A Look at the World’s Most Authentic Cruise Destinations
One of the best ways to explore the natural world is on a cruise. Most people spend time in nature by exploring local areas, whether via a hiking trail or a public park. Others might instead stick to seasonal offerings, like heading to the slopes to ski or swimming at the beach. But to craft a trip through an entire natural habitat, there’s a lot more to consider.
Cruises offer plenty of time in nature, both on the water and when porting in a new place. But the magic of cruises is that they don’t require you to leave modern life behind. Today, there are cruises that offer things like card games and even 4D movie theaters.
For example, a poker fan who wants to explore the world without leaving their favorite hobby behind might opt for a Card Player Cruise experience. Or fans of entertainment experiences might choose MSC who offer state-of-the-art cinemas on their cruise liners—and even roller coasters. The idea is to use leading tech to bridge the ocean’s natural wonder with modern amenities.
Clearly, there’s a cruise for just about every interest. But what about hardcore nature lovers who want to drop off the map—no poker games or roller coasters involved? For those types of adventurers, consider booking a cruise or smaller sailing experience at one of the places below.
Faroe Islands – Between Scotland, Norway, & Iceland
This tiny chain of islands was discovered in the 8th century by Viking explorers—and it’s been a lonely and beautiful outpost since then. Today, the islands are a special administrative region of Denmark, which means locals speak Danish and the culture reflects a long-gone Viking era.
This trip is ideal for those who don’t mind a bit of cold weather and rugged adventuring. Cruise ships often target the Faroe Islands, which means you’ll be able to sail a course that fits your needs. Keep in mind that local hikes can be grueling—but also offer some of the North Atlantic’s most stunning views.
Pitcairn – Between Tahiti & Easter Island
This tiny island is located around 3,300 kilometers away from New Zealand, which makes it one of the most remote locations in the world—never mind on this list. In fact, it was discovered by accident when a group of sailors mutinied their captain in the late 1700s.
Today, the island is protected from over-tourism. Only four cruise ships touched down on the island back in 2022, a number expected to repeat this year. Visitors can explore the island’s rugged wonders, along with neighboring islands like Oeno, home to the world’s second-largest flying bird, the Murphy’s Petrel.
The North Pole – Arctic Circle
Today, several different cruise lines operate in the Arctic Circle in the world’s northern hemisphere. However, if you want to make it all the way to the North Pole, you’ll need to prep for an extreme adventure rather than a vacation.
Once you’re there, you can do things like take a polar plunge challenge (also not for the faint of heart), explore the tundra while taking a hot-air balloon tour (weather permitting), or even hike across the glaciers yourself. Keep in mind that many companies are limiting their Arctic trips to help preserve the environment, so always research a company before you purchase your ticket.
Ushuaia to Valparaíso – Southern Tip of South America
Valparaíso is a coastal city that sits to the west of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Ushuaia is a small outpost in southern Argentina with the motto ‘the end of the world, the beginning of everything’—which should paint a picture of this region’s rugged natural wonders.
Many cruises offer trips to and from these destinations, which showcase Tierra del Fuego, the continent’s southernmost region. Once again, temperatures will be frigid—but wildlife and natural sightings are worth the cold. The mountains are breathtaking, and animals like seals, vultures, and foxes can be spotted along the shores.