Cruise & Travel Blog

A RIB Safari In The World’s Longest Fjord

24 July 2017

I look like the Michelin Man at a rave. I’m stood on a jetty in Skjolden, a tiny town that sits at the very head of Sognefjord – the longest navigable fjord in the world – and I cannot think of a better way to describe my look. I’m wearing a pair of neon yellow and black overalls that are padded in such a way as to create an extra chin or two and force my arms out to the sides like a baby in an overstuffed sleepsuit. Whilst this isn’t my most fashionable moment (I think even the purple flared jumpsuit at the school leaver’s disco beats this), I remind myself that at least I’ll float if I fall into the fjord. Of course, that is until all the excess padding soaks up the inky blue water at record...
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Have Books, Will Travel

21 July 2017
Reading on Beach

From criminal minds to matters of the heart, these are the holiday reads to delve into on the long, lazy days of summer. The Cows – Dawn O’Porter (HarperCollins Publishers – £14.99) A funny, feisty read following Tara, Cam and Stella, three women who are battling to find their own voices in the noise of modern life. The life lessons begin when an extraordinary event sees the three inextricably linked, with the resulting melee giving a frank account of the extent to which social media has come to control our lives. South and West: From a Notebook – Joan Didion (HarperCollins Publishers – £10.00) Legendary writer Joan Didion has always kept detailed notebooks. In one of 2017’s most anticipated books, she shares the private observations, passing conversations and interviews kept within them in two extended excerpts. South and West: From...
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Seven Kingdoms To Escape To Now Winter Is Here

17 July 2017
A panorama of an old city of Dubrovnik by night, Croatia

Winter is here. It arrived at 2am this morning, the dark storm clouds rumbling in with forecasts of Snow. Don’t reach for your winter woollies just yet because we are of course talking about the premiere of the penultimate season of Game of Thrones, which aired at 2am this morning and has a lot to answer for when it comes to a serious surge in our coffee consumption today. Whether you tuned in or have spent today phone, internet and conversation-free in a bid to avoid any spoilers, there is no denying that winter is the word on everyone’s lips right now. If the mere mention of winter alone was enough to strike fear into your sun-worshipping soul, may we suggest a holiday to one of these seven ‘kingdoms’, all of which promise a sun-soaked escape when winter actually does...
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Royal Caribbean Has Something Exciting In Store For 2018

14 July 2017
Royal Caribbean, Independence of the Seas

If you’re a fan of classic cruising, look away now. However, if you love fun with a capital F, the kind of fun only a Royal Caribbean ship can guarantee, stay right there because we have some pretty big news for you. Some of you may already know that Independence of the Seas will enter dry dock in April 2018 for what has been described by Royal Caribbean as a ‘bow-to-stern’ makeover. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘bow-to-stern’, it means that – to put it into plastic surgery terms – Independence of the Seas is in for one heck of a facelift, with extra nip and tucks. Until now, details of the multi-million-pound makeover have been kept under lock and key, but the secret is out and it has got us counting down the days to Summer 2018. Independence...
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Four Day Trips To Make From Naples That Aren’t Capri

11 July 2017
Vista to the Amalfi Coast from the Rufolo Gardens in Ravello, Italy

Naples might not make the best first impressions on its visitors but there’s more to this gritty city than meets the eye. Head up and you’ll find yourself in the chic shopping streets of sophisticated Vomero, wander along the waterfront and you’ll come across the majestic Castel Nuovo, and delve underground to discover a honeycomb of catacombs and caves remaining from a chequered history. For many, the arrival into Naples is immediately followed by a ferry to the island of Capri. Once the Italian hideaway of the rich and famous, a certain Blue Grotto has played a big part in this tiny island becoming a big deal with tourists, but there are plenty of other options available to those who don’t fancy the queue for the ferry. Here are four of the best day trips to make from Naples next...
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MS Westerdam Debuts Its New Look

