Cruise & Travel Blog

An Island Fling on Hebridean Princess: Part 2

09 October 2017
Town Of Tobermory On The Isle Of Mull

Some may say that it is the little things that make us smile…rainbows, baby animals, cheese. Fortunately for me, all three factored into Thursday, my third day on Hebridean Princess. The morning began in Balamory, or rather Tobermory, although most know it as the former. The toy box town served as the setting for the children’s TV programme back in the early 2000s and hasn’t quite lived it down ever since. The sun was shining when we arrived but it barely mattered, as the paint box houses here could brighten even the most grey of Scottish skies. The harbour was very pretty but we were on the Isle of Mull for one very special reason; a private tour of the Isle of Mull Cheese Farm. Now, cheese. You either love it or, well, really love it. I love it and...
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An Island Fling on Hebridean Princess

04 October 2017
Hebridean Princess at sea

I’m on Hebridean Princess, Her Majesty the Queen’s ship of choice, spending a whole week eating and drinking my way around Scotland’s western isles on the ‘Flavours of Scotland’ itinerary. I know, I’m a lucky girl. Although, if it’s any consolation, the weather is quite grey. As far as Wednesdays go, it’s been a good one. A dolphin welcome started things off well, as they tend to, as did an early liquid lunch at the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay. Then there was lunch – grilled mackerel, followed by a raspberry sponge pudding and crème anglaise, eaten in the Columba restaurant with Scottish islets passing by. With the day already a winner, oyster and honey tasting in the tiny village of Scalasaig, Colonsay (we’d done a hop-skip-and-jump to another island by now) proved to be the icing on...
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7 Free Things To Do In Amsterdam This Winter

03 October 2017
Night city view of Amsterdam, the Netherlands with Amstel river

Amsterdam is the mini cruise capital and it never looks better than it does in winter. If you’re planning a cruise to Amsterdam, give these seven free things to do a go whilst you’re there. GET ON BOARD Take the free Amsterdam public transport ferry from behind Centraal Station to the north of the city, enjoying some panoramic views of the Amsterdam waterfront along the way. SAMPLE SOME FREE FROMAGE What is a visit to Holland without sampling a cheese or two? De Reypenaer is Amsterdam’s best cheese shop and they are far from stingy with the free samples. If you do fancy splashing the cash, you can indulge in cheese and wine galore at in De Reypenaer’s Cheese Tasting Room. SEE A PICASSO WITHOUT PAYING A PENNY Amsterdam’s galleries and museums are some of the best in the world...
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Four Small Ship Alternatives To Adonia

29 September 2017

This week saw the sad news that Adonia, one of the most loved ships at sea, is to say a final farewell to the P&O Cruises fleet in March 2018. Like Adonia’s fiercely loyal following, we’re sad to say goodbye to the smallest of the P&O Cruises ships, however we are thrilled to hear that she will be reincarnated and return to the seas as Azamara Pursuit – the new addition to the luxury Azamara Club Cruises fleet. If the loss of Adonia has left you pining for small ship cruising and wondering what your options are, here are four alternatives that are just as appealing to cruisers who prefer their ships compact and bijou. PACIFIC PRINCESS PRINCESS CRUISES Since Adonia has set sail for new horizons, word on the street is that Pacific Princess could become cruising’s new favourite...
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Easter Island Exploration

27 September 2017
Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile.

Jo Clough spent three days on Easter Island and relates how this changed her understanding of its history. Beno bridled when I referred to the scattered stonework at an unrestored platform as statues. “These are our ancestors” he said emphatically. I didn’t make the mistake again! Easter Island had been on my bucket list for years but its remoteness, some 3,000 miles to the west of Chile, makes it difficult to get to. With a cruise starting in Buenos Aires booked, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui to Easter Islanders, was now in reach, just. In fact, ‘Rapa Nui’ is the term used by the descendants of the thirteen tribes that settled there a millennium ago when referring to the island, themselves and their language. Although annexed by Chile in 1888, the Rapa Nui are trying to get their name for...
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Favourite Four Winter Sun Destinations

