Saturday, 31 August 2013

Extend Your Summer With Saga

Enjoying the late-summer sunshine? Well, grab a late deal with Saga Cruise and you can sail through autumn and winter in warmer climes. Cruises are departing from October to November with some fabulous prices – including many twin cabins for single travellers at no extra cost.

Take your pick from:
 
Legends of Antiquity
Discover the ancient ports of Istanbul, Rhodes, Kos, Crete and Monemvasia aboard Quest for Adventure, departing on October 10. Guests will also be able to immerse themselves in some of the Med’s other intriguing sights, such as of Delphi, Heraklion and Olympia, with guest speaker archaeologist Ann Birchall. Fly from Gatwick to Istanbul, returning from Malta on this 14-night cruise, with prices from £2,099 per person.

Africa and the Solar Eclipse 
Sail on this epic voyage to witness the total eclipse of the sun from a prime viewing point on the chic Saga Sapphire as she sails off the coast of West Africa, plus save £400 on this 28-night cruise departing from Southampton on October 18. Prices are from £3,299pp.

Classic Mediterranean cities 
Visit some the most beautiful cities in Europe on a Saga Ruby classic cruise. Rome, Florence (above), Barcelona and Lisbon are included in an itinerary that offers a chance to soak up Europe’s rich history. Guests can also save up to 27 per cent off the full fare on this 15-night cruise departing from Southampton on October 10. Prices are from £2,149pp.

Portugal, Madeira and the Azores 
Sandy beaches and lush scenery will be yours on Saga Ruby’s all-inclusive cruise to Lisbon, Gibraltar, flower-filled Funchal and the stunning Azores. Guests may even see dolphins along the way. Save up to £300 on this 15-night cruise departing on November 8, with prices now from £2,104.

All prices include a VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, cabin guarantees, all gratuities, 24-hour room service and travel insurance. 

For more info, visit http://travel.saga.co.uk/holidays/ocean-cruises.aspx, or consult the UK's leading cruise-agent specialists, The Cruise Line, on this link.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Holland America's Caribbean Bliss

Holland America Line have the perfect cure for any early-winter blues with a special Caribbean cruise offer, sailing to Puerto Rico, St Maarten and Grand Turk in November.

Guests will get the chance to stroll around the old town walls and narrow streets of San Juan, with its buildings covered by blue stone brought over as ballast on Spanish ships; enjoy a full day at the stunning, award-winning private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; and take advantage of the superb snorkelling, parasailing and horse-riding excursions on offer throughout.

The MS Westerdam calls at Grand Turk, San Juan and St Maarten as well as Half Moon Cay, before returning to Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

On board, Westerdam’s Crows Nest lounge offers amazing views and, at night, becomes a fashionable nightclub whilst The Pinnacle Grill is reservations-only, offering a superb and intimate alternative dining experience.

This 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise costs from £1,239pp, including return scheduled flights, a one-night shore stay either side of the cruise, transfers and full-board accommodation in an inside stateroom. It departs November 2.

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

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Husky Excursions with Northern Lights


Here's something you don't get the chance to do every day - take a husky sled-dog excursion while taking in the Northern Lights. But Norwegian cruise specialists Hurtigruten are offering all this - and more - on their Classic Winter Voyage this November.

The thrilling sled-ride excursion takes place on the island of Kvaløya, where guests hop aboard the special snow sledges and let the huskies pull them over the frozen landscape, enjoying stunning views of the ocean, mountains and open plateaus. During the polar night, the only light comes from your headlamps, the uniquely Nordic starry sky and, if you’re lucky, the magical Northern Lights. Afterwards, you are invited into a Sámi lavvo (tent) with an open fire and a hot drink. The excursion lasts 5 hours and costs £129 per person. 

This excursion is available on the 12-day Classic Winter Voyage on board MV Ricard Smith, which costs from £1,177pp, including flights from UK, and departs November 29.

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

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Quark's Floating Film Festival

Quark Expeditions is rolling out the red carpet for its first-ever Floating Polar Film Festival, curated by and in partnership with Toronto's Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Starting November 2, the Floating Festival will be aboard Quark's Sea Spirit during the 23-day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica via Buenos Aires: Explorers and Kings voyage.

Hot Docs selected the films with Quark's passengers in mind - their love of adventure, the environment, globalisation, the Polar Regions, and of course, pop culture. In alphabetical order, the films are: 

Chasing Ice (USA), directed by Jeff Orlowski: This visually stunning film follows renowned National Geographic photographer James Balog on a harsh Arctic expedition where he captures a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers—undeniable evidence that our planet is in crisis. Director in attendance for the film festival voyages. 

Expedition to the End of the World (Denmark), directed by Daniel Dencik: For a few weeks each year, the North Pole melts just enough to reveal once-hidden, untouched fjords. A boatload of motley artists and scientists set sail in search of life in this hilarious, breathtaking modern-day adventure. 

The Human Scale (Denmark), directed by Andreas M. Dalsgaard: "It's either cars or humans," says revolutionary architect Jan Gehl, asked how to accommodate the 6.5 billion who will be living in cities by 2050. From NYC to Chongqing, this controversial film examines what urban landscapes could soon be. 

