For the 50+ Traveler

There's a whole world out there to see, and cruising is one of the best ways to see it all. Here are our favorite unusual cruises that you can take this year.

Canada's Inside Passage.

1. Canadian Cruising

Canada is best known for its friendly people, Tim Horton's, and hockey. It's not typically known for its cruising, but the 12-passenger tugboat cruises through British Columbia's Inside Passage with snow-capped mountains and densely wooded forests are growing in popularity for good reason.

These small boats offer a more intimate experience and an opportunity for travelers to cozy up while seeing some spectacular sights. It's common to see whales splashing in the waters while guests sit in the lounge and enjoy an open fire.

If you're tired of the oversized cruise ships and crowded halls, this is a refreshing change of pace.

A cruise in Thailand.

2. An Uncommon Cruising Destination: Thailand

Thailand has grown in popularity as a travel destination recently. It's now one of the trendiest places to visit, yet it still doesn't seem to get a lot of attention from cruisers.

Most people seeking a cruise have a checklist of items that the trip needs to meet: weather, beautiful scenery, fun activities, etc. Thailand truly meets all of those requirements and more.

The beaches of Thailand are famed for their turquoise waters that have snorkelers and divers alike falling in love. The lush jungle areas, extensive wildlife, and city centers like Phuket offer a variety of options which will meet nearly all traveler's needs.

November through April is a great time to visit Thailand as the weather is typically calmer, drier, and warmer.

A cruise in New Zealand.

3. Cruise New Zealand

Popular cruise lines like the Norwegian or Princess fleets will take you through the New Zealand waters... but why is New Zealand great for cruises?

With the plethora of natural beauty to explore like the glaciers, geothermal pools, fjords, rain forests, and seeing the sights where Lord Of The Rings was filmed -- New Zealand truly has an endless list of cruise-worthy sights. Modern cities such as Auckland or Queenstown, two cities with an abundance of fine dining and boutique shops, offer thriving entertainment scenes to boot.

We've established that there's no shortage of good reasons to take a New Zealand cruise, yet it's still not a common choice for many people. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, we recommend considering New Zealand. Just make sure to book during the warmer months (December through February).

If mega-cruise lines like Princess and Norwegian aren't your style, you could try a boutique cruise ship such as Big Fish. It's a 147-foot ship captained by Winston Joyce-Clarke, and it charters to destinations like Lake Taupo or Waikato River, along with other lesser-known yet highly-rated locations. This premium option will cost you in the hundreds of thousands per week, so it might not be for everyone!

Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia.

4. See Australia Aboard The Luxury Yacht, Vertigo

Australia isn't usually the first destination you think of when you imagine a cruise itinerary, but maybe it should be? After all, Australia has a combination of beautiful tropical islands, warm climate, and central metropolitan hubs like Brisbane, Sydney, and Cairns. Plus, there's no shortage of fun activities such as snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef or touring Australian vineyards.

With the idea of Australia comes the notion of adventure, and what better way to have that adventure than on the premium luxury yacht Vertigo. It's only 220-feet and houses 12 guests at a time, but when you see the decadence of the cabins and common areas, you won't want to cruise any other way. Captain Barry deKock knows the Australian waters very well and maps trips between the Whitsunday Islands for a full and satisfying itinerary.

There's only one (expensive) catch: lodging on the ship usually runs around a couple hundred thousand per week. Time to start saving!

Travelers seeking adventure and new experiences tend to avoid cruise ships, but cruising doesn't have to be predictable. These unusual cruise options clearly demonstrate that cruising is a great way to see sights you wouldn't typically see while enjoying the 5-star comforts that most ships offer. Prices can be high, but shopping around and at the right time can do wonders for the bottom line.

Also, it's important to remember that you get to see a lot more on a typical cruise than you would while staying planted at one resort or hotel. It's much easier to check off a few destinations on a cruise, and we hope that you consider some of these fantastic options for your next cruise!