5 cruises perfect for an all-girl vacation

Two friends enjoy a drink on a day out together. Picture: Unsplash

Two friends enjoy a drink on a day out together. Picture: Unsplash

Published Feb 14, 2024


Romantic love is not the only form of love that exists. Though the month of love may be commercially targeted towards romantic relationships in the form of eros (romantic love), other forms of love, philia and storge do exist and should be celebrated.

Philia can be described as a deep friendship while storge is described as family love or an empathy bond.

With that being said, its no secret that travelling with loved ones, including friends and family, is one of the best ways too strengthen bonds.

A recent survey of adult women by OnePoll on behalf of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) found that almost nine out of ten (87%) of women agree that an all-girls getaway is a fantastic way to celebrate friendship while 80% of the women surveyed said that girls’ trips leave women feeling refreshed.

The research also revealed that three quarter of women (76%) have already taken a holiday with their female friends before and 73% intend to go away on an all-girls trip in 2024.

NCL’s findings also showed that for these women, an all-girls trip isn’t simply a holiday as it gives women the chance to get away from day-to-day worries (64%), let their hair down (38%) and have a real catch up (37%), leaving them feeling refreshed (80%), closer to their friends (55%) and inspired (51%).

Cruising isn’t just one of the most luxurious and relaxing ways to see the world, it’s also one of the safest.

The highest precautions in safety and security are taken on cruise ships making them the perfect way to holiday with your pals. Travellers get to enjoy sumptuous cuisine, relaxing spa dates, attend the theatre of even hit the dance floor on-board and explore exotic destinations.

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the unsung heroines of your life, your gal-pals, here are some cruise destinations to set sail to with your sisters.

South Africa & Madagascar

The Norwegian Prima sailing passed Boulder’s Beach in Cape Town South Africa. Picture: Supplied

For those looking to stay closer to home and explore Africa, NCL is offering a South Africa & Madagascar cruise holiday where you and your girls can immerse yourself in awe-inspiring natural beauty and amazing wildlife in Madagascar and Africa while learning about rich local cultures and traditions.

Travellers can enjoy an overnight stay in Richard's Bay, encountering elephants, lions, hippos and other species on an unforgettable safari at a local game reserve to learning about Zulu culture with a visit to the DumaZulu Traditional Village.

The girlfriends can also encounter diverse species that include lemurs, pygmy kingfishers and colourful chameleons at the Lokobe Nature Reserve, located outside Nosy Be.

In Port Louis, your overnight stay allows you even more time to dive deeper into the region's natural beauty, culture and history.

Learn about the historic tea trade with a scenic tour along the Tea Route that includes tea tastings and visiting 19th century plantation houses or journey to one of the nearby islands for a day of oceanside relaxation.

Voyages start in January 2025 and start from a cost of $1 739 (R33 194) a person for a 12-day cruise.

The Caribbean

A traveller enjoys snorkelling on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Picture: Supplied

Caribbean sailings are perfect for those seeking a solar boost so its the perfect girl trip for those looking for some time out in the sun.

The Caribbean is said to receive up to 8 hours of sunshine a day, while in summer, things really get scorching so you should expect up to 10 hours.

With endless sandy beaches and tranquil turquoise waters, the Caribbean epitomises a sunny escape and temperatures hover around 28°C year-round, making it ideal for revitalising mind, body, and spirit.

These cruises are an ideal add-on if you’re travelling in the USA and dreaming of a sun and rum-soaked Caribbean escape and are true bucket list cruise destinations.

Be an early bird and book ahead for 2025 for the most stylish way to cruise the Caribbean.

The all-new Norwegian Aqua, the third ship in NCL’s Prima Class, sets sail in April 2025 (available for booking now) and will offer seven-day Caribbean itineraries departing Port Canaveral, Florida. Stops will include Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas.

The cruise starts from $699 (R13 381).

The South Pacific

Oceania Cruises Regatta on the Marina in Bora Bora. Picture: Supplied

For ladies looking to explore exotic locations in the South Pacific, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta will sail the first summer season of voyages in French Polynesia and Hawaii with an alluring selection of seven new exotic sailings and itineraries ranging from 10 to 18 days that offer a utopia of cultural encounters, memorable adventures, and pristine natural surroundings.

According to the luxury cruise line, the new cruises will visit the region during the ideal months of August, September and October with itineraries spanning the gorgeous blue lagoon of Bora Bora, the black sand beaches of Tahiti, the colourful coral reefs of Raiatea, the soaring mountains in the verdant jungles of Nuku Hiva and more.

Four of the seven new sailings link French Polynesia with the captivating craters, dramatic canyons, and lush waterfalls of the Hawaiian archipelago.

Sailings start from $3 019 (57 625) for a 10-day voyage in August 2025.

Maldives, Thailand & Seychelles from Port Louis, Mauritius

Olhuveli Island, Maldives. Picture: Unsplash

Ladies looking to explore Asia can also embark a spectacular journey aboard NCL’s Norwegian Dawn.

On the trip, you can encounter diverse species that include lemurs, pygmy kingfishers and colourful chameleons at the Lokobe Nature Reserve, located outside Nosy Be.

Everyone can also dive into an underwater wonderland during a snorkelling excursion in Port Victoria to swim near incredible coral reefs and colourful marine life and then return on board your catamaran for a relaxing cruise.

According to NCL, during your overnight stay in Malé, you will visit the country's oldest mosque - the 17th century Old Friday Mosque - and view the beautiful coral architecture and step into the heart of the city at the vibrant (and fragrant) Fish Market.

Then head to a nearby atoll for a morning of total relaxation. Whilst in Phuket, you can visit historic Buddhist temples, recline on some of Thailand's most popular beaches and dive into a vibrant underwater world on a snorkelling tour.

A trip starts from $2 299 (R43 882) for 16 nights dates sailing from January 2026.

Hong Kong & Thailand from Singapore

Cultural temple in Wiang Kum Kam, Thailand. Picture: Unsplash

And finally, celebrate your friendship by setting sail from Singapore on Norwegian Sun for an unforgettable holiday at sea.

According to the cruise line, you can learn about elephants and can see them up close at the Samui Elephant Sanctuary, located on the island of Ko Samui.

The cruise line also said that you and your friends can explore an underground labyrinth on a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels or stay above ground to take in the highlights of the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My).

Then find your slice of paradise on one of Boracay Island's famous powdery white-sand beaches and enjoy a dip in its tranquil waters.

NCL also said that you can explore modern marvels and ancient wonders as temples and street markets intersect with ultra-sleek high-rise buildings in Hong Kong.

A 14-day trip starts from $1 899 (36 247), sailing in February 2026.