Monday, May 10

Where To Go On A Cruise With Toddler? 

There is a longstanding misconception that toddlers are uneasy travelers; it is best to postpone your trip until the children are older. While some toddlers are indeed cranky travelers, many of them are not the little monsters that adults make them out to be.  True, traveling with very young children takes extra preparation, precaution, and patience, but it does not take away the fun of the experience. 

Do you want to take your toddler on a cruise but you are anxious that it may be difficult? Don’t fret. There are plenty of family-friendly cruises that both parents and their young children can enjoy. 

A cruise is an eye-opening adventure for children of all ages – full of new sights, places, activities, and food they can experience. With that said, we have compiled the best cruise destinations with a toddler. Bon voyage!

New Zealand

Anybody who has seen the Lord of the Rings knows how otherworldly beautiful New Zealand is. But of course, New Zealand is more than just Hobbiton.  This magical corner of the world is home to searing volcanic lakes, tracks of stunning landscape, magnificent fjords, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, and 15,000 kilometers of breathtaking coastline.

The Cook Strait separates New Zealand into north and south – each section affords you different experiences. 

In the north, you will find the vibrant city of Auckland, with its forest parks, pristine beaches, and volcanic peaks, and the capital city of Wellington, with its iconic cable car, museums, and hosts of great places to eat. Look for dolphins at the Bay of Islands, immerse in Maori culture and history in Gisborne, and soak in saltwater hot pools in Tauranga. 

The south is quieter and more pastoral. The 1,500 kilometers of the Marlborough Sounds is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including fur seals, king shags, penguins, and dolphins. Visit Larnach Castle and its gardens in Dunedin, meet the yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place, and discover the breeding cycle of giant albatross at Taiaroa Head. 

The highlight of your cruise could easily be a trip to Fiordland National Park, where you will find the iconic Mitre Peak, the fiords of Milford Sound, and the lakeside towns of Manapouri and Te Anau.

The Caribbean 

Comprising more than 7,000 islands, the Caribbean has long been famous for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and all-year-round beautiful weather. But there was a time when the region catered exclusively to a selected elite who can afford the luxury.

However, in recent years, the Caribbean opened its doors to mass tourism, creating different offers that focus on ecology, relaxation, adventure, and culinary. 

Still, many perceive the Caribbean to be expensive. And it is, but not in all places. According to a recent price survey by Price of Travel, you can get an all-inclusive 7-night stay package for as low as $1,073 in the Dominican Republic. The same package costs $1,159 in Cuba, $1,176 in Puerto Rico, $1,188 in Aruba, and $1,231 in Jamaica. 

Cruises have the general reputation of being too expensive, but again that is not always the case. According to the price list, the cost of a week-long family cruise ranges between $379 to $3,799 per person.

The prices are not that bad, considering that you will have a stress-free stay once you are onboard, including care services and educational activities for your toddlers while you go on a date night. 

Japan

When you think of Japan, you probably envision skyscrapers, neon-bright billboards, cherry blossoms, and sushi – but never a cruise. However, Japan is a fascinating contrast of technology and tradition and one of the most diversely beautiful countries in the world.  For this reason, a cruise vacation in Japan could turn out to be one of the best experiences in your life.

For a start, Japan is an archipelago that consists of 6,852 islands and has a coastline that spans 29,751 km long.  While most cruises embark from Tokyo, the trips stop by more than 15 ports of call around the island nation, allowing you to experience different cultures and traditions.  

Admire the striking skyline of the seaside city of Yokohama, discover the wooden boathouses in the coastal village of Ine, watch wild dolphins in the waters of Tsuji Island, sail around the hundred isles of Kujukushima, and explore the ancient and mystical Ryugado Cave in Kochi.

If you are a foodie, you will love Japan’s delectable food scene. Sample the country’s best-loved dishes such as sashimi, tempura, onigiri, yakitori, udon, and sukiyaki. Wash the food down with fermented sake.

Vietnam 

Vietnam rice fieldsVietnam rice fields

Endearingly chaotic, Vietnam will delightfully overwhelm your senses – from the bustling city of Hanoi to the crowded streets of Ho Chi Minh. A cruise in this fascinating country takes you to some of the most exotic and alluring attractions in Southeast Asia.

Famous for its towering limestone cliffs rising from emerald-green waters, the mist-shrouded Halong Bay is the crown jewel of Vietnam cruises.However, it could get a little crowded during specific times of the day.

Consider booking with a cruise company that takes you to less touristy areas along the bay.  For someplace quieter, head on to the UNESCO-listed ancient town of Hoi An, then make your way to the port city of Da Nang for its lovely beaches.

If your cruise is embarking from Ho Chi Minh, the most popular route is through the Mekong River, read more here if that’s something you are looking to experience.

Lush rice paddies, abundant fish farms, fertile fruit orchards, rare flora and fauna, and bustling floating markets, you will find all these in the stunning delta.  If you get a chance, take a side trip to Thot Not Bird Sanctuary, a 1.3-hectare bamboo forest that houses thousands of avian, including storks and snowy egrets.

Read also: tips for planning a trip to Vietnam.

Canada

Canada has one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world: glacial-fed lakes, pine-covered mountains, windswept tundra, and sweeping sandy beaches. 

Add to the mix charming towns, lively metropolises, a vibrant culture. And you get a fantastic cruise destination that allows you to enjoy nature and culture at the same time.

Sail to the iconic maritime provinces to see the lighthouses on Prince Edward Island, spot whales at the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, and sample wild blueberries in Nova Scotia.

Ramble along the Inner Harbour in Victoria, smell the flowers at Butchart Gardens, and catch a glimpse of orcas off Vancouver Island.  Marvel at the 17th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal, descend into the Dinosaur Teeth and Rat’s Crawl caves in Newfoundland, and charge into the booming mist of Niagara Falls.

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