choosing what to do during a port day, but that’s the fun of it. Go ziplining in the rainforest, swim with Manta Rays, explore the crystal-clear ocean from a glass bottom canoe, fish, hike, dive or even have a few cheeky bets at a casino!
USA and Canada Destinations: San Francisco
San Francisco is a bucket list destination, with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf. Visit Golden Gate Park for museums, picnic areas, lakes and monuments. Take a cable car to explore the city streets and head to Union Square for shops, people watching and trendy eateries.
Western Mediterranean Destinations: Barcelona
There’s something about Barcelona that takes a little piece of your heart, as soon as you set foot off the ship. Perhaps it’s the mysterious, narrow alleys filled with charming shops in the Gothic Quarter, or the hustle and bustle of street performers and markets on La Rambla. Certainly, Antoni Gaudi has a lot to do with the magical vibe, with Park Guell and Sagrada Familia topping ‘must see’ lists.
Hawaii Destinations: Kauai
You could simply pick a scenic spot on Kauai, relax and drink in the incredible, natural surrounds. One of Hawaii’s most romantic islands, it’s a land of white sand beaches, thundering waterfalls, lush vegetation and towering mountain ranges. This is one place you’ll need to keep an eye on the time, as it’s highly possible to fall under nature’s spell and miss your cruise departure!
To check out the full winner’s list, visit Cruise Critic, here.