Monday, 30 April 2012

Destination Southern Chile

The world's top cruise lines offer a number of options for exploring southern Chile by sea. Whether the focus of the tour is adventure or luxury, you'll have a chance to relax and take in everything around you.

The classic cruise route in southern Chile departs Puerto Montt and leads to the San Rafael Glacier and its 70 metre-high walls and the lagoon of the same name. The Northern Patagonia voyage takes five to six days during which you'll enjoy incredible scenery capped by a glass of whiskey served over thousand-year-old ice cubes. Some cruise lines also travel to and from Castro and Chiloé.

Fishing and fine dining enthusiasts can depart Puerto Montt on a ship that navigates the canals southward without a fixed destination. Passengers can disembark via modern zodiac boats and helicopters to visit the best fishing spots and enjoy an exquisite traditional lunch on the glacier's shores, like with Nomads of the Seas.
 
Four-day cruises leave Puerto Montt for Puerto Natales, travelling along the southernmost fjords and canals in the world. The journey will take you to Puerto Edén and past the Pio Xi Glacier, the largest in South America, as well as Bernardo O'Higgins National Park.

Another fascinating route runs from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, Argentina. There are excellent expedition cruises that eschew parties and focus on adventure. As you travel through Southern Patagonia you'll come across canals, glaciers, penguins and dolphins. You can also go trekking and, if time allows, sail to Cape Horn, which marks the end of the continent.

Those who wish to visit Antarctica can chose from 10 to 31-day cruises that follow a number of different routes. Most depart Ushuaia, Argentina. From Punta Arenas, you can take an aerotour to Rey Jorge Island, which is part of the South Shetland Islands, and continue on to the white continent from there.

For more info and booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's adventure-cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

G Adventures Announces First West Africa Programme

Exploring multiple countries in West Africa has become easier as G Adventures announces its first sailing programme in the region aboard the M/S Expedition

The cruises enable travellers to discover this under-explored area of the continent with ease, while uncovering West Africa’s unique and varied historical, cultural and natural landscapes in comfort and style. Passengers can choose from three itineraries that visit more than 10 African nations in April 2013. All itineraries are now on sale and are priced from £3,495pp:
  • Accra to Dakar – 12-day
  • Cape Town to Accra – 18-day
  • Cape Town to Dakar – 27-day

G Adventures is recognised for trail-blazing up-and-coming destinations and the new expeditions are among the first of their kind in the region, with ports of call including Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Cameroon and Togo.

All itineraries boast a solid combination of activity and leisure. Passengers have ample time to spot rare birds and endemic wildlife with skilled naturalists, mingle in local markets, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the birthplace of voodoo, trace the roots of slavery, and learn about the region from the experienced expedition staff, including historians, anthropologists and ornithologists. 

Passengers will also explore unreachable coastlines, and visit uninhabited islands and traditional villages via a fleet of zodiacs. A notable highlight is the opportunity to discover the Bijagos Archipelego off the coast of Guinea-Bissau – a rare experience offered by very few operators. The island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, one of the most unexplored places on earth, and its inhabitants are descendants of an ancient culture that practices an animist religion.

The 140-passenger M/S Expedition features large cabins equipped with en-suite bathrooms and windows, providing an exceptionally spacious and comfortable experience for all guests. Demonstrating innovative travel in West Africa, G Adventures’ land-based Voodoo Trail trip was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s Top Tours of a Lifetime for 2009.

For more on adventure cruises, contact the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Right Royal Celebration with Swan Hellenic


Here's a truly Royal cruise idea - celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on board Swan Hellenic’s newly refurbished ship, MV Minerva from just £2,185 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin).

Departing from Portsmouth on May 22, passengers on the 16-day St. Petersburg and the Baltic cruise will be able to celebrate the Jubilee by taking part in ‘A Right Royal Quiz’ including musical clues taken from Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. Passengers will also be treated to a special performance of ‘Theatre Royal’ from the Shakespeare Revue Company, enacting some of the Queen’s favourite shows from across the ages, as well as a commemorative meal to mark the occasion.

To accompany the onboard entertainment, Swan Hellenic offers a programme of shore activities fit for any Queen, visiting the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre to celebrate St Petersburg’s 20th Music Festival “Stars of the White Nights”, seeing a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Opera ‘Eugene Onegin’, and a behind-the-scenes tour with a curator at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

The full voyage sails through the Kiel Canal and then visits Ronne (Denmark), Visby (Sweden), St. Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn (Estonia), Gdansk (Poland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
The price includes a tailor-made programme of shore excursions, talks by eminent Guest Speakers, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. Special terms and conditions apply.

