Into The Blue Cruise Magazine
Unforgettable holidays start with Into The Blue, the award-winning travel magazine dedicated to cruise. Each bi-monthly print issue brings new destinations, interviews with industry insiders and celebrities who have long since declared a love of cruise, plus behind-the-scenes exclusives from some of the world’s newest cruise ships and more.
It’s the must-read for new and seasoned cruisers alike, with over 150,000 readers turning to Into The Blue for inspiration ahead of their next holiday. Don’t miss an issue of the bi-monthly cruise magazine – click the button below to receive your FREE subscription today and enjoy each edition delivered direct to your door.
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Missed an issue? Read past editions of Into The Blue here. Please note these are older versions of the magazine, therefore sailings and prices will not apply.
May/June 2023 Edition 49
In this issue, you will find an exclusive interview with Wesley Dunlop, Captain of P&O Cruises Iona. He’s quite a character who is popular among our Cruise Club Members, so I hope you enjoy his insights into what it’s like to be at the helm of this incredible ship.
Some of our team have once again been experiencing the products we sell. My daughter Katie was recently invited on a special preview sailing on board
Disney Wish; you can see how her trip fared as a self-confessed cruising and Disney fanatic on page 34! Marketing Executive Jade has also returned from her first-ever river cruise, so you can read her account of her time sailing a section of the Danube with APT in this issue.
Our main feature focuses on the Mediterranean, a destination I know many of you will have sailed to before. It’s such an accessible and diverse region with so much to offer – and I’m sure you’ll agree once you read this article!
Luxury cruises continue to go from strength to strength, and if you’re still wondering whether it is for you, make sure you read our feature covering five reasons to ‘go luxury’.
As for our regular inclusions, we offer some suggestions for how to spend 36 Hours in Athens and if you need some destination inspiration, then Tokyo might be just the ticket.
March/April 2023 Edition 48
This issue gives us the first opportunity to share our personal impressions of the new P&O Cruises ship Arvia. Some of our team recently spent a day on board while she was in Southampton, and it’s fair to say their feedback has been incredible.
If you have never sailed the amazing Norwegian Fjords, then hopefully our main feature will inspire you to do so. This is a part of the world I’ve been fortunate enough to explore on many occasions, and with so many popular cruise lines sailing directly from the UK, it continues to be an enticing destination.
Should your sights be set on somewhere further afield, perhaps Bar Harbor, our Destination Inspiration for this issue, will fit the bill. Alternatively, we offer some suggestions on how to spend 36 Hours in the Spanish city of Seville.
Our Marketing Manager Danny recently set sail on a Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton to New York. As a first-time Cunard cruiser, he offers his insight into his experience after spending seven nights on board the iconic Queen Mary 2.
The interview for this edition is with Martin Lister, Head of Itinerary Planning and Destination Experience at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which has become an increasingly popular choice among our Cruise Club Members. He explains exactly what goes into planning a cruise itinerary and the challenges involved, in what I’m sure you will agree is an interesting read.
Lastly, I am delighted to share with you a real bucket-list trip in the shape of an expedition voyage to Antarctica. My daughter Katie and son Oliver were invited to the naming ceremony of Silversea’s latest ship, Silver Endeavour, and here Katie shares a diary of their time on board. Once you’ve seen it, I can guarantee that Antarctica will quickly move up your travel wish list!
January/February 2023 – Edition 47
After months of build-up, the new P&O Cruises ship Arvia recently arrived in her home port of Southampton. I’m sure many of you are as keen to sail on this incredible ship as we are, so to whet your appetite, we run through some of the never-before-seen features you can expect to find on board.
We’re kick-starting the new year with a main feature that focuses on the value of cruising. Whether you’re an avid cruiser or have yet to try a holiday at sea, I’m sure you’ll agree that this article makes a compelling case for this type of getaway over a land-based adventure. Take a look and see if we can convince you!
Our interview for this issue is with Jo Rzymowska, EMEA Vice-President and Managing Director for Celebrity Cruises. The past 12 months have marked an exciting time for the cruise line, so read on to find out what else is in store for Celebrity, and her predictions for the wider travel industry.
As usual, members of our team have been out and about experiencing just some of the products we offer. Find out what we thought of the Princess Cruises MedallionClass technology, and discover our Luxury Marketing Executive Jade’s highlights of sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
In our regular features, we show you how to spend 36 Hours in Budapest; a firm favourite river cruising destination, we reveal some of the standout sights along the Mekong and if you need some destination inspiration, the incredible site of Machu Picchu should be on your bucket list.
November/December 2022 – Edition 46
This will be our final issue before the new P&O Cruises ship Arvia launches in December, so we bring you all the latest updates and insights as the countdown to her inaugural season continues. Not only do we have an exclusive interview with P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow, but our very own Arvia Insider Millie shares some of her personal experiences and highlights from the past few months.
Editor of Into the Blue Emma recently set sail on Norwegian Prima, the latest ship to join the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, and she offers her first-hand review of what it was like to be among the first on board. This is one of the most hotly anticipated ships of recent years so I hope you will enjoy reading how she fared for a first-time NCL cruiser.
We have also included a review of exploring the Danube with AmaWaterways and, if you have ever considered six-star cruising, then take a look at our guide to just some of the little luxuries you can expect to find on board a Silversea ship. This is a cruise line I have been fortunate to sail with on many occasions and one that never fails to deliver a truly first-class experience.
If you’re hoping to escape the chill over the coming months then hopefully our main Winter Sun Seekers feature will give you some ideas. We consider four destinations across four different continents, which I’m sure will whet your appetite for a winter adventure.
As for our regular features, we offer some suggestions for how to spend 36 Hours in Sydney and if you need some destination inspiration, then hopefully Boston will fit the bill.
September/October 2022 – Edition 45
It’s not long now until the launch of the brand-new P&O Cruises ship Arvia this December. In this issue, we bring you an exclusive insight into the food and drink you can expect to find on board, as well as an interview with Lukas Campestrini, who heads up the operation across the whole P&O Cruises fleet.
Our main feature is an ‘A to Z of the Caribbean’. I’m sure you’ll agree that we’ve enjoyed some incredible weather in the UK this summer, so if you’re not quite ready to give up the sunshine just yet, hopefully this article will give you some ideas for a winter break.
We have also included an ‘Introduction to Cruise & Stay’, a department we established in 2019 and that is headed up by my daughter Katie. Our team of experts can tailor your perfect cruise holiday with flights, transfers, hotels and experiences, so I’d urge you to take a look at the article to find out more about exactly what is possible.
Emma and Jade from our marketing team recently embarked on Windstar’s Star Pride, a luxury yacht cruise line that is growing in popularity amongst our customers – you can find out more about what they thought of the small-ship experience.
Our regular features include how to spend ‘36 Hours in Bordeaux’ and, if you haven’t yet embarked on a river cruise, then ‘Highlights of the Rhine’ will showcase just some of the fascinating ports you can explore while sailing along one of Europe’s most iconic rivers.
July/August 2022 – Edition 44
It’s great to see that the cruise industry continues to take further steps towards returning to normality. In this issue of Into the Blue you’ll notice that various members of our own team have been travelling again and are keen to share their experiences with you.
The main feature reviews some of the latest ships to have launched so far this year, namely Celebrity Beyond℠, Wonder of the Seas℠ and Ambassador’s Ambience. Speaking of new ships, as the countdown continues to the launch of Cunard’s Queen Anne in January 2024, you can read our interview with her Captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge.
You may recall from a previous edition that I have enjoyed river cruising in the past – I took my family on an amazing adventure down the Mekong just a few years ago. Our Senior Marketing Executive Sam recently set sail on her first river cruise and, once you read her account of her time on board Riviera Travel’s MS George Eliot, I’m sure you will agree she’s also a convert to this style of holiday!
Meanwhile, our Product Manager Katie recently embarked on one of the world’s most iconic railway journeys, the Rocky Mountaineer. It remains a popular itinerary for our Cruise & Stay customers, and once you read her write-up, you will soon see why.
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what scenic cruising involves, Editor of Into the Blue Emma offers her insights. In our regular features, take a look at our suggestions of how to spend 36 hours in the Maltese capital of Valletta, and be inspired by one of my personal favourite destinations, Dubai.
May/June 2022 – Edition 43
Cruising is well and truly back on the horizon for many, including the team here at Bolsover Cruise Club. Many of our colleagues have been enjoying travelling again, and in this edition, you can read about their experiences of what it’s like to cruise in these current times. Take a look at the ‘What Cruising Looks Like Now’ and ‘A New Dawn’ features to find out more.
