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11 Best Cruise Destinations for Active Cruise Travelers
You can get a workout on pretty much any cruise, but to maximize your adrenaline-pumping options, it's best to find the right combination of cruise ship and destination. Active cruise travelers will usually turn up at least a handful of shore experiences to whet their appetites for adventure, but if you're cruising with a sedentary lot, that city bike tour or rainforest hike might get canceled due to lack of interest. Likewise, certain ports simply don't lend themselves to athletic adventures, while others have so many active choices, it's hard to make up your mind. Below, we have listed our picks for the 11 best adventure cruise destinations for those who are active travelers, as well as our suggestions for the cruise lines that make the best matches. Just don't forget to pack your running shoes and snorkel gear.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. For example, fall foliage enthusiasts will find September and October the best time to cruise Canada/New England, whereas families prefer to sail in summer when temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
Compare: 12 Cruise Ships in the South Pacific
With a year-round tropical climate, fabulous beaches and picture-postcard views, the South Pacific is one of the world's most popular cruising destinations, especially for Australians. This diverse region also offers visitors much more than a spot to simply soak up the sun. Cruisers can enjoy a taste of France without the jetlag in New Caledonia, snorkel pristine tropical reefs in the Solomon Islands, go to church at a traditional Fijian village or shop for pearls in Tahiti. With more than a dozen ships plying the South Pacific's picturesque waters, many of them throughout the year, passengers have plenty of options. This chart features a ship from each of the major South Pacific cruise lines such as Princess, Carnival, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, as well as lesser-known lines such as Azamara, Windstar and Ponant. Each of the 12 ships suits a different type of traveller. Families on a budget might find the most value onboard P&O Cruises' Pacific Adventure, while couples can pamper themselves with a romantic sailing on Windstar's Wind Spirit. Learn more about each line's itineraries and exclusive offerings to decide which one is best for you. Note: Click on a ship name to get more info and read hundreds of cruise reviews.