Now that international travel is once again a reality, 2022 is looking like it could be a year of journeys and discovery. With so many beautiful and fascinating countries to visit, deciding on a single destination can be tricky – particularly if you don’t like the idea of gruelling flights or long-haul travel. So why not think about a cruise?

Cruises are, in many ways, the ultimate travel experience – a stress-free holiday that also happens to be an unforgettable adventure. On a cruise, you can see multiple countries, embrace all nature’s elements, experience powerful moments of both movement and stillness, and enjoy a sense of comfort and sophistication all the same time.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered up with Ambassador Cruise Line to bring you 10 unforgettable cruise destinations to explore in 2022 and beyond. So whether you’ve never gone on a cruise before and are curious to find out more, or you love a cruise holiday and are looking for inspiration, hopefully, one of the trips below piques your interest.

Ambassador Cruise Line is the first new British cruise line to be launched since 2010 – and with a focus on authenticity, sustainability, and providing an inspiring and immersive experience, it’s fair to say that these aren’t your ordinary cruises…

Guided by an expert crew who are passionate and knowledgeable about every destination you visit, you’ll be able to make the most of each travel experience – and forge lasting new friendships along the way.

1. Norway’s Northern Lights

Norway's Northern Lights

Home to dramatic deep-blue fjords, gleaming glaciers, and the breathtaking-yet-desolate beauty of the Arctic, there’s no doubt that Norway is one of the most spectacular countries in the world.

It’s also the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights, and once you see the gleaming lights dance across the sky and cast their magic across the horizon, you’ll know why they call this the “greatest light show on Earth”.

Because Norway is a land of fjords, the best way to explore it is via the water – and as you sail along the coastline, you’ll feel even closer to the elements and unspoilt wilderness.

A Northern Lights cruise will take you to charming villages where you can soak up the culture, history and unique Nordic flavours, before venturing far beyond the Arctic circle in search of the Aurora Borealis.

2. The Black Sea and Mediterranean

The Black Sea and Mediterranean

The unique location of the Black Sea is part of the reason this region is so remarkable, despite the fact that it remains undiscovered by so many travellers. Positioned between Europe and Asia, the Black Sea is a mysterious and enchanting blend of cultures and histories. But above all, it’s intoxicatingly beautiful.

The surrounding Mediterranean is also brimming with gems, and not only are these countries alluring, they’re also vastly different.

A Black Sea cruise allows you to see ancient Piraeus, sun-drenched Palermo, colourful Catania, and vibrant Istanbul. Plus you’ll also get to visit lesser-explored destinations, like photogenic Odessa, holy Haifa, and legendary Alexandria.

3. The Baltic Sea - St Petersburg

The Baltic Sea - St Petersburg

The Baltic Sea is home to magnificent medieval cities and cosmopolitan capitals; with unique sites and architecture merging the very best of innovation and tradition (much like a cruise ship itself).

Russia is a country of historic cities and revolutionary spirit, and St Petersburg is a bustling city of breathtaking beauty and grandeur. Drifting down the canals of St Petersburg, you’ll collect snapshots of beguiling Russian culture as you experience the ‘Venice of the North.’

Navigating the Baltic on a cruise enables you to absorb the very best this eclectic mix of destinations has to offer, from ornate churches and cathedrals to opulent palaces that were once the home of Tsars – and of course, the notable Hermitage Museum.

4. Christmas Markets – Hamburg

Christmas Markets - Hamburg

There’s something even more magical about cruising at Christmas. Sailing upon the ocean waves as you enjoy all your favourite festive traditions gives you more time to savour December’s seasonal delights. Plus, knowing that all the bells and whistles are taken care of allows you to put your feet up and relax.

So to get in the Christmas spirit, what could be better than visiting one of the world’s most festive destinations?

Hamburg, Germany, is celebrated throughout the world for its fabulous Christmas market – and no matter how cold it might be outside, there’s something warming and comforting about a Christmas market.

In Hamburg, you can get lost in the lights, finish your Christmas shopping, take a spin on the rink, sip mulled wine (Glühwein), and soak up the enchanting atmosphere.

5. Norwegian Fjord - Flam

Norwegian Fjord - Flam

There are some places in the world that are so stunning that they have to be seen to be believed, and Norway’s staggeringly beautiful fjord lands are one of them.

Regularly voted one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, this is a country of mirror-like lakes, thundering waterfalls, rugged mountains, sea-drowned gorges, and vast, drifting glaciers.

Sailing the Norwegian fjords is the only way to appreciate their stunning beauty. As well as seeing some of the most profoundly beautiful fjords in the world, a cruise to the fjords will take you to the wonderful Flam: a welcoming and unspoilt gem of a village where you can breathe in the glacier-fresh air, hike along green valleys, and learn about Norway’s fascinating Viking history.

6. Iceland – Reykjavik

Iceland - Reykjavik

Iceland is a country like no other. An isolated masterpiece right by the top of the globe, it’s remote and desolate. So if you’re looking for adventure, you’ll find that here.