For booking details, follow this link to the The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Hurtigruten's 'Taste of the Arctic'


Want to take a short voyage and sail through Norway’s beautiful Lofoten Islands next winter? How about visiting the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund with its myriad of turrets and spires all covered in snow? You can now do both on a brand new ‘Taste of the Arctic Voyage’ introduced by Hurtigruten for 2013. 

Sail from Bergen in the south along the coast and up into the Arctic Circle to Tromsø, or take the voyage in reverse. Until now, the only winter short break available was all north of the Arctic Circle from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back. Prices for the five-day ‘Taste of the Arctic Voyage’ travelling south from Tromsø to Bergen lead in at just £1080pp, including flights, on selected departures from January to March and November to December 2013.

Depending on which direction guests choose to sail, they will experience many of the highlights of a full 12-day ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, including the Lofoten Islands, Seven Sisters Mountains and the fascinating towns of Bergen, Tromsø, Ålesund and Trondheim. Excursions are also pre-bookable in both directions, including dog sledding, snowmobiling and a Northern Lights safari by cable car in Tromsø. 
 
For those with a keen interest in the coastal wildlife, Hurtigruten has introduced two new bird-watching excursions. Those travelling on a seven-day ‘Classic Voyage North’ or the ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from May 1 to August 31 can take an expedition to Runde Bird Island near Ålesund. This is home to Scandinavia’s largest sea bird colony, with more than 500,000 of them nesting here. Amongst them are Atlantic puffins, blacklegged kittiwakes and guillemots. Prices for the expedition to Runde Island are from £133pp. 
 
The new Birds of the Arctic excursion can be enjoyed from Vadsø for guests travelling northbound, or from Vardø for those journeying southbound, from April 15 to July 31. The Varanger region is one of the most attractive and popular bird-watching areas in the Arctic due to it being directly in the path of migrating birds. This is the only place in Europe that you are likely to spot the rare Steller’s Eider. Prices cost from £247pp for this full day excursion. 
 
For those looking for more flexibility and better value, Hurtigruten has also included more packages with flights for next year. These are available on two itineraries, the ‘Arctic Highlights Voyage’ from Tromsø to Kirkenes and back and the ‘Classic Round Voyage’. Eight new departure dates are available for the ‘Arctic Highlights’ itinerary, departing on selected dates from January to March and October to December from four regional airports in total, including Belfast, which is brand new for this year and Edinburgh, previously only featured as a flight-package departure airport for the ‘Classic Round Voyage’.  
 
Furthering Hurtigruten’s aim to bring guests closer to the Norwegian culture, new music and culinary concepts are being introduced on all ships in 2013 following a pilot scheme this year. Local delicacies will feature on the daily menu affording a real taste of the coast while guests will also be able to enjoy Norwegian music played on board.
 
For more information visit this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's premier adventure-cruise specialists.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Voyages of Discovery Cruises Into Rivers For 2012

Voyages of Discovery has launched its first-ever river cruising programme, European River Cruises. Cruise through central European rivers, the Rhine and the Danube, or discover Russia’s waterway, the River Volga, whilst experiencing a tailor-made programme of shore excursions.

Prices for all river cruises include flights or rail travel and overseas transfers from/to the ship (where applicable), all meals on board and house wine with lunch and dinner. Shore excursions, gratuities and visas are not included. European River Cruises recommended by Voyages of Discovery include:

· Romantic Rhine Cruise – a seven-night cruise of the Rhine onboard Royal Crown from £1,195 per person. Departing from Amsterdam and calling at Düsseldorf, Königswinter, Koblenz (overnight), Rüdesheim and Cologne (overnight). Price based on a 2 June departure.

· Grand Danube Journey – a seven-night voyage on Royal Crown from £1,795 per person. Departing from Budapest and calling at Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Linz, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg. Price based on a 7 July departure.

· St Petersburg-Moscow – an 11-night cruise on board Volga Dream from £2,395 per person. Departing from St Petersburg (overnight x 3) and calling at Svir River and Mandrogi, Kizhi, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Uglich and Moscow (overnight x 2). Price based on a 29 July or 11 August departure.

For bookings, follow this link to the UK's river cruise specialists The Cruise Line Ltd. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fred Olsen's Irish Touch

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is setting itself up as the real Irish cruise expert in the next year or so as they offer a series of tempting voyages that feature The Emerald Isle, including sailings from Belfast in 2013.

Take Braemar's nine-night voyage from Dover on May 22, for example. The first port of call is vibrant Dublin, the welcoming city with its famous ‘craic’ where guests can delight in the beautiful Book of Kells in Trinity College, indulge in a tour of the Guinness Brewery or enjoy superb shopping, sightseeing, or fine food and wine in the many excellent bars, restaurants and cafés. The ship stays overnight, giving more time to explore and allowing guests the extra pleasure of an evening visit to take in some of the great live entertainment.

