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Thankfully, these days cruise operators travel far and wide to provide holidaymakers with some unforgettable experiences, so if you are looking to make a voyage of discovery, why not try one of these cruises with a difference?
Norway - the Fjords
The beauty of Norway's coastline is truly something to behold, and there are few better ways to experience this Scandinavian gem than from the sea.
Many cruise operator run trips along the coast, from short journeys to two-week expeditions. You are unlikely to tire of this wonderful landscape, particularly when each season offers an entirely new experience. Witness the rejuvenation of the coastline during the new warmth of spring, enjoy the Land of the Midnight Sun in all its glory during the extended days of summer, or take in the tranquillity and astonishing colours of autumn in the fjords. Even winter, with its pure, crisp air and snow is a magical time in Norway.
Anyone wanting the holiday of a lifetime should consider a cruise around Antarctica. The planet's last great wilderness, Antarctica not only features some of the most extraordinary and haunting landscapes, but a coastline teeming with amazing wildlife.
Gigantic icebergs, millions of penguins, thousands of seals and a rich marine wildlife including large numbers of whales, a visit to Antarctica, the coldest, driest, highest and cleanest continent on Earth, is simply awe-inspiring.
There's no need to take to the high seas for a cruise holiday - the world's rivers offer another way to take in some spectacular scenery. And if spectacular is what you're after, Russia's waterways are an excellent place to start.
Cruising from Moscow to St Petersburg is a fabulous way to experience the history and culture of the country, from famous landmarks, cities, palaces and monasteries, as well as the less well-known riverside towns such as Yaroslavl.
The Galapagos Islands
If wildlife is what floats your boat, you can't beat a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Consisting of 13 main islands and numerous smaller ones, it was here that Charles Darwin began to form his theory of evolution.
On a Galapagos cruise, you can not only experience the astonishing variety of wildlife, via nature trails in the presence of an expert naturalist guide, but take the opportunity to go swimming, snorkelling or diving should the mood take you.
There's more to China than the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. A widely varied and stunning landscape awaits those who venture further than the major cities, and a river cruise provides an opportunity to see the other side of this huge country.
A cruise along the Li River is an excellent way to view the scenery, from mountain ranges and hilltop towns to fishing villages, waterfalls and springs. A truly breath-taking experience.
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