06 Jul The 3 best cities around the world for cruise and stay experiences.
All cruise lines visit the most popular cities in the world but the length of time you spend in that port can vary greatly. Only a handful of cruise lines offer longer stays in ports and overnight visits.
Cruises offer a great way to get a taste for a destination, helping you decide if that’s somewhere you’d like to go back to. However there are always certain city stops on a cruise that are always worth the extra time spent there, especially as so many cities can be so different at night. You can visit Cruise Nation where you’ll find plenty of different destinations available for a cruise and stay holiday. View their most popular destinations on their Cruise Deals web page.
Barcelona is the Cruise Nation MD’s favourite city, and it’s easy to see why. It’s full of culture and history, great food and wine and a vibrant night life. Here are our top four unmissable experiences in Barcelona…
- Sagrada Familia: Construction started on the Sagrada Familia in 1882 and it’s not due to be completed until 2026, which means it will have taken 144 years to complete. You can certainly see why so much time has been spent on the structure as it’s a true masterpiece. Gaudi became involved with the construction in 1883 as head architect and worked on the project until his final years. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most astounding pieces of architecture you’ll likely see in your lifetime and for that reason it should be top of your sightseeing list for the city!
- Barcelona FC: The Catalan passion for football here is palpable and you’ll often see the Barcelona FC flag flying from the windows of apartments and buildings throughout the city. Barcelona FC is one of the world’s most famous football clubs, in fact it has the world’s biggest social media following for a sports team. For a true cultural experience, try and book tickets to see the team play in the stadium and take in the roaring crowds. If there isn’t a game on during your visit then a tour will certainly be of interest for sports fans and costs €23pp.
- Park Guell: Before you even step foot in Barcelona, it’s likely that you’ll have seen pictures of the iconic view over the entrance of Park Guell. The park itself if located on Carmel Hill and is a public park system featuring gardens and architectural elements. The park is a World Heritage Site and features the colourful and quirky work of Gaudi throughout including sculptures and mosaic designs.
- La Ramblas: Take a stroll down this famous street which buzzes with throngs of people. You’ll find plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants and colourful souvenir stalls peddling their wares. About half way down La Ramblas you should find signs for Mercado de la Boqueria which is an experience for the senses with so many colourful and fragrant displays of fresh and candied fruit as well as aromatic spices.
New York is undoubtedly one of the most famous cities in the world and in many ways, the Big Apple IS America, a microcosm of the country itself in a raging mega-metropolis that is definitely one of a kind. Even if you’ve never been here before, there is something utterly unmistakable about the city skyline, crowded with skyscrapers and tower blocks right out of the movie world. New York is larger than life, 24 hours a day – and full-on entertainment in every sense.
- Top of the Rock
When visiting the city, it’s hard to appreciate the size of it from the ground. Head to the Rockefeller Centre to ‘Top of the Rock’ to see the city in all its glory. The Rockefeller is located in the centre of Midtown Manhattan between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. The Observation Deck is open from 8am to 12am with the last ticket being sold at 11pm and the last elevator going up at 11.15pm. Tickets are $32 per adult and $26 per child.
- Shop ‘Til You Drop
After your visit to the Rockefeller you’re in the perfect place to set your sights on all the designer shops which line Fifth Avenue, the most famous of all being Tiffany’s, Saks and of course Macy’s – the world’s largest department store with 11 floors to explore! Don’t miss Bloomingdales on Third Avenue or Barney’s on Maddison Avenue. Is you’re a savvy shopper and love a bargain then Brooklyn is a mecca for flea markets where you’re sure to find some treasures!
- Circle Line Sightseeing
Appreciate some of the best sights of Manhattan from the water with a Circle Line Cruise. You’ll see all 5 boroughs Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Plus you’ll get a closer view of the Statue of Liberty! The tour lasts 2.5 hours and is $42 per adult, $34 per child.
- Central Park
No visit to New York would be complete without a visit to Central Park. In some ways you’ll almost feel like you’ve been before with the park making a regular appearance in American TV Shows and movies which grace our screens. The best way to see as much of the park as possible is to hire a bike which is around $20 per bike for 3 hours. Our top tip would be to grab an amazing deli-sandwich before heading into the park and stopping during your bike tour for a picnic!
Rome is like a looking glass into the past. Home to no less than 15 of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel and the Basilica of St Peter, this is a city where you could easily spend days wandering amongst the ancient beauty of centuries gone by.
- The Squares: Rome is filled with squares, some of which are large and bustling with people and others which are more sedated and offer a charming and romantic ambience. For one of the grandest visit Piazza del Popolo and for one of the most elegant and cheerful visit Piazza Navona. Whether it’s for prayer or celebration, the squares are part of Roman culture and a definite sense of place can be found here.
- The Colosseum: The Colosseum is truly a site to behold. Construction began on it in 72AD and it’s the largest amphitheatre ever built, designed to house between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators who would watch brutal gladiatorial shows and animal hunts. Head there during your visit to marvel at the sheer size and history of this iconic piece of architecture.
- Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: A walking tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel is a must. The fascinating history, ornate decor and masterpiece of Michelangelo are something which any visitor will appreciate.
- The Trevi Fountain: Sit by the Trevi fountain with a deliciously cold gelato and appreciate the ornate detail of the sculpture which depicts Triton taming Oceanus’ shell-shaped chariot drawn by sea horses. At night the pool is lit with lights giving this monument a magical appearance.