Best ports of call
(Photo: Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar via Shutterstock)
With cruise ships adding so many bells and whistles, it's easy to forget that one of the best parts of cruising is getting off the ship. In 2013, the best ports of call follow some exciting trends.
Caribbean destinations might still be the most visited, but multiple new sailings offer a wide array of unique, eclectic stops in other exciting destinations. Think riverside metropolises, Down Under adventures, and explorations in the East, both Near and Far.
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While organizing independent travel may still be difficult, a river cruise offers the convenience of a planned itinerary. Orient-Express, Pandaw, and Azamara Club Cruises all have itineraries that include a call in former capital Yangon (Rangoon). Here, in this city of some five million people, you can explore bustling open-air markets and the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda that rises over the vibrant, frenetic city, then float up the Irrawaddy River toward modern Mandalay.
(Photo: Copyright Tourism Australia)
Australia is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the cruise market, and Tasmania may be the most tranquil spot to dock. Harbor town Hobart, on the southern half of the island, took a top spot on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013 list, and it's not hard to see why. Equal parts artsy and outdoorsy, Hobart offers museums, shops, and seaside cafes for cruise passengers to explore before taking off for Tasmania's slate of adventure activities. Many major cruise lines stop in Hobart; check out excursions from Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity.
(Photo: Marina Bay, Singapore via Shutterstock)
Marina Bay, Singapore
With the official completion of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore last year, there's an uptick in cruise service to, from, and stopping in Singapore in 2013. The Southeast Asian city-state has some of the best-developed infrastructure the world over and has become a transportation hub for many cruises that depart for