As I sit on my laptop, looking at the overbooked remains of a planned trip to Santiago, Chile, I am feeling a sense of wanderlust, a longing for an adventure far away. For many years, I chased this feeling with weekend trips to Tokyo, London, and Shanghai. But in recent years, most of my long haul travel has been for cruises, a mode of transportation I never really considered when planning an international trip. For me, I’ve grown up in aviation, so anything overseas was automatically assigned to a widebody from Newark. Cruises were for the Caribbean, I thought. Looking back, wow, was I wrong.
Over the years, I’ve cruised plenty of times, across various lines, but mainly to the Caribbean. But more recently, my cruises have taken me across the Atlantic to northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and eastern Europe. For the longest time, I honestly never considered cruising to be anything more than a tropical vacation under the sun, yet, and especially in the last year, I’ve come to know cruising in a whole different light. Cruising is always said to be a global vacation, something that can take us to every continent in comfort and convenience. But how many of us actually believe that? When we go to book a cruise, do we subconsciously decide on a typical eastern Caribbean itinerary? Maybe it’s just me, but maybe it’s you too, but I think sometimes we forget just how global cruising truly is.
While I have cruised the Mediterranean before in my younger years, the idea of cruising through Europe didn’t really click with me until my Empires of the Mediterranean sailing aboard Viking Cruises’ Viking Star. Sailing from Istanbul to Venice, I’d have the chance to explore Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, and Italy – an impressive itinerary in it’s own right. Looking back, I remember the excitement that filled me, the visions of exploring Europe via a beautiful cruise ship. It was something I hadn’t truly considered before, but looking back, it’s something I wish I had considered earlier. In fact, many of my fellow guests aboard that Viking sailing hadn’t cruised in Europe before and we’re excited to experience a new region of the world by cruise ship. I found it interesting that so many dedicated cruisers hadn’t ventured outside of the Caribbean before. And who knows