Where's the most exotic place on your bucket list? The depths of the rainforest... the middle of the Sahara... the hidden coves of a desert island? When I think about the endless list of beautiful secluded places that our globe is home to, I get a rush of excitement and lust to explore. Yet sometimes its hard to imagine how you'd even find your way to them and it doesn't look like the most comfortable, simple of journeys.
But what if you could explore all these faraway places without having to take 12 hour flights one after the other, a tiny rocking boat or a long packed bus ride? What if you could be transported to these destinations, which David Attenborough makes look so glorious, in style?
One thing I've never given much thought to is taking a cruise. Until now. Over the last few years, cruises have gone from being seen as an older person's lazy holiday in Europe to an easy, luxurious way to explore the globe... and I can see why.
On board comfort, complimentary dining, a range of entertainment during those long hours of travel... and that's without mentioning the ability to roam free and stretch your legs! Why wouldn't you want to cruise along the ocean going from one fascinating destination to the next?
You might think cruises come at a hefty price tag, but I'd forgotten to remember that the cost includes your meals, accommodation, travel and activities catering to those looking to travel in comfort. Heck some even include your flight costs. Planet Cruise offer an incredible range of unique adventures for all sorts of budgets, timescales and locations. Of course the cruise bit is sounding great, but its all about the destinations. So I decided to create a list of my favourite exotic escapades that I'd quite happily hop onto a cruise for...
If I could go anywhere in the world from the luxury of a cruise ship it would be Antarctica. It's one of those hard-to-get-to places that is so unique and unexplored by the majority of the world. Celebrity Cruises offer a 16 night adventure (with flights from London) stopping off at Argentina, Uruguay, the Falklands and more before eventually cruising through Antarctica's grand backdrops.
Not only do you adventure through the enormous mountain ranges and ice shards but visitors also have a good chance of spotting the many species that live here from flocks of penguins to seals and whales!
With safety coming first, specifically designed ships are used for these trips that of course can observe heavy weather conditions. And I was very glad to read that cheesy theatrical performances are not how you'll be entertained! Instead educational talks and fascinating lectures from experts and geologists will share their knowledge about the surrounding landscapes.
Japan to Vancouver; A Grand Adventure
Tokyo, Osaka, Alaska and Vancouver... where do I sign?! All these incredible destinations and more are explored in a 28 day Princess Cruise that I could not believe only costs from around £2750, and that includes flights, meals and accommodation in both Tokyo and Vancouver. Starting from the ever-changing Asian capital, the cruise sails along some of Japan's beautiful towns including Shimizu, Sakaiminato and Bukan, before continuing across Alaska.
Not only do you get the chance to see incredible contrasting landscapes across the month long trip, but you also will have the chance to go whale watching in Vancouver and explore the glistening lakes and mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. Man I need a whole'nother bucket list just for cruises.
Casually Cruising the River Nile
If you're going to go on a cruise then why not pick a destination that is predominantly water?! The River Nile is an obvious choice, with so much history and culture around it's extensive length. Planet Cruise offer a number of options to explore these African waters, predominantly in Egypt, with each cabin offering river views. So even whilst you're simply cruising along you'll be able to soak in your surroundings. The trip can be combined with unmissable excursions including a stay at the Red Sea Beach and visit to the Pyramids. Whats more, its a perfect option for an all year round trip with high temperatures and very little rain even in the winter months. Hellooooo January blues break.
Oh for Fjords Sake
Sorry, I couldn't help myself...
Another fantastic part of the world's waters to see is Norway's magnificent Fjords. Dramatic, breath-taking mountain ranges are laced around icy waters that are begging to be explored and admired. And with Norway being a more local location, cruises start from our home soils in Southampton meaning you can avoid flights and go for a shorter break. Of course longer trips are available and incredibly tempting, with options to even travel up to Greenland. Here you'll have a shot at seeing the iridescent Northern Lights as you sail up to the Arctic Circle.
Gallivanting in the Galapagos
One place on my list I know is a tricky spot to get to are the famous Galapagos Islands. A mystical and unspoilt location, these tropical havens are the home of many exotic creatures, some of which aren't seen anywhere else in the world. Only the most fortunate get to visit this treasure, rightfully protected and isolated in the ocean.
As expected, a trip to the Galapagos is one to save for but this once in a lifetime experience is more than worth it. To make it even more spectacular, cruises also include stop offs at many other must see locations including Ecuador and Machu Picchu.
Do you know how many islands are hidden within the Caribbean? 700! That's right. Of course we can't expect to tick them all off in one trip, but it seems to me that a cruise would be an excellent way to try. Silky sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters and a roasting sun to soak up, this patch of luxury is a bucket list trip for almost everyone.
Cruises to the Caribbean are incredibly reasonably priced and as expected there are hundreds to be discovered from a quick sail around the tropical beaches, to a lengthy trip starting in New York and Niagara Falls.
I'd love to find out your thoughts on cruises... have you ever been on one? Where would your dream cruise destination be?
This post was written in collaboration with Planet Cruise. As always all views are my own and unfortunately all images are stock from the fantastic Unsplash and Pixabay and not my own from a bunch of free cruises.