This is a country of vast ice caps, rumbling volcanoes, bubbling mud pools, lively hot springs, and of course, the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis. It’s as though country the power of nature seems to have been supercharged.

Cruising through Iceland you’ll visit its capital, Reykjavik: a wonderful city that merges old Norse history with a cosmopolitan, quirky culture. With a vibrant art and music scene, a treasure trove of world-renowned cultural and historical attractions, and gushing geysers that sit just beyond the city,

it’s an unforgettable stop off on your ocean adventure.

Iceland has long been shrouded in mystery, and this cruise will reveal the true splendour and beauty of a country that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

7. Canada – Quebec

Canada - Quebec

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a trip to the North side and experience the stunning beauty of Canada’s east coast?

Quebec, one of North America’s oldest regions is particularly beautiful in autumn when the unspoilt landscapes turn scarlet and gold – and a cruise here offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the unique and infectious French-Canadian culture.

The province’s capital, Quebec City, is known to be a haven for the arts and is home to 37 National Historic Sites, countless museums and theatres, and stunning early Canadian architecture, including the Château Frontenac Hotel. This is a city where you can stroll along historic cobbled streets, enjoy exceptional gastronomy at Parisian-style eateries, and experience the warmth of the charming locals.

8. Winter Voyages – Havana

Winter Voyages - Havana

Cruising is wonderful all year round, but beating those winter blues with a sun-kissed sailing holiday is something truly special.

One of the best winter sun destinations is Cuba, which provides an eclectic and sizzling slice of the Caribbean. Cuba is a country of contradictions. It’s shabby yet spectacular, dilapidated yet dignified – and if you want to see this unique island while it’s still stuck in a relative time warp, now’s the time to think of going.

In the iconic capital city, Havana, you can lose yourself in the crumbling beauty of the grand Spanish architecture, and step back in time as you admire classic American cars.

With a gorgeous tropical climate, and a cocktail of music, heritage, culture and colour to immerse yourself in, this will truly be a winter to remember.

9. Winter Voyages – Madeira

Winter Voyages - Madeira

Another destination that makes the perfect paradise in the cold winter months is the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Arriving here by ship allows you to appreciate the vast stretches of crystal-clear waters, magnificent mountain scenery, and blooming botanical gardens that thrive in the subtropical climate. Not for nothing is Madeira called the Pearl of the Atlantic, and the island of eternal spring.

If you’re looking for both escapism and adventure, you’re in the right place. Though this volcanic island is small, it offers visitors so much. You can kick back on black sand beaches, walk along the Levadas – Madeira’s unique irrigation channels – dive into sunken shipwrecks, or even head to the clouds for a tandem skydive. And if you prefer a more leisurely holiday, the exceptional wineries and lush gardens will keep you equally occupied.

10. British Isles – Tobermory

British Isles - Tobermory

With so many exotic countries and vibrant cities all across the world, it’s easy to forget about the many treasures we have right on our doorstep.

The British Isles are not only beautiful and historic, but they’re also far more diverse than you might think – and a cruise that ventures far off the beaten track will give you a whole new appreciation of our own country.

On a British Isles cruise, you’ll visit the Isle of Mull, an island that boasts some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in the Inner Hebrides. This part of West Scotland is rugged and wild, though its capital Tobermory is an enchantingly beautiful town. With colourful waterfront houses and a tranquil bay, this is truly a picture-perfect port. Plus, its warm locals and a laidback ambience also make it the perfect place to slow down and reset.

Final thoughts…

While there was a time when cruises were sometimes viewed as being expensive or boring, today they’re one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel market for a reason. If you have any lingering misconceptions about cruises, Ambassador Cruise Line will quickly dispel those myths.

With 10 unforgettable cruise destinations, there are now 10 compelling new reasons to think about taking to the water for your next holiday. So whether you’ve always dreamed of exploring the desolate wilderness of Iceland, longed to discover the hidden gems of the Black Sea, or are yearning for a sun-kissed Caribbean break, a cruise with Ambassador Cruise Line could make this a reality. And, with a great staff to guest ratio and an expert crew, each cruise is unique, personal, and has a wonderful community type feel.

In line with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, Ambassador Cruise Line also includes travel insurance as standard on all holidays – to financially protect all guests who pay directly or through a travel agent. Funds are collected and deposited but are only released when the cruise departs. Plus, holidays come with a booking guarantee in the event that a cruise needs to be cancelled.

A cruise offers the very best of both the journey and the destination, and in between destinations, you can enjoy your favourite hobbies, savour new and delicious cuisines, watch star-studded entertainment, and be part of a vibrant community.

So, the only question now is: where do you want to go?

Have you been on a cruise before? Or are you tempted by any of the cruise destinations above? We’d love to hear about your travel plans and experiences! Leave us a comment below, or join the conversation on the Rest Less community forum.

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