Our main feature focuses on multi-generational cruising. As a family business, this is something that is very much rooted in our DNA. While I might be biased, there are real benefits to booking this type of holiday – see if we can convince you!
In this edition, we also take a closer look at some of the lesser-known cruise ports you might have spotted on your European itineraries and, further afield, we offer our advice on how to spend 36 hours in Singapore.
As the countdown to Arvia’s launch continues, we speak to Local Food Hero Shivi Ramoutar about the Caribbean cuisine she’ll be bringing to the new P&O Cruises ship. You will also find a look at Iona in numbers, and an exclusive interview with Captain Hugh Maynard, who will be at the helm of Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience.
March/April 2022 – Edition 42
Welcome to the latest edition of Into the Blue. As countries start to welcome back holidaymakers and the world opens up again, we have plenty of inspiration for your future travel plans. Our main feature is a guide to just some of the incredible islands of the Mediterranean. I’ve personally visited many of the destinations we’ve highlighted on a number of occasions, and know they are proving popular among our Cruise Club members.
If you find yourself holidaying in Spain’s third-largest city, we have compiled a few suggestions of how to spend 36 hours in Valencia. Staying in Europe, we also take a look at the forthcoming Floriade Expo in the Netherlands, which only comes around once a decade. Many cruise lines have dedicated sailings to the event, so I hope this gives you a short break idea for the coming months.
We’ve also included a couple of features on expedition cruising, which is certainly an emerging trend we are seeing across the industry. Among them is an interview with Seabourn’s Vice-President of Expedition Operations Robin West, so see if this whets your appetite for an adventure.
Silversea Managing Director Peter Shanks also talks to us about luxury cruising, and explains why now more than ever so many people are keen to experience the six-star treatment.
January/February 2022 – Edition 41
This is the first issue of Into the Blue for the new year, where I hope you find plenty of inspiration for your holiday plans in 2022 and beyond. There’s a lot for us to look forward to over the next 12 months, including the launch of several new ships, many of which will be based here in the UK for their maiden seasons. One that we’re especially excited about is Arvia, the latest Excel class ship from P&O Cruises, and I know many of you are already booked to set sail on her when she launches in December. Take a look at our Arvia feature and On the Horizon to find out more.
Cunard’s summer 2023 programme is coming soon and we are currently taking pre-registrations. These will be on sale for World Club members on 1 Feb 2022 and on general sale the following day.
Norway has always been a top cruising destination, and this popularity is predicted to grow even further over the course of this year. It’s certainly a booking trend we’re seeing among our Cruise Club members, so if you’re still undecided about whether a trip to Scandanavia is right for you, I’d recommend reading Norway, All Ways to see if that convinces you.
In this issue, we also predict what holidays might look like in years to come in our Future of Travel feature. If your journey takes you to the Canary Islands over the coming months, we’ve also put together some suggestions of how you should spend 36 hours in Tenerife.
November/December 2021 – Edition 40
This edition of Into The Blue is special for two reasons; not only does it feature our first ever luxury segment dedicated to luxury cruising in all its forms, but it also sees no fewer than four trip reports from our Cruise Club insiders. We’re boarding Celebrity Apex in Athens, seeing P&O Cruises Iona and Seabourn Ovation through the eyes of those who are totally new to cruise, and we’re spending four days in ‘Splendor’ aboard the new Regent Seven Seas Cruises arrival. I’m incredibly happy to see the team back on ships again, gaining the first hand knowledge that sets us apart. It’s the real reason that nobody knows cruise holidays as well as we do and I hope you’ll find their honest insider reviews helpful when it comes to planning yours.
The arrival of autumn sees attentions turn to winter warmers and Christmas cruises, both of which we’re seeing huge demand for now that international travel has returned. The coming weeks also see the exciting arrival of the brand-new P&O Cruises Summer 2023 and Winter 2023/2024 programmes. Available for pre-registration now, these new itineraries hold the promise of bigger adventures than ever for the P&O Cruises fleet, not least new arrival, Arvia. I’m sure that, like me, you cannot wait to get on board a ship that’s set to chase the sun around the globe. With our wanderlust well and truly reignited, these new sailings promise to be extremely popular, so I do encourage you to pre-register today in order to secure priority booking.
August/September 2021 – Edition 39
This issue of Into The Blue comes as UK cruise fans ride a wave of staycation sailings that will continue into the autumn and beyond. It’s so good to see ships returning to the seas and as I write this, there’s the promise of overseas escapes on the horizon too. With so many of our Cruise Club members booked to join cruises around the British Isles this summer, we’re taking a look at what holidaying in 2021 is really like inside, complete with honest cruise reviews from some of those who have already experienced ‘the new normal’.
As the oceans reopen to ships and the skies to flights, we’re exploring how the cruise industry is riding a wave of change towards more eco-conscious holidays in our Turning Tides feature. We’re also spending 36 hours in Copenhagen, a favourite port of call on any Baltic itinerary, and we’re hopping aboard Rocky Mountaineer’s new ‘Rockies to the Red Rocks’ route. Take a look at our exclusive Cruise & Stay package combining LA, Las Vegas, Mexico and the new Red Rocks rail journey to be one of the very first to experience it.
Finally, we celebrated the debut of new Saga ship, Spirit of Adventure, by catching up with the boutique cruise line’s three captains for an exclusive interview; each gives an amazing insight into the life of a captain and I’m sure you’ll find it an interesting read from a cruise line with such a loyal fan base.
May/June 2021 – Edition 38
Never before has spring brought so much promise. The world is slowly reopening and news of holidays on the horizon brings hope that we’ll travel again sooner rather than later. The last month has seen much good news, from the launch of summer 2021 staycations in the British Isles from many of your favourite cruise lines, to more details on the eagerly-awaited Arvia, plus new season sailings for P&O Cruises in winter 2022 / 2023. With operators such as Silversea and Seabourn also announcing plans to cruise the Greek Isles this summer, there’s so much to look forward to. This issue of Into The Blue takes us ashore in the Caribbean and aboard P&O Cruises Arvia, with a look at everything we know so far about a ship that is set to whisk you away to the sunshine next year. She’s on sale now, along with the rest of the ever-popular P&O Cruises fleet, so don’t miss your chance to be the first to experience all she has to offer – speak to your Cruise Expert today on 01246 819 819 to find out more. We’re also catching up with Tony Roberts, vice president of Princess Cruises UK & Ireland, in our exclusive interview and sharing the latest cruise news from around the world.
January/February 2021 – Edition 37
The day before a government announcement prompted a flurry of cruise cancellations last March, we had been in London to see Into The Blue win silver in the prestigious Travel Marketing Awards. Now, after a year-long hiatus, I’m thrilled to see it arrive in letterboxes again. Whilst this issue is smaller than usual, I hope you’ll find every page filled with destination inspiration, along with some fantastic cruise deals to take you there. We’ve spent the last year dreaming about all the places we’d like to go; now is time to put those ideas into reality. I think we’ll all agree that we’re a nation in need of a holiday and as the UK’s leading independent travel agent, nobody is better trusted to take you there. With enhanced onboard protocols promising the safest sailings ever, plus reassurance policies that guarantee easy rebooking if the situation changes, the scene is set for some of your best cruise holidays yet.
March/April 2020 – Edition 36
The first time we were recognised as the best in the UK for P&O Cruises, Dirty Dancing was on cinema screens and George Michael was on the radio with Faith, a song we spent many a shoulder-padded hour dancing to. And the less said about my acid wash jeans, the better. That was 1987; fast-forward 33 years and we’re thrilled to be able to say that we have retained the title of ‘Top UK Agent’ consecutively every year since. We never take recognition like this for granted and we couldn’t do what we do so well without our fantastic Cruise Club members, so thank you. As we put winter behind us and move into spring, there’s plenty on the horizon to look forward to. Scarlet Lady, the first ship from the rebellious Virgin Voyages, will have arrived by the time you read this, with Celebrity Apex just days behind. And then we have P&O Cruises Iona, a ship years in the making and now within touching distance. Not only will we be onboard to experience Ionafest, a launch party that promises to be unlike any other, but many of us will be holidaying on the ship ourselves over the summer too. I for one can’t wait for a closer look. This issue of Into The Blue sees us focus on France, the world’s most popular tourist destination and one which offers such diverse choice for cruisers. We meet the young bloggers bringing cruising to a new audience and go behind the scenes with three Holland America Line crew members, as well as sampling a short break to Antwerp and Amsterdam on Cruise & Maritime’s Columbus. We’re also looking at iconic rail journeys including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, something which has been on my wish list for years. Paired with a Mediterranean cruise, it remains one of our most requested Cruise & Stay holidays. I hope you enjoy reading.
