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EXPLORE See more of the world with Viking / Summer 2018 £3.95

TOP 10

Spirit of

Beaches of the Caribbean

Summer

SOULFUL GARDENS • FRESH FOOD • N O R D I C S PA R I T U A L S

GARDENING FOR GOLD

Viking’s Chelsea garden desig n YOUR GUIDE

to cruising

CHINA

.. .A N D R E L A X!

Books to inspire your travels


Viking

WELCOME

An eventful summer ahead Welcome to the summer edition of Explore More. In this issue, we’re celebrating wellness, both inside and out, and have a host of tips to encourage balance and wellbeing. We’ve been busy celebrating our fantastic success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where we were thrilled to win a gold medal. Our award-winning garden designer, Paul Hervey-Brookes, created a Nordic-inspired garden centred around wellness and we loved playing host to some gorgeous huskies on our press day (photos on page 9). We’re looking forward to Hampton Court Flower Show, and hope you enjoy all the gardening tips in Paul’s column. As usual, we also have a selection of inspiring travel features – from a trip-of-a-lifetime in China to discovering how the Caribbean is rebuilding itself after being hit by hurricanes, as well as the low-down on our new World Cruise segments which enable you to explore Africa. With delicious Scandinavian desserts on the menu, our recipe feature is perfect for summer parties and picnics. As sponsors of Greenwich Music Time and Hampton Court Palace Festival, we’re excited to be bringing music to the forefront this summer – some singing and dancing can only be good for the soul! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Hall of Fame destination survey and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

T WEET US:

@VIKINGCRUISESUK

LIKE US:

FACEBOOK.COM/ VIKINGCRUISESUK

FOLLOW US:

INSTAGRAM.COM/ VIKINGCRUISESUK

EMAIL US:

UK-MARKETING@ VIKINGRIVERCRUISES.COM

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE VIKING EXPLORER SOCIETY ON OUR WEBSITE

Managing Director, Viking UK

SPR ING 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Co n t e n t s more

EXPLORE

20

Summer 2018

IN THIS ISSUE... 9

PARTY PEOPLE Celebrating Viking’s garden at RHS Chelsea

See more of the world with Viking / Summer 2018 £3.95

34 IN THE SUMMERTIME Paul Hervey-Brookes on how to achieve long-lasting colour and attract insects to your garden

TOP 10

Spirit of

Beaches of the Caribbean

Summer

38 A FAMILY TRADITION The discovery of her grandmother’s plates led to a timely reinvention for Karine Hagen

SOULFUL GARDENS • FRESH FOOD • N O R D I C S PA R I T U A L S

GARDENING FOR GOLD

Viking’s Chelsea garden design

50 POSTCARD FROM FRANCE A Rhône cruise diary

YOUR GUIDE

to cruising

CHINA

65 HALL OF FAME Our survey reveals top ten destinations

.. .A N D R E L A X!

70 VIKING BOOK CLUB Readers’ recommendations

Books to inspire your travels

OFC_EM13_FINAL.indd 1

14/06/2018 12:05

Cover: Palm trees fringe an exotic beach in the Caribbean and provide welcome shade for visitors. Photo: iStock

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VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

72 POSTCARD FROM COLOMBIA An exotic adventure 82 A GUIDING STAR Viking Office Manager Clare Armitage remembers the moment she became a Viking Godmother


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26

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72

FEATURES

REGULARS

14 FLOWER POWER Chef Karen Burns-Booth’s Viking cruise has inspired her to create recipes using edible flowers

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20 GARDENING GOLD We talk to our designer Paul

VIKING NEWS The latest news and events

12 YOUR WORLD Letters and photos from our guests

Hervey-Brookes about his garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

37 KARINE’S TRAVELS Karine Hagen’s latest adventures

24 AFRICAN ADVENTURES Book a segment of our world cruise and embark on the trip-of-a-lifetime

46 NAUTICAL STYLE Key seafaring looks and accessories

26 CRUISING TO CHINA Nicole Dirkx travels to China and shares her highlights as well as her tips for a successful trip

58 SWEET SCANDINAVIA Our recipe feature focuses on

40 THE BALANCING ACT Wherever you are, incorporate wellness rituals and equilibrium into your everyday life

76 CITY GUIDE: CAIRO Take the time to linger in Egypt’s

48 A PASSION FOR MUSIC We catch up with Ilyich Rivas, the conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra

78 CITY GUIDE: TROMSØ Excitement awaits for the cold-weather explorer at the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’

52 VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY Becky Wiggins sees how the islands in the West Indies are recovering from recent hurricanes

80 CITY GUIDE: BUENOS AIRES Combine European

for a glamourous summer of travel

simple Scandinavian desserts made with seasonal fruits

capital and enjoy a sensory journey through history

architecture with Latin passion and you have a buzzing city SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Viking NEWS A round-up of the latest travel news and events from the world of Viking

VIKING ORION IS CHRISTENED

COMBINATION CRUISING Viking has announced its new combined Ocean & River Voyages, which offer the unique opportunity to explore Europe’s legendary rivers on an award-winning Viking longship, before setting sail to Scandinavia on one of Viking’s impressive ocean ships. The new Grand European & Viking Fjords itinerary will sail from Budapest to Bergen, combining the popular 15-day Grand European Tour (on the Rhine and Danube rivers) with the eight-day Viking Shores &

SIX NEW SHIPS

Fjords ocean cruise on the North Sea, between Amsterdam and Bergen. The other new combination itinerary is the shorter 15-day Rhine & Viking Shores & Fjords, which starts this summer, and sails between Basel and Bergen. “Only Viking can provide a destination-focused voyage that marries the river and sea into a single, unified journey,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, adding that it is now even easier for Viking guests to explore the world.

In June, our fifth ocean ship, Viking Orion, was christened in Liverno, Italy. NASA astronaut Dr Anna Fisher will serve as godmother, after a distinguished career in space. Highlights include being one of the “original six” women accepted into NASA’s Astronaut Training Program, becoming the first mother in space in 1984 on board the space shuttle Discovery, and working on NASA’s new crew-rated exploration spacecraft, also named Orion. To celebrate her retirement in 2017, Dr Fisher sailed on Viking’s Rhine Getaway itinerary.

A new agreement with the Italian shipbuilding company, Fincantieri, for six additional ocean ships, will bring Viking’s total ocean ship order to 16, the highest-ever for a shipyard from a single owner. The six new ships will be delivered between 2024 and 2027. 6

VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018


NEWS

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Come and see us at one of these fantastic events this year: 27-29 July Game Fair, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire 15-16 September Birmingham Cruise Show, NEC, Birmingham 1-4 November Luxury Travel Fair, Olympia

The ultimate world cruise

Viking’s new 245-day Ultimate World Cruise itinerary is the longest-ever, continuous world cruise, taking in 59 countries and 113 ports across six continents and offering a complete circumnavigation of the globe. Departing from London in August 2019 on Viking Sun, the new, grand, eight-month journey will mark Viking’s third voyage around the globe and will nearly double the length of previous World Cruise itineraries. Guests will also have the chance to sail a shorter segment of the full itinerary, the new 127-day Viking World Treasures cruise, which will call at 61 ports in 33 countries.

Viking celebrates float out of sixth ship

On 10 May, Viking’s sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, was floated out on water for the first time. The occasion was marked with a traditional float out ceremony attended by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who will serve as godmother to Viking Jupiter, as well as Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen and Senior Vice President Karine Hagen.

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

TO THOSE WHO SERVED

We are delighted to be supporting the Heroes at Highclere charity weekend on 8-9 September 2018. Look out for competitions and updates in your inbox. highclerecastle.co.uk/events

VIKING OCEAN SHIPS CONTINUE UK PORT VISITS Viking ocean ships have been visiting ports in the UK and Ireland since April and will continue to do so until mid-October. Destinations include Rosyth (Edinburgh), Greenwich, Dover, Dublin, Holyhead, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Falmouth and more. Do look out for a chance to visit us on board and enjoy a tour of the ship. SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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CHARITY NEWS LADY TAVERNERS SPRING LUNCH

Dedicated to giving disadvantaged young people a sporting chance, we are delighted to support the Lord’s Taverners charity as our official partner this year. In this capacity, we sponsored the annual Lady Taverners Spring Lunch and General Meeting, which took place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington in April. Newsreader and presenter Angela Rippon hosted the event, which featured entertainment from performer Debbie McGee. We are pleased to announce that the event raised £30,000 in total, a fantastic result.

Jenny claims a huge amount of support, a whole lot of water, and sheer determination helped her finish the hottest London Marathon on record. Many thanks to all sponsors.

RUN FOR FUN

On behalf of the Lord’s Taverners, two Viking teams made up of 25 employees are participating in the Color Run, the 5k fun run which takes place on 8 July around Wembley Park. You can sponsor us here: mydonate.bt.com/events/ vikingcolorrun/459718

lordstaverners.org

MARATHON SUCCESS

Our Regional Sales Manager, Jenny Wade, took on this year’s London Marathon, finishing in an impressive 3hrs 56mins and raising £541.20 in aid of the Lord’s Taverners.

thecolorrun.co.uk

Meet the team

We catch up with Chef Manuel López, Chef de Cuisine at the Chef’s Table restaurant Where did your passion for food come from and at what age did you know this is what you wanted to do?

How long have you worked for Viking?

We don’t really measure the time in years, but in contracts. I am lucky enough to have done four contracts with Viking over the last two years. Where are you from?

I am from Mexico, raised in a city called Toluca, just next to our capital city. As to where “home” is? Well, I can tell you that it is round and blue, and wherever there is food to cook I feel at home. 8

VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

luxury of sharing chopping boards with amazing people around the world.

I wanted to be a cook since I was 13 years old. I had never in my life touched a pan to fry an egg but I knew that’s what I wanted. When I started learning in culinary school it all made sense. Food itself is passion, you just have to be open to it.

What do you most like about your job?

Where did you train to be a chef?

In Lyon, France, at what once was called L’Ecole des Arts Culinaires et de l’Hotellerie or EACH.

The one and only: try YOUR food! Taste it! Recipes are guidelines mostly... if your preparation doesn’t taste the way you had it in your mind, make it happen!

What’s your favourite dish on board and why?

Tell me one thing that someone may not know about you?

We have a dish on our Venice Carnival menu that I enjoy in particular. Black cod on Jerusalem artichoke risotto with a Parmesan cheese crown, topped with truffle oil milk foam – it is definitely a must-try; each recipe for this dish requires extra attention and is full of technique! What did you do before you worked for Viking?

Before testing my sea legs, I worked mainly in restaurants and have had the

I love to share with our guests the passion that I and all my fellow cooks feel for the gastronomical world. Any cooking/recipe tips?

I once made a burger recipe for a pub in Old Lyon – years have passed and it is still one of the most acclaimed burgers of the city. Who taught you to cook?

While my family was not the inspiration to become a chef, they are definitely the energy behind it. I never stop being inspired by the cooks right next to me! They’re all from different backgrounds and there’s always more to learn.


the huskies in Anneka Rice met g Vik ing garden the award-winnin

NEWS

PARTY PEOPLE

g floral as feelin llsopp w Kirstie A

Celebrating the opening of Viking’s Wellness Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

I

Nigel Havers was charmed by the garden and its dogs

n May, the hotly anticipated RHS Chelsea Flower Show opened and we were honoured to be awarded with a Gold Medal for our Viking Wellness Garden. Designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes, the tranquil garden is focused around a bespoke Nordic sauna and plunge pool, and also features an ancient mulberry tree. (You can read more about the design on page 20.) We invited celebrities, VIPS, journalists and bloggers to come for a sneak peek, as well as some very popular huskies!

Henry Holla nd goes gree n

Joanna Lumley made a new four -legged friend

rhs.org.uk

Ellie Harrison from Countryfile appreciated a rural idyll in the city

Darcey Busell was excited to tour the show

Garden

rs Titchma god Alan

h

Ben Fogle and Matt Allwright looked dapper for the occasion Will Young relaxed as he strolled through the Viking garden

Nigel Slater has called RHS Chelsea one of the “highlights SPR of my year” ING 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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11-day Eastern Europe journey Budapest to Bucharest or Bucharest to Budapest 11 days, 7 guided tours Departing March to November 2019

Prices from £2,095pp

To find out more or to request our river brochure, call 020 8780 7900 or visit vikingcruises.co.uk Prices correct at time of going to print but are subject to availability. From prices are per person and based on two people sharing the lowest grade stateroom available on Passage to Eastern Europe, departing on selected dates in 2018 & 2019. Prices valid until 31 July 2018. Single supplements apply. For more information please visit vikingcruises.co.uk/terms-conditions or call us.

A journey through Europe’s eastern lands of legends is a journey like no other. Discover the historical highlights and dramatic natural wonders of five countries in 11 days. Sail through the soaring white cliffs of the Iron Gate. Explore beautiful Belgrade. Discover the historical treasures of Bulgaria and visit the striking Belogradchik Fortress – this voyage along the Danube is one you will always remember. Days 1-3 Budapest, Hungary Day 4 Kalocsa, Hungary Day 5 Osijek, Croatia Day 6 Belgrade, Serbia Day 7 Danube River and Iron Gate, Serbia Day 8 Vidin and Belogradchik, Bulgaria Day 9 Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, Bulgaria Day 10 Giurgiu and Bucharest, Romania Day 11 Bucharest, Romania


ITINERARY

Passage to EASTERN EUROPE Uncover the natural wonders of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary

Above: Bucharest, a vibrant city, is the starting point for this cruise

DAYS 1 & 2 / BUCHAREST, ROMANIA This vibrant capital city is the centre of Romanian culture, art and architecture. The city’s original fortress, the first of many, was built to protect the Walachian state from the Turks. Now it’s a dynamic city boasting good museums and some stunning 17th and 18thcentury Orthodox churches, as well as pretty parks and a lively café scene.

