From breathtaking sailings around Alaska to fun-filled, island-hopping journeys in the Caribbean, there are dozens of unforgettable types of cruises you should experience at least once.
With itineraries that visit tropical beaches, charming towns, and natural wonders—sometimes all in the same trip—cruising offers a unique vacation that often can’t be experienced any other way. Sit back and relax while all of the details—meals, accommodations, activities, and entertainment—are all taken care of for you.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next awe-inspiring vacation, here are 10 of the best types of cruises to consider.
Even if you don’t have a lot of vacation days in your calendar, you can still experience the thrill of a cruise over the weekend. Typically departing from Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida, weekend cruises to the Bahamas make for the perfect escape.
Departing either Friday or Saturday afternoon, these short cruises to the Bahamas allow you to enjoy two nights of fun and entertainment on board and an entire sun-filled day in Nassau, where your ship will be docked from early in the morning until the late afternoon.
Browse Bahamas Cruise from Miami
On a cruise to Nassau, you can easily spend the day on a lounge chair while admiring the turquoise ocean and white sand in front of you as you sip a tropical cocktail.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, dive into the ocean and go scuba diving or snorkeling near Nassau, where there are dozens of coral reefs and underwater treasures to explore. Paddle around Cable Beach’s gentle shores, where you can swim with sea turtles, starfish, and colorful schools of fish, or head to the waters of Green Turtle Cay, where you’ll find excellent visibility and easy swimming conditions.
If you’re traveling with family, one of the most exciting things to do during a Fort Lauderdale or Miami to Nassau cruise is to spend the day at the Atlantis Resort. Kids can experience the thrill of going down a seven-story water slide, relaxing on the river rapids, or swimming in one of the eleven pools at the hotel.
Get up close to local marine life at Blue Lagoon Island and sign up for a once-in-a-lifetime swim with dolphins. You’ll learn all about these friendly animals as you play and splash with them in the water, and later cool down under a shady palm tree or cozy hammock by the shore.
You’ll have another night to explore all of the venues and amenities on board the ship before disembarking early on either Sunday or Monday morning, just in time to go back to work and show off your new tan. A weekend cruise is one of the most fun cruises you’ll ever experience.
Experience the magic of sailing through one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular wonders on a fjords cruise. There’s nothing like cruising down these ancient inlets of water, where you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking scenery.
There are a few different destinations where you can experience the beauty of sailing through fjords. One of the best things to do on New Zealand’s South Island is to visit the massive wonderland known as Fiordland National Park, where you’ll sail past soaring waterfalls, craggy cliffs, and lush rainforests.
During a New Zealand fjords cruise, you’ll sail down Milford Sound, one of the country’s most popular destinations and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its landscapes are so beautiful, it was once described as “the eighth wonder of the world” by the author of the Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling.
Most New Zealand cruises also sail through Dusky Sound, one of the country’s largest fjords, and Doubtful Sound, a serene and untouched oasis that is often described as “the sound of silence” because of its peaceful atmosphere.
In Europe, sail across the unforgettable landscapes of the Norwegian fjords and encounter picturesque seaside towns and villages throughout your journey. Venture into Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a jaw-dropping wonder full of snowy hills, waterside farms, and cascading waterfalls.
In Stavanger, you’ll have the chance to explore Lysefjord, where there’s plenty of outdoor adventures to be experienced. When you visit Geiranger, you’ll sail down Geirangerfjord’s emerald green waters, where you can spot the famous Seven Sisters waterfalls.
All the way down in the Southern Hemisphere, you can also board a cruise around the Chilean fjords and see mammoth glaciers, panoramic lakes and mountains, and an abundance of marine wildlife as you make your way across the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego.
For a truly memorable journey at sea, consider going on a transatlantic or transpacific cruise. These types of cruises, also known as repositioning cruises, offer longer itineraries that spend several consecutive days at sea.
Read: What Is a Transatlantic Cruise?
Relive the glamour of taking a journey across the ocean on a cruise to Europe from USA or South America to Europe (or vice versa). Embark from cosmopolitan cities like Rome, Lisbon, Boston, and Barcelona, and stop in exotic destinations like the Canary Islands or the Azores on your way to your disembarkation port.
Transpacific cruise itineraries are just as exciting. Set sail from British Columbia or Hawaii towards Japan or Australia (or vice versa) and sail for over two weeks on an unforgettable journey across the world. Along the way, you’ll stop in gorgeous beach destinations such as Bora Bora and Moorea in French Polynesia; Sapporo in Japan; and the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.
During these lengthier journeys, spend serene days at sea and experience all of the amenities and entertainment on board, including world-class dining, dazzling music and dance performances, gorgeous outdoor areas, and restorative treatments at the onboard spa.
What better way to celebrate your love than with an anniversary cruise vacation?
On one of the best cruises for couples, sail off to romantic destinations that you’ve always wanted to visit together. Explore the gorgeous island of Hawaii, the charming seaside cities of the Mediterranean, the rugged beauty of Alaska, or the tropical allure of the Caribbean.
Go on thrilling shore excursions like diving into the Caribbean Sea for a snorkeling session, kayaking in Alaska near icebergs, or whale watching in California. If you’re looking for more laidback activities, you can also go on walking tours through dazzling European towns and cities, take a couple’s cooking class, or simply spend a lazy day by the sparking ocean in the Bahamas.
