Would you consider yourself to be an expert cruiser? Or just someone who knows a thing or two about cruise destinations around the world?
From what you can take on a cruise ship to the most popular shore excursions, put your knowledge to the test and find out if your cruising wisdom spans the high seas or is just a drop in the ocean.
Want to learn more about some of the answers in this quiz? Click on a question below to get the facts behind each answer (but no peeking before taking the quiz!).
Whether you're looking for family friendly cruises or prefer to cruise solo, one thing’s for sure, cruising options have never been more varied. But with choices to suit all, what is the most popular type of cruise? Our Inaugural Cruise Survey 2018 revealed that Ocean Cruises are the most popular type of cruising (taking up a massive 48% of the vote!) and it’s easy to see why.
Travellers can enjoy a wealth of dining and entertainment facilities on board a colossal cruise ship, docking in a variety of ports all over the world. The destinations on an Ocean Cruise are often exotic and highly sought-after by many lovers of travel, hence their unrivalled popularity.
The world really is your oyster when it comes to cruising. From discovering sleepy towns and villages in the Nordic countries to hiking in lush African rainforests, cruising can take you anywhere. We asked respondents in our Inaugural Cruise Survey 2018 what their favourite cruising destination was, and The Caribbean came out on top (31%).
With glorious white sand beaches, an exquisite history, lush rainforests and a vibrant culture that is adored the world over, are we really surprised?
From bustling cities such as Singapore to popular sun destinations such as the Caribbean, you’d think locations such as these would have the busiest ports in the world, right? Wrong!
Port Miami is actually the busiest port in the world, welcoming over 4.5 million passengers every year onto its shores. A young and lively city full of art deco architecture and an abundance of stunning natural beauty, we’re not surprised Miami tops the list.
Did this question catch you out? There are a surprising number of things you can take on a cruise ship, while there are also a number of baffling items that you can’t.
Although you are allowed to take small scissors, beach chairs and watercolour paints, you are not allowed to take pool inflatables, Samsung Note 7s, surfboards, candles, drones and more!
Although one of the lesser-known ports in the world, Port Lockroy is home to a British historic base on Goudier Island off the Antarctic Peninsula. For over 100 years the natural harbour has welcomed explorers, whalers, scientists and sailors onto land, with the site being a designated Historic Site or Monument (HSM 61) and home to the most southerly operational post office in the world
Today, the port is run by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) and managed by four volunteers that are chosen every year to look after the port’s museum, gift shop and tourism mail during the cruising season.
Travel blogger Janet from Planet Janet told us why Antarctica is a must for any keen traveller, and why Port Lockroy is a port like no other.
“Visiting Antarctica’s amazing ‘White Continent’ is the ultimate cruise bucket list destination for people who love to travel. It offers so much more than just being able to tick off your seventh continent. It was an incredible opportunity to channel my ‘inner polar explorer’ and experience the planet’s most pristine and remote environment.
“And, wow, did Antarctica ever deliver. The majestic beauty of its landscape with tall, jagged mountains covered with thick snow and vast glaciers was breath-taking! Plus, Antarctica was teeming with fascinating wildlife – including different types of penguins, seals, seabirds and whales.
“The Antarctic Peninsula offers a wide variety of interesting landing sites. You can visit different penguin colonies, scientific research stations, former refuge huts, or take short hikes to scenic viewpoints. For me, watching the adorable penguins was my favourite!
“Antarctica’s most visited site, Port Lockroy, is a former British base. You can visit the fascinating museum to learn about its scientific research centre past or visit the local gentoo penguin colony. However, visitors especially love the “Penguin Post Office” where, from a classic red British postbox in Antarctica, you can mail postcards or letters to loved ones back home. Quite the novelty!”
Bloggers Jarryd and Alesha from NOMADasaurus also told us about their experience visiting Antarctica, particularly when it comes to its shore excursions:
"The idea of travelling to Antarctica, the least-visited continent and one of the most remote places on earth, has always been something that has interested us. For years we thought it was only a place scientists could visit, but when we found out that regular passenger cruises make the trip, we pushed it to the top of our bucket list.
“Some of the highlights were kayaking between icebergs, camping on a snowy island, zodiac cruising with humpback whales and exploring some of the research bases, such as Port Lockroy, to learn more about the fascinating scientific work that happens down there. It's quite an eye-opening experience to get to see a real-life research station in action."
Although Barbary macaques are more commonly found in Algeria and Morocco, this mischievous monkey has a small population of around 230 in Gibraltar, but how they got there is still uncertain to this day.
Travel blogger Hannah from That Adventurer told us about her encounter with Barbary macaques when visiting Gibraltar and its famous Rock:
“Some of my favourite memories were hiking up to the top of The Rock, exploring the old fortifications and seeing the Barbary macaques!
