I can easily say that 2017 provided our most diverse year of travel, as well as being our most adventurous. We went to a variety of new destinations in more and more exotic lands that took us out of our comfort zones. In total, we sailed on 12 cruises and saw some amazing things. Here is a recap -- with a look at what you might like about these types of cruises.
Read About Our Trip: Traveling to Tunisia and Seeing More on Viking Sky
Why You'll Like It: Viking Sky is one of Viking Ocean Cruises' new ships, and the luxury vessel offers a relaxing experience. The ship carries just 930 passengers, and the trip focuses on cultural and food experiences. Onboard, you'll love the spacious public areas and cabins, as well as the excellent service. My favorite part of this ship is the LivNordic Spa, a heavenly retreat that all passengers can experience for no extra fee.
Read About Our Trip: Cruising to Havana on Norwegian Sky
Why You'll Like It: This is the ideal way to visit Cuba. All the logistics are taken care of through Norwegian Sky. The ship offers nice accommodations, good food, and guided excursions in Havana. This makes it a hassle-free experience, which is nice, especially if it's your first trip to Cuba. Norwegian Sky also includes your drinks (alcohol, wine, soda) in the fare.
Read About Our Trip: Five Ways to Stay Active on a Tauck Cruise in France
Why You'll Like It: This is an upscale luxury cruise experience, and foodies will love the culinary and wine experience. Service is outstanding, and the crew is so friendly. The crew show toward the end of the cruise is a riot, with fun games and dancing that delighted the passengers. Excursions are included and led by outstanding guides who work incredibly hard to make everyone happy. This is a great way to pack in the best of Paris and the Provence region of France.
Read About Our Trip: Five Small Med Cruise Ports on Our Seabourn Cruise
Why You'll Like It: You're going to love the luxurious surroundings and top-notch food and service on Seabourn Encore, which also features a sports marina that opens when the ships anchors in a destination. You can go kayaking or paddleboarding as part of your daily adventures.
Read About Our Trip: A Danube River Biking Cruise with Trek Travel
Why You'll Like It: This is an intense challenge for serious bikers. I pedaled with 16 other avid cyclists, and the daily rides were exciting and exhausting. Of course, you can set your own pace, but Trek Travel trips attract people who really enjoy their rides and live for cycling. Make sure you are comfortable riding in traffic and up and down fairly steep hills (e-assist bikes are available to book for this trip).
Read About Our Trip: Back to Nature: Panama and Costa Rica with UnCruiseâ
Why You'll Like It: If you enjoy nature and the outdoors, UnCruise Adventures' expeditions are perfect for you. The ship sails with about 60 people, and expert guides and naturalists set up exciting daily adventures that get you out into the wilds with fellow cruisers who all have adventurous spirits just like you. These trips are dreams for fitness enthusiasts, photography buffs and nature lovers. This ship is not luxurious, but the food is outstanding -- and many of the meals are inspired by the destinations you visit.
Read About Our Trip: Windstar Cruises Offers Classic Sailing Voyage
Why You'll Like It: This is classic sailing at its best. The ship is spacious and comfortable. The pace onboard during sailing is slow and relaxed, with not much to do. Most people entertained themselves playing games, reading or chatting with each other over cocktails. The live music and gourmet meals are a highlight. The stars of the voyage are the itineraries, though, and Windstar puts together an amazing program with guides scoping out unique experiences in ports that aren't able to be visited by the masses sailing on larger cruise ships.
As you can see, this recaps quite a year with a number of outstanding cruise lines that offer amazing adventures. We can't wait to see what the next year brings. Which cruise would you choose?
Thanks for reading, and happy sailing!