It's cold and rainy here in San Sebastian. Smart people (of a different socioeconomic bracket than me) are planning their warm winter giveaways. You can't really beat that, but a close second would definitely be writing about it for a certain luxury label's iPad app, which is what I found myself doing recently. I made a mental note to share what hours of research done huddled over tea and a cold laptop keyboard turned up.
First off, let's be honest: the only hard part of a cruise is deciding where to go. Especially when there are so many fabulous itineraries to choose from, each taking you to so many new and exciting places. A large company like Royal Caribbean Cruises gives you over 260 destinations to choose from, while boutique companies like AquaExpeditions offer expensive luxury glamping trips up the Amazon. On board a state-of-the-art cruise liner, you’ll get to see the world from a different perspective and enjoy some fabulous facilities along the way.
Now on to my ideas (trust me on these, people):
destination #1: Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent & The Grenadines (pictured above). Saint Vincent has everything a Caribbean island should: waterfalls, volcano, beaches with black, grey and even pink sand. However, its lack of easy transportation has kept it off the tourist map. The savviest travelers, however, base themselves on Petit St. Vincent, which is an isolated, tiny spot with 22 luxury cabins.
destination #2: Vamizi, Mozambique. This one may not be on your immediate cruise radar, but wait a second. This speck of an island, part of a group of 27 islands, the Quirimbas, is a mere seven miles long, and a study in remoteness. The only lodging is romantic beach villas that complete with butlers and a masseuse. What’s absent? Televisions, glass in the windows, and the back wall of the bathroom, which opens instead to a private garden. With the setting of the sun, torches are lit and a bounty of fresh seafood is brought out by the villa’s private chefs. Songs of cicadas welcome the nightfall, and it’s then that the island’s greatest asset, peacefulness, is truly evident.
And last but not least:
destination #3: Koh Rong, Cambodia. Cambodia, that neglected southeast Asian country, is coming around from years of anti-tourism behavior. Cambodia’s new hotspot is a tiny archipelago, the Koh Rong islands, which, until last year, was more or less off-limits, with no lodging and limited transportation. Highlights here are the views, the luminescent plankton that come out at night, and the local culture.