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Marella CruisesLife is short, and the world is big, so if you want to see more of it, why not consider a cruise? One of the best things about a cruise is that you can visit multiple locations in one holiday, crossing off many bucket-list destinations as you go. It also makes it easy to reach remote destinations, from far-flung islands to hidden coves. The views from the water are unrivalled too.

But there are other reasons you might want to think about a cruise for your next holiday. To shine a light on the joys of cruising, we’ve partnered with Marella Cruises. Operated by TUI UK, Marella has years of sailing experience under their belts and, combined with TUI’s wealth of travel knowledge, guests are guaranteed a warm, relaxing, and friendly cruise experience.

With more than 100 destinations to sail to, you’re sure to find the perfect place to explore. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a lazy, sun-soaked holiday, a Marella Cruise will tick the box. From adventurous off-board activities and immersive excursions to exciting onboard entertainment and luxurious amenities, there’s something for everyone.

Marella Cruises are all-inclusive, too, so there are no hidden costs. Everything is provided, from food, drink, and service charges to flights and transfers. And, because we’re all different, it’s important that cruises reflect our individual tastes. That’s why you can choose from family cruises or adults-only escapes, themed cruises, or cruises with the option of extending your stay in a handpicked hotel.

So, if you’re looking for a new adventure, a cruise is a great way to expand your horizons – the only difficult part is choosing your destination. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites.

Here are 10 of the best cruise destinations for 2024–2025.

1. Greece

Greece

With more than 6,000 islands scattered throughout the cobalt-blue Aegean and Ionian seas, Greece is the perfect destination to explore from the water. This is a land steeped in history, myths, and legends and, on a Marella cruise, you can delve deep into the past. Shore excursions take you to ancient temples, sun-bleached ruins, and UNESCO-listed Old Towns. So, if you like learning about local cultures on your holidays, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

But there’s just as much for nature and beach lovers too. In Corfu, you can hike through shady forests and olive groves; in Santorini, admire jaw-dropping vistas of whitewashed villages clinging to volcanic cliffs; and in Zante, kick back on sandy beaches after swimming in bright blue waters. Whichever islands you visit, you’re almost guaranteed great weather and plenty of sunshine. With fabulous food, blissful beaches, and fascinating culture and history, Greece is a popular travel destination for a reason.

2. The South of France

The South of France

Wherever you go in France, you’ll find exceptional gastronomy, fine wine, historical towns, and gorgeous countryside. But the south is very different from the north and, if you’re just as much a sun-worshipper as a foodie or culture enthusiast, the south coast is where to head. Luckily, Marella Cruises take you to the best of France’s Mediterranean coast. Plus, most cruises allow you to explore parts of Spain and Italy at the same time, as well as the idyllic French island of Corsica.

As you cruise, the views of the French Riviera will take your breath away. You can visit some of the world’s glitziest and most exclusive destinations, from Monaco to Nice. In the former, why not take an excursion to the iconic Grand Prix circuit in Monte Carlo? Then, you can sunbathe on the pretty beach at Sète, or take a bike tour to historic Frejus. In sun-soaked Corsica, you can discover a whole new side to France – from exploring deep river gorges to discovering the unique flavours of ‘the scented isle’.

3. Barbados

Barbados

The 7,000 islands of the Caribbean stretch from Venezuela up to the Florida Keys and, if you want to island hop, going by water is the only way to do it. Barbados is arguably one of the best-known Caribbean islands, but this beautiful country is well worthy of its fame and reputation. The capital Bridgetown is the main event on a Marella cruise, and this vibrant city is an intriguing blend of Caribbean and British styles.

There’s plenty to do here, from touring rum distilleries to watching calypso bands performing on the streets. But Barbados is best known for its flawless white sand beaches. Catch some rays and cool off in the shallows, snorkel above coral reefs teeming with colourful fish and turtles, or dive into mysterious shipwrecks hidden beneath the emerald depths. Adventurers may want to visit the limestone grottoes of Harrison’s Cave, or perhaps explore the island on an adrenaline-pumping off-roading trip.

4. Croatia

Croatia

Dreaming of a sun-kissed Mediterranean cruise but don’t fancy France? Croatia might be the destination for you. This part of Eastern Europe is cinematically beautiful, and its turquoise waters, wild islands, and higgledy-piggledy, red-roofed towns have meant it’s soared in popularity over the last decade. On a Marella cruise, you’ll enjoy sensational views of the glittering Dalmatian Coast and its pine-fringed islands. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the stylish seaside towns and historic walled towns.

A tour of Dubrovnik will show you why it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; inland, the villages and vineyards of the Konavle Valley offer a different perspective on this country. The aquamarine terraced lakes of Plitvice will have you thinking you’ve fallen into a fairy story, and the Roman and Venetian ruins in Zadar will captivate history buffs. For hikers, the dense forests and olive groves provide shelter from the summer sun – and the delicious food and wine are another bonus.

5. Italy

Italy

Italy has long been a popular choice for a European break, and on a Marella cruise, you can see many highlights. On the west coast, cruises stop at Livorno – the gateway to both Pisa and Florence. In Pisa, you can visit one of Italy’s most iconic sights: the famous Leaning Tower. In Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance – culture fans and history enthusiasts will be equally spoilt. And, if you want to visit Rome, cruises that stop at nearby Civitavecchia make it easy to explore the ancient capital.

