Top 10 cruise experiences

( 20 September 2018 )

We asked Saga cruise customers to tell us about their favourite cruise experiences - and here's the list of their top 10!

So if you're looking for some cruise inspiration, look no further...

10. Delight at Gaudi’s unique architecture and art in Barcelona

Shocking, stunning, unusual, amusing, intriguing, colourful, different… all these words could describe your reaction when you first encounter Antoni Gaudi’s unique architecture in Barcelona. From the multi-coloured mosaic lizard (known as El Drac, the dragon) that greets you at park Güell, to the absolute must-see and still unfinished Sagrada Familia basilica, Gaudi’s outstanding and distinctive work can be seen all around the city. Inspired by nature, Gaudi gave curved and twisted shapes to stone and metal, making it striking, iconic, and absolutely unmissable.

Visit Casa Batlló, Parc Güell and the as yet incomplete La Sagrada Familia and much more on an ocean cruise that visits Barcelona

9. Cruise the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean

White-sand beaches, lush landscapes, blue seas, a tropical climate and a unique culture… no wonder the Caribbean is a cruise lovers dream! What could be better than calling at one paradise island after another, experiencing the local food, exotic wildlife and friendly smiles of the islanders in this wonderful part of the world.

Find your perfect cruise around the Caribbean

8. Sail in the magical glow of the midnight sun across the Arctic Circle

During the summer, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun. This results in near-continuous daylight for much of the Arctic Circle, often up to 20 hours a day. Sailing around this region from May to September allows you to take in the ice-laden landscapes and remote islands in their full glory, coloured by summer blooms and verdant foliage. Then in the evenings as you set sail for your next port of call you can relax on deck, enjoying the mysterious experience of a twilight that lingers long into the early hours.

7. Fall for the autumnal colours of Canada’s Atlantic Coast

Autumn shakes the leaves off the tress along the Canadian coast into an annual ‘fall’, dusting the landscape with shades of russet, reds and browns.  It’s a truly spectacular sight, and the best time of year to appreciate the east coast’s picture-postcard scenes of old lighthouses, clapboard houses, wild scenery, all clinging to a beautiful rocky and rugged coastline.

See Canada in the fall on a cruise

6. Go in search of nature’s elusive Northern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights topped the travel wish list in a recent survey, and ranks sixth without customers.  nature’s most elusive light show, the aurora borealis, appears in the night skies without fanfare, curling In the sky, displaying swirls of the brightest green with tinges of purple that spill over and up towards the stars.

There are up to 200 displays or the aurora borealis a year, each lasting from just minutes to several hours.  Sightings cannot be guaranteed but our cruises take you to the best spot at the peak time of year – with an included excursion out onto the tundra, where you are even more likely to witness this incredible light show.  The sight will etch itself In your memory, indelibly.

Go in search of the Northern Lights on a cruise to Norway

5. Spot amazing whales and dolphins in Iceland

The opportunity to watch humpback whales breach high out of the water, and perhaps perform a twirl in the air, is not to be missed! Guided by our experts for the conservation charity ORCA, our on-deck spotting sessions enable you to watch for these spectacular giants, as well as minke whales, dolphins and porpoises.  What’s more, talks from an on-board wildlife expert provide insights into marine life as you cruise the spectacular coast of Iceland.

Go whale watching on a cruise to Iceland

4. Spoil your senses cruising the unspoilt Azores

Nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean have been blessed by Mother Nature with a rich diversity. Feel the force of nature on São Miguel with the extinct volcano, geysers and hot thermal waters.  Admire the cool blue hydrangeas on Faial, a perfect contrast to the lunar landscape of the extinct Capelinhos volcano with vineyards planted in black lava fields.  Terceira is green and fertile, with tea and oranges jostling for growing space.  The Azores are a whole new world of discovery.

Admire the fascinating landscapes of three beautiful islands on an ocean cruise to the Portuguese Azores

3. Be enchanted by the charms of romantic Venice

A panorama of bridge and dome, bell towers and quaysides, colourful façades reflected in the waters of the Grand Canal – few sights are as iconic. Venice’s architecture hints at the great wealth and power it had in the Middle Ages, when it was an independent province.

Despite the riding tide of tourists and water, Venice remains one of Europe’s most enchanting cities, where the piazza and narrow palazzi seem to grow ever more beautiful with age.  Strolling around St Mark’s Square, perhaps indulging in a gondola ride and pausing for thought at the Bridge of Sighs, are all part of the experience.

Enjoy the romance on a cruise to Venice

Q We’ve been married for 25 years and would like to renew our vows on a cruise next year. Do ships allow this?

Unlike a wedding service at sea, where the ship’s captain can officiate (providing he has the requisite authority), the renewal of vows is a personal ceremony with no legal documentation required.

Some cruise lines offer a high-price ‘renewal’ package, with a champagne reception and the captain in attendance. Others – Saga Cruises, for example – will do their very best to accommodate a simple ceremony at little or no cost. Or you could simply capture a quiet moment to yourselves, on the deck at sunset, and exchange promises on your own.

Extract taken from Saga Magazine, December 2017. For more travel tips,  subscribe to the magazine today!

2. Admire St Petersburg’s grand palaces, galleries and cultural museums

Tucked high up in the crook of the Baltic is the Venice of the North, a vast open-air museum, a city of palaces and cathedrals, of broad avenues and winding canals. Visit the legendary Hermitage Museum after closing hours, enjoy a night at the ballet, or marvel at the 150 fountains in the Peterhof Palace Park. In the summer there’s the added bonus of the White Nights, when the sun hardly sets.

Explore the Baltic’s most elegant capitals on an ocean cruise

1. Discover the majesty of Norwary’s fjordland and mountain scenery

Crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, sparkling waterfalls and majestic fjords… The landscapes of Norway are some of the most beautiful in the world, so it’s no wonder they have come top of your list.

And how else could you appreciate their sheer beauty and grand scale than by ship? Gliding across the mirrored waters Is simply the perfect way to take in the scenery form the best vantage point, before stopping at the quaint fishing towns and charming cities for sightseeing ashore.

Discover the majesty of the fjords on a cruise to Norway


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.