When you are a lover of nature, it is possible to find solace and peace anywhere, from backpacking through the most remote canyon to simply sitting quietly in your own backyard garden. The joys of the natural world are all around us, and if you are lucky enough to be able to appreciate them, it will be a great asset to your life and mental wellbeing.
Vacation time for outdoors enthusiasts is an opportunity to explore beyond the normal experiences of after work hikes and weekend-long camping trips. Vacation time is time for an adventure.
For some nature lovers, this means getting a guide and setting off into the backcountry for a few weeks. For others it is a chance to take a road trip to see some of the country’s incredible national parks.
However, one option that many people who revel in experiencing the outdoors rarely consider is taking a cruise. Cruises are often regarded as being reserved for senior citizens and families, but the truth is that there are all kinds of outdoor opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of.
Here are a few thrilling examples of cruises that will satisfy the cravings of those who can’t get enough of the great outdoors.
Holland America Line cruises offers an exciting 7-day cruise aboard their ship, the Oosterdam. It sets sail from beautiful Seattle, Washington, and offers ample opportunities along the way to explore the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness.
For starters, why not arrive a few days early and explore the surroundings of the city of Seattle? The nearby Cascade and Olympic mountains have an enormous amount of hiking and skiing possibilities. Seattle’s location on the Puget Sound also makes it a hub for kayaking and sailing.
Seattle is just the start, though. Once you set sail, your adventure has just begun. After stopping in Glacier Bay and Juneau, you will dock in Sitka, Alaska. Sitka is surrounded by national protected areas, which include the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Sitka National Historical Park and parts of the Tongass National Forest. All of these are prime spots for exploration!
After that, it is off to Ketchikan and Victoria before returning to Seattle. If you can’t satisfy your cravings for the outdoors on this trip, you won’t be able to satisfy them anywhere!
Australia/New Zealand Cruise
You can also journey to the other side of the world to explore the waters of the land down under on this 7-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. This trip leaves from Sydney, Australia and has stops in Noumea and Isle of Pines.
The Sydney metropolitan area has an exciting array of outdoor possibilities. Royal National Park is located within the city limits and is the second oldest national park in the world. Located in Sydney’s far west is the Greater Blue Mountains Area, which is listed as a World Heritage site.
From there, it is off to the city of Noumea on the island of New Caledonia, and then to the tropical Isle of Pines. The gorgeous blue waters of the Isle of Pines are a haven for an array of dazzling fish species and colorful coral. The lagoon on the island is one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling locations in the world.
For fun and adventure on land, on a boat and under the water, this cruise is a great way to explore Australia and its surrounding islands.
Scandinavia and Its Fjords
Seabourn Cruises has a thrilling 12-day cruise aboard the Sojourn, which navigates the beautiful waters of the North Sea. You will depart from Copenhagen, Denmark, and sail the Strait of Skagerrak to the Norwegian town of Flaam. While in the town, it is a short journey to the gorgeous Kjosfoss waterfall, which is a can’t-miss site.
From there you will stop in Alesund and Gerangerfjord before docking in Molde, Norway. About 30 minutes outside of Molde, you can venture out on an hour-long hike up a steep trail that leads you to a gorgeous underground waterfall called Trollkirka (meaning Troll Church). You can also attempt a climb of Trollveggen, one of Europe’s most intimidating mountain faces.
After that, it is off to the towns of Olden and Bergen before you visit Stavanger, the third largest city in Norway. Despite the city’s size, it is still surrounded by natural beauty. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can check out Kjeragbolten, a rock situated on a cliff 1,000 meters above the fjord below. After you get up there, it is just a short base jump down to the bottom!
This trip winds down with stops in Amsterdam and Dover. After all those days of exciting outdoor adventures you will probably be ready to relax while enjoying the comforts of these two beautiful European cities.
Exploring the great outdoors is a passion that will last a lifetime. There are so many opportunities to appreciate nature that every year you should try out something new. This year, why not try seeing the natural world by way of a thrilling ocean cruise?