Date Date Location Location Arrival Arrival Departure Departure
Fri, Dec 24, 2021 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida -- 11:00 pmSat, Dec 25, 2021 Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Mexico -- --Sun, Dec 26, 2021 Cozumel 8:00 am 6:00 pmMon, Dec 27, 2021 Sail the Caribbean Sea -- --Tue, Dec 28, 2021 Sail the Caribbean Sea -- --Wed, Dec 29, 2021 Cartagena 6:00 am 2:00 pmThu, Dec 30, 2021 Colon 8:30 am 11:59 pmFri, Dec 31, 2021 Scenic Sailing: Panama Canal -- --Sat, Jan 01, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Jan 02, 2022 Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) 8:00 am 5:00 pmMon, Jan 03, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Tue, Jan 04, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Wed, Jan 05, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Jan 06, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Fri, Jan 07, 2022 Cabo San Lucas 9:00 am 6:00 pmSat, Jan 08, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Jan 09, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Mon, Jan 10, 2022 Los Angeles, California -- --Tue, Jan 11, 2022 Los Angeles, California -- 6:00 pmWed, Jan 12, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Jan 13, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Fri, Jan 14, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Sat, Jan 15, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Jan 16, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Mon, Jan 17, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Tue, Jan 18, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Wed, Jan 19, 2022 Sail the Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Jan 20, 2022 Marquesas Islands (Taiohae) 9:00 am --Fri, Jan 21, 2022 Marquesas Islands (Taiohae) -- 6:00 pmSat, Jan 22, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Jan 23, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Mon, Jan 24, 2022 Tahiti (Papeete) 8:00 am --Tue, Jan 25, 2022 Tahiti (Papeete) -- --Wed, Jan 26, 2022 Tahiti (Papeete) -- 6:00 pmThu, Jan 27, 2022 Moorea (Opunoha Bay) 8:00 am --Fri, Jan 28, 2022 Moorea (Opunoha Bay) -- 6:00 pmSat, Jan 29, 2022 Bora Bora (Vaitape) 8:00 am --Sun, Jan 30, 2022 Bora Bora (Vaitape) -- 6:00 pmMon, Jan 31, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Tue, Feb 01, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Feb 03, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Fri, Feb 04, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sat, Feb 05, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Feb 06, 2022 Suva 9:00 am --Mon, Feb 07, 2022 Suva -- 6:00 pmTue, Feb 08, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Wed, Feb 09, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Feb 10, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Fri, Feb 11, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sat, Feb 12, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Feb 13, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Mon, Feb 14, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Tue, Feb 15, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Wed, Feb 16, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Thu, Feb 17, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Fri, Feb 18, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sat, Feb 19, 2022 Sail the South Pacific Ocean -- --Sun, Feb 20, 2022 Singapore -- --Mon, Feb 21, 2022 Singapore -- --Tue, Feb 22, 2022 Singapore -- 2:00 pmWed, Feb 23, 2022 Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) 7:00 am 6:00 pmThu, Feb 24, 2022 George Town 8:00 am 11:00 pmFri, Feb 25, 2022 Langkawi 8:00 am 6:00 pmSat, Feb 26, 2022 Phuket 8:00 am 6:00 pmSun, Feb 27, 2022 Sail the Andaman Sea -- --Mon, Feb 28, 2022 Scenic Sailing: Bay of Bengal -- --Tue, Mar 01, 2022 Scenic Sailing: Bay of Bengal -- --Wed, Mar 02, 2022 Chennai 7:00 am --Thu, Mar 03, 2022 Chennai -- 6:00 pmFri, Mar 04, 2022 Sail the Laccadive Sea -- --Sat, Mar 05, 2022 Sail the Laccadive Sea -- --Sun, Mar 06, 2022 Cochin 8:00 am --Mon, Mar 07, 2022 Cochin -- 6:00 pmTue, Mar 08, 2022 Sail the Arabian Sea -- --Wed, Mar 09, 2022 Goa (Mormugao) 8:00 am --Thu, Mar 10, 2022 Goa (Mormugao) -- 2:00 pmFri, Mar 11, 2022 Mumbai 8:00 am --Sat, Mar 12, 2022 Mumbai -- 6:00 pmSun, Mar 13, 2022 Sail the Arabian Sea -- --Mon, Mar 14, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Oman -- --Tue, Mar 15, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Oman -- --Wed, Mar 16, 2022 Doha 8:00 am 6:00 pmThu, Mar 17, 2022 Abu Dhabi 8:00 am 6:00 pmFri, Mar 18, 2022 Dubai 8:00 am 6:00 pmSat, Mar 19, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Oman -- --Sun, Mar 20, 2022 Muscat 8:00 am 6:00 pmMon, Mar 21, 2022 Sail the Arabian Sea -- --Tue, Mar 22, 2022 Sail the Arabian Sea -- --Wed, Mar 23, 2022 Sail the Arabian Sea -- --Thu, Mar 24, 2022 Salalah 8:00 am 2:00 pmFri, Mar 25, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Aden -- --Sat, Mar 26, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Aden -- --Sun, Mar 27, 2022 Sail the Red Sea -- --Mon, Mar 28, 2022 Sail the Red Sea -- --Tue, Mar 29, 2022 Jeddah 8:00 am --Wed, Mar 30, 2022 Jeddah -- 5:00 pmThu, Mar 31, 2022 Yanbu al-Bahr 8:00 am --Fri, Apr 01, 2022 Yanbu al-Bahr -- 6:00 pmSat, Apr 02, 2022 Sail the Red Sea -- --Sun, Apr 03, 2022 Aqaba 8:00 am --Mon, Apr 04, 2022 Aqaba -- 6:00 pmTue, Apr 05, 2022 Sharm el-Sheikh 6:00 am 6:00 pmWed, Apr 06, 2022 Luxor (Safaga) 8:00 am 6:00 pmThu, Apr 07, 2022 Sail the Gulf of Suez -- --Fri, Apr 08, 2022 Scenic Sailing: Suez Canal -- --Sat, Apr 09, 2022 Alexandria -- --Sun, Apr 10, 2022 Cairo (Port Said) 7:00 am 9:00 pmMon, Apr 11, 2022 Jerusalem (Ashdod) 8:00 am 11:00 pmTue, Apr 12, 2022 Haifa 8:00 am --Wed, Apr 13, 2022 Haifa -- 6:00 pmThu, Apr 14, 2022 Sail the Mediterranean Sea -- --Fri, Apr 15, 2022 Rhodes 8:00 am 6:00 pmSat, Apr 16, 2022 Ephesus (Kusadasi) 8:00 am 6:00 pmSun, Apr 17, 2022 Sail the Aegean Sea -- --Mon, Apr 18, 2022 Istanbul 8:00 am --Tue, Apr 19, 2022 Istanbul -- 6:00 pmWed, Apr 20, 2022 Sail the Aegean Sea -- --Thu, Apr 21, 2022 Athens (Piraeus) 8:00 am --Fri, Apr 22, 2022 Athens (Piraeus) -- 6:00 pmSat, Apr 23, 2022 Sail the Ionian Sea -- --Sun, Apr 24, 2022 Sicily (Messina) 8:00 am 6:00 pmMon, Apr 25, 2022 Naples 8:00 am 8:00 pmTue, Apr 26, 2022 Rome (Civitavecchia) 8:00 am 8:00 pmWed, Apr 27, 2022 Monte Carlo 10:00 am 11:00 pmThu, Apr 28, 2022 Sail the Balearic Sea -- --Fri, Apr 29, 2022 Barcelona 8:00 am --Sat, Apr 30, 2022 Barcelona -- 2:00 pmSun, May 01, 2022 Murcia (Cartagena) -- 6:00 pmMon, May 02, 2022 Sail the Strait of Gibraltar -- --Tue, May 03, 2022 Lisbon 8:00 am 6:00 pmWed, May 04, 2022 Sail the Atlantic Ocean -- --Thu, May 05, 2022 Scenic Sailing: English Channel -- --Fri, May 06, 2022 Portsmouth 8:00 am 6:00 pmSat, May 07, 2022 Scenic Cruising: Strait of Dover -- --Sun, May 08, 2022 London (Tilbury) 7:00 am --Mon, May 09, 2022 London (Tilbury) -- --
Arrival | Departure Thu, Feb 03, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Feb 04, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Feb 18, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Thu, Mar 03, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Mar 04, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Mar 11, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sat, Mar 12, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sun, Mar 13, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Thu, Mar 17, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Mar 18, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sun, Mar 27, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Mon, Mar 28, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Tue, Mar 29, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sun, Apr 03, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Mon, Apr 04, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Tue, Apr 05, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sun, Apr 17, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Mon, Apr 18, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Fri, Apr 22, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sat, Apr 23, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Sun, May 08, 2022
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Arrival | Departure Mon, May 09, 2022
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Ocean Cruise Destinations Experience the world in depth, and at a relaxed pace. The small size of our elegant, 930-passenger ships gives you access to fascinating ports that larger ships simply cannot reach. Our ocean and world cruises traverse six continents and offer enriching cultural experiences.
