Discussions have once again begun to swirl around what will become of Cunard’s iconic QE2, with some suggesting she could be destined for life as a luxury hotel in China. As the liner’s future continues to look uncertain, we couldn’t help but notice that she wouldn’t be the first ship-shape resort in the world. Here’s our pick of the best cruise ships on dry land.
The Titanic Beach Lara – Turkey
Porthole windows and views over the Mediterranean Sea are nothing new when it comes to cruising, however the Titanic Beach Lara will never venture into the ocean. Perched on the soft sands of Antalya since 2003, Titanic Beach Lara has everything from a spa, four restaurants, ‘cruise style resort rooms’ and even functioning lifeboats.
Marina Bay Sands – Singapore
You’ll need a head for heights to get on board at Marina Bay Sands but the view from the top is even better than what you’ll find at sea. The Marine Bay Sands SkyPark is one of the largest platforms in the world, soaring 200-metres above the city and housing gardens, an observation deck, restaurants and the world’s largest elevated body of water in its ship shaped walls. You’ll have to be a guest at the Marine Bay Sands Hotel to swim in the infinity pool and it’s definitely worth the room fee for views over the city.
Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht – South Korea
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht has run aground on a cliff overlooking the Sea of Japan. In reality, the 211 room hotel was purpose built as what Visit Korea describes as ‘the world’s first on-land cruise themed resort’. All rooms have port holes and public spaces are exactly as you would expect on board an actual sea-faring cruise ship, with the addition of waves crashing played through loudspeakers.
Photo credit: parhessiastes
Mercure Value Riyadh – Saudi Arabia
Today’s cruise ships can take you almost anywhere in the world but even the best would struggle to venture into the Arabian Desert. Fortunately, somebody has already addressed the problem with the construction of the Mercure Value Riyadh. Rooms overlook a central atrium and hotel staff even wear a uniform just like that of a cruise ship crew. Not just a novelty, the hotel is in fact a popular venue for business meetings and reportedly serves a great breakfast (whether that is via buffet, traditional or anytime dining is yet to be confirmed).
Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost – Germany
Whilst we admit that it isn’t actually a hotel, we couldn’t leave the space-age Klimahaus Bremerhaven off the list. Inside this weird and wonderful building you’ll take a journey through all of the world’s climates, following 8° east longitude. Temperatures will vary accordingly as you traverse from the snowy slopes of Alaska to the humidity of Cameroon and everywhere in between.