The next visit is to Belfast, a port with which the cruise line enjoys long associations as another part of the Fred. Olsen group, Fred. Olsen Energy, owns the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was built 100 years ago. Guests here can visit the recently opened ‘Titanic Belfast' exhibition, which tells the whole story of the fateful ship in film, video and archive material. An alternative excursion is a visit to the extraordinary Giant’s Causeway, which never fails to delight visitors.

Fred. Olsen is also pleased to be offering cruises from Belfast starting in 2013. On leaving the port, Braemar heads north, travelling right up to the Orkney Islands, where she visits beautiful Kirkwall. The town has a Scandinavian feel and, in fact, the name ‘Kirkwall’ comes from the Norse for ‘Church Bay’, referring to the 11th Century Church of St Olaf. The most northerly port on this cruise, Kirkwall is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the islands. It is an amazing, haunting place, with over 5,000 years of history and a wealth of wildlife, where you will feel you are in another world.

Braemar also has a final call at Invergordon, a town long associated with the Navy and home to a fine golf course. She then journeys south, returning to Dover. Prices for this cruise start from just £399 per person with a Latesaver deal. This is based on two adults sharing twin-bedded accommodation, and includes all meals and entertainment on board and port taxes. The cabin grade will be confirmed on embarkation. An added attraction on this cruise is a theme of ‘Houses & Gardens’ through the onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. This is hosted by the expert gardening writer, John Negus (pictured, above).

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Cape Verde - Final Day

World of Cruising's blogger-in-chief Steve Newman finally reaches the end of his latest trip, an adventurous cruise to the Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia...

Our last day in Cape Verde and another fabulous day exploring Mindelo, the capital of San Vincente island and one of the most attractive of all the Cape Verde towns.

There is a strong British influence here in the architecture, and the fish market was a real eye opener. However, the ladies who run the stalls are very proud and don’t like having their picture taken when they don’t look clean, so we had to ask first. Most of them were happy to have the fish taken but not them!

The vegetable market (above) is great, with a balcony running all the way around it so you can look down on all the stalls. We also went to a traditional bar/cafe for a coffee and a type of lemon/coconut treacle cake. It wasn’t a tourist place at all as the locals were watching football and shouting at each other in Creole/Portugese. Fantastic!

Lastly, we visited the workshop of a family who have been making and repairing guitars for 300 years. It was great to see the two brothers and one of their children steaming the wood and making the fret boards entirely by hand and with no imported materials. Then they played a couple of songs for us, which once again got our guides up and dancing along.

After lunch we had a choice. Walk into the town and explore or go for a swim on the white sand beach just some 300 yards from the ship. A fabulous cruise. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cape Verde - Penultimate Day

World of Cruising blogger-in-chief Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise to the Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia...

Today we visited the western end of San Antao Island, having anchored off the pier which is being renovated. 

Much drier than the eastern part end, it still had amazing views down steep-sided gorges. As it was Sunday, the population came out of church not in their Sunday best but in their brightest colours. 

Going along the road, this sea of vivid colour parted around us as we drove through it in the minibus - like a shoal of fish when you go snorkelling.

Our guides also broke into an impromptu dance session, showing us the four traditional dances of the island at one point, with one playing drums and the others really showing us the rhythms of the Vape Verdes.

It was our last zodiac cruise of the trip (above) and, walking down the gangway on to the floating pontoon, an osprey wafted past us. 

Then we had a short one-hour cruise to the neighbouring island of San Vincente and its capital Mindelo, one of the most attractive of all the Cape Verde towns. I am so looking forward to exploring it tomorrow!

For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Cape Verde Part 7

World of Cruising blogger-in-chief Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise to the Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia...

Another amazing day in these fantastic islands. Today we visited the island of Santo Antao and once again this island seemed better than all the others. 

It is the greenest of the islands and we looked down into a giant volcanic crater with crops growing in the bottom, lush valleys and saw terraces that reminded me of China and Peru, growing bananas and sugar cane.

Huge mountains and roads that were simply unbelievable with precipitous drops either side were the stuff of the morning. 

We followed the road from the fishing village of Ponta del Sol, where locals cleaned the fish they had caught in the sea and sold it on the sands, to the village of Fountainibas (pictured, above) which has to be seen to believed. 

I have never seen a road like this that was only as wide as our bus and gripped the mountain side with corkscrew turns and had drops of hundreds of feet just inches away.

