Bright and warm (ish) one day, dreadful and rain-icy the next, the weather really is playing with my mind lately. I can’t wait for Spring to bloom and the cold dark days of winter to be behind us for a little while.
Warm sun on my back, cold cocktail in hand, blue skies all ’round and sea breeze in the air… If I close my eye, I can almost feel it.
In the meantime, I try to cope whichever way I can. Usually it involves some sort of chocolate-y treat, more melty cheese than is strictly necessary and far too much time day-dreaming while browsing the Planet Cruise website…
There are so many amazing cruise destinations to choose from, catering for all sorts of interests, time and budget constraints, but here are my top 5!
1. Touring Greece & the Eastern Mediterranean:
With a rich, intertwined history and islands as its main feature, the Eastern side of the Mediterranean can hardly be explored in any way but by boat.
From Malta to Athens via lesser known gems such as Katalon (the original home of the Olympics Games) and Sarandë (a small costal Albanian city), cruising the Greek islands and their neighbouring area is a unique opportunity to take in all the wonders of the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
Nothing like a trip to somewhere blue & idyllic and never-ending supplies of the best humus you’ll ever have, to cure the winter blues!
2. Exploring Scandinavia:
I fell in love with Stockholm a few years back and with Copenhagen last Fall.
With the ferry journey from Copenhagen to Hamburg, and the boat-bus ones in Stockholm being some of my fondest memories of those trips, I’m eager to spend less time on firm land and a bit more on the icy waters that play such a major role in the history of the Nordic countries.
Discovering Oslo & Helsinki, wandering the streets of Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s old town) and finally making it to Noma, there’s a lot to be excited about. If you’re not too busy crossing fingers & toes to catch a glimpse of the Northern lights, that is!
3. River Cruising across Europe:
Despite the popular belief, cruises are in no way limited to deep-sea waters. If you’re trying to cover more ground in terms of cultural and scenic sightseeing, river cruises are a nice alternative.
From the Danube to the Rhone, via the Elbe, the Seine, the Rhine (…), hundreds of boats cruise along Europe’ key river routes every year, and offer one of the best ways to explore inland Europe.
A brilliant (and very relaxing) way to take in Europe’s fabulous landscapes, watch the world go by and dust-up your history knowledge!
4. Hoping around South East Asia:
Despite my ever-growing obsession for Asian food, I’ve actually never set foot in Asia. Which is clearly something I must change asap.
The perfect blend of old and new, Southeast Asia is a curious traveler’s dream.
Exotic landscapes, natural wonders, ancient sites and temples, booming cities, rich cultures and captivating food, there’s a lot to see in the Golf of Thailand and South China Sea alone. But cruising makes seeing several countries over the course of a holiday a possibility.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand… why choose when you can have it all?!
5. Taking a mini-cruise:
With most cruises being 7+ days long and prices averaging £100 per night per person, time and money can be a limit. However, more and more cruising companies now offer mini-cruises for those who are limited by either of those factors.
Lasting 2-3 nights, and departing from UK ports, there are plenty of Channel-bound options to choose from.
My mini-cruise to St Malo last year was the perfect weekend break, with enough time on the boat and in Brittany to make the most of both (and eat my fill of galettes and salted caramel!).
Now I’m strongly eye-ing up similar options for a weekend in Belgium, Amsterdam, Dublin or another trip to Northern France… And I strongly recommend you do the same if you need a relaxing weekend away!
*This blog post was created in collaboration with Planet Cruise, but all words, warm weather & sea breeze-related day dreaming my own.