January/February 2020 – Edition 35
Let me start by wishing you a ‘Happy New Year’ from all of us here at Bolsover Cruise Club and The Cruise Holiday Shop. 2019 was another exciting year for the cruise industry, with new ships galore and more of us taking to the seas than ever before. We welcomed new arrivals across the spectrum, from the uber eco-friendly Celebrity Flora and MS Roald Amundsen to the luxury Scenic Eclipse and the family-friendly Sky Princess. The latter half of the year also saw the launch of our new Cruise & Stay packaging department and we’ve planned hundreds of tailor-made holidays in the months since. Was yours one of them? Looking ahead to 2020, we’re anticipating the arrival of many new faces. P&O Cruises flagship Iona will debut with a star-studded festival at sea and embark on a maiden season spanning the Norwegian Fjords, before setting sail for the sun later in the year. Take a look at our feature inside for details of all the new arrivals. We’re also sharing our ‘Hot List’, the destinations we’re earmarking for the year ahead, both near and far. Where are these on your wish list? All that remains is for me to wish you many happy holidays for the new decade, wherever they may take you.
November/December 2019 – Edition 34
Winter has officially arrived and with the turning back of the clocks comes the turning of our attention to holidays. We’ve got winter sun on our Christmas lists and with just six months to go until she arrives, Iona on our minds. There are also exciting plans to be hatched for further ahead, with new 2021-22 cruise collections from P&O Cruises and Cunard igniting our sense of adventure again. This edition of Into The Blue shines a light on Norway, a natural beauty with 1300 nautical miles of coastline to explore and something for everyone on its itineraries. We’ve got 28 reasons why the country should feature in your holiday plans and we’re also spending 36 hours in Oslo, arguably the coolest of all Scandinavian capitals. You can also enjoy a chat with new Royal Caribbean International ambassador, Harry McNulty, go ‘where the wild things are’ in search of animal encounters, and embark on an indulgent girls’ weekend away with Cunard. With our new tailormade holiday team settled in and selling, we’re also sharing some of our favourite Cruise & Stay holidays inside. There’s barely a place on earth our team can’t take you, so do get in touch if you’re keen to extend your next cruise with a hotel stay, land tour and more.
September/October 2019 – Edition 33
And just like that, we’re saying goodbye to another summer. With the kids back at school and autumn in the air, thoughts naturally turn to holidays, don’t they? There’s something about seeing the end of the warmer months that makes booking some winter sun even more tempting. Our main destination feature in this edition is Sri Lanka and India, a part of the world that promises a feast for the senses and an exciting option for anyone looking for something a little more exotic over the coming months. After almost a year in the planning, our Cruise & Stay service is now running at full speed and we have already created bespoke holiday packages for hundreds of you. With hotel stays, escorted tours, sailings and rail journeys in destinations around the world, it’s the easiest way to extend your cruise holiday into something even more unforgettable. We’ve featured some of our favourite packages inside; where will we take you? Looking ahead, we’re counting down to the launch of new 2021/22 itineraries from Cunard and P&O Cruises, as well as more exciting updates on Iona in coming weeks. Stay tuned for more! Finally, you may notice that the wrapping your Into The Blue arrived in feels a little different this time around. We’ve made the switch to potato starch to help eradicate single-use plastic for the sake of the seas we all love to sail; please do recycle yours.
July/August 2019 – Edition 32
As I write this, summer still feels a million miles away here in the UK. Weeks of rain has left most of us longing for some sun on our skin and sand beneath our feet, both of which are available in abundance in Portugal. The destination has experienced a surge in popularity, yet it remains excellent value, with a unique combination of golden beaches, bustling cities and delicious local food to tempt those looking for an alternative to the more traditional Mediterranean spots. That said, for anyone who is keen to spend this summer in those Mediterranean gems, Celebrity Edge remains a tempting proposition. I recently spent three days on board and the innovative new ship comes with my personal recommendation. This edition of Into The Blue also sees us meander along the Danube with AmaWaterways and get a first look at Celebrity Flora, a ship which celebrates 16 years in the Galapagos Islands for Celebrity Cruises. We’re also spending 36 Hours in Palma and talking travel with Jools Holland. Finally, I’m thrilled to announce the exciting news that our dedicated Cruise & Stay tailor-made holiday service is now live! This is something we have been developing for almost a year, so we’re thrilled to finally be able to offer a specially-trained team capable of curating your perfect land and cruise package in destinations across the globe. With all packages fully protected under our own ATOL, you can book that dream holiday in confidence. The world really is your oyster in terms of destinations
May/June 2019 – Edition 31
And so the first bank holidays of the year have been and gone in a haze of barbecues and balmy weather; is it just me or do the first signs of summer tend to bring the first thoughts of summer holidays? There’s a whole world out there, but don’t overlook the beauty of destinations on your doorstep. The Mediterranean tempts me back year after year with crystal seas, white sands and food that makes a bigger waistband an inevitability. We’re putting Spain in the spotlight in this edition, from its food to its islands and its architecture.
A little further afield, we’re spending ’36 Hours…’ in Ho Chi Minh City, one of my family’s favourite places in the world. We were fortunate enough to visit the city last year on a river cruise and it remains one of our most memorable holidays. There’s also a feature on the crème de la crème of private islands, plus a look into the ways Crystal Bach has brought ultra-luxury river cruising to Europe’s most scenic waterways.
Finally, in exciting news for Bolsover Cruise Club, we’re set to launch our own tailor-made holiday packages over the coming weeks; stay tuned to find out more!
I hope you enjoy reading.
March/April 2019 – Edition 30
2018 was a year of big wins for Bolsover Cruise Club and I’m thrilled to say that we have built on our successes and achieved another incredible accolade. Earlier this month, we received the ‘Passenger Favourite’ award at The Wave Awards 2019 for a third consecutive year. What makes this particular award so special is that it is voted for by you, our valued Cruise Club members, and I’d just like to give a big thank you to everyone who voted for us; recognition like this makes everything we do worthwhile. Spring is always an exciting time for cruisers, with the arrival of new ships and the launch of new itineraries. This month saw the launch of Fred. Olsen’s new 2020/21 season and Winter 2020/21 programmes from P&O Cruises and Cunard, including the brand-new P&O Cruises ship, Iona. Some fantastic early booking benefits mean we have seen more people than ever booking their holidays sooner rather than later, something I’d certainly recommend. Don’t delay, secure your perfect trip with the UK’s favourite cruise agent by calling your Cruise Expert today on 01246 819 819. The spring months also see a big development for Bolsover Cruise Club as we launch our own Cruise & Stay service. We can’t wait to help you combine land and sea in one amazing holiday, so stay tuned to find out more! If you’re yet to decide where to holiday next, we have plenty of inspiration for you inside. As experts on sailing from Southampton, we’ve compiled a pick of our favourite no-fly cruises from the UK’s most popular port to destinations around the world. We’re also spending 36 hours in Lisbon, getting a first look at the new MSC Cruises ship, Bellissima, and sharing the reasons why we’re smitten with Scarlet Lady, the first ever Virgin Voyages vessel.
January/February 2019 – Edition 29
I START BY WISHING you a ‘Happy New Year’ from all of us here at Bolsover Cruise Club and The Cruise Holiday Shop. 2018 was an exciting year indeed for the cruise industry. We saw the arrival of many new ships and the promise of more on the horizon, including Iona; the new P&O Cruises ship is set to launch in 2020 and was met with unprecedented demand when itineraries went on sale in September. We welcomed Symphony of the Seas – the largest cruise ship in the world – and finally had the chance to experience Celebrity Edge. We took to the race track atop Norwegian Bliss, enjoyed a spectacular sailaway out of Venice on Nieuw Statendam and soaked up the sophistication on board Seabourn Ovation. It was a successful year for Bolsover Cruise Club too, as we celebrated winning some of the most coveted awards in the industry, including two British Travel Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted; we work hard to be the UK’s favourite cruise agent and it means the world to have our success recognised, especially in awards voted for by you the public. Last year also saw us induct another handful of our team into the long service club; we now have 45 staff who have worked for Bolsover Cruise Club for more than 10 years and some of those have been helping to plan your holidays for an incredible 20 years! Finally, late 2018 saw the launch of our new website, complete with an updated search function that makes finding your perfect cruise easier than ever. Let us know what you think! Now all that is left for me to say is that I hope you enjoy the first Into The Blue of 2019 and that this is a year of holidays to remember.