22 September 2017
Fishing boats on Teresitas beach on the sunrise on Tenerife island, Spain

And just like that, in a flurry of new pencil cases and iron-on name tags, the kids are back at school. September sees sighs of relief at a return to normality after the six weeks holidays, but the falling leaves and cooler days are a reminder that winter is just around the corner. There’s nothing quite like sinking your toes into warm sand when all at home are battling with their brollies. These winter sun destinations serve a mean piña colada too. 1. TENERIFE Sun-worshippers return to Tenerife year after year, tempted by temperatures that hover in the mid-twenties throughout November and December. Despite being just a few hours from the UK, the Canary Islands couldn’t be more different in terms of weather and terrain, with Tenerife coming out on top for its guaranteed sun and varied shore excursions. Golfers...
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Four Of Our Favourite Day Passes For Cruisers

18 September 2017

If the thought of spending the day on a private island appeals, read on. A resort pass is your ticket to a life of luxury without the hefty price tag, albeit for just a day. From private islands to five-star hotels, here are our favourite four day passes for cruisers. Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau Located just 15 minutes from the port in Nassau, Atlantis Paradise Island is the playground of the Bahamas and it offers one of the very best day passes for cruisers. The $120 per person Aquaventure & Dolphin Cay Pass offers access to the 141-acre Aquaventure Water Park, entertainment and activities at family-friendly Dolphin Cay, access to 5 miles of Bahamian beaches and a choice of seven pools, including the 7-acre Paradise Lagoon Beach. If you’re travelling as a group, booking a room at the resort could...
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A Centenary At Sea

15 September 2017

Earlier this year, Colin Bell became the first person to have booked a hundred cruises with Bolsover Cruise Club. When he visited us for an evening of celebrations to mark the occasion, we decided to have a chat and find out what keeps him coming back. Colin Bell’s next cruise will see him travel further by ship in a week than he does in his own car over the course of an entire year. What’s more, whilst he estimates his annual mileage to be a miniscule 1,000 miles, Mr Bell’s four cruises per year see him rack up tens of thousands of nautical miles on the deepest blue. Colin has cruised since 1979, when like many avid cruisers he got his first taste of life at sea on board the SS Canberra. That first cruise saw him spend 11 days...
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Crossing Oceans

12 September 2017
QM2 transatlantic cruise

Bolsover Cruise Club’s Mandy Maddison wondered how she’d fill her time on a Cunard Transatlantic voyage. Little did she know that the problem wouldn’t be finding ways to fill her days, but rather finding a way to fit it all in. Here’s her diary of a classic Cunard crossing. Friday 4th August, embark QM2 I’m up at 4am, ready to make my way to Southampton by train via London. Once I arrive, embarkation at the terminal is every bit as quick and easy as I had hoped for after such an early wake-up call and in no time at all I am on board the Queen Mary 2 bound for New York. My inside cabin is lovely and a lot bigger than I expected. The sparkling wine to welcome us was a nice touch too. After meeting the rest of...
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The Stunning Sights of Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage To The West

05 September 2017
Moraine Lake, Rocky Mountains, Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer isn’t just a rail journey, it is an all-out adventure. From the comfort of the train’s dome cars, you’ll travel through Canada’s west, ambling through mountain towns and National Parks, all the while keeping your eyes peeled for bald eagles above or bears and elk ahead. The sights you’ll see along the way are too many to list and too impressive to try and explain, but here are just a handful of the highlights that await on the Rocky Mountaineer ‘First Passage to the West’ journey. Vancouver The seaport city in British Columbia has it all, from cloud piercing skyscrapers to a famously scenic seawall and the wilderness of Grouse Mountain. Meet the resident grizzlies, Grinder and Coola, catch a lumberjack show, shop, hike, take a sky ride or zip line, cycle along the waterfront or run...
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