Going on vacation together as a family or an exciting touring adventure is a great way to bond and relax. At the very least it is a just reward for managing to tolerate, irritate and enjoy each other’s company for the preceding period. More importantly, memories created on such occasions last a lifetime and usually remain the things we hold on when the passing of time takes away our loved ones.
However, planning for a family vacation can be one of the most demanding tasks you get to accomplish. This is further compounded by having to bring the kids along resulting in extra costs, luggage, and supervision work and seeking to meet the divergent preferences of where to visit. Luckily, there is such a solution that largely solves just about every one of these issues, going on a family cruise.
Family cruises over a number of advantages over other vacation plans especially on the logistics side. The costs are favorable and you do not have to keep hassling for a place to eat every meal. You are also saved from the need to keep moving with luggage while the locations and onboard activities are many, catering for different ages and even whole families.
The icing on a great family cruise vacation is a great destination. While some destinations are uniquely great for singles or couples, some provide great attractions for the whole family. Here are 13 best cruise destinations for the whole family.
1. Canada and New England
This is one of the interesting destinations on this list because it does not scream exotic as several other destinations on this. However, it offers plenty of attractive landscapes, great weather during summer, and interesting city life from Boston, to Quebec and Montreal. To top it all up, it is one of this area is one of the most affordable destinations you can cruise to.
The area has a long cruising season from May to the end of October and offers several options in the duration of the cruise from four to seven days or longer ones from 10 to 14 days with more stops. In Newport Rhode Island, you can engage in family hiking, venture into town sightseeing the biggest mansions in North America.
In Maine, whale watching expeditions and paddling excursions bringing you close to seals and ospreys are a fulfilling family attraction. Quebec offers plenty railroad fun, Maple Museum Tours, music and buffet meals while Nova Scotia is an adventure and bird heaven. It is a trip best for children aged 8 and above
The Caribbean is an exciting option offering both the sun-drenched sands as well as the affordability and numerous attractions along the way. The weather is great and the beaches have attractions and activities suitable for all ages while the spirit onboard the ship is one of an unending festival.
The eastern Caribbean is great for first-timers and those with younger kids as the port is never too far away from the ship. Cruises last between 3 or 4 nights to 10 days or more. Western Caribbean is for the more adventurous types of attractions such as zip lining over the forest, tours and excursions, and jungle tubing. There is plenty of culture and history to explore so it is never a dull moment.
It is becoming rare to find Mexico only cruises with most featuring a trip through the Caribbean. This doesn’t mean if you would not get one of you do your research well. The all Mexican cruises make stops in beauty havens like Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco.
Whether you are looking for activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, family resorts, a tour into the Mayan culture and history, a game of golf, an expansive view of marine life and aquatic parks or bird watching, there is always something for everyone in the family.
Eight islands make up Bermuda a British colony but home to thousands of American visitors who get so attached and exhilarated by the island that the first visit is always the first in many to follow. It has the appeal of the Caribbean with the closeness and familiarity of New England.
The endless blue skies and waters, the country club relaxed air, and the numerous activities and attractions fill up what is usually a six to eight days long cruise with at least two nights in Bermuda. Top attractions include the Bermuda Aquarium and the Natural History Museum and Zoo. Activities include horseback riding, scuba diving, biking, golfing and a vibrant nightlife for everyone.
This is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations and the unique attractions make the reason obvious. It is a destination for those who love adventure and the sheer beauty of nature. You can easily move from riding a dogsled to sea kayaking and flying over a volcano. The landscape includes glaciers, mountains, a rainforest and the Arctic Tundra.
You also get whale watching and your adventures also get you close to a unique set of indigenous wildlife like moose, bears, the musk ox, and caribou. The nature of excursions and tours call for older children at least aged ten and above.
Experiencing a Hawaii cruise can be challenging if you only want a cruise that begins and ends in Hawaii. While this is the best way and adventure to appreciate the beauty and attractions of the island, only the Norwegian Cruise Line offers a Hawaii only cruise lasting seven days. Other cruise lines begin their tours from the Canada, the US’ west coast, or Mexico.
Still, the attractions on offer in the different islands like Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island more than make up for any inconvenience suffered. From a trip to the Pearl Harbor to a snorkeling in the reefs, a submarine tour of the USS Bowfin, great beaches and surfing, amazing restaurants and local shopping joints, and one of the best spots for whale-watching worldwide.
7. Barcelona, Spain
Spain makes is generally a great destination for tourists and many of the Mediterranean cruises do pass there. However, the jewel of a cruise to Spain is Barcelona with its large port and plenty of activities and attractions for the whole family.
The great weather, the festival atmosphere especially at La Rambla, the architecture and landmarks like the Sagrada Familia, cuisine, theme parks and amusement parks, outdoor markets and the hiking and water sports are among the many attractions that fill this destination.
8. Venice, Italy
Italy is a country rich in culture, history, and landscape attractions whose experience is magnified by doing the trip on a cruise. With ports near Rome, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum are some of the top attractions and if your schedule allows you can get to Florence.
However, just like in Spain, the city you want to be in is Venice and as far as your cruise is concerned even Rome cannot come close to the majesty and beauty of this city with its castles, churches, museums, and waterways connecting the numerous island.
This is another destination on the Mediterranean with many of the attractions and iconic sites easily accessed from the ports. These include Athens with its Parthenon and Oberlaender Museum and the great viewpoint at Lykavittos Hill. If you love the beaches then the Greek Isles are your place with many historical points from Patmos to Delos.
With many cruises visiting this nation, you have a variety of options. However, an all-Greek cruise for ten or more days is usually the best way to experience, luxury, history, and culture as a family.
10. British Isles
England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are amazing destinations for a family cruise as they are especially friendly for younger children. These locations with their iconic cities and coastlines offer a little bit of everything.
The close nature of the isles means you will spend less time on board between stops end you get to explore British Isle attractions including the historical sites, the adventure parks, the fishing cities, the beautiful wilderness, historical locations and amazing beaches especially if you visit from May to September.
11. St Petersburg, Russia
Russia’s only Baltic easily dwarfs all the other destinations in the area. Better still, at the very least you will have two full days to view and enjoy the splendor and beauty of this magnificent city.
St Petersburg is home to the second largest Museum in the world the Hermitage Museum, numerous canals, the iconic architecture including churches, palaces and castles, festivals and historical sites. It is a great destination for the family with interesting tours.
When it comes to the ultimate cruise destination, France ranks up among the best. It has several coasts the popular ones being the Corsican coast, the Mediterranean one, the Atlantic coast and the Channel coast.
This gives the country several ports for cruise lines to stop over and each has unique attractions and breathtaking beaches. The culinary, the historical sites, the golf courses and water sports activities and landscape are among the various treats waiting for you and your family. You can hardly go wrong with a cruise to France regardless of the children’s age and the occasion.
13. Bruges, Belgium
The port of Zeebrugge is a common stopover for many cruise lines in Western Europe. It is the entryway to Bruges a town steeped in history and home to several iconic museums. This is the ideal cruise trip for a quiet and relaxed adventure.
There are several attractions including the churches specifically The Church of our Lady, the museums, the marketplace and historical sites like the Flanders field and Ypres.
Family cruises allow you to enjoy the best time together with your loved ones. They are affordable yet offer unforgettable experiences that are both informative as they are relaxing. These 13 destinations offer a variety of mix for all the magic cruises offer and will suit your family well.
Feel free to share your experiences and other exciting destinations you would recommend in the comments.