Top 10 ‘Bucket List’ Cruise Ports Shared by Facebook Fans

Top 10 ‘Bucket List’ Cruise Ports Shared by Facebook Fans

Holland America Line recently asked Facebook fans where they would cruise if money were no object. What followed was a diverse bucket list featuring some of the most beautiful ports in the world.

Fans proposed cruising everywhere from Hong Kong to Antarctica and seemed to have fun letting their imaginations go wild. Read on for a countdown of the 10 most popular results of the (not-so-scientific) survey!

10. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the world’s only two-continent metropolis and is a thriving cosmopolitan city full of art and nearly ten millennia of history. Once known as Constantinople, Istanbul was the eastern capitol of the Roman empire. Cross the Galata Bridge to the old city, past the Süleymaniye Mosque, whose 174-foot dome was once the highest in the Ottoman Empire. Pass the ancient city walls, built by Constantine, and beneath the epic Roman aqueduct. You’ve come for spice; for the scent of curry, saffron, and myrrh; for a taste of something ancient. A great way to get there is on the 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruise.

9. Barcelona, Spain

Architectural gems like Casa Milá by Antoni Gaudi add character to Barcelona, Spain.

Architectural gems like Casa Milá by Antoni Gaudi add character to Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona — or Bar-they-lo-na as the locals pronounce it — is among the most coveted cities in Europe. Stroll through Las Ramblas in the heart of the city and take time for tapas! The city has an average of 300 sunny days a year and a gorgeous Mediterranean coastline. What’s more? The treasure of Barcelona, Antoni Gaudi, is all around. One of the world’s most famous architects, Gaudi designed such treasures as La Sagrada Familia and Casa Milá. Seven of his creations have been named UNESCO World Heritage sites. Get a great overview of the work and the history of the region on the tour, Gaudi’s Barcelona.

Facebook fan Sue Connelly counts Barcelona among her bucket list ports:

“Barcelona! I’ve never been but would love to cruise the Mediterranean!”

8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The statue Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most iconic images of South America.

The statue Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most iconic images of South America.

As the host of the 2014 World Cup Championship, Rio de Janeiro has gotten a lot of attention lately. Gorgeous beaches, beautiful people, sassy samba and sweet caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail) are hallmarks of this South American city. The landscape is absolutely stunning. Rio de Janeiro seems to rise out of the ocean without rhyme or reason. Check out Corcovado & Rio Highlights to take in Rio’s most famous site, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain. Standing 125 feet tall, and made of soapstone, the Redeemer’s outstretched arms welcome you to an absolutely astonishing 360-degree view.

Facebook Fan Joy Roberts knows the way to go:

“Around the horn to Brazil!”

7. All Caribbean Ports

The bright green vegetation and blue waters of the Virgin Islands are out of this world.

The bright green vegetation and blue waters of the Virgin Islands are out of this world.

The Caribbean was a common theme as guests imagined their “bucket list” ports. With so many beautiful islands to visit it was hard to focus on just one! Answers ranged from Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s award-winning island destination, to Willemstad Curacao, and a whole list of the saints: St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Barths! This part of the world read like a popular reggae song – Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Bahamas all landed on the list! Whatever the port it’s clear that the Caribbean belongs on the bucket list.

6. Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo is Hawaii's biggest small town.

Hilo is Hawaii’s biggest small town.

At Hilo, the east coast of the island of Hawaii throws out its arms, sticks its face into the moisture-heavy trade winds, and gathers all that wet air in to water its gardens, feed its waterfalls and quench its volcanoes. Lili’uokalani Gardens, an authentic Japanese garden, sits on the shore of Kuhio Bay and contains 30 acres of pagodas, ponds and picnic areas. Inland, along the furrowed lower reaches of Mauna Kea, Kolekole stream plunges 442 feet over a cliff at Akaka Falls. Closer in to town cruise travelers can see Rainbow Falls, an 80-foot drop. And it’s just a short drive down the road to Kilauea, that fiery rent in the side of Mauna Loa.

Christina Traynor: Hilo, Hawaii – or any of the other ports in the Hawaiian Islands. I’ll get there one of these days!

5. Juneau, Alaska

The unspoiled beauty of Alaska is on many a bucket-list.

The unspoiled beauty of Alaska is on many a bucket-list.

No roads lead to Juneau, which gives the Alaskan capital a misty inscrutability. A cruise is the best way to get to this gorgeous destination. It’s an ideal place for the outdoors-loving traveler. Breathe in the fresh air, get active on a kayak tour or glacier trek, enjoy a traditional salmon bake or head out on an exhilarating Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest.

Ann Webb: Any Alaskan port is on my bucket-list! I wish to see it and whales in the wild.

4. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, French Polynesia, is a stunning destination.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia, is a stunning destination.

Paradise is found at Bora Bora! After the end of World War II, some American soldiers stationed on Bora Bora didn’t want to leave. In fact, they stayed until their families back home began complaining. It’s hard to blame the soldiers. James Michener called the island the most beautiful in the world, and used the island as inspiration for his Bali Hai. Cruise visitors can dive into the clear waters of the lagoon, take a jeep tour into the high country or relax on Matira beach and wonder what would happen if you stayed.

3. Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy is among the most romantic cities in the world.

Venice, Italy, is among the most romantic cities in the world.

There’s no doubt that Venice, Italy is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice has 117 islands and a million stories of empire, longing and glory. While Italy echoed throughout Facebook fans’ bucket list ports, Venice rang out like a Nighttime Gondola Serenade. Jackie Langsdale reflected on her first cruise to the lovely city:

“Venice…sailing past St. Marks Square on a sunny afternoon, violins in the background…my first cruise and still the best!!”