Highlights of a Viking Ocean Cruise On a Viking ocean cruise, you will sail into the heart of your destination. From our prime, central berths in the worlds great cities such as Venice, London, Hong Kong and Sydney, and in seldom-visited ports like Kotor, Montenegro and Scotlands Shetland Islands, enriching cultural discoveries are just a short walk from your ship. Further, you will spend more time in port, with overnight stays in virtually all ports of embarkation and disembarkation.
Our ships offer multiple restaurant locations and food choices, from casual cafes and pool grills to crafted wine-pairing menus and regional specialties. From the crown jewel of our main venue, The Restaurant, to the Tuscan cuisine of The Italian Grill, not to mention, the varied global and destination-based cuisine to sample at The World Cafe, featuring live cooking stations and al fresco dining.
When you understand local food traditions, you gain insight into local culture. At Viking, we believe cuisine is as much a part of travel as seeing the sights; that's why we feature a sampling of regional specialties. Our restaurants are the perfect setting for your culinary discoveries, offering you choices from American classics and heart-healthy options to authentic regional delights to deepen your connection to your destinations. And since the ultimate "room" is the great outdoors, your ship offers more al fresco dining experiences than any ship at sea. Sample a Venetian risotto while you cruise through Venice; delight in a Turkish meze surrounded by the Bosphorus Sea, or enjoy gravlax as you glide through the breathtaking fjords. Because part of your experience is dining in your destination-even when you're on board.
We believe the best way to understand a country is through enrichment. Each cruise is thoughtfully curated with hand-picked itineraries so you can immerse yourself in history, music, art, cuisine everything you need to know about your destination. And before you step foot on shore, you will glean insights from history experts and academic luminaries in our theater, chosen by the Viking Enrichment Board.
Travel should be so much more than just a trip, and we believe the best way to understand a country is through enrichment. On our cruises, you truly explore your destination-through its food, culture, countryside and customs. Perhaps you accompany the shipï¿½s chef on a trip to a local market; go behind the scenes at a famous theater company; or even view private collections and hidden vaults at world-class museums.
We have a history of providing our guests a way to get below the surface, not just check off each port. That's why our ocean cruises are centered around where you go, not just how you get there-with hand-picked itineraries so you can immerse yourself in history, music, art, cuisine-everything about your destination. In addition, we include excursions led by knowledgeable local guides in every port of call. You learn about the lands through which you travel via enrichment lectures that bring history to life; through cultural adventures; in-depth pre-trip materials; and on-demand programming-all designed to help you experience the most from your travels.
When you yearn for serenity, there is no better place on ship than a visit to the Wintergarden. This charming, airy space around the main pool is perfect for relaxing in clean, uncluttered Scandinavian-designed environment. Even here, our focus is on enrichment, as this is the place to witness a tea ceremony, or indulge in an afternoon tea service, complete with hand-selected teas, finger sandwiches and pastries.
There may be times when you yearn for serenity, and that is the perfect occasion to visit the Wintergarden. Even here, our focus is on enrichment, as this is the place to relax and witness a calming tea ceremony, or indulge in an afternoon tea service, complete with hand-selected teas, finger sandwiches and pastries. The first thing you will notice about the Wintergarden is the space itself: a soaring modern forest of vaulted beech millwork trees forming a canopy on the skylight ceiling. Retreat into this aerie filled with the calming notes of a harpist as dappled light is cast throughout the room.
