Did you miss out on a luxury cruise to some of these spectacular destinations in 2017? Why not make one of your 2018 travel resolutions ‘Cruise somewhere new’, and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage?

From the luscious landscapes of South America to the exotic shores of South Korea, cruises to these destinations are sure to top the bucket lists of many travellers.

Chile

Beautiful scenery of Chile's landscape

A country stretching far down the western side of South America, Chile is home to every landscape you can imagine. The very southern tip of the region presents several fjord-like channels and snow-capped mountains, while the sun shines down on the desolate beauty of the Atacama Desert.

Follow the fjords through the southernmost tip of Chile, in the remote region of Patagonia where you can explore Tierra del Fuego – a 1,000-mile archipelago complete with volcanoes, waterfalls and stunning scenery.

Jeju

Jeju Island - a popular port town in South Korea

This exotic peninsula combines 5,000 years of culture and history with exceptional landscapes and national parks. Busan, found on the south-eastern coastline of South Korea, is home to the country’s largest seaport and the great temple, Beomeosa. Visit Busan for the famous Jagalchi Fish Market, where you can taste freshly caught fish and immerse yourself in local life.

Jeju, on the other side of the peninsula, is the perfect tropical paradise for nature lovers, boasting stunning scenery and beautiful beaches as well as the Cheonjaeyeon Waterfall, Hallim Park and Bonsai Gardens – each as idyllic as the next.

Malaysia

Skyline of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

Supported by the catchy tourist slogan, ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’, this region is a melting pot of Asian cultures, with no other country hosting Asia’s three major races: Malay, Chinese and Indian. This makes it the perfect place to experience all of Asia in one go – from the unique architecture of Singapore and the dazzling lights of Kuala Lumpur, to Melacca’s UNESCO World Heritage city centre.

A cruise here will tick the boxes of every Asian destination with a fantastic range of landscapes, festivals and activities that will dazzle every visitor to the region.

Sri Lanka

Giant Buddha statue in Maligawila, Sri Lanka

Amila Tennakoon / Flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

Sri Lanka’s Colombo was the fourth fastest growing destination for international visitors in 2016. It is still something of an up-and-coming paradise, making 2018 the perfect time to visit before the crowds follow the statistics. Set sail for the southern region and visit the port of Hambantota, where you can explore the free-standing Buddha structure in Maligawila or watch the wildlife roam on a safari through Yala National Park.

The region boasts 2,000-plus years of history, highlighted by eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the island. Hidden between India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka is a secret worth sharing.

Galapagos

Endless Galapagos landscape - a destination growing

Luxury Galapagos cruises offer a special slice of paradise. In comparison to Hawaii or the Bahamas, these volcanic islands swap pristine white beaches for outstanding biodiversity in one of the most unique natural landscapes on Earth. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and see the species he studied first-hand: wandering Galapagos tortoises, flitting finches and the positively prehistoric marine iguana.

The whole region of these 19 islands feature on the UNESCO World Heritage List, making them a prime cruise destination to visit with your binoculars, camera and walking boots in tow.

Antarctica

Mountain peaks and glaciers of Antarctica

As expedition cruises grow in popularity, take the plunge and book a cruise to the remote regions of Antarctica; essential for wildlife fanatics and lovers of more unusual luxury cruises. The striking scenes of this immense continent include vast mountain ranges, migrating whales and glistening icebergs.

Catch Antarctica’s Big Five right from your balcony window, or get up-close and personal via dog-sled or Zodiac, exploring penguin colonies and historic outposts.

Whether the chilled waters of the Polar regions or the warming breezes of Malaysia are calling your name, there is a new destination on the horizon for everyone. Explore ancient temples or skyscraper cities; try tantalising cuisine and local delicacies; even watch the wildlife wander past your ship. Make incredible memories in 2018 with a journey to the lesser-known, but soon to be top cruise destinations of the year.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over two years. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises and is looking to get something in diary for 2021! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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