What lies beyond the familiar tourist attractions and well-trodden paths? It is the unexplored corners of this world, the hidden gems that await those with a thirst for the extraordinary. These are the places that lie far away from the crowds, where authenticity thrives and the spirit of adventure is never far away.

Luxury cruise lines offer destination immersion in various different forms to help unlock a deeper connection with a port of call. It is not just about seeing the sights, but about engaging with the culture and truly establishing an insight into the soul of a place.

Picture yourself on a smaller, more intimate ship, gliding effortlessly into the heart of destinations that larger vessels can only dream of reaching. On shore, embark on excursions and land programmes, where you’ll be guided by experts who unveil hidden treasures and share insider secrets that will leave you in awe.

Time takes on a new meaning as luxury ships grant you longer stays in port, allowing for unhurried exploration and the chance to truly absorb the essence of a place, embracing its enchantment long after the day-trippers have departed.

Regent – The South Pacific

The South Pacific is the true definition of paradise. Powdery beaches, crystalline waters and exceptional underwater oases promise a truly tropical getaway – and a voyage with Regent Seven Seas Cruises will showcase the best of the region.

Your journey will begin in Auckland, New Zealand with a three-night, pre-cruise – New Zealands Natural Wonders –  land programme. This is your opportunity to delve deeper into this incredible city and experience it beyond the usual tourist trails. You will embark on a journey through West Auckland’s picturesque landscapes, famed for its vibrant wine-growing regions, and witness nature’s wonders at Muriwai Beach, enjoying a leisurely stroll amidst native plants and watching elegant seabirds nesting and feeding in the colony.

Indulge in delectable wine flavours at Hunting Lodge Winery and explore the captivating Waitomo Glow-worm Caves, exclusive to New Zealand. Experience the wonders of the Otorohanga Kiwi House and immerse yourself in natural beauty at New Zealand’s largest free-flight dome aviary. Topped off with a sightseeing tour along the waterfront, you’ll soak up views over the harbour from Bastion Point before continuing to St. Heliers Bay.

And the voyage of discovery doesn’t stop there. Once you embark the exceptional Seven Seas Voyager, the jewels of the South Pacific will sharply come into focus. Port Vila in Vanuatu is the first port of call, before you’re whisked to the sun-kissed Fijian islands of Lautoka and Suva. Be immersed in the rhythms of island life as you wander through bustling markets, encounter traditional ceremonies, and bask in the serenity of palm-fringed beaches.

Prepare to be swept away by the sheer magnificence of Samoa, American Samoa and French Polynesia, where panoramic views stretch as far as the eye can see. Dramatic landscapes, soaring peaks and deep fjords await, as you approach your final destination, Papeete. The vibrant capital of Tahiti invites you to embrace its colourful local market, taste exquisite Tahitian cuisine, and forge unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.

With shore excursions included at every port of call, Regent Seven Seas Cruises promises to bring each destination to life, and deliver authentic experiences that will live on in your fondest travel memories.

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Azamara – The Middle East

Embark on an extraordinary voyage with Azamara, where smaller ports, longer stays, and more overnight stopovers combine to create the most incredible holiday. The Middle East lends itself perfectly to these smaller ships, where a mix of iconic cities and lesser-known hideaways make for an intoxicating adventure.

Prepare to be enchanted by everywhere from the vibrant streets of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to the sun-kissed shores of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, where every stop on this remarkable itinerary is hand-picked to offer you an exclusive and refined experience.

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Aqaba, Jordan, where the Red Sea reveals its alluring secrets. In the Egyptian ports of Safaga and Sokhna, seek the charms of these coastal paradises, where the ancient wonders of the region come alive amidst a backdrop of impressive landscapes. A transit of the legendary Suez Canal will only add to those bucket list experiences; marvel at the engineering feats that make it possible to pass between two great oceans.

The journey continues with a visit to the holy city of Jerusalem and Haifa in Israel, where you are invited to enjoy the captivating vistas, or explore the charming streets, discovering hidden gems along the way. Your voyage will conclude in the Mediterranean, where Bodrum and Ephesus line up historic and cultural endeavours.

These destinations are only just the beginning. Azamara is renowned for its AzAmazing Celebrations, which feature on most voyages of seven nights or more. These unparalleled experiences will quickly become a highlight of your trip, presenting a means of delving deeper into cultures and traditions from around the world. Each event is complimentary, often includes local food and drink, and takes place in an exceptional location, brought to life through art, music, and dance.

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Silversea – South America and the Chilean Fjords

The Southern Hemisphere presents some of the most staggering landscapes on earth, and what better way to explore a selection of the best than on a luxury cruise? Silversea invites guests to explore each and every port of call on an included shore excursion, but the opportunities for destination immersion are just as prevalent on board.

