Choosing Your Destination - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Choosing Your Destination

Cruise lines visit around 2,000 destinations, from the Caribbean to Antarctica, from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, and from Northern Europe to the South Pacific.

Where can I go on a cruise? As the saying goes: the world is your oyster. There are more than 30,000 different cruises to choose from each year, and about 2,000 cruise destinations in the world. A cruise can also take you to places inaccessible by almost any other means, such as Antarctica, the North Cape, or the South Sea islands.

Itineraries vary widely, so make as many comparisons as you can by reading the cruise brochures for descriptions of the ports of call. Several ships may offer the same or similar itineraries simply because these have been tried and tested. Narrow the choice by noting the time spent at each destination call (few ships stay overnight in port) and whether the ship docks in port or lies at anchor - it can take time to get ashore by the tender.

Caribbean cruises

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Caribbean Sea, although many are small or uninhabited. Caribbean cruises are usually destination-intensive, cramming between four and eight ports into one week, depending on whether you sail from a Florida port or from a port already in the Caribbean, such as Barbados or San Juan. This means you could be visiting at least one port a day, with little time at sea for relaxation. Although you may see several places in a week, by the end of the cruise you might need another week to unwind.

From June 10 to November 30 is the official Caribbean Atlantic hurricane season in the Caribbean (including Bermuda and the Bahamas) and Florida. Cruise ships can change course quickly to avoid weather problems, which can also mean a change of ports or itinerary. When that happens, cruise lines will generally not offer compensation, nor will travel insurance providers.

Geographically, the Caribbean region is large enough to be split into sections: eastern, western, and southern.

Eastern Caribbean. Cruises sail to the Leeward and Windward Islands, and might include calls at Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and St. Thomas.

Western Caribbean. Cruises sail to the Cayman Islands, Mexico, and Jamaica, and might call at Calica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Playa del Carmen, Ocho Rios, and Roatan Island.

Southern Caribbean. Cruises might call at Antigua, the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao), Barbados, La Guaira (Venezuela), Tortola, and San Juan.

Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island, holds a fascination for many. Although several cruise lines have called there during the past 25 years (examples include Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Phoenix Cruises, Thomson Cruises, Transocean Cruises), no American cruise passengers can visit the island because of the US embargo imposed in the early 1960s restricting trade with Cuba, including tourism.

Private islands

Several cruise lines with Bahamas/Caribbean itineraries feature a ‘private island’ (also called an ‘out-island’). NCL pioneered the trend when it bought a former military outpost in 1977. So far, it has spent $22 million upgrading its facilities, with further plans to develop 75 acres across two Belize islands, in a project - called Harvest Caye - costing some $50 milion and including a pier for one ship to go alongside. Disney Cruise Line spent $13 million on upgrading and expanding its facilities - Disney’s Castaway Cay has separate areas for adults and families with children, and is the only private island that permits its ships can berth alongside, so passengers do not have to take a tender to go ashore. Disney’s private island is presently the only one that permits its ships can berth alongside, so passengers do not have to take a tender to go ashore.

These islands, usually leased from the owning governments, have all that’s needed for an all-day beach party - water sports, scuba, snorkeling, crystal-clear waters, warm sands, even a hammock or two, and private beach cabanas. There are no reservations to make, no tickets to buy, no hassles with taxis. But you may be sharing your private island with more than 5,000 others from a single large resort ship anchored for a ‘beach day.’

Such beach days are not all-inclusive, however, and command premium prices for things like snorkel gear and mandatory swim vest, rental pleasure craft, ‘banana’ boat fun rides, floating beach mats, private waterfront cabanas for the day, sunfish sailboat rental, floating foam mattresses, and hammock rental. Rent a cabana (example; Cabanas on the Cay at NCL’s Great Stirrup Cay beach day) with deck and sunbeds for the day (around $300), and you even get ‘butler’ service, with lunch and drinks.


Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.


One bonus is that such an island will not be cluttered with hawkers and hustlers, as are so many Caribbean beaches. And, because they are private, there is security, and no fear of being mugged, as occurs in some islands. Reality can intrude, however, as it did in Royal Caribbean International’s private resort of Labadee in Haiti when it narrowly escaped the devastating 2010 earthquake.


Glacier trekking during an Alaska visit.


Alaska cruises

These are especially popular because Alaska is still a vast, relatively unexplored region. Cruise ships offer the best way to see the state’s magnificent shoreline and glaciers. There is a wide range of shore excursions, including many floatplane and helicopter tours, some going to glaciers and salmon fisheries. There are many excursions, including ‘dome car’ rail journeys to Denali National Park to see North America’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley.

