A cruise can be ideal for a romantic getaway and, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we list 10 itineraries to set your pulses racing
With its snow-capped mountains and breathtaking glaciers, Alaska’s stark natural beauty provides the perfect setting for a romantic cruise. In the state’s capital, Juneau, you and your partner can enjoy thrilling activities such as dog sledding with professional mushers and their canine companions or you can go whale sighting for humpbacks or orcas. Nature trails in Alaska’s national parks also offer a chance to spot other native wildlife such as elk, brown bears or bald eagles. Princess Cruises has a seven-day Inside Passage with Glacier Bay cruise round-trip from Seattle, Washington, a vibrant city within a picturesque mountainous setting that offers plenty of hiking opportunities – perfect for couples who love the outdoors. Departs 6 May, from £659pp (princess.com).
There are some incredibly fascinating ports of call in Avalon Waterways’ eight-day Romantic Rhine: Amsterdam to Zurich itinerary. A highlight is The Netherlands’ capital city Amsterdam which, boasting more than 60 museums, has the highest density of museums in the world. Explore the 700-year-old city’s quaint streets, famous canals and bustling squares by bicycle or take a romantic stroll and soak up its impressive architecture and distinct, lively atmosphere at your leisure. On this cruise you can also explore Cologne with its grand gothic cathedral and Strasbourg, where streets of half-timber houses and red-brick buildings are ripe for exploring. Regular departures from 8 April to 9 December, from £1,299pp (avaloncruises.co.uk).
3. The Caribbean
An idyllic palm-fringed beach, a clear blue ocean and sultry temperatures will surely ignite your passion, and what better way than with a Caribbean cruise? Oceania’s 10-day Caribbean Hideaways voyage begins in vibrant Miami then calls at Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where you can indulge in a romantic scenic drive around the luscious island or take a dip at the famed Cane Garden Bay Beach. This is followed by calls at St John’s in Antigua for more fabulous beaches, Barbados’ capital Bridgetown where you and your partner can embark on a snorkelling adventure, Castries in St Lucia and Gustavia in St Barts to experience its Swedish and French heritage before sailing back to Miami. Departs 6 March, from £2,039pp (oceaniacruises.com).
The fairy tale towns and cities along the Danube River offer a whole host of romantic experiences for you and your loved one. AmaWaterways’ The Romantic Danube, an 11-day sailing from Vilshofen to Budapest, fits the bill, and you have the option of including a three-night stay in historic Prague before your cruise. Visit Prague Castle, whose history dates back to the 9th century, and stroll over beautiful Charles Bridge with its fascinating statues to Old Market Square, where the famous Astronomical Clock can be found. Enjoy a candlelit dinner at a riverside restaurant then follow up with another walk through enchanting lanes in the city centre, granted UNESCO status. The adventure doesn’t stop there, as the cruise will then take you to calls such as Linz in Austria, elegant Vienna and spectacular Budapest in Hungary. Departs 19 March, stay-and-cruise, from £2,186pp (amawaterways.co.uk).
5. The Mediterranean
Fresh seafood, historic cities and fabulous culture await on this Local Flavours of the Mediterranean no-fly sojourn that calls at cities in Spain and France. Beginning your journey in Portsmouth, the itinerary takes in the Spanish cities of El Ferrol, a place that has close ties in cuisine and culture with Portugal’s Lisbon, on which it was modelled, Cartagena, famed for its historic harbour and well-preserved Roman Theatre, and trendy Ibiza before sailing to France for the town of Sete. The largest fishing port in France, you and your partner can enjoy the freshest and tastiest seafood in a romantic setting similar to Venice thanks to its charming canals, seafront and picturesque streets. Other calls include Barcelona, Tarragona and Cadiz in Spain. Departs 17 March, from £2,530pp (sagacruises.co.uk).
Read part two of the 10 of the best romantic cruises.
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