EXPLORER'S LOUNGE The notion of civilized camaraderie in elegant surroundings is what inspired us to create the Explorers' Lounge, where fellow travelers can share their latest adventures. It is the perfect setting to celebrate firsts, whether glimpsing your first fjord or savoring Aquavit. With two-story panoramic windows for maximum views, this is the perfect place to relax and take in the scenery.
CULINARY EXPERIENCES Our ships offer multiple restaurant venues and unique dining experiences, from casual cafes and pool grills to wine-pairing menus and regional specialties. You can indulge your senses at our most refined venue, The Restaurant. Savor the rustic Tuscan cuisine of Manfredi's Italian Restaurant. Sample a delicious array of global and destination-based cuisine at the World Cafe, featuring live cooking stations and al fresco dining. And so much more.
THE VIKING LIVING ROOM The ideal setting for relaxation and conversation, The Viking Living Room draws guests together. Spacious seating, melodic piano tunes, live entertainment and planned activities foster rich camaraderie. And its well-curated Viking Library informs even the best-read traveler. Adorned with nautical touches from Viking days, including the clinker-built bar inspired by ancient longships, it is the most inspired living room at sea.
ENTERTAINMENT Our main theater features live performances that bring you closer to the culture of our destinations. We also pull back the curtains of our destinations with cinema in our two movie theaters, which show first-run films as well as destination-driven classics. Our theaters are always buzzing with fresh insights from our enrichment talks featuring the history, art, culture and upcoming ports. To keep you in comfort, we have banished uncomfortable theater seating in favor of soft and spacious sofa seating.
POOLS & SPA Swim surrounded by your destination in the glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern. Or experience our Main Pool, complete with a retractable roof, so you can always enjoy the perfect swim. Here, on star-filled nights, enjoy an outdoor movie as you sail under a canopy of stars. And when it is time to relax, try the ultimate Scandinavian tradition with our Snow Grotto and sauna; or a massage in The Spa.
WINTERGARDEN When you yearn for serenity, there is no better place on ship than a visit to the Wintergarden. This charming, airy space around the main pool is perfect for relaxing in clean, uncluttered Scandinavian-designed environment. Even here, our focus is on enrichment, as this is the place to witness a tea ceremony, or indulge in an afternoon tea service, complete with hand-selected teas, finger sandwiches and pastries.
Our main theater features live performances that bring you closer to the culture of our destinations. We also pull back the curtains of our destinations with cinema in our two movie theaters, which show first-run films as well as destination-driven classics. Our theaters are always buzzing with fresh insights from our enrichment talks featuring the history, art, culture and upcoming ports. To keep you in comfort, we have banished uncomfortable theater seating in favor of soft and spacious sofa seating.
Even our theaters connect you to the destinations. Our main venue, The Star Theater, features live performances that bring you closer to the culture of our destinations. Sometimes, the destination we connect you to exists solely in the realm of an otherworldly theatrical journey, as is the case with beautifully themed shows. We will also pull back the curtains of our destinations with cinema in our two movie theaters, which show first-run films you have not yet seen as well as destination-driven cinema such as "Room with A View," "Roman Holiday," or "Skyfall." And because the intellect also needs to be stimulated, our theaters will always be buzzing with fresh, new insights from our port talks and on-board lectures that feature the history, art, and culture of our destinations. And since we have always promised you will explore the world in comfort, we have banished uncomfortable theater seating in favor of soft and spacious sofa seating.
- Guests: 930
- Length: 745 ft.
- Beam: 94.5 ft
- Class: Small ships
- Year built: 2015
Please note: Stateroom images and features are samples only. Actual furniture, fixtures, colors, configurations and window/porthole views may vary.
From one end of this great earth to the other, you''ll travel via the luxury of a cruise ship. Be pampered on board as your home-at-sea makes its way through international waters to far away places.
Originally a fort built by the U.S. Army in 1838 during the Second Seminole War, Fort Lauderdale welcomes visitors with broad, palm-fringed beaches and an easy pace of life. Stroll along fashionable Las Olas Boulevard with its stylish shops or enjoy a sightseeing cruise through the city''s canals, boasting more waterways than Venice. Or, venture out and explore the cosmopolitan city of Palm Beach, or the wildlife sanctuary of the Everglades.
