When you think of a cruise you probably think of a tropical Carribbean destination like the Virgin Islands or the Bahamas, or perhaps Alaska comes to mind. Although, these are great destinations to hop on a boat to get to, cruising offers a plethora of other options that are often very unexpected. Make sure you pack the right gear for a cruise by using this packing list.

Asian cruises have long been visiting far-flung regions of the world. Seoul, South Korea is an easy destination to get to with a cruise that docks in Incheon, a popular South Korean stopping point. Seoul is known for its fascinating history, brilliant food scene, great shopping and a modern culture make this city an easy one for tourists to get around in.

Phuket is another unexpected Asian stopping point for cruise ships. This island off the coast of South Western Thailand is well known for its incredible beaches. Surprisingly, Phuket is also home to a large coral reef that can be easily accessed, a national park rainforest and a sea turtle nesting ground.

Another unexpected place is the Panama Canal. As a part of a cruise with stopping points in Mexico, Guatemala or Colombia, oftentimes, cruise ships will utilize the Panama Canal for its intended purpose: a pass through from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Repositioning cruises in which cruise ships are being moved from one itinerary to another will often utilize the Panama Canal in their routes between the Caribbean and Asia or Alaska.

One of the most unexpected places of all that a cruise can take you to is Oman and the city of Muscat. Having only been open to tourism for  less than 40 years, this is a unique opportunity. Muscat is known for its high level of hospitality and off the hook cuisine. With excursions like date plantations or hundred-year-old forts, Oman should definitely be on your radar.

Alaska has quickly grown in popularity as a cruising destination but there are a number of other destinations in that region of the world that are also becoming popular unexpected stops. Vancouver is one such stop. It doesn’t sound exotic but this British Colombian stop has a totem pole garden, a vivid Chinatown that offers incredible food and even a lush rainforest in the middle of it! Are thrilling adventures more your style? Try crossing the 450-foot suspension bridge!

Finally, you can visit one of the most unexpected destinations of them all, Cape Horn or the southern most tip of South America. The sailing route down around the tip of South America used to be the only way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific, now with the Panama Canal, this route is virtually never made. Cruises, however, still venture down there today. By completing the journey from one side to the other passengers actually get a certificate!

Next time you’re thinking about booking a cruise look into some of these unique destinations. Repositioning cruises often offer even more unexpected stopovers. Off the beaten path cruising destinations offer a unique way to see places that would otherwise be extremely difficult and extremely expensive to experience otherwise.

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