Admit it. There are times when you wish you could get away from it all by moving to your own private island. Well, some cruise passengers actually can at least for a day. Each of the following cruise lines below offer passengers a day of fun in the sun on their very own private island. For many cruisers, this stop is the highlight of the trip. After all, what could be better than sitting on a white-sand beach, drinking a pia colada and soaking in the rays without crowds?

“It’s a wonderful destination, we will come back next year for sure!”

All of these islands have pristine shores, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and lots of ocean-side adventure. There usually are fees for shore excursions and equipment rental. Every destination offers something a little different for cruise passengers.

View of buildings on the coast of tropical island San Andres y Providencia

Even at first glance, CocoCay looks like the quintessential Caribbean hideaway. There are wide stretches of beach in quiet coves, island huts in bright Caribbean pinks and blues, and a colorful straw market offering Bahamian crafts and goods.

Many of the island buildings look brand new and they are. In 2002, the company invested more than US$ 21 million to turn this 140-acre (0.5 km) slip of land into a destination their passengers would never forget. Nature trails wind through the isle, which is home to wild chickens, peacocks and occasional iguanas. Those seeking solitude will enjoy the hammocks that are hung under coconut trees in quiet locations.

English Harbour, Hurricane Hole

Sea lovers have plenty of activities to choose from. Hop on a jet ski (US $ 95 for 50 minutes) and speed across waters so clear that you can see orange starfish 20 feet below, or don a snorkel mask and explore life under the sea up close.

For a great view of the island, try your hand at parasailing (US $ 79 per hour). You’ll soar 200-400 feet in the air and maybe even take a cooling dip in the water before returning to the boat.

Children will enjoy Caylana’s Castle Cove and SeaTrek Aqua Park (US$ 15 adults, $10 children). Its floating sand castle and aquatic trampolines are just the things for those who are young at heart.

A staff of 45 people lives on CocoCay, and it’s obvious they take pride in keeping the island’s natural beauty in top condition. Their pampering service makes the island experience so pleasurable that you won’t want to leave when dusk falls all too soon.

“Disney knows children, so it’s no wonder that they feel at home on Castaway Cay”

The cruise ship docks right at the island (other cruise ships use tender boats to ferry passengers back and forth), so youngsters can head right down the ship’s ramp and out to explore Castaway Cay. There is a beach just for families, and Scuttle’s Cove is a safe and fun club for children. Parents need some time on their own, so there is Serenity Bay, a secluded beach for adults. For a little pampering, have a relaxing massage in the open-air cabanas at the seaside spa.

Street in Key West

Game for a little exploration? Then grab a bike (child seats are available for little ones) and hit the trails (US$ 6 per hour). This is, after all, a secluded island getaway, and there are miles of empty shoreline and tropical forest to explore.

If you prefer the water, check out the Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure ($60). Participants walk with a guide through the island’s lush fauna and kayak through an ecologically sensitive mangrove environment. If paddling wears you out, just jump in for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear island waters.

Teens can get into their own adventure on The Wild Side (US$ 35), an excursion that includes snorkeling, biking and kayaking. Families who want to adventure together can try the Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure (US$ 49 adults, US$ 29 children). This easy 45-minute sail takes you out to calm waters and unspoiled coral reefs. Even younger children will enjoy floating in the turquoise Caribbean Sea with schools of colored fish.

View of the Caribbean Sea

Visitors to the tiny islet of Motu Mahana (Polynesian for sunlit island) are greeted with the sounds of Polynesia. Les Gauguines, an eight-woman song and dance troupe, perform beguiling love songs in their Polynesian tongue while guests enjoy a scrumptious feast under the shade of thatched huts. After lunch, guests can relax in the sea or wade for yards in the shallow waters while waiters wearing bathing suits offer tropical drinks to those in need of refreshment.

Try out the complimentary water sports like kayaking or snorkeling. For a different experience, board a motorized outrigger canoe and head to the beautiful island lagoon of Taha’a. Taha’a is known for two things: producing vanilla and black pearls.