Pre- and post-cruise journeys to Banff and Jasper National Parks can be made from Vancouver.

There are two popular cruise routes: The Inside Passage Route, a 1,000-mile (1,600-km) stretch of protected waterways carved by Ice Age glaciers. This usually includes visits to tidewater glaciers, such as those in Glacier Bay’s Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm (just two of the 15 active glaciers along the bay’s 60-mile/100-km coastline). Glacier Bay was established in 1986 as a biosphere reserve, and in 1992 the 3.3-million-acre (1.3-million-hectare) park became a World Heritage Site. Typical ports of call might include Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Haines. The Glacier Route usually includes the Gulf of Alaska during a one-way cruise between Vancouver and Anchorage. Typical ports of call might include Seward, Sitka, and Valdez.

Holland America Line and Princess Cruises own many facilities in Alaska (hotels, tour buses, even trains), and between them have invested more than $300 million in the state. Indeed, Holland America Line is Alaska’s largest private employer, but both companies take in excess of 250,000 passengers to Alaska each year. Other lines depend on what’s left of the local transportation for their land tours.

In ports where docking space is limited, some ships anchor rather than dock. Many cruise brochures do not indicate which ports are known to be anchor (tender) ports.

With slightly under one million cruise passengers a year visiting Alaska and several large resort ships likely to be in port on any given day, there’s so much congestion in many of the small ports that avoiding crowded streets can be difficult. Even nature is retreating; with more people around, wildlife is harder to spot. And many of the same shops are now found in Alaska as well as in the Caribbean.

The more adventurous might consider one of the more unusual Alaska cruises to the far north, around the Pribilof Islands (superb for bird-watching) and into the Bering Sea.

Alaska isn’t always good-weather cruising - it can be wet and windy and excursions may be canceled or changed. Even if it’s sunny in port, glaciers have their own weather systems and helicopter flightseeing excursions are vulnerable. Take an Alaska cruise in May or August, when it gets darker earlier, for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Greenland cruises

The world’s largest island, the inappropriately named Greenland, in the Arctic Circle, is 82 percent covered with ice - actually compressed snow - up to 11,000ft (3,350m) thick. Its rocks are among the world’s oldest, yet its ecosystem is one of the newest.

The glacier at Jacobshavn, also known as Ilulissat, is the world’s fastest moving and creates a new iceberg every five minutes. Greenland, which was granted home rule by Denmark in 1978, makes a living from fishing. The island is said to have more dogs than people - its population is 68,400 - and dogs are an important means of transport.

Iceland cruises

Cruising around Iceland, located just south of the Arctic Circle, and her fjords is akin to tracing Viking legends across the land of fire and ice. Geysers, lava fields, ice sheets, hot springs, fjords, inlets, remote coastal stretches, waterfalls, snow-clad peaks, and the towering icebergs of Jökulsárlón can all be part of an Icelandic adventure cruise.

Canada/New England cruises

These 10-14 day cruises travel between New York or Boston and Montreal (northbound and southbound). Ports of call may include Boston; Québec City, Québec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Saguenay, Québec.

The ideal time to sail is during the fall, when the leaves dramatically change color. Shorter five-to-seven day cruises - usually from New York or Boston - go north to take in the fall foliage.

European and Mediterranean cruises

Traveling within Europe (including the Aegean, Baltic, Black Sea, Mediterranean, and Norwegian fjord areas) by cruise ship makes economic sense. Although no single cruise covers every port, cruise ships do offer a comfortable way of exploring a rich mix of destinations, cultures, history, architecture, lifestyles, and cuisines - without having to pack and unpack each day.

European cruises have become increasingly popular because so many of Europe’s major cities - Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Genoa, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Monte Carlo, Nice, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and Venice - are on the water. It is far less expensive to take a cruise than to fly and stay in decent hotels, paying extra for food and transport. You will not have to try to speak or understand different languages when you are aboard ship as you would ashore - if you choose the right ship. Aboard ship you use a single currency - typically US dollars, British pounds, or euros. A wide variety of shore excursions are offered. Lecture programs provide insights into a culture before you step ashore.

Small ships are arguably better than large resort ships, as they can obtain berthing space - the large resort ships may have to anchor in more of the smaller ports, so it can take time to get to and from shore, and you’ll probably have to wait for shore tender tickets. Many Greek islands are accessible only by shore tender. Some companies allow more time ashore than others, so compare itineraries in the brochures; it’s probably best to choose a regional cruise line (such as Louis Cruises) for these destination-intensive cruises, for example.


Crystal Serenity in Venice.