2. Santorini, Greece

Who wouldn’t want to visit Santorini, Greece?

Who wouldn’t want to visit Santorini, Greece?

Santorini, the island of blue and white, came in at number two on Facebook Fans bucket list. Thira, the harbor that is home to the port of Santorini, was created by a volcano in 1500 B.C., and the effect is still explosive: steep cliffs rise from sea level, and cubist white houses glow in the Aegean sun. The effect is dream-like so it is no wonder that Holland America enthusiasts from all over dream of visiting.

Sharon L Potter: Santorini specifically Oia WOW

Beckie Baker: Tender me in to Santorini:-)

And the number one port on Holland America Line fans’ bucket list is…

1. Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia, is the most popular port on HAL fans’ bucket lists.

Sydney, Australia, is the most popular port on HAL fans’ bucket lists.

From modern cultural marvels like the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge to rugged aboriginal history — Sydney has it all! Culture, nature and a pacific climate blend together to make this the most-coveted city on our list. The city is in part exotic and yet somehow familiar. Discover the Blue Mountains or dare to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge! If you prefer to kick back at the beach, Sydney’s got that too! Bondi Beach is a world-famous surfing beach with delightful restaurants and cafes. With so much beauty and so much to do it’s no wonder Sydney tops the list!

Marilyn Wokatsch: So hard to choose just one BUT Sydney, Australia … it is on my bucket list.

Bonus Bucket List Ports: Everywhere

Travel is full of endless possibilities: clockwise from top left, Rome, Morocco, Auckland, Africa and Mayan ruins  in Mexico.

Travel is full of endless possibilities: clockwise from top left, Rome, Morocco, the Amazon, Auckland, Africa and Mayan ruins in Mexico.

While each of these destinations got lots of attention an overwhelming number of guests said that they would go anywhere and everywhere with Holland America Line.

David Buchholz: The world is the perfect port, not one is better then another if you’re looking forward to going there.

Vicki Hopper: A world cruise would be a dream of mine! There’s a great adventure out there, so many destinations I’d love to visit during my life!!

Eric Melson: Ft Lauderdale … Since that would be the first stop in the Grand Voyage … Visiting all continents!

The question did say “If money were no object” and Michael Heemer had the right idea when he said:

“I’d do a World Cruise in a Neptune Suite. Well, maybe the Penthouse.”

Where would you cruise if money were no object? Let us know in the comments below!


Join the Discussion


  1. Ruth Burton August 2, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Only one have not been to … Venice … definitely on our bucket list …

  2. Mary August 2, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Been to 7 of the 10. Others are on the bucket list.

  3. Alan Nestlinger August 2, 2014 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Here’s a cruise I’d like to take: a loop around the Mediterranean from Citavechia to Venice with several stops in Greece and Turkey (with an overnight in Istanbul), Crete and Egypt. Skip Israel for the time being. This must be longer than 2 weeks, say 20+ days, even 30. Make SURE that the string quartet is on-board before the cruise starts.

  4. ken hennington August 2, 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    I would like to cruise throughout Europe and the Mediterranean as a gift to my wife.

  5. Hans Tompot August 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Caribbean, passage of Panama Channel from East to West and than going to the North to Alaska. From there by plane to New York and then transatlantic to East Mediterranen, ending in turkey.

  6. Zaniffa August 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    We have been to most of these ports and will be in Venice, Santorini, and Turkey in Sept. Can’t wait to see these port. Love cruising with you Holland America.

  7. Judy Davidson August 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I would move into a Neptune Suite instead of a retirement home and see everyplace that the ship went two for the rest of my life.
    I love, love, love cruising.

  8. Bobi Salzman August 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I would go on the World Cruise of each ship that has a World Cruise!! What a life!!

  9. Andre Charron. August 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Would love to cruise all carabean and Hawaii islands,then onto venice

  10. Sanford August 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply


  11. Pat Withers August 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I would flip Michael double or nothing for his room and cruise!

  12. Andrew Yeaman August 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    number one on my bucket list is Australia & New Zealand

  13. Holly August 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I echo a top choice….VENICE! Am going there the end of September to live in an apartment for two weeks, then boarding HAL to head back to FL. And will visit another fave, Barcelona ! Life is good!

  14. Lynne Citrine August 3, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    I agree that Sydney is a great destination and have been to 7 out of the top ten. However I think that South Africa has it all and for something very different Zanzibar is amazing

  15. theresa bellefontaine August 3, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I have been to 9 of the 10 most popular ports and will be visiting the one remaining port next year (Bora Bora) – all of them will be with HAL! I consider myself extremely fortunate and blessed to have traveled so extensively!!

  16. Karyne August 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Any cruise anywhere, I would be happy not to leave the ship!

  17. Lynda Owensby August 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I want to go on the 12 day med tapestry

  18. Claudette Mooney August 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    My favorite would be Australia but my husband and I are getting ready to leave for our third trip to Alaska, the land of the midnight sun. I have made one mistake by travelling with one other cruise line but never again, Holland America is the only way to go. Thank You for all that you do while we are on one of your cruise ships.

  19. Jaller August 10, 2014 at 5:34 am - Reply

    how about Komodo Island? only one in the world. And only a few peaple know this place. Borobudur temple in central java? try the extra ordinary.

  20. lesley mcshane mitchell August 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Anywhere HAL Goes is great I want a cabin buddy to go on the zandaam the 5th oct to south America. balcony/suite. Anyone wants to SHARE

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