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Top Underrated Cruise Destinations

10 May 2024

A cruise ship in Alaska

Are you getting just a little bit tired of seeing the same several holiday destinations when searching through all the latest last minute cruise deals and upcoming luxury cruise getaways for your next holiday? Well, you’re not alone. From Bali and the Bahamas to Alaska and Amsterdam, a cruise is an excellent way to see some of the most popular holiday hotspots around the world – and, of course, enjoy all the stunning sights and delicious dishes they offer.

However, while all of these popular places are worth visiting when you get the chance, cruising is also a fantastic way to explore places you may have never even considered visiting before. We don’t want to rely too heavily on the term ‘hidden gems’ here, but there really are some truly wonderful hidden gems out there for travellers looking to explore underrated cruise destinations and places off the beaten path.

So, if you’re sitting there looking at all the best cruise deals available right now wondering which one you should go for, why not let the destinations decide? Below, in no particular order, we’re going to talk through some of the most underrated cruise destinations out there at the moment and why you should consider a cruise with an itinerary including one of these incredible places for your next holiday.

Kotor, Montenegro

An ancient port city sitting in the secluded Montenegrin Bay of Kotor on the Adriatic Sea, this often-overlooked Mediterranean destination is steeped in history, sensational sights, and captivating culture. Surrounded by fortifications constructed throughout the Venetian period and set against a truly sensational mountainscape (which is where Montenegro gets its name), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more cosy-yet-awe-inspiring city in the Balkans.

With a population of just over 13,000 people, which is only actually double some of the biggest cruise ships in the world, the imposing Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is but just one of the numerous excellent sights worth seeing here – when you’re not tucking into the local cuisine, or visiting one of the many quaint shops throughout the city.

Kotor, Montenegro

Some of the best places to eat and drink in Kotor, Montenegro include:

If you want to hop on a cruise heading to this corner of the globe, you’ll find that Cunard and Celebrity Cruises are among those with itineraries including Kotor. However, there are plenty of Mediterranean cruises to check out right now, with many sailings over 10 nights stopping off here for a day in the sunshine.

Panama Canal & Panama City, Panama

You might not think of the Panama Canal as anything more than a convenient cut-through for container ships looking to take cargo from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic (and vice-versa, of course), but this little stretch of waterway is surprisingly stunning and – when you throw the beautiful Panama City and its historic centre, Casco Viejo, into things – is well worth your time.

And, any cruise that sails through it almost always promises an itinerary featuring other excellent destinations in the Caribbean and Americas. A true marvel of modern engineering surrounded by some gorgeous Central American landscapes, you’ll be surprised at just how much there is to do when you disembark here. Ancon Hill, in particular, is a fantastic spot to soak up some sensational views.

Panama City

Some of the best places to eat and drink by the Panama Canal and Panama City, Panama include:

If this sounds like something right up your alley (or canal, in this case), you can find out more about cruises sailing through the Panama Canal right here and the latest best Panama Canal cruise deals here. Sailings from Virgin Voyages and P&O Cruises are particularly worth looking out for here.

Anguilla, Caribbean

Often talked about by those in the know as one of the best kept secrets of Caribbean cruises, this small British Overseas Territory sits just north of Saint Martin and is nothing short of paradise. With stunningly beautiful beaches just the beginning of everything this island can offer cruisers, you’ll find even a short stop here beyond fulfilling. Catered primarily by smaller luxury ships, Anguilla offers everything you’d expect from a Caribbean island (like scuba diving and snorkelling) at a much more relaxed pace than some of its neighbours – making it an ideal destination for anyone and everyone.

Anguilla, Caribbean

Some of the best places to eat and drink in Anguilla, Caribbean include:

So, whether you’re after some active recreation or a relaxing shore excursion in the sunshine, you can find out more about cruises sailing to Anguilla right here. Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and Explora Journeys all offer exciting itineraries including this island.

Nafplio, Greece

Nearly every inch of Greece is overflowing with captivating culture, sensational scenery, and fantastic food, and the small resort town of Nafplio is no different. Without all the hustle and bustle of a busier Greek city like Athens, or crowds of sun-seekers like Corfu, cruisers stopping off in Nafplio can enjoy everything this beautiful Argolis town has to offer at their own pace – whether that’s a stroll in the sun to soak in all the views, a quick trip to the impressive Mycenean Acropolis, or sitting down to enjoy a refreshing Horta Salad.

Nafplio, Greece

Some of the best places to eat and drink in Nafplio, Greece include:

For those of you who like the sound of all that, or that want to find out a little more about all the Greek Island cruises available, you can find all the cruises sailing to Nafplio right here. It’s a popular itinerary item aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Caribbean cruises and you’ll also find some Azamara Cruises stopping here for a day.

Kiel, Germany

Kiel might not be the first German city you think of when it comes to planning your holiday – or, realistically, even the second or third – but it’s location on the Jutland peninsula looking out at the Baltic Sea has led to it becoming one of the European nation’s major maritime centres and an excellent stop on any European cruise heading that way.

Boasting a selection of fantastic maritime museums, sensational seafood restaurants, and several sandy beaches to enjoy, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back as soon as you head off to your next destination. Better yet, if you find yourself with enough time, Kiel is a great starting point for a trip to another German city centre; Hamburg is only an hour away by train, and another brilliant city to visit.

Kiel, Germany

Some of the best places to eat and drink in Kiel, Germany include:

If this sounds like somewhere you would like to visit, you can find out more about cruises sailing to Kiel here. Some of the best Baltic cruises from P&O Cruises, Cunard, and Fred. Olsen Cruise Line include a stop in Kiel.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Tucked away behind Prince of Wales Island, facing the Inside Passage, this quaint Alaskan town is truly breathtaking and a fantastic destination for anyone thinking about an Alaskan cruise anytime soon.

Offering rich culture and stunning scenery in equal measures, Ketchikan is perfect if you want to immerse yourself in the rugged Alaskan wilderness – while still being within touching distance of some sensational seafood, of course. Both the in-town Totem Heritage Center and the nearby Totem Bight State Historical Park are both well worth your time while you’re here, too.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Some of the best places to eat and drink in Ketchikan, Alaska include:

If Ketchikan, Alaska is somewhere you want to check out, you can find out more about all the upcoming North American cruises available here. Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, and Holland America Line are among the cruise lines offering sailings including Alaska.

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Ready to pack your bags and head out on an epic adventure to some of the world's most underrated holiday hotspots? Well, you can check out all the latest cruise deals right here and find the right getaway for your tastes, needs, and budget.

Or, if you want to know a little more about cruise ships and cruise holidays, you can check out some of the latest blog posts below:

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