Travellers interested in ancient history should stop in Naples and Sorrento as, from here, you can wander the haunting streets of Pompeii and Herculaneum, where time has stood still since 79 AD. If you’re keen to explore Italy’s islands, why not choose a cruise that stops in Sicily or Sardinia? The excursions are second to none too: head over the border to explore Slovenian cave castles, sip wine while sailing on Tuscan lakes, enjoy a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast, or take a gondola ride in Venice.

6. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

If you’re dreaming of a Caribbean escape with an extra helping of adventure, a Puerto Rico cruise makes perfect sense. While the beaches here are just as blissful as you’d expect from a Caribbean island – think gin-clear waters, powder-white sand, and swaying palm trees – it’s Puerto Rico’s wilder elements that make it stand out. Lined with rugged mountains, and scattered with rainforests and waterfalls, this unique island offers countless adventures for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies.

Trek through the El Yunque Rainforest – or why not up the ante and go zip-lining through the canopy? The beaches are surrounded by tiny islands, many of which can be reached by paddleboard or kayak, so, if you fancy a water-based adventure, there are just as many options. Though, if you want to take it easy, you can. The bustling harbour capital, San Juan, has a colourful old quarter and sea-facing fortress, while further afield, the Afro-Caribbean coastal town of Pinones is the place to sample local street food.

7. British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

Another Caribbean destination that’s ideal for nature enthusiasts is the British Virgin Islands. This volcanic archipelago comprises four main islands and many smaller ones and, on a Marella cruise, you’ll stop at Tortola. Home to flower-adorned botanical gardens, snow-white beaches, ancient forests, and hillside villages, Tortola is as beautiful as it is serene. In the capital Road Town, you can learn about the islands’ history in museums, or pick up souvenirs from independent shops on colourful Main Street.

But it’s away from the towns that you’ll find Tortola’s true treasures. Why not hop aboard an open-sided Land Rover to visit remote villages, dense forests, and footprint-free sands, then cool off in the turquoise seas? Or, to see other islands, you can take an island hopping trip to swim in the natural pools on Salt Island, and explore the mysterious caves on Norman Island. Literary fans will be interested to know that the latter is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island!

8. The Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands have long been a popular destination for a cruise – and there are many reasons why this Spanish archipelago is so beloved. First, their location, just 70 miles from the African coast, means these eight islands enjoy year-round sunshine. So if you’re looking for a sun-drenched winter escape that isn’t on the opposite side of the world, it’s an excellent choice. The islands’ diversity is another plus, and there’s just as much for adventurers and nature-lovers as there is for sun-seekers and culture vultures.

The unique lunar-like landscapes here are home to sweeping black-sand beaches, soaring cliffs, rugged gorges, and ancient forests – while Tenerife boasts the world’s third-largest volcano, the hulking Teide. History buffs will find plenty to do in the charismatic towns, whether that’s exploring the cobbled streets of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, or visiting Christopher Columbus’ old house in La Gomera. Many cruises drop anchor at Madeira, too, so why not discover Portugal’s most idyllic island at the same time?

9. St Lucia

St Lucia

If you’re dreaming of sun, sea, sand, and seriously spectacular views, you might want to visit stunning St Lucia. Aside from boasting the warm azure waters, sugar-white coves, and sultry rainforests you’d expect to find in the Caribbean, St Lucia is also home to the ludicrously photogenic Piton Mountains – two jungle-blanketed volcanoes that dominate the island’s skyline. Perfect for people who want to spend as much time adventuring as relaxing, St Lucia has something for everyone.

A cruise takes you to the capital Castries, where you can pick up souvenirs in the duty-free shops, explore the city’s markets and colourful 17th-century houses, and delve into the kaleidoscopic culture. The fishing village of Soufriere is where to sample St Lucia’s famously fresh seafood, and if you’re looking to get active, you can hike up the Pitons, or go tree-top zip-lining. For something more leisurely, why not take a catamaran cruise down the coast, or spot humpback and pilot whales on a whale watching trip?

10. Turkey

Turkey

If you’re dreaming of a Mediterranean cruise with a difference, why not head to Turkey? This is a country of colours and contrasts, a place where fast-paced cities give way to beautiful beaches, charming ports, and vibrant resort towns. A cruise here will cover all the ‘must-see’ sights, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn about the fascinating history, savour the mouthwatering gastronomy, and soak up the sunshine – which, in summer, is all but guaranteed.

In Istanbul, you can admire the iconic Blue Mosque as it soars above the city, then pick up treasures in the Grand Bazaar. Alanya is known for its historic fortress, while Marmaris is the perfect place to kick back on the beach, or treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath. History fans won’t want to miss Ephesus, where you can admire ancient sun-bleached ruins. The Turkish coast is famous for its dazzling beauty, and if you can’t get enough on a cruise, you take a boat trip to discover secret, secluded coves.

Final thoughts…

The very best thing about a cruise is how many places you can visit on one trip. If you fancy a Caribbean cruise, for example, you can visit numerous islands – including several of the ones featured above. Or, on a Mediterranean cruise, you can visit many different countries, and even travel from the Eastern Mediterranean to the West, marvelling at the cultural intricacies as you go.

Marella Cruises offer a wide range of itineraries, so whether you’re looking for a culture-rich holiday, a relaxing beach break, or an intrepid adventure – or a mix of all three – you’re sure to find a cruise and itinerary that suits you. Marella Cruises are about stress-free relaxation, adventure, and enjoyment, so if you book a cruise, you know you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Plus, if you want to extend your holiday, you can. Simply book a Cruise & Stay holiday and your cruise package will include a handpicked hotel stay. Then you’re free to further explore at your own pace, and in your own style.

Are you considering a cruise? Or have you been to any of the destinations listed above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.