If the idea of a cruise sounds too perilously close to an Agatha Christie plot line for your liking, try some of these alternative destinations instead; from hypnotic tours around the Himalayas to following in Darwin's footsteps around the Galapagos Islands.
Ten of the best: Alternative cruise holidays
Ten of the best alternative cruise holidays
Explore the colour of Eastern India; from Kolkata and the remnants of the British Raj to the Buddhist temples of Sikkim.
Catch a spectacular sunrise over Kanchenjunga and relive the Wes Anderson film with a ride on the Darjeeling Toy Tain.
For nature lovers there can be no better pilgrimage than tracing Darwin's steps and taking a five day cruise of the Galapagos Islands. Cruising from the Ecuador capital of Quito the luxury expedition takes in the sea turtles and flamingos of Las Bachas beach , the urchins and octopus of Santiago Island and the penguins at Pinnacle Rock.
Swap the warm beaches of the Med for the stunning white wilderness of Antarctica. The Prince Albert II is built to tackle extreme Polar conditions taking passengers from Argentina, through the Drake Passage and up to the Antarctic Peninsula. Smaller zodiac boats set off daily to take passengers out to more remote areas; including penguin rookeries and huge glacier formations.
If you decide on this cruise which starts in Liverpool traversing the Shetland Islands and then over to the Norwegian fjords and around the spectacular Mount Aksla, you want to be more into rugged coastlines and mountain lakes than sandy beaches and warm waters. This route will take you through the Queen of the Fjords - Hardangerfjord - and gives you the chance to walk behind Steinsdal Waterfall amongst some truly unspoilt countryside.
Sail the 7ft wide Amazonian river, delving deep into the jungle at at the Pacaya Samira reserve on a week long adventure and exploration. Go looking for monkeys and dolphins, fish for your supper, and delve into the Amazon's hidden black water lakes.
As China opens up to the world, take an alternative view of the country by cruising upstream through the Yangzi River. A four day cruise will begin at the Three Gorges, taking you under the ancient Huangling Temple, paddling through the Shennong region on a local longboat and through the cliffs of the Qutang Gorge.
Watch the sunrise over the sand dunes and dine in the desert with a cruise around Richards Bay and Zululand. The tour will take you from private game reserves to the Umfolozi Swamp Forest and diving off Sudwana Bay.
vDo your bit for the environment (as well as your bank balance) by exploring what's right under your nose with a cruise (of sorts) in the British Isles. Hire a luxury canal boat and do it yourself around the Brecon Beacons, taking in the Monmouthshire countryside, village pubs and 22 miles of meandering waterways.