November/December 2018 – Edition 28
WITH AWARDS SEASON well underway, I start with news of some big wins for Bolsover Cruise Club. We were thrilled to receive the accolade of both Best Cruise Travel Agency and Best Online Cruise Agency at the British Cruise Awards. Unlike many industry awards, these are voted for by the public, something which makes our wins even more special. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. We were also very proud to see one of our Cruise Experts, Poppy Outram recognised at the TTG Travel Awards, where she scooped the awards for Cruise Agent of the Year and Top Agent of the Year. Well done Poppy! This edition of Into The Blue sees us visit destinations far and wide. We’re sharing four ways to explore Asia in 2019, perfect if you’ve always fancied a little Thai island hopping but aren’t enamoured by thoughts of going it alone, backpack and all. We’re also taking a closer look at Nordfjord, where Iona will sail what is shaping up to be the most popular inaugural season ever for a P&O Cruises ship. We talk adventure with Hurtigruten ambassador Dave Cornthwaite and discover the destinations set to be top of everyone’s wish list for the year ahead. We’re also spending 36 hours in Valletta. The phrase ‘hidden gem’ is often overused but there really is no better way to describe the tiny Maltese capital that has quickly become one of our favourite Mediterranean ports of call.
September/October 2018 – Edition 27
And so a summer of heatwaves and World Cup hopes comes to an end, cooler mornings and darker nights taking its place. With autumn comes cosy nights on the sofa, the best of which are spent with the laptop on your knee or brochures in hand looking for your next holiday. Early September saw the ever-anticipated launch of new Summer 2020 Cruise Collections from P&O Cruises and Cunard, each filled with endless opportunities for adventure, rest and relaxation on the high seas. We also discovered that new P&O Cruises ship Iona will sail seven night itineraries in Norway, one of my favourite parts of the world. Turn to page 62 for the inside scoop on how Iona will make that spectacular scenery the star of the show. This edition of Into The Blue also brings an exclusive interview with godfather of travel writing, Paul Theroux, plus an article that explores the reality of solo travel. We review the Southampton Harbour Hotel and bring our ‘36 Hours in…’ feature to Hampshire, sharing our tips for your pre-cruise stay. Finally, we’re looking at the winter warmers that’ll bring some much-needed vitamin sea to sun-starved skin once the cold weather hits. Which place in the sun is on your wishlist?
July/August 2018 – Edition 26
And they named her Iona! It seems only fair to start with news that P&O Cruises will name their brand new ship Iona. I think the name perfectly represents the beauty of our own home shores. As more details on the ship are revealed, it only makes me even more excited for her launch in 2020. Itineraries go on sale in September so don’t forget to register your interest with us to be the first to find out more about Iona. Stay tuned for the launch of the new P&O Cruises programme soon, too. It has been a busy few months for new cruise ships and we’re giving you the inside scoop on some of them in this edition. I was fortunate enough to sail on Seabourn Ovation and I must say, both the ship and the service on-board blew me away. Norwegian Bliss also left us impressed; could there be a new family favourite in the water? In this issue we’re also exploring some of the smaller Italian isles, talking carbs and the Colosseum in our 36 Hours in Rome feature and discovering whether you really can do Paris in a day.
May/June 2018 – Edition 25
SPRING IS THE most exciting time of year for cruisers. New ships arrive and new itineraries are launched, all holding the promise of amazing holidays with our nearest and dearest. Symphony of the Seas – the largest cruise ship in the world – made its debut in spectacular style in Barcelona back in April, closely followed by Seabourn Ovation and Norwegian Bliss. All completely unique in what they bring to the seas, these three ships perfectly sum up what we at Bolsover Cruise Club love so much about cruising; that there really is a ship for everyone, from adrenaline-fuelled fun to pure unadulterated luxury and great adventures. As the UK’s leading independent agent for P&O Cruises, we couldn’t discuss new ships without mentioning the 2020 addition to the fleet. As we go to print, we’re waiting with baited breath for the next big announcement. Anticipation is building and itineraries are expected to go on sale in just a few months, so visit www.bolsovercruiseclub.com/2020 to be the first to hear the latest news. This edition of Into The Blue sees us head for Australia, a destination that has never been more popular with cruisers. We’re also spending 36 hours in Barcelona, whiling away a weekend ‘In Bruges’ and cruising in the fast lane at the Monaco Grand Prix.
March/April 2018 – Edition 24
SPRING is an exciting time of year for cruising, with new ships just around the corner and the launch of new itineraries putting the world at your fingertips. Back in January, we were honoured to be recognised as the Top UK Agent for P&O Cruises for a 31st consecutive year, so we are incredibly excited for the launch of the cruise line’s Winter 2019/20 programme. Also debuting this month are new itineraries for Cunard’s three iconic Queens. Fantastic early booking benefits and low 5% deposits mean we have seen a huge increase in the number of people booking their holidays early, something I’d certainly recommend if you’re keen to secure your preferred cabin and dining options on your next cruise. Pre-registration is open now for Cunard and P&O Cruises’ new 2019/20 programmes, so speak to one of the team on 01246 819819 to register your interest before itineraries go on sale next week. If you are still contemplating where your summer 2018 cruise will take you, you’ll find plenty of inspiration inside. From glitzy Monaco and the many islands of the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean and Norwegian Fjords; wanderlust is guaranteed. We’re also finding out about the designers bringing style to the seas on ships including Celebrity Edge (turn to page 52 for our exclusive interview with Kelly Hoppen MBE), plus we’re celebrating the return of Independence of the Seas to UK shores by catching up with its godmother, Elizabeth Hill.
January/February 2018 – Edition 23
On behalf of everyone here at Bolsover Cruise Club and
The Cruise Holiday Shop, I’d like to wish our Cruise Club members all the best for the year ahead.
2018 is set to be an exciting year for cruising. Itineraries will go on sale for the latest addition to the P&O Cruises family, an as-yet-unnamed ship that will be the largest ever created for the British market when it launches in 2020. We are counting down the days until we can reveal details of her maiden voyages, so stay tuned! This year will also see the launch of Norwegian Bliss, plus the largest cruise ship ever built, Symphony of the Seas. Later, winter will bring with it the sophisticated Celebrity Edge and technologically ground-breaking MS Roald Amundsen. As is tradition, the first Into The Blue of the year features The Hot List, our pick of the must-visit places for 2018. You’ll also find inspiration for some summer sun in our main destination feature, which focuses on Greece, one of my favourite Mediterranean regions. It’s an edition of contrasts where we’re talking travel with arguably the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, as well as showing you a Transatlantic Caribbean cruise through the eyes of 7-year-old William! There are still some great Caribbean cruise deals around for 2018, so give us a call if William’s account has whet your appetite for a little island time. Wherever cruising takes you in 2018, I hope it is a year of holidays to remember.
November/December 2017 – Edition 22
I start with news of an exciting win for Bolsover Cruise Club in the 2017 Cruise International Awards. Unlike many industry awards these are voted for by the public, something which makes our win in the ‘Best Cruise Agency’ category even more significant. We were also highly commended in the ‘Best Online Cruise Travel Agent’ category and I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us in the awards. It is always great to have the hard work we put into being your holiday experts recognised. The British Isles are our main destination focus in this edition of Into The Blue and we’ve chosen some of our top British Isles itineraries for 2018, all of them offering a new view of our often overlooked home shores. Also featured is our exclusive first-hand experience of sailing the Scottish coast on Her Majesty The Queen’s favourite ship, the Hebridean Princess, plus a diary of Sales Consultant Mandy Maddison’s Transatlantic crossing on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. With the festivities just around the corner, we’re also sharing our ’12 Deals of Christmas’, a combination of 2017 and 2018 Christmas markets cruises and winter sun holidays with all the trimmings. I’m a firm believer that there is simply no better way to escape the Christmas chaos than on a cruise. Finally, I couldn’t end without mentioning the sad news that Adonia is to leave the P&O Cruises fleet. It is the end of an era for the ship’s loyal following, but we’re thrilled to see that she will return as Azamara Pursuit. If you’re desperately seeking small ship cruising, our feature on the smallest ships at sea promises plenty of inspiration.
