The World's Most Romantic Cruise Destinations
For many, a cruise holiday is high on their romance wish list. The endless ocean, intimate dinners and subtle luxuries all fan the flames for a passionate journey. But let's not forget the ports of call.
There are certain stops around the world that are simply more romantic than anywhere else. Here's our list of the best places to visit on a cruise for those in love.
The quintessential port for the romantically inclined, La Serennissima on the Adriatic has an enduring appeal. Our Venice expert, Anne Hanley, says: “Venice never loses its capacity to enchant. There's a reason why the crowds come: the sheer loveliness of an exquisite city that seems miraculously built on water.”
The Hungarian capital attracts an increasing number of visitors to appreciate its stately elegance. Telegraph Travel's Natalie Paris writes: “With Art Nouveau splendours lining a curve of the Danube, Budapest promises genteel romance. While the fin-de-siecle facades, old-fashioned cafes and refined baths politely sweep you off your feet, the traces of Goulash communism and the city’s fascinating modern history add spice.”
For sheer beauty and drama, not much can compare to Santorini, a Greek island shaped by volcanic eruptions. You can reach the capital, Fira, by cable car, mule or by taking a steep hike up 580 steps. At the summit, you’ll find an evocative old town, its alleys decked with bougainvillea; as well as taverns and jewellery shops.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The BVI are among the best islands in the Caribbean for escapism and romance. Fred Mawer, our Caribbean expert, waxes lyrical about their "protected waters, consistent trade winds and endless secluded coves". Tortola is the most developed of the four main islands but perhaps the best place to descend and organise to sail around, and find these forgotten stretches of beach on your own.
Moorea, South Pacific
Few places shout romance and escapism more than a South Pacific island hideaway, and Moorea in French Polynesia is most sought after for lovers. Why? Well, just take a look at the view above.
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Yes, it’s an interesting port, and a fascinating historic city, full of medieval buildings, cafes and galleries. But that’s not what gets it into our most romantic list. It’s the diamonds, of course, in which the city specialises. In case you were thinking of making your journey even more memorable.
This island may be inextricably linked to Napoleon but there is a reason the Frenchman seemed content to be here. “Beautiful, charming, elegant and frighteningly powerful,” as Napoleon’s mother, Letizia, put it. Elba, that is.
For Anthony Peregrine, it’s the beaches that are the most seductive. “There are 190 of them, a world-class collection,” he writes “from great sandy curves to cliff-rimmed creeks accessible only by boat, on foot and with determination.”
Described by Telegraph Travel's Lee Marshall as “the archetypal Dolce Vita seaside destination”, Portofino is a town to swoon over. This town on the northern Italian coast is wonderfully pretty, with its pastel houses surrounding a harbour full of bars and restaurants – with the town’s castle towering over all.
For sheer charm of location, few cities can compete with this port city on the Adriatic, a popular stop on dozens of cruise itineraries. Our Dubrovnik expert Jane Foster also rates “the beaches, pristine sea, informal eateries serving top-notch seafood, chic 5-star hotels and adventure sports facilities”.
It may be dilapidated and ramshackle, but Chile’s historical port city has a bohemian charm and romance that is hard to surpass. On its winding, steeply inclined alleys, Pablo Neruda composed love poems, and sailors for centuries have fallen for its easy, care-free ways.
According to our expert, Hvar is not only one of the most beautiful islands in the world, but also the sunniest place in the country.
Another romantic stop on any Italian cruise itinerary. Lee Marshall says “this butterfly-shaped island in the Gulf of Naples has long fascinated travellers". He adds: "On the one hand it’s a chi-chi Dolce Vita paradise where the jasmine blooms in March, that has provided a home in the sun for northern exiles from Axel Munthe to Graham Greene.” It also has some of the most romantic places to stay.
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This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.