A visit to a “Grouge” (the islands’ traditional rum drink) distillery in the back yard of a large house was fascinating. To see it being made in the traditional manner without an aluminium pipe or a health and safety hat anywhere in sight was really great! 

To top it all, we had a fabulous barbecue on the stern deck overlooking the island as the sun went gently down. A truly fabulous, unforgettable day.

For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

AMA's New Seine Cruises

AmaWaterways will introduce Seine cruises for the first time in 2013, commencing in March with two itineraries, a 7-night voyage and a combined 14-night cruise of the Seine and the Rhone.

The standard one-week itinerary aboard the AmaLegro visits the enchanting riverside towns and cities of Vernon, Rouen, Les Andelys and Conflans before arriving in Paris.

Excursions include the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years, the artists’ haven of Honfleur, a stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy and an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches. 

The week-long cruise costs from £1,654 per person, including all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner, complimentary wi-fi and free use of onboard bicycles.

The new 'Jewels of France' cruise combines two itineraries, AMA's seven-night Rhone River cruise and the seven-night Seine voyage, showcasing some of France’s most charming cities. Embarking in Arles, guests will board the AmaDagio to cruise through the legendary wine regions. 

Excursions include wine tastings, exploring Roman ruins at Pont du Gard & Uzes and visits to the Renaissance palace in Grignan. Disembarking in Lyon, passengers travel to Paris aboard the high-speed TGV train to join the 7-night Seine cruise before returning to the capital. The two-week voyage costs from £3,370 per person.

The AmaLegro and AmaDagio feature luxurious cruise accommodations with spacious staterooms, most with French balconies. Other amenities include a massage and beauty salon, complimentary Internet and Infotainment System with music library and Hollywood movies. Special highlights include lectures, themed dinners, cooking demonstrations and onboard music performances. For guests wishing to explore the serene paths along the rivers, there are also bicycles onboard.

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cape Verde Part Six

World of Cruising blogger-in-chief Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise to the Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia...
An interesting start to the day as the captain had to reverse the ship onto the small jetty here at Tarrrafal on the island of St Nicolau (above).
Then I walked around the port to the market, watching the locals bartering and buying fish on the pier as the boats came in, followed by a tiny cargo boat that must have been a Tardis inside judging by the amount of cargo that came off of it!
Shop owners from the surrounding villages came down to collect their orders in their battered 4 x 4 trucks.
The mountain scenery on the island is very impressive and we drove through some spectacular landscapes to get to the capital Ribiera Brave
This place is just like Ciutadella and old Palma with very narrow streets and Victorian style lanterns. 
Later on, we watched some traditional dances called Mazurka. I’m not a great one for this but the music and the dancing was really very good and had my feet tapping!
For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

West African Coast with Noble Caledonia


While we're following Steve Newman's voyage around the Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia, here is a great offer for one of NC's rare West African cruises:

Join Noble Caledonia for a remarkable voyage as you sail along the coast of West Africa from Ghana to Cape Town, a journey which promises many contrasts from lush landscapes to the vast deserts of Namibia. 

In Ghana, the former seat of Britain’s colonial power in the Gold Coast, the cruise visits some of the forts and castles built by the earliest European visitors while in Benin, a former French colony known as the ‘Latin Quarter of Africa,’ passengers will get to visit the birthplace of Voodoo.

Further south, guests will spend time on the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, famous for its natural beauty and birdlife. In Namibia, take to four-wheel-drive vehicles to explore the dunes and lagoons of Walvis Bay and watch the sky turn pink as tens of thousands of flamingos take flight.

The only way to arrive in Cape Town is by sea, and should you choose this trip the company has planned an extension to allow for a stay over Christmas in this most beautifully situated of all cities.

The 18-night cruise sails on December 6. Book before April 30 and save £400 per person! 

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Cape Verde Fogo Volcano

World of Cruising's arch-blogger Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...

Well what a day that was. Landed on Fogo via the zodiacs and explored the fascinating city of Sao Filipe with its incredible indoor market. 

Loads of ladies selling every conceivable type of fruit and vegetable and others cutting up fish to sell. Upstairs were the fabrics and clothes, with local music playing out - loud!

Then up to the crater of the huge volcano some 3,000ft high with another volcanic cone inside it.  Amazing sights.

I tried the local wines, which are grown inside the crater, and they were very good! It is incredible how people can make a living seemingly out of nothing. Lunch was amazing under the shadow of  the volcano.

For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

Cunard’s Apple iStudy courses now available on all three liners.

