The cruise ship Aurora sails under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco's stunning harbour.
Cruise liner Aurora sails under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay..

THE world is full of beautiful cruise harbors, but some stand out from the crowd with an instant ‘wow’ factor.

  1. SAN FRANCISCO (United States of America) has its rusty-orange Golden Gate Bridge, often bathed in a blanket of early morning fog, stretching across a wide passage from the Pacific Ocean.
  2. VENICE (Italy) and its broad lagoon is gateway to St Mark’s Square known locally as “the Piazza”, and to centuries-old palaces and romantic gondola rides.
  3. HALONG BAY (Vietnam) has thousands of limestone karst reaching skywards from the sea with rainbow colored  junks weaving around them.
  4. HONG KONG (China) – cruises now berth beside the old Kai Tak airport runway, with views of skyscrapers dwarfed by the Peak on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon’s frenetic commerce on the other side of Victoria Harbour.
  5. SANTORINI (Greek island) looks from afar like dark chocolate cake topped by white icing in a turquoise sea, and close up reveals steep cliffs topped by white-washed villages.
  6. DUBROVNIK (Croatia)  has become a hotspot on Eastern Mediterranean cruise itineraries with the city’s medieval walls and cobble-stoned old red-roofed town  a real ‘wow’ factor when sailing into port from a multitude of islands in the Adriatic Sea
  7. RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil) has Christ’s outstretched hands reaching from one hill, a sky-high cable car from another, and signature golden beaches that all swing to a lively Latin beat.
  8. ISTANBUL (Turkey) for minarets, mosques and historic palaces banked along the Bosphorus Strait that divides this exotic city into Asia and Europe
  9. NEW YORK (United States of America) has Manhattan’s soaring skyscrapers and the symbolic Statue of Liberty that take the breath away when seen while sailing into the city’s increasingly busy port.
  10. SYDNEY (Australia) with its impressive harbor bridge and Opera House with distinctive ‘sails’ that compete with ever-present yachts and ferry boats.

This list is compiled by australiancruisingnews.combut readers are urged to add their favourite harbors with a ‘wow’ factor.

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