5 World Heritage Sites you can see on a cruise

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Image by David Köhler

The Colosseum and Circus Maximus - Rome, Italy

When you think of Rome, one of the first cultural images that may come to mind is the famous Colosseum. It was an epicenter during the time of the Roman Empire, hosting about 50,000 spectators for ancient forms of entertainment, such as gladiator games and mock naval battles. Nearby is Circus Maximus, which preceded the Colosseum in the 6th century B.C. There you can learn about the chariot racing, plays, and other events that took place at this iconic landmark.        

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The Temple of Artemis - Ephesus, Turkey

At 350 feet by 180 feet, this marvel is something history buffs should see. In ancient times, more specifically 550 B.C., the stone structure was dedicated to Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and wild animals. It was built by Croesus, king of Lydia, and then rebuilt after it was burned down by a man named Herostratus in 356 B.C. Unfortunately, it was burnt down yet again later on. You can take a guided excursion to absorb the full scope of the temple’s beauty and history.   

Chichen Itza - Cozumel, Mexico

Chichen Itza is best known for its unique pyramid-shaped architecture, with its most iconic feature being a nearly 100-foot-tall stepped pyramid, El Castillo (The Castle). At one point long ago, Chichen Itza was a Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico—now, it stands as one of the new seven wonders of the world, an archaeological site and a popular destination in Cozumel.  Also, see the largest and best-preserved Mayan ballpark and the mystical sacrificial cenotes.

The Great Barrier Reef - Cairns, Australia

What to know: Set out to explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—the only living thing on the planet that’s visible from space. As the world’s largest coral reef system, this natural wonder is home to more than 1,500 different species of fish, 400 species of coral, six of the seven species of marine turtles, and more. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, whether you choose to dive in on a guided experience or take it in from ashore.

Everglades National Park -  Miami, Florida

What to know: Calling all nature lovers: Everglades National Park is perfect for those looking to take in an incredible view, relax on a walk, a kayak, or an airboat, and learn more about the environment and endangered species. This 1.5 million-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wetland preserve that boasts marshes, or a “river of grass” as some have dubbed it. It’s home to many endangered wildlife species, like the leatherback turtle and West Indian manatee.