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Near or far? Best sights to see in the Med & Southeast Asia on an NCL cruise

Mediterranean cruises are perfect for quick jaunts to the continent while Asia cruise holidays are ideal for longer getaways; whether you fancy going near or far we’ve rounded the highlights of cruising these stunning regions.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers a plethora of thrilling itineraries the world over with 40 percent savings on offer plus the option to upgrade from £199 to receive all applicable packages including Premium Beverages and Speciality Dining.

To inspire you to get planning your NCL cruises 2023 we’ve looked at just some of the highlights you can visit on a Mediterranean cruise with NCL. Anyone for a game of Blackjack in Monte Carlo?

Or maybe you’d fancy something further afield and would like to experience a different culture entirely? We’ve got you covered on that front too with the best sights to see on a Southeast Asia cruise with NCL.

You’ll be in safe hands, the brand has been awarded Europe’s Leading Cruise Line 15 years in a row by the World Travel Awards.

NCL cruises: Mediterranean


NCL is offering more than 170 itineraries to Europe in 2023, with more than 118 ports of call across Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Greek Isles (more than any other cruise line).

If you want to pack all the action in you can opt for itineraries without sea days and visit a new iconic port every day; plus you’ll only ever unpack once – great news for anyone with an array of lotions and potions or too many pairs of shoes!

4 best sights to see on a Mediterranean cruise

Barri Gotic, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is not full of locals dressed in black listening to metal music, but rather it’s a beautiful, historical neighbourhood in the Catalonian capital. Its narrow, cobblestone Medieval streets brim with shops, bars and restaurants as well as historic gems.

During a stop on your NCL cruise, stomp the same grounds as such famous names as Pablo Picasso and Antoni Gaudí, eat at the oldest restaurant in Barcelona, Can Culleretes, and visit one of the oldest markets in Europe, La Boqueria. We’ll be on the hunt for some padron peppers…

Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

Any fans of E.M.Forster’s A Room With A View will already be acquainted with this gorgeous Florentine basilica (below right). It was rebuilt for the Franciscan order in 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio and is the final resting place of many an Italian great, from Michelangelo and Rossini to Machiavelli and Galileo.

The beautiful frescoes by Giotto are a highlight here, as is the Annunciation in gilded limestone by Donatello and the memorial to 19th-century playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini, said to be been the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.

St Francis, who allegedly founded the basilica, is the patron saint of animals so this is the perfect spot to offer up any prayers for Fido or Felix (although maybe WhatsApp the pet sitter too for good measure).

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco, France

Monte Carlo is pretty much synonymous with gambling these days so on a day trip out from your NCL cruise call at Cannes you simply must pay a visit to this legendary gold and marble casino – Europe’s most sumptuous example of belle époque architecture.

Blackjack, English and European roulette, baccarat, Texas hold’em poker and trente et quarante are all played here or you can try your luck at the countless slot machines. Be sure to look around at the stained glass windows, sculptures and allegorical paintings as you soak up the atmosphere (maybe you’ll pick up some inspo for your poker face).

Indeed, gambling isn’t the only source of entertainment here, the building (built in 1893 by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera House) has been the setting for ballets, concerts and operas for more than a century.

Castle of Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain

Sure there are lots of nightclubs and raves to frequent on the Spanish island of Ibiza, but it isn’t all dancing, drinking and debauchery here. Ibiza Castle (above left) is perched atop a dramatic hill and marks the top of the Upper Town.

It was built over 1,000 years ago and features a blend of various architectural styles, from the 8th-century Almudaina (a Moorish keep) and 12th-century medieval design to 18th-century barracks.

The hike up there is worth it for great views and you won’t be without sustenance as traditional eateries and bars line the cobbled streets.

Set Sail

Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain with Norwegian Cruise Line

Duration: 8 nights
Where: Barcelona, Spain | Cannes, France | Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy (Overnight) | Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Naples, Italy | Cagliari, Sardinia | Palma, Majorca | Ibiza, Spain | Barcelona, Spain
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Price: Balcony from £1,935 pp – or £215 pp per day (based on May 7, 2023 sailing)

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NCL cruises: Asia


NCL is offering a range of 2023 and 2024 Asia itineraries. Globetrotters can choose from various unique journeys onboard the delightful Norwegian Jewel so you can immerse yourself in the mystique, beauty and timeless cultures of this wonderful continent.

4 best places to see in Southeast Asia

Temple of Borobudur, Semarang, Indonesia

This temple, located in central Java, dates from the 8th and 9th centuries and is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, with 504 statues of the Buddha present in total.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is an outstanding memorial of the Syailendra Dynasty that ruled Java for around five centuries until the 10th century.

It was abandoned in the 15th century and rediscovered in the 19th century by the British Lieutenant Governor on Java, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who heard reports from islanders of an amazing sanctuary deep within Java’s interior.

Kuala Lumpur Tower, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Tower, otherwise known as KL Tower (below), is the seventh tallest telecommunications tower in the world at a jaw-dropping height of 421m. It was opened to the public in 1996 after five years of construction.

The Observation Deck is only at 276m but still gives amazing views of the city and surrounding regions. Add-on attractions include an aquarium and simulator ride as well as an annual base-jump event. Visit the restaurants in the tower to add the thrill of altitude to your meal.

National Orchid Garden, Singapore

This garden isn’t messing around with its name; it’s home to more than 1,000 species of orchids and 2,000 hybrids of two or more orchid species. That’s a lot of orchids.

Look out for such rare plants as Cymbidiums (or Boat Orchids), Dendrochilums (or Chain Orchids), Cyrtochilums and Phragmipedium (or Slipper Orchids).

Fun fact, the National Orchid Garden is located within Singapore Botanic Gardens which are so impressive they’ve become Singapore’s first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Note, if you’re thinking on visiting here on your NCL cruise, it’s advisable to purchase tickets online as discounted ticket options are available.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand

Officially this temple is known as Wat Phra Kaew and it’s found within the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, established in 1782. It is Thailand’s most sacred temple and a key pilgrimage site for Thai Buddhists.

The Emerald Buddha in the chapel is Thailand’s most highly revered Buddha image. Known as “Phra Kaew Morakot,” the 66-cm tall figure, carved from a single piece of dark green jade, is robed in gold and precious jewels.

This attire is changed to great ceremony three times a year for the summer, rainy season and winter. The opposite of our daily pre-commute wardrobe fiasco we imagine.

Set Sail

Asia: Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam to Bangkok from Bali with Norwegian Cruise Line

When: February 7, 2024

Duration: 10 nights

Where: Bali (Benoa), Indonesia | Surabaya, Indonesia | Semarang, Indonesia | Jakarta, Indonesia | Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) | Malaysia | Singapore | Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam | Ko Samui, Thailand | Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Price: Balcony from £1,305 pp (or £255 pp per day)

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Published 18.10.22