Adventure-loving people understand the fun of travel. Whether by train, plane, car, or carriage, there are countless ways to go. Here we look at water transportation, in particular boating and river cruises. Boating is a great way to explore beautiful landscapes. It also provide ample opportunities for swimming, hiking, photography, relaxation, and onshore exploration.
Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, Taupo, New Zealand
Horizontal Falls, Australia
The best way to travel over water while also enjoying various side activities is aboard an adventure cruise. Cruises are convenient and a family-friendly way to get travel. Romantic encounters, family time, and or just a simple outing with friends are all possible on a cruise, any of which would make for a memorable experience. Here is a look at a few destinations around the world that are only accessible by boat.
In this post we’re going to cover some suggestions for making the most of a visit to these intriguing destinations. We’ll offer some ideas for what to do, where to say, how to eat well, and more. If adventure is your middle name, there are literally dozens of thrilling activities one can plan and enjoy. No matter what you do, however, it’s important to pack sensibly and bring along the things you need to make the most of your vacation. Snorkeling anyone?
Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, Taupo, New Zealand
New Zealand is the one of the world’s great adventure destinations. To really experience the wonders on offer we recommend budgeting at least two weeks. New Zealand’s two main islands each contain a wealth of urban and natural wonders. This is a country with world-famous marine life after all. In keeping with the theme for this article, we recommend checking out the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. These fascinating stone carvings are located within a small fresh water bay that’s accessible only by boat. Located on Lake Taupo on the North Island, the rock carvings are a great stop if you’re making your way between Wellington and Auckland.
There are a number of ways to enjoy the rock carvings depending on your circumstances. For example, you can opt for a romantic sailboat, a family-friendly riverboat, or a one-person kayak. These particular carvings were done by the Mari master Matahi Whakataka. Following completing of his nearly decade-long story, he undertook the significant project on Lake Taupo. Together with four assistances, they created a unique and remarkable carving that stands nearly 10 meters tall and took almost four years to complete. Interestingly, Matahi Whakataka refused to accept any compensation for his work and only took small donations to cover the cost of scaffolding and other materials. The resulting carvings are unique and remarkable to people from all walks of life.
Visitors seeking a romantic sunset cruise should look to depart in the late afternoon with enough time to enjoy the lake scenery where there is still plenty of light. Consider booking a trip with a local tour operation so that you can also learn about the rich history and culture in the area.
Palm Island, Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines form a picturesque island chain known for their many beaches, coral reefs, yachting, and sea turtle conservation. The immensely attractive destinations here should certainly be your list the next time you’re planning a Caribbean vacation. December is among the best times to visit. Should you have the good fortune to venture here, we wholeheartedly recommend visiting the famed Palm Island. Located roughly a mile from Union Island, Palm Island is rather small, covering only 135 acres. What Palm Island lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in terms of natural beauty. The island beaches are some of the most pristine in the world. Rarely is one able to find so much luxury and comfort packed together in such a small place. There are a few resort hotel locations on the island as well as lovely restaurants where you can enjoy most of the freshest seafood you could ever imagine. This nearly one-of-a-kind destination is accessible only by boat and will very much let you appreciate the finer things in life.
Nature lovers and birders in particular will enjoy a visit to Palm Island where they can revel in sighting blackbirds, sandpipers, doves, pigeons, hummingbirds, and more. The vacation resort on Palm Island is not very large, boasting only 43 rooms. It is highly advisable to secure a reservation well in advance. Scattered around the island are various facilities including the Royal Palm Restaurant and the Sunset Grill. You’ll also find some swimming pools, a spa facility, bars, a gym, and even a small library. Hotel operators tend to do everything they can to ensure a pleasant stay. Basically all you have to do is get yourself to Palm Island and then let the friendly staff and folks there take care of the rest.
Horizontal Falls, Australia
Like its Pacific neighbor New Zealand, Australia is another one of the world’s great adventure vacation destinations. Sporting amazing cities like Sydney and Melbourne in addition to ecological wonders like the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is one amazing place. The country’s large size can complicate travel matters a little. As will come as no surprise though, Australia has a well-developed tourist and transportation infrastructure.
