Six World Cruise destinations with serious bragging rights

08/12/19

A World Cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that brings you to some of the most incredible places on the planet. From active volcanoes to ancient cities, these six destinations on Arcadia’s 2021 World Cruise will give you something to write home about.

The beauty of a World Cruise is in its variety – an exciting mix of iconic cities and off-the-beaten-path ports. Arcadia’s 2021 World Cruise delivers just that. Alongside stops in world-class cities such as Sydney, San Francisco and Hong Kong, Arcadia will also visit an array of lesser known but equally compelling destinations. Here, we bring you six unexpected spots that will make their mark and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.  

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Puntarenas is a popular weekend getaway for residents of the nearby capital, San José. Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly Paseo de los Turistas to discover shops and bars, or park up at a soda, a cheap and cheerful restaurant where you can sample traditional cuisine such as a casado, a heaping plateful of local flavours such as rice, beans, chicken, fish, salad and plantains. Venture outside the city to immerse yourself in some of the planet’s lushest rainforests and most beautiful beaches. In Manuel Antonio Park, follow forest trails to enjoy spectacular views and hopefully spot a sloth, iguana or squirrel monkey.

Hilo, Hawaii, USA

The island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is famed for the diversity and beauty of its landscapes, from black-sand beaches and waterfalls to lush rainforests and lava tubes. The port of Hilo is located on the island’s northeastern side and offers great shopping and dining, but for a truly Hawaiian experience, venture 40 minutes southwest to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park is home to two volcanoes, including Kilauea, which has been actively erupting since 1983. Snorkellers are in for a treat too, as the island’s waters are teeming with marine life, from sea turtles to fish in every colour of the rainbow.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

On the eastern coast of New Zealand’s sub-tropical Northland region, the Bay of Islands is an unspoilt slice of paradise. Paihia is the main hub and offers excellent beaches, restaurants and watersports. From here, take the short ferry ride over to the charming town of Russell – New Zealand’s first capital – for romantic beachside strolls and spectacular seafood. Or, take a boat tour to Motu Kōkako, also known as Piercy Island (or, more colloquially, the Hole in the Rock), a stunning 16m-high sea arch. Keep an eye out for marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins and gannets.

Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

The cruise port of Phu My is the gateway to Ho Chi Min City. Rising from the shadows of the Vietnam War, the city formerly known as Saigon has transformed into a buzzing metropolis, with Vietnamese, French and Chinese influences mingling to create a cultural and architectural melting pot. Barter at the Bến Thành market, explore the wartime Củ Chi tunnels or venture up the 68-storey Bitexco Financial Tower and take in the views from the Saigon Skydeck. If all that sightseeing leaves you hungry, refuel with iconic Vietnamese dishes such as phở (noodle soup) bánh mì (filled baguette) and bún chả (rice noodles with grilled pork).

Penang, Malaysia

With its white sands, turquoise seas and five-star hotels, it’s easy to see why the Malaysian state of Penang is a hot holiday destination. But there’s more to this beauty than beaches. The state capital, George Town, charms with its UNESCO-listed historical centre, while the city centre streets come alive with 3D street art by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Any foodie worth their salt will know that some of the world’s best street food can be found here: must-try dishes include char kuey teow (stir-fried rice noodles) and satay skewers with peanut sauce. The Kimberley Street hawker stalls are a good place to start.

Aqaba, Jordan

Southern Jordan is home to two of the world’s most spectacular sites: the ancient city of Petra and the spellbinding Wadi Rum valley. UNESCO-listed Petra needs no introduction – its pink sandstone temples, tombs and caves are legendary. Follow the Siq (narrow gorge) to the elaborate Treasury with its exquisite façade. Wadi Rum means ‘Valley of the Moon’, and one look at its dramatic desert landscape of rolling red sand dunes and towering rock formations will certainly bring lunar landscapes to mind. Both can be reached from the port city of Aqaba, itself the only coastal city in Jordan and home to a busting waterfront and a historic Old Town.

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