Crystal Cruises

The Baltic and Northern capitals cruises

A Baltic and Northern capitals cruise is an excellent way to see several countries in a week or so, and enjoy different architecture, cultures, cuisines, history, and stunning scenery. The season for most cruises to this region runs from May to September, when the weather really is at its best.

Copenhagen, Stockholm (the entry through the archipelago is awash with islands and country cottages), Helsinki, Tallinn, and an overnight stay in the treasure chest city of St. Petersburg - for many the highlight of the cruise - with its sumptuous architecture, palaces, and, of course, the Hermitage Museum. Most ships include at least one overnight stay so you can also take in a ballet or circus performance.

Norwegian fjords cruises

These cruises usually include a visit to Bergen, and perhaps a tram ride to the peak of Mount Floyen, and the stunning views over the city and harbor. A highlight could be a visit to Troldhaugen in Bergen - the stunning home (and now a museum) of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most famous composer.

However, it’s the sheer scenic beauty of cruising through fjords like Eidfjord, Geiranger, Hardangerfjord, and Sognefjord that inspires the traveller. Typical stops will be made at Bergen, Flåm, Olden, Ålesund, and Oslo.

Around Britain cruises

Traveling around the British Isles’ more than 7,455 miles (12,000km) of coastline by cruise ship provides a unique perspective. The major sights - and some unexpected gems - of England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland can be covered in a single cruise that typically lasts 10-14 days. Because the British Isles are compact - Great Britain actually consists of over 1,000 islands - the actual time at sea is short. But the range of experiences is vast: the turquoise waters off the Scilly Isles and the coast of Cornwall in England’s southwest; the northern highlights in Scotland’s more remote, nature-rich islands; the laid-back lifestyle of Ireland and the charm and distinctive voices of Wales, not to mention towering castles, incredible gardens, the England of Shakespeare, and, of course, the coastline itself.

Canary Islands cruises

The sun-kissed Islas Canarias, a Spanish archipelago and the outermost region of the European Union, are located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa - they are actually closer to Africa than Europe. With a year-round temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) the islands provide a fine setting for a winter escape.

The islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma and Hierro make up the itinerary of some cruises to the region.

A Canary Islands cruise usually includes a call at Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira. You should head to Ponta de São Lourenço for some of the island’s most stunning views.


Queen Mary 2 in Sydney harbor.


Middle East cruises

The Middle East cruise region includes the Arab countries bordering the Arabian and Red seas, and the southeastern Mediterranean. Countries with cruise facilities and places of historic interest are: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (one of the author’s favorite shore excursions was to the ancient site of Persepolis, near Shiraz), Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, and the seven sheikdoms - the governing bodies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). You will need to carry your passport with you in almost all these countries - it will be available at the ship’s reception desk.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are fast becoming cruise bases, although cruise terminal and handling facilities are still quite limited. If you visit Dubai, note that displays of affection such as hand-holding or kissing are not permitted in public, and you can’t drink alcohol in a public place. If you fly into Dubai with prescription medicines, make sure you have the appropriate, signed prescription.

South Africa and Indian Ocean cruises

Attractions include cosmopolitan cities, wine tours, wildlife safaris, unspoiled landscapes, and uninhabited beaches. Itineraries (usually 10-14 days) include sailings starting and finishing in Cape Town, or from Cape Town to East African ports such as Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Durban, Zanzibar, and Mombasa (Kenya).

The Mexican Riviera

These typically sail from Los Angeles or San Diego, along Mexico’s west coast, calling at ports such as Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, and Acapulco. They usually include a call in the Baja Peninsula, Mexico’s northernmost state. Be aware that there has been a considerable amount of crime even in the most visited ports such as Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo in the past few years. Also, a number of cruise tourists have been caught out by rip tides and rogue waves when swimming in Cabo San Lucas.

Route Canal (Transcanal cruises)

These take you through the Panama Canal, constructed by the US after the failure of a French effort that began in 1882 with a labor force of over 10,000 but was plagued by disease and financial problems (more than 22,000 people died). The US took over the building effort in 1904 and the waterway opened on August 15, 1914, shaving more than 7,900 nautical miles off the distance between New York and San Francisco. The Panama Canal runs from northwest to southeast (not west to east), covering 51 miles (82km) of locks and gates and dams. Control of the canal passed from the US to Panama in 2000.

Between the Caribbean and the Pacific, a ship is lifted 85ft (26m) in a continuous flight of three steps at Gatun Locks to Gatun Lake, through which it travels to Gaillard Cut where the Canal slices through the Continental Divide. It is lowered at Pedro Miguel Locks 31ft (9.4m) in one step to Miraflores Lake, then the remaining two steps to sea level at Miraflores Locks before passing into the Pacific.

