My Top Nine Instagram Posts of 2020


Steph - Cruise with Amber

My Top Nine for 2020 on Instagram

I’ve only been on Instagram since September 2019, so 2020 was the first whole year I’ve been posting about cruising on the platform (a fantastic time to start a cruise blog and a social media account about cruise holidays, I hear you say).

Despite this I amassed over 4k followers in my first year without any advertising or sponsored posts and no, I don’t buy followers either. So even in a world where cruise ships haven’t set sail for at least 80% of the year, there’s still been quite an appetite out there for cruise-related social media accounts. Which is good news.

Last year I did a #topnine of my most liked posts, but this year, now with a full 12 months of posting under my belt, I felt this would give me a better indication of what my followers liked the most. My average likes per post in 2020 was 143 (143.5 if you’re a pendant) but these ones really stood out as being head a shoulders above that. I was pleased with what I discovered were the most liked posts on my feed as they really sum up my favourite things too – and it’s great to feel a connection with my followers.

The stories behind my top nine Instagram posts of 2020

I thought I’d take you through each photo in my top nine and give you a bit of background on each one. So, in ascending order, let the countdown commence…

#9 Kite Surfers at Langland Bay

Regular followers on my Twitter and Instagram accounts will know this beach is a favourite of mine. It’s where I learned to surf (badly) when I was young and where I return to, to dose up on my vitamin sea in between cruises. This photo was taken when I could finally travel back to Wales for the first time since the first lockdown was lifted. It’s a reminder of how much I love (and miss) the sea.

#8 Sunrise from the Aft Suite Balcony on Britannia

While this photo was taken back in 2018 on our Mediterranean cruise aboard P&O Cruises Britannia, when I shared it in 2020, it seemed to resonate with my followers. Taken on a glorious sea day, at approximately 6am, I managed to catch the sun as she appeared above the horizon and around the corner of this highly recommended (and loved) aft suite.  

#7 Daybreak in the Norwegian Fjords

This photo was taken early one magical morning as we sailed through the Sognefjord on our August 2019 Cruise aboard P&O cruises Azura. I’m an early bird so I headed up to the top deck of Azura to catch this shot. I hope the serene atmosphere shines through in this photo. I think it must a have done in some kind of way as quite a few people seemed to like this.

#6 Seascape taken from Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante

Another one from our 2018 Mediterranean cruise aboard Britannia . This was the first stop on our itinerary, and it was a gloriously warm day. Somehow, we still managed to make it up to the top of Castillo de Santa Barbara to admire the view (thank you, air-conditioned elevator) and we were rewarded with this spectacular view. I love the blues and turquoise in this photo  – and it seemed quite a lot of people did too. 

#5 A quiet moment before dawn in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea

The wonderful thing about the aft balcony stayed in aboard Britannia (suite E743 if you’re looking for recommendations) we is that it’s high up enough to get a glorious view of the horizon, but not too high so that you feel all the movement on a rough sea day. There was no movement on this day as you can see, the sea was like a millpond. I loved watching the colours of the sky change as the dawn approached and this balcony was perfect for almost 270-degree views of the horizon.

#4 Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante

It’s no surprise that the views from this Castle feature twice in my top nine – the contrast between the deep blue of the Mediterranean and its powder blue, clear sky against the bright, sand-yellow stone of the castle and a smattering of luscious deep green palm trees is quite arresting and evocative.

#3 Sunrise Sailing into Stavanger

Another one from my August 2019 cruise to Norway aboard Azura. If you’ve not yet worked it out, I’m an early bird. On our approach to Stavanger (our first port of call on this cruise) I headed out with my Canon Eos to our starboard balcony to watch and capture the sunrise. It was 5:45am and I was certainly rewarded for an early start. I lost count of how many photos I snapped in the 30 mins or so it took for the sun to fully rise, but this seemed to be the photo that most of my followers liked. It also ranks as one of my personal favourites and I’m so glad so many of my followers thought the same.

#2 La Corbiere Lighthouse in Jersey

“Lighthouses don’t get all wobbly when the weather gets rough; they just stand there, shining”. – Anonymous

I posted this photo in late August 2020, with the lighthouse caption (above) at a time when we all learned about a raft of cruise cancellations. Things seemed so uncertain on many levels.  While I love this photo, I think it was the quote that when with it in the post which resonated so much with people. I think it still does, so it was nice to see it featured in my top nine of 2020. 

The photo was taken on a rare day off in 2018 where I was able to combine business with pleasure whilst working in Jersey for a couple of weeks. I took the chance to build my own sore excursion and discover the island. I started with the sunrise near St Catherine’s Breakwater and followed it across the island, finishing at La Corbière lighthouse in Jersey’s south western corner, to watch the sunset.

#1 Britannia’s Wake (Reel)

While this is technically a Reel, it’s still been counted as a post on my top 9 for 2020, and I’m so glad it has. The wake is my most favourite view from a ship (one of the reasons I head to aft balcony cabins first when booking a cruise).

You get a clear sense of how powerful a cruise ship is by watching the wake. It also reminds me of a saying my late Auntie would often offer up “we may never pass this way again”; meaning, make the most of what you’ve got and seize the day (or the moment) as it might not come again. The wake reminds me of this, as we look back on where we’ve been, what we’ve experienced and what we’ve learned on our journey so far and to also make the most of what we have.

I thought I’d take you through each photo in my top nine and give you a bit of background on each one. So, in ascending order, let the countdown commence…

What to read next?

Why no cruise ships?

One of the things that struck me when viewing my top nine this year is that while I shared many photos of ships, it was the views on my travels and from the ships that resonated the most with my followers. You can read into that what you will, but for me, I think it means while we miss the ships (dearly) it’s the destinations they transport us to that matter the most.

I hope you enjoyed my top nine run down. If you already follow me on Instagram and liked any of my posts, thank you so much – you helped make this list. If you are still yet to follow me, I would love it if you decide to join me on my journey in 2021 and perhaps be part of helping me choose my top nine for next year.


Hi, I’m Steph I’ve travelled around the world, backpacked across Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii and spent over 100 nights at sea. Having grown up by the coast, the sea is my passion and now I enjoy exploring the world on cruise ships with my family. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up to date with my ever expanding set of port guides to inspire you on your travels plus money-saving cruise tips, ship tours and cabin reviews.