September/October 2017 – Edition 21
Even when we are well past school age, there is something about September that feels like the start of a new year. With the kids waved on their way and the heating on, there’s no better feeling than getting comfy on the sofa with a coffee and planning for the months ahead, especially when it comes to holidays. September sees the much-anticipated arrival of the brand new summer 2019 cruise collections from P&O Cruises and Cunard, bringing with them endless possibilities for adventures the whole world over. From family fun to extended escapes, there is something for everyone. Where will 2019 take you? If the thought of waiting a while longer for some sun fills you with fear, turn to our Favourite Four feature, where we’re sharing some of the best late deals around for those in desperate need of a little vitamin sea. We’re also looking at four completely different ways to visit the Norwegian Fjords, delving deep into the history of Easter Island’s Maori ‘statues’.
July/August 2017 – Edition 20
If you have visited Bolsover Cruise Club’s website recently, you may have noticed that we are heading into summer with blogs, news, customer reviews and testimonials back on board.
We have been working hard behind the scenes for the past six months or so to re-publish some of the most popular sections on our website, which were put on hold when we were forced to launch our brand-new site in record time back in November. I’m thrilled to see them return and urge you to take a look for the latest cruise news, travel blogs and honest reviews.
Summer also saw the arrival of
MSC Meraviglia, a ship which has been described as “The Eighth Wonder of the World”. We were fortunate enough to be there for MSC Meraviglia’s star-studded christening and you can read all about the ship of the summer inside. We’re also thinking about – dare I say it – Christmas. Christmas and New Year cruises are incredibly popular and time at sea is the ultimate way to escape those festive family feuds. If you have winter sun on the mind and December feels too far away, our Winter Warmers feature on the Canary Islands is certainly worth a look. Our guide to Venice is a must-read for anyone whose summer cruise calls into the floating city, whilst adventures further afield visit South America and take a closer look at the Galapagos Islands, two real bucket list destinations.
May/June 2017 – Edition 19
Spring is always an exciting time for cruising, bringing with it new ships and new itineraries promising countless maiden calls. Perhaps the most exciting new arrival in recent months was that of Silversea’s ultra-luxurious flagship, Silver Muse, the six-star cruise line’s first new-build since 2009. We were lucky enough to join Silver Muse for a two-night taster cruise and we’re sharing our first impressions in this edition. Spring also saw the excitement and anticipation around Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge reach a crescendo. The cruise line revealed a ship unlike anything ever seen before and we have all the details, along with news on the ship’s tempting Caribbean itineraries, inside. This edition’s destination focus takes us to Canada and New England, a region famed for its fall-foliage and ‘leaf peeping’. It’s a colourful destination that appears on the bucket lists of many cruisers and I can’t imagine anywhere better in the world in which to welcome autumn. We’re also sharing how to start your summer holiday in storybook style in our New Forest feature, taking a bite of the Big Apple in 36 Hours in New York, and looking ahead to the sporting spectacles worth cruising to in 2018.
March/April 2017 – Edition 18
A lot has changed since 1987. Shell suits and baggy trousers have disappeared, though the photographic evidence that they were once quite the style statement refuses to do the same. Mullets are but an unfortunate memory, E.T. made it home, and the distant future portrayed in ‘Back to the Future Part II’ has long since been and gone. One thing which hasn’t changed in all of those years is Bolsover Cruise Club’s title as the ‘Top Independent UK Agent’ for P&O Cruises. We scooped the accolade for the very first time in 1987, at an awards ceremony no doubt teeming with velvet, shoulder pads and pearls, and have collected the coveted award every single year since. As we returned to the stage in January, minus the shoulder pads, we marked our 30th consecutive year as P&O Cruises’ top UK agent, and I cannot put into words how much of an incredible achievement this is and how proud I am. We decided that there could be no better way to mark the occasion than by taking a look back to where it all began, with someone who has been there almost from the very beginning. Founding partner Derek Wilson has played a fundamental role in Bolsover Cruise Club’s past and present, and I’m sure you’ll find his insights very interesting indeed. This edition of Into The Blue comes as we wait with baited breath for the exciting launch of brand new 2018/19 itineraries from P&O Cruises, tempting our sense of adventure with maiden calls to new destinations and return visits to some of our favourites. Time spent at sea is precious and choosing where your next itinerary will take you is never easy. I hope our destination features might provide a little inspiration, whetting your appetite for lazy summer days in San Francisco and grand voyages in the Baltic Sea.
January/February 2017 – Edition 17
On behalf of everyone here at Bolsover Cruise Club and The Cruise Holiday Shop, I’d like to wish our Cruise Club Members all the best for the year ahead. We begin 2017 with a brand new website and Cruise Club Forum, both of which I hope you are finding far more user-friendly than previous versions. In addition to a brand new section dedicated to our extensive cruise guides, you will also find the newly-responsive website much simpler to use on mobile phones and tablet devices. The first Into The Blue of the year sees a continuation of our ‘Totally Tropical’ guide to the Caribbean, one of my favourite winter sun destinations. There is nothing quite like sinking your toes into warm sands – piña colada in hand – knowing that everyone at home is battling wind and rain on the daily commute. There are still some great last minute Caribbean cruise deals to be had for 2017, so give us a call if we have whet your appetite with the thought of a little island time. This edition also features a look at the hottest destinations for the year ahead, from a charming rustic village off the French coast, to the vast and awe-inspiring Yukon Territory, a destination often combined with a cruise to the ever-popular Alaska. Wherever cruising takes you in 2017, I hope it is a year of holidays to remember.
November/December 2016 – Edition 16
With the clocks wound back and dark nights firmly on the agenda for the foreseeable future, you could be forgiven for planning an escape to paradise. The Caribbean was made for cruising and few other destinations can rival its sun-soaked idylls in terms of popularity, which is why we decided it deserved a complete guide, spread across the next two editions of Into The Blue. With winter having arrived on our own shores, the rain soaking our streets and the skies painted grey, it becomes even more difficult to resist the lure of guaranteed sunshine and stunning beaches, and I hope part one of our guide will help you choose your ideal island escape. This edition also features one of my favourite places in the world, South Africa, along with a look behind the walls of Valletta; an often overlooked gem of the Mediterranean, and one which will host a number of P&O Cruises fly-cruise itineraries from 2017. We also catch up with seasoned Seabourn adventurer, Robin West, and find out what it takes to dish up dinner on board ‘the most luxurious cruise ship ever built, in our interview with Regent Seven Seas Explorer’s executive chef, Aurelien Dumeylet.
September/October 2016 – Edition 15
September means many things to many people. For families, it means back to school! The summer holidays are over, new uniforms and pencil cases have been purchased, and the kids are lacing up their shoes for the start of a new year. For those who sail P&O Cruises and Cunard, September marks the beginning of the holiday countdown, with brand new itineraries for summer 2018 finally on sale after weeks of anticipation. For America, September signals the arrival of New England’s famous fall foliage. Many people time their first cruise to the USA to coincide with the season, but the truth is that the destination is perhaps the most varied on earth and is deserving of a visit at any time of year. We’re sharing some of our favourite American ports in this special USA edition, from glamorous Miami and wild Port Everglades, to the charming Southern states and the cityscapes of the East Coast. We’re also taking the opportunity to catch up with Holland America Line’s Koningsdam and finding out whether Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ brand new Seven Seas Explorer lives up to the hype as the ‘most luxurious cruise ship ever built’, as well as investigating the boom in multi-generational travel and the reality of holidaying when a fear of flying does its best to keep you grounded.
July/August 2016 – Edition 14
It is a term which is thrown around often, but what truly makes for the ‘holiday of a lifetime’? Is it cruising deep into the Amazon Rainforest or exploring the Galapagos Islands, or is it sailing the seas of the Mediterranean aboard the ship of your choice? Perhaps your holiday of a lifetime is crossing the Atlantic on the Queen’s favourite ocean liner or maybe it is joining the tiny handful of travellers fortunate enough to set foot in Antarctica? Whatever it is, cruising can make it happen. Since our last issue, we have seen the arrival of MS Koningsdam and Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, both of which are already making waves. Both ships are featured inside, as is an exclusive look at Cunard’s ‘remastered’ Queen Mary 2. Whilst on the subject of debuts, we’re also sharing the best new tourist attractions for 2016, as well as raising a toast to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Captain, Serena Melani.
