Perhaps its my proximity to water at the moment, or perhaps the heavy influence of the crew of Fayaway on my thinking the last few days, but I’ve been thinking about places best seen by boat lately. For when you combine water and beautiful scenery you can quickly build a list of must-see places that are perfectly situated to or only possible to see by boat. I’ve managed a few of these in my lifetime, the rest are bucket list items for the right moment, should it come along. But we all have to have hope for a future where we can once again explore the world, don’t we?
Interesting if only to me, many of the places I want to go to most are in cold climates. The tropical destinations are nice, but I’m a Northern bird and appreciate a bit of snow and ice in my life too. And then there are the places I’ve been to before that I secretly plot to return to again as soon as possible. You know you’ve fallen in love when a place haunts you for decades after visiting, and a few on this list qualify.
Without further ado, here are twenty places best seen from the water for your consideration:
The Outer Hebrides Begin with Scotland? I should think so.
The Faroe Islands Stunning and remote? Sign me up!
Westfjords, Iceland – but why stop there? The rest of the country whispers to me too.
Iceberg watching between Newfoundland and Labrador (any excuse to return to Newfoundland works for me, and Labrador offers a world of remote exploration all its own.
Easter Island, Chile to visit those Moai characters at sunrise and contemplate the extraordinary.
Isla del Cocos National Park, Costa Rica – diving with hammerhead sharks? Maybe.
Nahuel Huapi Lake & Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina for the glory of the Patagonian Andes from the water.
Whales and icebergs in Disko Bugt (Disko Bay), Greenland, and maybe a polar bear or two from afar.
St Helena – maybe because its so remote, or maybe because of Napoleon, or the useless airport? Whatever the reason, I’m interested in getting to St Helena someday.
White water rafting through the Grand Canyon. Because once was not enough.
Inside Passage Alaska, and also because once was not enough.
Revisiting the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor again someday when the world is normal, or at least a little more normal.
A cultural immersion in Okinawa, Japan for all that this place offers, from the historical perspective of Shurijo Castle and the WWII sites to slowing down in Sefa-utaki. I have riding a bicycle across the Irabu Ohashi bridge on my short list of activities for someday, maybe.
Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound in Fiordland, New Zealand remains on that evasive list of places to get to as soon as reasonably possible. I fear that I might just want to stay in New Zealand should I ever visit, but its a chance I’ll have to take.
Visiting Sydney Harbor and climbing that bridge are high on my list of things to do.
Mo’orea, French Polynesia – and while you’re in the neighborhood, who doesn’t dream of visiting Tahiti, Bora Bora, Marquesas? A visit to Mo’orea necessitates lingering to see more.
Li River cruise China – China is a mystery to me, but a place I’d love to explore someday. And I can think of no better place to start than on the water cruising the Li River.
Cruising down the St. Lawrence Seaway and through the Great Lakes has been on my mind for some time. If there were a reason to get another sailboat, it would be to do this trip.
Last but not least and closer to home, sailing Lake Champlain is something I’ve contemplated since I was a teenager seeing sailboats moored along the shore with the Adirondacks rising in the distance. And my fascination with the early history of this region makes it a must-do for me. Early October would be sublime with the foliage.
So there you go: twenty bucket list places to see from the water. All we need is time and a way to get there. A chance to skip across the water like a stone and see parts of the world you can’t always get to from land. A mix of salt water and fresh water destinations just ready to explore. Are you ready? This list could take some time.