Maidentrip (USA), directed by Jillian Schlesinger: At just 14 years old, Laura Dekker sets out to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. Braving waves and loneliness for two years, she shoots her own amazingly intimate coming-of-age story on the wide open sea. 

William and the Windmill (USA), directed by Ben Nabors: An ingenious 14-year-old Malawian boy builds a windmill from junk, and rescues his family from famine. But when the overwhelming media attention transforms his life, can he survive the massive change?

Prices for the 22-day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica via Buenos Aires: Explorers and Kings voyage start from £8,950pp.

For more info and bookings, see www.quarkexpeditions.com; for more adventure-cruise ideas, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the Uk's adventure cruising specialists.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Glorious Seclusion At Sea

Worldwide cruising organisation Cruise Lines International Assocation (CLIA) recently highlighted the growing trend for cruise lines to add special secluded areas on their ships, and went on to list the different ways they have created these special 'private' areas aboard even some of the largest vessels.

I thought it was worth highlighting this, so I'm reprinting most of the CLIA press release here as it makes for really interesting reading...

FORT LAUDERDALE, August, 2013 --- There’s so much to experience on today’s cruise ships and now, as ships create tucked away spots for private dining, sunning and small gatherings, cruisers can add seclusion to the diverse attractions of a value vacation at sea.

“Increasingly, cruise lines are creating intimate spaces for guests, even on the largest ships,” says Christine Duffy, President & CEO of CLIA. She notes that while vacationers love the entertainment and activity experiences of cruising, many are also looking for quiet time and increased personalized service—“and they can get this now from a concierge level cabin with its own lounge or by having a romantic dinner for two under the stars in a secret nook of the ship.”

The following is a sampling of some of the wonderful features being created on CLIA North American fleet cruise lines for passengers seeking a tranquil retreat or exclusive enclave.

Balconies are among the most popular privacy features, and ships, from luxury to mega, are upping the percentage of cabins with balconies. One line has even figured out a way to provide views and balconies for inside cabins. For example:

  • Disney Cruise Line’s newest ships have private verandahs on 70 percent of staterooms and suites, while more recent duo Disney Dream and Fantasy have 'virtual' portholes..
  • Princess Cruises' new Royal Princess, which made its debut in June, has balconies on ALL outside cabins.
  • Royal Caribbean’s refurbished Navigator of the Seas will emerge next year with “virtual” balconies (below) – LED projection screens showing live images taken by exterior cameras--for interior cabins.
 
Club sections take exclusivity and pampering to new levels. Similar to luxury hotel concierge floors, many ships have club or concierge level cabins with upgraded services and intimate lounges. For example:

  • Holland America Line’s Neptune Lounge, open to guests in a Neptune or Pinnacle Suite, is a private lounge with a widescreen TV, continental breakfast and coffee, tea and snacks throughout the day as well as concierge service.
  • Oceania Cruises’ Executive Lounge, available to guests in Owners, Vista, Oceania and Penthouse Suites, features complimentary soft drinks, coffees and snacks throughout the day and a dedicated concierge; a separate Concierge Lounge is provided for guests in Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms.
  • Disney have their own Concierge level on Disney Fantasy and Dream, adding a gorgeous extra amenity for guests on that level.
 
Cabanas, usually rentable by the day or for the whole cruise, put guests in the heart of the action while indulging them with special services. For example:

  • Celebrity Cruises’ “The Alcoves,” on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection come with fresh fruit, chilled towels, use of a pre-loaded iPad and more. An attendant is also on hand to arrange for spa treatments, food and other services.
  • Holland America Line’s “Cabana Club” on the Nieuw Amsterdam offers airy, tented cabanas with plush upholstered seating where guests receive extras such as bathrobes, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and a pre-loaded iPod.
  • Princess Cruises has The Sanctuary, a similar private retreat on all its recent ships, with the option for cabana hire.
 
Adults-only areas are becoming increasingly popular, especially on kid-friendly sailings. While spas have long been serene retreats, adults-only spaces for everything from dining to swimming and sunning are now popping on a wide array of ships. For example:

  • Disney Cruise Line’s Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Bar invites adults to sunbathe, swim, sip a cool drink or soak in a hot tub overlooking the ocean.
  • Royal Caribbean's glass-canopied Solarium pool area and café, with cantilevered whirlpools that jut out over the sea, are popular adults-only spots.
  • Carnival Cruises Lines’ Serenity adult-only area, offered on many of its ships, features plush lounge chairs, bar and food service, whirlpools and soothing music. 
 
The cocooning concept goes one step further with the creation of the new wave of elite
sections
on some ships. Here, guests find everything they need in their own private retreat. For example:


  • MSC Cruises’ MSC Yacht Club (left), called a “ship within a ship,” wraps guests in a private pool, solarium, restaurant and butler-serviced suites.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s “The Haven” has butler-serviced cabins that surround a private two-story courtyard with pools, whirlpools, a massage room, private restaurant, cocktail bar and concierge lounge. 
 
