With so many cruises to the same destinations, it can be hard to tell them apart. Here are five truly special itineraries
From December 2023, AmaWaterways will be offering the first cruise to sail Colombia’s Magdalena River, after partnering with South American tour operator Metropolitan Touring. It’ll be an intimate 80-passenger cruise on a custom-built ship that’s heralded to be eco-friendly and luxurious. The 1500km Magdalena River is known for its rich biodiversity and culture and the new ship, AmaMagdalena, will embrace this through a mix of onboard and immersive shore experiences.
Viking, Norway to Switzerland
Travelling from Bergen in the Norwegian fjords to the Swiss city of Basel (or vice versa), this is a river and ocean cruise combo. Both inland and coastal destinations are taken in on this itinerary, exploring the Nordic seas and the Rhine River over 14 days. As well as stops in Norway and Switzerland, there are port calls in Denmark, the Netherlands, France and Germany that take in Unesco World Heritage Sites, the Black Forest and the North Sea.
Great Lakes Cruise Company, North America
The only cruise company to specialise in the area, these ships sail through the five Great Lakes – a series of unique, interconnected inland freshwater lakes in the US and Canada, created after the last inland glaciers melted over 10,000 years ago. The cruises cover a range of places and itineraries across the lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario – focusing on luxury adventure that combines beautiful scenery with unique destinations.
Croisi’s cruises in Spain explore the rivers of Andalusia (Guadalquivir and Guadiana), taking in some of the most renowned sites in southern Spain from a different angle. Jerez, Cádiz, Granada and Andalusia’s capital, Seville, are visited on these tours that focus on local culture and gastronomy. There’s a selection of port-to-port cruises offered by the company, with itineraries centred around Christmas, New Year and landscapes of Andalusia, lasting six or eight days.
Hurtigruten coastal, Norway
There are plenty of cruises available in the Norwegian fjords, but Hurtigruten stands out for its exploration of these waters. The Original Norwegian Coastal Express has been sailing for almost 130 years with the 12-day itinerary starting in Bergen before sailing up to the Arctic Circle, to the small town of Kirkenes, and back again. The ship stops at 34 coastal communities along its path, with each season providing a completely different experience.