South American cuisine is vast and varied, which Silversea brings to life through its S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) programme. This is delivered through a variety of experiences, including S.A.L.T. shore excursions. Each one is expertly curated to give you an in-depth understanding of the cuisine in the region you are visiting. Accompanied by expert food connoisseurs, immerse yourself in the intricate flavours and aromas that define a culture and create a journey of discovery and enrichment. Choose one of Silversea’s in-depth, informative experiences or do them all – the choice is yours. With visits to ports in Chile such as Valparaiso and Puerto Montt, and ‘the end of the world’ in Ushuaia, Argentina, becoming acquainted with the local cuisine will provide an experience like no other.

Back on board, the S.A.L.T. programme continues. Onboard dining doesn’t come much finer than the S.A.L.T. Bar and Kitchen, where a variety of international food dishes are inspired by the destination you are visiting. Expect to find reimagined South American favourites as you cruise from Lima to Buenos Aires, as well as drinks made with locally produced quality spirits.

Silver Nova also boasts a S.A.L.T. Lab, where live cookery demonstrations really bring the dishes to life. Guests not only learn how to make the recipe themselves, but will also be fully versed in the food heritage of each ingredient.

This is a journey to South America that will connect you with a destination in ways you never thought possible.

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Emerald Cruises – The Caribbean

Experience the epitome of contemporary luxury as you see the captivating beauty of the West Indies with Emerald Cruises. Aboard a smaller yacht-style ship, you’ll island-hop from one paradisical destination to the next, indulging in an exclusive and refined experience that transcends the ordinary.

Some of these ports of call may not sound familiar – and with good reason. Emerald Cruises prides itself on transporting guests to lesser-known destinations, where the onshore experience is more personalised and bespoke than you could ever imagine. An Emerald Cruises yacht is equipped with extra-special features that will truly bring your adventure to life; the Marina Platform invites you to enjoy a host of water sports and activities, while Gocycle electric bicycles enable you to explore ports of call at your own pace.

Envisage yourself on the white-sand beaches of Culebra, Puerto Rico, where azure waters teem with marine life, creating an enchanting spectacle of nature’s splendour. The voyage will continue to the enchanting coastal town of Esperanza Bay on Vieques Island where a bustling social scene mingles with picturesque waterfront views.

As you venture to the Virgin Islands, a stop-off in Virgin Gorda awaits. From the pristine beaches to the untouched landscapes, every corner of Virgin Gorda transports you to a realm of pure serenity and wonder.

Next, you will encounter the alluring destinations of Gustavia in St. Barths and Marigot Bay in Saint Martin. Explore the alluring streets, where you’ll indulge in world-class cuisine and high-end boutiques along the way.

To conclude your voyage, you will return to the enchanting British Virgin Islands, where the vibrant culture of Jost Van Dyke awaits. Your senses will be awakened by a full tapestry of colours, flavours, and rhythms that define the Caribbean spirit.

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Seabourn – Norway and Svalbard

A Seabourn expedition cruise is one of the most luxurious ways to discover remote parts of the world. On board Seabourn Venture, you can encounter far-flung destinations, incredible wildlife and be led by a team of experts, who will impart their knowledge to enrich your entire adventure.

Among the destinations you can visit on a Seabourn expedition cruise are Norway and Svalbard, far up into the Arctic Circle. Deep-cut fjords and sparking glaciers await, which you’ll be able to see up close thanks to the expedition equipment that’s kept on board.

Take the Svalbard experience as an example. These extraordinary islands lie halfway between Norway’s North Cape and the North Pole, where remarkable species come out to play, and the scenery leaves you in nothing short of absolute awe.

Let the spirit of exploration guide you as you embark on Zodiacs and paddle kayaks. Observe the wonders from the luxuriously appointed decks and trek upon the islands themselves, venturing into an isolated, unspoiled sanctuary that will leave you speechless.

Marvel at the remarkable sight of seals and walruses hauling out to join the breeding season, as patient polar bears gracefully patrol the rocky shorelines and navigate the floating ice. Witness the majestic dance of whales, rolling and breaching offshore, as they feed on the abundant treasures of the summer sea.

Back on board Seabourn Venture, join your fellow adventures in discussing your tales from the day. The Expedition Lounge is a space to congregate, share photos and stories, and access a wealth of information including navigational and weather charts. If you’d rather continue the day’s wildlife adventures, The Bow Lounge is the place to be; closest to water level, it’s the ideal place to spend time keeping an eye out for marine life, all while in the comfort of being on board.

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