Best first-time cruise destinations

For first-time cruisers, the sheer choice of cruise holidays can be overwhelming. It’s tricky trying to work out what type of ship to go for, the duration of the cruise, and most importantly, where in the world is ideal to cruise.

Going on your first cruise should be an exciting adventure. But, there is so much to consider before settling on the specific cruise ship and destination. Most cruise ships include shore excursions, so you get to spend your time split between the cruise ship and locations around the world.

To make your decision a little easier, we’ve created a guide to some of the best destinations for first-time cruisers. Whether you’re after a family fly-cruise round the Med, a short-break in the UK or a bucket-list trip to somewhere dreamy like the Caribbean, here are the best places to visit for first-timers.

  1. The British Isles

You might have dreams of sailing off for some Mediterranean sun, but there are many great adventures much closer to home. For your first experience of the luxury of a cruise, without having to fly to a destination port and venture far out, staying around the British Isles is ideal.

Embarking on British Isle Cruises will let you enjoy some of the most spectacular landscapes our country has to offer, including the 6,000 islands that make up the British Isles. From iconic cities like Edinburgh and London, to the coastal towns of Devon and Northumberland, remarkable heritage can be explored from start to finish.

Explore the traditions and beauty of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the music and literature of Northern Ireland, and the charm and history of Éire, the Republic of Ireland.

Guernsey and the Channel Islands just off France are also part of the United Kingdom and are fast becoming must-visit destinations for a British Isle cruise.

2. Norway and Fjords

For stunning views, fascinating sights and impressive affordability, a Norwegian fjords cruise is spot of for first-time cruisers. They make the perfect family-friendly holidays, combining spectacular scenery with exciting activities, making Norway’s coastline top of the list of destinations.

British travellers can generally set sail from a UK port, avoiding the extra expense and hassle of flights. Yes, Norway may be pricey when you get there, but a cruise holiday is an affordable way to see a stunning slice of Scandinavia.

During a Norwegian fjords cruise, catch views of quaint watersides, dramatic mountains and cascading waterfalls. Trips can include 14-night mystical fjords adventures, or seven nights exploring the famous towns of Stavanger, Bergen, Ålesund and Kristiansand, leaving from Southampton.

  1. The Caribbean

To ensure your first cruise is a real picture of paradise, a tour of the Eastern Caribbean is a must. The Caribbean is by far one of the most popular cruise destinations on the planet, with the East famous for its untamed beauty and laid-back charm. They say those who choose it as their first trip tend to return for a second.

Cruising the Eastern Caribbean delivers an unbeatable mix of great weather, luxury on-shore excursions and picturesque beach stops. It’s the perfect way to experience the sun-kissed islands of Barbados, Puerto Rico, St Kitts, Antigua and the British Virgin Islands, just to name a few. It also combines glorious sunshine with the largest itinerary of water sports and beach activities, making it a fantastic holiday if you’re after a combination of island hoping, beach breaks and glamorous cruising.

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  1. Canary Islands

These exotic islands certainly have the capacity to surprise, making them a popular choice for first time cruisers. Cruising the Fortunate Isles means you’ll get all-year sun, glorious beaches, spectacular scenery and some of the most vibrant resorts anywhere in Europe.

Cruise holidays to the Canary Islands generally explore all seven islands: Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. There are many cruises that stop off at all islands, but Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera pop up most frequently on itineraries because of their impressive on-shore activities and fascinating views.

Why limit yourself to just one island, when you can visit several sunshine spots in one trip?

While everyone has different budgets and interests, make sure you look into the cruise liners which sail to these destinations. Each ship and tour operator has its own reputation – some luxurious, some family friendly, some for the over-50s and some for those who love a good party.

Do your research and you’ll find that cruising offers incredible quality, choice and service with a different destination to explore every day.

You’ll be booking your second trip in no time…

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John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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