Sitting just off the gorgeous Yucatan coast, Cozumel revels in its mythic white-sand beaches and world-class coral reefs. Yet Cozumel is also the last stronghold of the Mayas, who settled the island in 300 A.D. Residents still speak Maya, and sometimes wear traditional Mayan clothing. Nearby stand the great pyramids and temples of their ancestors.
Charming Cartagena is one of the most fascinating towns in South America. The old city, almost completely surrounded by lagoons, bays and the Caribbean Sea, is still girded by its 17th-century fortifications. Once these guarded the gold and treasures of the New World, bound for Spain; now they shelter ornate churches and convents, the dramatic Palace of the Inquisition, and other historic gems.
Sail past Los Arcos, the soaring rock archway at the extreme southern tip of Baja California that guards Cabo's perfect harbor. This idyllic bay once sheltered treasure ships from the Orient, and pirate brigs bent on those treasures. Now Cabo caters to an international vacation set, and has a strong artistic tradition famous for its black-coral jewelry.
Sprawling between the mountains and the beaches, Los Angeles is quintessential California. Whether your taste runs to fashionable Beverly Hills, the mega-entertainment of the movie studios, or the sizzle of homestyle Mexican food on Olvera Street, the city of angels is worth exploring.
Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor - these names evoke feeling of magic, mystery, drama and history, and they are all located in Honolulu. The capital of Hawaii, this city not only offers some of the best beaches along side big-city skyscrapers, there are also parks, fabulous shopping, the only royal palace in America, the Arizona Memorial in the harbor at Pearl City, the Polynesian Cultural Center and more.
James Michener called it the most beautiful island in the South Pacific. You may confirm his opinion, either by the local "Le Truck" transport, 4-wheel-drive van, or in a helicopter overhead. And the offshore beauty is accessible by a glass-bottomed boat or by snorkeling.
The largest of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, Tahiti held a magical attraction for artist Paul Gauguin and writer Robert Louis Stevenson. To understand why, simply listen to the winds whistling through casuarina trees on a secluded black-sand beach, or stroll through beautiful botanical gardens and marvel at island flora.
New Zealand's largest city is draped over seven volcanoes and wrapped around Waitemata Harbour (meaning "sea of sparkling waters" in Maori). Despite its British feel, it is the world's largest Polynesian city. Shop for Polynesian crafts on Queen Street, the main drag. Or from atop Mt. Eden, overlook the "City of Sails," which will host the America's Cup races in 2000.
...exquisite architecture, great museums, and fabulous dining establishments.The accommodations and amenities in Wellington are superb, and during the summer there are many hot beach spots...
Located on the island of Tasmania and Australia's second-oldest city, Hobart is famous for its Georgian buildings, picturesque harbor, and fine galleries and gardens. Nearby are the ghostly ruins of Port Arthur, the infamous penal colony, with its Isle of the Dead cemetery. Or, visit one of the perfectly preserved colonial villages nearby.
Australia's "Garden City" rejoices in its greenery, from the Fitzroy Gardens to the magnificent Royal Botanical Gardens. Hiding behind the sky-scrapers along the Yarra River are the graceful 19th-century mansions of the city's Gold Rush years. Sample one of the sixty different international cuisines, which make Melbourne the food capital of Australia.
Sydney is Australia''s showcase: the oldest settlement, the largest and most thriving city, the cultural melting pot. It curves around idyllic Port Jackson, where sandstone cliffs and bright islands complement the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. Wander the cobbled colonial streets of the historic Rocks quarter, or tour the mansions of Watson''s Bay.
Nestled between the Gold Coast to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, laid-back Brisbane makes the most of its magnificent beaches, offering an ideal blend of Aussie ease and urban energy. Wander in the lush Botanical Gardens, shop in the Queen Street Mall, or enjoy the countless cafes and restaurants along the banks of the Brisbane River.
The Great Barrier Reef city of Cairns is the northernmost city of Queensland and is located amidst endless stretches of white sandy beach, attracting visitors from around the world. Although Cairns is the scuba-diving capital of the Great Barrier Reef, you can also wander along the Esplanade, with its remarkable views over Trinity Bay, or explore the Heritage Walk with its fascinating insights into the city's history.
