Mention the words ‘summer holiday’ and talk turns to palm-fringed beaches, blue waters and enough piña coladas to sink a ship. For some it is heaven on earth and just reward for the hard slog of endless working weeks. For others however, the idea of a beach holiday this summer couldn’t be less appealing.
We’ve often preached that there is a cruise holiday for everyone, so here are the best cruises for those who are keen to leave the beaches behind this summer.
For adventurers and explorers, a cruise to the Galapagos Islands is the holiday of a lifetime. Make like Bear Grylls on your own island escape, voyaging around an archipelago that has become known as a museum of natural history.
There’s snorkelling in turquoise waters, only it’s with hulking great sea lions rather than with rainbow shoals of sea life. Hiking takes you to lava tunnels dating back to the beginning of time, rather than to the best beaches in town. Iguanas are nothing new in hotter climes of course, but the marine iguanas here are found nowhere else in the world but the Galapagos Islands. This isn’t a summer cruise, it’s an expedition to the wildest landscapes in the land.
Many associate a Norwegian Fjords cruise with a search for the Northern Lights, but there is so much more to a voyage along Norway’s craggy coastline. Many cruise lines visit the Norwegian Fjords during summer, a time when the Midnight Sun of the Arctic Circle bathes many of the ports visited in near endless light.
A glow of orange and pink lights the mountains, changing to lilac as the sun finally starts to set. Longer days offer more time to take in scenery including the Geraingerfjord, Sognefjord, the Seven Sisters Waterfall and the charming Lofoten Islands. Join a summer wildlife safari along the Vesterålen coast and you’re in with a chance of a close encounter with sperm whales, humpbacks, dolphins and even killer whales.
Nothing beats summer in New York City. Free concerts fill the air with music in Central Park, locals head to Coney Island for retro rides and ice cream, and eager eyes wait on the High Line to catch sight of the sun setting into the Hudson River.
The great thing about a Transatlantic cruise in the summer is that the warm weather means you can really take advantage of everything on board whilst on route to the Big Apple. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 features four swimming pools, plus hot tubs, and you can sample every single one of them throughout the seven days you’ll spend on board as you cross the Atlantic. The food is some of the best at sea and the ice creams come in quick succession, so you’re never short of a way to cool off.
Extending your Transatlantic cruise with a couple of extra nights in New York City is a must, giving you more time to experience summer in the city that never sleeps.
Which non-beach break will you opt for this summer?