Exotic dining spaces set the scene for personal evenings. These very private areas can be ideal for special anniversaries or other occasions. For example:

  • Paul Gauguin Cruises’ M/S Paul Gauguin offers private dining on the watersports marina for up to four guests to enjoy gourmet cuisine at a table set with white linen, fine china and crystal glasses along with live Polynesian entertainment.
  • Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina both offer Privée, a dining room that can be reserved for up to 10 guests, where the plush décor features a white Venini glass chandelier, white baby crocodile throne chairs and backlit onyx-clad walls. 
 
And there's more of course, with new twists and additions to the formula all the time. It just goes to show the cruise industry is incredibly adept at evolving its formula and reacting to guest needs for more sea-going experiences.
 
For expert advice, travellers can turn to CLIA travel professionals, who stay current on the latest offerings and trends, and can help clients select the ship with the features that will fulfill their dreams. To find a CLIA travel professional in your area, visit www.cruising.org and click on Vacations. In the UK, visit www.cruisexperts.org and, for an example of a top cruise agent specialist, see www.cruiseline.co.uk.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Majestic's October Bonus

Specialist Scottish waterways cruise company The Majestic Line has a series of special offers for a late-autumn voyage in their unique 12-passenger vessels.

With remaining departures on October 12 and 19, Majestic are featuring a special 10 per cent discount on both cruises.

The Heritage and Wildlife of Mull & Glencoe 6-night cruise visits dramatic Duart Castle, home of the Clan MacLean, and the pretty town of Tobermory on Mull before navigating the magnificent sea lochs of Loch Sunart and Loch Linnhe, cruising past picturesque Castle Stalker on the way to Glencoe.

Guests can then see the engineering wonder of Neptune’s staircase on our Loch Ness & the Caledonian Canal 6-night cruise leading to Loch Ness, with its ancient Castle Urquart shrouded in myth and legend. The area is full of romance and mystery, with amazing scenery. This cruise is one-way, following the entire Caledonian Canal between Oban on the west coast and Inverness on the East.

2014 cruises now available at this year's prices for a limited time only

Majestic's 2014 calendar of nine unique cruises is now available on the website, currently at this season's prices. Unfortunately, they will soon be putting prices up due to their own increased costs but not yet! Book your 2014 cruise now and benefit from this year's prices.

For more info and bookings, see Majestic's website at www.themajesticline.co.uk. More more adventure-cruise ideas, be sure to follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

More Luxury For European Waterways

European Waterways, Europe's largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, is proud to announce the latest addition to its fleet, Absoluut2, a charter-only, deluxe 8-passenger hotel barge that cruises in Southern Burgundy between Dijon and Vandenesse

Absoluut2 was designed to exacting standards for cruising the inland waterways and canals of Europe and is perfect for families or groups of friends interested in the privacy of a whole-boat charter.    

The newcomer features a comfortable saloon and dining area, two sun decks and a spa pool ideal for relaxing in while enjoying the picturesque countryside of Burgundy. The spacious accommodations include four deluxe air-conditioned cabins—two junior suites and two staterooms—which can be configured as either double or twin beds. 

The highly professional crew of four is comprised of a master chef, tour guide and hostess, led by a knowledgeable and experienced captain. As with all of European Waterways cruises, the charters aboard Absoluut2 are all-inclusive of gourmet meals, fine wines, an open bar, all excursions and transfers, plus a bicycle on board for every passenger.

Itinerary Highlights
Cruise highlights include fascinating tours of Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, and Dijon, home to the former Ducal Palace and the Cathedral of Saint Benign. Guests will also visit the medieval village of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, the Château de Commarin and will enjoy a private wine tour and tasting at the renowned Château de Meursault

For more info and bookings, see www.gobarging.com.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Seabourn's Luxury Antarctica

Small ship luxury line Seabourn is offering some great value Antarctica sailings over the winter months, with a series of cruises from £8,999 per person. Complementing what is the most expansive schedule of any line are attractive savings incentives in 2013 that include onboard spending credits of up to $1,000 per suite on November and December voyages.
 
Seabourn's award-winning ships will visit more than 20 ports on voyages ranging from 21 to 24 days, exploring an array of scenic wonders including the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, picturesque Paradise Bay and the Gerlache Strait. Experienced Antarctic expedition staff including scientists, naturalists and other lecturers in a number of disciplines will speak on board and accompany guests ashore to hundreds of available sites for landings adding insights to their once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

2013 Antarctica itineraries include:

21-day Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia (Seabourn Sojourn): November 20, Buenos Aires to Valparaiso; Ports of Call: Buenos Aires. Montevideo, Port Stanley; Antarctic Experience* - Ushuaia, Scenic Cruising Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley and Cockburn Channel; Punta Arenas (Chile); Strait of Magellan; Scenic Cruising Canal Sarmiento, Amalia Glacier, Chilean Fjords; Puerto Chacabuco (Chile); Scenic Cruising Gulf of Corcovado, Castro; Isla Chiloe and Puerto Montt (Chile); Scenic Cruising Reloncavi Sound; and Valparaiso.

