“The list of cruise itineraries is long,” says AMA Travel cruise specialist Shawnda Beaudoin. “That’s why we pinpointed some newer destinations to help narrow the field.”
See the well-preserved history of this once isolated island. In recent years, the Cuban government has eased restrictions against cruise lines, which could previously sail around Cuba, but not dock at certain ports. “Lines that have or will have port visits include Oceania Cruises, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival,” Beaudoin says.
“The country has an undiscovered quality,” Beaudoin says. “Cities and beaches aren’t yet overrun with tourists.” One of the best ways to arrive is by sea, along the Dalmatian Coast. Cruise lines, such as Holland America, Celebrity and Regent, offer port visits to many heritage-rich cities, including Split, Sibenik, Korcula and the famous walled city of Dubrovnik.
A lot of people do land tours to explore the iconic fjords, waterfalls and fishing villages, but the rugged roads can be pretty treacherous. “Exploring Iceland by boat gets you from point A to point B in comfort, while seeing sights you couldn’t see on land, like majestic sealife,” Beaudoin says. For 2018, Holland America’s 14-night CAA Friendship Cruise (Amsterdam roundtrip) is a stellar option. It’s escorted by a knowledgeable CAA travel consultant and includes exclusive onboard activities.
“It is truly a bucket-list destination with its distinctive wildlife and terrain,” Beaudoin says. “And on a cruise, you’ll see a variety of islands, as each one has something different to offer.” The volcanic archipelago is well suited to smaller ships: Celebrity recently added two small ships to its existing fleet.
HOW TO SAVE
Get big discounts with your AMA membership before you set sail.
Passport photos: Free with Plus or higher memberships (a savings of $15)
Foreign currency: Currency exchange at any AMA centre
Travel medical insurance: Purchase through AMA Travel before you set sail; members save 10%
Luggage: Members save up to 25% on luggage
Park’N Fly: Members save 25% off the drive-up rate or save 10% off the web rate.
Park 2 Go: Save 15% on daily and weekly airport parking in Calgary