DAY 3 / VELIKO TARNOVO, BULGARIA Often referred to as the “City of the Tsars”, Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra river and is known for its unique architecture. The former Bulgarian capital is surrounded by wooded hills and rich in medieval history.

DAY 4 / VIDIN, BULGARIA The picturesque port city retains its old-world charm, with fairy-tale minarets, domes and other charming architecture. From here you can explore the slopes of the Balkan Mountains and the Belogradchik Fortress, built into the Belogradchik Rocks, and learn more about the fascinating legends linked to these strange-shaped rock formations.

PHOTOS: © iSTOCK

DAY 5 / IRON GATE, SERBIA Forming a natural border between Serbia to the south and Romania to the north, the Iron Gate is a spectacular narrow gorge featuring towering white limestone cliffs. On both sides of the river are protected parks, that are home to wolves, bears, lynx and other wild animals.

DAY 6 / BELGRADE, SERBIA Situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, Belgrade (meaning White City) is one of the

oldest and loveliest cities in Europe. Discover the Kalemegdan Fortress in the Old Town, see The Temple of Saint Sava (the world’s largest Orthodox church), and stop at the Square of the Republic.

DAY 7 / OSIJEK, CROATIA Osijek is the largest city and the economic and cultural capital of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. With a stunning waterfront promenade along the Drava river, Osijek was once populated by Romans, Ottomans and Habsburgs, and is home to many grand baroque buildings and monuments.

DAY 8 / KALOCSA, HUNGARY This quaint town overflows with Hungarian culture and is celebrated as much for its folk art and paprika, as for its rich history. Enjoy a short organ concert at St. Joseph Church and a dazzling performance by Hungary’s legendary mounted horsemen of the Puszta – their daredevil skill is extraordinary.

DAYS 9, 10 & 11 / BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Hungary’s capital was once two cities, Buda and Pest, each on either side of the Danube. Now joined, it is aptly called “Paris of the East” and is brimming with architectural wonders, the majestic Chain Bridge uniting it as a dramatic centrepiece. Riverside beauty, a vibrant cultural scene and elegant Art Nouveau architecture converge here, making it a fantastic city to explore. The 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe trip, from Bucharest to Budapest (or Budapest to Bucharest), starts from £2,095pp, including hotels stays in Bucharest (one night) and Budapest (two nights). vikingcruises.co.uk SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Your WORLD

We catch up with where you’ve been and what you’ve seen on your Viking cruises... and where you’re off to next

YOUR LETTERS We have just had a wonderful holiday aboard Viking Sea on the West Indies Explorer trip. From the moment we arrived we appreciated the stunning and well-planned ship. All the staff worked in a calm professional way and our cabin stewards, John and Zul, looked after us perfectly. We thoroughly enjoyed the Viking Band in Torshavn with Christina and Speedy singing something to suit everyone. And Valentino’s guitar playing in the Atrium and Explorers Lounge was the perfect way to start or end an evening. It was our first ocean cruise and what a great way to get a glimpse of the Caribbean Islands. We already have the Romantic Danube river cruise booked for August 2018 so are looking forward to another wonderful Viking holiday. Jim and Chris Wright

Best in show We’ve just arrived home after the Tulips and Windmills cruise, on Viking Gefjon, which we really enjoyed. After four Viking river cruises over the last six years we had the pleasure of meeting Programme Director, Kane, the best yet! He was professional and well-organised yet at the same time had a genuine sense of fun and enjoyment. In Kane you have a talented individual who is the consummate professional. We so enjoyed the cruise, especially his impromptu evening’s entertainment on the last night when put on the spot! Mike and Sue Grundy

Pure heaven We’ve been home for a week now and must tell you we didn’t want to come home. We had a wonderful time – fantastic 12

VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

ship, great tours, the crew were amazing, they couldn’t have done more to make our holiday perfect. One of the chefs made a lovely Golden Wedding anniversary cake for us. We lay in bed at night with the balcony door open, the curtains back, and watched the ocean go by – pure heaven. The food was so good but we did a lot of exercise, so we actually lost a couple of pounds! Bette and Barry Muir

Travelling wisely Recently my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on board Viking Sky for a breathtaking and remarkable eight-day trip around Italy and Croatia. As this was a gift and their first ever Viking experience, I know they were anxious and unsure of what to expect, however since stepping onboard, they were welcomed by your friendly team. Every moment was made so special, from the champagne and cake in their room to the musicians on the gondola ride in Venice. Since arriving back home, they haven’t stopped for a moment to tell me about the staff, the people, the food and the ambience on board. As Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen beautifully explains, the scarce commodity of time should be spent wisely through travelling, and I can definitely say my parents enjoyed every moment of their trip. Gayathri Narayanan

Highly recommended My wife and I have just returned home and would like to highly recommend our tour guide Tony. He was informative and never “over the top” or spoke for too long. It was a great honour and pleasure to have made his acquaintance. Douglas G. Newton

S TA R L E T T E R

We have just come back from our sixth Viking cruise, this time to Lyon and Provence. We did not expect a member of the team to remember us from a cruise four years ago, which is exactly what Patricia did! A couple of days later, we found a card in our cabin and some delicious chocolates. Such personal touches are what makes Viking shine! Duncan Hockley RUDI THE REINDEER One of our frequent cruisers, Wayne Henry, sent a photo of our mascot Rudi’s first trip with Viking. It’s taken in Kotar, Croatia. Thanks Wayne!

You could win...

...a £50 M&S gift voucher if your letter is chosen as our star letter. Email us at uk-marketing@ vikingrivercruises.com

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

Caribbean dreams


LETTERS

Y O U R P H O T O S #MyVikingStory Follow us on Instagram @VikingCruisesUK for more inspirational images

Cruise Highlights Clockwise from top left: 1. This nesting doll from St Petersburg will be a treasured vacation memory. pammywham50 2. Touch the sky: Cologne Cathedral at sunset. jabum5559 3. Cruising through Geiranger fjord with Viking Cruises felt unreal. Stunning landscape! Charles McCool 4. Red Square lit up at night. rdivak 5. Spring on the canal in Amsterdam. jabum5559 6. Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing. Stockholm Sunset, Sweden. noersam88 7. Great tour of the lovely city of Liverpool! clclare69 8. Honeymoon recap, day 5, Kotor, Montenegro. bingle 9. Viking Cruises can even make a simple waffle a work of art! And it was yummy. steffwess

Hit List

YOUR MESSAGES Just a two-minute walk from my house, I can look across to Viking Sun moored at Greenwich. So tantalising to be so close to Mamsen’s and I know just what I’d order if I was in there. Nick Fellows Did the Tulips and Windmills cruise in April and loved Hoorn, plus we had lovely weather. Very lucky! John Ridd Had a fantastic time on our Tulips and Windmills cruise on Viking Mimir. A huge thanks to all the team on board and in particular our Programme Director Marek Snelly and Hotel Manager Peter Miesel. Sheila Davies

A trip of a lifetime – Imperial Jewels of China – we were treated like royalty by staff and the excursions were fantastic. Another one ticked off the bucket list. Alex Brown

Just got back from the Rhine river cruise which was so wonderful. I enjoyed the food, the Riesling wine, and the faultless service. Barbara Miller Had a fantastic time on The Kitchen Table excursion a couple of weeks ago in Guadeloupe on Viking Sea. Executive Chef Martin took us to the market where we picked our fresh fish, lobsters, veg and fruit to cook for our evening meal. We had the most amazing evening with a five-star meal and wine pairings with our own sommelier. Would recommend this experience to everyone. Thanks Viking! Liz Gamby

We’ll be doing the Romantic Danube in December. Really looking forward to it as Viking always does a good job. Julie Conybeare Cruising the Douro river is a joy. Couldn’t recommend it more highly! Joan Elliott

SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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T R AV E L

FLOWER

POWER

Karen Burns-Booth’s Viking cruise has inspired her to create recipes using edible flowers

J

ust as an army marches on its stomach, it’s true to say that when I am on a cruise one of the main attractions is the food, and that most passengers definitely sail with their stomachs in mind. Whilst on a recent cruise with Viking, on their sunny and relaxing West Indies Explorer trip, the food was definitely one of the highlights of my time on the sleek and very chic Viking Sea. It was fresh, enticing and innovative with plenty to choose from, catering for all dietary requirements, including those who were still keen to keep trim and healthy whilst sailing around the Caribbean, even with all those rum punches on offer! Health and wellbeing are the 21st century’s new buzzwords when it comes to diet, exercise, travel and your general day-to-day health. In

line with this approach, there was a wonderfully varied and diverse range of restaurants, delis, cafés, bars and eateries on-board Viking Sea, offering everything from sinfully good cream cakes to crisp salads and grilled fish and meat. The very fact that you are on holiday, sailing from port to port, with no need to unpack and check into a hotel every night, already promotes that feeling of wellbeing. You have the chance to unwind in the Spa or treat yourself to a beauty treatment, as well as indulge in some superb food. One thing that impressed me was the sense of wellbeing that stemmed from my personal comfort and a good night’s sleep in a large, comfortable Veranda Stateroom. As well as casual dining at the Pool Bar and Pool Grill on deck,

near the Infinity Pool and Main Pool, Viking Sea offered several other dining options. The World Café was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, by way of a self-service, buffet-style dining area, with some cooked-to-order food stations. From sushi and seafood to curries and roasts, it was always fresh and appetising with lots of healthy choices on offer. The Restaurant is the other ‘included’ dining area where reservations aren’t required; the menu changes daily and offers a great selection, again with

Clockwise, from facing page: The perfect spot for lunch with a view; choose differently coloured tomatoes in salads; food inspiration from the hillside; magical sunsets

SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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PROVENÇAL STUFFED APRICOT & GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS This recipe is based on a dish I enjoyed in Provence; fresh apricots were stuffed with cream cheese, almonds, sultanas, blanched nettles, and goat’s cheese, and then decorated with edible flowers. SERVES: 4 TO 6 AS APPETISER OR LIGHT LUNCH SALAD: 1 head of Batavia lettuce Frisee lettuce leaves STUFFED APRICOTS: Dried apricots 125g herb and garlic cream cheese 2 x small fresh goat’s cheeses, weighing 70g each 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives, parsley and savory 25g dried sour cherries

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(plus extra for the garnish) 25g toasted flaked almonds (plus extra for garnish) A selection of edible flowers (such as nasturtiums, mallow, violas and borage) DRESSING: 1 tbsp honey 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

1 Arrange the lettuce leaves in a large serving platter or 6 individual plates 2 Mix the cream cheese with 1 of the goat’s cheese, the herbs, dried sour cherries and flaked toasted almonds; mix well and season with salt and pepper. 3 Fill the apricot halves with the cream cheese filling and sit them on top of the salad, with the remaining goat’s cheese in the middle (or divided into 6 for individual plates). Decorate the stuffed apricot halves and salad with the edible flowers. 4 Make the dressing by blending all the ingredients together, and then drizzle it over the dish. 5 Scatter some dried sour cherries and toasted almond flakes over the top and serve with chilled white wine and crusty bread.


T R AV E L

From above: Freshly cooked cuisine at The Pool Grill; sushi at The World Cafe; Karen Burns-Booth has brought the edible flower touches from her cruise to her kitchen table

plenty of lighter meals for those who want to eat healthily. If you fancy cooking and eating what you have shopped for then The Kitchen Table is for you, offering cookery classes and the chance to eat in a super-sleek private dining area. The other two dining areas are Manfredi’s, an Italian-style restaurant, and The Chef ’s Table, which has an utterly sublime tasting menu with paired wines. Both restaurants offer specialist dining at no extra cost, you just have to make a booking beforehand. You can also grab an

authentic Norwegian waffle with all the trimmings from Mamsen’s Deli in the Explorers’ Lounge, as well as some amazing Scandi-style open sandwiches and cakes there for lunch. For a further sense of wellbeing, and for a light, heathy breakfast, you can order room service, as I did on two occasions; my smoked salmon was served with capers, onions and lemon, as well as a small portion of cream cheese – this I chose along with a bowl of fresh fruit and some fruit juice, for a really tasty and healthy SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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HEIRLOOM TOMATO & CHIVE FLOWER SALAD A simple seasonal tomato salad that uses heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh chives with chive flowers, this stunning dish is perfect as an accompaniment or as a sandwich filling. Try to source different coloured tomatoes as well as different varieties SERVES 4

250g assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes (different colours and varieties) Small bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt 4 to 6 chive flowers

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VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

1 Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on the size. Place them all on a large serving platter. Then add the chopped chives and gently mix them through the tomatoes, leaving a few for a garnish. 2 Add the olive oil and mix well, so all the tomatoes and chives are coated in oil. 3 Add a good pinch of sea salt to taste. Mix again. 4 Scatter the remaining chopped chives over the top of the salad. Crumble the chive flowers and sprinkle over the heaped salad, as a final touch. 5 Serve with warm, crusty bread, grilled meats, cheese, and charcuterie, or use the salad as a delicious sandwich filling.


T R AV E L

“carb-free” start to the day. With the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show approaching soon, I loved that many of the dishes I enjoyed on Viking Sea had edible flowers added as a garnish, or as an integral part of the recipe, something I often do at home, as I have extensive flower and herb garden. Again, I thought that the addition of edible flowers added a sense of wellbeing to the table, a “Garden to Table” approach, which all the diners I was seated with seemed to appreciate too. With this idea of bringing blooms and the garden to the table, I developed two of my own recipes: both lovely, light dishes that use edible flowers and build on that sense of eating heathy food without

any compromise on taste or counting the calories. Both recipes are easy to prepare at home, and hopefully you will be able to enjoy them in the manner of a cruise, maybe not on deck, but outside in the spring sunshine!

