November 12, 2010 / 10:05 AM / in 7 years

Travel Picks: Top 10 destinations by boat

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - For those who want to try a more adventurous holiday in 2011, but do not want to leave their home comforts behind, a cruise could provide the solution.

<p>A Cunard cruise ship passes through Sydney Harbour in an image courtesy of the cruise line. REUTERS/Cunard/Handout</p>

Cruise Critic (www.cruisecritic.co.uk) -- a leading online source of cruise reviews and information -- offers its top 10 destinations by boat. Reuters has not endorsed this list: 1. Australia

Australia is a huge country and most of the popular tourist spots Down Under are hundreds of miles apart. However, you can avoid long coach tours, time-consuming drives and expensive internal flights, by sailing lazily along the East Coast, stopping at all the best tourist spots -- from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney harbor. 2. Vietnam/Cambodia

Hot destinations for 2011, Vietnam and Cambodia offer beautiful scenery and vibrant cultures but making your own travel arrangements to tour these exotic destinations can be a daunting task. Taking a cruise along the Mekong River is an excellent way to enjoy an organized tour through these two countries, without foregoing too many home comforts. 3. Middle East

For a first trip to the Middle East, a cruise offers a gentle introduction to the region and an easy way to explore this part of the world. A cruise lets you experience the sights, cultures and traditions from a number of countries during your trip, while also allowing you to retreat to more familiar surroundings each evening onboard ship. 4. Alaska

Unless you have the constitution of a husky dog, a cruise is simply the easiest and most relaxing way to enjoy this beautiful, but uncompromising region. The views from the water are spectacular and often the best way to see wildlife and reach the coastal towns and villages. Optional shore excursions allow you to be as adventurous, or sedate, as you like. 5. South America

For those with a sense for adventure, a South American cruise is the perfect way to explore ports in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and beyond. Travelers get a taste of the rugged, natural beauty, vibrant cities and wonderful cultures which South America has to offer, all while enjoying the comfort, safety and ease of traveling by ship. 6. Northern Europe

Viewing the Norwegian Fjords or Russia’s St. Petersburg by ship is not only a great way to enjoy the landscape, but as these countries are notoriously expensive the inclusive pricing offered by cruise lines -- which includes meals, accommodation and transportation -- can make the trip much more affordable. 7. Western Mediterranean

The ever popular Med is a top choice for Brits looking for a value-packed holiday in the sun. A cruise, however, not only offers a new way to experience this region while enjoying similar inclusive deals to many resorts, but takes you along the coast to enjoy a new town, and new beaches, every day. 8. British Isles

Traffic and over-priced accommodation are reason enough. Brits will get an entirely new perspective on their own country, as well as the opportunity to visit out-of-the-way places such as the Orkney Islands. Also, you are likely to share a British Isles cruise with Americans, South Africans, Australians and Europeans who will delight in many aspects of British culture. 9. Europe’s Rivers

If you never took a year out to travel through Europe as a student, or you did and would like to repeat the experience -- only in more comfort and with a bigger budget this time -- then you might like this option. River cruising has brushed up its image, added some wonderful new ships and more active excursions, which means that it now offers excellent value compared to going it alone in the Eurozone. It’s a great option for visiting a handful of countries in a single trip. 10. Caribbean

If there’s one thing better than spending a day on a beautiful Caribbean island, it’s spending the next day (and the day after that) on another. It’s expensive and time-consuming to fly between islands, so take a Caribbean cruise and let someone else worry about the travel arrangements while you relax by the pool until you reach your next port of call.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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