From the Waterfront: 10 Destinations Best Viewed From the Sea

***This is post was contributed by Cruise Deals.


Some places impress from an aerial approach: Barra beach runway in Scotland, the dramatic mountainscapes of Queenstown, New Zealand and the sea-circled coastline of the south of France, to name a few. Others are more impressive if you arrive on the deck of a cruise ship, ferry or pleasure boat. Here are ten of the best (Jolly Rodger and telescope optional).


Hong Kong

The mist-enshrouded islands dappling Hong Kong’s harbor approach will thrill anyone who has seen Enter the Dragon. You can catch this vibrant Asian city with Royal Caribbean cruises, as the operator (quite rightly) has granted it a well-deserved place on some of their itineraries.



Boasting a lengthier coastline than the remainder of the USA combined this vast and beautiful place can be reached by cruise ship and ferry. Approach from the ocean and your breath will be snatched away by sparkling glaciers and dramatic skylines. Wrap up warm and venture out on deck, and you may be welcomed by some local wildlife including dolphins, seals and basking sharks.


Buenos Aires

Visit the Paris of the South by sea and learn to tango, dine on steak, and look out for the street art and bright colors of La Boca barrio. Buenos Aires’s port is easily recognizable from the realist paintings of Quinquela Martín, and at night this bustling commercial hub transforms into a twinkling blanket of lights to greet travelers fresh off the boat.



View of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney Australia


Approaching one of Sydney’s cruise terminals delivers a jackpot combination of Australia’s iconic landmarks. Harbor Bridge, the Opera House and the city’s stratified skyline are meant to be seen from the sea. However, it is not only Sydney that can offer you a quintessential view of the Australian landmarks. One can also add Warrnambool, Victoria to the list. Warrnambool, located at the end of the Great Ocean Road that displays nature’s diversity at its best (from forests to rivers to ancient volcanoes and rugged coastlines), can offer you memories of a lifetime. So, if Australia is on your travel list, then you can try out a great ocean road stay at Warrnambool to treat your soul with iconic scenarios.

Panama Canal

Traversing the continents of North and South America to connect the Pacific to the Atlantic, this man-made wonder is a fine cruise destination, which can tick off Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and the rain forests of Costa Rica as stops on the itinerary.

Cinq Terre

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a tumble of colorful villages scattering down Italy’s coastline like a fistful of LEGO bricks. Given its white knuckle access roads the best and most scenic approach is by passenger ferry, which travels to four of its five villages.


The Norwegian Fjords

Setting off into the Arctic on a cruise might be a chilly enterprise, but the rewards are vast, with endless days, majestic cliffs and the chance of spotting the Northern Lights all travel pay offs worthy of investment.


The Seychelles

Volcanic island landscapes, verdant rain forests, diving and fishing: its twinkling azure waters are part of what makes this place paradise, and worthy of further exploration.


Istanbul, Turkey

It might be classified as a Mediterranean cruise, but this exotic destination could not be a more enticing fusion of East meets West wonders. Approach from the sea and you’ll be greeted by the city’s characteristic minarets, domes, and the call to prayer.



If only for the excuse to invest in some dapper boating attire, cruising to Bermuda is highly recommended. If shorts aren’t your thing, there’s always the pastel pink beach, the cozy climate and the eclectic culture to fall back on.


For centuries, humankind has explored by way of the high seas. Make like your ancestors and find new ways to travel the world. It can be your oyster if only you choose to view it from a fresh perspective once in a while.



Image by Linh_rOm, used under Creative Commons license.


Photo of The Day #75, Rick-Shaws at The Blue House in Penang Malaysia Played My Emotions

As we approached the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion commonly known as The Blue House, in the old Georgetown section of Penang Malaysia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I immediately gravitated to the plethora of Rick-Shaws lined up on the front porch. I have no idea why I am attracted to these antique modes of transportation or why I take endless photos of them. I can remember my first visit to Hong Kong in 1973 and how common they were at that time, as a personal transportation source. They have fascinated me for over 40 years.


Single Rick-Shaw with Umbrella

Single Rick-Shaw with Umbrella


Over time the quantity and elaborate vehicles have waned and their use diminished extensively. They are still found in a select few cities, like the Georgetown area of Penang, but in most cases it is just a form of tourist attraction and there seems to be a perpetual contest to see which Rick-Shaw can be decorated the gaudiest. We stopped our first night in Penang and all climbed into our Rick-Shaws for a pre-arranged guided and moderated tour. I was fortunate that my guide spoke excellent English and was familiar with local history.



Double Rick-Shaw

Double Rick-Shaw


I was amazed that my guide was near my age, probably had about 1% body fat and I had to outweigh him by at least 50 pounds. He peddled like I was a feather and no sign of struggle or additional effort was displayed during our tour. I think he was used to this routine and when we stopped the ride I tipped him, thanked him and walked away. When I looked back he was lighting up a cigarette, as if to say “I got this covered and then some”!


Double-Single Rick-Shaw That Could be a Triple

Three-Single Rick-Shaw That Appear to be a Triple


I would recommend you take a whirl on one of these magnificent contraptions and try and visualize what is was like “Back in the Day”! They are in the process of being phased out and it is just another piece of history that we will not be able to experience before too long. Jump in and travel back while you have the chance. I feel fairly certain your brain will allow you to transport yourself back in time and you will be able to appreciate a little slice of history, when things moved at a slower pace and one could appreciate their surroundings.



*** My trip to Thailand and Malaysia was sponsored by Thai Airways, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Malaysia USA. All opinions are solely mine and as always, generated without any influence.

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