Set in remote Western Australia, the Horizontal Falls (or the “Horries” as many Australians refer to them) are the result of an unusual natural phenomenon whereby tidal flows periodically create waterfalls during the ebbing and flowing of each tide cycle. The waterfalls result as the enormous volume of waters seeks to pour through two narrow openings in the natural rock gorges. Getting into the gorges themselves is possible only by boat owing to the Horries rather remote location. Getting here takes a bit of doing. Your best bet is to look for a flight into Broome International Airport. From Broome, you can link up with a tour operator that can take you the rest of the way up the coast and to the Horizontal Falls. Being quite popular as a curious natural attraction, it is not hard to find tours once you get yourself into the general vicinity of the falls. Being a tidal phenomenon, there are four opportunities per day to see the falls during maximum flow; however, two of these may occur either to late or two early to be practical for most people. For those who do venture here, it is amazing to witness the vast power of nature.
Agia Roumeli, Greece
Greece, officially known as the Hellenic Republic, is a well-known for its marble sculptures, olives, cheese, honey, and red saffron. Typically, April to November is the best time to visit, though the country’s Mediterranean climate is pleasant nearly year-round. Greece’s many islands include world-famous destinations like Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and many more. These places have featured in countless movies and novels, extending all the way back to classical antiquity.
For explorers and eager adventerors, we recommend visiting the small village of Agia Roumeli located on the south side of Crete. Lack connections to the rest of the island’s road network, Agaia Roumeli is most easily accessible by boat. Though technically it’s possible to reach the village by hiking overland, that’s not the easiest of journeys. A far better option is to take a ferry departing from Hora Sfakion, Sougia, or Paleochora. Consider visiting midday and onward as the beaches in the area tend to be quiet and peaceful, making ideal places to enjoy some relaxation.
Agia Roumeli is a stunning location with cliffs and rocks guarding the western end of the beach. Divers and snorkelers will have a great time wading into the warm Mediterranean waters. Tourist accommodation is not hard to come by; however, the peak travel times in August tend to be quite busy in terms of visitors and room bookings. Restaurants are lovely and for the most part quite affordable. Good places to enjoy a meal are found near the ferry pier. Agia Roumeli has two small and tiny markets mostly catering to basic needs, though it is possible to find souvenirs and other items. Overall, Agia Roumeli is one of those almost fairytale destinations. It is a great place for romantic couples, families, and solo travelers.
Rugged and remote, Alaska has long captivated American’s attention even before former Secretary of State William managed to finalize the treaty purchasing the lands from the Russian Empire. Today, Alaska is famous for its diverse wildlife, including iconic megafauna like polar bears, grizzly bears, elk, caribou, and more. The state is home to abundant mountains, lakes, rivers, and other waterways ideal for boating and pleasure cruises. Owing to its location, wintertime in Alaska is harsh and unforgiving. Consequently the best times to visit are from May through September, particularly the high summer months from June through August.
For many, a fantastic way to discover the riches Alaska has to offer is aboard a traditional cruise. Most major cruise operators operate Alaskan cruises, which tend to depart from Vancouver or ports along the US West Coast. Over a few days, these lines will sale north up towards the many fjords and inlets that dot the Alaskan coastline. Whale-watching and glacier viewing are quite popular and most tour operators will offer packages for passengers who want to disembark and spend some time inland in either Juneau or Anchorage. The vast and rugged landscapes along the coast are ideal places to enjoy some truly spectacular outdoor scenery. Booking a cabin with a view is most advisable when planning your cruise. While to be fair, there are ways of reaching Alaska that don’t involve traveling by ship or boat, we’re hard-pressed to think of a better way to discover America’s 49th state.
River Boat or Cruise
No matter how you do it, just getting out to explore new and exciting places is a truly rewarding experience. There is something satisfying and calming about water transportation, however. Whether it’s harkening back to a time when great oceangoing passenger vessels sailed the oceans or when the likes of Homer and other classical explorers ventured forth on the Seven Seas, traveling by boat captures the imagination. In this short post, we looked at several destinations around the world that are best reached by boat. For those looking to have a new adventure or picturing the day when they can once again travel with ease, consider finding somewhere off the beaten path where the only way there is through the waves.