The results of the New Seven Wonders of the World campaign were announced in Lisbon, Portugal on July 7, 2007. The campaign to select the new seven man-made wonders of the world started in September 1999, and people around the world nominated their favorites through December 2005. Twenty-one world class finalists were announced by an international panel of judges on January 1, 2006. The 21 finalists were then posted at the New7Wonders Web site and over 100 million votes from around the world selected the seven winners. More than 600 million votes were cast in selecting the New7Wonders of the World, New7Wonders of Nature, and the New7Wonders of Cities.
What do this list and its results mean to travelers? First, its development and voting process attracted large numbers of interested travelers to amazing places around the world, some well-known (like the Colosseum in Rome), but many less so (like Petra in Jordan or Chichen Itza in Mexico). Second, the list helps travelers in their land or cruise trip planning efforts. Although the list was announced over a decade ago, it will be relevant for many decades to come.
Origins of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
The concept of the New Seven Wonders of the World was based on the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, which was compiled by Philon of Byzantium in 200 B.C. Philon's list was essentially a travel guide for his fellow Athenians, and all the man-made sites were located in the Mediterranean Sea basin. Unfortunately, only one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world remains today—the Pyramids of Egypt. The other six ancient wonders were: the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
How to See the New Seven Wonders of the World
Almost all of the top 21 finalist sites are accessible via cruise ship or overnight land extensions, so cruise lovers can use this list for travel planning much like the ancient Athenians did.
- The Great Wall of China in northern China can be visited on a combination land tour and Yangtze River cruise in China, or an ocean cruise that ports in Tianjin and has a shore excursion to the Great Wall.
- Petra in Jordan can be visited on a cruise to the Red Sea and the Middle East where the ship docks at Aqaba, Jordan. Ships repositioning between the Mediterranean and Asia often stopover at Petra.
- The Statue of Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro can be visited on South America cruises that stopover in Rio de Janeiro.
- Machu Picchu in Peru can be visited on a pre- or post-cruise extension from a South American cruise that embarks or debarks in Lima.
- Chichén Itzá in Mexico can be visited on a full-day shore excursion from Progreso, Cancun, or Cozumel.
- The Colosseum in Rome can be visited on a shore excursion to Rome when your Mediterranean cruise ship is docked at Civitavecchia, the port for Rome.
- The Taj Mahal in India is the most difficult of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It is not located near the coast, so cruise travelers must fly to Delhi and then ride/drive to Agra. Some cruise ships docked in Mumbai offer a full-day excursion with a charter flight to Agra. This full-day excursion is probably the best (and least stressful) option. Some cruise lines and tour operators have begun cruise tours that include a cruise on the Ganges River and often stopover at the Taj Mahal during the land portion of the tour.
Other Finalist Nominees
Not every place made it into the top seven, but there are many runners-up that are equally interesting to visit.
- Alhambra in Granada, Spain
- Easter Island (Rapa Nui) Statues in the South Pacific Ocean
- Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
- Kiyomizu Temple in Japan
- Statue of Liberty in New York City
- Stonehenge in Great Britain
- Sydney Opera House in Australia
All of these finalist nominees can easily be visited on a day trip or shore excursion from a cruise ship except the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Stonehenge in Great Britain, and Timbuktu in Mali.