Destination Immersion

The Six Hottest Travel Destinations for 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
By Azamara

"Once a year, go someplace you've never been before." – The Dalai Lama

Where will you go in 2020? A picture-perfect island paradise? The heart of the Arctic Circle? Untamed plains where wild beasts roam? If your travel plans still aren't set for 2020, we can help. We've chosen six destinations that are sure to have everyone talking in the new year — and there's nothing quite like visiting them by sea. Discover where we can't wait to cruise to in 2020, and which destinations should be on your travel radar.

The Indian Ocean

Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Retrace routes made famous by explorers in search of exotic spices and uncover a rich tapestry of interwoven cultures when you journey through the Indian Ocean. The best way to see it? By sea, of course! From the untouched wilderness of Tolagnaro, Madagascar and the towering tree-clad peaks of Réunion to the slightly chaotic, colonial charm of Mauritius and allure of Sri Lanka, there's no better way to island hop your way around than with us.

Sunset over Chinese Fishing nets and boat in Cochin

And obviously, you can't miss the country this ocean is named for. Cochin is especially cool, with its centuries-old Chinese fishing nets standing sentry in the harbor, 400-year-old mosque, and Portuguese-style homes. In Mumbai, the city streets are always bustling. This is a city where you can expect to see everyone from laborers to millionaires rub shoulders as they go about their days.

In the mood for something epic? Our 26-Night Indian Ocean Adventure Voyage should fit the bill. 

With plenty of late and overnight stays, and restful days at sea, it's the perfect way to explore the juxtaposition of tranquil, isolated islands, and big cities where Bollywood is king. This voyage even spends some time at the start cruising to four maiden South African ports.

Speaking of the Rainbow Nation….

South Africa

Downtown Cape Town

We've been talking about South Africa all year — and for good reason. In 2020 we're sailing here for the first time and calling on five incredible ports. There's Cape Town, captivating with its electric pace of life. Durban, the home of golden beaches and proud Zulu people. East London — the gateway to breathtaking game reserves. The foodie favorite, Port Elizabeth. And Richards Bay — the place to go for bucket list-worthy safaris. 

Elephants walk through Chobe National Park

When it comes to safaris, you won't be left short on time. Our pre- and post-cruise Land Programs take you beyond the shore for all-inclusive, elevated experiences that include searching for the Big Five and sipping some award-winning wines. To really immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes and peoples of the country, embark on one of our South Africa-Intensive Voyages and experience them for yourself.


Longyearbyen with snow-capped mountains in the background

It's one thing to pop over to Oslo for a short visit, but when we added Norway to this list, we were thinking of ports less traveled. Destinations that seasoned travelers want to stick pins in on their well-worn world map. In 2020, we want to explore truly remote destinations — even by Norwegian standards. 

Honningsvag during Midnight sun

On Spitsbergen Island in Norway's (really) far north, Longyearbyen's wind-swept landscapes are sparse, but especially stunning when summer flowers bloom. At what seems like the edge of the world, Ny Alesund's glaciers loom in the distance, much the same as they did in the early days of the race to the North Pole. Sip a one-of-a-kind cocktail made from Arctic ice in Honningsvag, where the Midnight Sun shines well into the night. To get to these incredible places, we suggest one of our cruises that sail all the way up the Norwegian coast.   


Shop Street in Galway, Ireland

Our list of 2020 maiden ports includes Galway — just in time for you to celebrate its naming as the 2020 European Capital of Culture. You'll find a fun bohemian atmosphere here, along with medieval marvels and quintessential Irish pubs, plus a slew of art projects and food you'll really fall for. After all, Galway is home to the world's longest-running oyster festival and was designated as a 2018 European Region of Gastronomy. 

Cliffs of Moher

For coastal scenes that will take your breath away, Foynes is the gateway to the "sheer" beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. And in Donegal, you'll experience authentic Ireland with a side of world-class golf. This magical isle is always evolving, while staying true to its historic charm and down-to-earth way of life. Set sail around Ireland on one of our upcoming voyages. 

The Baltics

Aerial view old town, Tallinn, Estonia

Some seek adventure for fulfillment in their travels, some search for that next beautiful beach, and some desire chic cityscapes. If more cosmopolitan pursuits speak to you in 2020, then the Baltics are where you need to be! Once hidden behind the Iron Curtain, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have now taken center stage, though the opulence of Imperial Russia and Art Nouveau eras are still very much present.

In Estonia, Tallinn is a fairytale come to life. It was spared from extensive damage during WWII, and its Old Town is so incredible, the whole thing is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But Tallinn has hip neighborhoods too — the Kalamaja district was formerly a restricted Soviet military area, but today it's where the locals go for cool cafes and shops. For what many call the hippest district in all of Europe, head to Miera Iela in Riga's bohemian quarter. Keep an eye out for eclectic and ornate buildings here too. It's a shining example of Art Nouveau architecture.

Sunset over the harbor in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

For a little German influence, Klaipeda in Lithuania is brimming with half-timbered buildings, loads of unique history, and breweries that are centuries old. And for when you want to see the stunning grandeur of St. Petersburg, there's no better way to get there than with us. We sail right up the Bolshaya Neva River to disembark along one of the most fashionable streets in the city — English Embankment. Discover all of our upcoming Baltic Cruises here.


The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco at night

There's more to Morocco than many people think. Recently, it's been embracing modern concepts like sustainable lodging, seasonal cuisine, and wellness retreats, while still staying true to tradition and heritage. Our 22-Night Western Africa Journey calls on Casablanca and Agadir, two enigmatic ports that offer a gateway to the wonders of Morocco. Casablanca is awash in vintage romance, though we recommend taking our overnight adventure to magical Marrakech—named Africa's first Capital of Culture for 2020.

A beach view in Agadir city, Morocco

At the foot of the Atlas Mountains, Agadir awaits. Bask on the beachfront promenade and spend time weaving your way through buzzing souks in search of authentic Berber culture. Head out from port and zoom over dunes in a 4x4, or spy some tree-climbing goats on your way to experience local farm life. If you're looking for moments of pure travel magic in 2020, Morocco might be the perfect fit for you.  

These destinations are sure to leave you speechless. Then, the story is yours to tell. 2020 with us brings even more unparalleled destinations and immersive cultures — when will we see you on board? Browse all of our 2020 voyages here.

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