Kevin and Vonda Nansett

Meet Kevin...

...and his fab wife Vonda. Kevin is one of our amazing contributors and, in 2017, cruised to some amazing places. We thought we'd share the highlights.

Kevin cruised to these ports from May to August 2017: Auckland > Sydney > Melbourne > Fremantle (Australia) > Colombo (Sri Lanka) > Dubai > Aqaba for Petra (Jordan) > Suez Canal > Santorini > Venice > Koper (Slovenia) > Valletta (Malta) > Civitavecchia for Rome > Genoa > Barcelona > Cadiz for Seville > Lisbon > Cobh (Ireland) > Le Harve for Paris > Dover for London > Gravdal (Norway) > Tromso (Norway) > Honningsvag (Norway) > Akureyri (Iceland) > Reykjavik > Halifax > New York > Charleston > Key West > Cartagena (Columbia) > Panama Canal > Callao (Peru) > Easter Island > Tahiti > Bora Bora > Auckland. Phew!

Even if you don't have the time or resources to cruise around the world, here are some ideas of what's possible to see and do on a cruise.


Arriving in Sydney. Cruise ships dock right in the middle of the city, making it easy to explore the harbour, The Rocks, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Then it's off to Melbourne. If you're visiting, here are some tips on what to see even if you've only got a day. Sorry, no photos of Fremantle.

Asia and the Middle East

Next stop, Colombo in Sri Lanka with its amazing temples. A few relaxing days later and it's sand, mosques and spectacle in Dubai.

Petra is a do-able day-trip from Jordan's port of Aqaba, and it's well worth the trip.

Through the Suez Canal - it beats going the long way around. And if you think cruising's for sissies, check out the water cannon. It's to fend off pirates. Yes, really.


Gorgeous Santorini. If a picture says a thousand words, here are 4,000 words.

Venice! Also worth visiting is nearby Burano with its colourful buildings and far fewer crowds.

A day in Koper in Slovenia. And between ports, the back of the ship is a great place to relax.

Malta, with its churches and narrow streets, is magic, especially St John's Church and its floor of marble grave stones.

Cruising by Stromboli on the way to Civitavecchia, Italy. Civitavecchia is usually the port for Rome but Kevin and Vonda have been to Rome before so decided to visit Tuscania instead. A sunset over Capri.

Exploring Genoa, Italy, including the villages of Santa Margherita, Rappolo and Portafino.

The down-side of cruising? Arriving in Barcelona and everyone else is there too. But it's worth it to visit the Sagrada Familia, due for completion in 2026 but already incredible. Next stop is Cadiz, which is the port for Seville. Kevin and Vonda did a sherry tour instead. Hmmm, sherry...

Lisbon and it's famous trams, tiled buildings and tasty sardines. Even if you don't like the taste, these tins are awesome. Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa cathedral, build in 1147, is also worth a look.

Cobh, Ireland. It's easy visiting distance to Cork's colourful buildings and Sean-Mhargadh na Sacsan (English Market). It was also the last port of call for the Titanic and 19th century immigrates heading to America so there's a lot of history here.

Le Havre in France. Bonjour! Most people head to Paris for the day. Instead, Kevin and Vonda explored the coastal villages like Honfleur. The chocolate shops here are very tempting, and check out this bridge! If you'd prefer to visit Paris instead, check out our guide here.

This could only be one place: welcome to England and the White Cliffs of Dover. Something old (Dover Castle, England's largest) and something new (one of Banksy's latest). Dover is a cruise port for London. If you're heading into the city, here's what we recommend seeing and doing especially if you're not into the royal family.

Midnight in the Arctic Circle on the way to Norway. The sea port of Tromso. Nordkapp, the northern-most point of continental Europe and home to the indigenous Sami people and their reindeer. 

Arriving in Akureyri in north Iceland, a jumping off point to explore the Godafoss waterfall (Waterfall of the Gods) and the thermal area of Hamafjall Hverir.

More amazing Icelandic scenery, this time near Reykjavik. This is the Golden Circle, an easy day-trip from the city, and includes Pingvellir, where the tectonic plates meet, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area. If you'd rather explore Reykjavik itself, here are our recommendations.

North America

Crossing the Atlantic. What do you do with five days at sea? Enjoy the hospitality on-board, of course. First stop in North America is Halifax and the cemetery where some of the passengers of the Titanic are buried. 

Welcome to New York: the city's famous skyline, Central Park, Saks Fifth Avenue and the 9/11 memorial with Santiago Calatrava's transport hub in the background (on the right).

Radio City Music Hall, the Staten Island Ferry, one of New York's famous apartment buildings and the Statue of Liberty.

For a change of pace, this is gracious - and friendly - Charleston. Then it's off to laid-back Key West, the home of Ernest Hemingway, the key lime pie and the start of Route 1, which stretches 3,800 km (2,300 miles) to Maine.

Central and South America

This is gorgeous Cartagena in Colombia, best known for its colourful buildings. And then its a tight fit through the Panama Canal.

Bienvenido to Lima, Peru. This 500-year-old city is full of Spanish buildings, markets and saints. For cruise passengers, it's possible to do Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley if you've got a couple of days in port. Kevin spent his time exploring the city as he's been to Machu Picchu before. Sigh. Here are a few photos from his earlier trip:

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

The Pacific

Fabulous Easter Island, which is easy to explore in a day. There are hundreds of moai around the island. And rock art - this one's near Orongo. This volcano crater is near Orongo too. The pink bit on the right? Flowers! And Hanga Roa, the capital.

And finally...Tahiti. As there's no port large enough to take the cruise ship, passengers take a tender to Bora Bora. It really is as gorgeous as they say.

And that's it!

What an amazing trip. All photos were taken by Kevin. He cruised on the Sea Princess and paid for the trip himself, as we do here at The Doubtful Traveller. Princess Cruises, if you're reading this, we're happy to have a chat! You can also check out Kevin's photos on Instagram by searching for #kevinscruise

Updated: 2 September 2017