Clockwise, from facing page: There are numerous dining options to satisfy your tastes during the cruise, including indoor and outdoor restaurants, buffets and table service

An 11-day West Indies Explorer journey, starting and finishing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, starts from £2,490pp, departing on selected dates in 2018-2020. vikingcruises.co.uk SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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C U LT U R E

Gardening gold Fresh from his gold-medal success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, designer Paul Hervey-Brookes discusses his masterplan for the Viking’s Wellness Garden

Paul HerveyBrookes stands in his gold-medalwinning garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Congratulations! You’ve designed gardens at Chelsea before and won gold medals before, but do you still get a buzz from being part of it?

Can you describe the garden in more detail?

What inspired you this time round?

How have you developed the health and wellbeing theme?

It doesn’t matter how many times you get gold, you still get a huge buzz from bringing a vision in your mind to life as a living, breathing garden. I don’t think one would ever get tired of walking through the gates of Chelsea and feeling a palpable tremor of excitement.

It started from a conversation about the universality of horticulture and plants as a method of sharing knowledge. This lead onto wellbeing, medicinal herbs and the way Scandinavian culture is in tune with nature in a way many others are not. I wanted people to experience landscape, seasons and foods as a Scandinavian!

The garden is really a little Scandinavian landscape; all of the plants are either native or naturalised. It is semi wild with large timber decks and a sauna – these are made to feel brutalism-inspired, as Scandinavia is the birthplace of that movement. The garden is dominated by a 200-year-old, pollarded mulberry tree, which I have been nurturing for the past five years; I think the garden feels natural and embracing.

Well, the spa is a central theme – by being enveloped by nature for every season you begin to re-balance and tune in to the natural cycle, and this provides a deeper sense of wellbeing. I feel even without a passion for plants or gardens someone involved in this ritual experiences landscape and seasons in SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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a deeply balancing way that many others simply do not. I coupled this with foraged foods, medicinal plants and seasonal thinking which, I believe, touches the soul and gives a sustainable sense of wellbeing. How far in advance did you start the design and planning process?

and I wanted to keep transport to a minimum and think about wellbeing in a broader sense. Your garden this year is such a therapeutic space: do you also find the process of gardening therapeutic or healing?

I was recently widowed, and I turned to our shared The process takes roughly 10 months. Because I have passion of plants and gardens – at first it was a great relationship with devastatingly hard, but Viking, I could show The planting, using so many ancient the garden is a friend, them the concept and it never goes and it’s medicinal and culinary species, gives always patiently waiting they felt secure I would create it to the expected to feed your soul. I think a sense of timeless reassurance ‘Chelsea’ standard. it is healing, or maybe sustaining, seeing seeds How do you go about incorporating the essence grow, plants come back each year or watching birds of a company like Viking into your design? and insects inhabit a space you have created – I think many people would find they can relate to that. With this project it was very easy; the values we are talking about – quality, attention to detail and creating an experience which is more than surface gloss, but Can gardening make you happier and healthier? carries right down to the heart of the matter – are The exercise of gardening can make you healthier, it’s already at the centre of what Viking do and are about. hard work sometimes, but I think on a deeper level tuning into the natural cycle of seasons can make What’s the most successful element of the you happy and it can transport you away from all the garden in your mind? things in life which seem so pressing and urgent – it’s I think the planting; using so many ancient medicinal the ultimate escapism. and culinary species gives a sense of timeless reassurance, a little like an embrace – it’s soft, doesn’t What advice do you have for readers embarking on garden design at home? demand too much but leaves you feeling happy. The simplest pleasure is always picking something – Where do you source all the plants from? flowers to bring inside, fruits to eat or cook with – I used a UK nursery; it’s a fashion to imports lots but for me even a few herbs, such as mint for a fresh of plants simply for the Show but if you are talking tea, can bring a sense of satisfaction and are very easy about wellbeing, to me every decision has an impact, to grow!

Opposite page and above: The spa area is more than just an addition to the design – it includes a working steam sauna and plunge pool

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AF R I C A N ADVENTURES

By booking a segment of our World Cruise, you’ll be able to embark on the trip-of-a-lifetime to discover the magic of Africa

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eyond the safari circuit, Africa’s magnificent landscapes of desert sands, endless plains and lush forests unfold towards its surrounding seas. Rivers course past escarpments and mountains drape downwards into foothills. Now that our 2019 World Cruise is available to book in two segments, Africa is easily accessible, with vibrant cultures and stunning scenery waiting to be explored. As well as bustling cities, there are plenty

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of smaller ports and idyllic islands on the itineraries, as well as a wealth of history waiting to be explored. Sailing in the wake of Portuguese, English, German, Dutch and other explorer nations, you will witness timeless tribal traditions alongside vestiges of colonialism from Mauritius to Senegal. From the desert vistas of Namibia to the lush jungles of Madagascar, no other continent captures the imagination in quite the same way.


T R AV E L

SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA TO SOUTH AFRICA 29 Days | Sydney to Durban

Trace the southern coasts of two great continents. From Sydney, sail to Tasmania and on to Melbourne, Victoria’s vibrant capital. Discover the cultural gems of Adelaide and Albany, before crossing the Indian Ocean for Mauritius. Explore incredible Madagascar and Maputo, the ‘city of Acacias’ in Mozambique. Then on to Durban. Enjoy overnight stays in Sydney, Perth and Durban. Departing 16 March 2019, prices from £6,490pp.

ALONG AFRICA’S WESTERN SHORES 29 Days | Durban to London

The beauty of Africa’s diverse coast is clear to see on this new journey from Durban to London. Discover the cuisine and culture of cosmopolitan Cape Town. Visit Namibia with its towering dunes of Walvis Bay. Explore French colonial Dakar, the capital of Senegal, as well as the Canary Islands and Morocco’s classic city, Casablanca. Visit Vigo in Spain, and then sail to Greenwich in the UK. Enjoy overnight stays in Durban, Cape Town and London. Departing 13 April 2019, prices from £5,690pp.

WORLD CRUISE 128 Days | Miami to London Collect more travel milestones than most people do in a lifetime with our iconic World Cruise from Miami to London, now at a new lower price. Explore five continents, some of the world’s greatest cities, charming smaller ports and idyllic islands. Marvel at the natural grandeur of beautiful coastlines and immerse yourself in new cultures. Sample diverse cuisine and enjoy a range of excursions that will give you a glimpse of people’s daily lives around the world, as well as one-ina-lifetime experiences. Departing 3 January 2019, prices from £32,790pp.

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The cruise takes in 150 miles of the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze river

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Cruising to CHINA

When Nicole Dirkx travelled to China, she embarked on a true voyage of discovery

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hina is a country on most people’s bucket list. More specifically, seeing the Terracotta Army, the Forbidden City, Shanghai’s famous Bund, the giant pandas and the spectacular Great Wall of China. Viking’s 15-day itinerary ticks all the boxes, combining hotel stays in Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an with a six-night cruise down the Yangtze. We could not wait to begin our journey. When we landed in Shanghai after an overnight flight, we were met by a friendly Viking representative who gave us a few initial pointers before sending us on our way to The Westin Bund Centre, Shanghai. The clue is in the name. The view from our gorgeous hotel room was stunning in the day, but even more impressive at night.

The Chinese government foots the bill for the light displays on the highrises, which are from 7-10pm every evening, and not just in Shanghai, but in every city we visited. After we freshened up, we caught a taxi to the Xiangyang flea market where you can buy everything, from souvenir tea sets to a tailored suit. My husband, Adrian, had one made, which was promptly delivered to the hotel the next day as promised. That evening we were free to explore Shanghai on our own, so we headed out to a little rooftop bar. The view of the city was outstanding – as were the cocktails, food and service! The next morning after a diverse buffet breakfast in the hotel, which included everything from waffles to noodles and fermented eggs, we met our tour leader and fellow

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travellers for our first excursion to the Shanghai Museum. On our drive there, we couldn’t help but notice how clean it is. There is no rubbish anywhere and the gardens lining the main streets and highways are all perfectly manicured. The museum was very

explore without the crowds spoiling the view. Before we left the hotel earlier that morning, we had our luggage collected from our room and the next time we saw it was in our Stateroom on board Viking Emerald. The ‘no touch policy’ for the internal flights was great – we

Every single one of the 2,200-year-old warriors is unique – which is amazing in itself considering there are over 6,000! interesting and featured artefacts dating back to the Xia Dynasty in 2000BC! Later that evening, after a tasty Chinese dinner in the hotel, we were treated to a lively acrobatic show at a local theatre. The next day before we took our first internal flight we went into old Shanghai and visited the beautiful Yuyuan Garden. We were the first people through the gate, which was down to our tour leaders impeccable planning, so we could 28

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didn’t have to check in or collect our luggage off the belt, we were handed our boarding passes and everything was timed perfectly. It really took the stress out of flying. We arrived in Wuhan and were transferred to our ship, where a dancing dragon and drums welcomed us. When you step on board, the first thing you see is the striking four-story atrium. The state-of-the-art river ship has all Veranda Staterooms, two stunning

lounge bars, a restaurant with panoramic views, a sun deck with loungers, an on-board boutique, tailor, library, hairdresser and even a doctor. Our Veranda Stateroom was lovely, very spacious and beautifully appointed. Viking Emerald really is one of the most sophisticated river ships on the water. Over the next six days, we cruised down the Yangtze River stopping each day in a different destination for an included tour. In Wuhan, you can visit the Hubei Museum for a bells performance. In Jingzhou, we visited a Vikingsponsored school to interact with the charming local children. When we reached the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze, we visited the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. After this, we cruised 150 miles of the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze, through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. How we loved to sit back and admire the everchanging scenery from our own

Clockwise, from top left: The Terracotta Army is mindblowing in its detail; the Shanghai skyline sparkles at night; relax in the ship’s Observation Lounge while enjoying the view; old temples contrast with the modern city skyscrapers


PHOTOS: © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK. PREVIOUS PAGE: AWL IMAGES

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private veranda, the Observation Lounge or the Emerald Bar with a Cosmopolitan in hand. The following day we cruised up the most breath-taking tributary called the Goddess Stream. We boarded a small Sampan boat and were instantly transported to ‘old world China’ as we were surrounded by soaring vertical cliffs and some of the most primitive and dramatic scenery in all of the country. We visited the beautiful 12-storey Shibaozhai Temple and were blown away by the view of the river from the top. The markets lining the streets on the way to the swinging bridge – which you have to cross to get to the temple – are the best we came across and we have a beautiful hand-painted fan to remember them. Every day we were off the ship on an included tour in either the morning or afternoon, but there was also a lot happening on board as well. Before breakfast, you can practice the art of Tai Chi, after lunch you can attend a lecture about

Chinese history or Buddhism. You could learn how to speak a little Mandarin or how to play Mah-jong – a favourite Chinese game. One of the most important aspects of a cruise is the food on board. All meals are served in the stunning restaurant, which is set up in tables of six or eight, and the food is delicious. The daily changing lunch and dinner menu feature both local and Western dishes. For example, one night we had New Zealand lamb rack, one lunch I had jazzed up fish and chips while Adrian enjoyed pork dumplings in a noodle soup. There was a variety of delectable Chinese dishes served on a ‘Lazy Susan’ one evening, including sweet and sour pork and chicken, fried rice, Kung Pao chicken, broccoli and lotus roots, beef stir fry and dumplings, but if you didn’t fancy Chinese there was still a Western menu available. Like with all Viking cruises, wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner onboard.

We sadly had to say good-bye to our ship and the friendly crew in Chongqing, and after a visit to the zoo to see the super cute pandas, we were off to the airport for our flight to Xian. We stayed at the Sheraton, which had an amazing breakfast and was in a great location. The metro station was just outside the hotel and it was only one stop to the city wall gate. We decided to give the metro a go – despite no one really speaking English. It was actually really easy and quite cheap, about £1 each way. It was a Sunday, yet we were packed in the train as if it was rush hour. The next morning we were off to see the highly anticipated Terracotta Army. I must admit the crowds of tourists (mainly locals) was intense, but nothing could distract from how amazing it was to see rows upon rows of warriors lined up in the main dig site, Pit 1. Every single one of the 2,200-yearold warriors is unique – which is amazing in itself considering SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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there are over 6,000! There are three pits to explore and in the third pit, you can see a number of the different warriors up close – the individual features and detail are mind-blowing! Our last internal flight took us to Beijing where the final bucket list destinations featured. From the airport, we were dropped off right in the heart of ‘old Beijing’ to discover the Hutong’s alleyways on a walking and rickshaw tour. These one-storey

to visit The Great Wall of China. As you approach the Badaling entrance, which is the best-preserved section of the wall, you can see it snaking up and over the hills and mountains in the distance. It really is an awe-inspiring sight. When you get to the entrance you can choose to go right or left – we chose to go left, as it was less busy. The reason it wasn’t as busy is because it was steeper, but we were on a mission to get away from all the other tourists

PHOTOS: © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

You see it snaking over hills and mountains in the distance. It was truly amazing to be standing on probably the most famous wall in the world small, simple houses are on prime real estate and worth an astronomical amount of money – yet they don’t even have a toilet or shower. When we visited a local family, we heard how the property had been in the family for generations and that sharing a public toilet and bathhouse with the neighbours was just a normal part of life. We stayed at the Kerry Hotel, which is stunning, and offers a perfect breakfast and outstanding dinner, featuring both Eastern and Asian cuisine. The next morning we woke early – to try and get a jump on the crazy Beijing traffic –

so we set off at a fast pace, well to begin with anyway! Despite the gradient, I would highly recommend going left – we were able to see vast sections of the wall and have photos without anyone else in them. It was truly amazing to be standing on the most famous wall in the world. After such a sensational day, we were looking forward to the optional Peking duck dinner at a top Beijing restaurant that evening. This was such a great experience with delicious food, including the most mouth-watering duck you have ever had in your life. On our last day we went to Tiananmen Square and the

Forbidden City for our final included tour. It is absolutely beautiful and far larger than you would think; it just kept going and going. The colours, architecture, detail and decorative statues on every building are stunning, and the sheer size and number of buildings is just astonishing. That evening we opted to go to the Legend of Kung Fu show; we found out en route that the show had been on in London for a threemonth stint and shown to the Olympic athletes. It was amazing. There were so many wow moments, especially when they demonstrated their immense strength and skill. Before we even left China we both agreed we wanted to come back. This trip was the perfect introduction to China with essential knowledge gained and all the ‘must-sees’ covered. It is clean, safe and affordable with an intriguing history and culture, and most importantly spectacular scenery and world-famous wonders. If you are thinking about travelling to China, Viking’s Imperial Jewels of China journey is absolutely the best way to do it.