Cruise prices start from £8,999 per person, including $500 per person onboard credit (maximum $1,000/suite) and complimentary upgrade to a Veranda suite.

24-day Holiday Antarctica, Patagonia & South Georgia Island (Seabourn Sojourn): December 11, Valparaiso to Buenos Aires; Ports of Call: Valparaiso, Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Ushuaia; Scenic cruising Cape Horn, Drake Passage and Southern Ocean; Antarctic Experience* - Grytviken, South Georgia; Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Cruise prices start from £10,299 per person, including $500 per person onboard credit (maximum $1,000/suite).


All guests will receive a complimentary Seabourn expedition parka and back-pack for spectator essentials. Prices are per person and based on two sharing a suite, fully inclusive of all tips and gratuities, fine dining, open bars and fully stocked mini bar. Fares including scheduled flights, pre-cruise hotel accommodation and transfers are available on request.

*The Antarctic Experience provides guests with exclusive activities based on real-time reports of wildlife weather and ice conditions. Such experiences include Zodiac landings and expeditions to Antarctic locations, digital photography workshops and opportunities for frequent wildlife sightings from the ship and on shore. 
 
For bookings, click on this link for The Cruise line, the UK's leading luxury cruise specialists.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Crystal Introduce PURE Staterooms For Allergy Sufferers

Allergy sufferers can check their discomfort at the door – of 70 Crystal Serenity doors, that is – when ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises launches the cruise industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms. Already renowned for high standards of sanitation and comfort, Crystal is introducing a new category of luxury accommodations for the most refreshing night’s sleep possible: Deluxe PURE Staterooms.

Crystal is partnering with PURE Marine Solutions (right), sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, for a comprehensive transformation utilising the only hypoallergenic process patented and proven to deliver a safe and healthy environment.

During Crystal Serenity’s “Extreme Makeover” dry-dock in November, each of the current 70 “AA” balcony rooms will undergo PURE’s seven-step air and surface purification process to remove allergens and reduce the risk of common irritants. Among the many steps to maintain this superior allergy-friendly indoor environment, a state-of-the art medical grade air purifier will filter out 99.9% of all impurities and dust. While PURE rooms are usually sold at a premium at shoreside luxury properties such as the SLS Beverly Hills, Park Hyatt Toronto and Fairmont Chicago, Crystal’s PURE Staterooms will be available at no additional cost. The rooms debut on November 27 and will be designated as “P1” and “P2” in April.

“Imagine returning to your room after a full day ashore in a bustling city such as Rome or Bangkok, and then slipping into your purified sanctuary of ultra-clean air and hypoallergenic bedding,” says Philip Ordever, Crystal’s vice-president of international sales & marketing. “For guests who suffer from allergies, have mild respiratory issues such as asthma or who simply desire a respite from the air quality in many cities, these staterooms will become a haven of fresh air – at no additional cost.”

How does a room become PURE?

Phase 1: Disinfection

1. Deep Clean Air-Handling Unit: Each room’s air handling systems (heat and air-conditioning), including fan blades, condensation lines and drop pans, are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using PURE’s advanced treatment, leading to a dramatically improved overall air quality in each room.

2. PURE Clean: Every surface of the room, including furniture, curtains and carpeting, is deep-cleaned and sanitised using special vacuums and a patented PURE cleaning solution that disintegrates bio films and maximises removal of dirt and bacteria that traditional cleaners may leave behind.

3. High Ozone Shock Treatment: An advanced shock treatment completely eliminates particles, viruses, germs, and odors from every inch of the room, resulting in a fresh, crisp environment.

Phase 2: Prevention and Maintenance

4. PURE Shield. A patented bacteriostatic barrier is applied everywhere, from light switches and TV screens to countertops and artwork, repelling new micro-organism growth for up to two years and making it nearly impossible for bacteria and viruses to survive in a PURE environment.

5. PURE Tea Tree Oil Cartridge. A natural anti-microbial disinfectant, safe even for scent allergy sufferers, is strategically placed to maintain the room’s sanitised conditions.

6. Air Purification System. A patented PURE air purifier is discreetly installed inside the room, providing 24-hour defence against airborne irritants. Listed by the FDA as a Class II Medical Device, PURE’s state-of-the-art system is 150 times more efficient than HEPA and proven to eliminate 100% of organisms from the air as they pass through the purifier.

7. Allergy-Friendly Bedding. Micro-fibre, mono-filament mattress and pillow encasements add an extra layer of allergen protection while sleeping.

Crystal’s housekeeping staff will also be trained in any daily maintenance routines required. Every six months, PURE specialists will also re-service the rooms ensuring spaces are kept to the highest of hygiene levels indefinitely.

The Deluxe PURE rooms are available for booking immediately.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's leading luxury-cruise specialists.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Try A Marco Polo Sampler


Cruise & Maritime Voyages are the only line that offer regular cruises on the classic Marco Polo (above) from the River Thames at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, with the chance for two 'sampler' voyages on this elegant 22,080-ton ship this December. And, with the benefit of great shopping and no flights, you can almost literally buy as much as you want!

