As different as these countries and cities are from one another, they all share one thing in common: they are all reachable by cruise ship. Step aboard some of the world's most luxurious liners, and circle the globe to visit 6 stunning ports of call.
Many people planning their cruise want to visit the Greek Isles or Italy. Connecting these two countries is beautiful Croatia, and guests of the SeaDream Yacht Club get a VIP tour. The bustling city of Split is the country's largest. Its core is a residential and commercial center consisting of over 200 buildings and was once a 4th-century Roman palace. The Emperor Diocletian was famous for splitting the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western halves; it was his palace that is now downtown Split. After 17 centuries of restoration, remodeling and renovation, this town is a unique architectural landmark where the line between the past and present is delightfully blurred.
Marseille is literally the oldest city in all of France, a gorgeous city whose history is present in its countryside, architecture and cuisine. Just outside Marseille is the ancient and robust city of Avignon, which dates back to 3,000 B.C. When traveling with the elegant Windstar Cruises, Marseille excursions include a visit to the Pope's Palace in Avignon. The breathtaking Romanesque palace overlooks the Rhone River and houses the remains of 2 popes.
Asia is a dream destination for many travelers, but the distance and language barrier can by overwhelming. Royal Caribbean takes the stress out of vacationing in Asia with perfectly planned guided tours. In Thailand, one of the most popular excursions takes travelers off Bangkok's bustling sidewalks and into the Pattaya Elephant Village, a unique reserve and sanctuary where aging, sick and abused elephants live out their days in peace. Another must-see destination is Wat Pho, famous for is statue of the reclining Buddha and world-renowned massage school. The reclining Buddha is gold-plated and measures 45 meters tall -- it's a sight you won't soon forget.
Iquique is Chile's most visited city: a coastal town whose streets are lined with palm trees. Reminiscent of coastal California, Iquique has beautiful homes and adorable boutiques. Here, guests of the Silversea Cruises are invited to browse Baquedano, a 19th-century Victorian street, then embark on a haunting visit to Humberstone, an abandoned mining town in the Atacama Desert. After exploring, indulge in some local fare -- fresh seafood dishes like cheese and crab pie coupled with a signature Pisco cocktail.
St. Thomas is one of the Caribbean's most bustling ports. From a host of shore excursions, guests of Princess Cruises can enjoy the shopping in the island's capital, Charlotte Amalie, or exploring its pristine waters via kayak, catamaran or yacht. St. Thomas is also one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, and beautiful Magen's Bay, named one of the world's top 10 beaches by "National Geographic," should not be missed.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Guests of Crystal Cruises are welcome to explore one of Russia's most cosmopolitan cities. The palaces in St. Petersburg are renowned for being the biggest in the world. Inside the opulent Catherine Palace, the Amber Room is encrusted with 6 tons of gemstones. While visiting, explore the intricate web of over 300 canals and bridges that give St. Petersburg its reputation as the Venice of the North. This is a spectacular city, rich in history and opportunity, which is why guests of Crystal Cruises spend 3 days here.