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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!