Prices start from only £169 for the first person and just £85 for the second person, for the two-night cruise. Take your pick from:

1. Cruise to Ghent at the junction of the River Leie and Scheldt and Amsterdam on the North Sea Canal on December 15 for 3 nights. This is ideal for Christmas shopping when the Festive Market is in full swing in Ghent, or you can also visit neighbouring Bruges or Brussels. Amsterdam is well stocked for shopping and full of sightseeing interest. On board items such as spirits, perfume and other gifts, including jewellery, are also keenly priced and duty free. Prices are from £249 for the first person and £125 for the second.

2. On December 18, you can sail for two nights, again from London Tilbury to Antwerp with a pleasant journey along the River Scheldt. The city offers a good range of shopping in the main square and there are many quality shops close by. Marco Polo berths close to the main square that is just a 10-minute walk, and there visitors can buy local beer, chocolates and many unusual gifts not normally found in your local UK town.

Marco Polo is an adult-only traditional and classic ship. She boasts traditional wooden decks, is small enough to get to know your way around and offers the unique country-house-hotel style experience on board that Cruise & Maritime Voyages are known for.

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





Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Alaska Here We Come!

OK, today is the day we venture back off to Alaska and try something new - something really new, as it is only the second cruise on the revamped SS Legacy of Un-Cruise Adventures, and it promises to be a special voyage indeed.

It will all be featured in the Autumn edition of World of Cruising (providing we have no delays on the flight back!) and is a voyage we have been keenly looking forward to since Un-Cruise announced the first of their Heritage Adventure cruises earlier this year.

First of all the Legacy is an 88-passenger replica Victorian steamship designed for coastal and river-cruising. Formerly the Spirit of '98 of failed line Cruise West, she has been rescued by Un-Cruise and given a new lease of life following her christening earlier this month.

And, while Un-Cruise already feature Active Adventures (on three ships in Alaska, Coastal Washington and British Columbia), and their Luxury Adventure style (four even smaller vessels visiting Hawaii and Mexico's Sea of Cortes), the Heritage Adventures are completely new and limited purely to the SS Legacy.

The idea is they will provide a historic and more personal view of the areas they travel, and our cruise from Juneau in Alaska back down to Seattle in Washington state has a Gold Rush heritage theme, so we will get to hear about the 19th century history of the region, as well as sail up-close-and-personal in the 49th state and get some more great looks at one of our favourite parts of the world with its amazing scenery and wildlife.

It all kicks off tomorrow from the Alaskan capital (we're staying overnight in Juneau at the Westmark Baranof Hotel), as we board our chic little vessel and get acquainted with our fellow passengers and the crew, who promise:

  • Interpretive staff preparing guests for visits ashore.
  • Characters appearing in period costume.
  • Presentations by knowledgeable historians.
  • Expert guest speakers stepping on board to keep the history alive.
  • Important artifacts in the regions visited.
  • Local residents sharing their heritage.
  • Informative activities to enhance the place in time.
  • And all aboard a replica coastal steamer with Victorian-style décor.

Along the way, we will visit Sitka, Wrangell, Haines, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Petersburg and Frederick Sound in Alaska (with some truly out-of-the-way stops en route), and Johnston Strait and the San Juan Islands in Washington, before we reach our end destination of Seattle.

It all shapes up to be a truly original and captivating voyage, with just one small drawback. With the vessel itself and in most of the areas we're travelling, there is no Internet
connection for nearly all the way, so it's unlikely we'll be able to report back as we go (plus, we may well be too busy soaking up all the Alaskan heritage to sit in front of a laptop for long!).

However, we WILL post a day-by-day look at things once we're back and, of course, you can't miss our Autumn issue for the full story and photos. Make sure you subscribe on this link!


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fred Olsen's Caribbean

Back by popular demand, guests can now take a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Caribbean fly-cruise in January 2015, with a 14-night sunshine voyage to banish the winter blues.

With the fun and excitement of the Christmas and New Year celebrations all over, this cruise offers the opportunity to escape the cold British winter aboard the 929-guest Braemar. Flying from London Gatwick or Manchester and departing from Barbados on January 12, 2015, this exotic voyage is predicted to be one of Fred. Olsen’s most popular options, and is now on sale.

One ideal feature of Fred. Olsen’s most modern ship is the promenade deck – a complete wrap-around deck ideal for a gentle stroll in the evening sun, making it an excellent choice for warmer cruising.

This is the first time since 2012 that Fred. Olsen has offered a Caribbean fly-cruise option. There was a winter fly-cruise programme, based in Barbados from 2001, but this was concluded to extend the wide choice of ex-UK departure ports, giving greater convenience to guests from all over the British Isles, as well as allowing those loyal Braemar fans to cruise on the ship all-year-round from the UK. However, Fred. Olsen has listened to guests’ feedback and brought back this popular itinerary on the Braemar.