06 July 2017
MS Westerdam Santorini

Following 12 days in dry dock in Palermo and a budget of almost £50 million, the ‘refreshed’ MS Westerdam has returned to the seas with a new look, a virtual captain’s bridge and the world’s first floating Rijksmuseum featuring amongst its star attractions. As the first of several planned dry docks intended to upgrade Holland America Line’s 14-ship fleet in line with the 2016-launched MS Koningsdam, the refurbishment enhanced several areas on board the already popular MS Westerdam. One of the most notable enhancements and a biggie for anyone who has ever fancied themselves as the captain of the ship is the debut of a virtual bridge as part of the brand-new Explorations Central, or EXC, in the Crow’s Nest. The virtual bridge features a real-time display mirroring the information being screened to the captain himself on the ship’s bridge....
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Visit The Pandas You’ve Seen On Screen On An Escorted Tour Of China

03 July 2017

Could this be the ultimate bucket list holiday? As clumsy as they are cute, pandas have stolen a piece of our hearts and the world cannot get enough of videos showing them rolling and lolling around. Almost 17million people have seen this YouTube video of pandas playing on a slide like mischevious children, but how many have actually visited the place it was filmed? It is believed that there are fewer than 2,000 giant pandas left on earth, 70% of which are found in China’s Sichuan Province. Fortunately for the panda obsessed, our exclusive Princess Cruises ‘In Pursuit of Pandas’ package will take you there. This once-in-a-lifetime cruise and stay package won’t just get you within touching distance of the adorable giant pandas we all can’t help but love at Chengdu’s world-famous Panda Conservation Centre, it’ll also show you the...
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8 Things You Never Knew About Hebridean Princess

30 June 2017
Hebridean Princess

Hebridean Princess really is one of a kind and small ship cruising around the British Isles just doesn’t come much more intimate than this. Here are eight things you probably never knew about Hebridean Princess, the ship which boasts Her Majesty The Queen amongst its fiercely loyal following. 1. Hebridean Princess is literally fit for a queen. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has chartered the ship twice; once in 2006 for her 80th birthday and again in 2010 to celebrate Princess Anne’s 60th and Prince Andrew’s 50th birthdays. 2. Hebridean Princess is one of the smallest ships at sea, accommodating just 50 guests in 30 spacious cabins, 10 of which are reserved for single travellers. There are almost as many crew as guests on board, with at least 38 on each sailing. 3. On most days, Hebridean Princess berths in...
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Celebrity Cruises Unveil ‘Eden’ On Celebrity Edge

28 June 2017
Celebrity Cruises Eden

Chillful. Playful. Sinful. Three words that describe Eden, the mind-blowing new dining and entertainment venue set to debut on board Celebrity Edge, the brand-new ship from Celebrity Cruises. Located aft, Eden will span three decks and measure an incredible 12,650 sq. ft., floor-to-ceiling glass providing spectacular views of the ocean as you eat, drink and socialise in a space that is the first of its kind at sea. The atmosphere in Eden, a space which will be exclusive to Celebrity Edge, will change throughout the day. In the morning, Eden will be ‘Chillful’. Three decks of windows will offer the perfect vantage point for sunrises and lazy early mornings with an ocean view. Your morning brew and breakfast bites will come courtesy of the Eden Café, with all roads leading to a relaxing start to your day. Come afternoon, Eden...
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Brush Up On Your Broomstick Skills At Alnwick Castle

26 June 2017
Alnwick Castle and the Lions Bridge

Prepare to feel old, because today marks TWENTY years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Just to put that into perspective, that same year saw the Spice Girls hit number one with ‘Wannabe’ and ‘Titanic’ smash records at the box office. Events are being held all over the UK to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, which has since spawned one of the most successful movie franchises in history and made its author J.K. Rowling a national treasure. Cruisers can get in on the action at Alnwick Castle, a grand estate located just 35 miles from the Port of Tyne, a destination that appears on many British Isles cruise itineraries. The castle may look rather familiar indeed to Harry Potter fans. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was filmed on location here...
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