If I were to ask you what comes to mind when I say the word ‘cruise’ to you, chances are you’ll cast your thoughts to sailing on crystal blue seas, with the sun beating down on you as you travel to a luxury Caribbean destination, right?

But, what if I were to ask you to picture yourself sailing on a cruise through a jagged iceberg landscape or through the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s busiest cities?

I bet you’d think I was I mad – “surely there are no cruises that do that?” I hear you ask. Well, believe it not, there are – and cruises such as these are fast becoming a popular choice amongst holidaymakers.

Why, exactly? Well, they allow you to see so much more of some of the most understated, yet magnificent and breath-taking, corners of the globe – and let’s face it, seeing as much as the world as possible is one of the main reasons people book themselves onto a cruise in the first place, right?

So, to show you that I’m not completely mad with my former suggestion, here are three of the most unusual – yet amazing – cruise destinations that will really turn a cruise experience into a holiday of a lifetime:

Alaska-cruise

Alaska

Alaska has to be one of the biggest most, dramatic cruise holidays on the planet – in fact, it’s like cruising on another planet as you silently sweep past prehistoric mountain ranges that look as if they have been carved out of pure ice.

Whether it’s the white thunder in Glacier Bay, Mt. McKinley’s serene majesty or the true isolation of Denali, Alaskan cruises combine a feeling of isolation with a great sense of adventure.

And what’s more, the most amazing thing about going on an Alaskan cruise is that you can sit back and relax, and enjoy that amazing feeling of being on an adventure that no-one else has ever been on.

With an Alaskan cruise, you can take in the sights of glaciers, avalanches, sunlight at midnight and wildlife that include whales, eagles, seals and wolves. And you can take in the breath-taking beauty of the Rocky Mountains and go whale watching as you silently edge past the Ice Age glaciers of Glacier Bay National Park.

Whatever you do, an Alaskan holiday will leave you with magnificent memories.

China-cruise

China

From Hong Kong to Shanghai, any cruise to China is an exotic and often bewildering combination of sights, sounds, tastes and smells as you dip your toe into one of the most complex and diverse holidays you can ever imagine.

Combine romance with adventure as you gently watch the Orient slip by your window. Get involved in the spice and the silk markets, and take in a thousand different foods cooked in seven world famous regional styles. Marvel at the temples, the history and the emperors who have turned China into a treasure chest of heady experiences you will never forget.

In Hong Kong you can meander through bustling wet markets and chic city malls in a matter of minutes. In Shanghai you can experience how the Paris Of The East has become the world’s dazzling high-tech neo-city.

Panama-Canal-Cruise

Panama Canal

Another unusual but amazing cruise destination that I bet you would have never have thought about hopping onto, is The Panama Canal – the feat of engineering that has attracted curious visitors who want to experience huge ocean liners navigating through its giant locks.

If you like the idea of a Caribbean cruise, but want to add a little twist to your adventure, then the cruising on the Caribbean side of The Canal with PO cruises will allow you to soak in the sun whilst you marvel at views that offer so much more than just sun, sea and sand.

By cruising on this side of the Canal, you will find the ruined forts of Portobello and San Lorenzo that overlook the sea. Built during the early days of Spanish rule, these forts were repeatedly ransacked by the notorious pirates of the region, who plundered the Inca gold from Peru being shipped back to Spain.

The colonial town of Portobello itself is still home to the original Customs House where all the Inca treasures were stored and where you can find the famous statue of the Black Christ.