The pick of the best ocean cruises will take you from Antarctica to the Bahamas

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Whether you love to chill or thrill, see city sights or spot wildlife on holiday, there’s a cruise for you.

From sailing around the Caribbean to taking to the colder climes of Antarctica. 

Here Caroline Hendrie reveals her pick of the best ocean cruises….

Your own Caribbean island

A Caribbean cruise could take you to the Bahamas, pictured. Next year Perfect Day CocoCay will open, which is the first of a collection of private islands created by Royal Caribbean

A Caribbean cruise could take you to the Bahamas, pictured. Next year Perfect Day CocoCay will open, which is the first of a collection of private islands created by Royal Caribbean

A Caribbean cruise could take you to the Bahamas, pictured. Next year Perfect Day CocoCay will open, which is the first of a collection of private islands created by Royal Caribbean

Perfect Day CocoCay in the Bahamas, opening next May, is the first of a collection of private islands created by Royal Caribbean. Lie on a sunbed beside the vast freshwater pool or on the crescent sandy beach. 

Or race down Daredevil Peak, the highest of many heart-stopping waterslides, ride the tide of an enormous wave pool, race along a zip-line and see the view from a helium balloon flying 450ft high.

Symphony of the Seas sails year- round on seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises from Miami with a day on CocoCay from May 2019. (royalcaribbean.co.uk, 0844 493 4005)


Treasures of Scandinavia

The new Scandinavia & Russia: Ultimate Baltic cruise aboard Norwegian Pearl is a tour of northern European capitals, starting in Amsterdam. An overnight stay in St Petersburg gives plenty of time to tour the Hermitage museum and go to the ballet. 

A day-trip to Berlin is in reach of the coast from Warnemunde by special train, and there are calls at Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm, Riga and Copenhagen. The ship also docks at Gdynia close to the attractive city of Gdansk in Poland.

Norwegian Pearl sails from Amsterdam for 14 nights on May 25, 2019. (ncl.co.uk, 0333 241 2319)

In Shackleton’s footsteps

Happy feet: Chinstrap penguins on the South Shetland Islands, which passengers can spot on an Antarctic cruise 

Happy feet: Chinstrap penguins on the South Shetland Islands, which passengers can spot on an Antarctic cruise 

Happy feet: Chinstrap penguins on the South Shetland Islands, which passengers can spot on an Antarctic cruise 

You are guaranteed a white Christmas and endless daylight on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to Antarctica celebrating Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition. Nicholas Crane, a former president of the Royal Geographical Society, will be on board to give background and insights. 


Sailing to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia – where Shackleton is buried – Elephant Island, the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, you’ll see abundant wildlife including vast numbers of penguins, dolphins, seals, whales and albatross.

Silver Explorer sails round-trip from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, for seven nights on December 17. (silversea.com, 0844 251 0837)

Head for heights in Norway

High life: The Loen Skylift in Norway, which takes passengers to the summit of Mount Hoven in the Norwegian fjords

High life: The Loen Skylift in Norway, which takes passengers to the summit of Mount Hoven in the Norwegian fjords

High life: The Loen Skylift in Norway, which takes passengers to the summit of Mount Hoven in the Norwegian fjords

New ship Iona doesn’t make her debut until May 2020, but cruises for her inaugural season sailing to the Norwegian fjords have just gone on sale. High-octane excursions will include riding the new Loen Skylift to the summit of Mount Hoven from Olden, whizzing along Norway’s fastest zip-line 1,000ft above the ground at Bergen, and kayaking past waterfalls dropping hundreds of feet into Geirangerfjord.

Iona will sail on one-week, no-fly cruises from Southampton to Norway throughout the summer of 2020. (pocruises.com, 0345 355 5111)

Heading down Mexico way

Take an off-road safari to the Sierra Madre Mountains from Puerto Vallarta, visit the turtle sanctuary at Manzanillo, jump on a Segway along the waterfront at Mazatlan and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean at Cabo San Lucas. You can do all this on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

Grand Princess sails round trip from San Francisco for ten nights on February 11, 2019. (princess.com, 0344 338 8663)

Big cats and African beaches

The Grand Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage allows passengers to spot big game in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya 

The Grand Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage allows passengers to spot big game in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya 

The Grand Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage allows passengers to spot big game in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya 

Book now for the Grand Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage aboard Marco Polo in the New Year of 2020. Sail from Bristol for nearly three months with thrilling adventures ashore. 

Spot big game in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. Crossing the Indian Ocean, you can feel the sand between your toes on the beaches of Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives. After sailing from Sri Lanka to Jordan and Egypt, you go through the Suez Canal to make calls around the Med, returning to Bristol.

Marco Polo departs on January 6, 2020. (cruiseandmaritime.com, 0844 998 3877) 


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