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5 bucket list worldwide ports

5 bucket list worldwide ports

‘Bucket list’ destinations include Antarctica; Alaska; the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera; as well as idyllic, tropical islands of the Indian Ocean and Pacific. One thing you can be sure of: there’s a cruise to virtually anywhere in the world covered by water. The choice of intriguing itineraries for those who wish to expand their horizons has never been greater. We’ve trawled the cornucopia of world renowned port cities to offer our five of the best.

 

  1. Nestling around its magnificent harbour, Sydney is undoubtedly the southern hemisphere’s most spectacular port. Arriving here is simply sensational - after navigating past the narrow, rocky ‘Heads’, cruise ships - surrounded by a flotilla of welcoming yachts - berth at the Ocean Terminal in the shadow of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. There’s time to get a glimpse of Sydney’s colourful past in the trendy Rocks area; enjoy fine shopping in the impressive arcade that is the Queen Victoria Building; take the monorail to Darling Harbour; stroll in the Botanical Gardens with its subtropical canopy; or laze on Bondi Beach and watch surfers carve turns in the foaming sea. Adrenalin-junkies can sign up for an exhilarating climb across the ‘coat-hanger’ harbour bridge; bohemians can head to the trendy Victorian neighbourhood of Paddington or you live like a local and take a ferry to the laidback waterside hangouts of Manly and Balmain.

 

  1. With echoes of the past, the Bund is Shanghai’s famous riverside boulevard whose sweeping curve is lined with ornate buildings from the early years of the 20th century. Back then the city was a decadent colonial outpost of streets lined with French cafés and shady nightclubs; now it’s seized the technological hour. One of the symbols of this relentless spirit is the 1,535-foot Oriental Pearl Tower in Pudong. Putting the high in Shanghai, the 88-storey Jin Mao Tower - featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall - is the third tallest building in mainland China. Visitors can contemplate masterpieces of traditional Chinese art in the Shanghai Museum on People’s Square or stroll around Zhujiajiao with its fascinating canals, bridges, and architecture. Outside the frenetic metropolis, Yuyuan Garden - dating from the Ming Dynasty - has colourful pagodas and enclaves separated by ‘dragon walls’.

 

  1. Ever since its heyday in the 1950’s, Rio de Janeiro - cidade maravilhosa (marvellous metropolis) - has conjured up images of hedonism and excess. Giant floats full of gyrating bodies, surrounded by a sea of sequins and feathers, accompanied by rhythmic samba bands parading through the streets, are part of the four-day Rio Carnival in February or early March when many cruise ships schedule a visit. The expansive Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches are popular with sun-worshipping Cariocas - the citizens of Rio - as well as lycra-clad fitness freaks and teams of ‘futebol’ fanatics. By night samba bands bring out the party animal in even the most reclusive of souls. Reverberating beneath the massive granite outcrop of Pao de Acucar - Sugar Loaf Mountain - Rio is a natural playground. Looking down on this exuberant metropolis is the 115-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer, arms outstretched, atop Corcovado Mountain. Little wonder Brazilians say, “God made the world in six days; the seventh he devoted to Rio.”

 

  1. Standing like a colossus in New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty – erected in 1886 after being donated by France – has been a welcoming beacon to millions of immigrants attracted by the promise of freedom in the New World. A great way of getting oriented and remaining steadfastly impressed with Manhattan is to venture to the Circle Line Cruise Terminal at Pier 83 and indulge in a mini-cruise. The Empire State Building rises like a rocket from the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. Take the lift to the 86th floor Observation Deck at the Concourse Level; from here a second lift continues to the tiny lookout on the 102nd floor. Denizens of the Big Apple take their culture seriously – little wonder the city has a ‘Museum Mile’ that stretches for 35 blocks from 95th Street, south along Fifth Avenue and Central Park. The Museum of Modern Art is brim-full of canvases by Picasso, Monet and Matisse; while the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a magnificent Egyptian collection. Diversity; momentum; energy; New York is a perpetual-motion machine.

 

  1. Nestling within a natural amphitheatre created by Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, Cape Town enjoys one of the most spectacular settings on earth. A sense of theatre pervades the oldest settlement in South Africa which was founded in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company to supply its ships passing the Cape of Good Hope. It is known as the Moederstad - the Mother City, and is a city with a familiar feel. English is the lingua franca, but all around the influences are undeniably African. There’s no better way to get an insight into the events that have transformed this land into the ‘Rainbow Nation’ than the ‘Footsteps to Freedom’ tour. Escorted by expert guides you get the chance to follow in the wake of this land’s often turbulent history. In stark contrast to the monuments to empire and commercialism, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a converted docklands area that now rivals Table Mountain as the city’s premier attraction. This kaleidoscope of designer boutiques and smart shops selling eclectic African curios as well as bistros and bars, markets and museums, has become a destination in its own right.

 

Our cruise specialists have details of all the options available to get to these vibrant cities onboard a cruise ship that’s right for you. And with our deals and expertise, such a memorable voyage to these renowned cities might cost less than you imagine. Call them on 0808 256 6742.

  • 16th January 2018