Five Travel Destinations You’ve Probably Never Thought of… – Cruise Traveller

Five Travel Destinations You’ve Probably Never Thought of…

Five destinations you’ve probably never thought of…

Sick of Bali, Fiji and Europe? Have a hankering to try out something new? You’re in the right place! Here are five travel destinations that are made possible by small ship, that you might never have heard of, but can now add to your bucket list.

ONE: THE SUBANTARCTICS – New Zealand/Australia

King Penguin colony, Subantarctic Islands, by Nath Michel, Ponant Cruises

Often described as the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand are one of the least-visited places on our Earth. They are preserved and protected and offer scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on the planet. You can expect to see King Penguins by the thousands, Albatross, Seals and totally unique flora and fauna on a trip to the ‘Subs’. Generally only departing in January or February each year by small ship, spaces on these expedition trips are extremely limited. National Geographic is also co-hosting with Ponant on a special departure aboard Le Laperouse in February 2020.


Torngat Mountains National Park, image by Scott Sporleder, Adventure Canada

From the haunting beauty of the Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador to the pretty coloured houses of Newfoundland, this region of eastern Canada is rarely discovered by the average Australian traveller, but there’s plenty of reasons to go. Much of Northern Labrador is still inhabited by Inuit living as they have for an age with seasonal hunting and crafting on this breathtakingly harsh and beautiful land. The small communities that dot this region are remote and visitors are welcomed warmly. Wildlife abounds with polar bear, black bear, seal and seabirds. Travelling south down to the island of Newfoundland, the trees are tall and the meadows lush. It is no mistake that the signature dog of the region the “Newfoundland” is big, gentle and sweet-tempered, just like the unbelievably friendly people of the island itself. The island is known for it’s abundance of moose and whales. Spend as much time as you can here, it is just wonderful.


Horse-drawn sightseeing at Mackinac Island, The Great Lakes, USA by Victory Cruise Lines

The Great Lakes region of northern USA and Southern Canada was formed by glacial scouring of basins about 14,000 years ago. The largest of them all, Lake Superior is over 82,000 square kilometres in surface area and holds 12,100 cubic kilometres of water. The banks of these impressive bodies of water are home to some of the world’s most interesting cities and towns. A visit to this area can encompass sprawling metropolis` like Chicago through to tiny towns without cars like Mackinac Island. Niagara Falls sits between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie with Detroit, Cleveland and Green Bay all worth a mention. For those who have already ticked off the usual L.A and New York in the States and Rockies/BC in Canada, the Great Lakes are a completely different experience.


Wild single horned Rhino at Kaziranga National Park, by Mahabaahu Cruises

If you are expecting an Indian experience over-crowded with people and dodging your way between 26 lanes of traffic on a 4-lane road, then this is not the Indian experience for you. The Assam is remote and in the north-eastern part of the country. Home to the Kaziranga National Park visited by Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2016, this region is the natural habitat to as much wildlife as you will ever see in Africa. With single horned rhino, wild buffalo, royal bengal tigers, monkeys, birds and elephants – this region is a must for any animal lover. You will also experience unique cultures and local handicrafts without the pushiness of the sellers in the big cities. Expect wide landscapes and the beautiful Brahmaputra River as your transport as this area has very limited road access.

FIVE: RAJA AMPAT – Indonesia

The small island Friwenbonda, a coralline limestone block of about 700m length is covered with small mangrove trees. The washed-out overhanging limestone is a protected area for a lot of marine species. Raja Ampat National Park, image by Aqua Expeditions

Made up of over 1500 islands near Sorong in West Papua, the Archipelago of Raja Ampat has recently been featured in David Attenborough’s “Our Planet” series for Netflix as an example of how good reef maintenance and fishing guidance can result in a recovery that is “surprisingly quick”. This region hosts the world’s highest marine biodiversity with a staggering 1400 fish species and more than 550 types of reef-building coral. It has thriving reefs, warm water and (usually) excellent visibility. The Raja Ampat region is also one of the least populated regions of Indonesia and has very few tourists. For those who like their birds, there are massive Blyth’s Hornbills and our very own Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Each visit to the region also helps to protect it with cruise lines paying a park fee for each guest which directly goes toward conservation and empowering local communities to become stewards. Water lovers, this one is for you.

Author: S.Patton, Product Manager, Cruise Traveller