Top Hidden Treasures of the Cruise World

Most frequent travelers are familiar with popular Caribbean cruises, but these destinations just scratch the surface of all that cruising has to offer. On non-traditional cruises, you can take exciting trips to little-visited parts of the world. These destinations provide an unforgettable experience, often in extremely luxurious cruise ship settings.

Check out some of the world’s best-kept secrets among cruise destinations.

Sir Bani Yas

A part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the island location of Sir Bani Yas is situated between Bahrain and Dubai. This breathtaking Middle Eastern destination has served as a protected wildlife sanctuary for over 40 years, and the Arabian Wildlife Park covers much of the island.

The park is home to over 10,000 animals and serves as a native habitat to exotic species like cheetahs, peacocks, and flamingos. In terms of activities, cruisers can enjoy the various resorts and beaches, which are ideal for activities like scuba diving and other water sports.

The most popular time to take a cruise to Sir Bani Yas is from November to March. Some of the top attractions in this region are the nature preserves, private beach resort exclusive to cruisers, and historical Christian monasteries.


Considered quite exotic by many tourists, Antarctica is a top cruise destination despite its cold reputation. Once you get past any trepidation over the cold climate, Antarctica has a lot to offer travelers. Most cruise ships to Antarctica depart from South American ports and arrive at the Antarctic peninsula. 

Some people assume a cruise to such a remote and cold location would be devoid of excitement typically associated with cruising. Nothing could be further from the truth. Expect to engage in all the usual cruise trappings like fine dining, onboard entertainment, and more.

In addition to the standard cruise activities, a cruise to Antarctica is also an amazing opportunity to explore a continent that is home to remarkable wildlife, including migratory humpback whales, penguins, and polar bears. Additionally, Antarctica is home to some massive icebergs the size of multiple story buildings.

Nile River Cruise

Quite possibly one of the most exciting non-traditional cruise destinations, the Nile River is sure to provide unparalleled excitement to even the most experienced cruisers. The longest river in the world, the Nile River provides access to various historically significant sites throughout Egypt. Cruisers can visit the historic Valley of the Kings, complete with a tour of King Tut’s tomb.

Cruisers can view the spectacular pyramids at Giza and listen to tour guides explain every detail of these historical sites. Land excursions include exploring the region’s rich history at the Egyptian Museum located in Cairo, as well as exploring the beautiful palm forest that is home to a diverse range of fauna and wildlife.

The Seychelles Islands

Located in the Indian Ocean, The Seychelles are a group of African islands located east of Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Much of The Seychelles islands are comprised of stunning beaches, exotic wildlife, and virtually untouched ecosystems. Cruise ships dock on the largest island, Victoria, and all of the smaller islands are typically accessible only by ferry.

The Seychelles are considered a remote location because they are a 10+ hour flight from just about anywhere in the world. Being so far removed from more popular tourist destinations, The Seychelles epitomizes a serene getaway with protected wildlife and stunning mountain rainforests.


One of North America’s best-kept secrets among vacation destinations, Vancouver offers a world of excitement to cruisers from what is regarded as the most passenger-friendly port in the region. Located in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver is an exciting cruise destination year-round. Aside from being a popular point of departure for in-demand Alaskan cruises, Vancouver also stands out as a premier cruise destination.

When cruising in and around Vancouver, itineraries often include exploration via Stoneham Mountain resort. It offers a variety of wintertime activities like skiing, ice skating, and snowmobile excursions. If visiting during the summer months, popular excursions include educational and entertaining nature hikes as well as outdoor water activities.

In addition to pre-planned excursions, visitors to Vancouver can enjoy a bevy of unique experiences. One of the most walkable cities in the region, visitors can explore all the beautiful city has to offer, from fine dining to shopping to guided tours.

More to Explore

Whether you want a themed cruise for yourself or are looking for a vacation suitable for the whole family, choosing to cruise to a less-publicized destination may be the right choice. While Caribbean cruises are certainly popular, frequent cruisers are often looking for something more.

Choosing one of these off-the-beaten-path destinations will provide novice cruisers with truly unique experiences. These destinations will also treat avid cruisers to an exclusive experience that’s unlike anything they’ve seen before.