Decided you want to go on a cruise but not sure where in the world to go? From the Caribbean to the Western Mediterranean, we've rounded up the top ten cruises for holidays afloat. Whether you're a first timer or a regular cruiser looking for something completely different, here's a little inspiration to help you on your way. Bon voyage!
Top ten cruise destinations
The world's best cruise holiday destinations
Perfect for: A jam-packed itinerary.
The Western Mediterranean is all about seaside (Barcelona, Cannes) as well as glamorous party spots, such as Ibiza and Malaga. On top of that, a cruise will take you to some of the most iconic attractions of the world in the likes of Rome, Valencia and Florence...
Perfect for: Lovers of beauty, peace and tranquility.
It has been said that the only way to truly appreciate the wonderful scenery of Norway's fjords is to sail through them. With long light summer evenings, pretty ports of call and one-of-a-kind natural wonders, it's easy to see why the Norwegian fjords are popular among cruisers.
Perfect for: Something a bit different.
From extravagant art and architecture in Russia to imposing towers and medieval streets in Poland, the Baltic offers enthralling skylines and wonderful scenery that is still relatively undiscovered by Brits. Must-see attractions include Copenhagen, the famous Ice Bar in Stockholm and the majestic Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Perfect for: Year-round warmth and sunshine close to home.
Highlights of a Canaries cruise include extraordinary volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches and quaint whitewashed villages on the islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Think beautiful black and white sand beaches, volcanoes, sand-dunes, verdant slopes and blue seas...
Perfect for: Exploring the bits of Europe you don't usually see.
Highlights of an Eastern Med cruise include relatively undiscovered bits of Croatia, Bulgaria and Ukraine as well as some best-loved destinations such as Greece and Turkey. Don't miss the bustling bazaar and mosques of Istanbul, swimming in the clear sea in Croatia, sampling the delicacies of the Greek islands and the sights of medieval Montenegro.
Perfect for: A real taste of the Far East.
How else can you explore Thailand, Japan and China in one holiday? This is your chance to visit remote mountains and paddy fields as well as cosmopolitan cities such as Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore. One of the best destinations for culture, scenery and exotic history.
Perfect for: Adventurous types.
Australia and New Zealand are on many Brits' wish list - and on a cruise holiday, you don't have to choose between the two. Take in the mountains, coastlines, lakes, fjords, alpine glaciers and volcanoes of New Zealand as well as Australia's vibrant cities, modern buildings and fine restaurants. Oh, and this part of the world was made for rafting, climbing, bungee jumping, hiking...
Perfect for: Short cruises.
Most people imagine sailing off to a far-flung, exotic destination when planning a cruise holiday, but did you know you can enjoy a cruise around Britain and Ireland? Mini cruises are all the rage these days and there's a variety of beauty spots to see right here - plus with less time on the cruise ship, you'll have more time to explore! Visit the Channel Islands (think fabulous seafood, beaches and nature), as well as Ireland and North Wales, where you'll get plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, with seals, dolphins and even puffins to spot.
Perfect for: A once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
If you feel you've experienced the Caribbean and Mediterranean, Panama Canal is a fabulous option for cruisers craving a taste of adventure. Highlights include watching as the cruise ship sails through the locks just inches from the canal's sides and looking out at the wild jungle beyond. Don't miss whale watching and spotting tropical birds.
Perfect for: Romantic types and sun worshippers who just want to chillax.
With its paradise islands, turquoise seas and sugar-soft beaches, this is the most popular cruise hotspot of all. Barbados, the Dominican Republic and the British Virgin Islands are just a few of the islands to get some R&R. Soak up the famous laidback lifestyle, visit the bustling markets and dance under the stars. Bliss.