If you’re seeking adventure, a new cultural experience, uninterrupted relaxation or just want to shake those post-holiday blues, Royal Caribbean’s got you covered. Our lineup of award-winning ships can take you to more than 260 destinations, from the idyllic Caribbean to far-flung locales like China and Australia. The beginning of the year is always a great time to start checking things off your bucket list and commit to using those vacation days. To give you a head start on planning, we’re highlighting our picks for the best places to cruise in 2019. Read on, and get ready to book your next (or first) cruise vacation!
Impressive architecture, a foodie revival, the popular exported concept of hygge—it’s no surprise that Copenhagen is the top city to visit in 2019, according to Lonely Planet. For starters, there’s the lavish Kronborg Castle that was built in the 1400s, as well as the charming Nyhavn harbor lined with colorful townhouses dating back to the 17th century. Take a stroll through the city for a sampling of the legends of Scandinavia (a stop at Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” statue is a must), or go on a bike ride across the iconic Bicycle Snake bridge to the Reffen street food market in the Northeast. A new metro line is set to open in the city this year. Combine that with a series of Royal Caribbean cruises departing from Copenhagen, and you’ll have a variety of options for exploring the city on land.
Head here to see Copenhagen itineraries.
From the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, Jordan offers incredible cultural experiences and an archaeological masterpiece you’ll want to see—the city of Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world. A capital of caravan trade in ancient times, it’s estimated that this fortress was carved into red mountain stone in the 1st century B.C. Visit this historic site and take in Al Khazneh—the spectacular Treasury—towering temples, tombs and the breathtaking Roman theater.
Catch a sailing to Jordan, and see these jaw-dropping sights yourself.
With stunning beaches, warm weather year-round and vibrant nightlife, Miami has been named a hotspot by travel publications time and time again. Recently, the acclaim has grown with the city’s Design District pushing the envelope (here, you’ll find one of the world’s most unique parking garages) and the newly opened Frost Science Museum, whose three-story aquarium gives visitors a view from above and below with a 31-foot-wide oculus. We recommend heading to the top level, known as the Royal Caribbean Vista, where you can look eye-to-eye with hammerhead sharks—if you dare!
One development we’re particularly proud of is Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami. The LEED-certified cruise terminal is home to two of our Oasis Class ships, including the largest cruise ship in the world, Symphony of the Seas. Hosting vessels that offer both quick getaways and longer, six to eight-night itineraries, Terminal A makes it easier than ever to take a vacation to the Caribbean.
See for yourself why there’s never been a better time to cruise out of Miami.
North of the famed city of Dubrovnik, Croatia—which Game of Thrones fans will recognize as King’s Landing—lies Zadar, home to one of Royal Caribbean’s four new European ports. The (hikeable) mountains of the Paklenica National Park and an incredible coastline have always been popular attractions here, but most recently, the flourishing food and art scenes have put Zadar at the top of travelers’ bucket lists.
Whether it’s the Sea Organ, the famed work of art that “plays” the tides, the Sun Salutation—an installation below your feet that releases the day’s solar energy as an evening light show—or the celebrated Archaeological Museum, there’s so much to discover here.
Book a cruise to the Croatian coast and experience Zadar for yourself.
Geographically, the Australian island of Tasmania lies below the mainland and its beloved cities, Sydney and Melbourne—and historically, that’s where it’s ranked on travel lists, too. Now, the capital of Hobart is a bustling locale that’s attracting adventurers the world over.
The Museum of Old and New Art (or MONA) is credited for having kicked off the avant-garde art movement on the island. Its experimental music and art festivals are one reason Conde Nast Traveller UK named Tasmania a must-visit destination. And there’s more: History buffs will love learning about Port Arthur, one of the most infamous convict settlements, while nature lovers will be blown away by Mount Wellington: At 4,000 feet, the historic site offers thrilling, panoramic views of the entire city and harbor, and it’s only about a half an hour away from Hobart by car.
To see more of what Hobart has to offer, start planning a cruise here.
This megacity of 10 million people has been expanding at a rapid pace and is now considered the tech capital of China.
Geographically serving as a bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China, Shenzhen has been dubbed the country’s “Silicon Valley” because of the innovative and creative talent it has drawn in recent years (it just debuted the world’s first fully electric bus fleet, cutting its carbon emissions in half. Up next, electric taxis!). Shenzhen also has an impressive indie-music scene and a rising art district transformed from former warehouses. The nightlife and accessibility to other parts of Asia make this city the perfect place to start or end your cruise.
Explore Shenzhen itineraries here.
Kotor, although a smaller port in Montenegro, is actually the gateway to some of the most underrated backdrops and sites in Europe. Montenegro is packed with majestic sea cliffs, an amazingly well-preserved medieval town and delicious, fresh seafood dishes like octopus salad and mussel stew.
Montenegro may have been a less-frequented destination in the past, but that just means its beautiful beaches are still considered off-the-radar, and the wine from its growing viticulture community remains relatively inexpensive—and delicious. This gem won’t stay hidden for long, though, since it’s been named one of Forbes’ best places to travel in 2019.
If you’re planning a trip around the Adriatic Sea or the Balkans, visiting Montenegro is a no-brainer. Bonus: It’s included in a variety of Royal Caribbean itineraries.
Belize City, Belize
Located in Central America, Belize is a country you can easily reach from many places in the U.S., so it’s surprising that it hasn’t gained more attention. Add to that its otherworldly landscapes and wide range of eco attractions (including the world’s second-largest barrier reef), and you’ll see why we’ve included it as a must-visit destination. The Belizean community cherishes their natural habitat, taking steps to preserve it for many years to come. While on land, explore Belize’s labyrinth-like, cave-and-underground-river system, hike through the lush rainforest and learn about ancient Mayan history.
Book your Caribbean cruise to Central America, and take in the natural wonder of Belize.
There’s no shortage of adventures to experience with Royal Caribbean. Ready to book yours? Head here to start crossing off the places on your travel wish list!