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More women are exploring the world on their own, especially those over the age of 50. According to travel experts, women choose to travel alone for particular reasons: freedom, independence, and the opportunity to create their own travel experience. With a long list of themed cruises to choose from--singles cruises, first-timer cruises, gourmet food cruises, and retirement cruises--women have the freedom of creating a personalized, ultimate getaway. Cruises offer a variety of all-inclusive packages to top destinations around the world.

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The Seychelles Islands

Seychelles is a 115-island republic that lies just east of East Africa’s mainland, with the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean surrounding it. The islands are home to a vibrant art scene, exciting local cuisine, and exquisite silver-sand beaches. Visit the Aride Island Nature Reserve featuring more than one million seabirds from 10 different species. Browse the arts and crafts created by local artists on Mahe Island. Hike along the northeast coast of Silhouette Island to reach the spectacular Anse Mondon beach.

East Africa Seychelles coast TPopova / Getty Images
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The Galapagos Islands

For travelers seeking the ultimate wildlife experience, a Galapagos cruise provides everything a globetrotter can dream of. Luxurious onboard accommodations, land-based tours, and adventure trips are all possible through cruise line packages to this iconic tourist destination. The Galapagos Islands are about 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador in South America. This is the land of Darwin, full of natural wonders and magnificent landscapes. Visit a live volcano on Isabela Island or head to San Cristobal Island to La Loberia, a beach bustling with sea lions.

south america galapagos islands RenHo / Getty Images
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The Portuguese Azores

Some travelers call the Azores one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets, and they’d like to keep it that way. But for women looking for a unique subtropical destination experience, this nine-island archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean is the perfect spot. Natural hot springs, mountain peaks, and sweeping volcanic landscapes create the perfect backdrop for spa retreats, food and wine tours, yachting, and year-round whale watching experiences. For those seeking a not-so-balmy climate, the Azores offer comfortable temperatures in the mid-70s in the summer.

Portugal Azores landscapes zodebala / Getty Images
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Southeast Asia

Lush, green islands, ancient cultures, vibrant shopping districts, and authentic cuisine experiences are all highlights of Southeast Asia cruises. With port destinations that include Halong Bay in Vietnam, Bangkok, and Singapore, it’s no wonder that women book cruises to this part of the world to fulfill their wanderlust. Explore the ancient history of Hanoi, a Vietnamese city that celebrated its 1000th birthday a decade ago. Visit the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia in Penang, Malaysia, a diverse city with a variety of architectural styles, murals, and nature trails.

southeast asia vietnam NanoStockk / Getty Images

Australia

Australia provides endless possibilities for the first-time adventurer as well as the experienced excursionist. Discover the thriving cities of the Land Down Under, or seek out the hidden, lesser-known gems in each port-of-call. Take a break from the giant cruise liner for a few hours and jump aboard a smaller ship to destinations that aren’t accessible to larger vessels. See the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, the rugged coastline of Tasmania, or the tropical delights of the Fiji Islands.

Australia coastline Sydney RudyBalasko / Getty Images

Antarctica

Vast, virtually untouched by industry or commercialism, and teeming with exotic wildlife, Antarctica may not have made the list of top vacation getaway choices. But those who have braved the endless expanse of ice, snow, and cold say it was a life-changing experience. Travel is contingent on the weather, and ice sometimes blocks such sight-seeing opportunities as cruising the Lemaire Channel. A journey to Antarctica offers endless photographic possibilities, like the Ceremonial South Pole landmark and the magnificent glacier views at Paradise Harbor.

ice Antartica glacier Ray Hems / Getty Images

The Canadian Maritime Provinces

The coastal provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada are, according to the locals, overlooked destinations. Historic lighthouses stand watch along the coastline, quaint churches dot the landscape, and fishing boats fill the harbors. Local cuisine features fresh-off-the-boat lobster. Many cruises begin their journey on the east coast of the U.S. and make their way northward past Maine and into Canada. The scenery is strikingly beautiful at any time of the year but explodes with magnificent colors in the fall.

Canadian maritime provinces coastal ImagineGolf / Getty Images

Scandinavia

Clean cities that combine strong cultural histories with modern urban atmospheres and breathtaking landscapes are just a few of the reasons voyagers head to Scandinavian countries. There’s no shortage of cruise options for exploring this part of the world. Consider a seven-day cruise exploring the Norwegian fjords, or search for the Northern Lights on a winter cruise that takes you to the far north parts of Norway. Explore the Baltic sea on a cruise that starts in Berlin, with stops in Estonia, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.

Scandinavian Norway northern lights Sjoerd van der Wal / Getty Images

Hawaii

When it comes to tropical destinations, Hawaii always lands at the top of the list. People are most familiar with its eight main islands, and cruise ships generally offer a variety of them as ports of call. The Aloha State is one of the top tourist-friendly destinations in the world. The majestic natural views of Hawaii's turquoise ocean waters are exceptional, but so is its fascinating history. Those searching for a less-touristy experience should consider taking a Samoan cooking class or planning a trip to the unusual Glass Beach on the island of Kauai.

Hawaii tropical destinations honolulu sorincolac / Getty Images

Cruise the Entire World

Those who seek once-in-a-lifetime experiences may want to consider a world cruise. Travel to the far corners of the globe, visiting cities such as Dubai, Venice, Puerta Vallarta, Sri Lanka, and London. World cruises tend to be much more social, so women who wish to meet new people will enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Global explorers will find that around-the-world itineraries take 100 days or longer to complete. Consider hopping aboard a cruise ship in Miami, which arrives in Rome more than three months later. For the true adventurer who dreams of visiting a long list of international locales, a world cruise is a great option.

around the world cruise ship AustralisPhotography / Getty Images

Andalusia

More than 800,000 people each year choose the cruise destination of Andalusia, a vibrant community in the southern part of Spain. Many of the country’s top tourist attractions are not far from any of the seven ports here. Some of Spain’s most cherished architectural wonders--the Mezquita mosque in Cordoba, the Gothic cathedral in Seville, and the Alhambra fortress and palace in Granada--add to the country’s historical past. Foodies will love the Andalusian cuisine, with its deep influences in Arabic and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients.

southern spain andalusia Bareta / Getty Images

French Polynesia

This South Pacific set of islands is a French overseas country with picturesque lagoons, and white-and-pink-sand beaches. Tahiti is the largest destination, an island with high mountains and breathtaking waterfalls. Other key locales include Bora Bora and the twin islands of Raiatea, the first Polynesian-inhabited islands. In July, the entire country joins together for the Heiva festival celebrating Polynesian culture, with dance competitions, canoe racing, and ceremonial performances.

french polynesia reef Global_Pics / Getty Images

Japan

Most people feel they are somewhat familiar with Japan and its culture, yet they have never visited this amazing island. It is a diverse mixture of ancient history and modern technological wonders. Because it is one of the safest countries on the planet, it's a great destination for women traveling alone. For those who love to explore local cuisine, Japan is a dreamworld of fresh ingredients, traditional recipes, and luxurious flavors. Some of the popular cruise ship ports of call include Kyoto, Kochi, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Aomori, and of course, Tokyo.

japan cruise port kyoto Sean Pavone / Getty Images

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