A memorable vacation can be about chasing rare sights like the northern lights or enjoying simple moments like a beautiful sunset—or even both. However you like to make memories, there’s a picture-perfect Royal Caribbean cruise for you and your favorite people. In fact, you have more than 240 destinations in 61 countries and a variety of action-packed ships to choose from.
Looking for inspiration? We asked Royal Caribbean crew members for their photos of the most stunning sights they’ve seen while cruising from one place to the next. After all, they get to discover vibrant cultures of the Far East, natural beauty and the historic pasts of centuries-old European cities, lush Caribbean islands and more nearly every day.
Read on to see the top nine amazing photos crew members have taken while sailing around the world.
Perfect Day at CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, and it offers the ultimate combination of thrill and chill with 13 waterslides—including Daredevil’s Peak, the tallest in North America—and miles of white sand beaches. Another island favorite is Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon adventure that takes you as high as 450 feet for incredible views from the highest vantage point in The Bahamas.
Pro tip: Check out the overwater cabanas at Coco Beach Club. They’re the first in The Bahamas and come with luxe perks, such as a dedicated attendant, your choice of dishes from the private restaurant, a waterslide and an overwater hammock.
The colorful capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan beckons with plenty of culture and history. Originally a Spanish colony, you’ll find it has a European vibe: imagine cobblestone streets and hundreds of restored buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. The destination is also home to historic landmarks like Castillo San Felipe del Morro, also known as El Morro, a fortress overlooking the harbor that was built to defend the Port of San Juan.
Pro tip: Get your own awe-inspiring view of the island by going on a helicopter experience, one of many shore excursions that Royal Caribbean offers.
Did you know that Juneau is the only capital city in the U.S. that is solely accessible by air or sea? You can easily get there and take in the natural sights on a cruise, whether you’re hoping to see the incredible wildlife, rugged forests, stunning glaciers or snow-capped mountains. A top highlight is the yearly migration of hundreds of humpback whales heading to Alaska’s waters to feed during the summer months. Juneau is an especially popular place from which to see this one-of-a-kind, natural spectacle unfold right before you. You’ll also find the city’s quintessential charm come alive downtown, where there the streets are lined with centuries-old bars and historic landmarks.
Pro tip: See these majestic creatures for yourself on a whale-watching adventure, one of Royal Caribbean’s GTSC-certified—aka sustainably operated—shore excursions, which you can take on a cruise to Alaska.
A jewel of the West Indies, St. Kitts has a wide variety of restaurants and shops, pristine beaches, mountain peaks and sunshine—especially Basseterre. The Caribbean nation’s capital is filled with history. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, for example, is one of the best-preserved military structures in the Americas. Independence Square features an Italian-inspired fountain while the Victorian-style Berkeley Memorial Clock, now a museum, beckons nearby; and the stately Treasury Building that still stands since it was constructed in 19th century—it’s now home to the local National Museum
Cartagena, Colombia, is a historic city sitting within miles of stone walls that have stood for centuries. Far from staid and stuffy, the destination is also a colorful and lively fishing village that’s full of surprises, such as impromptu salsa and merengue performances on the street, and Calle Angosto, known for its canopy of umbrellas. Cartagena features natural grandeur, too, like beautiful beaches and the nearby Corales del Rosario y de San Bernardo National Natural Park.
Pro tip: A lineup of Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Galveston, Texas, visit Cartagena. While you’re there: Take a mud bath at the Volcan de Lodo el Totumo—a 50-foot-tall mud volcano about 45 minutes outside the city.
Sheer cliffs, dramatic scenery and incredible, white-washed, blue-domed buildings set against the backdrop of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea make it no surprise that Santorini is one of the world’s most popular spots. There’s much to explore right at your fingertips: We recommend taking a cable car to the capital of Fira to see ancient cathedrals and visit fascinating museums, or checking out the excavated prehistoric village of Akrotiri.
Pro tip: If a summer Mediterranean escape is what you’re after, look out for Odyssey of the Seas. You can set sail from the iconic city of Rome to explore one exciting hotspot after the next in Italy, France and more.
The seemingly endless Tongass National Forest—home to more than 30 communities, including Juneau, Alaska—is the largest national forest in the U.S. with 16.7 million acres. It surrounds the iconic Inside Passage, a 500-mile coastal route for ships and boats that weaves around Pacific Northwest islands and features tons of awe-inspiring flora and fauna, such as fjords, glaciers and wildlife ranging from whales and puffins to bears.
Pro tip: Want to spend extra time in Alaska? Cruisetours are guided, land-based adventures you can take before or after your cruise. You’ll be able to explore even more of the Last Frontier, thanks to the rich experiences that range from visiting a historic gold-mining town to taking a scenic ride on a glass-domed train.
The iconic Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Norway’s most magnificent spots. Carved by glaciers and surrounded by waterfalls and snow-capped mountains, it’s clear to see why. Climb the Geiranger Skywalk to get the highest fjord view in Europe or take the breathtaking Waterfall Walk right into the middle of the cascades. You can also go easy and enjoy the charming village of Geiranger, which is filled with local restaurants, cafes and shops.
Juneau is both a beautiful mountain town and a rugged coastal community. While sightings of the northern lights are somewhat rarer in Juneau than in other Alaskan cities because of its southerly location, it’s certainly possible to see the awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. It happens most often between August and April.
Pro tip: For unparalleled sights out at sea, check out the North Star on Quantum and Ovation of the Seas. The one-of-a-kind adventure is an all-glass observation capsule that offers stunning, panoramic views from 300 feet above the ocean.
Ready to create memories for your own photo album? Check out the lineup of cruises headed to these epic destinations here.