May/June 2016 – Edition 13
Spring is always a busy time for cruising. New ships are launched and new season programmes are unveiled, making it the most exciting time of the year for avid cruisers like ourselves. April saw the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, whetting our appetite for the hugely anticipated debut of Harmony of the Seas – the largest ship in the world – this month. May also sees the arrival of Viking Cruises’ second ocean ship, Viking Sea. We were fortunate enough to spend some time on board Viking Star in March and you can find out how the ship exceeded our high expectations in this issue. This edition’s destination focus is Naples, Pompeii and the beautiful Amalfi Coast; a popular itinerary with many cruise lines and one that explores a part of the world that I am especially fond of. We’re also island hopping around the Greek Isles and joining Hurtigruten on an expedition through the Norwegian Fjords.
March/April 2016 – Edition 12
Spring is a time for new arrivals and in 2016 these come in the form of new ships! From ultra-luxury to action packed, never has the age-old cruising adage of ‘a ship for everyone’ been so true. We’re taking a closer look at all of the year’s new arrivals in this issue and we can’t wait to set foot aboard each of them over the coming months. Spring is also a time when our attentions are turned to planning our summer holidays and we have endless destination inspiration to whet your appetite for the season ahead. We’re exploring Croatia, whose Adriatic coastline has experienced an incredible surge in popularity to become one of the Mediterranean’s most tempting propositions for summer cruising. We’re also eating our way around Copenhagen, discovering the Deep South and cruising Caribbean shores beneath the sails of Star Clippers’ tall ships. Step aboard and see even more of the world in 2016.
January/February 2016 – Edition 11
On behalf of everyone here at Bolsover Cruise Club and The Cruise Holiday Shop, I would firstly like to wish you all the best for the year ahead. What a year it promises to be for cruising! 2016 will see the introduction of new cruise ships to the world’s waters, each of them offering something completely different to the last. Royal Caribbean International will follow the hugely successful 2015 launch of Anthem of the Seas with two new vessels; Quantum-class sister ship Ovation of the Seas in April, followed by a third Oasis-class vessel, Harmony of the Seas, in May. With April debuts also scheduled for Holland America Line’s MS Koningsdam and Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sea, 2016 is shaping up to be a rather exciting year indeed. Anticipation is also building for the July launch of the newest ship in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, with the Seven Seas Explorer billed as the Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built; a claim that I know many of you are looking forward to putting to the test on her inaugural season sailings in the Mediterranean. The luxury cruising sector is bolstered further in December, with the arrival of Seabourn’s newest all-suite ship, Seabourn Encore. As we look forward to the year ahead, we also reflect on the year that has passed. Norwegian Cruise Line’s NCL Escape injected some Miami heat into the waters off Southampton’s Ocean Cruise Terminal on a rather grey day in October, confirming yet again that the tides have changed and cruising has become a really exciting option for family holidays. The last 18 months have also proven especially successful for river cruising and I hope you enjoy our dedicated river cruise feature inside this issue. There really is a river cruise for everyone and guest contributor Professor Ian Cooper offers some fantastic advice on finding the right one for you. One of the common misconceptions about cruising is that itineraries focus purely on sun, sea and sand, however this is no longer the case, as proven by the burgeoning popularity of river cruising. Similarly adventure cruising is an exciting prospect for those seeking something other than beaches and cities, taking you everywhere from the icy waters of the Arctic to the prehistoric lands of the Galapagos Islands and everywhere in between. Our destination focus in this issue is Alaska and I defy anyone to resist the lure of a cruise to this intriguing part of the world. If great rail journeys join cruising as one of your passions, be sure to check out our exclusive Hays Travel packages combining cruise voyages with travel on the iconic Rocky Mountaineer and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express trains. In addition to an interview with P&O Cruises Food Hero, Eric Lanlard, as well as an article from guest contributor Jo Clough looking at how cruising has changed throughout the years, I hope you will find plenty to interest you in our first issue of the new year.
Autumn 2015 – Edition 10
The last few months have been especially exciting for us here at Bolsover Cruise Club, as we underwent a complete refurbishment of The Cruise Centre. The arrival of our state-ofthe- art reception desk signalled the final stage in the process and we are thrilled with the results that award-winning interior designer Jamie Hempsall and his team have achieved. The boutique style of our new look bureau is bold, bright and inviting, making it the perfect place to grab a coffee and talk holidays. I hope that you will visit us and see it for yourself next time you’re passing. Summer 2015 has welcomed inaugural seasons from some of the biggest cruise lines in the world. Six months since its regal launch, P&O Cruises’ Britannia continues to attract great reviews. As The Great British Bake Off comes to an end on our television screens, this issue sees us take a closer look at the great Britannia bake off; with several chefs having now spent time on board, has The Cookery Club risen to the challenge? Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas has also been incredibly well received by our customers and I’m sure we will see the same level of success following the launch of both Ovation of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas in 2016. Right now we are gearing up for the October launch of Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship, Norwegian Escape. We’ll be meeting the ship in Southampton, so keep your eyes peeled for exclusive photos of what promises to be an exciting prospect for family cruising. Our destination feature has become a popular part of Into The Blue and this edition focuses on one of my personal favourites, the Middle East. With recent announcements confirming that Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises will base ships in Middle Eastern ports, there really has never been a better time to explore the region. My love for Dubai is mentioned in my interview for our Under The Spotlight feature, something that I had managed to escape becoming the subject of until this issue! This edition’s Industry Insider is Nathan Philpott, Sales and Marketing Director of Fred Olsen. Following the launch of the line’s ‘most ambitious and unique cruise programme ever’, we found out just what else is in store for one of the nation’s favourite operators. Fred Olsen also helped inspire our Sailing Solo feature, exploring the various options available to solo cruisers. It has been something of a bone of contention but tides are changing as operators make it easier, and more cost effective, for lone travellers to get on board. With articles on world cruising, the Caribbean’s best excursions and a review of director Julie’s river cruise along the Rhine, plus a brand new ‘Bolsover on Board’ feature, I’m confident that you’ll find plenty in this issue to inspire enough wanderlust to see you through the winter.
Summer 2015 – Edition 9
The 2015 season is in full swing and programmes for 2016/17 are now on sale. Advance bookings have reached an unprecedented level, the highest in a considerable number of years, and it seems that confidence is returning to the holiday market. There are so many different products out there and people have more choice than ever before when it comes to planning their perfect cruise. River cruising continues to thrive in popularity and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, P&O Cruises’ Britannia and Viking’s Viking Star all commenced their maiden seasons in recent months – there really is more variety than ever. The introduction of bigger ships, revolutionary activities and technological advances, has seen family cruising become a popular alternative to the traditional package holiday, with P&O Cruises predicting that more than 13,000 children will holiday at sea this year – a 26% rise compared to last year. Today’s family cruise ships offer a dizzying array of entertainment and activities, with something for the whole family. Throw in the chance to see a multitude of destinations in just one trip and family cruising seems a really tempting option for the summer holidays. Still not sure? Our feature ‘All The Cool Kids Cruise’ will soon have you convinced! This edition’s ‘Industry Insider’ feature sees us speaking to Royal Caribbean International’s Managing Director Stuart Leven. We found out what cruise convert Stuart had to say after his first year in the role and asked him some probing questions on how Royal Caribbean plan to attract new cruisers to the market. Having joined Anthem of the Seas for her inaugural celebrations in April, we are also sharing some of our favourite spots on board. This year is an exciting one for Bolsover Cruise Club, as we not only celebrate a year of trading at The Cruise Holiday Shop at Meadowhall, but also the tenth anniversary of The Cruise Centre here in Barlborough. The refurbishment of The Cruise Centre is coming to an end, with just the finishing touches still to go, and the response to our new boutique feel has been fantastic. I hope you might visit us soon to take a look! With more people choosing to book in person, we really understand the importance of flexibility and being able to speak to someone face-to-face outside of working hours. Take a look at our ‘Under The Spotlight’ feature to find out how The Cruise Centre and The Cruise Holiday Shop are helping us make it easier than ever for our members to find their perfect holiday. Finally, I should mention this edition’s destination focus, the Norwegian Fjords. Home to some of the most magnificent scenery in the world, and a popular alternative to beach holidays, a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords is on many a bucket list. Have you ticked it off yours yet?
