Get to Know these Maiden Calls Before You Set Sail
With more than two dozen annual World Cruise journeys charted since Crystal Cruises first set sail, one may think there are scarcely any destinations in the world still to be explored. Not so. For our 2021 “Ancient Dynasties & World Wonders” odyssey aboard Crystal Serenity – sailing a 139-day itinerary from Miami to London – our deployment experts have uncovered four brand new locales that they insist you explore. Their reasons are sound, as each of these locales has endless stories of the past to share, along with some pretty enticing modern delights and camera-ready views at every turn.
Legends of ancient Japanese emperors and mythological gods, Queensland’s most popular hot spot that you never knew about, and Indonesian heavens that drew settlers and smugglers, but today play hard to get with their natural beauty… These are the maiden calls you’ll want to visit on the 2021 World Cruise.
Miyazaki (Hososhima), Japan
Hososhima is not a flashy port. You’ll find no glitz or glamour, high fashion or high-speed thrills. What you will find is simple, traditional beauty along a jagged coastline, in the form of a charming village that maintains its understated culture in the heart of Japan’s coastal region. But don’t be fooled. This tiny gem leads to monumental wonders, as a museum in town pays homage to the legend of Emperor Jimmu, said to be the first emperor of Japan beginning in 660 B.C. Beyond the port’s boundaries lie areas of profound spiritual importance to Japanese mythology, including Takachiho in Miyazaki, where the Shinto Sun Goddess Amaterasu hid herself away and her grandson later established the lineage of Japanese emperors. All of these legends add up to some seriously fascinating real-life discoveries for modern-day visitors.
Less visited than its fellow Queensland city, Cairns, Townsville deserves some attention. It’s a haven for young, active, sun-seekers, and the town itself blends in with the fabulous who flock to its shores. Decked out with beautifully restored 19th century architecture that line avenues dotted with al fresco dining venues and boutique shopping, Townsville is also more than a pretty face. From here, find the gateway to Queensland’s Outback, Wet Tropics and numerous reefs. 320 days of sunshine annually add plenty of sparkle to whichever adventures you choose.
Banda Neira, Indonesia
The legendary Spice Islands of ancient eras past are contemporarily known as the Banda Islands, and Banda Neira is the largest of these vibrant gems in the middle of a sapphire sea. These volcanic islands make up one of Indonesia’s most spectacular archipelagos in the heart of the Maluku province, and earned their early historical recognition as the only locale where nutmeg and mace could be cultivated. Now, they are abundant with coral reefs and colorful ocean life, with dramatic underwater drop-offs that both intimidate and intrigue experienced divers. The Bandas are hard to reach, which makes them less explored and ringed with untouched beaches…just waiting for your arrival.
Ambon was one of the earliest Indonesian destinations to be settled by Colonial powers. Fast forward to present day and the result of those many varied settlements is a fascinating multicultural history in a place that somehow seems untouched by humans in many areas. Yes, Ambon boasts some impeccably charming suburbs and a bustling capital city in Kota Ambon. But step just a few feet beyond the waterfront villages and you’re met with mountainous, forested terrain that will make you feel as though you’re the first person to ever embark on adventure here. You’re not, of course, and you’ll see why when you reach the secluded bays of Ambon, rich with intact corals and views that stretch across the archipelago.
Crystal’s 2021 “Ancient Dynasties & World Wonders” World Cruise embarks on January 5, 2021, with alternative embarkation and disembarkation dates and cities for travelers to choose. Bookings open tomorrow, September 19, 2018.