Ships move through the locks under their own power, guided by towing locomotives. The 50-mile (80-km) trip takes eight to nine hours. All this effort isn’t cheap; cruise ships over 30,000 tons pay a fee of $134 per occupied bed. So, a ship with 3,000 passengers would pay a one-way transit fee of $402,000!

Most Panama Canal cruises depart from Fort Lauderdale or San Juan, calling at islands such as Aruba or Curaçao before entering the canal and ending in Acapulco, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. In 2008, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) board of directors approved a $400 million loan to help finance the historic Panama Canal Expansion Program. The new three-step locks feature 16 rolling instead of mitre gates, each weighing around 3,300 tons. It is scheduled to open in 2015.

Panama Canal Locks

While the existing Panama Canal locks measure 963x106ft (293.5x32m), with 39.5ft (12m) maximum draft, the new ones will be 1,200x160ft (366x49m), with 49.9ft (15m) maximum draft. These new locks will allow almost all cruise ships, including the Oasis of the Seas-class and Queen Mary 2, to pass through, although there is still the problem of the bridge at Panama City not being high enough for them to pass underneath. These ships need more than 200ft (61m) of air draft (height from waterline to topmost part of the ship), but the present limit of the Panama Canal is under 190ft (58m).

Who goes where

This is a selection of just some of the cruise companies that operate cruises regularly in the world’s most popular cruise regions. These are not recommendations but rather suggestions to help you research what’s right for you.


Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, SeaDream Yacht Club, Sea Cloud Cruises, Star Clippers, Windstar Cruises


Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Lindblad Expeditions, InnerSea Discoveries, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises, Un-Cruise Adventures

Polar Expeditions (Arctic/Antarctic)

Aurora Expeditions, Gadventures, Hapag-Lloyd Expedition Cruises, Heritage Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions, Oceanwide Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, Poseidon Expeditions, Silversea Cruises

Baltic/Northern Europe

Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Saga Cruises, Swan Hellenic Cruises, Voyages of Discovery


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, Saga Cruises


AIDA Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Ponant Cruises, Princess Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Saga Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Star Clippers, Swan Hellenic Cruises, Thomson Cruises, TUI Cruises, Voyages of Discovery, Windstar Cruises

Greek Islands

Louis Cruises, Noble Caledonia, Oceania Cruises, Swan Hellenic Cruises, Voyages to Antiquity

Around Britain

Cunard Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises, Saga Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Voyages of Discovery

Canary Islands

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises, Portuscale Cruises, TUI Cruises

Middle East

AIDA Cruises, Costa (‘neoCollection’) Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Noble Caledonia, Phoenix Reisen, Swan Hellenic Cruises, TUI Cruises

Indian Ocean

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Ponant Cruises, Voyages to Antiquity

South America

Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, MOPAS, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises

South America (Amazon)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Great Lakes (US)

Noble Caledonia, Ponant Cruises, Travel Dynamics International

New England/Canada

Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Australia/New Zealand

Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Lindblad Expeditions, P&O Cruises (Australia), Lindblad Expeditions, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International

Southeast Asia

Crystal Cruises, Asuka Cruise, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises, Star Cruises/Genting Hong Kong

South Pacific

Paul Gauguin Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia), Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises

South Africa

MSC Cruises, plus several cruise lines operating around-the-world cruises

Transatlantic Crossings

Cunard Line

Hawaii and its islands

The islands of Hawaii, America’s 50th state, are a tropical feast. Although relatively close together, they have many differences. For example, the lush, Garden-of-Eden-like Kauai is a world away from Oahu, with its urban metropolis of always busy Honolulu. The two parts of the Big Island, Kona and Hilo, are really opposites.

Although several cruise lines feature Hawaii once or twice a year, usually on Circle Pacific or special Hawaii sailings, only one ship is allowed to cruise in the state year-round: NCL’s US-flagged Pride of America. Note that anything purchased aboard, including drinks, is subject to Hawaii sales tax (which doesn’t apply to ships registered outside the US).

South America cruises

Cruises around Cape Horn between Santiago or Valparaíso in Chile and Buenos Aires in Argentina are increasingly popular. The optimum season is November to March and most cruises last 14 days. However, operating costs are high because several countries are involved. Pilotage charges, for example, are among the highest in the world. Chile and Peru require compulsory tugs. Steep charges for provisioning and supplies, visa complexities, and infrastructure issues all push up the cost.