Spring 2015 – Edition 8
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh outlooks, and our spring 2015 edition of Into The Blue celebrates the launch of P&O Cruises’ newest ship Britannia; the most eagerly awaited cruise ship ever developed solely for the British market. Our bumper Britannia edition brings you closer than before to the names behind the ship. Read our exclusive interview with Captain Paul Brown, the man charged with taking the helm of the largest ship in the P&O Cruises fleet and find out what happened when we invited Food Hero Olly Smith to join us for an evening of wine tasting. This event raised £2,384 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, thanks to the generosity of our VIP guests. Finally, join us as we become some of the very first passengers to board Britannia and witness its inaugural celebrations and regal naming ceremony. The end of 2014 saw in the awards season and happily, our cabinet has seen many new additions, with accolades coming from across the industry. November saw us scoop both Agent of the Year for Swan Hellenic and Top Cruise Plus Agent for Travel2, whilst December brought great success at the Seabourn Cruise Awards; a glamorous event held at the beautiful Lainston House Hotel. Here, we were thrilled to receive the award for Top Midlands Travel Partner, before Sales Manager Helen Moore was recognised with the Seabourn Star Award for her ongoing help and dedication to the Seabourn product. We celebrated not once but twice in January, scooping the much-coveted top spot in the Travel Weekly ‘Mystery Shopper’ feature and receiving the ‘2014 Partnership Achievement’ award from P&O Cruises, marking an amazing 28th consecutive year, at the UK Cruise Awards. It is such an honour to have our hard work recognised. Friday 30th January 2015 marked a sad day for Bolsover Cruise Club, with the passing of my mother Audrey Wilson; a founding partner of the business. Many of you are familiar with the long-standing family history behind Bolsover Cruise Club, yet few are aware of the pivotal role Audrey played in our success. Our tribute to Audrey comes in celebration of her life and her unwavering devotion to the business. Looking forward, the months ahead promise to exceed our expectations. As Britannia sets sail on her inaugural season, our attentions turn to Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas. Set to sail into her home port of Southampton this month, she joins Britannia as one of the big news stories of the season and promises to bring new innovations to the industry as her sister ship Quantum of the Seas did before her. This edition’s destination feature is Myanmar, a place deemed one of the ‘must visit’ destinations for 2015. Myanmar is a country shrouded in mystery and an opportunity to visit its unspoilt lands should be embraced. The river cruise industry continues to boom in popularity and Myanmar has become a popular itinerary for river cruisers who are keen to venture off the beaten path in search of new adventures.
Winter 2015 – Edition 7
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
At long last we will see the arrival of the eagerly awaited new ship built especially for the British market, P&O Cruises’ Britannia. She will be officially named in just a few weeks time and embarks on her maiden sailing from Southampton on 14 March. Also, not forgetting Anthem of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International arriving in Europe this April, she promises to exceed expectations with some incredible innovations. These are just two of the big news stories for 2015. Looking back to 2014, we were honoured to continue our work with some of the UK’s most deserving charities. In August, five of our team took on the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, with donations of over £200 going to Macmillan Cancer Support. September 2014 saw us gifting two P&O Cruises sailings; the first donated to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and the second to the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. Both charities auctioned their cruise, raising a combined total of £2,250. In October four members of staff completed the 5k Asics Neon Run in Leeds, raising over £500 for local charity Reuben’s Retreat, while November saw us hold our annual Fun Day raising £1,000 for Children in Need. In this edition, continuing on the theme of experience within our sales team, the regular ‘under the spotlight’ feature includes a Q&A with several of our Sales Consultants who previously worked on board cruise ships. Emily, one of our cruise consultants, was an entertainment officer on Aurora when I celebrated my birthday on board. She organised seating for my party in the theatre to see Bobby Davro and then asked me for a job! Today she is a most proficient Sales Consultant and, like the others who have previously worked at sea, brings that extra dimension to her work. Our feature on eco-friendly cruising acknowledges some of the ecological responsibilities of an ever-growing cruise industry. As ships become larger and an increasing number of them take to the seas each year, the industry faces greater environmental obligations than ever before. Constantly evolving ecological processes have been adopted by cruise lines and it is great to have an opportunity to share just some of the steps being taken by the cruise industry towards ‘going green’. This edition’s destination feature is Australia, a country that continues to be on everyone’s bucket list. Cruise holidays as we know them today began back in the early 20th century as liner cruises to and from Australia. Cruising has changed enormously since those days, but we can still offer lots of opportunities to visit this fascinating destination. Call us now and before long you could be stepping ashore down under!
Autumn 2014 – Edition 6
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
With summer now firmly behind us, I am sure you will agree, it’s been one of the most pleasant from a weather perspective for a number of years. Here at Bolsover Cruise Club and The Cruise Holiday Shop it has been a busy summer, recording increased forward sales for both the summer 2015 season and the newly released 2016 World Cruise programmes. There is clear evidence that confidence is very much on the increase; perhaps due to the green shoots of recovery in the country generally, coupled with some very attractive early booking offers from the major cruise lines. The Cruise Holiday Shop continues to go from strength to strength and it’s great to see not only new customers booking with us for the first time, but also our existing Cruise Club members taking advantage of its accessibility in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, coupled with longer opening hours. Please do drop in and say hello if you are in Meadowhall; the unit is located on the main upper arcade near customer services and the main central entrance. In this edition we have included an infographic of our company which we have released into social media. “What is an infographic”, I hear you say and, to be honest, until recently it is not a term I was particularly familiar with. It is a graphic visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. Our infograhic is a light hearted look at our business and I do hope you will find this interesting. For instance, you will see that our staff have collectively cruised for 8903 nights (and counting); that’s a staggering 24 years of cruising experience and I’m sure you will agree that’s an amazing wealth of knowledge! We also feature a blog from Andy who works in our marketing department. Andy has roots in the travel industry and first cruised back in 1994. He has not cruised since until recently and this is a very interesting daily blog that follows his family’s progress around the Mediterranean on Ventura with P&O Cruises. The usual ‘destination highlight’ features the Far East. It has always been a popular choice for those looking for a fly cruise with a different cultural flavour and, of course, it is included in many of the world cruise itineraries. This is particularly relevant with 2016 world cruise itineraries now being available to book. In this edition our staff feature looks at the day to day work of Sarah, who looks after our sales training. We take training very seriously with all new sales consultants undergoing extensive coaching under the supervision of Sarah. It’s an opportunity to take a glimpse at just a small part of our behind the scenes operational support.
Summer 2014 – Edition 5
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
Welcome to our 2014 Summer edition of ‘Into the Blue’. The cruising calendar is now in full swing as we head into summer. Looking ahead, the 2014/15 season is set to be exciting and we are looking forward to the launch of some high profile ships. Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will soon commence her maiden season and will be joined in Southampton next year by her sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. Viking River Cruises have also captured the headlines by breaking their own record for the most ships christened in a single day. Plus we now know all the fantastic details for P&O Cruises’ Britannia, set to sail from Southampton in Spring 2015. Alongside the cruising industry as a whole, 2014 has also proved to be an exciting year for Bolsover Cruise Club. Not only did we enjoy a wonderfully successful 2015 launch period, but we have also expanded our facilities. On 8 May, we officially opened ‘The Cruise Holiday Shop’ located at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield! ‘The Cruise Holiday Shop’ is, in essence, an extension of our Cruise Bureau, found at our main office in Barlborough. It’s a place where you can discover more about cruising, browse our library of brochures and leaflets, catch up with the latest cruise offers and of course, book your cruise face to face with one of our expert consultants. Our new premises will enable us to reach a wider audience, many of whom may be new to cruising and perhaps unaware of the service and expertise that Bolsover Cruise Club provide. It will also offer our existing customers another avenue for booking the perfect cruise holiday.
In this edition of the magazine you can learn more about ‘The Cruise Holiday Shop’, along with the benefits of booking in person. We also take a closer look at the world of Celebrity Cruises with President and CEO, Michael Bayley. We continue the popular series ‘Under the Spotlight’, this time focusing on our Administration Manager, Wayne Shutt. This edition also offers an insight into the latest cruise news, the top 6 kids clubs at sea, plus we take a look at P&O Cruises’ Strictly Come Dancing sailings. Each edition of ‘Into the Blue’ features a destination focus and in this Summer edition it’s all about the Canary Islands. Read our detailed guide for exploring the islands with an overview of the most popular ports of call. We also showcase the incredible Galapagos Islands and you may notice the QR Codes in the corner of these pages. Simply download the QR Reader app to your smartphone and scan the code and you will be instantly directed to some great video footage of the islands and one of the ships that takes you there, Celebrity Xpedition®.
