As a travel writer I believe, or want to believe, that there are avid cruisers out there who "collect ports". I like to imagine these travelers having a map on their den wall where they put a pin in each port they visit, ticking them off after every cruise. But is this reality or simply an industry folk legend? Where did I get this idea of the map with the pins?
I live in Northern California, not far from the Pacific Ocean, the mighty Redwoods, the Giant Sequoia forests, fly-fishing rivers and the wine country. All my life I've seen the out-of-state RV's on our roads - many sporting a map on the side of the RV with the places they've been.
Here’s another example of a collector: a Danish chef who lives in Mexico recently posted this map of where her favorite coffees are sourced.
Photo by Chef Kirsten West
So my question is: are there Port Collectors in the cruise world?
In twenty-five plus years in the cruise industry, I can't recall ever meeting someone who called themselves a ‘Port Collector’, or confessed to having such a map on their wall. Yet, I regularly meet people who talk about wanting to cruise somewhere they've never been, such as Myanmar (Burma), Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, or you-name-it. And that includes me.
Photo: Ho Chi Minh City. Visit in March 2015 during this 16 Night Japan, China & Vietnam Voyage.
In my book, cruising is the ideal way to cover ground and check out countries for the first time. I've cruised nearly everywhere and I've returned to those destinations that resonated with me for whatever reason. For example I first visited Turkey by cruise ship. I've since been back three times to see the country by land. Ditto for Brazil, Spain, and Portugal. All due to that first visit by cruise ship long ago.
But I digress. I am writing today wondering if there are travelers out there who choose their next cruise based upon it having an itinerary including ports that are on their "list"? (Notice I say "ports" not regions, nor countries.) Perhaps you? If so, I want to hear from you! I'm wondering how you come up with your list? What do you do with the list? Do you have a map on the wall? If so, send me a picture of your map. I'll do a follow-up blog highlighting the best...assuming Port Collectors really do exist and are not simply legend!
Check out our itineraries for 2015, 2016 - we bet you'll find some ports you've yet to experience!