20/04/2024

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The Best Alternative Luxury Cruise Destinations for Couples

6 min read
The Best Alternative Luxury Cruise Destinations for Couples

Cruising is a popular romantic getaway. But surprise your special someone with an alternative luxury cruise that goes to lesser-known destinations. Read on for our choices for the best alternative luxury cruise destinations for couples. 

Cruising is a popular activity among honeymooners or those seeking a romantic getaway. There’s nothing more romantic than exploring the world on a luxurious ship, waking up to majestic ocean views, discovering incredible destinations, and bonding over fun activities.

Couples looking for something unique might want to consider alternative luxury cruises. Whether you love to seek thrilling adventures or prefer to spend your days relaxing and taking naps by the sea, these cruises are perfect for you. So, here’s our list of the best alternative luxury cruise destinations for couples.

Visiting the Penguins in Antarctica

Couples who love wildlife should consider booking a cruise to Antarctica, where you can spot incredible wildlife species, including cute penguins. There are about 17 penguin species that live in the southern hemisphere. Some of the most common species you’ll come across are the Adelie, Emperor, King, and Macaroni. Seeing them up close is fascinating, especially if you spot penguins standing four feet tall and weighing as much as a hundred pounds!

Snow, ice, glaciers, ocean water, clouds and penguins - a typical scene for Antarctica tourism

Visit the penguins in Antarctica. Photo by agaliza via iStock by Getty Images

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The safest and most ethical way to see penguins in Antarctica is to book a polar expedition with knowledgeable wildlife experts onboard who adhere to the strict wildlife-viewing guidelines. Some of these cruises have biologists and other experts who will share insights about the penguins and other wildlife living on this remote continent. These experts also know which place offers the best penguin-viewing opportunities.

The best time to see penguins in Antarctica is from October to March. It coincides with the late spring and early fall seasons in the Southern Hemisphere. Between December and February, penguin chicks are hatching as the melting snow exposes the continent’s rocky headlands, where the penguins breed.

Island Hopping in Croatia

Do you want to go on a romantic cruise in Europe but aren’t interested in the conventional spots like Greece or Italy? Why not consider an island-hopping trip aboard one of the Croatian small ship cruises? The enthralling Mediterranean country has a long coastline facing the Adriatic Sea and is home to picturesque seaside towns, stunning beaches, and magical lakes.

Since Croatia has several islands, island hopping is the best way to explore the country and discover its natural attractions. Whether you want an action-filled holiday or something more relaxing, island hopping is an ideal way to bond and spend quality time with your loved one.

Hvar Croatia

Aerial view at Hvar town in Southern Croatia. Photo courtesy iStock by Getty Images

Carefully plan your itinerary and include as many beautiful places as possible, depending on your interests. If you are into partying, visit Hvar, which has a bustling nightlife scene. For couples who love to spend plenty of time at the beach, visit the island of Vis. The other beautiful islands worth visiting on your island-hopping trip are Brac, Korcula, and the Elaphiti Islands. As you stop on these islands, you can swim and relax on pristine beaches, stroll hand in hand in historic towns, hike at stunning national parks, or kayak at the picturesque lakes.

River Cruising in France

River cruising is one of the most romantic ways to explore France. The boat will dock at the heart of charming French villages, where you can explore at your leisure and dine at some of the best restaurants featuring delectable meals made from the freshest ingredients that each region has to offer. Since France is known for producing some of the world’s best wines, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit wineries and sample locally-made wines.

While France has many beautiful places you can explore on a river cruise, the south of France is the most popular. The Saône and Rhône rivers flow through the region, offering visitors access to some of France’s most picturesque destinations. As your boat glides along the water, you’ll be rewarded with stunning landscape scenery, magnificent architecture, and delectable gastronomic fare. Of course, you’ll stop at many beautiful places, such as Avignon, Lyon, and Macon.

The main attraction of Paris and all of Europe is the Eiffel tower in the rays of the setting sun on the bank of Seine river with cruise tourist ships

Cruises along the Seine River often start in Paris. Photo courtesy iStock by Getty Images

A cruise along the Seine River is perfect for couples who want to soak up the romantic atmosphere of the City of Lights. Considered the lifeblood of Paris, the river is about 483 miles (777 km) long. Starting in Paris, your cruise will take you to the northern region of France, home to beautiful towns rich in culture and history.

Wildlife Spotting in the Galapagos

Another fantastic idea for couples who love wildlife is to cruise along the Galapagos Islands, where you can swim with penguins, snorkel with sea lions, and come eye-to-eye with giant tortoises. Located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the islands are very remote. Because of this, many animals have no natural predators and are not scared of humans.

Galapagos Marine Iguana warming in the sun on volcanic rocks on Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Ecuador. Photo by Maridav via iStock by Getty Images

During your Galapagos cruise, the ship serves as your base, moving daily from one island to another. This daily rhythm promises thrilling adventures, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and encounter captivating creatures. Explore the great cruise options available here.

Depending on your interests, you can take part in various activities. The most popular ones include exploring the undersea on daily snorkeling adventures and hiking through lush jungles, where you could come across giant tortoises and other incredible animals. You will cruise with experts who will serve as your leader on some excursions to guarantee a safer and more enjoyable cruising adventure.

Exploring the Ancient Islands of Greece

While Greece is one of the world’s most popular destinations for cruising, couples who want to try something new can book a cruise to visit some of the most ancient Greek islands. These islands are home to historical and archaeological sites, perfect for history buffs.

One of the islands you will visit is Crete. Home to the Minoan civilization, the island has many fascinating historical sites, including spectacular Bronze Age palaces and archaeological remnants from the Minoan civilization.

Visit Crete

Greek coastline village of Loutro in southern Crete. Photo courtesy Adobe Stock

With a strong influence from the Venetians and the British, Corfu is another fantastic destination for your ancient island-hopping excursion. Here, you’ll find beautiful palaces surrounding Corfu town. It’s also home to the country’s first modern theatre and opera. The other impressive archaeological sites are the Palace of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and the Achilleion.

Articles Related to Alternative Luxury Cruises

Discovering Alternative Luxury Cruise Destinations for Couples

While the most popular cruises today set sail in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or maybe Alaska, there are so many other cruises to unique parts of the world. Once you realize there are some great alternative destinations, you can book a luxury cruise for the two of you that will hold precious memories for a lifetime. We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder for some of our favorite river cruises and more romantic travel ideas.

Cruising is a popular romantic getaway. Surprise your special someone with an alternative luxury cruise that goes to lesser-known destinations. Read the #wanderwithwonder article for our choices of the best alternative luxury cruise destinations for couples. 

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The Best Alternative Luxury Cruise Destinations for Couples 

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