Cruises for Hikers

Are There Cruises for Hikers?

Do you love to hike? Are you also looking for a cruise vacation? Well, do we have good news for you! Even though over 20 million people were set to hit the high seas last year, not all of those millions of cruisers knew exactly how to take full advantage of their time on board. In fact, the Washington Post once reported that staying active while on vacation can actually enhance your experience, even if you’re on a cruise ship. Whether you’re running in the mountains or taking a leisurely hike, it seems that even the experts know just how perfect hiking and cruising go together. There are plenty of cruises for hikers which offer access to spectacular trails and mountains from the Caribbean to Alaska so if you’re worried that a cruise is too “low key” for your tastes, think again!

Choosing Cruises for Hikers

One way to ensure you get the most out of hiking and cruising is to choose a cruise based on the potential for scenic hikes. If you’re going on a Caribbean cruise, you might just be in luck, as the region is known for having some of the most stunning hikes in the world. The Pitons and the surrounding rainforests in St. Lucia, for example, are world-renowned for being home to stunning views, countless types of unique wildlife and a challenging hike that’s well worth the time. If you’re heading to Puerto Rico, however, you’ll want to check out El Yunque National Forest. There you’ll find a magical maze of walking and hiking trails suitable for all activity levels and interests. For European cruise itineraries, you’ll want to ensure you head off the ship to hike in Salamanca, Spain and in the Duoro Valley of Portugal.

Then there’s Alaska, one of the most popular cruise destinations and growing. From pristine glaciers to spectacular rainforests, there’s more than 600,000 square miles of state to explore, if you’re up for the challenge! Most cruise ship lines have Alaska itineraries so there’s plenty of options when it comes to booking an Alaska hiking cruise.

Safely Enjoying Exercise in Different Locations

The great thing about doing this while cruising is that you’re not limited to the physical activities you might traditionally be at home. Forget the gym weights and the jog around your local track. Instead, opt for a light jog in the sand, a day spent rock climbing on the ship or even a full-day local hike. Depending on where you’re heading on your next cruise for hikers, you might be stopping at one of the best hiking spots in the world. Before stepping off the cruise ship though, it’s important to think about safety – ensure you have the right gear to hike or camp with and that you’ve packed more than enough sunscreen and water. Make sure somebody in your group has a working watch or smartphone to measure time in order to ensure you’re all back on the boat when you’re supposed to be.

The Importance of Activity on Vacation

For most people, exercise is the last thing they want to think about when packing their bags for an all-inclusive cruise. However, studies show that working in time to break a sweat during your holiday can actually help you feel more rejuvenated and relaxed. It’s important to note, however, that emphasis should be placed on exploring your surroundings, whether you’re on board or docking for the day at the shore. However, by finding unique ways to engage in physical activity, you’ll be able to activate your brain’s pleasure circuit and help your body sweat out toxins, leaving you with a healthy glow and renewed sense of focus to get back to doing nothing but enjoying the scenery.

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Breaking a Sweat for the Sake of Relaxation

Part of fully enjoying cruising is forcing yourself to get out of the cozy bed you find yourself in. Take the opportunity to explore the cruise ship and all it has to offer but also the areas your ship stops in as well. Getting outside to hike is not only a great way to get your heart racing in order to leave you feeling great about yourself but it also a great way to explore local wildlife and culture. The photos you’ll have as memories won’t hurt either.

Are you a hiker who loves to cruise? Or a cruiser who loves to hike? Either way, it’s easy to combine your two favorite activities no matter where you sail! Let us know your favorite cruises for hikers in the comments below!

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!