Prices start from £999 per person (cruise only), based on two adults sharing an inside, twin cabin, and include all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes. Return flights start from £780 per person, including airport taxes and transfers. Guests can also upgrade to the ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package for just £6.99 per person, per night. This price is available for bookings until September 19 only.

For more info and bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's leading cruise-agent specialists.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Christmas All Wrapped Up With Regent


This December, guests on each of Regent Seven Seas stunning all-suite ships will be able to enjoy both the Christmas and New Year occasions on one sailing. Each of the line's three ships offers a Christmas and New Year sailing, away from Europe, in very different parts of the world.

HOLIDAY SAILINGS
Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro - Seven Seas Mariner
Dec 20 | 15-nights from £5,359pp
• Includes a Pre-cruise Luxury Hotel Stay in Buenos Aires •
Overnight stay in Port in Montevideo & Rio de Janeiro

Singapore to Sydney - Seven Seas Voyager 

Dec 22 | 16-nights from £6,459pp
• Overnight stay in Bali on Christmas Day
Opportunity to see the world famous Komodo Dragons

Miami round-trip - Seven Seas Navigator 

December 23 | 12-nights from £4,959pp

Reflecting the international guests onboard, Regent acknowledge the many different traditions celebrated at this time, from across the world. Children will be able to prepare and decorate Christmas cookies; afternoon tea will feature mince pies and German stolen and special menus will be created to observe Hanukkah and the eight-day celebration of the festival of lights. For Europeans, where Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, the Compass Rose will invite guests to sample a perfectly portioned European tasting menu complete with roasted goose and traditional French dessert, Bûche de Noël. Christmas Day will see the traditional roast Turkey and American pumpkin pie on the menu in the Compass Rose.

A delectable six-course Gala Dinner usually lasting well into the night and outside for a Deck Party will be served up before a countdown to midnight. Of course, being the most inclusive luxury cruise experience, guests can enjoy as much free Champagne as they wish as well as a midnight snack buffet featuring caviar and chocolate-dipped strawberries!


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

Sunday, 18 August 2013

More Tahiti & South Pacific From Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the MS Paul Gauguin, and the newly launched MV Tere Moana, has released its new Voyages by Gauguin 2014 Collection brochure.

The brochure features 26 itineraries and 62 voyages by the cruise line’s two deluxe small ships, which both offer an elegant yet casual ambiance, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality and all-inclusive value. Fleet distinctions, dining venues, entertainment, activities, destination guides, deck plans and sailing schedules are also highlighted.

For 2014, seven-14-night voyages are offered on both ships, with the Gauguin sailing in French Polynesia, the South Pacific and South-east Asia, and The Moana offering voyages in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

New itineraries on Gauguin include an 11-night Fiji to Australia voyage, a 12-night Australia to Fiji voyage and two 14-night voyages between Australia and South-east Asia. Maiden ports include: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Kieta, Bougainville, Rabaul, and Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Thursday Island and Darwin, Australia; Komodo Island, Benoa, Bali and Semarang, Indonesia; Singapore; and Maupiti, Society Islands.

Returning favourites on The Gauguin include: 12 and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands; 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

In 2014, Tere Moana offers a variety of new seven-night itineraries: Round-trip Rome; Rome to Nice; Round-trip Nice; Nice to Barcelona; Panama to St. Martin; and Round-trip Costa Rica. New ports include: Mahón, Menorca and Palamós, Spain; Villefranche, Sanary-sur-Mer and Antibes, France; Ponza and San Remo, Italy; San Blas and Isla Gamez, Panama; and Golfito, Drake Bay, Quepos, and Isla Tortuga/Curú Wildlife Reserve, all in Costa Rica.

Tere Moana will again offer a seven-night Panama, to St. Maarten, voyage; a seven-night Round-trip St. Maarten itinerary; 14-night Transatlantic cruises; and seven-night European sailings in the Greek isles, Spanish isles, Dalmatian coast and coastal France, Italy and Spain.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is also extending included airfare from Los Angeles on Paul Gauguin itineraries. Past guests will enjoy additional savings of 5% off final cruise fares on any sailing of either ship or 10% on select sailings, when booked by September 30.Prices start from £4,001 per person fly/cruise on Gauguin and from £1,497 cruise only on Tere Moana.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Michael Ball & David Essex Highlight P&O's Musical Cruise Extravaganzas

P&O Cruises is launching its biggest ever line-up of star-studded music cruises this autumn with famous faces from the stage and screen. The special guests include Michael Ball, David Essex, The West End Men featuring Lee Mead and Here And Now – with live performances from six 1980s legends including Paul Young, Toyah and many more, who will all be joining selected cruises on a choice of ships and itineraries. 

The celebrity cruises are now on sale today and include:
       
The West End Men, featuring Lee Mead, perform on a 12-night Canary Islands cruise on Ventura, departing September 29 from Southampton with ports of call at Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Lisbon. Getaway Fares are from £849 per person.

Here And Now - The Very Best Of The 80s with Paul Young, Toyah, Heaven 17, Howard Jones, Carol Decker from T’Pau and Clare Grogan from Altered Images. They will perform on a 12-night Western Mediterranean cruise on Oceana departing October 22 from Southampton, with calls at El Ferrol, Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Lisbon. Getaway Fares are from £749 per person. 


