Last year, we summed up where to go in our Top 15 Bucket-List Holiday Destinations. This year, we are going from underrated secret hotspots to some of the most popular tourist magnets, as we take you on a journey to our 2018 Top 10 holiday destinations in the world.
Whether you’re an avid traveller, a regular back packer, or just starting out on your first trip out of the country – we are certain that you’ll find a place to fit your next trip. Check out our holiday list below:
1. Norway’s Fjords
The grand spectacle of the Norwegian fjords is just one of the many reasons we would recommend a visit to Norway. Considered as one of the most beautiful countries around the world and ranking among Europe’s largest are her soaring glaciers and pristine icefields. The natural environment is complemented by numerous attractive age-old villages and arctic-inspired city architecture.
Visit during the winter to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Northern Lights. Or, on the other hand, enjoy the summertime and experience how to live in a country where the sun never sets – a must-see-to-believe experience of a lifetime. Check out cruises with Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Princess Cruises and Viking Cruises to marvel at the fjords.
You may often hear Maldives as “THE” first-choice tropical holiday destination for many tourists – which may or may not put you off. However, apart from the obvious (and glorious) white-sand beaches, you can visit the Maldives for a whole new world… underwater. Dive coral walls, atolls, float above sunken gardens and brilliant reefs, as tropical fish and other marine life circle around you. This is some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world… which is why it belongs on our top 10 list.
When you want to witness modern technological advancements AND appreciate a timeless culture all in the one place, then the “land of the rising sun” is hard to beat. Ancient traditions are interwoven into the daily, modern hustle and bustle of life – and it feels so natural. From ryokan (traditional Japanese Inns) to ramen (oodles of noodles – yum!), and world-class skiing (swish swish) to taking a dip in onsen (hot springs). There is simply a whole wealth of things to do and discover in Japan. Take a cruise around the islands with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Holland America, and more create the ultimate luxurious holiday.
This small quiet and tranquil Caribbean island is a holiday destination you never knew you wanted. Completely unspoiled by tourists (at least, not yet), its beauty lies in her clear waters, much of which is currently protected as a Marine National Park and is perfect for diving and snorkelling. You can also experience windsurfing or stand-up paddle your way at Sorobon Beach in Lac Bay. What really makes this area interesting is that the bay is very calm and shallow, so you’d look as if you were walking on water! Get those camera phones out and make your Facebook friends green with envy at this unspoiled holiday destination!
5. Cappadocia in Turkey
Cappadocia looks like it could only exist in your kid’s fairy tale stories. One of Turkey’s major tourism capitals, thanks mostly to the daily hot air balloon rides that give tourists a bird’s-eye view of this surrealistic landscape. Simply because of this alone, it deserves to be in our Top 10. However, if you want to keep your feet firmly on the ground, Turkey itself is an experience waiting to happen. Stay in a unique, cave-rendered hotel carved-out from the area’s natural rock formations and outfitted to suit even the most discriminating of tastes. While you’re there, make sure you try Cappadocia’s testi kebabs – a succulent lamb shank stew baked for hours in a fire and served at table in a clay pot.
6. Hawaii, USA
Many consider Hawaii as paradise on earth – white sand beaches, colourful coral reefs, and majestic volcanoes peppering the horizon against the heavenly blues of the sky. We also highly recommend a visit the Na Pali Coast, the mountainous northern shoreline off Kauai. Considered by the locals as a sacred place, this iconic coast is characterized by narrow valleys and soaring cliffs over beautiful waterfalls and – you guessed it – Hawaii’s signature beaches. Major cruise providers such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean visit this popular holiday destination all-year-round.
7. Santorini, Greece
If you and your partner are on the lookout for a honeymoon getaway, then this popular wedding destination is a great place for a romantic interlude or luxury cruise. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and so many more cruiselines will take you on an unforgettable sojourn through the Mediterranean to Santorini’s caldera-edge settlements. Set high above cobalt blue waters, Fira, Oia and other blue-roofed white-faced townships along the coast alone could make it a top 10 destination, (you just have to google it to see thousands of dazzling photos). Our pick is a mystical walk along the Nea Kameni volcano, then a dive into the very warm waters for a uniquely volcanic spa experience. And, unlike the other beaches we’ve previously mentioned at other amazing destinations, the volcanic shores of Santorini sport a volcanic black sand and most interestingly, the red sand beach of Kokkini Paralia offer a unique, multi-coloured experience.
8. Grand Canyon, USA
Listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is a hiker’s paradise boasting picturesque views and scenic vistas every which way you turn. Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to watch the sun shower over the canyon’s unique features. At nearly two billion years old, you can discover some of the oldest exposed rock in the world, alongside the mighty Colorado river. If you are inclined to get back to nature, we recommend camping at the Havasu Canyon as the turquoise creeks and waterfalls can offer a refreshing change of pace from the majestic rock formations known throughout the region.
9. Taj Mahal, India
Soul-stirring scenes and spiritual experiences await in India, and the Taj Mahal stands as a tall testament to one man’s love for his wife and a display of this region’s rich heritage. Arguably one of the most admired architectural masterpieces throughout history, the many photographs, brochures, and online images simply don’t do it justice – you HAVE to see it in person! The Taj’s rhythmic combination of concave and convex light shadowing, its arches and domes and intricate relief work make this one awe-inspiring monument. Accentuating its beauty further is the vast Mughal garden, the Yamuna River, and ancient tombs and mausoleums, all complemented by colourful marketplaces and the daily bustle of the locals. The Taj Mahal definitely belongs on our top 10 destination list for 2018. Collette, APT, Globus, Intrepid and others can offer complete travel packages for you to visit India in style.
The last (and we think the most spectacular) holiday destination in our top 10 lies in the southern-most part of the globe. Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth, but if you brave the temperatures you’ll be rewarded with the most breathtaking scenery of sprawling frozen lakes, tremendous ice shelves and a myriad of wildlife ranging from thousands of penguins, soaring albatross, a cacophony of migratory birds through to sealions, elephant seals and massive whales breaching the inky depths. Don’t miss the South Shetland Islands perched near to the Antarctic Peninsula, or the environmental wonderland of the Ross Sea – listed as one of the “least altered marine ecosystem on Earth”. During the Antarctic summer, several cruise lines offer luxury adventure cruises aboard ice-strengthened ships. Check out the cruises from Aurora Expeditions, Silversea, Ponant, Scenic Cruises and GAdventures to begin your adventure on ice.
Which destination above made it to your bucket-list? We can take you there! Just speak with our friendly Cruise and Travel Solutions Specialists at Cruise Megastore on 1300 657 948.
Do you have destinations in mind that you think should belong to our list? Tell us about them by emailing us at email@example.com