Clockwise, from facing page: The Great Wall of China doesn’t disappoint as it ebbs and flows across the landscape; rickshaw tours are popular with tourists in Beijing

A 15-day Imperial Jewels of China journey, from Shanghai to Beijing, starts at £3,145pp. vikingcruises.co.uk

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Travel TIPS Top China

Enhance your holiday with our tried and tested must-do, must-see and must-know advice

ROOFTOP BAR

When you are in Shanghai, seeing the Bund at night is a must. The Captain is a rooftop bar and restaurant offering stunning views (it’s even within walking distance of The Westin hotel). It has great food, reasonable prices, quirky cocktails and impressive service. Book in advance online if you want to have a table outside on the balcony – although there are tables inside and you can move as the outside spots become available.

GREAT WALL OF CHINA

When you arrive at the entrance you can see where all the people are – either you can go to the righthand side, which is a little easier and not so steep, and therefore the most popular, or you can go left, which at times is very steep but there are less people. We went left and as a result got clear photos without any selfie sticks in the way!

CAPITAL CITY: Beijing, the world’s second most populous city after Shanghai. CURRENCY: The official name for the currency is Renminbi, which literally translates to People’s Currency and is abbreviated to RMB. The most widespread international usage is Yuan, which is abbreviated to CNY. AREA: China is the fourth biggest country in the world, measuring 3.7million square miles. LANGUAGE: Standard Chinese (known in China as Putonghua) is a form of Mandarin Chinese and is the official national spoken language, but there are many different languages spoken in China, including Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka. POPULATION: The 2010 census (released in 2011) reported that the official population of China was 1.411 billion, the largest of any country in the world. China’s

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NIGHT WALKS

The cities and buildings, both old and new, often looked prettier at night with all the lights and light displays. There are endless high-rise buildings in every city you visit and the government pays for the light displays from 7-10pm every night.

growth rate is only 0.59%, ranking 159th in the world. ECONOMY: China is the second largest economy in the world, after the United States of America. THE NATIONAL SPORT: Chairman Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, made table tennis the national sport in the early 1950s.

CHINESE MONEY

The money in China has many names, including Renminbi and Yuan. When buying your currency, request bills as small as possible such as 5, 10 or 20s. Often you will get 100s so change your larger bills to smaller ones at the hotel reception or on the ship; that way you know the bills are not counterfeit. Many of the local merchants circulate counterfeit currency that they give to tourists as change.

Above: Shanghai sunsets are best admired from a rooftop bar

PHOTOS: © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

FAST FACTS


THE LIMITED EDITION SAMSONITE VAN GOGH COLLECTION, FROM £49

WELLNESS

TISSUES

CROSS-BODY BAG

Hand sanitiser, tissues and toilet paper (a lot of bathrooms don’t have toilet paper) are essentials. (£1, Dunelm)

A small rucksack or side bag for sightseeing day trips is a must; you do not want to be lugging around a large handbag that weighs a lot. (£20, The National Trust)

Packing

ESSENTIALS

Traveller Nicole Dirkx shares her tips for a well-equipped trip to China SEAMLESS TOP Make sure you have layers; you can always leave your outer layers in the motor coach while you are off exploring on your included tour. (£74, Every Second Counts)

VEJA TRAINERS There’s a reason you can see The Great Wall from space – it’s long, so you need comfy footwear to explore this man-made spectacle. (£103, Smallable)

LUNCHBOX SET If you have space it’s a good idea to bring a light plastic container so you can take a pastry from the breakfast buffet to snack on later in the day. I always take some muesli bars and snacks from home with me just in case I get peckish between meals. (£10, Cath Kidston)

CANON POWERSHOT SX430 A good camera with plenty of room on your memory card and a rechargeable power pack. There is nothing worse than running out of space or battery when you are on The Great Wall! (£199.99, Argos)

TRANSLUCENT MAC Rain jacket and, depending on time of year, warm jacket for when you are on The Great Wall – elevation means it is a little cooler although you soon warm up when you begin climbing. (£42, Next)

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In the summertime

Award-winning garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes shares his secrets for achieving long-lasting colour while attracting insects

I Top to bottom: Brightly coloured, pollen-rich plants will attract insects, including bees, to your garden so it buzzes with life

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ncreasingly we are hearing of a decline in the population of bees, which is alarming because the ecosystem here on Planet Earth collapses when there are no insects. In gardens we have the opportunity to actively increase habitat for insects and none is on our minds more than the humble bee. In fact, it’s easy to bring flowers and plants into the garden which both you and they will love. The first rule is to select plants that are rich in pollen or nectar and easy for insects to feed from, avoiding too many double flowers or those with multiple petals. Make sure your garden has a range of flower shapes, particularly single or bell-shaped blooms, as these will suit both short and long-tongued bees. Don’t forget trees – fruit trees as well as others like lime, ornamental cherry and crab apples – are all beneficial for bees. Trees at different heights also create refuge for

small garden birds, adding another layer of richness to the garden. Plant for every season to provide food for pollinators yearround. Good plants for winter include the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, winter aconites and the winter honeysuckle, a woody shrub with the most intoxicating fragrance. In spring, bulbs can be planted in borders or containers so seek out crocuses, daffodils, crown imperils and tulips. These can be planted with euphorbia and the native wild primrose, which will not only lift your spirits but bring in pollinators. It’s easy to see that adding plants which will provide food for bees increases the visual interest in the garden and creates an amazing escape for you. Perhaps the most glorious aspect is day-dreaming while watching bees float between the flowers, a sight we all love!


GARDENING

OUT AND ABOUT

There are plenty of English gardens that can transport you to faraway climes. Whether you chance upon a new gem or rediscover an old favourite, the beauty of gardens is that you’ll find a different version each time you visit depending on the season. If you fancy a weekend away and want to visit some amazing gardens inspired by travel and fantasy, these are my top choices:

PORTMEIRION, GWYNEDD, WALES Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis to feel like a magical Italianate hideaway, it is well-known as the location for The Prisoner television series. With 19 miles of pathways to explore, on a warm sunny day you could be somewhere far, far away. portmeirion-village.com

BOLD AND BRIGHT

• Cut flowers really bring summer into

the house and can be evocative of farflung holidays. Dahlias are originally from South America; they produce flowers in almost every colour and size from late summer. Try dahlia David Howard for deep, dark moody foliage and vibrant burnt copper orange flowers. Other easy and exotic-looking plants include pomegranate with its hard vibrant orange flowers that last all summer and the hardy banana’s large striking leaves, which truly say Caribbean sunshine. These will both need a little winter protection but it’s well worth the effort to get you in the summer holiday mood!

STOWE, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Created to simulate a paradise on earth, this is beautiful gardening on a grand scale. Italianate buildings and classical temples are scattered throughout, and the winding paths encourage happy meandering through the landscape. nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES/JASON INGRAM/TIM RICHMOND

SIT BACK AND RELAX Applying a good mulch of bark to borders and beds will reduce the need to water, so even if you have a hosepipe ban plants will be better protected and stay in flower for longer. Less watering and weeding time is an added bonus! If you have large containers in the garden then a good covering of horticultural grit or moss acts in the same way, trapping moisture in the soil, making plants stay healthier.

HIGHGROVE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE HRH Prince Charles has created the most extraordinary Moorish fantasy, combining some of the finest craftsman in the country to produce a memorable garden Royal garden. highgrovegardens.com

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COLUMN

ON LOCATION with Karine As Senior Vice President of Viking, Karine Hagen is constantly on the move. Here she shares her latest adventures, news and tips

Everyday wellbeing

I try to incorporate elements of wellness into my routine whenever I can, especially when I’m travelling. I walk wherever I can and avoid elevators if possible. And I always carry my own bags! If I do indulge in a spa treatment, which is rare, I love a foot massage. In China, a foot massage is like a ritual; they bathe your feet in warm water infused with Chinese herbs, before giving your feet a little taste of heaven. If you fancy a similar treat, but you’re not in China, Viking’s LivNordic spas, on board our ocean ships, offer a wonderfully relaxing 80-minute treatment called ‘Royal Nordic Feet’.

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK

Color WOW root cover up (gooseberryshop.co.uk, £18.49)

Our Living Room bar serves a delicious green drink as the perfect way to kick-start your day.

Green smoothie MAKES A JUG OF 4-5 SMOOTHIES

Hot tip

Just introduced to me by my friend Lesley Nichol (Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey), this magical powder covers regrowth beautifully. One of my greatest finds, I tell all my friends about it (because I know that hairdressers are unlikely to do so!)

VITAMIN BOOST

200g fresh spinach 3 sticks of celery 1 pineapple 2 apples 2 lemons 1 tbsp grated ginger (fresh or powder) 1 tsp turmeric powder 500ml water

To unwind and relax

Mix in a blender until smooth, then pour into tall glasses to serve.

• I take a bath; nothing soothes the soul, marks the end of the day, and prepares you for a good night’s sleep as well as a luxurious bubble bath! • Listen to good music; I tune in to Classic FM from wherever I am in the world. • Fresh air; I’m not a big fan of gyms but I do love walking my dog, Finse, every day and any time spent outdoors is wellbeing time in my world. SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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A family tradition When Viking’s Senior Vice President, Karine Hagen, found her grandmother’s china plates, an unlikely coincidence led to a timely reinvention

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FOOD

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ocated in the Explorers’ Lounge on each of our Ocean ships, Mamsen’s is a very special dining venue, named in honour of my grandmother and best friend Ragnhild Hagen. ‘Mamsen’ is the Norwegian word for ‘Mum’, and so many of the dishes served there are based on recipes from her cookbooks, so they are very reminiscent of my own childhood. It was her embrace of life’s basics and her loving nature that made her such a beacon for me growing up. Sincere and honest, Mamsen was hardworking and liked to keep things simple. In the kitchen, and in all things, she was also a perfectionist. Her character embodied the same qualities that we strive to bring to Viking ships, and to Mamsen’s itself. “Man tager det man haver,” was one of her favourite sayings, meaning “you use what you have”. And that’s precisely what we’ve done, creating a menu that reflects simple Norwegian tradition. Mamsen’s own kitchen celebrated nutritious, home-cooked food using ingredients she had on hand, from winter’s hearty soups and stews to summer’s lighter fare of cured meats and fish, and open-faced sandwiches known as smØrbrØd. And all year round, the most special of treats was her heart-shaped waffles, which are now always available when Mamsen’s is open on board.

After Mamsen passed away, I was clearing her flat and came across her old tableware. When I turned one of the plates over, I found it was stamped with the logo ‘Tor Viking’. The coincidence was impossible to ignore, and so we got in touch with the original producer Figgjo, a family-owned Norwegian company, to see if we could replicate the pattern to use on our dishes in Mamsen’s. The company still uses traditional craftsmanship and was delighted to reproduce the pattern for us, but we decided to modernise the discontinued pattern to make it a little whiter, and the colours a little brighter. We are absolutely delighted to have added such a personal touch to Mamsen’s, and the tableware is yet another reminder of a very special and treasured lady. The only dining rule at Mamsen’s is to finish the food on your plate. Wasting food was sinful to my grandmother (and much of her generation), so help yourself to as much as you like, just be sure to clean your plate! It is in that spirit that we say “Velkommen til bords!” or “Welcome to the table!”… so if you travel on board any of our Ocean ships, I hope you enjoy the food, atmosphere and, of course, the tableware in Mamsen’s – a little taste of Norway in memory of my beloved grandmother.

MAMSEN’S WAFFLES The legendary waffles we serve in Mamsen’s are based on my grandmother’s recipe. Serve with jam or Norwegian brown goat’s cheese, which has a caramel-flavour, or both, and enjoy the taste of authentic Norway. SERVES 4 – 6 250g plain flour 2 tbsp sugar 2 eggs 300ml milk 90g butter Pinch ground cardamom ½ tsp vanilla extract

Clockwise, from above: Mamsen as a girl; a childhood photo; Karine’s grandfather; Mamsen’s cafe on board Viking’s ocean ships; a treasured photo of Mamsen

METHOD 1 In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, eggs and milk to make a smooth batter. 2 In a small saucepan, gently melt the butter, then whisk into the batter along with the ground cardamom and vanilla. 3 Cook with a Norwegian waffle iron or lightly oil a grill pan, heat to medium and cook 4-5 tablespoons of the mixture for each waffle. 4 Cook the waffles until bubbles start to form on the surface, then flip over and cook until both sides have turned golden brown. Serve with jam, cheese, or berries.