David Essex performs on a 15-night Caribbean transatlantic cruise on Azura departing November 1 from Southampton and finishing in Barbados. The ports of call include the Azores, Antigua, St Maarten, St Kitts and St Lucia, with Getaway Fares from £999 per person. 

Michael Ball performs on a 10-night Baltic cruise on Aurora departing December 9 from Southampton, with calls at Bruges, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Gothenburg (overnight) and Oslo. Getaway Fares are from £599 per person. 

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


Friday, 16 August 2013

SS Legacy Sets Sail For Un-Cruise

Un-Cruise Adventures officially christened its newest vessel, the 88-guest S.S. Legacy, in a dockside celebration near company headquarters in Seattle, Washington, earlier this month to make the replica coastal steamer the eighth vessel in the adventure cruise line’s fleet.

And World of Cruising will be aboard her second full Alaska voyage from August 22-Sept 2 for a special feature in our Autumn edition, publishing on September 20.

The Legacy sails the new Heritage Adventures series for Un-Cruise, taking guests back in time to the 1890s and early 1900s to explore history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and early explorers along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The all-American crew - in 1890s attire - bring history to life through short vignettes during the course of the day and staged dramas at night. 

With a nod to the vessel’s historical style of cruising, the line’s CEO Dan Blanchard channelled his great grandfather Michael J. Willet, a turn of the century shingle mill tycoon, to tie in history of the 1890s in Seattle. Characters such as HG Wells and Jules Verne joined in the inaugural celebration along with blessings from Ray Gardner of the Chinook Nation and Joe Williams, a Tlingit from Saxman, Alaska. 

In September 2013, the Legacy will begin cruising week-long Legacy of Discovery cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers round-trip from Portland, with 12 departures scheduled through November. Rates begin at $3,195 per person, double occupancy. It returns to the Rivers in April 2013 for nine more departures through May. From June to August, the vessel will sail another 10 week-long Alaska’s Golden History cruises between Ketchikan and Juneau in Alaska (and reverse) and rates begin at $5,195 per person, double occupancy.  On Heritage Adventures, guests enjoy port calls and included shoreside excursions to points of historical interest. A gold rush highlight is the included trip aboard Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon narrow-gauge railway.

Heritage Adventures also include all meals; fine wines, microbrews and spirits; shore excursions; a massage; yoga on deck; all meals; transfers; taxes, port charges and fees. Charters and group bookings are available. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury adventure-cruise specialists. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Celebrity Cruises With Oz Clarke

This October, gastronomes and wine enthusiasts can delve into Europe’s rich wine heritage with renowned expert Oz Clarke and Celebrity Cruises. Oz will lead a host of wine travel experiences, taking in renowned vineyards throughout France, Spain and Portugal during the spectacular annual grape harvest and provide guests the opportunity to enjoy gastronomic experiences and improve knowledge of wine through engaging and entertaining masterclasses.

The 12-night immersive holiday – designed to impress the palates of food and wine fans with some expert advice on hand – will allow guests to take advantage of the first-class restaurants and wine programmes onboard the recently refurbished Celebrity Infinity whilst travelling between Europe’s top wine producing regions.

Guests can customise their holiday with a series of package options to choose from, including:

  • An intimate speciality dinner hosted by Oz, matching his personal wine recommendations to each part of a six-course Five Senses menu hosted in the speciality restaurant SS United States. Designed to stimulate all senses, this exclusive dinner costs just £69 per person.
  • A series of five events hosted by Oz and Tom Forrest, a fellow wine expert. Tantalise the taste buds with a wine and cheese pairing; immerse yourself in the old world wines of France with an introduction to French wine; and brush up on your wine knowledge with masterclasses in Bordeaux wines, Spanish wine and Sherry; and a French wine masterclass. To experience all five events costs just £89 per person.

The European Immersive Wine Cruise departs during the wine harvest season from Harwich on October 12 and will call at Paris (port of Le Havre), Bordeaux (port of Le Verdon), La Rochelle, Bilbao, Vigo and Porto before returning to Harwich. It costs from just £699 per person (based on two adults sharing an inside stateroom).

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

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

South American Splendour With Regent

Anyone looking for some Latin cruise adventure and excitement this winter should look no further than the latest South American offers from luxury line Regent Seven Seas.

Not only do Regent have a proper all-inclusive policy, where genuinely everything is included, they have just launched some outstanding deals for voyages to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and the majestic Amazon River in December and January.

Take your pick from: 

Rio to Buenos Aires
Aboard  Seven Seas Mariner, this 12-night voyages sails on December 8 and is now priced from £4,569pp (based on two sharing an H category suite and subject to availability). The cruise starts at Rio (for an overnight visit) and then calls at Buzios, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Santos, Porto Belo, Rio Grande, Montevideo, Punta Del Este and Buenos Aires (overnight). It includes return flights and transfers, vernight stays in Rio and Buenos Aires, up to 19 free shore excursions to choose from, a 2 or 3-night pre or post-cruise land programme for £198pp, a 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Rio and all-inclusive on board.