Spring 2014 – Edition 4
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
Welcome to the 4th edition of ‘Into The Blue’. As we begin to look towards the spring and hopefully some warmer weather we also look forward to an exciting year ahead.
2014 has already seen first glimpses of P&O Cruises Britannia as well as the launch of her amazing itineraries. We are all excited at the prospect of her impending arrival – after all she will be the largest ship ever developed solely for the British market. There are also plenty of other wonderful things to look forward to this year including more new ship releases with Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess and Royal Caribbean’s innovative Quantum of the Seas, and for those of you who love river cruising, Viking River Cruises have even more longboat designs planned for 2014. Itineraries are also set to break new ground with more fascinating ports to discover and celebrities influencing excursion opportunities, Ben Fogle features in Celebrity Cruises ‘Great Adventures’ which offer new excursions such as a gastronomy tour of Sicily, salmon snorkelling in Norway and the opportunity to visit Oslo’s famous Fram and Kon Tiki museums. Cruise lines are also looking to increase your on board experiences with greater facilities and entertainment, P&O Cruises recently announced their hugely popular ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ theme cruises for this year. Since launching our quarterly magazine last July, we have seen ‘Into The Blue’ grow from strength to strength and this edition is the biggest one to date. From the outset the aim was to provide our customers with the most detailed insight into the world of cruising, we sincerely hope we are doing that and we thank you once again for your continued support and positive feedback. In this bumper edition we announce the lucky winner of the fantastic P&O Cruises competition, the prize is a 4-night cruise on board P&O Azura with the added reward being that the English Tenor Alfie Boe will be making a guest appearance. We are also continuing our interview feature with a leading industry figure and in this edition we delve deeper into the world of Princess Cruises with UK and Europe Managing Director, Paul Ludlow answering questions. Furthermore we welcome you inside the world of Bolsover Cruise Club with an in-depth interview with Sales Administration Manager Wendy Flegg and take a closer look at the Cunard 175th Anniversary celebrations as well as giving you the full lowdown on P&O Cruises’ Britannia courtesy of our Marketing Executive, Katie Anderson who travelled to Trieste in Italy to see the float-out ceremony. Each magazine edition features a destination focus and this time it’s all about Northern Europe. We provide a detailed guide to exploring this beautiful part of the world along with highlighting some outstanding cruises for 2014. We also take a closer look at an interesting topic of discussion within cruising; fashion. We look at the current dress codes in place and help with the dreaded question; “what should I pack?” The Cruise Club Forum continues to develop and is rapidly evolving into the fastest growing cruise community online today with plenty more to come in the future. If you have yet to join, pop in and say hello, it’s completely free and now the ‘go to’ place for answers to all your cruising questions. We’re certainly in for a great year, read all about the exciting times ahead along with features on a selection of our cruise partners in this luxury cruising edition of ‘Into The Blue’.
Winter 2013 – Edition 3
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
Welcome to the winter edition of ‘Into The Blue’. This is the third edition since launching our quarterly magazine in July this year and the feedback we have had from you has been fantastic so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. In the first edition I stated our aim was to provide our customers with a greater insight into the world of cruising and with this edition we have once again taken this a step further.
Inside you will find all the latest cruise news and a wide perspective on the current hot topics within the industry. We have also brought back our well received interview feature. In the last edition we chatted with Managing Director of Seabourn UK, Lynn Narraway and this time we interview one of the new men at the helm of P&O Cruises, Marketing Director, Chris Edgington as he answers the questions on everyone’s lips about the new P&O Cruises pricing policy. The article continues with a closer look at adult only cruising, including specific adult only ships and where to find the most peaceful spots on board. We also examine the rise of river cruising and how these unique itineraries continue to dominate the headlines with Viking River Cruises breaking the record for the most ships christened in one day. Alongside informative articles giving you a behind the scenes look at our coveted partnerships with a wide range of cruise operators, we also deliver a further insight into the principles behind our successful business and the core emphasis of our quality renowned customer service. Bolsover Cruise Club has been at the forefront of the cruising industry for many years and at the prestigious ‘Carnival UK Cruise Awards’ held on 11 November 2013 we once again cemented our position as ‘Top UK Independent Agent’ for both P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises. This is an accolade that we are very proud of and we’re truly overwhelmed to have come out on top yet again. Our determination has allowed us to shine through as the industry’s market leader and we’re very privileged to have received this award amazingly for our 27th year. It really wouldn’t be possible without the continued hard work and dedication of our staff and you, our loyal members. Read more about our UK Cruise Awards achievements inside along with the news of Bolsover Cruise Club being crowned winners of the ‘Best Large Cruise Retailer’ 2013 at the glamorous ‘British Travel Awards’! We’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to vote for us; we are truly overwhelmed to have been recognised for our excellent customer care. We also recently auctioned a Cunard cruise with all proceeds donated to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. A grand total of £1,000 was donated. Following the introduction of our ‘Go Green’ option helping the environment and the recent unveiling of the Cruise Club Forum – a brand new cruise community, it has been an exciting time here at Bolsover Cruise Club with plenty more to come in the future. Read all about our further plans along with features on a selection of our cruise partners in this edition of ‘Into the Blue’.
Autumn 2013 – Edition 2
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
Welcome to the second edition of ‘Into The Blue’. It’s my pleasure to present you with the latest edition of our magazine and to invite you to delve deeper in to the world of cruising.
The first edition of ‘Into The Blue’, released in July, was a tremendous success and I would like to thank you for your positive feedback. It is because of this incredible response that we have taken the decision to make future editions bigger and better. In this issue we provide a comprehensive overview of the principles behind our successful business with an insider’s guide about all things Bolsover Cruise Club, emphasising that customer service and creating the perfect booking journey is always at the forefront or our minds. This Autumn edition also invites you to discover a great range of exciting itineraries and superb destinations from a wide range of cruise operators. My introductory letter last issue referred to the release of our redesigned website. I am pleased to say that we are now experiencing incredible ‘hit’ rates with thousands of customers and potential customers visiting the site every week and we continue to expand the website as we strive to provide our clients with all the information they need to make an informed cruise holiday choice. The introduction of the ‘Cruise Reviews’ facility invites customers to post reviews following their return from holiday and the new ‘Customer Testimonials’ section gives you the opportunity to comment on the service you have received from Bolsover Cruise Club, as well as read what other customers have to say about our renowned customer service; don’t just take our word for it – see for yourself! Our ‘Go Green’ option was rolled out earlier in the year and this has received a brilliant response. The choice is completely yours with this facility. If you wish to ‘Go Green’ then great but if you prefer to receive cruise documentation the traditional way through the post then that is no problem at all. We have included features on a selection of our cruise partners in this edition of “Into the Blue” and we hope that you enjoy the next instalment of our magazine as we continue on with this exciting year.
Summer 2013 – Edition 1
*Please note: some images within this edition may be missing.
I am extremely excited to unveil the fantastic new official magazine of Bolsover Cruise Club and welcome you to the very first edition of Into The Blue. This is a great opportunity to introduce our company to new Cruise Club members and to update our existing members on what’s happening at Bolsover Cruise Club. Bolsover Cruise Club has been at the forefront of the cruising industry for many years and, following our continued success as number one UK independent agent for P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and now Celebrity Cruises, we thought what better time to launch our new magazine! The statement No.1 Cruise Specialist can be found on the majority of our marketing material and it is a title we are extremely proud to have achieved. I’m sure you have heard this used elsewhere, but only Bolsover Cruise Club can truly claim to be the leading agent for P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. What’s more, this is a position with P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises that we have now held consecutively for the past 26 years. It has been an exciting time recently at Bolsover Cruise Club with the launch of our brand new website and indeed this area will see further expansion and improvement within the coming months. We have also recently announced our new Go Green system as we are committed to delivering the most efficient service possible. We hope this magazine gives you an insight into the principles behind our successful business, from which you will see that our core emphasis is on quality customer service throughout the booking process. With our expanding team of professional cruise experts, we continue to refine the traditions of personal service, ensuring that we cater to your every need. When we came up with the idea of a Bolsover Cruise Club magazine we wanted to deliver something unique, aiming to offer you a new perspective on cruising with a selection of editorials for you to learn more about the magnificent cruises on offer. Inside you’ll discover a world of exciting itineraries and thrilling ports of call from an outstanding range of cruise operators in this first edition of Into The Blue and we hope that you enjoy our brand new magazine.