Well…that’s a wrap on 2023! We’ll spare you the shmaltzy video montage of our favorite moments set to Green Day’s “Good Riddance,” but we do want to take a moment to acknowledge the real MVPs of the year: our cruise ports. From the tropical Caribbean to the glitzy and glimmering Mediterranean coast and the exotic reaches of the South Pacific, our ports are the stars of the show.
Popular Ports to Cruise From
And these special ports were the most popular with travelers in 2023.
Cruising from Miami is where it all starts for our Scarlet Lady. While Miami is just the start of your voyage, it would be a mistake to overlook the city as a destination itself. Between the vibrant Wynwood art district to the energy of Miami Beach, the rooftop bars of Brickell, and the Cuban culinary scene of Little Havana, Miami is more than just a launching point to cruises to the Caribbean or for fun cruises to the Bahamas from Miami. Whether before or after your voyage, make sure to take some time to explore the Magic City.
It’s really no surprise that our port of call in Bimini, Bahamas was one of our most popular destinations with Sailors in 2023. Home to our luxurious Bimini Beach Club, this Bahamian island truly has it all. Spend the day relaxing poolside while vibing to DJ beats, post up in a beach lounger with your favorite book, or rent a private cabana. It’s not all about the beach club, either. With Shore Things ranging from swimming with stingrays to scuba diving and cultural tours, this little island has plenty to offer.
There’s nothing like a vacation spent wandering old cobbled streets in the morning, and marveling at weird glowing microorganisms in the afternoon. Puerto Rico is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean to visit, offering an abundance of history, culinary delights, and natural beauty. While docked at San Juan’s cruise port, sailors can opt to start by strolling the streets of San Juan, lined with pastel-hued houses, before taking in the beauty of the El Yunque rainforest to the west. Cap off your experience with the equally beautiful (yet otherworldly) bioluminescent bay of Fajardo.
Athens is one of our newest cruise ports, and we’re not surprised it’s been among our most popular. Filled with ancient architectural and archaeological wonders, stepping into Athens is like stepping into the past. Whether you’re marveling at the iconic Parthenon of Acropolis, browsing one of the many markets, or touring a vineyard in the bucolic countryside, the city’s past and present wonders are beautifully in sync.
Everyone associates Barcelona with its beaches and vibrant club scene, but it takes more than that to become one of our most popular cruise ports. Brimming with the influence of Antoni Gaudi’s avant-garde architecture, Barcelona is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the famous (and unfinished) Sagrada Familia basilica. Beyond marveling at the architecture, take some time to simply stroll La Rambla – the city’s main cafe-lined thoroughfare – and visit its various districts, particularly the historic Gothic Quarter.
New Cruise Ports to look forward to in 2024
The most exciting thing about entering a new year is branching out from the familiar. Sure, Barcelona, Bimini, and San Juan may have been staples of your 2023 voyages, but what about cruises in 2024? We’ve got a host of brand new ports in 2024 and 2025, whether you’re planning a European vacation on a Mediterranean cruise, a Caribbean getaway, or a South Pacific odyssey.
This British port city might not be as well-known as London, but on Virgin Voyages it really steals the spotlight. The birthplace of Charles Dickens, Portsmouth is steeped in history, dating all the way back to the 12th century. Explore by wandering one of the seafront promenades, or take advantage of our Panoramic Portsmouth excursion – a guided tour of the city by land and by boat.
Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, known for its colorful street art and abundance of live music venues. But it’s not all about edgy urban culture. The beautiful beach strip of St. Kilda is lined with cool restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, perfect for basking in the Aussie sunshine. It’s finally here: Virgin Voyages’ triumphant arrival in Australia.
The main cruise port for our Australia voyages, Sydney is the perfect place to begin or end your trip. Beachgoers need look no further than the world-famous Bondi Beach. For a less relaxing – but more scenic experience – climb the iconic Harbor Bridge for unrivaled views of the city, or explore the rugged trails of the nearby Blue Mountains. We even offer guided jet boat adventures for Sailors who’d like to explore the harbor by sea.
Cheers to the New Year and Our New Ports
We’re excited to roll out several new cruise ports from the Caribbean to the South Pacific. History enthusiasts will devour Bruges, a Belgian port city brimming with medieval history, while sun-seekers can look forward to the sunny Spanish coastal city of Bilbao. Grand Turk is making a splash in the Caribbean with its unique windmills, shipwrecks, and indigenous culture, and truly intrepid adventurers can look forward to visiting the Great Barrier Reef on select Australian itineraries. With so many epic ports just waiting to be explored, there’s even more reason for cheers to the new year.