So, you’ve joined the club! You’re in on the secret. The new wave of travel that’s sweeping the world and transforming holidays, one couple, one family, one globe-seeker at a time… cruising!
It’s not a new concept, but today, it carries an entirely different definition to bygone eras. Cruising is the travel of the future, and there’s a very, very good reason for it. Most importantly, it allows you access to parts of the globe that you would otherwise only catch a momentary glimpse of or worse yet, a buffet breakfast perspective of. Cruising grants you the time and the state of mind to truly appreciate your destination. Here are the top six travel motivations to consider when choosing a cruise to best suit your mood.
1. For Couples
The number one motive here is to ensure romance. This means no children. It means locations that make you ponder. Most importantly, it means quality time to stop and be together. This doesn’t mean you can’t be stimulated by wonderful, exotic and captivating destinations. In fact, the more you experience together, the more you bond, right?
2. For First Timers
This can be a seriously overwhelming choice to make. The best way to start is to write down exactly what it is you are hoping to achieve from your holiday and then to match your destination with your cruise company. Not all ships are alike! My ultimate advice though is to embrace a cruise that can show you what cruising is truly about, regardless of where it takes you or what mood you’re in. Cruising is about making your holiday EASY as you only have to unpack once. It takes the pressure out of the travel, out of the planning, out of the security issues and the getting to and from. Cruising is about truly spoiling yourself. So, for your maiden cruise, I suggest a cruise that takes you to a multitude of destinations and shows you exactly how hassle free the journey can be!
3. Explore the Road Less Travelled
No-one’s fooling anyone here. We all know that the purpose of a party cruise is to mostly enjoy the company of those around you, and the destinations are a wonderful way of bringing out the party spirit in those people around you! It could be a pre-wedding party, a significant age birthday, a girl’s trip, an end of a milestone celebration… you’ll want to live in the moment, care free, wowed by sunsets and blown away by sunrises! Freedom is vital. Laughter is essential. A sense of community is what leaves a lasting impression. Don’t choose your family cruise. Don’t spend a bomb on something you won’t notice. Consider your age bracket. Have a think about a shorter journey that won’t leave you burnt out and your liver begging for a break! And be open to the idea of making new like-minded friends on these journeys… there’s a boatload of people aboard who are all in the same mindset. Don’t forget an eye mask!
4. The Best of Europe
As much as Europe is at the forefront of trends and global advancements, it also holds some of the world’s most fascinating pasts. Do yourself a favour and embrace both beauties during your cruise to Europe. Enjoy the world’s leading food and wines. But a cruise through Europe without stopping to ponder the art, the architecture, the birthplaces, the monuments, the castles the gravestones and all the legends in between would be a crime in itself. It helps that cruises today provide incredible access to commentaries you can listen to in your own time either onboard or onshore.
The funny thing about an expedition is that most people immediately assume it must be a far, far destination from home. Not the case. In fact, how many of us can say they have truly explored their own homeland (or waters)? Those who have often say it with a certain pride and a smile. It should, in my view, be in the top few expedition itineraries of any budding explorer. Isn’t it the case that we learn so much about a foreign land by comparing it with our own reality? So, how then can we make such comparisons if we haven’t attempted to understand our own? Consider a cruise that captures the most wonderful cross-sections of our own lands and nearby neighbours first. You may be so taken aback by the beauty of it that every journey henceforth will be all the more rewarding… and less difficult to come home from!!
I recently experienced a trip through Peru for the first time. I was dazzled by the colours, the smiles, the ruins and the landscapes. However, it was one particular moment that has stayed with me as the standout of the trip, and any trip I’ve been on in the past ten years for that matter. As a special cultural experience offered by my cruise company I was granted rare access to a private blessing by a Traditional Andean Priest, who spent roughly two hours hand-making a carefully selected parcel of leaves, sticks, lollies, spices, and strangely, more lollies (I was later told via translation that since Mother Nature is a woman she must have a sweet tooth!). Once this was completed I was asked to breathe three times on my offering to the gods, making three wishes in doing so. The final part of this ceremony was the burying and burning of this parcel on a Peruvian mountain top. Do you think this is something you’d expect to find yourself doing if you’d packed yourself off and simply stayed at the local Hotel in town, map in hand? There are certain cultural experiences on offer, hand picked by the local guides for your cruises who know the people, the beauty and the bucket list moments that make your journey so breathtaking. For me, this was the one.