Do you remember when people thought cruising was only for honeymooners and those of a certain age, earning it the questionable moniker of a holiday for the ‘newlywed and nearly dead’?
More people than ever are choosing to cruise and it seems that the honeymooners and aged were on to something. Thousands of holidaymakers are bidding a fond farewell to land-based resorts and turning their attention to the ‘all-in’ nature of cruising, with the cruise market reflecting this by offering cruise holiday shoppers more choice than ever.
Looking for six-star luxury? There’s a ship for that. Need to keep three kids of various ages entertained for a whole fortnight? Cool, there’s a ship for that too. Can’t imagine anything worse than sharing the seas with thousands of travellers? Fine, a river cruise might be right up your street.
There really is a cruise for everyone, especially those who fall into the following categories and wouldn’t have ever thought that cruising was the holiday for them.
The four types of people who need to try cruising
Oenophiles, or winos as they are more commonly known, take pleasure in the finer things in life. Nothing thrills them more than the thought of enjoying the perfect Pinot Noir in Bourgogne or sampling Chianti in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
If you count yourself as something of an oenophile, you’d be in great company on a river cruise, particularly one of the many wine themed itineraries that depart throughout the summer. Bordeaux is considered something of a Mecca for wine connoisseurs and Viking Cruises’ Heart of Bordeaux itinerary takes you to some of the region’s most iconic appellations, including Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Sauternes, Médoc and Margaux. Wine themed cruises from AmaWaterways and APT are also incredibly popular, with various itineraries negotiating the wine regions of the Douro, Danube, Rhine and Rhone.
In addition to visiting the world’s most significant wine regions, most wine themed river cruises feature a combination of winery and vineyard tours, food pairing classes, wine-themed lectures and of course, plenty of wine sampling. If you take your tipples seriously, this is the cruise for you.
Teenagers are a funny old breed. Hyperactive but lazy, excited but indifferent, starving hungry but never able to find anything they want to eat. Travelling with teenagers can be hard work. They’re too old to want to stay with mum and dad, but not quite old enough to be given free rein and left to their own devices. Cue a cruise.
Modern cruise ships are catnip to kids, with the look on their faces going from uninterested to awestruck the moment they see the ship in the dock. Pick your cruise line carefully and you will find more to entertain teenagers on board than you will in your average city, never mind land resort; skydiving, rock climbing, surfing, circus training, dodgems, water slides, DJ classes, ice rinks, gaming zones, teen-only pools – the list is endless. Add to this a never-ending supply of food (we’re talking pizzas, cakes, ice cream, chips, burgers and hot dogs galore) and you’ve got a floating heaven for teen travellers.
If they’re really lucky, they might even get chance to visit six or seven different destinations too, you know, if you can tear them away from their new mates long enough to get them ashore.
If you’ve read our blog post on the best foodie destinations in the world, you’ll already know that cruising equals foodie heaven. Barcelona, New Orleans, Paris, Naples and Ho Chi Minh are but a handful of the culinary capitals within easy reach on a cruise holiday.
In fact, foodies will realise they’re in the right place before they even step foot in their first port of call, thanks to the world-class food found on today’s cruise ships. Michelin-starred chefs head up operations for the likes of Oceania Cruises and Star Clippers, whilst chefs aboard the AmaWaterways fleet are inducted into the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The Food Heroes unite aboard the P&O Cruises fleet, whilst Jamie Oliver recently took a step into cruise cuisine with restaurants aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. If you’re looking for fine dining and traditional grandeur, Cunard’s White Star Service has seen the cruise line garner a reputation for the finest dining on the seas.
Shore excursions for foodies often offer the chance to handpick ingredients alongside the head chef, before whipping them together in a cookery class held in stunning surroundings.
A cruise literally is a chance to taste your way around the world.
Seeing the most remote regions of the world is an experience that used to be reserved for privileged backpackers. If you had always dreamed of visiting Asia, Alaska, Australia, South America and even the Galapagos Islands, you could load up your backpack and spend weeks trekking the world’s rainforests and mountains on route to your destination. But what if you love luxury as much as you love adventure?
Cruising has opened up more of the world for exploration, allowing you to visit the furthest flung corners of the globe from the comfort of your luxury ship. Silversea Cruises lead the way for luxury expeditions, with all-suite accommodation providing the perfect retreat after a day of exploring on land.
The Galapagos Islands are something of a holy grail for exploration cruising. With flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth, including animal species including the Galapagos tortoise and iguana, a voyage here is amongst the most memorable you will ever make. Celebrity Cruises’ mega-yacht Celebrity Xpedition is designed specifically for exploration of the Galapagos Islands and sails the region all year round. The crew and Galapagos National Park-certified on board naturalists are experts in everything to do with the intriguing archipelago and the environmentally sound ship shows you the best of the sights without sacrificing the surroundings.
Have you recently tried cruising after vowing that it wasn’t for you? We’d love to hear what you thought!