A rare discovery awaits the traveler who ventures onto this remote island of Komodo. Walking through the dense vegetation, hearing and seeing a variety of bird and animal life, you may feel you've landed in another epoch. Indeed, the last vestiges of long-gone dinosaurs survive here, in the form of the legendary, giant lizards called Komodo Dragons.
From Semarang, travel through the lush jungles of Java to the astounding temples of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument on earth built in the 8th century. Here view a complex of dramatic carved towers that were forgotten for almost 800 years! Topped by graceful stupas, the winding pathways display carved panels depicting the life of Buddha.
After 20 years of isolation, this history-laden Vietnamese capital will charm and fascinate you with her vibrant sights. Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a blend of magnificent French colonial architecture set against spacious boulevards thronged with trishaws, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Leave time to shop in the Ben Thanh Market or wander in the landmark Reunification Hall. The more adventurous may opt for an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong in hiding from Allied troops.
The quiet beaches of Lamai, on the island's southeastern coast, are sure to afford you the perfect opportunity to relax. If you would prefer to be a little more active while on Ko Samui, there are plenty of beautiful underwater sights at Coral Cove or Angthong Marine National Park. Dive shops are a dime a dozen on Ko Samui, so you will have plenty of opportunities to explore some of the world's prettiest coral reefs.
One of Asia's great success stories, this island republic has merged diverse cultures into a dynamic and thriving nation. Clean, modern and full of green gardens, its neighborhoods reflect the Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arab and European backgrounds of its past. After sampling the legendary shopping, retire to Raffles Hotel's famous bar and toast Maugham, Kipling and Noel Coward with a Singapore Sling.
Malaysia's capital rises like a vision from the deep jungles. Its fascinating array of architectural styles includes Malay stilt villages, Islamic minarets, Hindu temples, Chinese shop houses and the indescribable opulence of the Royal Palace. In the background rise the world's tallest buildings, the Petronas Twin Towers completed in 1996.
Set like a jewel in the Andaman Sea, Thailand's largest island has great expanses of sandy beaches that lure sun-seekers to their shores, and a unique culture combining influences from China and Portugal. Visit the fabled monastery of Wat Chalong, the Orchard Garden and the Thai Village, where examples of the country's culture are presented in a tranquil lakeside setting.
Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka means "Resplendent Land," an apt description for this beautiful island. Sri Lanka lies fifty-five miles north of the equator, just off the southern tip of India. With its unique beauty, warm climate and near-perfect beaches, Sri Lanka is one of Asia's most adored destinations. Since the sixteenth century, the Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left their architectural and cultural marks in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. Yet despite its colonial architecture, Sri Lanka has always remained Oriental in spirit, with colorful bazaars, dancing elephants, graceful women in saris, and many Buddhist shrines and temples.
The lush Kerala region is the proverbial land of incense and myrrh, from which the world has sought its exotic spices since ancient times. The aromas of ginger, cloves, cardamom, cumin and other key ingredients of Indian curries fill the air. Not far from Mattancheri Palace, with its mythological murals, is a Jewish colony dating back to 1000 A.D. Don't miss the 16th century synagogue with hand-painted floor tiles from China. A visit to the St. Francis church reveals the tomb of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Guests may also tour the "Mattancheri" or Dutch Palace, which houses some of India's finest Hindu frescoes and ceremonial costumes.
A fascinating blend of India and the West, the mythical kingdom of Goa was conquered in 1510 by the Portuguese, who held it until it joined India in 1962. The Portuguese influence is still clear in the names and Christian faith of the locals, and in Renaissance monuments like the Cathedral, the Basilica Bom Jesu, and the convent of St. Francis, a converted mosque.
Few cities evoke such a wealth of sensations as Bombay. Entering the city under the Gateway of India, which commemorates the visit of King George and Queen Mary in 1911, the sounds and aromas are exotic and the level of activity from the bazaars to the street vendors is non-stop. Remnants of British rule along oceanfront Marine Drive stand alongside the thought-provoking former home of Mahatma Gandhi, and the cave temple at Elephanta with its second-century Hindu gods. Bombay also serves as the gateway for land tours to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and Delhi, the historical center of India.
