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Best Cruise Destinations for Walking and Hiking Enthusiasts

23 May 2024

Cruises are a fantastic way to see so much of the world all in one fell swoop, all while avoiding the stresses of managing multiple hotel bookings and several travel arrangements at once. And, if you want to fully immerse yourself in the stunning destinations you choose to travel to, walking holidays are an excellent way of doing just that.

So, putting two and two together, why not combine cruising with walking and give yourself a getaway that offers up the perfect balance of active exploration and relaxing recreation? A ‘Cruise and Walk’ holiday is a fantastic way of taking your sightseeing game to the next level, and it adds another rewarding activity to any shore days you have planned. Sounds pretty good, right?

A man looking out at a fjord in Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway

If this sounds like something that’s right up your alley, but you’re not sure where to start, we have more information on some of the top ‘Cruise and Walk’ destinations right here. Whether you’re checking out the latest cruise deals for a getaway worth grabbing, or looking into all the upcoming luxury cruises available, there really is breathtaking scenery the world over and it’s all worth exploring with a walk or hike. However, whilst there’s a wide variety of excellent destinations to choose from, it might be difficult to decide which one to visit first.

Fear not, though, for we have taken a look at all the incredible international cruise destinations and hand-picked some of the best options for cruising and walking holidays for you. And, to help you with your decision even more, we’re going to run through some of the top cruise lines sailing to each location and shine a spotlight on some of the top itineraries including them!

Contents:

  1. Alaska, North America Cruises
  2. Montenegro, Mediterranean Cruises
  3. New Zealand, Australasia Cruises
  4. Morocco, European and African Cruises
  5. Norway, Fjords & Norway Cruises
  6. Greece, Mediterranean and Greek Island Cruises

Alaska, North America Cruises

Known as ‘The Last Frontier’, the rugged wilderness of Alaska is a fantastic destination for both casual walkers and serious hikers looking for somewhere worth exploring. Breathtakingly beautiful with some wonderful wildlife, it’s easily one of the most stunning places you can visit on a North America Cruise, no matter the port.

Alongside exciting activities like whale watching and the chance to experience the magical Northern Lights, Alaska’s sheer abundance of exceptional national parks and nature preserves make it a truly excellent option for anyone looking for somewhere to explore when they disembark.

A glacier in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska

Particularly, ports like Juneau and Ketchikan are worth keeping an eye out for when it comes to Alaska – and, it’s also worth considering adding a journey on the impressive Rocky Mountaineer to your Alaskan cruise; this will enrich your experience and give you a chance to see the stunning landscape from a new perspective.

On top of this, if you’re still stuck thinking about things to do on an Alaska cruise, Juneau promises an exciting insight into the history of this region and – despite being the state capital – its remote location means it’s just a stone’s throw away from some wonderful woodland areas and surrounded by a truly mesmerising mountainscape. Ketchikan, on the other hand, is actually one of the top underrated cruise destinations out there right now. A quaint Alaskan town even closer to the rugged wilderness that dominates this part of the world, you’ll find plenty of places to walk when you dock here; you can find out even more about the top Alaska shore excursions here, though, if you’re still not convinced.

A waterfall in Sitka, Alaska
Sitka, Alaska

Cruise lines that sail to Alaska include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in Alaska or start from Alaska are:

Montenegro, Mediterranean Cruises

Looking out at the serene Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a Balkan nation with beauty in abundance and a variety of walking routes well worth enjoying. While the Bay of Kotor itself – a port you’ll likely visit on a cruise to Montenegro – is a truly sensational spot to stroll in its own right, you’ll find there’s so much to explore just outside this fortified town. Kotor Fortress is just a breath away from where you’ll be docking, or you can venture slightly further afield to enjoy the dramatic mountainous landscape Montenegro offers under the glorious Mediterranean sun.

Tiled rooftops in Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor, Montenegro

Montenegro isn’t the only destination that’s worth keeping an eye out for if you’re looking for sensational spots to walk in the Mediterranean. You’ll find a lot of Mediterranean cruise itineraries also sailing to destinations like Croatia, a neighbouring nation that boasts equally stunning scenery, and you can find out more about what to do in Croatia here. Or, you can jump on a cruise that hops between the Greek Islands, where you don’t need to walk far to find yourself face-to-face with incredible ruins well over 3,000 years old!

Ruins of a church in Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor, Montenegro

Cruise lines that sail to Montenegro include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in Montenegro or start from Montenegro are:

New Zealand, Australasia Cruises

Offering you scenery synonymous with the dramatic landscapes of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy – from the truly gorgeous rolling hills of Hobbiton to the mystical Fangorn Forest and beyond – New Zealand really is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sensational environments for you to enjoy.

New Zealand, though, is home to a myriad of breathtaking destinations and fantastic places to visit beyond this; ports like Dunedin will transport you to Scotland (if you can believe it) and cities like Wellington and Auckland are excellent if you want to immerse yourself even more in this island nation’s unique modern culture.