Cunard’s highly popular Apple iStudy courses are now available on all three Cunard ocean liners, following the recent opening of the Apple Learning Centre on board Queen Victoria. The centres offer the latest iMac machines for confidence-boosting seminars and workshops that aim to familiarise guests with the latest technology, from Facebook to iPads, in a fun and interactive way.

iStudy has been a feature of Queen Mary 2 since last October while Queen Elizabeth has had an Apple centre on board since her introduction in 2010. The workshops have proved a particularly strong draw on QM2's transatlantic crossings to and from the Big Apple, with many guests bringing along their own iPads to use during the sessions.

The iStudy on all three ship aims to take advantage of today's technology and present computer-based learning in an accessible and un-threatening way. All Guest Computer Services Managers have been trained on the latest Apple technology to offer Apple courses to interested passengers. Apple iMacs are fitted throughout iStudy to provide guests with an intuitive and stimulating learning experience.

For more info and booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Cape Verde Part 5

World of Cruising's arch-blogger Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...

About 60 Atlantic spotted dolphins came to play on the bow wave this morning. The sea was boiling with them as they swam towards us.

Plenty of Gull-billed terns, shearwaters, red-billed tropic birds and a brown booby also put in an appearance but we have still seen no whales yet.

We also passed two local fishermen in a tiny boat fishing with a single line to catch deep-water species on our way to the island of Brava. It was our first zodiac landing and it was fun (see above)!

The island has mist-shrouded peaks and plunging valleys with hairpin roads that hang on to the mountain-side by their fingernails. 
 
The capital Nova Sintra is high in the mountains and has a cool climate with hibiscus, bougainvillea, dahlias and bananas and a host of other tropical plants growing in the gardens.

For more information about Noble Caledonia’s Cape Verde cruise or other voyages, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK’s luxury and adventure-cruise specialists.

Regent's 20th Anniversary Collection

To celebrate 20 years of delivering the most coveted luxury experiences to its guests, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is marking its 20th Anniversary this summer with a special collection of sailings in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Alaska, plus two special sailings with the line’s President.

In honour of this two-decade milestone, the commemorative sailings, ranging from seven to 14 nights, are on each of the ultra-luxury line’s three all-suite ships and include an array of memorable surprises for guests, including special fares, selected itineraries with free Business Class upgrades on any suite category booked, specially-designed luggage tags and commemorative pins. 

A gala 20th Anniversary dinner will also be hosted on each voyage. As with all Regent sailings, guests enjoy unlimited and complimentary shore excursions in every port and, with their cruise fares being the most inclusive in the marketplace, they include: return flights and transfers, gourmet dining without cover charges, open bar and onboard gratuities.

Choose from:

26 June | 7-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Istanbul to Athens | from £1,917 per person | FREE BC FLIGHT UPGRADE

2 July | 10-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Stockholm to Copenhagen | from £3,424 per person

12 & 29 July | 10-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Copenhagen to Stockholm | from £3,502 per person

13 July | 7-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Istanbul to Athens | from £2,297 per person

20 July | 7-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Athens to Venice | from £2,281 per person

22 July | 7-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Stockholm to Copenhagen | from £2,450 per person

27 July | 10-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Venice to Monte Carlo | from £3,578 per person | FREE BC FLIGHT UPGRADE

6 August | 7-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Monte Carlo to Barcelona | from £2,268 per person 

8 August | 7-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Stockholm to Copenhagen | from £2,341 per person

13 August | 10-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Barcelona to Lisbon | from £3,582 per person | FREE BC FLIGHT UPGRADE 

15 August | 10-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Copenhagen to Stockholm | from £3,502 per person

22 August | 12-nights | Seven Seas Navigator | Vancouver to San Francisco | from £5,269 per person

25 August | 12-nights | Seven Seas Voyager | Stockholm to Southampton | from £3,993 per person

6 Sept | 10-nights | Seven Seas Mariner | Venice to Monte Carlo | from £3,578 per person.

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cape Verde Part 4

World of Cruising's arch-blogger Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...

Up at 6am as we left port to sail the 18 miles to the island of Maio.  This is unique as we are the first cruise ship to visit the island by tying up to the jetty, so the Mayoral party came to greet us. 

Fantastic watching the sun come up as we scanned the ocean for the Cape Verde humpbacks and dolphins. 

The expedition team helping us with identification of the birds are itching to see whales. We had a really good lecture this afternoon on whales and dolphins so we are all ready tomorrow to identify them from the bow.

Maio has quiet dunes and secret beaches but the little town is fascinating to explore with its pastel houses. The birders walked over to the salt flats and back along the white sand beach while the shoppers headed to the town and then the beaches for a swim.   

None of us had seen water so clear and so inviting. The people are even more laid back here than on Santiago! 4pm saw an ice cream social event in the bar - a great relief to those of us coming back to the ship!
For more information on Noble Caledonia cruises, follow this link to The Cruise Line the UK’s luxury adventure cruise specialist. 

