Cruise vacations make the perfect getaway and it’s an experience that is refreshingly different from the usual trips. The best thing about a quality cruise is how many different places you get to stop off during your voyage. Around the world, you’ll find countless ports that will satisfy all of your tastes for music, history, nature and more. Here are some of the best ports that will make great stops on your cruise!
New Orleans, USA: For Music and Food
There are a multitude of reasons to visit the historic city of New Orleans. Here the food is legendary and the mix of creole and Cajun dishes give this area some of the most distinct cuisine in the US. Their NFL team, the New Orleans Saints, has been a hot topic recently as well. Fans have been cheering them on throughout the season. They are one of the best teams in the NFC, and consistently discussed in the NFL picks and parlays. The team has a long history here, and it really is the history of this city, as well as a close proximity to the ocean, that makes New Orleans one of the best port cities in the world. There is also a deep-rooted love for music, especially jazz. Festivals like Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage festival demonstrate that this city is all about the music, food and culture!
Havana, Cuba: For a Trip Back in Time
If you ask a seasoned cruise fanatic what their favorite ports were, you undoubtedly would hear Havana on their list. You will commonly see this destination on the schedule for many of the world’s top cruise lines like Viking and Carnival Cruise Line. What is it about this famous city that entrances visitors and keeps you coming back for more?
When you constantly visit major cities, it may start to feel like too many things in the world are the same. Not Cuba. When you visit Cuba you are immediately greeted with a wide range of architecture types, as well as streets that are filled with cars for the 1950s that leave you with the impression that you are stepping back in time.
So many different influences come together and can be seen in the cuisine, a mixture of Spanish, Caribbean, and African influences, to the music, like salsa, rumba, and mambo. Visiting Cuba is truly a unique experience that you cannot find anywhere else in the world and thus, this is a must-see port that is worth booking a cruise for.
Piraeus, Greece: For Historical Value
For anyone that truly wants to dive into ancient history and really feel the grandeur of the ancient world, Piraeus, Greece is a breathtaking place. This port city welcomes hundreds of cruises every year that brings swarms of travelers to this small coastal city. When you arrive in Piraeus, you can really feel the majesty of what was once one of the biggest naval bases of the ancient world.
In modern times, there is a lot to explore here. There are many bakeries and cafes serving gourmet Greek coffee around the harbor, as well as numerous nautical supply stores and gift shops where you can pick up souvenirs. You’ll also find plenty of museums, theatres, and galleries to dive into if you are looking to spend an afternoon.
One of the strengths of Piraeus is how many locations are just a short trip from the city. Athens of course is only 20 minutes away, and is a must-see location when you find yourself in this part of the world. You can also take a ferry to the nearby Greek islands and really enjoy a beach getaway. There are numerous options to consider and you can make your ideal vacation here.
St. Johns, Antigua: For Charm and Fun in the Sun
St. Johns has been a popular destination for over 500 years as explorers, pirates, and traders wound up on the shores here. The reputation it has built as one of the most beautiful coastal cities is well deserved and you will surely agree when your cruise ship pulls into the port here.
Whether you have a day to spend, or just an afternoon, St. Johns has lots of activities to offer you. The historic downtown area has a unique charm with brightly colored houses perched on top of the hills that overlook the harbor. You can take a nature tour where you may be lucky enough to see the many different species of whales such as humpback or blue whales. There are also some historic sites like the iconic Cape Spear Lighthouse that once served a vital role in the harbor here.
Stavanger, Norway: For Natural Wonders
Stavanger is a popular stop in Norway when travelers embark out to see the fjords. While the quaint seaside city is beautiful in it’s own right, the surrounding mountains are an incredible sight to behold. There is a lot of charm here, and Stavanger has left a lasting impression on visitors for centuries.
The relation of this city and the sea goes back countless generations. Here the harbor is packed with boats and lined with wooden houses that were historically filled with ship captains and tradesmen. Around the town, you will find numerous landmarks like the Stavanger Art Museum, the Stavanger Cathedral, and the Stavanger Maritime Museum that will take you on a tour through the legends of this quaint port city.
Stavanger makes the perfect stop off on your way to visit neighboring attractions. While the Norwegian fjords may be one of the best attractions for your first cruise trip, there are also beaches, steep mountains, and the iconic Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock). All of which are less than an hour’s travel from the city.
Barbados: For an Island Retreat
Barbados is easily one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, and for good reason. Here, the enjoyment is centered around the beaches and tropical vibes, perfect for that relaxing vacation you had in mind. Unlike some other exotic locations, Barbados has put in a lot of effort to preserve the qualities that bring visitors.
On that note, let’s dive into the paradise that is Barbados. Luckily, there are numerous beaches to visit that are close to the place where your ship will dock. Just a 5 minute drive away is Brandons Beach, perfect for sunbathing and wading around in the crystal clear waters. Brighton Beach is even more relaxing, as it is less popular but still beautiful. If you are looking for a more lively environment with music, watersports and laughs around, try the Pirate’s Cove beach clubs that cater to the energetic visitors. Barbados is an exceptionally fun port to stop off on your cruise.