“The Barbary macaques were so fun to see, I hadn't realised before travelling to Gibraltar that they lived there so it was a bit of a surprise to see them. I remember taking a photo of one of the monkeys and then all of a sudden feeling something heavy land on me. It took me a while to realise that another macaque had landed right on my head!”
Although snorkelling in the barrier reef and hiking through the jungle are great ways to discover Belize, one of the best ways to explore its natural wonders is through its caves on a unique cave tubing excursion.
Blogger Mel from Traveling Mel told us all about her trips to Belize as well as her cave tubing experience:
“I’ve been to Belize twice, once 15 or so years ago with a girlfriend, and then again last year with my family. Belize is an easy country to travel in as the official language is English.
“I like to split my trip into two sections: half in the jungle and half at the beach (or on an island). In both places, we take advantage of outdoor recreation opportunities including canoeing, hiking, fishing, snorkelling the second largest barrier reef in the world, and a highlight: cave tubing in Belize.
“Cave tubing is simply riding an inflatable rubber ring through a cave. In Belize, it is guided and well-managed in order to take care of its natural and cultural resources. The caves are seen by the Maya peoples as an entrance to the underworld - they even made sacrifices in them! So in addition to beautiful stalactites and eerie water, there are remains of the dead!
“The tubing adventure is both relaxing and entertaining. The kids and the adults in our family had a great time and it was fun seeing so many people of different ages floating through the jungle.”
Although home to various big cat species of lions and leopards, one of the most common big cats you’ll find roaming freely around India’s parks are tigers.
With roughly 40 tiger reserves across India, there is a host of tiger watching cruises and excursions available that are sure to offer a wild safari experience you’ll never forget.
The Northern Lights are one of the world’s most magical natural phenomena. This stunning natural display of colours lighting up the night sky is something truly out of this world and can be viewed in various countries across the globe in the northern polar region.
Although the Northern Lights occur year-round, they are invisible to the naked eye during the summer months as the skies are too light. With that said, the best time of year to see Northern Lights is during the dark, winter months, although there is no guarantee you’ll be treated to a light show due to their unpredictability!
Travel blogger Silvia from Heart My Backpack told us why seeing the Northern Lights has always been such a memorable experience for her:
“The wonderful thing about the Northern Lights is that they're different each and every time you see them. Sometimes they'll appear for only a minute, while other times they'll glow strongly all night. And the way they twirl and dance through the sky is always so magical. Even though I often see them several times a week during the winter where I live in Northern Norway, I think they'll always take my breath away.
“My number one tip for chasing the Northern Lights is patience! Sometimes you'll have to wait outside in the cold for hours or drive a long way to reach clear skies, but once you spot them you'll see that they were so worth the wait. And if you're travelling from far away to see the Northern Lights, I highly recommend filling your trip with other fun activities as well, as there's no guarantee that you'll see them, and you want to have an amazing trip regardless of the aurora.”
Chacchoben is a famous ruin in Costa Maya, with a fascinating history and unique tale of discovery to boot.
In 1942 a local Mayan man, Serviliano Cohuo, found the mysterious, overgrown site in Costa Maya and decided to settle his family there, getting married and building a house nearby with his children having the ruins as their playground. In the 1970s, a family hosted an archaeologist who conducted the first official exploration and mapping of the site before reporting his findings to the Mexican government.
When Cohuo passed away in the early ‘90s, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) began a restoration project and the site was officially excavated. It was then that the secrets of Chacchoben began unravelling, and its remarkable history was finally uncovered.
Archaeologists were shocked to learn that the ruins were over 3,000 years old, dating back as far as 1000 BC. It’s believed that the site had been occupied on and off until it was finally abandoned in 1000 AD before being found some 900 years later by Cohuo.
Today, the Chacchoben Ruins are explored by a wealth of tourists day in and day out, offering a unique setting for exploring Costa Maya’s stunning wildlife, landscapes and unique cultural heritage.
Travel blogger Nicole from The Wandering Five told us about her family’s visit to the sacred ruins.
“We’d visited the Uxmal Mayan ruins the previous year, so we were excited to explore more ruins in Mexico. The ride to the Chacchoben Mayan ruins wasn’t far from the Costa Maya port, so we decided to splurge on that excursion. The site is beautiful, and the ruins are fascinating. The highlight of our experience was learning about the area’s rich history.
Nicole also told us what else there is to do in beautiful Costa Maya.
“The excursion we chose also included a relaxing afternoon at the north end of the Bacalar (Seven Color) Lagoon, so we spent a few hours having lunch, kayaking, and wading around in the clear blue water before heading back to the port. We then walked through the shops and snagged a photo in front of the ‘Costa Maya’ sign. I would definitely recommend the port - whether you relax in a pool or take an excursion to the ruins like we did - it’s a beautiful place to see!”
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