Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Step off your ship and onto an island oasis. Although it's actually the crest of a salt dome created millions of years ago, Sir Bani Yas has been transformed over the past four decades. Half of the 34 square-mile surface area is now covered by the Arabian Wildlife Park, a nature reserve home to lush vegetation and 13,000 animals indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. Choose from dozens of outdoor adventures. Nature and wildlife safaris tour the beautiful landscape and take you up close to animals which are endangered in the region but protected here, such as the Arabian oryx and mountain gazelle, as well as predators including the Sudan cheetah. Watersports include guided kayaking through the mangrove forest, plus snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. For explorers, there are challenging (and easy!) mountain biking routes, or if you'd rather let someone else do the hard work, a culture and history tour reveals the intriguing heritage of Sir Bani Yas.