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Where have you visited on a cruise that you would return for a Land-only vacation?


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There are two places I went on a land vacation, after first discovering it on a cruise:

  • Malta (in the Meditteranean) - Amazing combination of history, culture, natural attractions, great weather, and architecture. Went there for a week, a couple years after discovering it on a port call.
  • Sicily - Went on a port call to Taormina and Syracuse. Went in February (right before Covid) and spent a week with a rental car driving around the island. It's Italy without all the crowds (at least in February). The Greek  architecture was amazing.
  • Copenhagen - Went there first on a Baltic cruise port call. Went back for a weekend in December to see Tivoli Gardens all decorated for Christmas. It is one of my favorite Christmas experiences in Europe.

BTW - I've been on a temporary job assignment in Europe. We loved visiting the normally crowded cities off season (Berlin, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Cinque Terra, Madrid, Prague, Rhine and Moselle rivers, Cologne, Budapest, Milan, Granada, Seville, Istanbul, Vienna, Krakow, Dublin, Lisbon). We were very fortunate to get this opportunity before Covid. 

Edited by Mercruiser
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7 hours ago, DrKoob said:

You should consider the Guernsey Islands. St. Peter's Port is awesome.

 

I agree that Guernsey is a lovely island - it's a bit like stepping back in time if you are from the mainland.

 

I'm really enjoying this thread but the posters who have nowhere at home on their list were a surprise.  We have travelled extensively throughout the USA - also Canada - on independent road trips and have loved every one. There is just so much to enjoy.  Granted for history Europe wins hands down, but for vastness and spectacular scenery - well, just wow!!  

 

As I use a screen name, I hope no one will consider this to be a 'humble brag' but we have made travel a priority over our long marriage, and have been lucky enough to have had the funds to do it for most of that time, although many trips were done on a budget.  We have only come to the benefits of cruising over the last 5 years or so, as the years have crept up on us, and have been to many of the places people mention, before mass tourism really swamped the most popular places such as Venice, Barcelona, Amsterdam etc.  We were so lucky.

 

Like a previous poster, we too have experienced major European cities out of season (DH worked all over western Europe) - we have stood almost alone in St Marks Square, Venice, been one of a handful of diners in the restaurant at the top of the Reichstag, Berlin and had a room full of Vincent Van Gogh paintings to ourselves in Paris.  My tip to anyone visiting these major destinations these days is to go early in the day and to go out of season.  And to bring the subject back to cruising-related, my tip to friends is, if it's Venice, Santorini or Dubrovnik you are visiting, do check there are no large cruise ships in port that day!

 

Here's hoping we all get to work on our 'wish lists' again before too long 🤞

 

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Great topic.  

 

We have already done land trips in some of these places, but here goes:

 

Places we have cruised and would return for a land trip, even if a repeat:  Italy, France, British Isles, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia. 

 

Places if limited to USA:  My secret fishing places.   😄

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16 hours ago, Roger88 said:

I dont mind catching a disease on board as long as I am back on shore where I can be provided with medical help and care. Being sick on board is horrible. You will be locked up and both crew and other passengers will be in danger.   Horrible situation, I really hope we will not have such problems

A bit off topic here.

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13 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Great topic TeeRick! 

I am with you on New Zealand. Would go back in a minute. Would also include Edinburgh (been there three times, once on a ship), Inverness, Amalfi/Capri, The Guernsey Islands, Iceland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Québec. Been to all of those on a ship and would love to go back. Alaska would be out for us (at least the parts that you cruise too as we have done eight Alaska cruises—it's what you do when you live in Seattle). 

 

As far as drivable vacations, we have been just about everywhere in the NW and SW Canada. About a four hour car ride is our max so maybe 8 to do in two days. Pretty much anywhere with our grandkids. We are doing an AirBnB with them on the Washington Coast (3 hour drive) in August. We were supposed to be in the Galapagos on Flora then. :classic_mellow:

 

Thanks for a great topic!

 

Jim

Great choices.  I was hoping to get to Iceland in July. 😕 We had Iceland/Ireland on Reflection for our upcoming 40th anniversary.  Well perhaps some day!

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5 hours ago, ldubs said:

Great topic.  

 

We have already done land trips in some of these places, but here goes:

 

Places we have cruised and would return for a land trip, even if a repeat:  Italy, France, British Isles, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia. 

 

Places if limited to USA:  My secret fishing places.   😄

Secret fishing places?  Do tell!

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After 2 cruises and one Perillo tour of Italy, we would return to Southern Italy which includes Sicily, Lecce  and the Amalfi coast.  We also loved a week spent in Florence and would do a land tour again of the Tuscany area.

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22 hours ago, mrsgoggins said:

Within the UK if we have to stay home, then it will be glorious Scotland.  We have already replaced our October Italian break for a short trip to the pretty Cotswolds (England).