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The balancing act Wherever you are in the world, incorporating wellness rituals and equilibrium into your everyday life is easier than you think

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WELLNESS

I

t is believed that sauna bathing was brought back to the Nordic countries thousands of years ago by exploring Vikings. On their way to Rome, while passing through Russia, they were inspired by the Russian banya and subsequently built wooden bathing houses wherever they settled. Today, spa rituals are as important than ever, and a key part of the wellness offering on board Viking ocean ships in the LivNordic Spa.

RECONNECT

REBALANCE

Scandinavian life, individually and in society, is often said to be governed by Janteloven or Jantelagen – the Law of Jante. Despite its name, it is not a law at all, but a poem from a book about a fictional town in Norway called Jante, written in 1933. In essence, its message is ‘don’t think you are better than anyone else’, and it urges the individual not to stand out from the crowd, to play down personal success and wealth, and to choose modesty and reject opulence. The Nordic lifestyle is all about balance. Cycling to work, hiking, skinning dipping, eating oily fish, using the sauna, having family time, not working more than 37 hours a week – these are all just a natural part of a balanced life.

RESTORE

The people of Scandinavia, especially the women, are often described as being naturally beautiful. In ancient times this natural beauty was attributed to three things: sauna, birch leaves and honey. Women would gather to sauna bathe and cold dip a few times a week, after which they would wash themselves using fresh birch leaves. They would then cover their entire body with fresh honey and return to the sauna in order to moisturise, nourish and soften the skin. Nowadays, every year in June, just before midsummer, thousands of birch branches are cut and bound together in whisks. These are then

NORDIC FACE MASK The Scandi diet includes a lot of fish, vegetables, berries and grains – fantastic for the complexion. This simple mask will give your skin a healthy glow. YOU WILL NEED: 3 tbsp finely ground oats 1 tbsp hot water 1 tbsp runny honey Almond oil

METHOD 1 Put the oats in a bowl, add the hot water and mix well. Allow to cool so the oats soften. 2 Add in the honey and stir well. Add a few drops of almond oil (try not to make it too runny). 3 Wrap a towel around your head to protect your hair and apply the mask to your face, avoiding the delicate eye area and your mouth. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off well with tepid water. Apply your usual moisturiser.

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

Nature tends to be our greatest teacher to this inner sense of stillness. It teaches us to enjoy the beauty of change and to simply accept things the way they are. It also shows us that happiness can only be found in the impermanence of all things, rather than trying to hold on to perfection and consistency. In Sweden there is a saying that “in Church and in the Sauna, we should behave in the same manner”, which says much about the importance and sacredness of the Nordic sauna cultures. Extensive talking was not welcome in the sauna as it was seen as a place of contemplation and rest. Noise and profanity especially were highly unacceptable in these healing places. With that the aim of sauna bathing was not only to clean the body, but also to purify the mind and nourish the spirit. The act of pouring water onto the hot stones in a sauna is called löyly, meaning ‘spirit’ in Finnish and was considered to be a sacred ritual. For it to be performed properly, water was poured mindfully onto one stone at a time,

to honour the spirit of the sauna. The steam produced was called ‘the breath of the spirits’.

SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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dried or vacuum-packed to be used throughout the year to whip the body during sauna bathing, which increases circulation and cleanses the body as well as the air within the sauna. Birch leaves, sap and bark contain avonoides, saponides (natural cleaning agents), vitamin C and tannins but the birch also plays an important role in old Norse mythologies, which subscribe magical powers to the wood.

RE-ENERGISE

On Viking ocean ships, you’ll find authentic Nordic therapies in The Spa, including the snow grotto, where real snowflakes fall gently from the ceiling. The idea is to alternate between the heat of the sauna and the ice cold of the snow grotto, to awaken the senses, ease the muscles and revive the skin. Alternating quality time between a hot sauna and a cold dip in an icy lake or mound of snow, is one 42

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WELLNESS

LivNordic Spa Review It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it… Travel blogger Becky Wiggins reports back from her trip to the LivNordic Spa on board Viking Sea

of the many fun ways to engage with Nordic nature. It is performed to not only ensure a long, healthy life, but also to find a deep sense of inner peace and relaxation. As such, Nordic bathing is considered a necessary act to enhance one’s personal lifestyle. It is said that difficult decisions are best made in the sauna. The Latin expression: ‘In sauna veritas’ translates as ‘In sauna there is truth’. Traditionally, discussions will start outside of the sauna, but the final decision will always be made in the sauna and is the one that will be honoured. It is believed that anger and irritation cannot survive in the heat and steam of a sauna and will be cleansed from the body. And since everyone is equal in a sauna, consideration towards your fellow sauna bathers is a necessity to be able to fully enjoy the health benefits of these peaceful places.

A

s you would expect, the spa on board Viking Sea is low key and stylish, reflecting the Scandinavian obsession with saunas and steam rooms. The main spa, which is free to use, has a sophisticated pool area, as well as sauna, snow grotto and heated beds. There’s also a salon, gym and shop area selling a wide range of high-end products. I booked in for a hydrafacial, which uses a method similar to dermabrasion, with a nozzle that applied first a cleansing element, then a glycolic peel, and then an antioxidant. All the products used are organic where possible (obviously the more high-tech

elements aren’t) and use berries, citrus and natural scents. An application of the most delicious smelling citrus face mask was followed by a head massage so heavenly that I nodded off. I left feeling relaxed, and more than a little spaced out (and with the most ridiculous hair!). One evening, we booked in for the Nordic Bathing Ritual, lead by Hari, our delightful massage therapist with the most wonderful, gentle sense of humour. Along with a colleague, Hari guided us through a series of steps, starting with some relaxing deep breathing, then into the sauna, followed by a startling visit to the snow grotto where we were encouraged to rub ourselves with snow before heading back into the sauna. Along the way, there were snowballs infused with essential oils, a bit of gentle selfthrashing with some traditional, soaked birch twigs and even a refreshing bucket of cool water, tipped over your head by pulling a rope (it’s not as bad as it sounds). The evening finished with a face scrub, mask and a relaxing massage. I slept like a baby. livnordic.com

SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Nature’s Ingredients bath foam collection (£10, Marks & Spencer) SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SPR ING 2018


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SPR ING 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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A passion for music We catch up with Ilyich Rivas, the young Venezuelan-American conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, who is the star of the show at this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival

Above: Composer Ilyich Rivas; the magic of Hampton Court at night

How did your career as a conductor start?

Sitting in my father’s rehearsals, aged about three or four years old, is all mixed up in my earliest recollections of being lulled in the night to the first and second movements of Beethoven 7 and Schumann 2. My relationship to conducting was no more than in boyish jest until I was about six or seven, when I started to study music seriously and, at my request, my father taught me conducting techniques. At age nine, I got to stand in front of a semi-professional ensemble, at the invitation of my father’s conducting professor. Who are your favourite composers and why?

Aaaaah, the repertoire for a conductor is overwhelmingly luring! This vast resource is one of the prime reasons being a conductor can be such a joyous enterprise! However, I can give an example of how at present I choose the pieces I conduct. There are, naturally, pieces I need to be older to conduct, the same way an actor 48

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with my age taking on the role of wartime Churchill would appear satirical at best. This has guided me towards a wholehearted devotion to the Russian symphonic repertoire lately, for which, in a grand majority of cases, the representative qualities of the music mirror the composers’ eras and cultural milieu, rather than the composer’s aged, contemplative, inner psyche, or emotional ripening, as in the case of say Schumann, Brahms, or Mahler, all whom I adore, but who’s most introspective works I would abstain from performing for some years. Whenever, say, Tchaikovsky or Shostakovich are autobiographical in their output, it is nevertheless set against a documented portrayal of their profusely chronicled social entourage. In 20 years I may be a bit more segregative, who knows!? Where does your passion for music stem from?

My father would pick moments in the day, on our commute for example, when he would introduce me to


MUSIC

a certain masterpiece in the same way a culinary expert would luxuriate in describing a meal just before pulling it out of the oven. Once I was seduced by the aura of one of these innumerable works, they would permeate my every boyish activity throughout the day, much like a real-life soundtrack. Thus, the Symphonic and Operatic repertoire I perform has been integral even to the least relevant aspects of my life.

What would your cruise playlist be?

I love the inexorable unpredictability of being constantly surprised by the live music on board, provided it refrains from 2000s pop (!), in the same way I don’t make specific routes on a map of a city I’ve never been too. Finding yourself serendipitously at the heels of monuments you’ve seemingly always known of often allows you to suddenly perceive them in angles and proportions that give you the impression of being If you could cruise anywhere in the world, greeted and welcomed exclusively and honourably where would it be? by them, a personal welcome from an icon! Louis Thinking rather ambitiously, Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald I love the unpredictability of are always welcome though! a cruise starting in Cádiz, encircling the Mediterranean being constantly surprised by What three things do you before crossing the Atlantic the live music on board never travel without? (via the Azores) over to the Caribbean, and traversing My passport, my wallet, the Panama Canal, to trace the Pacific coast of South and a history book or great novel. Everything else America down to the Patagonia would be a feast for can adjust! Reading a great novel at home limits all my avaricious naval history intrigue. It would be a novelty to the boundaries of the book itself. Taking fascinating insight into the history of Alexander the it on the road or out to sea juxtaposes its novel Great, Pizarro’s saga conquest of Atahualpa’s realm – impressions to the aromas, tastes, sights, voices, and more! Or starting in London, where I live, crossing even waters which are constantly novelties when the North Sea and Baltic in midsummer to the Neva travelling. It therefore heightens one’s savouring and St. Petersburg, a city I’ve never visited, yet which of both activities, merging them into one as if I love and know most about. It would be special voyage. one hadn’t just read a book, but had delved into its world entirely, even if its content is apparently unrelated to one’s travel destinations.

From above: Glacier Perito Moreno National Park in Argentina, Patagonia; always travel with a great novel; Peterhof Grand Palace, Russia

PHOTOS: © HAMPTON COURT PALACE/ISTOCK

How does travel influence your work?

The same exact thing goes for scores on the road, only it’s not just one’s idiosyncratic relationship to the piece which fluctuates depending on where one decided to absorb it, instead the way a German vs a Czech or American orchestra will respond to one’s reading of it adds yet another layer of novelty and sui generis characterisation to each collaboration and performance. Travel is therefore a protagonist in the final flare that’s offered to an audience. hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

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REVIEW

POSTCARD from

F RA N C E Viking river cruisers, Pauline and John Tibbles, set off down the Rhône and wrote to tell us about their adventure

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

Clockwise, from opposite page: Lyon cathedral rises up from the banks of the Saône; Pauline Tibbles; exploring French towns; the bridge at Avignon; wine tasting was a highlight

W

hat better way to see some contrasting parts of this wonderful country than a river cruise that runs 230km directly north to south, on one of the great rivers of Europe: the mighty Rhône? We flew to Marseilles and transferred by Viking coach to join the Viking Longship Buri in Avignon where one of the advantages of river cruising became immediately obvious. Big as they are, the vessels can dock right in the city centre meaning the walls of this ancient and beautiful city were only minutes away. Avignon was also our introduction to another river cruise plus – excellent, informative, charming guides, something that was to be repeated at every destination and included tour. One of our stops was the lovely city of Arles, where we sat on the stone seats of the magnificent Roman amphitheatre while our guide took us through the events they’d held and the significance of your seating position reflecting your social standing. Then it was onto Vienne, an elegant and artistic town favoured by the famous Toulouse Lautrec, some of his haunts surviving unchanged to this day. In Tournon the included tour was a wonderful steam train with vintage engines pulling the period coaches up into

the hills that form the striking Ardeche gorges, with their rapids and rockpools below. Provence and Côte du Rhône are major wineproducing areas and we enjoyed the opportunity to visit vineyards in scenic Beaujolais and the more dramatic Chateauneuf du Pape. Heading north we passed through the Rhône locks – gigantic structures that accommodate the river’s extraordinary variations in depth. The locks were immensely impressive as they silently and effortlessly raised Viking Buri up to the next level. Life on board was very relaxing and none more so than spending all of one whole afternoon cruising serenely north through the French countryside. It was a constant surprise to experience how fast Viking Buri travels, yet with little sound and no vibration – like flying at ground level. On this sector the upper deck provided a great opportunity to catch some sunshine before the river becomes busier as we approached Lyon. Another great mooring in the city of two rivers, Rhône and Saône, which converge to form a peninsula at the heart of the city. Lyon is renowned as the gastronomical capital of France and a visit to the market gave us some clue as to why. Everywhere there were brilliant splashes of colour from the piles of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers of every hue and shape, and then onto the specialist cheese vendors, garden flowers and plants, as well as bread of every shape and size. By chance, the last night in Lyon was the night of Le Quatorze, 14 July, which is Bastille Day. So our last evening started with great entertainment from four classically trained young artistes, then to the top deck to enjoy a firework display of epic proportions with new friends – a great finale to a wonderful trip. An 8-day Lyon & Provence cruise starts from £1,895pp, departing from March through to November 2019. vikingcruises.com SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Voyage

of recovery

On board Viking Sea, travel writer Becky Wiggins sees first-hand how some of the worst-hit islands in the West Indies are recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria

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Much of the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the Caribbean remains untouched by the devastating hurricanes

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I

n September 2017, we were on the first Virgin Atlantic flight out to Orlando following the airport’s reopening after Hurricane Irma. We met people from the Florida Keys and Miami who had left their homes and belongings and been evacuated north to the resort hotels of Orlando. I remember chatting to our Uber driver, a Puerto Rican who, at the time, was worried about his friends and family at home as the second hurricane, Maria, powered towards the island. Fast forward six months, and I’m boarding a flight from Miami to Puerto Rico to join Viking Cruises’ Viking Sea in San Juan for the first leg of the West Indies Explorer trip, sailing on a south-easterly course that will take us down to Barbados. I’m curious to know how cruising the Caribbean after Irma and Maria will be, and wondering

(estimates are that electricity will be fully restored to the island by mid-2018). The port of Puerto Rico really only started accepting cruise ships again (with passengers actually disembarking) in December of last year. We opted for the included walking tour of old San Juan and were relieved to see the original buildings were still standing. Our guide told us that many of the worst hit areas were residential, as well as villages high in the mountains, while the issues suffered in the old town were mostly damage to roofs, windows and trees. Luckily, the colonial buildings in this beautiful area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, survived without catastrophic damage. As we wandered through the pretty streets, admiring houses painted all the colours of the rainbow, he explained how important it is that

While we saw battered houses and huge mahogany trees that had been felled in the storms, we were greeted with smiles and waves if, frankly, we’ll be unwelcome guests, strutting around demanding drinks and ice creams while people rebuild their homes and businesses.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

Puerto Rico took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, enduring wind speeds of up to 155mph, storm surges, flooding and the complete destruction of the island’s power grid. On the flight from Miami, I sat next to a Puerto Rican police firearms instructor who told me that, even now, there’s no electricity to the more rural areas, and that electricity to his daughter’s school had only recently been restored 54

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tourists keep visiting Puerto Rico. “Our island is essentially bankrupt – we need every dollar the tourists can bring.” I asked how we could help, and his answer was similar to many we heard during our trip: “Keep visiting, book tours, eat in restaurants, drink in bars and spend your money here.”

ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

Like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands were badly affected by the hurricanes, with Irma arriving first and devastating St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island, swiftly followed by Maria just two weeks

later, battering St. Croix and further damaging the others. Originally bound for Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, which is still struggling to recover after Irma destroyed 85% of its buildings, we were diverted to St. Croix. As soon as we stepped off the gangway, the damage was obvious: most of the trees were stripped of all but the largest branches, and many buildings were without roofs or windows. Our guide explained that the economy of St. Croix had already suffered hugely with the closure of an oil refinery and the loss of over 2,000 jobs, plus the subsequent closure of many supporting businesses. The island, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, welcomes only

Clockwise, from top left: Writer Becky Wiggins; colourful houses dot the hillside in St Lucia; upturned trees are a reminder of the hurricanes’ damage; many ports are open


T R AV E L

a couple of cruise ships a week and only about 40% of its income comes from tourism, but the message, loud and clear, was come and visit and support the economy. Our guide took us for a wander around Frederiksted, a town dotted with old buildings including Fort Frederik, glowing dark ochre against the turquoise sea, and while we saw battered houses and huge mahogany trees that had been felled in the storms, we were greeted with smiles and waves. Baobab, tamarind and kapok trees stand proud around the port, despite losing all but their largest branches. We were all moved, not just from hearing the plight of the people, enslaved and abused by a stream of different invaders over generations, but also listening to our guide talk about the destruction of the island by the hurricane and the resilience of the locals.

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

ST. KITTS

The first Caribbean island to be colonised by the British back in 1623, St. Kitts has the dubious honour of being the first Englishspeaking island in the West Indies. Our guide, Gene, told us that St. Kitts was relatively lucky and avoided the worst of both Irma and

Maria. However, the “minimal” damage still amounted to an estimated US$15 million, mostly to homes, greenhouses, fruit crops and public services like water, roads and electricity supply.

ST. LUCIA AND BARBADOS Our final two ports of call, St. Lucia and Barbados, completely avoided the path of both Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In fact, Barbados hasn’t been hit by a hurricane since 1955. There has been a knock-on effect caused both by tourists mistaking Barbados for Barbuda, and by the perception that all the islands in the Caribbean were affected, causing a drop in tourism. But the Caribbean really is open for business. Cruise passengers were some of the first visitors back in the affected islands post-Irma and Maria. All the islands are unanimous in their message: cruise ships arriving in recovering areas aren’t intruding or hampering recovery efforts. It’s actually hugely important for tourists to continue to visit the Caribbean islands, and while rebuilding continues in some areas, it’s paramount for their economies to continue to receive visitors both by land and sea, and advance bookings are crucial for financial

stability. Puerto Rico is now welcoming up to three cruise ships a day. “We’re thrilled to be officially open for tourism,” said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “Tourism is a vital contributor to the island’s economy, so reaching these milestones not only will help build a stronger, better Puerto Rico, but showcases the resilience in our people and destination.” And if that’s not a reason to visit, I don’t know what is. A 11-day West Indies Explorer journey, starting and finishing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, starts from £2,490pp, departing on selected dates in 2018-2020. vikingcruises.co.uk SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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TOP 10

CARIBBEAN BEACHES A round-up of our favourite beaches to discover whilst cruising the Caribbean

1

Coconut Grove, Antigua

A 20-minute taxi ride from the ship (you can arrange for your driver to pick you up at a certain time) and you’ll find the bluest water, the whitest sand, it’s not too crowded, and there’s a beach bar for drinks and lunch. Perfect.

2

Kleine Knip, Curaçao

The optional Heritage Museum & National Park tour is a great way to explore the island and a couple of its 30 plus hidden beaches. The trip includes a visit to Knip or Kleine Knip beach – a hidden spot at the north-west of the island, surrounded by volcanic hills, white sand and warm, clear, blue sea. Bring your swimming costume to take full advantage!

3

Shipwreck Cove & Turtle Cove, St. Thomas

Take the optional tour for a fantastic beach experience. Shipwreck Cove attracts all kinds of

tropical fish and at Turtle Cove you may end up swimming with turtles (or rays) – a thrilling experience.

4

Rainbow Bay, St. Croix

5

Dickinson’s Bay, Antigua

6

Great Bay Beach, St. Maarten

Crystal clear water, gently lapping waves and a virtually deserted beach make this spot a little slice of paradise!

Beautiful clear waters, a white sandy beach and blue sky sums up this spot, which is also famous for its traditional red telephone box which sits on the beach.

A lively large beach opposite the cruise port, just jump in a water taxi. There are a few shops and restaurants as well as water sports to try. Simply swim in the aqua sea which has gentle waves lapping, or relax on a sun lounger and enjoy some people watching.

7

Cane Bay, St. Croix

8

Carlisle Bay, Barbados

9

Frigate Bay, St. Kitts

This is a beautiful beach with hardly anyone on it, about a half-hour drive from the ship but worth the effort. There is one little colourful hut selling rum punches, and you can hire beach chairs from the restaurant over the road.

Clockwise, from opposite page: Caribbean beaches are some of the best in the world; the famous red telephone box at Dickinson’s Bay, Antigua; picture-perfect St. Thomas

Turquoise waters and a crescent-shaped bay featuring a natural harbour make this beach a special one – plus it is one of the island’s longest and widest beaches.

Unspoilt, empty and with beautiful scenery, this beach is relaxed yet has good facilities. Plus, you can get a great rum punch from one of the shacks on the beach! Try out jet-skiing or simply watch the pelicans on the beach diving for fish.

PHOTOS: © ALAMY/ISTOCK

10

Magens Bay, St. Thomas

A stunning beach with a mountainous, tropical backdrop. It feels remote but there are a few facilities including a bar, café and a gift shop. It has featured on lists of ‘top 10 beaches in the world’ so it is definitely worth the trip! SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Sweet

SCANDINAVIA

These simple Norwegian desserts all feature delicious, seasonal fruit and, best of all, they are easy to make

Enjoy the fruits from the garden at the kitchen table with refreshing drinks and mouthwatering cakes

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FOOD

Bløtkake

This classically simple strawberry cake is the centrepiece of every Norwegian celebration, especially birthdays. Traditionally made with an equal balance of eggs, flour and sugar, the light sponge cake is then smothered in cream and fruit. It’s even more delicious the day after you make it.

SERVES 6-8

PHOTOS: © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

4 eggs 225g caster sugar 140g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 225g strawberries 1 tsp caster sugar 250ml whipping cream 2 tbsp icing sugar 3 tbsp strawberry or cloudberry jam Blueberries to decorate

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), then butter a 9in (23cm) cake tin thoroughly, lining the bottom with baking paper. 2 Place the eggs in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is smooth and thick, with no hint of graininess. 3 Turn the mixer down low and gently mix in the flour and baking powder, then add the vanilla. 4 Pour the batter into the lined cake tin, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the tin and allow it to cool down on a wire rack. 5 To prepare the strawberries, reserve half for decoration, then hull and slice the other half, sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar and reserve. 6 Whip the cream with the icing sugar until quite firm and spreadable. 7 Carefully slice the cooled cake in half. Take the bottom layer and spread generously with jam, then follow with the sliced strawberries, and about a third of the whipped cream. 8 Place the top layer carefully on the cake, then completely cover with the remaining cream. Decorate with the reserved strawberries and some blueberries if you wish. SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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FOOD

Tilslørte bondepiker

This classically simple Norwegian dessert translates as ‘veiled country girls’, although it’s a mystery how it got its name. The ingredients are simple, but the mix of sweet, tart, soft and crunchy make this layered apple trifle something really special. SERVES 4 4 crisp, green apples 5 tbsp caster sugar 3 tbsp apple juice 140g digestive biscuits 1 tsp cinnamon Pinch of ground cardamom 300ml double cream TO GARNISH: A slice of dried apple

1 Peel, core and dice the apples into 1cm cubes. In a small saucepan, add the diced apples with the sugar and the apple juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently until the apples are completely soft (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set aside to cool. 2 Meanwhile, crush the digestive biscuits and mix in the cinnamon and cardamom. 3 Whip the cream, then layer the apple purée, the crushed biscuits and the cream together in individual glasses. Garnish with a slice of dried apple.

Trollkrem

A Norwegian dessert with a mysterious name, Trollkrem (literally ‘troll cream’) was perhaps named for its magical ability to transform from a couple of simple ingredients in to a sweet, silky mousse in mere minutes. SERVES 4 2 6 1 1

egg whites tbsp lingonberry jam tsp vanilla extract tsp caster sugar

PHOTO: © GETTY IMAGES

TO GARNISH: Lingonberry jam 1 Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer (make sure the bowl is really clean). 2 Whisk the mixture on the highest setting until the mousse increases in

volume and forms soft peaks that hold their shape. 3 Serve piled into individual glasses and garnish each dessert with some extra lingonberry jam. SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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Summer celebrations Join with your friends and family to celebrate the summer season, with traditional parties observed across Scandinavia

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FOOD

I

n Sweden, in late summer, friends and families love to gather for crayfish parties, or kräftskiva as they are known. This involves a feast with a large group of people sitting around a long table decorated with paper lanterns, silly party hats and bibs honouring the crayfish. At the centre of the meal is a large tray of crayfish cooked with dill. Other dishes include shrimps with white wine eaten with mayonnaise, dill sauce and white bread, Swedish mature hard Västerbotten cheese, Västerbotten cheese quiche and, of course, aquavit and snapsvisa (traditional Swedish party songs). Until 1994, fishing laws dictated a specified period when crayfishing was allowed, which started in the beginning of August. Despite the abolishing of the law, and the fact that most Swedes now buy imported crayfish, the tradition

of holding a crayfish party in the second week of August still remains as strong as ever. Today, crayfish are bought frozen, often imported from Turkey or China, with each box containing around 20 crustaceans. Some Swedes love to suck the juice out of the crayfish before shelling them, but it is not obligatory! The parties can get messy, hence the bibs. As well as aquavit, a large selection of beers is often provided, with plenty of communal drinking as everybody raises their galsses when a toast is proposed. But don’t forget, it is compulsory to look everybody in the eye! Across the Nordic region, summer celebrations often include dinner and drinks, games, such as dancing around the maypole, and plenty of traditional songs, but most importantly the parties are held outside to celebrate

the everlasting sunlight of the Scandinavian summer. People often wear garlands of fresh, wild flowers in their hair, pretty white dresses and dance late into the night. But regardless of your location, the summer festivities encourage a retreat to nature, and a celebration of the light that floods the sky late at the night across Scandinavia.

Clockwise, from facing page: A chair decorated with ribbons for Midsummer; friends and family gather together to eat crayfish and sing traditional drinking songs

FLORAL HAIR GARLAND Garlands are worn at festivals and celebrations throughout Scandinavia, including Midsummer. YOU WILL NEED: Scissors Floral tape Flowers (keep these in water until you are ready to start making your garland)

Green floral wire (you will need this in two different sizes, a thicker one for the wreath and a thinner one to attach the flowers)

METHOD 1 Wrap the floral wire around your head to make a large circle — this should be fairly loose to accommodate the flowers. Add a loop on one end, which you’ll be able to use to tighten or loosen the garland when you have finished adding the flowers. 2 Cut the bottom stems off the flowers, but leaving enough to wrap around your wreath. 3 Wrap the flower stems around the wreath, starting at the back and working your way towards the front. 4 Secure the flowers around the garland using the thinner wire, ensuring that all the wire ends face outwards. Add as many flowers as you like. 5 To finish your garland, wrap thin floral wire around the stems so they are as neat as possible, and then wrap floral tape over the wire. Finally, you can add a colourful ribbon (or ribbons) at the back for that authentic Scandi look.

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Eight-day Mediterranean cruise Rome to Venice or Venice to Rome 8 days, 6 guided tours Departing July 2019 to August 2020

Prices from £2,290pp

To find out more or to request our ocean brochure, call 020 8780 7900 or visit vikingcruises.co.uk Prices correct at time of going to print but are subject to availability. From prices are per person and based on two people sharing the lowest grade stateroom available on Italian Sojourn, departing on selected dates in 2019 & 2020. Prices valid until 31 July 2018. Single supplements apply. For more information please visit vikingcruises.co.uk/terms-conditions or call us.

