The Best Vacation Alternatives to Cruises

By Dana Perkiss

There’s nothing quite like taking a cruise – endless ocean views, tons of food, and island hopping combine to create a distinctly unique travel experience. Though, there’s also the seasickness, crowds, time constraints, feeling of being trapped… not to mention the CDC continuously advising to avoid cruises because of COVID.

If you enjoy the amenities of a cruise but prefer something else, here are the five best vacation alternatives to cruises!

All-Inclusive Resort

If indulging in endless food is a reason you love cruises, then all-inclusive resorts are for you! Most all-inclusive resorts offer multiple 24/7 food service options, with renowned chefs serving up local and international-inspired dishes. Not only that, but you won’t have to wait for the boat to reach port for some beach time – rather, you can hop out of your resort bed every morning and wake up next to the beach! With the beach right at your door, you’ll be able to enjoy as many beach sunrises and sunsets without worrying about making it back to the cruise on time.

It’s also way easier (and cheaper) to participate in excursions and water sports from your resort which offers them, as opposed to on a cruise where you’d have to separately book at each destination. You can scuba dive, snorkel, windsurf, golf, and book tours at your own pace while enjoying the various amenities all-inclusive resorts offer.

National Parks

Nature lovers may enjoy cruises for the scenic views and chances of seeing wild marine species, but there’s nothing quite like the open air offered at National Parks. Birdwatchers can scan the skies for various aviary species, nature sketchers can get their fill of various landscapes to draw, and general nature lovers can simply enjoy the fresh air.

National Parks are the perfect alternative to cruises if you love the outdoors but want a more interactive way of experiencing nature. Plus, National Parks are found all over the world, meaning you can choose the park that most suits your needs! Want to immerse yourself in snowy mountains and ice fields? Hit the slopes in Alaska or Canada! Looking for something drier? Hike the expansive mountains in Arizona or Colorado! How about something more tropical? Stroll through the gorgeous lush greenery in Puerto Rico or Hawaii! You can hike, bike, ski, kayak, horseback ride… the options are endless at National Parks!

Escorted Tours

As a perfectly planned, worry-free vacation, Escorted Tours are ideal for travelers who want to spend less time planning and more time enjoying. All logistics are handled for you – transportation, accommodations, tours, and some meals, with some freedom to explore on your own. Escorted Tours also offer exceptional benefits like VIP (skip-the-line) access to must-see sites, an expert tour guide to lead you along the way, and arranged COVID testing for flight home if required.

If you’re a first-time international traveler or traveling solo, Escorted Tours are simply the best way to go. You’ll have nothing to worry about, tons of tours to enjoy, and will be able to create lasting memories with new friends you make on the trip!


Other than over-indulging in buffet food, what most people think about when it comes to cruises is island hopping or multi-country cruising. The opportunity to visit multiple places in one vacation is priceless, and there are tons of multi-city/country vacations you can choose! Whether you want to explore multiple cities or jet-set around various countries, it’s easy to find a vacation package that offers the destinations you want in one budget-friendly package.


If you want to get away but rather stay local, then opt for domestic travel as an alternative to cruises! If you're in the U.S., you have endless opportunities to travel to diverse destinations ranging from bustling cities, renowned National Parks, sunny islands, and more. You can lounge on the soft sand beaches of Hawaii, dance to live jazz music in New Orleans, road trip through the Grand Canyon, or even relax on the Caribbean shores of Puerto Rico all while staying domestic!


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