Try something different next time you travel and take the ferry instead of flying. There are many places across the world that can be reached over the water, whether within a city or between two regions or even countries. Often, the journey is as much part of the holiday as the destination itself, a leisurely way to eat up the miles. Long or short, Mundana’s travel advisors can offer plenty of recommendations for ferry trips to include in your vacation itinerary. Check these out for starters.
New York City, USA
In New York, hop on the orange Staten Island Ferry in Battery Park for a ride on the city’s most famous ferry. This iconic commuter ferry is also a tourist favourite thanks to the extraordinary views you get of the Manhattan skyline and of the Statue of Liberty. Be sure to take a selfie to show your friends. And this is not the city’s only must-do ferry. In summer, there’s nothing better than to spend part of your weekend on Governor’s Island. Rent a bicycle and pack a picnic to see a more relaxing side of the Big Apple.
Hop on a ferry from the toe of Italy’s boot and you can cross the Straits of Messina with the breeze on your face. This ferry is highly unusual in that it carries the train as well. The train just rolls right on and off at the ports on either side. Sicily is one of Italy’s most rewarding destinations. Explore beautiful towns such as Taormina, Siracusa and Noto. Get your volcano fix as you climb Mount Etna or visit Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands. In gritty Palermo, check out the city’s splendid cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city also has an exciting food scene. Alternatively, hop on a cable car from Trapani to reach charming Erice and enjoy fabulous views along the island’s west coast.
The Indian Ocean’s most famous Spice Island is easily reached from mainland Africa by ferry. Adventurous travellers will enjoy the two hour crossing to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Alight at the port in Stone Town, the island’s characterful main settlement. The ferry terminal sits just to the north of the old town. There, you can wander through its maze-like streets and alleyways, admiring coral stone mansions with fabulous wooden doors. You’ll also want to venture out of Stone Town to see the rest of the island, known for its lovely beaches and forested interior.
Getting around Sydney harbour is straightforward thanks to its many ferries. Hop on a boat to visit the wildlife of Taronga Zoo, head to the beach at Manly, picnic on fish and chips at Watson’s Bay or find out more about the fascinating convict history of Cockatoo Island. Services leave from the conveniently central Circular Quay. This hub is easy to reach from the Harbour Bridge, the historic Rocks area and the city’s famous Opera House. You haven’t done Sydney unless you’ve taken at least one ferry – it’s an unmissable experience.
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You might associate the Seychelles with luxury private island resorts reached by helicopter. However, you haven’t really experienced this island archipelago if you haven’t hopped on a ferry to gorgeous Praslin or La Digue. They’re easily doable as a day trip from Mahe, and the ferry that connects them takes only 15 minutes or so. You’ll want to see both. Praslin’s top must-see is the Vallée de Mai national park which is where you’ll find the curvaceous coco de mer fruits. La Digue boasts some fabulous beaches, such as the world-renowned Anse Source d’Argent, situated within walking distance of the ferry dock.
Greek island hopping is one of the most desirable of the many Mediterranean holidays you can take. Of the 6000 islands off the mainland, 227 are inhabited and welcoming visitors is a way of life. Though some of the largest have their own airports, it’s still possible to hop around the island groups by ferry. Combine several islands within a small area to get a feel for how the character varies from place to place. You can easily incorporate a ferry into your Athens city break as well. For instance, the crossing to Aegina from the Greek capital takes less than an hour, making it possible as a day trip.
Now this one’s a little more unusual – how about arriving in Iceland by sea? This Nordic nation has a ferry connection to Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands. It arrives in the port of Seydisfjordur, itself a pretty little place. Take your own car on the ferry and explore the less-trodden fjords and geothermal areas of the east of the country. Drive up and over the pass and you could find yourself puffin-spotting in Borgarfjörður eystri, soaking in the warm water of Myvatn Nature Baths or experiencing the bold colours of Studlagil Canyon.
The Star Ferry has connected Hong Kong Island to Kowloon for more than a century, shuttling back and forth across the water in its easily recognisable green and ivory livery. No matter what changes have taken place to the skyline, this boat service is a reminder that some things remain constant in this dynamic city. Take in the jaw-dropping view from the deck as you take a breather from the hustle and bustle of this busy place.
Why not take a ferry ride as part of your next trip? Get in touch with Mundana today and let us suggest which routes might suit your plans.