MSC Cruises Introduces French Antilles

MSC Cruises is delighted to announce the introduction of the French Antilles as a new destination for the 2012-2013 winter season. Complemented by an extensive array of fascinating shore excursions, this is an unmissable opportunity for guests to experience this idyllic region at first hand. 

The inaugural voyage begins on November 30 when MSC Lirica departs from Genoa, Italy, for a 16-day transatlantic cruise, arriving at her new home port in Martinique just over two weeks later.  

Lirica's course will take her from the Mediterranean through the Atlantic and on to the Caribbean, with scheduled stops in Marseilles, Barcelona, Funchal and, after five full days at sea, Bridgetown in Barbados. Scheduled stops then follow in Saint George in Grenada, Basseterre in Saint Kitts & Nevis and Castries in Saint Lucia, arriving in Fort-de-France in Martinique on December 15.

From December to February 16, 2013, Lirica has a full schedule of ten 7-day/8-night cruises, departing every Saturday from Fort-de-France and every Sunday from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. 

During these Caribbean experiences, guests will discover not only the breathtaking beauty but also the rich history of the islands, with scheduled stops in St John’s in Antigua & Barbuda; Road Town on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; Santo Domingo and La Romana in the Dominican Republic and Philipsburg in St Maarten. 

The French Antilles will bid farewell to Lirica on February 23, when she starts her 16-day/15-night return cruise to Genoa. Scheduled stops are Pointe-à-Pitre, Castries, Funchal, Malaga, Barcelona and Marseille.

For more information follow this link to the UK's leading cruise agent specialists, the Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Cape Verde Part 3

Arch World of Cruising blogger Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...

Another fabulous day in the Cape Verde Islands! Here we are at Tarrafal on the north of the main island.  

It has been a day of mountains, beaches and incredible Jacaranda trees with their vivid blue. 

Tomorrow, we start island-hopping. Can't wait!

For more information, click on this link to the UK's luxury cruise specialist The Cruise Line. 

Save On The Nile & Yangtze With Bales Worldwide

Here are two great offers this week from Bales Worldwide, for big savings on exotic river-cruises on The Nile and Yangtze rivers:

The Nostalgic Nile from £1,395; saving up to £500pp


The eight-day 'Nostalgic Nile' itinerary with Bales Worldwide includes scheduled flights and accommodation on The Amber, a traditional ‘dahabiyya’ sailing vessel. The trip includes English-speaking guides on board who will also take care of tipping, private air-conditioned vehicles for transfers, a sightseeing itinerary (including entrance fees), and exclusive ‘dahabiyya’ cruise. 

Prices are per person based on two adults travelling and sharing on a mixed board basis (including seven breakfasts, six lunches and seven dinners). Price includes all applicable UK and overseas airport taxes and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change, based on a May 19 departure date.

Yangtze Splendour from £2,595pp; saving up to £200pp


Bales' 15-day 'Yangtze Splendour' itinerary includes scheduled flights and accommodation and sightseeing encompassing Beijing, Xian, Chongquing, Shanghai and Li River. There is also the option to extend your holiday and add two extra nights in Hong Kong. The trip includes English-speaking guides, a sightseeing itinerary and modern medium class hotels throughout. 

Prices are per person based on two adults travelling and sharing on a mixed board basis. Price includes all applicable UK and overseas airport taxes and fuel surcharges (subject to change) and are based on June  9 departure date.

To book, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury river-cruise specialist.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Norwegian's New Sports TV

This year promises to be epic one for sport and Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a new TV channel on board – SPORT 24 – showing major sporting events on all four of their ships sailing in Europe, Norwegian Epic, Jade, Sun and Spirit.

The action includes UEFA's Euro 2012 Championships from Poland and the Ukraine, London's Olympic Games, 2012 the Ryder Cup in October, the annual Wimbledon tennis championships, Formula One races and more.*

Sailings showing sporting events through SPORT 24 include:
 
  • A seven-night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona voyage on board Norwegian Epic. Travelling: day at sea, Naples (for Pompeii), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Livorno (for Florence/Pisa) and Cannes (France). Price from £909 per person for a June 10 departure from London Heathrow based on two people sharing an inside stateroom.
  • A seven-night Greek Isles from Venice cruise on board Norwegian Jade. Travelling: day at sea, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Katakolon (for Olympia), day at sea. Price from £829 per person for a June 9 departure from London Gatwick based on two people sharing an inside stateroom.
  • A seven-night Adriatic, Greece & Turkey from Venice cruise on Norwegian Jade. Travelling: Dubrovnik, day at sea, Piraeus (for Athens), Izmir (for Ephesus), day at sea and Split. Price from £829 per person for a June 16 departure from London Gatwick based on two people sharing an inside stateroom.