A hilltop in Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand

It’s also important to keep in mind that you can’t really cruise to New Zealand without stopping off in Australia, too; almost every itinerary that sails into the Tasman Sea stops off at this equally excellent destination. Whether you’re looking to discover Queensland, visit cities like Sydney and Melbourne, or get a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef from destinations like the Whitsunday Islands, you’ll find yourself with a wealth of walking and hiking routes to explore during a cruise down under!

A lake in Otago, New Zealand
Otago, New Zealand

Cruise lines that sail to New Zealand include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in New Zealand or start from New Zealand are:

Morocco, European and African Cruises

A unique north African nation distinguished by its blend of Berber, Arabian, and European influences, Morocco really is a must-visit holiday hotspot for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in a rich culture with fantastic cuisine, interesting architecture, and stunning scenery. And, with Casablanca – Morocco’s largest city – a popular port on itineraries for both European cruises and African cruises, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the right cruise holiday (that includes this incredible destination) for you.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco
Casablanca, Morocco

While a destination like Casablanca may not be the first place that pops into your mind when you think of walking and hiking, there are so many incredible places to explore by foot in this city. With the Old City quite-literally a stone's throw from the port terminals, you won’t have to go far to find incredible landmarks like the Hassan II Mosque and Beth-El Temple.

You’re not just limited to this city, though, of course; if you have the time, an excursion into Marrakech or a day trip to the Atlas Mountains both make for excellent opportunities to stretch your legs and see more stunning sights. And, let’s not forget Tangier – another popular port in north Morocco offering just as much opportunity for adventure.

A look at Ait Benhaddou, Morocco from outside
Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

Cruise Lines that sail to Morocco include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in Morocco or start from Morocco are:

Norway, Fjords & Norway Cruises

If you’re looking for somewhere with some truly spectacular scenery to cruise to and walk through, then look no further than Norway – easily one of the most beautiful European nations and the perfect place for your next ‘coolcation’.

With itineraries stopping off at ports like Bergen, Oslo, and Stavanger, you’re never far away from a fantastic place to walk and hike when you’re on a Norwegian fjords cruise; not to mention that there’s the chance to see the Northern Lights, too.

Pulpit Rock, Norway
Pulpit Rock, Norway

In any case, when you’re in Bergen, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in Norwegian culture while being within touching distance of Mt. Fløyen or Mt. Ulriken – just two of the mountains surrounding this charming port town, and perfect opportunities to go for a hike.

Then, when you get to Oslo, you’ll be met with more breathtaking fjords to explore and fascinating attractions in the city itself – the Nobel Peace Centre and Ekeberg Sculpture Park just two examples. This is actually one of the most accessible destinations in Europe, do you’ll still be able to enjoy some of the sensational views on offer in this part of the world if you’re a cruiser with mobility issues.Let’s not forget about Stavanger, though – which is another excellent place to hike in Norway. Here, you’ll be able to tackle one of the nation’s most famous hiking trails, Preikestolen (known as Pulpit Rock in English) and see the stunning fjord from almost 2,000 feet up.

A public park in Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway

Cruise Lines that sail to Norway include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in Norway or start from Norway are:

Greece, Mediterranean and Greek Island Cruises

Steeped in truly remarkable ancient history, rich culture and cuisine, and some of the most wonderful places to walk in the world, Greece is without a doubt an excellent place to cruise if you’re hoping to go on a hike when you’re ashore. And, with Greek Island cruises often packing itineraries with several of these stunning holiday hotspots – and other spectacular destinations throughout the Mediterranean – a cruise to Greece will give you more than enough opportunities to sightsee in the sun.

Ruins in Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

From Athens’ awe-inspiring Acropolis and hilltop Parthenon to the dominating Venetian fortresses of Rhodes and Nafplio, you’ll be met with incredible architecture and structures from thousands of years ago while exploring these islands in the Aegean Sea. If you're a history buff, you will definitely want to consider Greece; it's one of the top historical destinations to see on a cruise and full of awe-inspiring ancient ruins.

And, beyond this interesting insight into Ancient Greece, there’s the stunning sandy beaches of Mykonos and the dramatic cliffs of Santorini to enjoy. No matter which port you’re docking in for the day, you’ll be mere moments from some of the most breathtaking scenery and spectacular places to walk and hike in this part of the world.

Ruins in Rhodes, Greece
Rhodes, Greece

Cruise Lines that sail to Greece include:

Our top choices for cruises that stop off in Greece or start from Greece are:

Book Your Next Hiking Holiday and Explore the World with Iglu Cruise

If this has inspired you to check out the latest cruise deals and plan a walking holiday in the future, you can find out more about all the upcoming luxury cruises, all-inclusive cruises, and short breaks right here. With so many options out there, you'll be certain to find a cruise to suit your tastes, preferences, and budget.

And, while you do that, you can also learn more about the top budget-friendly cruises, packing for different climates, and more with this selection of posts from the Iglu Cruise blog!

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