Witness the legacies of great civilisations on this exceptional eight-day cruise. Sail across the Venetian Lagoon, like the merchants of old. Stroll through the courtyard of a house in ancient Pompeii. Pause for refreshment in Naples’ cobbled streets. Marvel at the fairytale trulli buildings in Alberobello. Wander the leafy boulevards of Messina. Walk in the footsteps of Pythagoras in Crotone. Every day, in every destination, live la dolce vita on this incredible journey through Italy. Day 1 Rome, Italy Day 2 Naples, Italy Day 3 Sicily, Italy, Day 4 Crotone, Italy Day 5 Bari, Italy Day 6 Šibenik, Croatia Days 7-8 Venice, Italy


REVIEW

Viking destinations: HALL OF FAME Our top 10 destinations, as voted for by Viking customers

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o coincide with our sponsorship of Classic FM’s Hall of Fame countdown, we held our very own Viking Destinations Hall of Fame in March and April 2018. We invited our river and ocean customers to choose their favourite Viking destinations from the 69 countries we currently visit, and we’re thrilled to present the results.

Scenery, culture and people were the top three factors when considering whether to recommend a destination, with weather, food and history following close behind. Not only did our guests share their views on the mostdesired destinations, they also recommended their secret shopping spots, delicious local foods, favourite memories, and top tips for anyone visiting in the future.

1.Italy 2.Norway 3.Portugal 4.New Zealand 5.France 6.China 7.Russia 8.Canada 9.Germany 10.Greece


Italy

1

HIGHLIGHTS: Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice; Lake Molveno; amphitheatres and cathedrals in Sicily; Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii; the Amalfi coast.

BEST CAFÉS: Ice cream parlours in Sorrento; country trattorias; Fiorella in Venice.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Pasta; pizza; ice cream; limoncello; tiramisu.

SPECIAL SHOPS: Maria Lampo in Positano; lots of shops on Rialto Bridge.

MAKING MEMORIES: “Seeing Michelangelo’s ‘David’ in Florence”; “stepping inside St. Peter’s Basilica”; “cruising up the Grand Canal in Venice”.

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Gondolas in Venice (photo: Alan Howe)

TOP TIP: Drop in on a music concerto in a church. The Northern Lights are a wonderful spectacular (photo: David Goodall)

Norway HIGHLIGHTS: Bergen’s old town; fjords; husky sledging; Northern Lights; Lofoten Islands.

BEST CAFÉS: Pavement cafés in Stavanger; stalls in the fish market in Bergen.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Fresh fish; reindeer steak; waffles and pancakes.

SPECIAL SHOPS: Dale of Norway. MAKING MEMORIES: “Sailing past North Cape at 3am in daylight”; “the outstanding beauty of the Fjords”; “seeing the cod drying in the Lofoten Islands”; “a ride on the Flåm Railway”.

TOP TIP: Don’t miss Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.

Portugal

Explore the hidden streets of Lisbon (photo: David Goodall)

HIGHLIGHTS: Cruising the Douro; the Botanical Gardens in Lisbon; tasting port in Porto; the beautiful island of Madeira.

BEST CAFÉS: 28 Café in Lisbon; the many small restaurants in old Lisbon; Chapitô à Mesa.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Pastéis de Nata; tapas; fresh seafood; port.

SPECIAL SHOPS: The Lello book store in Porto. MAKING MEMORIES: “Watching bread making in Favaios”; “following a shoal of dolphins”; “dining at Quinta da Avessada”. TOP TIP: Tuk tuk trips are a fun way to see Lisbon. 66

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4

New Zealand HIGHLIGHTS: Swimming in hot springs; Bay of Islands; Cathedral Cove; the museum in Wellington; Abel Tasman National Park.

BEST CAFÉS: Bay House Café in Tauranga Bay;

REVIEW The views are breath-taking in New Zealand (photo: Pat Hoar)

Auckland Sky Tower; The Spice Room in Queenstown; Mission Estate Winery in Napier.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Lamb; fresh fish; hokey pokey (honeycomb) ice cream; manuka honey.

SPECIAL SHOPS: Fire and Ice Gemstones; boutiques in Taupo’s town centre.

MAKING MEMORIES: “Visiting the cultural village to see the Mãori dancers”; “sailing on Milford Sound”; “taking the TransAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth”; “visiting Hobbiton from Lord of the Rings”; “seeing Adélie penguins coming to shore”.

TOP TIP: In Milford Sound, take a ride in a smaller boat to see things close up.

5

Umbrellas on display in France (photo: Ray Eggleton)

photo:

arrison

Brian H

France HIGHLIGHTS: The Bayeux Tapestry; the Eiffel Tower; the beaches in Normandy; local flea markets; the River Seine; Monet’s garden.

BEST CAFÉS: The Tribunal in Mortagne-auPerche; Café Jeanne d’Arc in Lourdes; La Femme du Boulanger in Nice; Lucas Carton. FAVOURITE FOODS: Moules marinière; crêpes; French onion soup; beef Bourguignon; croissants.

SPECIAL SHOPS: The Pompidou Centre; Galleries Lafayette; local bakeries.

MAKING MEMORIES: “Fireworks on Bastille Day”; “Le Mont Saint-Michel at high tide”; “seeing the Normandy beaches for the first time”; “walking in Avignon”; “people-watching at the Café de Flore”. TOP TIP: Take a sandwich into the Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy it whilst mingling with locals.

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6

China

The Great Wall of China more than lives up to the hype (photo: Graham Cookson)

HIGHLIGHTS: Great Wall of China; the Terracotta

Warriors; the bund in Shanghai; Tai Chi on the deck as the sun rises; the Three Gorges Dam.

BEST CAFÉS: Restaurants on Lucky Street in Beijing; Bleu Marine in Beijing; traditional hutongs (local cafés).

FAVOURITE FOODS: Dim sum; Peking duck; noodles; duck with pancakes and spring onions.

SPECIAL SHOPS: Jade factory shop MAKING MEMORIES: “Seeing the pandas”; “standing in the Forbidden City and taking it all in”; “walking the Great Wall”. TOP TIP: Bring a variety of clothes as the temperature can vary greatly.

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The exquisite detail of the buildings is astonding (photo: Brian Harrison)

Russia HIGHLIGHTS: The Hermitage Museum; the Cosmonautics Museum; St. Isaac’s Cathedral; Red Square in Moscow; Summer Palaces in St. Petersburg.

BEST CAFÉS: Stolle in St. Petersburg; Cat Café restaurant in St. Petersburg;

FAVOURITE FOODS: Borscht; blinis and caviar. SPECIAL SHOPS: GUM department store in Red Square; Dom Knigi, a wonderful book shop next to Gostiny Dvor Metro station.

MAKING MEMORIES: “The amethyst chandeliers in Peterhof”; “Red Square at night”. TOP TIP: Try to learn a little of the Cyrillic alphabet before you go to help understand signs.

Canada HIGHLIGHTS: Toronto’s old distillery district; Athabasca Glacier; Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island; Lake Louise; wildlife spotting in Newfoundland.

BEST CAFÉS: Café de Paris, Toronto; Black Lotus,

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Banff; Skylon Tower; The Dinghy Dock on Prospect Island.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Buffalo steak; lobster rolls.

SPECIAL SHOPS: MEC, the outdoor sports store; Quincy market; Amos Pewter; Hudson Bay, Vancouver.

MAKING MEMORIES: “Our journey through the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer train”; “cruising the Inside Passage”; “whale watching from Telegraph Cove”. TOP TIP: Visit the amazing farmers’ markets, and make sure you get some excellent maple syrup. 68

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Canadian Rockies (photo: Alan Howe)


REVIEW Germany is the perfect destination for a river cruise (photo: Lesley Handscombe)

Germany HIGHLIGHTS: Cruising the Danube; a trip down the Rhine; Christmas markets; Cologne; Berlin; Bavaria.

BEST CAFÉS: Cologne’s beer houses; Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg; cafes in the Drosselgasse in Rüdesheim. FAVOURITE FOODS: Strudel; bratwurst; schnitzel. SPECIAL SHOPS: Christmas shops in Heidelberg; perfume shops and chocolate museum in Cologne.

MAKING MEMORIES: “Going back to Berlin after the wall came down and being able to travel around”; “passing through Checkpoint Charlie”.

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photo: Bria

n Harrison

TOP TIP: If you visit the Reichstag, book a free, English-speaking tour in advance to avoid the queues.

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Greece HIGHLIGHTS: Athens; windmills in Mykonos; Santorini; Rhodes’ Old Town; the Olympic Stadium.

BEST CAFÉS: Coffee in the Square at Nafplio; Knossos in Ag Nik; Aleria Restaurant.

FAVOURITE FOODS: Squid and octopus; chicken souvlaki; moussaka; baklava; spanakopita.

SPECIAL SHOP: The Loom in Athens. MAKING MEMORIES: “Sailing down the Corinth Canal”; “watching the sunsets at Mount Olympus”; “the changing of the guards at the palace”. TOP TIP: Visit some of the smaller, less well-known The windmills of Mykonos (photo: Ray Eggleton)

islands that make up the Cyclades.

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VIKING

Book Club If you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday read, look no further! Here are some personal recommendations from the Viking team…

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW

WILD SWANS

By Amor Towles

By Jung Chang

NORTH: HOW TO LIVE SCANDINAVIAN

Windmill Books, £8.99

Harper Collins, £9.99

By Brontë Aurell

I thoroughly enjoyed this unique novel which is set entirely in Moscow’s iconic The Metropol Hotel and centred around Count Alexander Rostov who is under house arrest there. Not only does the story give an insight into the fascinating shift in Russian society before the revolution, it’s also a journey of how Rostov develops to become more grounded through the relationships he makes with the hotel staff and a little girl he takes under his wing. An uplifting read. Wendy Atkin-Smith

The book tells the story of three generations from the same family and begins with the story of Jung’s grandmother and how her father schemed to sell her to a high-ranking general due to the family being relatively poor. Jung’s grandmother eventually fled and married a doctor. The next part is about Jung’s own mother who joined the Communist Party of China and the Red Army. It covers the time of revolution in China and where her parents met. The final part of the story is Jung’s own, when the Cultural Revolution started in her teenage years. Charlotte Knowles

Aurum Press, £20

THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY By Patricia Highsmith Vintage, £8.99

I, CLAUDIUS

I read this before a holiday in Sorrento, Italy. If I had not already had the holiday booked, I would have been on the next plane out there. It really exudes the glamour of the Amalfi Coast, and even more so being set in the 1950s. It is centred around Tom Ripley who is persuaded to go to Italy to bring back privileged playboy Dickie Greenleaf, when Dickie’s father mistakes him as one of Dickie’s old friends. After befriending Dickie, Tom becomes captivated with their lifestyle in Italy and will stop at nothing to avoid leaving it behind. Claire Tibbles

By Robert Graves

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Penguin Classics, £9.99

Told in a humorous, conversational way from the point of view of Claudius, grandson of Augustus, whose murderous rivals never saw him as a threat due to his limp and stammer. This book is a brilliant way to learn about the first emperors of Rome – Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Nero – and what they did to each other in the name of family and power. If, like me, you like your ancient Romans mad, debauched and bloodthirsty this is an entertaining, scandalous read! Sam Berry

I’ve always been fascinated by Scandinavian countries, culture and people, and why, despite the cold weather and very long winter nights, Scandinavians are ranked one of the happiest people on the planet. North: How to Live Scandinavian by Brontë Aurell is a great guide to all aspects of Scandinavian life – food, traditions, family life, housing, education and even fashion. Want to feel Danish for a day? Wear black, eat open sandwiches on dark rye bread, have lunch at 11am and say “Nå” all the time. Olya Krvavych

SILENCE IN THE AGE OF NOISE By Erling Kagge Viking, £9.99

In an age where we rely heavily on technology and being constantly contactable, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge goes on epic expeditions to “unlock the power of silence”. It’s a real wake-up call in how busy we are in our daily lives, how we should take a step back and enjoy moments of silence, and an acknowledgment that we can still find solace in this in some places in the world. Laura Radfor


BOOK CLUB

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REVIEW

POSTCARD from

COL OMB I A Viking’s Head of Research and Insight, Shehnaz Hansraj, explored Colombia and wrote to tell us about her adventure

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

A

s one of the emerging ‘must visit’ destinations, what better introduction to Colombia than a visit to the colonial walled city of Cartagena, and Colombia’s oldest city, Santa Marta, two stops on Viking’s 11-day South America and Caribbean itinerary. Nestled on the Caribbean Sea, both have beautiful beaches as well as a rich diversity of heritage. The approach to Cartagena was bathed in the morning sunshine with Latin music playing during breakfast on the ship’s Aquavit Terrace, adding to the anticipation of exploring this historic city. We were whisked off in air-conditioned coaches to the majestic pyramid-like, 17th-century Spanish fort, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. During its 480-year history it has been invaded by pirates, admirals and barons, and today offers a labyrinth of hidden tunnels to explore. This was also our first chance to catch a glimpse of Palenqueras – ladies in colourful traditional dresses and handmade jewellery, expertly balancing bowls of tropical fruit on their heads. A symbol of Cartagena, they are direct descendants of the first free African slaves. Our next stop was to the walled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I loved the array of unusual doorknockers and beautiful wooden doors in the charming, cobbled streets. Dominating the centre of Plaza de Santo Domingo, which once served as a market for slave trading, is La Gorda Gertudis (the reclining ‘Fat Lady’ statue) created by famous Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero. Rubbing the sculpture is supposed to bring luck and a safe return to Cartagena. There were many photo opportunities as we entered Plaza San Pedro Claver with its juxtaposition of old and new. Our final visit was to Las Bóvedas (The Vaults), with its 47 arches and 23 domes, built to store grains and later used as dungeons. Now it houses a range of local artisan craft shops and Government-regulated jewellers, including the famous Colombian Emeralds. I indulged by buying myself sparkly emerald earrings, which will be a lovely reminder of Colombia. That evening, as we prepared to sail out, we enjoyed the most spectacular sunset. The following morning, we woke up some 200km north east in Santa Marta, the oldest surviving city in South America. I chose a half-day tour – Panoramic Santa Marta & Gold Museum – in my quest to visit the freedom fighter

Simón Bolívar’s last residence, Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. He was one of the most influential people in the struggle for independence for South American countries. We started with a tour of Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), which focused on the history of the city and the rest of Colombia. We wandered through the old town streets, a mix of old buildings and new restaurants, to find the lovely white-washed Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta, the oldest church in Colombia. Next stop, the beautiful colonial country estate of Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a short distance from the historic centre. It is great to escape there and enjoy the peace in the well-maintained Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens) with its assortment of plants native to northern South America and Central America. Look out for the iguanas camouflaged in the tall trees – ‘spot the iguana’ turned out to be a great game to get to know your fellow guests. Before heading back to the ship, we enjoyed traditional Colombian folk dance and folk music by the beach – the dancers mesmerised us with their rhythmic acrobatics moves. Colombia encompasses stunning scenery, history and electric energy; if only I could stay here for a little bit longer…!