Guests can take a four-wheel drive tour into the hills to tour the vanilla plantations (US$ 65) or view French Polynesia’s rare jewel, the black pearl, at the Motu Pearl Farm (US$ 64). From there, head to the lagoon for some quality time with the region’s underwater fauna. There is even a small lagoonarium where rays, turtles, sharks and fish are enclosed in four different pools.

Admit it. There are times when you wish you could get away from it all by moving to your own private island. Well, some cruise passengers actually can at least for a day. Each of the following cruise lines below offer passengers a day of fun in the sun on their very own private island. For many cruisers, this stop is the highlight of the trip. After all, what could be better than sitting on a white-sand beach, drinking a pia colada and soaking in the rays without crowds?

“It’s a wonderful destination, we will come back next year for sure!”

All of these islands have pristine shores, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and lots of ocean-side adventure. There usually are fees for shore excursions and equipment rental. Every destination offers something a little different for cruise passengers.

View of buildings on the coast of tropical island San Andres y Providencia

Even at first glance, CocoCay looks like the quintessential Caribbean hideaway. There are wide stretches of beach in quiet coves, island huts in bright Caribbean pinks and blues, and a colorful straw market offering Bahamian crafts and goods.

Many of the island buildings look brand new and they are. In 2002, the company invested more than US$ 21 million to turn this 140-acre (0.5 km) slip of land into a destination their passengers would never forget. Nature trails wind through the isle, which is home to wild chickens, peacocks and occasional iguanas. Those seeking solitude will enjoy the hammocks that are hung under coconut trees in quiet locations.

English Harbour, Hurricane Hole

Sea lovers have plenty of activities to choose from. Hop on a jet ski (US $ 95 for 50 minutes) and speed across waters so clear that you can see orange starfish 20 feet below, or don a snorkel mask and explore life under the sea up close.

For a great view of the island, try your hand at parasailing (US $ 79 per hour). You’ll soar 200-400 feet in the air and maybe even take a cooling dip in the water before returning to the boat.

Children will enjoy Caylana’s Castle Cove and SeaTrek Aqua Park (US$ 15 adults, $10 children). Its floating sand castle and aquatic trampolines are just the things for those who are young at heart.

A staff of 45 people lives on CocoCay, and it’s obvious they take pride in keeping the island’s natural beauty in top condition. Their pampering service makes the island experience so pleasurable that you won’t want to leave when dusk falls all too soon.

“Disney knows children, so it’s no wonder that they feel at home on Castaway Cay”

The cruise ship docks right at the island (other cruise ships use tender boats to ferry passengers back and forth), so youngsters can head right down the ship’s ramp and out to explore Castaway Cay. There is a beach just for families, and Scuttle’s Cove is a safe and fun club for children. Parents need some time on their own, so there is Serenity Bay, a secluded beach for adults. For a little pampering, have a relaxing massage in the open-air cabanas at the seaside spa.

Street in Key West

Game for a little exploration? Then grab a bike (child seats are available for little ones) and hit the trails (US$ 6 per hour). This is, after all, a secluded island getaway, and there are miles of empty shoreline and tropical forest to explore.

If you prefer the water, check out the Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure ($60). Participants walk with a guide through the island’s lush fauna and kayak through an ecologically sensitive mangrove environment. If paddling wears you out, just jump in for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear island waters.

Teens can get into their own adventure on The Wild Side (US$ 35), an excursion that includes snorkeling, biking and kayaking. Families who want to adventure together can try the Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure (US$ 49 adults, US$ 29 children). This easy 45-minute sail takes you out to calm waters and unspoiled coral reefs. Even younger children will enjoy floating in the turquoise Caribbean Sea with schools of colored fish.

View of the Caribbean Sea

Visitors to the tiny islet of Motu Mahana (Polynesian for sunlit island) are greeted with the sounds of Polynesia. Les Gauguines, an eight-woman song and dance troupe, perform beguiling love songs in their Polynesian tongue while guests enjoy a scrumptious feast under the shade of thatched huts. After lunch, guests can relax in the sea or wade for yards in the shallow waters while waiters wearing bathing suits offer tropical drinks to those in need of refreshment.

