We now have such extensive transport routes that it almost feels as if there are no places left undiscovered. Everyone’s Instagram feeds are filled of the amazing sights that Earth has to offer, but sometimes you might just get the craving to seek out somewhere slightly off the beaten path. Many people travel by plane or train, but there are so many hidden gems that people miss out on because you can’t get to other than by boat!
Svalbard Archipelago, Norway
Svalbard is famous for its bank containing an incredible archive of different plant seeds should something catastrophic happen to earth’s vegetation on a global scale. Even further North of Norway, you must travel to Svalbard by a special polar expedition ship, which shows just how isolated this place in. If you’re into wildlife then you’re bound to be treated to sights of polar bears, whales and reindeer which many people do not get to see in their natural habitat! This far North you’ve also got a great chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis.
Tagomoga Island, Ibiza
For a truly special time in Ibiza, you can travel to and rent out Tagomoga Island. Well known for its impressive number of caves to explore, there’s plenty to do here other than drinking and partying. It has great views of the mainland and you’ll struggle to find clearer water anywhere in the world. This makes for perfect snorkeling conditions and there’s plenty of marine life to find in the water. The only downside is that it’ll cost you $100,000 a week to rent the island out.
Marble Caverns, Chile
Although this isn’t a place you can spend the weekend, it’s definitely somewhere you should check out. Over millions of years, the water has slowly eroded through the marble to create a network of caves over a freshwater lake in Patagonia, Chile. It’s possible to kayak through them when the water is low, making for a truly once in a lifetime experience. If you’re searching for somewhere new to visit away from the normal tourist attractions, then you should consider this place.
Franklin River, Australia
If you’re really after an adventure, then Franklin River will provide you with equal amounts of risk and thrills. Using rubber rafts, you can spend two weeks travelling down the river to explore Australia in a completely different way to most. You’ll travel through many world heritage sites that are in place to protect ancient plants and wildlife of the region. Considered one of the world’s best white water rafting sites, only experience rafters can go on the trip due to the unpredictable water levels and dangerous currents.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Everyone is well aware by now of just how incredible the views are in New Zealand, but not many people think about jumping in a boat to explore in a different way. You can kayak or cruise down the river, admiring the steep walls created by glaciers many years ago. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of the famous yellow-eyed penguin that many travel to New Zealand to see.
The Hurtigruten is a famous ferry route that connects many towns throughout the fjords of Norway. It takes 11 days to make the full trip, but you’ll get to see 34 different towns and participate in loads of other excursions on-land, if you so wish. There’s so much to do and history to explore, this is definitely a great alternative to the ordinary hotel holiday in sunny Spain. If you truly want to get to grips with Norway and its culture, then there isn’t a better way to do it.
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
If you’re looking for a new Instagram picture to grab your followers and draw in the likes, then you’re sure to find it here. When you travel here you need to make sure you prepare a rucksack with everything you’ll need for the day as you’ll find no cafés here. Like a scene from Cast Away, all you’re met with when you arrive is beautiful clear blue seas, idyllic white sands, sheer cliffs and a shipwreck. It’s perfect for a day away from the hectic tourist hubs.
India is full of canals and lagoons to explore by boat. Although the boats may not be as sophisticated as you’re accustomed to, they’re perfect for traversing the shallow canals and lagoons to discover indigenous wildlife such as crabs, frogs and mudskippers, as well as otters and turtles that live along the waters. Travelling India by canal boat will give you a totally new experience that not many other travellers can boast that they’ve had.
Pak Ou Caves, Laos
Travelling broadens the mind and there’s not many places that expose you to a totally different culture than the Pak Ou Caves. Near the meeting of two rivers in Laos, these two caves have been an important place of worship for Buddhists for centuries. Thousands of sculptures of Buddha line the caves, lit only by torch light as you make your way through. Memorable experiences like these make it all worthwhile taking a boat.
Amazon River, South America
Many people head to South America to see the natural wonder that is the tropical rain forest, but the best way to make your way through is by boat on the Amazon River. You can travel South America by car, but the Amazon River runs from Peru to Brazil and flows 12 times faster than the Mississippi. When you’ve got such a scenic route right through the heart of the country, you’d be silly not to travel by boat. It just means you have to be careful of the piranhas and ‘gators!
Traveling by boat immerses you in the landscape and gives you a better appreciation of a destination than zooming by in a train or car. Whether cruising on underground lakes, battling fierce river rapids, navigating frozen fjords or exploring deep mysterious jungle, these places you can only get to be boat will give you a new travel perspective.