One of the greatest souvenirs you can find on a cruise is a view that will take your breath away. A number of cruise ports offer the opportunity to walk, hike or take a ride up to some of the most iconic views in the world. Some of these vantage points are included in tours, while others require only a little will to explore on your own. From the Caribbean to Australia, we've rounded up some of the best cruise ports for your viewing pleasure.
Colorful houses, wisteria-lined trellises, boutique shops and hotels hug a coastal bluff to form one of the most beautiful, photogenic villages in the world. For the best views, head to The Path of the Gods. The walking trail overlooks the Amalfi Coast and island of Capri, and can be accessed by taxi/bus from Positano and Sorrento (a short ferry ride from Naples). Suitable for all fitness levels, it spans just under five miles and takes about three hours on average to complete. Just make sure you have a full day in port, as tender rides and transportation time can add up. Prefer to stay closer? You can still enjoy gorgeous views of Positano from a boat on the water or from a number of alfresco bars and restaurants in the village itself.
Learn more about cruises to Positano.
Norway epitomizes scenic cruising, so it's no surprise Geiranger affords some of our favorite views at sea. The tiny village is nestled at the end of Geirangerfjord, a massive fjord rendered with green mountains, snowcapped peaks and waterfalls. For a spectacular shot of the fjord and port, take a 10-minute car ride from the center of town to the Flydalsjuvet lookout. A number of cruise lines, such as Princess and Azamara, also offer shore excursions that include visits to Flydalsjuvet.
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Close your eyes and imagine the perfect paradise. We bet it looks a little something like the Whitsundays. The cluster of islands is sought after for its unspoiled beaches, calm water painted in every shade of blue and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. Airlie Beach, its most popular cruise port, also offers easy access to one of the islands' best view points: Hill Inlet, where travelers flock to gaze at views of Whitehaven Beach, one of Australia's most iconic beaches. Hop on a catamaran to the inlet, or splurge on a seaplane ride, which takes you over the Great Barrier Reef and drops you off near the inlet, at Whitehaven Beach. A number of cruise lines, including P&O Cruises Australia, offer both options as shore excursions.
Learn more about cruises to the Whitsundays.
Even those who've never cruised to Santorini would recognize its whitewashed villages with cobalt-blue accents, tucked into the cliffside. The port city is a feast for the eyes, and offers some of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, to boot. While you can easily soak up the scenery from the village, one of our favorite vantage points is from Santorini's cable cars, which transport passengers to and from the Old Port and the island's capital, Fira.
Learn more about cruises to Santorini.
A staple on Southern Caribbean itineraries, St. George's enthralls visitors with its historic charm, spice-filled air and tropical rainforest surrounding. A walk through the bustling city provides a close-up of its colorful buildings and sparkling, sailboat-speckled sea. But for a peaceful retreat and even better views, take a 10-minute drive to Fort Frederick. From the fort, cruisers can enjoy a wide, unobstructed shot of the city, island and sea.
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Israel's third-largest city is a jewel of the Middle East, and its views speak for themselves. Situated on a lush mountain slope, Haifa overlooks the rugged coastline, Galilee Hills and Mediterranean Sea. Its most prominent attraction, the Baha'i Gardens, also serves as an excellent vantage point. The holy garden terraces are perched atop Mount Carmel, so those standing in the right spot savor all of the above.
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There are a handful of must-try activities when visiting Kusadasi. Among them are sipping Turkish coffee at a seaside cafe and a trip to Ephesus, one of the most notable ancient sites in the world. We'd like to add visiting the "Hill of the Lovers" to our list. A little more than one mile from where the ships dock, the hill is home to some of the best views of Kusadasi's shoreline and port. If you're lucky enough to spend a night here, consider packing up a few snacks and going to watch the sunset.
Learn more about cruises to Kusadasi.