*The SPORT 24 detailed programme schedule will be published shortly and is subject to change. Permission to broadcast and use trademarks has been granted by IMG Sports Media. Limitations may apply whilst in port.

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Cape Verde Islands, Part 2

Arch World of Cruising blogger Steve Newman continues his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...

Well that was a good day! We explored Praia on Santiago, the largest island, then we went off to an old 16th century port and one of the earliest colonial towns in the world. The temperature is a balmy 26C with the water being 23C.
 
Tomorrow, we are off to discover the rest of the island with its deep gorges and forests. The waiters and cleaning are really very efficient and the whole cruise is looking very good!

For more information, click on this link to the UK's luxury cruise specialist The Cruise Line.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Cape Verde Islands with Noble Caledonia

Arch World of Cruising blogger Steve Newman starts his latest trip, an adventurous cruise into the Atlantic with Noble Caledonia...
Well here we are in Praia, Santiago, the largest and most populous of the Cape Verde Islands. We have another 10 days to go in the company of Noble Caledonia, cruising the archipelago and I have to say I am very impressed with MS Expedition

This is a lovely little  ship, catering for only 125 passengers in total, and with loads of Zodiacs - the inflatable rubber landing boats - for making shore visits where other ships can't go.

Talk to you again soon about our opening experiences, which included these Creole dancers on the stern. Brilliant!

Regent's 2013 Programme Sets Sail

Regent Seven Seas has begun accepting reservations for their new Summer/Autumn 2013 sailings, featuring new ports of call and an enticing range of extended voyages in Europe, North America and South America.  

Highlights of the new 2013 collection include calls to Ajaccio and Porto Vecchio (Corsica), Arrecife (Lanzarote) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife), extended voyages in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, South America and a wonderful 24-night Amazon voyage, round-trip from Miami, as well as sailings combining the best of Alaska, New England and the Panama Canal. 

All 2013 sailings include a pre-cruise overnight luxury hotel stay and guests booking Penthouse suites or higher on Med and Northern European sailings will enjoy free Business Class upgrades. Regent also includes all return flights and transfers, all-suite accommodations, award-winning cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, live entertainment, free and unlimited shore excursions, gratuities and taxes, and a pre-cruise hotel stay on all 2013 sailings in cruise fares.

2013 Summer Collection Highlights:

Seven Seas Voyager begins the season in the vibrant enclaves of Iceland and the Norwegian fjords. A series of 7-to-10 night voyages follows, discovering baroque palaces, soaring cathedrals and medieval towns surrounded by the natural wonders of the Scandinavia and Baltic coastlines. 

With two overnights in St. Petersburg, guests will have three full days to explore. Or, choose a longer voyage of up to 36 nights to the British Isles, the Baltic and Western Europe

For booking details, click on this link to The UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Calling All Disney Fans!

OK, I'm going to take a quick break from the maritime world to put in a shameless plug for a new Disney book by my wife and I - The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Planner.

While I can't really take much credit for it as Susan wrote the original Hidden Magic of WDW book to huge acclaim three years ago, this follow-up is much broader in scope and should offer real Disney fans - and those who have never been to the amazing Walt Disney World before - a genuine alternative guidebook to the usual formulaic style.

Using the 'hidden magic' as the starting point - the essential story-telling basis for all Disney attractions - we give visitors a full narrative guide to the wide-ranging experience that is Walt's superbly-created World.

As we say in the intro, "if you don't know the story, you're just taking another ride," and it really IS true that if you don't take some time to slow down, appreciate the wealth of art and design, and pay attention to what's actually going on all around you, you are likely to miss much of the true Disney experience and 'magic' as you go.

The new book acts as a guide, an information resource, a story and history of the parks, water parks, resorts, Downtown Disney and restaurants, and a special keepsake for all those little tokens, tickets, etc, that you pick up along the way, with built-in pockets for that kind of memorabilia.

There are also pages to write your own 'story' and detail your experiences and memories along the way, building into a real treasure trove of vacation fun.

But don't just take our word for it. Look up all the reviews on Amazon.com of both books, and then take a trip to the publisher's website here: http://www.adamsmediastore.com/product/the-hidden-magic-of-walt-disney-world-planner/reference

Take A World War II Remembrance Cruise With Voyages Of Discovery

Voyages of Discovery is marking the anniversary of the D-Day landings with its "D-Day, Normandy, Dunkirk and Beyond" cruise retracing the steps of the World War II conflict for £589 per person. On the anniversary of the landings, the MV Discovery visit the famous Cherbourg beaches to pay tribute to the brave men that represented their country in military combat.

