A cruise holiday is ideal for sitting back and relaxing. However, the destinations you stop at are typically full of more exciting experiences than lying on the beach. If the wildlife plays a big part of decision, we have put together a list of the best cruise destinations for spotting wildlife.
The Land Down Under is full of animals, most notably the native kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and platypuses. You can see all three at nature reserves and sanctuaries around the country. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is the largest koala refuge in the world and has been open since 1927.
However, Australia has a lot more to offer. P&O offer great cruises to the famous Great Barrier Reef, the largest living entity on earth. The 2,300-km ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands. It’s home to countless species of colourful fish, starfish, turtles, dolphins and sharks.
The tropical climate in Vanuatu supports a broad range of wildlife, tropical rain forest, grassland and more. However, it’s the wildlife that keeps visitors coming back. Native flying foxes, more than 100 species of land and sea birds, dolphins, turtles, whales and even dugongs. Yes, sea cows! The dugong is the largest mammal in Vanuatu, and the only herbivorous marine mammal in the world. You can go diving among reefs which are home to over 300 species of coral and 450 species of fish. It’s some of the best snorkelling in the world.
If you think of the Caribbean, marine life likely comes to mind. In St. Thomas, you can get up close a personal with the wildlife. Swim with sea lions at Coral World Ocean Park or take a catamaran to the islets to get a glimpse of the hogfish and beaked parrot fish that call the coral reefs home.
On the island, you will find giant iguanas are especially prominent. It’s thought they arrived at St. Thomas on floating debris that carried them across the Caribbean Sea. They will be relaxing in the sun just like you!
Fiji happens to be a birdwatcher's dream. Over 100 different species are found on the islands. Within the rainforests and along the Coral Coast, Pacific Harbour and mainland you will spot species such as mush parrots, fantails, and honeyeaters. On the smaller islands, in the south-eastern region of Vanua Levu, you will find the endangered silk tail. Some islands have even been set up as bird sanctuaries. An Island hopper cruise is a perfect way to check out everything.
Fiji is also home to 30 reptile species, including the Pacific boa constrictor, considered to be a god in native mythology. You also will find exotic fish, turtles and sea creatures.
Obviously, not your typical holiday cruise, but one that offers equally great wildlife, if not better. Everything from a humpback whale to a moose. One of the unique animals you will see is the king crab, an indigenous shellfish that can grow a leg span of six feet. There are also black bears, bald eagles, salmon fishing and more. If you are going to pay for a cruise to Alaska, go between May and September. This is the time when the weather is mild, and you won’t be stuck in windy, cold conditions.