Top cruises for 2022 to book now
By Sara Macefield | 20 Nov 2021
Cruising isn’t all about new destinations. Some of the hottest places appearing in itineraries are former old favourites, proving that even while cruises delve into new areas of the world, there are a wealth of established gems waiting to be rediscovered. We select some of the top cruises for 2022 to book now.
Discover the Black Sea
This historical treasure trove was one of the rising stars until 2014 when Russian forces took control of the Crimean Peninsula and annexed it from the rest of Ukraine. Unrest in nearby Turkey two years later forced cruise companies to give this area a wide berth but, thankfully, the tide is turning as cruise ships return to Istanbul and sail from here into the Black Sea.
Luxury line Silversea features a cruise that visits Sochi in Russia, where passengers can visit Stalin’s dacha – his country retreat located on the forested hills – and Odessa in Ukraine, noted for wide boulevards and statuesque architecture that give it the feel of a European city. The coastal Bulgarian town of Bourgas and Constanta in Romania inject a seaside resort feel while visitors to Batumi in Georgia can discover its fascinating heritage.
Japan Stays Strong
The Land of the Rising Sun continues to shine brightly in cruise schedules in 2022, with several cruise companies offering dedicated sailings to the country or combining it with other Asian destinations.
Holland America Line features Japan with stops in China or as part of longer cruises that additionally visit other Asian countries. Its most in-depth sailing is its 28-Day North Pacific Crossing & Japan Collector, arriving in Yokohama from Seattle, where stops include Kobe from where it is easy to visit the atmospheric temples of Kyoto; the port city of Kagoshima with its dramatic views of the Sakurajima active volcano; and Shimizu with its centuries-old shrines, Hakone National Park and pine-forested coastline where Mount Fuji provides a stunning backdrop.
Greenland Grows Apace
The world’s largest island is building up a reputation as a pristine cruising spot thanks to its incredible land and seascapes underpinned by a rich Viking heritage. Sailings past remote fishing villages and former whaling settlements stop at glaciers, where passengers can step out on snow-shoeing expeditions or spot the different whales species that inhabit these waters.
Seabourn’s Majestic Fjords of Greenland sailing gives passengers the chance to witness the spectacle of calving glaciers as vast chunks of aqua blue glacial ice crash into the sea, creating vast clusters of giant icebergs. Settlements such as Qaqortoq and Narsaq, with their pretty multi-coloured houses, add a cultural touch flavoured by the Inuit customs of the local people, while the capital Nuuk brings a fascinating mix of Arctic traditions.
Explore the Iconic on the Med
Longer cruises, such as this 24-day voyage from Oceania Cruises, offer more opportunities to spend time in smaller towns and cities, such as Valencia in Spain, with 15th-century Gothic buildings as well as the ultra-modern architecture of its state-of-the-art Science and Culture Park, alongside sandy beaches.
Then there’s the island hopping, from Menorca and Sardinia to Malta and Sicily – where Syracuse is known for its Greek and Roman ruins. In addition, this cruise offers the chance to visit Florence, Barcelona, Granada and Seville. Marina will then sail around Italy before finishing in Rome.
Allure of the Seychelles
Scattered like lush jewels across the Indian Ocean, the rugged Seychelles are an idyllic utopia of alabaster beaches and cobalt seas, patrolled by their famous giant tortoises. Oceania Cruises wills sail into this natural paradise on a voyage from Thailand, spending an three days in the Seychelles to explore the dramatic mountainous backdrops, white-sand beaches and pirate hideaway of Praslin.
Enjoy stunning surroundings, and a quieter, more laidback feel with tropical forests and the lush Vallee de Mai nature reserve. This voyage also showcases the Seychelles’ Indian Ocean neighbours, notably the Maldives and Madagascar before finishing at Cape Town.
The Nile Regains its Crown
For years, general unrest ruled cruises along the Nile out of bounds, but with Egypt’s fortunes on the up, demand for sailings along this most legendary of rivers has rocketed. Viking is one of the companies promising to transport guests into an ancient world ruled by the mysteries of the pharaohs and their unimaginable treasures.
An 11-night package starts with a three-night stay in Cairo to visit the Pyramids and the city’s famous antiquities museum, which contains Tutankhamen’s death mask, before flying to Luxor for the seven-night sailing, and finishing with an overnight stay in Cairo. Highlights of the cruise include Luxor’s breath-taking Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and Aswan where the temples of Abu Simbel are located.
Adventures along the Amazon
South America shows no sign of losing its sheen as a cruising hotspot and the Amazon River gives visitors a chance to immerse themselves in jungle life with rainforest hikes to spy tropical songbirds, vividly-hued parrots and squirrel monkeys or fishing trips to hook voracious piranha fish.
A Regent Seven Seas cruise from Miami sails inland along the Amazon to the white beaches of Alter do Chão and the tiny settlement of Boca de Valeria before reaching the Amazonian city of Manaus, famed for its classical old mansions. It is also the jumping off point for trips into the jungle and boat trips to see the “Meeting of the Waters where the dark, clear Rio Negro joins the muddy yellow Rio Solimõesto form the Amazon. Guests can enjoy a flavour of Amazonian culture at Parintins, where they will be treated to an exclusive performance of the colourful Boi Bumba Festival, for which this city is famed.
The Baltic States Take Centre-stage
The Baltic States have long been the perfect accompaniment to cruises to St Petersburg, with Tallinn and Riga, the capitals of Estonia and Latvia, respectively grabbing much of the limelight.
The Baltic cities are bursting with old world charm thanks to medieval old towns and cobblestone streets, with an often complex history add another dimension. Many of Silversea’s Baltic cruises stop at enchanting St Petersburg, while other stops on its sailings include Tallin, Helsinki and Copenhagen.
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