This fall, hit the sea.
Whether your ideal vacation is spent sitting in a spa, in front of a movie screen or strapped into a zip line, there are cruises for all types of travelers. So don’t put away those bikinis and beach shorts just yet for one of these exceptional expeditions. Bon voyage!
For the foodie: Top Chef at Sea
Like to cook — or just like to watch cooking shows? During one of the Top Chef Signature Sailings, food fans can relax with alums of the TV show, attend cooking demos and classes, participate in interactive challenges and, of course, eat dishes made by the chefs. A seven-night nautical trip departs from Miami on Nov. 15, sailing to Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. From $549/person; Celebrity Cruises, 888-245-4254, celebritycruises.com
For the history buff: 12-Day Mediterranean Europe
Explore 10 cities in as many days on this European adventure, from the ruins of Athens to the historic Grand Bazaar of Istanbul to the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona to the ancient streets of Pompeii. When you’re not getting your fill of Italian wine and food or admiring artisan glassmakers in Venice, you can enjoy 10 bars and lounges and 14 dining options on the boat. Cruises depart from Venice on Sept. 27, Oct. 21 and Nov. 14. From $1,049/person; Norwegian Spirit, 855-438-0587, onboard.com
For the ocean explorer: Moreton Island, Australia
Head down under and fit in as much beach downtime or adventure as you’d like. And as for adventure, you can feed wild dolphins and see stingrays, turtles and even whales in their natural habitat. The four-day cruise departs from Sydney October through February, with dates coming up including Oct. 16, Nov. 20 and 24 and Dec. 14, and includes a few days in the city to see the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. From $499/person. P&O Cruises, pocruises.com.au
For the film fanatic: Caribbean Princess
For some, lounging around and watching movies is a vacation in itself. And during one of its cruises to the Caribbean, you can enjoy a feature-length film on a giant poolside LED screen with the feature Movies Under the Stars. Free popcorn, as well as a range of movie-themed cocktails and bites, are also served. Three- to-five-day cruises run regularly from Ft. Lauderdale to points in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. From $199/person; Princess Cruises, 800-774-6237, princess.com
For the adventurer: 7-Day Mexican Riviera
Starting from Los Angeles, make your way to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Along the way, shore excursions include a boat ride through the jungle, zip lines through the Sierra Madre mountain range and off-road riding on Mazatlan Beach. Less risk-taking tourists can opt for snorkeling, sea kayaking and fishing. Upcoming cruises depart Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28. From $669/person. Norwegian, 866-234- 7350, ncl.com
For the nature lover: Alaska Sawyer Glacier Cruise
If a beach destination isn’t your objective, consider a seven-day cruise exploring the natural wonders of Alaska. Excursions include hikes, rafting and whale watching, while daredevils may be intrigued by glacier trekking, in which you take a helicopter to a remote hiking site and explore a glacier with a professional mountaineering guide. Cruises depart from Seattle and Vancouver, though the next departure dates aren’t until May 2015, so this one will have to wait. From $649/person. Royal Caribbean, 866-562-7625, royalcaribbean.com