Other ports of call on the cruise include Rouen, Heligoland, Ijmuiden and Harwich. Discovery will be accompanied by guest speaker, Brigadier Hugh Willing. From his own military experience, Hugh will offer his commentary on war history and enlighten passengers on his own service at NATO headquarters. Voyages of Discovery will make a donation to Help for Heroes and continue to fund-raise through sales of promotional items.

The cruise costs from £589 per person, based on an inside cabin, and departs on June 5. The price includes the 8-night voyage - departing from Portsmouth and calling at Cherbourg, St Peter Port, Rouen (overnight), Dunkirk, Heligoland and Ijmuiden before arriving at Harwich - and all gratuities, service charges and port/airport taxes, comprehensive Guest Speaker programme and all meals and entertainment on-board.

For booking details, check this link to the UK's leading specialist cruise agents, The Cruise Line Ltd. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Australia Tops For Zegrahm's Adventure Cruisers

Zegrahm Expeditions, a leader in adventure travel for the past 20 years, is excited to announce the findings of a recent survey of adventure travellers. When asked to share regions of most interest, 63 per cent of survey participants listed Australia, making the island-continent the top adventure travel destination for 2013.

“Based on the findings of our travel trends survey, we introduced a number of new itineraries to Australia and the Pacific regions for 2013,” stated Zegrahm president Jon Nicholson. “I am pleased to report that pre-reservations for these itineraries are selling exceptionally well, and overall pre-bookings are equal to or exceeding our most popular itineraries in 2012.”

The survey also revealed a number of other areas of interest for travel in 2013. Adventure travellers reported that 57 per cent would like to visit Asia and 49 per cent listed Central and South America as a top choice. In contrast, the Middle East was the area of least interest, with only 34 per cent expressing interest to visit the region (respondents were asked to check all areas of interest so percentages don’t add up to 100%.)

Featured itineraries in 2013 Include:

Rain Forests & Reefs
— Belize to Costa Rica: 15-day journey departing March 8, 2013, aboard the Island Sky
Australia’s Kimberley
— 15-day journey departing September 12, 2013, aboard the Caledonian Sky
Tasmania, Sub-Antarctic Islands & New Zealand
—20-day journey departing November 25, 2013, aboard the Caledonian Sky
Mongolia
—18-day overland adventure departing August 20, 2013
Circumnavigation of Sumatra
—19-day journey departing January 2, 2013, aboard the Clipper Odyssey (above)
Vietnam & Cambodia by Sea
—19-day journey departing January 27, 2013, aboard the Clipper Odyssey

In addition to the destination findings, Zegrahm learned that 20 per cent of adventure travellers usually travel solo and the company is now offering lower single rates in 2013 on all ship-based itineraries.

For booking details in the UK, be sure to check this link with the leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Paul Gauguin's New Horizons

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the MS Paul Gauguin, has unveiled its 2013 itineraries for the cruise line’s second ship—the 90-guest MV Tere Moana—which will offer voyages in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.
 
In the Gauguin tradition, cruise fares for Moana are all-inclusive with gratuities, soft drinks, select wines and spirits included. Also, with superior dining options, a luxury spa and a staff of 54 serving just 90 guests, the experience onboard promises to be nothing short of first class.
 
After undergoing a multi-faceted renovation to be completed this December, the Moana will set sail under the Gauguin Cruises banner on December 29 on a gala seven-night Caribbean voyage with chairman Richard Bailey onboard.

The new ship - currently the chic Le Levant of Compagnie du Ponant - will sail 13 itineraries in 2013. Like the Gauguin, Moana will specialise in warm-weather destinations, with an emphasis on delivering unique voyages that larger ships cannot offer and exploring hidden ports throughout these regions. The ship will sail during the summer months in Europe and winter in the Caribbean and Latin America.

For booking details, be sure to check out this link with the UK's luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Joanna Lumley Becomes Godmother Of The Viking Odin

Joanna Lumley has become the Godmother of the Viking Odin, one of the four new Viking River Cruises 'Longships' launched in a record-breaking day in Amsterdam last month.

And a launch video is now available, which you can follow on this link to see all the festivities and an interview with the lovely Joanna.

The "World’s Leading River Cruise line" christened four new state-of-the-art ships at once, all designed by top maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten. The ships all set sail immediately along Viking’s vast range of routes throughout Europe, taking in rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe.

For more details of Viking River Cruises, follow this link to the Cruise Line the UK's luxury river cruise specialist.