There is no way we could do a land trip to places that we would like to revisit, that we have cruised to, as they are only available by air:

Hawaii

Australia

Canada.

As our August 1st Cruise to the Mediterranean has now officially been cancelled, I booked on Friday for a week, 8-15th August at an RCI exchange in Norfolk. 

We have been once, to the Norfolk Broads, but this time we hope to visit National Trust (NT) properties, making the most of our membership.

I just hope local  pubs will then be open, enabling us to eat out.

 

If it’s Venice, 

Santorini or Dubrovnik you are visiting, do check there are no large cruise ships in port that day!

mrsgoggins, Jane McDonald emphasised this last night on ‘Cruising with Jane McDonald, when she was watching a sunset in Santorini. The camera panned round to show throngs of tourists from the ship, also watching the sunset.

(Jane McDonald was a singer on Galaxy, who was filmed for a BBC series ‘The Cruise. That programme , encouraged us to try Celebrity Cruises).

Edited by upwarduk
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We would not do a land vacation at any of the Caribbean islands we have visited on many, many cruises. I would perhaps consider a land vacation to Bermuda which we have cruised to several times. We have done both land and cruise vacations to Hawaii so that would be my #1 choice. Have not yet done an Italy/Adriatic Coast cruise but a land vacation and cruise there are definitely on my bucket list.

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3 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Great choices.  I was hoping to get to Iceland in July. 😕 We had Iceland/Ireland on Reflection for our upcoming 40th anniversary.  Well perhaps some day!

 

Make sure you take that one. We did it last June on Reflection and it was awesome. Wish he had spent longer in Iceland. But we did have four full days there. As you plan your shore trips, remember that it will be light there until...well...always. We got in at noon on day one and toured straight through until around 12:30 am. We were exhausted but it was sunset when we got back to the ship (we where there in June almost at the Solstice). I slept three hours and went back out to shoot pics at 5:00 am and the sun was high in the sky. If you haven't rescheduled yet, I encourage you to consider June as everything is blooming and beautiful. You can see my pics and read more about our trip here: https://jktravelredmond.com/tag/iceland/

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Would love to return to Barcelona.  Since that part of the world is out for us for the time being, I'd consider Curacao instead.  It has a nice European feel to it while still offering plenty of beachy things to do.  One of our favorite things to do is sit near the bridge at an open air bar and people watch or watch the bridge move open and shut.  And like with most Caribbean places we've been, the people in Curacao are wonderful as well. 

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2 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

Make sure you take that one. We did it last June on Reflection and it was awesome. Wish he had spent longer in Iceland. But we did have four full days there. As you plan your shore trips, remember that it will be light there until...well...always. We got in at noon on day one and toured straight through until around 12:30 am. We were exhausted but it was sunset when we got back to the ship (we where there in June almost at the Solstice). I slept three hours and went back out to shoot pics at 5:00 am and the sun was high in the sky. If you haven't rescheduled yet, I encourage you to consider June as everything is blooming and beautiful. You can see my pics and read more about our trip here: https://jktravelredmond.com/tag/iceland/

We were on that cruise with Jim and Kathleen. He's right.

DO IT!

You have a couple of sea days to rest and restore after the seemingly non-stop time in amazing Iceland.

DO IT!

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During this part of our lives, we are ready to spend two to three months traveling to Austria, Switzerland and all over Italy with that being our home base since we are very familiar with Italy and Switzerland.  Additionally, we would take a couple of cruises because we cannot get enough of the history and culture of Europe.  Furthermore, we have a trip planned to visit Australia and New Zealand, which we loved, in 2022 on a TP.  Since we live 20 minutes from Tahoe, the lake never disappoints, but Banff/area also tugs at our hearts for another visit...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lastdance
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We were on that cruise with Jim and Kathleen. He's right.
DO IT!
You have a couple of sea days to rest and restore after the seemingly non-stop time in amazing Iceland.
DO IT!


I did Iceland as an eight day land vacation and a land vacation there is easy to do. I could do another 8 days by to see things I didn’t have time for or I would like to do the Hurtigruten cruise 11 day expedition cruise. From here it was about a five hour flight. Pretty easy and the airfare on IcelandAir was not to bad either. Also if you go September thru March you have a chance to see the Northern Lights.


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A lot of the places I'd most want to visit again are places I first visited on land, either for business or vacation, including three years stationed in Bavaria in the mid 90's. That let us explore much of southern Germany, the Czech Republic, western Austria, a bit of Switzerland, Northern Italy, and a far too quick weekend to Brittany and Normandy. I've been fortunate to return to Prague and Munich, Amsterdam a couple of times, and the UK (mostly but not entirely London) several times over the years.

 

Of cruise destinations, #1 is probably Iceland. We were there for a day and a half or so, and could easily spend much more time there. After that, the Baltics, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, etc., and Venice, Tuscany, and the Südtirol.

