Five Great Cruise Destinations You've Never Heard Of

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Coral Princes cruise ship
The Coral Princess sails the coastline of Northwestern Australia  (Coral Princess Cruises)

You know cruise lines sail to tried-and-true places like the Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mediterranean, but cruise ships also visit remote corners of the map, isolated places where Mother Nature serves up delights for even the most jaded traveler. Check out these great cruise destinations you've never heard of for a cruise trip with a strong dose of adventure.

The Kimberly
This wild area of dramatic red cliffs and white sand, set where the Indian Ocean meets the Timor Sea in remote Northwestern Australia, is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It's also one of the least accessible—except by ship. From April to October, a ten-day cruise to the outback on the 50-passenger Coral Princess affords coastal exploration of rainforest, mangroves, rivers, and inlets thanks to an inflatable Zodiac and a specially engineered exploration vessel. Views include isolated gorges and towering rock faces, impressive waterfalls as high as 328 feet, and roaming saltwater crocodiles. You also visit remote islands that are home to bird reserves and turtle breeding grounds. The cruise embarks from the frontier city of Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, or Broome into the Kimberly wilderness.

A ten-day cruise on the 100-passenger Orion II takes passengers to the heart of the Malay Archipelago for exploration of the coastline of Borneo, the third-largest island in the world. Orangutans are the highlight attraction, with the cruise providing opportunity to observe the apes both in the wild, on jungle treks in national parks, and at the Camp Leaky rehab center, featured in the IMAX film Born to be Wild. But the orangutans aren't the area’s only attraction. Borneo has one the world's most biologically diverse ecosystems. Cruise passengers can view a vast variety of plants (some 15,000 species); animals and birds in landscapes that include an ancient rainforest; and head to remote islands and offshore reefs to see colorful coral and marine life—in some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. The cruise season is September to January. Sailings include departures from Bali and Singapore.

Published: 18 Apr 2012 | Last Updated: 29 Jan 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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