Why Your Next Cruise Should Be a Single-Country Sailing

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Cultural immersion is on deck in these single-country sailings.

Part of the joy of cruising lies in the thrill of falling asleep in one country and magically waking up the next morning in another. But as border regulations and quarantine mandates continue to fluctuate, country-intensive cruises—those offering itineraries that remain largely within the borders of a single nation—are becoming an especially compelling (and worry-free) alternative.

Azamara offers dozens of single-country itineraries, from Australia to Italy. One of its newest, the 12-night South Africa-Intensive Voyage aboard Azamara Pursuit, takes up to 702 guests from city to country to savannah, starting in Cape Town. In the Cape Winelands, sip local Hermitages and Syrahs; in Durban, visit a traditional Zulu homestead; and at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, spot Big Five game and the largest white rhino population on earth (from $3,699).

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When Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer makes its way to Asia this fall, the 750-guest vessel will embark on an immersive 12-night Ancient Shrines & Bright Skylines journey through Japan. The itinerary will sail round-trip from Tokyo to nine ports, including Osaka, Okinawa, and Shimizu (for visits to nearby Mount Fuji), as well as less frequented destinations such as the lush island of Oshima, known for its rare flora and fauna and pristine forests (from $13,600).

Rather than sail the Med this summer, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper will spend July and August in northern Europe, where the 194-suite ship will make two adventurous Icelandic expeditions. On the ten-day cruises from Reykjavík, passengers can join excursions like seal-watching tours, whitewater rafting, and volcano hikes while sailing from port to port past remote glaciers and sparkling fjords (from $7,020).

Related: How to Embrace the Chill on Your Next Arctic Adventure

Closer to home, Evrima, the first ship to debut in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, will set sail in October on a 12-night Canadian voyage from Quebec to Nova Scotia. The long-awaited vessel—set to launch this April with 149 suites, seven restaurants, and a Ritz-Carlton Spa—will visit Acadian fishing villages, Indigenous Innu communities, and remote islands inhabited by puffins and moose.