Famous cruise ports usually become famous because of their natural beauty or distinct culture. But in the modern age of mass media consumption, a recent avenue to fame has come to these exotic locations thanks to movies and television. Being the filming site of a famous or well-loved production can elevate a destination’s vacation credibility by attracting fans who want to stand in the same spots that their favorite actors/characters stood while filming. This kind of global attention can make tourist destinations out of previously unknown spots, or it can take an already known destination and elevate it to a new level of favoritism. If you want to visit the filming locations of some of your favorite media, read on to explore 5 famous cruise destinations that were popularized by TV and movies.
If we are going to talk about famous cruise ports from movies and TV, then you know we’ve got to talk about one of the biggest shows in the world, Game of Thrones. Many scenes from all eight seasons of this fantasy epic were filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, as it was the filming location for the city of King’s Landing. The iconic medieval walls and historic structures were the perfect fit for the fictional capital city described in George R. R. Martin’s revered books.
Fort Lovrijenac and Pile Gate are iconic landmarks in their own right, but it is even better when you know that your favorite actors shot iconic scenes in these spots. Be sure to head to Stradun, the main street in Dubrovnik which is where they filmed Cersei Lannister’s so-called “walk of shame.” To get the full GoT experience, book a guided tour designed specifically to explore key filming locations. Dubrovnik was a famous cruise destination before Game of Thrones, but you can imagine how popular it is now!
Hawaii is home to a few famous cruise destinations that have made it to the big screen, and with scenery this gorgeous, it is easy to see why. One of the most iconic examples is 1993’s Jurassic Park, which used the lush forests, mountains, and beaches of Hawaii to capture the essence of a prehistoric wilderness. The island of Kauai was used for most of the shooting, with the Na Pali Coast acting as the exterior of the island during the opening scenes, and the Manawaiopuna Falls being the site of the first encounter with a brachiosaurus.
For a more recent example, head to Maui, which was the main filming location for the first season of The White Lotus. The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea was transformed into the fictional resort that the show is named for, and you are likely to recognize many locations around the hotel. The natural beauty of Hawaii was the perfect setting for the idyllic facade that the show requires to highlight its biting satire of the upper class. If you do visit any of the famous cruise ports around Hawaii, surely you will have a much more fortuitous vacation than the patrons of the White Lotus.
You aren’t likely to find any actual pirates at any of these famous cruise ports, but there is one that certainly brings pirates to mind. Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series will likely get a kick out of a visit to Dominica, as it was used for several scenes in both Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. The tropical island beauty that is on display in the Pirates movies is the same kind of lush wilderness that made Dominica a famous cruise destination in the first place, so it is unsurprising that it was used for some scenes in the 2nd and 3rd movies in the series. It may be a little tougher to find a spot here that was actually in the movies, but fans will easily be able to recognize the island’s vibrant fauna and exotic landscapes. If you want to see a scene that was filmed here, the fictional island of Pelegosto in Dead Man’s Chest was filmed at this location.
The Greek Island of Skiathos in the Aegean Sea is our next famous cruise destination, and this one will have you dancing on the beach and singing your favorite Abba songs. This picturesque paradise was the filming location of the star-studded movie musical Mamma Mia! and its sequel, and has since become a popular tourist destination. The island itself is the epitome of classical romance, with charming white-washed villages, crystal-clear waters, and gorgeous beaches waiting to be explored. As visitors explore the main town and harbor, they will get the chance to see where many scenes from the movie were filmed, like the chapel and the taverna scenes. If you want to see the site of the iconic “Dancing Queen” scene, head to the beach of Agios Ioannis Chapel. Unfortunately, only luxury cruises sail here, but for fans of Mamma Mia!, it is well worth the price!
The last famous cruise port from TV and movies we’ve got for you is Barbados, where some scenes from Season 2 of Outer Banks were filmed. Technically, Outer Banks is supposed to take place in North Carolina, but part of the second season was shot in Barbados, as it was deemed the perfect backdrop for a thrilling treasure-hunting adventure. To see some of the sites where the Netflix show was filmed, head to Cove Spring House, the gorgeous mansion that overlooks the ocean from atop a coral cliff where some of the show’s key scenes were shot. Naturally, being a paradisal Caribbean destination means that Barbados has plenty more to offer than just filming locations, so be sure to take advantage of the beaches and the equatorial sun while you are there!
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