The world is filled with awe-inspiring, breathtaking landmarks but none more so than the natural wonders that are dotted around our vast lands. From crashing waters to deep canyons, there are some locations across the globe that really shouldn’t be missed, especially on your next cruise.
Hop aboard a cruise to Norway to catch a glimpse of the northern lights or head off on a longer adventure with a world cruise to see the Great Barrier Reef. Whatever you choose, you’re certain to encounter some of the world’s most magical sights, that will offer lasting memories for years to come.
Natural wonders you must see:
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Banff National Park, Canada
- Niagara Falls, Canada
- Mount Everest, China
- Aurora Borealis, Norway & Iceland
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
“One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.” - Great Barrier Reef
An attraction like no other, the Great Barrier Reef sits on the coast of Australia and is the only living thing on earth that can be visibly seen from space. Stretching over 2,500km, the reef is an expanse of vivid coral that is home to some of the worlds prettiest and rarest species of fish, turtles and sea mammals. There is only one way to see this natural wonder in all its glory and that’s by taking a snorkelling or scuba diving tour from the coast. Swim amongst fish, paddle into the crevasses that line the coral clusters and witness the magical colours of the reefs sea beds first hand.
Matt from travel blog Nomadic Matt visited the Great Barrier Reef in 2018. He explained, “The reef itself is massive, covering over 344,000 square kilometres. For comparison, that’s the size of 70 million football fields. Attracting over 2 million visitors each year, it’s often considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world and it’s so big that it can actually be seen from space. The Great Barrier Reef is a collection of almost 3,000 individual reefs, making it the world’s largest structure made by living organisms.” Read about Matt’s full Great Barrier Reef experience here.
Banff National Park, Canada
“This glacier-fed lake is an intense vivid shade of turquoise blue that honestly has to be seen to be believed.” - The Pretend Grown Up
Banff National Park offers a myriad of colours, smells, sights, sounds and experiences. Known for being Canada’s oldest national park and located in the Rocky Mountains, it is no surprise that this is a popular location for those looking to experience something extra special in Canada.
Rachel from The Pretend Grown Up told us about her experience at Banff National Park, “I still can’t get over the first time I laid eyes on Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. This glacier-fed lake is an intense, vivid shade of turquoise blue that honestly has to be seen to be believed.
“Sure, I had seen photos prior to visiting but nothing could have prepared me for this natural wonders raw beauty. As I stood at the side of the lake, with the majestic mountain peaks surrounding me, it felt really surreal, like I was stood looking at a painting. I visited quite a few beautiful lakes within the Banff area but none quite as magnificent as Moraine Lake, which I visited twice. When a moment takes your breath away not just the first time but the second time, you know you have experienced something really special. If visiting this lake is not on your list it absolutely should be! This is definitely a place I will forever talk about and never forget.”
Niagara Falls, Canada
“I was in awe of its natural beauty from the first moment I set my eyes on the falls.” - Rachel Bustin
Made up of three waterfalls and situated in the province of Ontario, Niagara Falls is the largest horseshoe-shaped waterfall in the world and was formed over 12,000 years ago. Since it opened to the public in 1885, it has welcomed over 30 million people each year, a number that continues to grow.
Stand on the viewing platform as you watch the sheer beauty and power of the magnificent falls as they hurricane over the edge of the cliff and fall 176-feet to the rocky terrain, before settling in the waters below.
Rachel Bustin has witnessed Niagara Falls several times while visiting her sister in Canada, she told us, “We drove down from Toronto to visit the most beautiful natural wonder in the world. I was in awe of its natural beauty from the first moment I set my eyes on it. We were lucky enough to ride on the Maid of the Mist to get up really close to the magnificent waterfalls.
“The horseshoe-shaped Canadian falls are visually stunning by night when they are bathed in a whole spectrum of colours. I would recommend everyone tries to visit once in their life, to feel the mist on your face and experience the sights.”
Mount Everest, China
“As someone who was inspired at a young age for adventure, visiting the Himalayas and reaching the summit of Mount Everest was always a lifelong dream.” - Travel the Whole World
A location that is known by many, Mount Everest is iconic but few have explored the extent of its beauty up close. Known for being the earth’s highest mountain range above sea level rising to a mighty 8,848 metres, you won’t find a location quite as magnificent.
George from Travel the Whole World visited Mount Everest several years ago and it inspired his love for travel and exploration. “As someone who was inspired to travel at a young age, visiting the Himalayas and reaching the summit of Mount Everest was always a lifelong dream. Some 25 years later, I took my first footsteps into the Khumbu Valley as I trekked towards the highest peak in the world. While my adventure was a climbing one, all travellers should experience the hidden wonders of the Khumbu Valley.”
Even the view from afar can take your breath away. Gaze at the mass of snowy rocks as they hug the clouds at their peak. Sitting on the border between Nepal and China, the vast mountain range is best explored on a local tour or from the safety of a nearby viewing point as only the most experienced hikers have scaled its extensive peaks.
Aurora Borealis, Varying Locations
“I challenge anyone to not feel a sense of childlike excitement at the magic of gazing up at the lights, watching the sky dance in neon strokes of pink, then green.” - The Parenting Jungle
A sight that is treasured by those who get the chance to witness it, the aurora borealis, or northern lights as they are more commonly known, is an out of this world experience that is truly like magic in the sky. The dancing lights tend to take to the skies between September and March, so a visit to Norway or Iceland during these months give you the best opportunity to catch a glimpse for yourself.
The lights and flashes are caused by solar wind meeting the earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, catching a sighting of this spectacle is rare, so seeing this natural wonder in real life is a treat unlike any other.
Jade from The Parenting Jungle was lucky enough to see the lights when she visited Iceland. “There is a good reason why travellers delight in and encourage the viewing of, the aurora borealis. Many will have witnessed the celestial spectacle on lifetime travel bucket lists. I did, and challenge anyone to not feel a sense of childlike excitement at the magic of gazing up at the lights, watching the sky dance in neon strokes of pink and then green. You also get to experience the northernmost parts of the world.
“The lights do not reveal their beauty easily, you chase them, which I found added to the adventure. Zooming off into the frozen wilderness, I enjoyed both going on a large organised tour bus at midnight in Iceland and crossing the arctic circle, trekking through nature North of Rovaniemi in Finland. Just remember to take your gloves!”