The Smithsonian Museum.
The Cruise "Bucket List"
One of the most common misconceptions about cruising is that you are "stuck on a boat" where you don't get to see the world. In fact, cruise ships, especially in Europe and other well-known tourist destinations, often spend nearly every day of the cruise in port - and then treat you to a great night's sleep as you travel to the next port. In cities like St. Petersburg, Russia, where it can take several days to see all there is to see, many ships even spend the night (or two nights).
In fact, cruises are a convenient and flexible way to see the wonders of the world. The Smithsonian Magazine released a list of its 28 recommended places to see before you die. What struck me about the list is that I have personally already seen 14 of them. Half! And I visited the majority of them while on cruises.
Of the ones I have not seen, I am sure I will cruise to most of them some day, as I am aware of ships that go to all but three of them listed below.
Here is the list...
- Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings (Colorado)
- Pompeii (Italy)
- Tikal (Guatamala)
- Petra (Jordan)
- Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)
- Taj Mahal (India)
- Easter Island (Chile Protectorate)
- The Great Wall (China)
- Aurora Borealis (Northern Latitudes)
- Serengeti Plains-Wildlife (Tanzania, Kenya et al.)
- Iguazu Falls (Brazil)
- Machu Picchu (Peru)
- The Louvre Museum (France)
- Zen Garden of Kyoto (Japan)
- Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy)
- Fallingwater (Frank Lloyd Wright designed home) (Pennsylvania)
- Yangtze River (China)
- Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
- Grand Canyon of Arizona
- Pagan (ancient temple site) (Myanmar formerly Burma)
- The Parthenon of Athens (Greece)
- Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
- Ephesus (Turkey)
- Venice (Italy)
- Amazon Rain Forest (Brazil and seven other S.A. countries)
- Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
- Galapagos Islands (Off coast of Ecuador)
The only three you will likely never see offered in a cruise ship shore excursion brochure are the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Some of the ones you might not expect to see are indeed available on cruise lines like Oceania, Silversea, Regent or Crystal that offer overnight tours to places close to their ports of call.
Such overnight tours often include plane trips and hotel stays, and they may be in the middle of the cruise, or pre or post-cruise. But the cruise lines will get you there, and arrange all of the details so you don't have to worry about logistics.
Nine of them; Easter Island, Aurora Borealis, Yangtze river, Antarctica, Ephesus, Venice, Amazon River, Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands, are arguably best reached by sailing passenger vessel. For Antarctica, the Amazon River, Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos, there is really no better way there.
Some of the ones I have seen by cruise you may not xpect include the Great Wall of China, which we saw as a part of our Yangzte Rivver cruise. At the end of the cruise we were flown to a Beijing Hotel and taken to the great wall by bus. We saw the Louvre just last year on our river cruise along the Seine River from Paris to the beaches of Normandy.
My point is that no matter what travels you wish for, always consider a cruise as one way to get there. You will be amazed at what you can see during cruises on ships and river boats - practically every sight in the world.
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