Luxury Cruises to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Visit the world's most amazing places on a luxury cruise to UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

If you want to fulfill your bucket list by traveling to the world’s most fascinating places, check out some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that you can visit while sailing onboard a luxury cruise! From Asia, Europe, South America, and beyond, here’s a list of just a few of the lavish cruise lines from the Avoya Travel Luxury Collection that will take you through the seven seas to the top UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Machu Picchu, Peru

When traveling on select South America itineraries, you’ll be able to stop by Callao where you can take a shore excursion to Lima and one of South America’s most notable archaeological sites – Machu Picchu. Perched 7,875 feet above sea level and boasting a 1,800-foot vertical drop, you’ll be completely mesmerized by this unbelievable ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Explore remains of extraordinary stone buildings used by the Incas as temples, sanctuaries, homes, and water fountains that were originally built in 1460!

Historic Areas of Istanbul, Istanbul

Whether you’re departing or embarking from Istanbul on select Oceania Cruises itineraries, be sure to spend a few extra days exploring its Istanbul’s numerous historical areas which altogether have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the jaw-dropping architectural masterpieces of Turkey’s Byzantine and Ottomon periods in places such as the Hagia Sophia. Also be sure to visit another monument contained within the ‘Historic Areas of Istanbul’ – the beautiful Topkapi Palace. As the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years, the Topkapi Palace is a great example of why these areas are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Angkor, Cambodia

According to the World Heritage Convention, the Angkor complex in Cambodia represents the entire range of Khmer art from the 9th to 14th century and includes a number of ‘indisputable artistic masterpieces’. You can explore all of these masterpieces during Mekong River itineraries with river cruise lines from the Avoya Travel Luxury Collection such as Uniworld River Cruises, Ama Waterways, and Avalon Waterways. Stop by the largest Hindu temple complex and overall religious monument in the world – Angkor Wat, and explore Banteay Srei – the pinnacle of artistic achievement at Angkor.

Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal

See the best of the Alto Douro Wine Region during a Douro River cruise onboard river cruise ships. The Alto Douro Region has been producing wine for nearly two thousand years, and you’ll be able to taste the region’s wines as well as witness the beauty of its landscape on a luxurious river cruise sailing. From terraces, quintas (wine-producing farm complexes), villages, chapels, and roads, you’ll discover firsthand why the World Heritage Convention has classified this valley as an ‘outstanding example of a traditional European wine-producing region, reflecting the evolution of this human activity over time’.

Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Germany

There’s no better way to see Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley than on a river cruise that will take you right through it. During select itineraries you’ll see the picturesque castles, historic towns, and vineyards that appear around every bend in the river – a sight that is claimed to inspire poets, painters, and composers throughout the 19th century. For two millenea, the Middle Rhine Valley has facilitated the exchange of cultures between the Mediterranean region and the North – and you’ll witness this throughout your river cruise itinerary.

Venice and its Lagoon, Italy

It’s not a surprise that Venice and its Lagoon is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list; and it’s also not a surprise that numerous luxury cruise lines offer sailings to this remarkable city! Founded in the 5th century and spread over 118 small islands, the city of Venice itself is a unique artistic achievement of Italy. In addition to the numerous canals that this city is made up of, the influence of Venice on the development of architecture, arts, and more itself is an extraordinary historical accomplishment.

Works of Antoni Gaudi, Spain

While traveling through the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise, you’ll most likely stop in Barcelona where you’ll find the eclectic works of architect Antoni Gaudí sprinkled throughout the entire city – from ‘simple’ lamp posts, to remarkable cathedrals, and stunning parks. Gaudí’s designs are truly one of a kind and contributed immensely to the creative development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the most notable is the La Sagrada Familia Cathedral which was started by Gaudí before his death and is still to this day ‘in progress’ for completion.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Cruise through Vietnam in complete luxury on select sailings, and pass by the popular travel destination of Ha Long Bay. Featuring thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes, Ha Long Bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments that has created remarkable biodiversity. Because of the ever-changing pillars and seascape of this area, most of the islands found in Ha Long Bay are uninhabited and unaffected by human presence; thus, leaving a one-of-a-kind sight of just simply natural beauty.


These are only three cruise lines from the Avoya Travel Luxury Collection that will take you on a lavish cruise to various UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are many more UNESCO World Heritage Sites to check off your bucket list with additional luxury cruise lines. Call an Avoya Travel Luxury Cruise Specialist today to begin planning an amazing at sea experience to some of the most remarkable places on Earth!