The fantastic range of options out there when it comes to cruising means that there is something perfect to suit just about everyone. Whether you’re after sea days with plenty of chances to relax, port-heavy itineraries on which you can explore new cultures, or the best cruises for wildlife, your ideal cruise holiday is waiting to be discovered. With this in mind, we wanted to explore another aspect which draws people on holiday – national parks. Here are our top 5 national parks to see on a cruise.
1 – Banff National Park, Canada
Situated in southeast Canada, Banff National Park is often included on Rocky Mountaineer adventures – a popular holiday experience combining the land and sea of Canada and Alaska (as seen on TV with Michael Portillo!). The train route transports you through some amazing scenery, and can include this stunning national park which is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site. See the sparkling waters of Moraine Lake, wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, wolves, and even bears, and not forgetting the commanding Rocky Mountains.
2 - Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Found in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Fiordland National Park is a popular stop on Australasia cruises. This diverse area of the country comprises mountains, valleys, lakes, fiords, and rainforest environments, all of which have helped to enable a fantastic range of species to thrive. At the heart of the park is Milford Sound; a vast and beautiful fiord which is surrounded by mountains including Mitre Peak, which is more than a mile in height.
3 – Chobe National Park, Botswana
On a river cruise on Africa’s Chobe River, you’ll be transported through the impressive and extensive Chobe National Park and its surrounding areas. Here resides Africa’s largest population of elephants, along with all sorts of other exciting wildlife. As well as the majestic elephants, you might see zebras, buffalo, warthogs, cheetahs, and lions to name a few. River cruise lines operating here offer some truly stunning river ships, including the African Dream by CroisiEurope, which has been designed with destination immersion thoroughly in mind.
4 – Denali National Park, Alaska
Towards the south of Alaska is the incredible Denali National Park, which stretches over approximately 6 million acres of land. This vast wilderness can be explored on a cruise to Alaska, and in fact Princess Cruises now boast a fantastic treehouse at their Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, where cruisers can relax and look out over the park. From here it’s possible to spot creatures like the magnificent brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves, and all kinds of bird life.
5 – Patagonia, Argentina & Chile
The awe-inspiring scenery in this part of the world is almost otherworldly. Few holidaymakers make the trip here but with cruising the journey can be simple and comfortable, and very rewarding. Travel in luxury with the likes of Silversea and Seabourn and be transported to a world of glassy ice fields, huge glaciers, and inspiring fjords. There are actually several protected national parks in this location, including the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares where you’ll find the staggering Glaciar Perito Moreno.