On board, there are plenty of ways to relax and reconnect. Book a couple’s massage at the spa, make a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants, and catch a Broadway-level music or dance show at the state-of-the-art theater.
For a truly unforgettable romantic getaway, arrange to have a vow renewal ceremony officiated by the ship’s captain on board. Allow an events specialist to take care of all the details of your special day, including flowers, cake, and photography.
Fall Foliage Cruise
Experience the beauty of the changing of the seasons while on a fall foliage cruise to New England and Canada.
Fall foliage cruises set sail in late September and early October, allowing you to witness the gorgeous hues of autumn and take endless photos against the stunning scenery of rich reds, burnt oranges, and mustard yellows that you’ll see throughout your vacation.
Along with the stunning seasonal landscapes, you’ll visit a number of interesting cities brimming with historic and cultural treasures. Discover America’s revolutionary during a day in Boston, where you can visit historic landmarks and former battlefields. Sample local lobster in Portland, Maine, and discover the vast beauty of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor.
Read: Fun Things to Do in Maine With Kids
In Canada, admire the picturesque countryside in Nova Scotia, brush up on your French skills in Quebec City, and fall in love with the seaside cliffs of Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island.
Celebrate the holidays aboard a cruise ship and make memories that will last a lifetime. On holiday cruises, relish in the festive spirit of the season and enjoy the decorations, songs, and food that make the holidays so special—without having to do any of the planning.
On a Christmas cruise, feast on traditional holiday meals, watch holiday-themed shows at the theater, and sing along with carolers. Young ones will even have the chance to meet Santa, who makes a special appearance and hands out gifts to kids.
Celebrate Hanukkah on board with a traditional menorah lighting ceremony, fun Hanukkah-themed crafts for kids, and traditional foods.
Read: Incredible Places to Spend Christmas on the Beach
Ring in the New Year in style at a New Year’s Eve party on board, where you’ll count down to midnight with fun holiday favors and complimentary champagne.
Read: Best 5-Day Cruises
Additional holiday cruises include Halloween, when you can dress up for a costume party and kids can enjoy trick or treating; Thanksgiving, when you can eat a traditional turkey dinner without the dishes; and Valentine’s Day for all the sweethearts on board.
Witness the majesty of towering glaciers and sparkling icebergs from up close during a glacier cruise. These natural wonders can be traced back to the Ice Age and remain one of the most exciting things to see while on a cruise around Alaska or Antarctica.
During a trip to the Last Frontier, you could visit glaciers like Hubbard Glacier or Dawes Glacier. Hubbard Glacier is one of the most popular glaciers in Alaska. Roughly 76 miles long, the largest tidewater glacier in North America, nicknamed the “Galloping Glacier,” advances at a rapid pace each year. On a cruise through Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier, you’ll marvel at its magnificent calving displays, where large chunks of ice plummet into the waters below.
Read: Hubbard Glacier vs. Glacier Bay vs. Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier
You’ll also have the chance to see glaciers on a cruise to Antarctica. This once-in-a-lifetime vacation begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a cosmopolitan city full of romance and history. Then you’re off to the ends of the earth, where you’ll encounter exciting marine wildlife including humpback whales and elephants seals, snow-capped mountains, frozen bays, and Petzval Glacier, one of the most beautiful glaciers in the region.
Panama Canal Cruise
Experience the wonder of sailing through the Panama Canal, the engineering marvel that connects the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Panama Canal cruises depart from either Florida or California and venture to tropical ports of call in Central and South America along the journey.
Not only will you travel through the famous locks of the Panama Canal, you’ll also experience some of the best places to visit in Central America, including the lush rainforests of Costa Rica and ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala.
A tropical escape is one of the most relaxing and reinvigorating vacations you can go on. Explore some of the best beaches in the Caribbean on itineraries that visit Cozumel and Grand Cayman; the Eastern islands of Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts; and the ABC Islands of the Southern Caribbean.
In Hawaii, explore the lush green mountains, endless waterfalls, and striking volcanos that populate the islands of Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. While in the South Pacific, venture off to exotic destinations like Tahiti, More, and Bora Bora in French Polynesia and the Bay of Islands in New Zealand.
Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind vacation by splurging on a stay at The Retreat, our all-inclusive luxury vacation experience, where we make sure you’ll never have to lift a finger during your cruise.
Make yourself at home in one of The Retreat’s breathtaking suites that feature expansive views of the ocean, cashmere mattresses, modern design, and spacious verandas that allow you to breathe in the fresh sea air and watch the ocean go by.
During this indulgent VIP cruise, you’ll have exclusive access to Luminae, The Retreat’s private restaurant, which has an elegant setting and menu options not found anywhere else on board.
On available ships, you’ll also be able to lounge by the pool at The Retreat Sundeck, an outdoor sanctuary where attendants are ready to help you with fresh towels, refreshing beverages, and snacks.
Indoors, head to The Retreat Lounge, a private oasis where you can snack on gourmet bites, sip on complimentary beverages, and unwind in style while a personalized concierge assists you with any of your needs on board or off, such as dinner reservations, shore excursions, and more.
Aside from all of these amenities, a stay at The Retreat includes premium drink packages, Wi-Fi, prepaid gratuities, onboard credit, and priority check-in.
Are you ready to go on one of these unforgettable types of cruises? Book your next once-in-a-lifetime vacation on CelebrityCruises.com.