Cairns to Fitzroy Island via Raging Thunder Ferry, Queensland, Australia

It’s not the ferry, but what the ferry leads to as you will not believe your eyes when you arrive to Fitzroy Island. This peaceful and perfect island, 45 minutes from Cairns by ferry, is 339 hectares of pure bliss. It contains vast rainforests, the Queensland Turtle Rehabilitation Center, Foxy’s Bar and Cafe, a cute open-air restaurant, and the Fitzroy Island resort. There is also a campground for those who want to “rough it.” There are lots of water activities such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, swimming, scuba diving, sea kayaking as well as hiking. Doing it as a day trip is a fun way to spend the afternoon, but most visitors come back saying they wished they’d stayed for a night or two.  Tip and photo by VT Member usctwin.

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Port Hardy to Prince Rupert via MV Northern Expedition, Inside Passage, BC, Canada

Want to see beautiful scenery and killer whales? Hop on board the MV Northern Expedition which sails along the Inside Passage route connecting Prince Rupert and Port Hardy.  While on this 15 hour journey you may see killer whales and other animals, and you will definitely find beautiful spots such as the Canoona River, a lovely lighthouse near Bella Bella, the town of Butedale, and even get the chance to view the sunset over the Pacific.  For $170 CD, it’s a sightseeing bargain. Each trip through the Inside Passage between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy takes about 15 hours, so the ship sails back and forth on alternate days. Tip and photo by VT Member GrumpyDiver

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Hakone Sightseeing Cruise, Hakone, Japan

A popular activity in Hakone is to take a cruise on the “pirate ship” on Lake Ashi. VirtualTourist members say this is a fun ride and the scenery around the lake is wonderful. On a clear day you’ll s ee Mount Fuji and around the shore are wooded mountains and some brightly colored torii.  The boats themselves have several decks, with seating on two levels inside and mostly standing only on the top open deck – the best place for photos, naturally. There is also a first class area if you want to sit on a more padded seat, but with no other discernible benefits!  There are three embarkation / disembarkation points around the lake and the fare is covered by the Hakone Free Pass. Tip and photo by VT member toonsarah.

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KD Ferry on the Rhine, Germany

When in the area, you must take a trip on the KD Ferry, a wonderful way of seeing some of the most spectacular parts of the Rhine at small cost.  The KD Ferries run between Mainz and Cologne and pass by countless villages and towns with castles in abundance. The countryside around the river is bedecked with vineyards.  The reaches of the Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen are often thought to be the very best with regards to the very magnificence which is the mighty Rhine. Ferries can be boarded at many towns along the way and are not very expensive to ride. They are well equipped and beautifully maintained vessels. ravelling downstream is much quicker than travelling upstream and of course if you want to do a day trip, you can always get the frequent trains in the other direction. Tip and photo by Maryimelda

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Frioul If Express Shuttles, Marseille, France

From the Old Port in the center of Marseille there are boats that run several times a day to the Frioul Islands, a group of four small islands just off the coast at a distance of about four kilometers from the harbor.  The most famous of these islands is the Île d’If, the site of a prison that figures prominently in the novel The Count of Monte Cristo.  Along the way to Île d’If, you will have many amazing views such as the island itself with its beautiful castle and the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde.  Once on the island, you can explore the castle, Château d’If, which was used as high-security prison, similar to Alcatraz in the United States. And VirtualTourist members simply to walk around the island and experience it from different vantage points.  Whether at ground level, on the ramparts or up on top of the castle, there are spectacular views of Marseille and the harbor, with the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde at the top of the highest hill above the city.  Tip and photo by nemorino.