You want a luxury vacation but the last thing you want to do is board a floating petri dish with 3000 strangers. But how else do you attain several delicious dining options within walking distance of your room? What other alternatives make it possible to visit multiple destinations after booking just one trip? Fortunately, depending on what aspects of a cruise you find most appealing, you have several stellar options and many last minute vacation deals to choose from.
5 Great Alternatives to a Cruise Vacation
Sail a Smaller Boat
Is the ocean calling you? Answer the call on a smaller vessel. Go whale-watching and island hopping on the Adventuress luxury catamaran. You will be much closer to the marine life and never have to wait in line to go ashore for excursions. Charter a multi-day private cruise exclusively for your group of up to six people. The rooms and common spaces are beautifully appointed so you can enjoy the luxury of an extravagant cruise liner but savor a more intimate, personal experience.
Visit an All-inclusive Resort
Perhaps you crave the pampering of a cruise: a salon down the hall, massage therapists at the ready, multiple dining options each day and a selection of pools and hot tubs. Get all that and more at an all-inclusive resort. You can choose a family-oriented facility or one that caters exclusively to adults. You never have to leave the property to have a good time, as most resorts offer a wide variety of activities, eateries and shops. If you do want to explore the surrounding area, expeditions are available.
Ride a Train
Part of what makes a cruise great is that you can visit so many different locations in one trip. You can do that without getting seasick or confining yourself into a windowless interior room. Ride the rails with a pre-packaged tour. If you prefer, design a route to suit your interests and spend as many days as you want at each destination. Book a sleeper car and wake up each morning in an exciting new locale. Or travel during the day, and never miss a moment of the picturesque scenery passing just outside your window.
Explore on a Tour
Part of a cruise’s appeal is that the cruise line takes care of so many things for you; all you have to do is choose which cruise to take and select an excursion or two while in port. Other types of guided tours offer similar convenience, in similarly exciting places. Complete a walking pilgrimage such as the Camino de Santiago, or cycle from one winery to the next in the Napa-Sonoma region of California. Traditional motor coach tours can take you just about anywhere in air conditioned comfort, along with entertaining and educational commentary from local guides.
Sightsee in a Walkable City
Find a luxurious hotel suite in the middle of a fascinating city and use it as your hub for exploring. Find a metropolis like Manhattan or San Francisco, where attractions are within walking distance or reachable by public transit. There are dozens to choose from in the U.S., eliminating the need for a passport or a 12-hour flight. Beach paradise, cultural and historical mecca or foodie utopia — there is a city for every interest, and some that satisfy all three.