 

Unfortunately, I still have a lot of unexplored territory here in the good old USA. I attended a conference a few years ago in Asheville, for instance, and would love to go back. Used to live in southern New Hampshire, so the Green and White Mountains would be great to revisit. And, sadly, I've never been to Yellowstone or Yosemite! 

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2 minutes ago, markeb said:

 And, sadly, I've never been to Yellowstone or Yosemite! 

Your homework is to plan trips (or one long trip) to both of these places.

I do hope you've been to Great Smoky Mountains National Park! It's relatively quite close for you. 

 

Yes, I know I'm not a teacher anymore, and can't really assign homework, I do hope people recognize that I'm being facetious. 

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Un unfair question during a period of restricted travel...

 

We cruise to visit places of amazing beauty, great people and wonderful architecture.  Being unable to revisit hurts.

 

Last two trans-Atlantics we have toured Switzerland, first year by rail {Swiss Rail Pass) and last year by car.  Glacier Express across southern Switzerland, Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Geneva, Bern, Grindelwald as a base for exploring the Alps to include Jungfraujoch on a CAVU day.  Eastern and central Switzerland by car with a weekend stay in Appenzell to watch farmers walk their cows down from the mountain pastures for the winter, Mt Titlis and Mt Pilatus on clear days via cogwheels train and gondola lifts.

 

Self-drive around Ireland for two weeks - fabulous.  Northern lakes of Scotland - mystical.  We lived in Belgrade in the late 1980s and Dubrovnik was our "2nd" home.  Imagine sitting in a cafe along the Stradun and watching the locals including Montenegrans (very tall people) and Mostarians walk by on a Saturday evening...no tourists.  Romania has beautiful scenery and fascinating places to visit; in addition to Bucharest and Brasov, Peles and Bran castles are "must see."  Best wines ever from the underground wineries in Moldova.  Returning to the alley of the Kings and especially Karnak would be a treat, as would another Safari across the Serengeti.

 

Just about anywhere in Germany works, France too (we should be finishing up a two-week river cruise through France right now).  Have no interest in returning to St Petersburg, however Estonia, Norway (all the way to Nordkap) and Denmark work where we once stayed in a hotel originally built in the 12th Century..

 

Spouse wants to visit Ulaanbaatar...  Toured China and Lhasa - once is enough.  Moscow you can keep, as well.

 

Have traveled all 50 US states but would like to drive Route 66 east to west and revisit Devil's Tower.  

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I'd head back to New Zealand in a heartbeat (after a vaccine of course)  Also, even though we've done a land trip there, I'd like to return to Scotland for a longer road trip... We only had a week there, & it wasn't nearly long enough...  trying to convince DH to do the coast to coast bike ride :)

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15 hours ago, Mercruiser said:

There are two places I went on a land vacation, after first discovering it on a cruise:

  • Malta (in the Meditteranean) - Amazing combination of history, culture, natural attractions, great weather, and architecture. Went there for a week, a couple years after discovering it on a port call.
  • Sicily - Went on a port call to Taormina and Syracuse. Went in February (right before Covid) and spent a week with a rental car driving around the island. It's Italy without all the crowds (at least in February). The Greek  architecture was amazing.
  • Copenhagen - Went there first on a Baltic cruise port call. Went back for a weekend in December to see Tivoli Gardens all decorated for Christmas. It is one of my favorite Christmas experiences in Europe.

BTW - I've been on a temporary job assignment in Europe. We loved visiting the normally crowded cities off season (Berlin, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Cinque Terra, Madrid, Prague, Rhine and Moselle rivers, Cologne, Budapest, Milan, Granada, Seville, Istanbul, Vienna, Krakow, Dublin, Lisbon). We were very fortunate to get this opportunity before Covid. 

I strongly agree with Malta. We’ve only been there as a port of call, but went to the Hypogeum which is an unground prehistoric site that predates Stonehenge and is fantastic. they only allow 10 people per hr or so to limit damage and you must sign up for a tour guide well ahead. A very friendly and open society and great dining. We will be going back there......when we can! Lots of UK are there and more US tourists are visiting, and even high season when we were there on a big ship, it wasn’t crowded. A very cultural area with a mix of Maltese, North Africa, Sicilian and British connections and very historical area; it was bombed more than London but has preserved a great deal of its history. Sailing into Valletta with all the limestone and sandstone walls and buildings is more than beautiful, a truly grand experience. 

 

enough. go for it!

 

Den

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I have only cruised in the Caribbean, so my choices would be St Martin, San Juan, and Barbados.  Some of the places that people mention above in Europe, I have visited before,  not on cruises, and Croatia would be top on my list for those places, as well as anywhere in Italy.  But love St Martin, San Juan and Barbados, among my cruise port favorites for a land vacation.

 

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