Try out the complimentary water sports like kayaking or snorkeling. For a different experience, board a motorized outrigger canoe and head to the beautiful island lagoon of Taha’a. Taha’a is known for two things: producing vanilla and black pearls.

Guests can take a four-wheel drive tour into the hills to tour the vanilla plantations (US$ 65) or view French Polynesia’s rare jewel, the black pearl, at the Motu Pearl Farm (US$ 64). From there, head to the lagoon for some quality time with the region’s underwater fauna. There is even a small lagoonarium where rays, turtles, sharks and fish are enclosed in four different pools.

Despite the past civil wars and unrests, that disrupted safaris to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country is undeniably a hidden treasure. The less visits to Congo has kept the country fresh and her tourism attractions out of the crowd which make it make one of the unique tourism destination you should not miss on an African safari. Presently, peace has been restored in Democratic Republic of Congo and tourism is done successfully. The country is naturally gifted with natural forests, beautiful sceneries, lakes, rivers and hospitable people all, which make your stay an experience for a lifetime. The forests are a home to a variety of wildlife such as the mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, bonobos, and various bird species among others. The key reasons to visit democratic republic of Congo include among others:

Mountain gorillas

Democratic republic is one of the few countries, which host the inhabited mountain gorillas in the tropical rain forests of Virunga national park.  The country is believed to houses quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas while the remaining population reside in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park and Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Gorilla trekking is the focus for most travelers to Congo and eight-gorilla families namely, Rugendo, Munyaga, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Kabirizi, Nyakamwe and Humba have been habituated for trekking. Each gorilla family is allocated to a group of eight people and an interaction lasts for an hour.  Interestingly gorilla trekking is done at a relatively low rate 450usd for a permit compared to 600usd in Uganda and 1500usd in Rwanda. Budget travelers can therefore take advantage o this and experience this memorable experience at a low rate. The less visits to Virunga National Park are an opportunity for travelers to interact with the mountain gorillas out of the crowd. Travelers are given mouth masks to ensure safety of these endangered species but the other trekking rules and regulations are similar to other gorilla destinations.

Volcano hiking

Second to mountain gorillas, volcano hiking is a must do on your safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country is a home to two active volcanoes namely Nyiragongo volcano and Nyamuragira volcano both situated in the heart of the Virunga national park. Mont Nyiragongo is the most hiked volcano whose summit of the volcano is a home to the word’s largest lava lake and the views from the top during the day are surely beautiful. Travelers are allowed to stand at the edge of the lava and steer at the boiling lava in the lake with fumes of bubbling gas. The frames of fire are clearly seen at night hence requiring travelers to stay overnight at the summit to witness this memorable experience.

Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, which led to the displacement of many people especially from the town of Goma while Nyamuragira is very active and travelers

Despite the exciting experience, climbing to the summit is strenuous and travelers must be physically fit. Wear decent walking boots, gardening gloves, hire porters and walking sticks to ease movements. Hiking begins with a simple briefing at the starting point in which travelers ate introduced to the rules and regulations in the hiking process.  Whereas the temperatures making it too hot in the hiking, the condition at the summit is a different story. It really gets cold at the top associated with wind blowing. Travelers are therefore required to carry warm sweaters and jackets, warm trousers, extra socks, thermals, hats and stockings.

Eastern lowland gorillas

Not only is DRC a home to mountain gorillas but also to the critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park. Lowland gorillas are the largest gorilla specie, which is, differentiated form other species by a short muzzle, large hands and stocky body. An encounter with eastern lowland gorillas is absolutely an experience of its kind due to the endangerness of these gorilla species in that less than 3800 individuals survive in the whole world.

Garamba national park

Garzetted in 1931, Garamba national park is one of the Africa’s oldest national parks in Democratic republic of Congo situated in the   Orientale province. Garamba is an interesting tourism spot which houses the surviving population of Congo giraffe also with the hybrid elephants that are not found else where in the world hence one of the world heritage sites categorized under the IUCN.

Conclusively therefore, Democratic Republic of Congo offers it all that you desire for. Book now, travel to Congo and enjoy a unique memorable experience that cannot be got elsewhere in the world.