Like a magic carpet spread before the sea, Oman's coastal plain is one of the most fertile areas of Arabia. Famous since antiquity as the source of frankincense, Salalah was already a prosperous town when Marco Polo visited it in the 13th century! Inland rise the forbidding Al-Quar... Mountains, and the desolate "Empty Quarter" of central Saudi Arabia.
Situated on the Red Sea along the East Coast of Egypt, Safaga serves as a gateway to the magnificent antiquities of Luxor and Karnak. Site of the ancient metropolis of Thebes, Luxor has a history which goes back to 2000 B.C. Like Babylon and Nineveh, it was considered one of the great cities of the ancient world, but of the three it is only here that the splendor survives. Marvel at the massive columns and statues. Stroll down the Avenue of the Sphinxes to the grand ceremonial gateway of the Temple of Amun-Ra. Sail across the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, sacred burial ground of the Pharaohs.
A lovely seaport in its own right, Haifa is a departure point for Tel Aviv and Holy Land sightseeing. Jerusalem beckons with the Mount of Olives and the Western Wall. Jericho, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and the crusader city of Acre are also within reach.
Legend has it that Apollo blessed this isle with sunshine and beauty. True to the myths, the "Island of Roses" is rich in magnificent scenery and umbrella-lined beaches. Take an excursion to Lindos, where high on a hill rises an ancient acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena. You will also want to see the medieval Old Town, once home to the Crusading Knights of St. John, and tour the Grand Master's Palace, an Italian restoration famed for its superb mosaic floors.
Romer Fjord, Greenland
Once called Constantinople, the former capital of the Byzantine Empire is the only city in the world to straddle two continents: Europe and Asia. This is the Golden Horn, the door between East and West, and your first vision of its domes and minarets is unforgetable. Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Sultan treasures in Topkapi Palace await - as does the Grand Bazaar, laden with carpets, beaten brass and spices from afar.
Piraeus is the seaport for Athens, the capital of western civilization, which boasts a fantastic mix of classical ruins and vivacious modern life. In a single day, you can climb the hill of the Acropolis to wonder at the Parthenon, join the lively Athenians in Constitution Square, and then find a welcoming taverna for some spirited bizouki music, plenty of ouzo to drink, and with luck, energetic Greek dancing.
The setting for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Messina has much to offer in the way of history. Its dramatic, boulder-filled harbor has challenged navigators since the days of Ulysses. Try to visit the city's Bell Tower at the stroke of noon--the hour when one of the world's largest and most fanciful mechanical clocks springs into action. Messina's museum is also noteworthy for its Renaissance masterworks.
One of the most spectacular bays in the world lies in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. Visit the San Carlo Opera House and the cathedral of San Janarious, or tour the ancient ruins in the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The port of Civitavecchia is the gateway to The Eternal City, where all roads lead. Mad traffic careens past monuments of the great civilizations of the past. You will want to see it all: the soaring inspiration of St. Peter's, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel; the flow of life along the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, the Via Veneto and Trevi Fountain. Be sure to leave time for la dolce vita in one of the piazzas.
Barcelona is the cultural heartland of Spain, yet its first language is Catalan, the native tongue of the proudly independent Catalonia region. Stroll down the shady, tree-lined Ramblas between street musicians and elegant bistros. Then perhaps visit the venerable Gothic cathedral, Picasso Museum or enjoy the architectural genius of Antonio Gaudi's Church of the Holy Family.
...The weather almost never becomes too hot or uncomfortable, and the sights and smells of the land are marvelous...It is also Spain's main naval base...The landscaped squares of Cartagena are so magnificent that you can spend hours just sitting and looking...The buildings and religious structures of the city add to its wonderful culture, and a walking tour of Cartagena is great fun.
Lisbon is many cities, from the cobbled alleys of the Alfama district to the broad Parisian style avenues at its heart. View it all from the heights of St. George's Castle. Belem's Monument to the Discoveries recalls the seafaring past, while nearby Sintra's storybook palaces, and the seaside resort of Caiscais, have different tales to tell.
From the port of Tilbury, it's a short trip to London proper. Even if you've seen the sights (Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham Palace, to name a few), there is always a good play or musical in the West End, or shopping at Harrod's to pass the time.