Rio To Miami
Take Seven Seas Mariner for 21 nights sailing on January 4, now from £7,769pp (based on two people sharing an H category suite and subject to availability). Highlights are Salvador de Bahia, Fortaleza, cruising the Amazon River, Alter do Chao, Boca de Valeria, Manaus, Parintins, Santarem, Devil’s Island, Bridgetown, Gustavia and San Juan. It includes return flights and transfers, up to 44 free shore excursions, free pre or post-cruise land programme and a 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Rio, as well as all-inclusive on board.

Buenos Aires to Rio
This 10-night voyage on Seven Seas Mariner sails on February 28 and now costs from £5,269pp (based on two sharing an H category suite and subject to availability). It calls at Montevideo, Punta del Este, Rio Grande, Porto Belo, Santos, Ilha Grande, Paraty and Buzios before arriving in Rio and includes return flights and transfers, up to 18 free excursions to choose from, free pre-cruise land programme, a 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Buenos Aires and all-inclusive on board.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Falklands Steering Course For Cruise Success

With a refurbished Jetty Visitor Centre and a forecast rise in cruise visitors for the 2013/14 season, it's full steam ahead for the Falkland Islands.

According to latest statistics released by the Islands' Tourist Board (FITB), cruise passenger arrivals are expected to increase by 7% to more than 36,000 in the 2013/14 season (which runs September to April). After a turbulent 2012/13, the trend is set to reverse for the coming year.

The Falklands are ideally located as a port of call on a wider South America or Antarctica voyage, affording cruise visitors unrivalled access to the abundant wildlife which resides on the 770-plus islands that make up the remote archipelago. With a wide variety of shore excursions allowing passengers to get close to nature, this is a dream destination for wildlife lovers keen to hop off, explore and ‘meet the locals'.

The revamped Jetty Visitor Centre is on course to be completed by the beginning of September and is set to improve the visitor experience with enhanced facilities. Located at the head of the Public Jetty, the Centre includes visitor information, a display of aspects of Falkland life, and occasional exhibitions and local artwork, making the perfect pit stop for foot-weary visitors awaiting tenders back to their cruise ship.

"The cruise market is of immense global significance, proving one of the fastest growing in the travel industry with travellers demonstrating a real appetite for holidays to intriguing destinations," says Tony Mason, Managing Director of the FITB. "With over 700 islands, the Falklands offer an abundance of unexplored gems, private nature reserves and hidden coves largely inaccessible to land-based tourists, so coming by sea offers the ultimate taste of this wildlife paradise."

New cruise product includes the ‘magical winter wonderland' holiday just launched by Crystal Cruises. The December 21 Buenos Aires-Valparaiso voyage aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony sails through Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Falklands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn and the Chilean Fjords. The 18-day cruise includes a stop at Port Stanley and the chance to visit working farms in the Islands.

Other ships calling at the Falklands next season include those of Seabourn and Princess Cruises.

For more info on that wonderful Crystal voyage to the Falklands, see this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's leading luxury-cruise specialists.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Sample Norway's 200th Anniversary With Saga

The flags will be flying across Norway in 2014 as the country celebrates the bicentenary of its constitution. And Saga Cruises have a special selection of voyages next year perfectly suited to tie in with the celebrations and visit this land of natural beauty

The Fabulous Fjords
Music and mountains, fjords and fabulous fun will make Saga Pearl II’s sailings to Norway all the more special in 2014. Three departures also offer different dance options, with Motown on May 1, 60s Music on June 15 and Sounds of the 70s on August 15. Bergen, Geiranger, Skjolden and Haugesund are the ports of call on this 7-night cruise from Dover, with prices from £909pp.
 
Fjordland Gems
Do you love the sounds of the Rat Pack? Smooch along the fjords on Saga Sapphire, calling in at Bergen, Olden, Flam and Stavanger during the day and in the evening celebrate music inspired by the kings of cool. This 7-night cruise, sailing from Dover on July 1, is priced from £876pp.

Discover Sorfjord
Sorfjord is one of the lesser-known beauty spots in Norway and Saga Sapphire’s cruise will be all the more unusual as you enjoy music and concerts in some remarkable locations.  Hardanger Music Festival will perform a concert on board against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains. You will also have the chance to visit the former homes of composer Edvard Greig and violinist Ole Bull. Again a 7-night cruise, it is priced from £909pp and sails from Dover on June 2 calling at Bergen, Ulvik, Eidfjord, Sorfjord and Odda.

Nordic Notes
Opera buffs will love this themed cruise with behind-the-scenes insights form Barry Steward, the Royal Opera House tour manager. Enjoy arias, duets and ensembles as the Saga Sapphire passes mountains and remote villages. Passengers can also look forward to a memorable musical performance in Norway’s oldest opera house. It is priced from £1,136pp for 9 nights, departing from Dover on September 2, 2014.
 
For bookings, check with Saga Cruises or check for more ideas on this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's adventure-cruise specialists