Lets face it, some countries are expensive, some are very cheap and others are somewhere in between. The burning question if you are thinking of visiting Egypt is can Egypt be visited on a budget ? Stuart Cheese, the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours says yes it can and tells you how to make the best of your money.

1. Take and Organized tour

Egypt is an expensive place to “wing”, so while you could just turn up at the airport and go for it, my number one tip for keeping to a budget is to book a tour. 7 days including Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor will only cost you around £200 and that includes all your transfers, accommodation and site visits. A very good start to Egypt on a budget.

2. If you take a taxi – go straight to where you are going, do not get taken somewhere you had not planned on going to. Whether you are taking an organised tour or not. If you have free time, then you may decide to take a taxi ride somewhere. If you do, be sure to make 100% that you do not want to make any stops en-route. Taxis in Egypt are very cheap, but unfortunately, they will often suggest you stop off at perfume shop etc. They do this simply because, they will be on a kick back from the shop owner on anything you buy. So do keep this in mind.

3. Felucca on the Nile in Luxor

If you have an afternoon free, then a really inexpensive afternoon is a Felucca sailing on the Nile in Luxor. If you set out about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, you’ll sail up river to Banana Island where you’ll have a while to have a wander around and get a drink if required. Sailing back you will get to see the sun setting over the Valley of the Kings. It’s a stunning site and well worth the £5 – yes £5, it will cost you for the sailing. A truly magical afternoon

4. Food is CHEAP !!!

Not much more to add to this. Food in Egypt, not matter where you eat is very cheap indeed. If you go western (takeaway), then you can expect to only pay about 1/3 of the price. If you eat at local (Egyptian) restaurants, then you will be looking at a 3 course meal and drinks costing you around £5 (GBP). Now that’s a holiday in Egypt on a budget !

5. Sound and Light shows

If you have decided to take in the Sound and light shows (in particular at Philae Temple and Karnak), there is a strong argument for not visiting them in the daylight. The sound and light show at Karnak is stunning and I actually think it’s even better than visiting in the daylight and Philae in Aswan is the same – The sailing back across the Nile twth the Temple lit up is worth the money alone. I would not suggest missing The Pyramids in the daytime though – these would definitely be seen during the day and at night

6. Don’t pay for extras you do not need

A little planning can save you time and money. The Valley of the Kings is a perfect example. When you buy your entry ticket, it gives you access to the Valley but more importantly to 3 tombs. This is where research comes in. You can of course buy extra tomb tickets, but to be honest, if you pick the right 3, then there’s just no need to look at the others which will come in as very poor seconds. A note here is also that you have to pay extra to get into King Tuts tomb. Only do this if you really want to say “I have been in Kings Tuts tomb”, otherwise give it a miss, it’s definitely not the best of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

7. Overnight trains

why pay for a night in a hotel ? Overnight trains from Cairo to Aswan / Luxor and from Luxor / Aswan to Cairo are great for a couple of reasons. 1 They are very cheap and 2, they take the place of an overnight hotel stay. So you not only do not have to waste a whole day travelling (the train ride from Cairo to Aswan is around 12 hours) but you lso save on not needing a hotel for the night. If you happened to want extra comfort, you can actually upgrade to a private sleeper cabin on the trains and whilst it will cost you about £35 you get a bed, an evening meal and breakfast. So once again a great little budget tip

8. Don’t give Baksheesh to everyone who asks for it ! If you do not know what Baksheesh is, you will do by the time you get back from Egypt. Baksheesh is a tip in Egypt for doing just about anything, this can be carrying your bags, taking a photo for you, being in a photo with you ! or even in the case of children, a tip just for the asking. So just be careful, if you gave to everyone who asked for it, you would end up having anything but a budget holiday in Egypt !

9. Take lots of pens !

This may sound odd, but if you offer an Egyptian child a pen or a quid, the kids will take the pens every time. Pens are hard to come in Egypt and so if you take a box of 50, you’ll be very popular indeed.

10. Have a big breakfast

Don’t forget that breakfast will almost certainly be included in your hotel stay, so make the most of it and have a hearty breakfast and with most hotels (although you may have to ask) if you are leaving early, they will even box up a continental breakfast for you.