Top 10 Most Beautiful Port Cities

Ports Of Call Too Beautiful To Miss

By Taylor Fuller | Published on August 24, 2023


Cruising is a wonderful thing. It can bring you to some of the most beautiful port cities in the world. No matter the corner of the world you've decided to embark on a cruise to, it's pretty much a given that you'll be visiting some stunning ports of call. From stunning beaches to towering skylines and everything in between, you'll be in awe of the variety of places you can visit on a cruise.

1. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Founded in 1749 as a naval base, Halifax has now become a bustling city. It's filled with tasty restaurants, museums, history, shopping and more. While you're there, you can spend your day whale watching in one of the most famous harbors in existence. Or, if tour boats aren't your thing, you can always visit the most photographed lighthouse in the world at Peggy's Cove. It's only one hour from the city and has stunning views. Finish your day off with a lobster dinner or some Nova Scotia seafood chowder.

2. Singapore

Singapore is one of my favorite cities in the entire world, and you can travel there on a cruise. Visit one of the many hawker stands, and enjoy some of the best street food you've ever tasted. In fact, you can enjoy the world's cheapest Michelin-Starred meal in Singapore! After you've had your fill of food, a trip to Little India can't be missed. As the home of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, this is one of the most colorful places you can visit in the city. Singapore is by far one of the best cruise ports and has a variety of things to do. Spend the day in nature at Gardens on the Bay, then watch the coolest light show you'll ever see at night.

3. Phuket, Thailand

Having lived in Thailand, I can confidently say that Phuket is one of the most beautiful cruise ports. With its pristine beaches and crystal clear blue water, you'll instantly feel transported to paradise when you cruise to Phuket. Hop in a longtail boat to explore the cliffs of James Bond Island or Phi Phi Island. Here, you can also visit Maya Bay, which was featured in the movie, "The Beach." It was closed for three years due to over-tourism but is now welcoming tourists once again. To soak up the local culture, hike to the 147-foot-tall Buddha Statue, or visit the Grand Pagoda at Wat Chalong. Don't forget to indulge in some tasty Thai street food specialties, such as khao phad (fried rice) or Gai Pad Med Mamuang (stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts).

4. Vancouver, British Columbia

If your cruise leaves from Vancouver, you'll have a great opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful port cities in the world. There is so much to do here, you may have trouble narrowing it down. Hungry? You're in luck. There are a ton of food trucks and farmers' markets that you can visit before heading to Gastown, Main Street and Commercial Drive for some quirky souvenir options. Or, get in touch with nature and explore Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America with a sprawling 1000 acres. Afterward, enjoy a beer in Maple Tree Square at Gassy Jack, which was the area's first tavern. Whatever you choose to do, Vancouver is the perfect place to kick off a number of cruises, including a cruise to Alaska and its glaciers.

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico

One of the best Caribbean cruise ports has to be San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the colorful cobblestoned streets of Old San Juan, the gorgeous nature at El Yunque National Forest and the stunning fortress that is Castillo San Felipe del Morro, San Juan is the ultimate jumping-off point for amazing Caribbean cruises. Enjoy the stunning beaches, lively music and delicious food before setting sail from this port.

6. Airlie Beach, Queensland

Arguably one of the most gorgeous places you can cruise to in Australia, Airlie Beach in Queensland is not to be missed. It is the ultimate location for maritime adventures whether you want to relax on powder white sand at Whitehaven Beach or go diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Or, you can check out the Australian rainforest at Conway National Park, which is filled with hiking trails and waterfalls. Don't forget to enjoy some tasty seafood while you're here as it's all fresh from the sea!

7. Carrara, Italy

The port of Carrara is a gateway to Tuscany. While it's lesser known than other popular port cities, Carrara's proximity to some of the best parts of Italy makes it a stand-out port city. The easiest way to get to Florence from Carrara is by car or train. And once you've arrived, there are so many amazing things to do there. After living there for a year, I have some suggestions. Grab a sandwich at All'Antico Vinaio, a super popular place. While it's become a tad touristy over the years, it's still one of the best paninis you'll ever have. Head there early as the lines get really long. Then, take some time to visit Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens, or head to the Uffizi to see some of the most famous Renaissance artwork. If you want to visit the Duomo, climb the bell tower instead to take in stunning views of the dome and the city. And if you're lucky enough to be in Florence at sunset, grab a bottle of wine and walk up to Piazzale de Michaelangelo to enjoy the sun setting over the city.

8. Santorini, Greece

When someone mentions Santorini, whitewashed buildings with blue domed roofs spring to mind. As one of the world's most popular islands, it's also one of the most gorgeous. Hop on a cable car to the capital of Fira where you can visit old cathedrals and cozy tavernas. Or, head to the coast for a swim in deep blue water and relax on volcanic beaches. The best way to explore the island is by ATV, so be sure to rent one for the day.

9. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the perfect jumping-off point for a Mediterranean cruise. Plus, it has so much to offer itself. With tasty tapas, stunning architecture and postcard-worthy beaches, Barcelona pretty much has a little bit of everything for your vacation. Some can't-miss places include Sagrada Família, a church that was started in 1882 but still has not been completed, and Park Güell, another Gaudi project that offers sweeping views of the city below. For the best tapas, head to the Gothic Quarter, where you can wash it all down with some cava sangria.

10. Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

When you cruise to Tracy Arm Fjord, you're sailing through one of the most beautiful parts of Alaska — which is saying something. Grab your binoculars and try to spot wildlife such as mountain goats, seal pups, black bears and whales. Come face to face with the twin Sawyer Glaciers, where you can actually hear and feel huge pieces of ice falling into the water. It's no wonder why it is one of the most beautiful cruise ports — it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

My Personas