A world cruise is very different from other voyages as it offers you the opportunity to explore a variety of ports in exotic parts of the world. With the longer itinerary, you’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow passengers while you explore the globe and learn about different cultures through onboard activities and enrichment lectures.
World cruises also take you to lesser known locales that you may find surprisingly intriguing. When you plan a cruise, pay special attention to the off-the-beaten path ports. Here are a few ports you will want to make a point of visiting: Columbo in Sri Lanka, Muscat in Oman, and Aqaba in Jordan. Here’s why.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Once known as Ceylon, the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo has a landscape that varies widely across the island. The bustling city streets in one area will guide you to a magnificent beach, and even a tropical rain forest, in others.
Spend your day at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, where you’ll learn all about these animals and the sanctuary they call home. Or take a city tour, where you can visit the National Museum, and the Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, which is decorated with Buddhist artwork. If relaxation is your goal, you can find it on a beach excursion. Spend your morning exploring sandy shores — and your afternoon in one of the many surrounding seafood restaurants.
Once a major center of trade controlled by the Portuguese, the capital city of Muscat is a popular cruise vacation spot. Here you’ll find desert mountains, crystalline waters, and dry river beds known as wadis.
The Grand Mosque, Al Alam Palace, and Bait Al Zubair — a privately owned museum that opened its doors to the public in 1998 — are a few of the attractions you might want to visit in Muscat. You can also continue your exploration on the Omani coastline with a cruise aboard a traditional Arab dhow.
In Roman times, when it was referred to as Elath, Aqaba was a center for international trade. This home to the epic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia also boasts the most magnificent diving opportunities in the Red Sea, where divers can discover hundreds of different types of sponges and coral.
When your ship arrives in Aqaba, Jordan, you’ll have plenty of time for a full visit to the Lost City of Petra. This desert treasure offers a chance to explore its tombs, obelisks, and a narrow gorge adorned with ancient carvings. For a shorter excursion, you can take the Wadi Rum scenic drive. There you can taste local dishes or, if you’re bold, get a Bedouin dagg (tattoo).
When you plan a cruise around the world, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in history and culture while making meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.