Sailing southbound, ports of call might include Puerto Montt (Chile), the magnificent Chilean fjords, Punta Arenas (Chile), and Ushuaia (Argentina), the world’s southernmost city (pop. 64,000) and the starting point for many cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Coming up the continent’s east coast, ports of call might include Puerto Madryn (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay). Slightly longer itineraries may include a call at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

A number of cruise lines also operate seven-day cruises from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, mainly for Brazilians (who love to dance the night away and don’t arise until nearly afternoon). Called ‘eat late, sleep late’ cruises, these are typically aboard large resort ships chartered to local companies.

Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand offer a wealth of cruising possibilities, with more port cities attracting cruise ships. Apart from the major destinations, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth (Australia), and Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington (New Zealand), there are numerous smaller ports, such as Adelaide, Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Then there’s Tasmania’s Hobart and the now stunning former penal colony, and its beautiful green park-like grounds, of Port Arthur - Tasmania’s official top tourist attraction. Scenic cruising along Tasmania’s coastline is stunning, particularly in the area such as Wineglass Bay and Great Oyster Bay. The best time to go is November to March, which, in Australasia, is the summer.

The extraordinarily beautiful Kimberley region, in Australia’s Northwest Territories, essentially in the area between Broome and Darwin, is an absolute must. Perhaps the best time to go is in April or May, after the rainy season, so that you get to see the best waterfall action. Landings are done aboard Zodiac inflatable rubber craft (and by helicopter for a visit to the sandstone formation of the 350-million years old Bungle Bungle Ranges).

Asia cruises

With such a rich tapestry of different countries, cultures, traditions, food, and sights to see, Asia is a must for the inquisitive traveler, and what better way to do this than by cruise ship. Hong Kong, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam can all be visited by cruise ship. Indeed, ‘marquee’ ports such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Yokohama, and Bangkok are all good points from which to join your cruise. The region has so much to offer that it’s worth taking a cruise of 14 days or longer to discover many of the fascinating destinations that await you.

South Pacific cruises

The region is large, and so are the distances between island groups. Still, the region has inspired many people to travel to them to discover the unique lifestyle of its indigenous peoples. The region encompasses French Polynesia, the Marquesas, Trobriand, Pitcairn, and Cook island groups, among others - like string of pearls. Some magical names come to mind - Bora Bora, Moorea, Easter Island, Fiji, and Tonga.

The oceans on which we sail…

Oceans - large bodies of saline water - form 71 percent of the surface of the earth and are a major component of its hydrosphere. Some 86 percent of the water we drink comes from oceans, and they absorb 48 percent of the carbon that we humans launch into the atmosphere. The world’s oceans are an incredible natural recycling organ.

In addition, there are many seas (smaller branches of an ocean). These are often partly enclosed by land, the largest being the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.

In size order, the world’s five oceans are:

Pacific Ocean. The planet’s largest ocean, the Pacific measures a colossal 60,060,700 sq miles (155,557,000 sq km). That equates to some 28 percent of the earth and means it is equal in size to all of the land area of the earth. It is located between the Southern Ocean, Asia, Australia and the Western Hemisphere.

Atlantic Ocean. The world’s second-largest ocean measures 29,637,900 sq miles (76,762,000 sq km) - a relative puddle compared with the Pacific. Located between Africa, Europe, the Southern Ocean, and the Western Hemisphere, it includes the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, and the North Sea.

Indian Ocean. Next, at no. 3, is the Indian Ocean, which is just slightly smaller than the Atlantic, at 26,469,900 sq miles (68,566,000 sq km). It is located between Africa, the Southern Ocean, Asia and Australia.

Southern Ocean. Quite a drop down in size is the world’s fourth-largest, and also its newest, ocean, measuring 7,848,000 sq miles (20,327 sq km). The Southern Ocean extends form the coast of Antarctica to 60 degrees south latitude.

Arctic Ocean. Finally, there’s the Arctic Ocean, which measures some 5,427,000 sq miles (14,056,000 sq km) - a mere baby compared with its big brothers. What it lacks in size (in ocean terms, that is), it makes up for in terms of outreach, extending between Europe, Asia, and North America. Most of its waters are north of the Arctic Circle.

Cruise lines: private islands

Cruise line

Name of island


Size (acres)

Size (hectares)

First used

Celebrity Cruises

Catalina Island

Dominican Republic




Costa Cruises

Serena Cay

Dominican Republic




Disney Cruise Line

Castaway Cay





Holland America Line

Half Moon Cay





MSC Cruises

Cayo Lecantado

Dominican Republic




Norwegian Cruise Line

Great Stirrup Cay





Princess Cruises

Princess Cays

Eleuthera, Bahamas




Royal Caribbean Int.

Coco Cay





Royal Caribbean Int.






* Not exactly private, but a fine leased beach/palm tree island.