Cruising is more about the journey than the destination – but these port calls are absolutely worth hopping off the boat for.
Noumea, New Caledonia
Sometimes dubbed the Paris of the Pacific, the capital of New Caledonia is a melting pot where French influences meet laidback island vibes. The cruise ship terminal isn’t far from the city centre, so you can explore on foot, or hop on the “Tchou Tchou” train for a guided tour.
You might end up lugging some bulging bags back to the boat – Noumea boasts some of the best shopping in the South Pacific, with a line-up of luxury French labels. Also be sure to fit in a visit to the Port Moselle market, where you can sample seasonal fruits and vegetables alongside fresh croissants and local cheeses.
Visit Noumea on P&O’s 9-night Pacific Island Hopper cruise, departing Auckland in July 2023. See pocruises.co.nz.
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Tasmania is the ultimate foodie destination with its abundance of fresh produce, incredible seafood, and wine trails, and a port call in the capital of Hobart provides the perfect opportunity for a taste.
Visit MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art), where you can admire the eclectic collection before indulging in a wine tasting or lunch.
Hobart is also home to Australia’s oldest operating brewery – Cascade Brewery, established in 1824, where you can enjoy a cold one in their heritage beer garden.
Visit Hobart on Celebrity Cruises’ 5-night Tasmania cruise, departing Sydney in March 2023. See celebritycruises.com.
As the world’s only city-island-nation, Singapore packs a whole lot into a small area.
Gardens by the Bay is a botanical wonderland where you can admire plants from every continent (except Antarctica), experience one of the world’s tallest indoor waterfalls, and be wowed by the giant “supertrees”.
It’s also a foodie paradise, with its many hawker centres providing Michelin star-level street food. Or splash out on a visit to the legendary Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, home of the Singapore Sling cocktail.
Visit Singapore on Norwegian’s 11-day Asia: Thailand, Vietnam & Malaysia cruise, departing Kuala Lumpur in December 2023. See ncl.com.
Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, it’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is one of the most popular stops on Mediterranean cruise itineraries.
Arrivals are greeted with the striking sight of the massive stone walls that encircle the southern Croatian city’s picture-perfect historic heart.
You can stroll around these walls, soaking up the views along the way. For more breathtaking views, take the cable car to the top of Mount Srd, which overlooks the Old Town.
Visit Dubrovnik on Royal Caribbean’s 7-night Italy and Adriatic cruise, departing Venice in October 2023. See royalcaribbean.com.
Taking a river cruise allows you to really immerse yourself in a port city, and those cruising the Danube are richly rewarded with a stop in Budapest.
The Hungarian capital is one of Europe’s most stunning cities, packed full of architectural treasures and historic sites – head to Castle Hill to see one of the jewels in the city’s crown, Buda Castle.
Budapest is also famous for its bathing culture, with an embarrassment of thermal baths – a dip in the enormous Szechenyi Baths is a must.
Visit Budapest on Avalon Waterways’ 6-day A Taste of the Danube with Budapest, departing Budapest in 2023. See avalonwaterways.co.nz.