Clockwise, from opposite page: Exploring Cartagena; Shehnaz Hansraj; statues at the Sîmon Bolîvar residence; relaxing on board; sunset memories

An 11-day South America & Caribbean cruise starts at £2,940pp departing in November 2018. vikingcruises.com

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PHOTOS: © ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES


CITY GUIDES Our destinations and shore excursions are at the center of every Viking cruise. We’re always on the lookout for new experiences, and these travel guides are packed with local tips to inspire your next adventure

Page 76 Cairo Egypt’s exotic capital combines the romance of the Nile with iconic historical sites

Page 78 Tromsø Known as the Gateway to the Arctic Circle, North Norway’s largest city has plenty of its own attractions

Page 80 Buenos Aires A city rich in dance heritage and food culture, be prepared to be seduced


Clockwise, from this image: The MosqueMadrassa of Sultan Hassan dominates the skyline; a felucca on the Nile

Cairo Egypt's chaotic captial is a treasure trove of ancient history and those that linger are rewarded with a sensory journey through time like no other

W

ith a population of over 22 million, Cairo is one of Africa’s largest cities. Sandwiched between the Middle East, Africa and Europe, it’s been the epicentre of political and cultural upheaval for centuries — each new influence leaving its mark and adding to the city’s eclectic fabric. Duck away from well-known sites, and you’ll soon find yourself weaving down narrow alleyways, through ancient gates to find Coptic churches and hidden palaces. Known as “The City of a Thousand Minarets”, Cairo is bursting at the seams with Islamic architecture. No more so than in Al Qahira (also known as the Islamic Quarter), where mosques and madrassas represent Islamic culture from 900s to the modern day. Kick off the adventure with a trip up Bab Zuweila, an 11th-century gate with mind-whirling views down to the chaos of the city below. After admiring Mamluk-era splendour,

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let the sounds and smells of Khan al Khalili Souq transport you back to the golden era of the Silk Road. Once you’ve got your heritage fix, sample a slice of Egypt’s future. Townhouse Gallery was the city’s first independent art space. Housed in a converted paper factory in Downtown Cairo, it was instrumental in the redevelopment of the area, including the opening of the 150-seat theatre, Rawabet. If the knock-off shops in Downtown don’t take your fancy, head to one of the city’s up-and-coming boutiques at Fair Trade Egypt in trendy Zamalek.

Don’t miss

•Cairo’s Egyptian Museum is home

to the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb and a statue of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid. •Manial Palace’s Islamic glasswork, Turkish carpets and colonial interiors is a feast for the eyes and an insight into Cairo’s wealthy elite in the early 20th century. •Take to the Nile the traditional way on a felucca — an Egyptian wooden sailboat — and watch Cairo drift by at a gentle pace. •Coptic Cairo is part of Old Cairo and home to some of the country’s oldest churches, including the Hanging Church. •The Citadel terrace is the best place to get a view of the whole city, sprawling out as far as Giza’s Pyramids on a clear day. •The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is one of the city’s most

Fast Facts The ancient Temple of Kom Ombo is believed to have the first modern calendar transcribed on its walls. Cairo in Arabic is al-Qahirah, meaning “the conqueror"

spectacular mosques — take time to admire the marble panels and muqarnas (stalactite vaulting).

Eating & Drinking

Egypt’s mineral-rich Nile valley has provided Cairo with fruits and vegetables bursting with flavour for centuries. Even today, from the Western-leaning brunch spots in Zamalek to the street food vendors cooking up feeter (a local version of pizza) and shawarma (slow-cooked meat), the city’s culinary scene is fresh and fast-paced. ABOU TAREK £

This unassuming local haunt is one of the best places to sample kushari, a mouth-watering mix of rice, lentils, chickpeas and macaroni topped with cumin and crunchy onions. Service is efficient, and the cooking is quick, making this a smart choice for lunch-on-the-go.


T R AV E L

CAFE RICHE ££

Founded in 1908, Café Riche is a legendary watering-hole just moments from Tahrir Square. Through revolutions and upheaval, it’s hosted academics, politicians, spies and journalists. The food isn’t what it used to be, so soak up the history over a Turkish coffee.

Insider Tips

PHOTOS: © ALAMY/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

FELFELA ££

Touristy but worth a visit, Felfela prides itself on authentic cuisine and Egyptian decor. Falafel is a highlight here, cooked in the same award-winning way since the restaurant opened its doors in 1959. LEFT BANK £££

Upmarket Zamalek is the place to go for brunch and Left Bank cooks up some of the city’s top eggs and pancakes. The view over the river of houseboats is almost as pretty as the impressive mosaic floor.

WOMEN-ONLY

BACK IN TIME

Given the volume of traffic on the roads, Cairo’s efficient metro system is the best way to get across the city. In each train, there are two carriages in the centre reserved for women.

Cairo is renowned for vintage finds — head to Colonial haunt the Windsor Bar, the restored Aisha Fahmy Palace and Fishawi’s, an ahwa that oozes old-world ambience for a nostalgia hit.

PARK LIFE PERFECTION Al Azhar Park, once home to the city's mountain of garbage, is a clean and serene spot to retreat from Cairo's pollution and admire the sun going down on the Pyramids.

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Clockwise, from this image: Tromsø lies nestled in the magnificent tundra behind; locals enjoy local produce

Tromsø Standing proud 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, there is a lot more to this “Gateway to the Arctic” than first meets the eye

I

f the huskies, sea-scapes, pristine surrounding tundra and the northern lights aren’t enough of a draw, north Norway’s largest city packs a punch when it comes to food, music and nightlife too. Despite the warming effect of the Gulf stream, seasons in Tromsø are acute — summer brings midnight sun and around-the-clock activities, while in winter it barely rises, making way for the dancing northern lights. You don’t have to go far to sense the expanse of wilderness beyond Tromsø — it’s here that Europe fragments into hundreds of frozen islands held together by fjords. Most of the city is on an island, linked to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge. The illuminated Arctic Cathedral is at one end, beautifully contrasting the pre-20th-century wooden houses dotted throughout the city. For outdoor enthusiasts, Tromsø is a launch pad for the endless snowbound pursuits beyond, but the city itself has plenty to offer. Get a sense of the region’s geography and

history from the Polar Museum, admire Hockney at the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum or enjoy strolling around the pretty harbour and boutique-filled Domkirke Square.

Don’t miss

•Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral is equally beautiful inside and out — Victor Sparre’s glass mosaic wall is one of the largest in Europe. •Whales often congregate to feed in the fjords; your best chance of spotting them is to join a whale safari cruise from nearby island Sommarøy. •The Polar Museum may feel a little taxidermy-heavy for some, but a quick tour around the 19thcentury warehouse is a great way to appreciate the many daring expeditions that have left the city. •Get closer to Arctic life during a visit to Tove Sorensen and Tore Albrigtsen’s home, the Tromsø Wilderness Centre, which they share with more than 300 huskies. •When darkness falls, jump on the cable car up 420 meters to Fjellstua Café to admire the city’s lights. A field behind the cable-car station faces away from the city where at times the northern lights can be seen.

Eating & Drinking

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Fast Facts There are more than 100 nationalities living in Tromsø Tromsø is further north than the whole of Iceland and Canada

or city-brewed Mack Pale Ale, here is just a taster of what’s on offer. FISKEKOMPANIET £££

This cool, upmarket, contemporary seafood favourite offers starters and mains fresh from the ocean. A longstanding favourite, expect a changing menu and a maritime view. ØLHALLEN £

Serving up beer from 67 different taps, Tromsø’s oldest pub has stayed true to its early 20th-century origins when it was simply known as ‘The Hall’ — a place where fishermen, farmers and townspeople could escape the everyday. If you’re lucky, someone might take up the open invite to ‘entertain our guests’ from the small stage while you drink. DE 4 ROSER ££

This European-style café, beneath a more formal restaurant, welcomes


T R AV E L

guests throughout the day for coffee, light meals and wine — it’s also regarded as one of Norway’s finest restaurants, focusing on quality, local produce.

Insider Tips

PHOTOS: © ALAMY/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

BARDUS BISTRO £££

This small bistro takes great pride in having local roots with an international ambience — a winning formula if its popularity is anything to go by. Don’t head home without sampling an artisanal cocktail and enjoying a dose of Tromsø nightlife in the Bardus Bar below. AUNEGÅRDEN £

This 19th-century, corrugated-iron former butcher’s shop is now home to Tromsø’s best cake and coffee. Aunegården is more quaint than grand and has enough nooks and crannies to make you want to cosy up for a whole day.

MIDNIGHT MUSIC

BOTANICAL HITS

WRAPPING UP

In the summer, the Arctic Cathedral welcomes guests to their midnight sun concerts featuring well-known, local musicians; just before midnight everyone pours outside to soak up the rays.

The Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden is a unique spot featuring poppies from the Himalayas, over 60 varieties of rhododendron and slipper flowers from the Falkland Islands.

Most tour organisations will rent out heavy-duty warm gear for outdoor activities. Even though Tromsø is warmed by the Gulf stream, the moment you step inland, temperatures plummet.

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Clockwise from this image: The Recoleta Cemetary; tango remains a popular dance for locals

Buenos Aires Combine the architecture of Paris with the subculture of Berlin, throw in some Latin passion, and you have South America’s most sophisticated city

F

rom the bohemian flair of La Boca to the manicured mansions of Recoleta, Buenos Aires is a melting pot of Latin and European influences. For a pleasant mix of both, start your trip in the laid-back, tree-lined district of Palermo. Divided in two by a main road and railway line, Palermo Soho’s chic, cobbled streets are crammed full of boutique shops and cafés whereas Palermo Hollywood is a more residential, creative hub where porteños (locals) come to sample up-and-coming chefs. If visiting during the day, head to Mercado de Pulgas for a rummage of vintage wares before touring the murals and street art. Creative overtones don’t stop there. Calle Lanín in Barracas is home to 35 houses adorned with mosaics thanks to Marino Santa Maria, who in 1990 began to transform his street into an open-air gallery. Beyond Barracas, La Boca’s brightly coloured houses are worth a look and football fans mustn’t miss

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the chance to visit La Bombonera (Boca’s 49,000-seat stadium). For a culture hit of a more classical variety, try Plaza de Mayo. Stroll among the foundations of the city at Manzana de las Lucas and admire the craftsmanship of the National Congress. Wander down Defensa to San Telmo — the city’s oldest neighbourhood with well-preserved colonial architecture. Finally, head to elegant Recoleta with its beautiful 18th-century spires and mansions. Take time to appreciate the fairy-tale grottoes and clientele (Eva Peron) of Cementerio de la Recoleta — although with over 6,400 graves on show, pick your route carefully.

Don’t miss

Fast Facts

•Tango is central to Buenos

Aires culture, having grown out of immigrant anxiety in the 19th century. The best place to sample a show is at a milonga — tango halls where locals dance the night away. •To get under the skin of the city’s street art, book a tour with Graffitimundo, a not-for-profit that collaborates closely with local artists. •Book a tour (or even a tango lesson) in Palacio Barolo, a neogothic, neo-Romanesque palace designed by Mario Palatino in 1923 and inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, and then head across the road to Café Tortoni — the oldest coffee shop in Argentina. •Save San Telmo for Sunday when Feria de Matadero comes to town,

Buenos Aires has more bookshops per capita than any other city in the world Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest (140 meters) avenue in the world

bringing the surrounding streets and squares alive with tango, BBQs and gauchos doing their thing at the ‘carrera de sortija’ (ring race). • The art nouveau beauty of Galeria Guemes bankrupted its owners, but the results are spectacular, especially the 360-degree view of the city from the mirador.

Eating & Drinking

Buenos Aires is a city to be savoured; with so much worldfamous food and wine on offer, it’s hard to resist long lunches and heady dinners. Expect grass-fed beef grilled to perfection in front of your eyes, cellars overflowing with Malbec and on-the-go empanadas that put pasties to shame. DON JULIO £££

Ranked 13th in San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, this once-humble


neighbourhood parrilla has been elevated to legendary status thanks to the vision of owner Pablo Rivero.

Insider Tips

LA MAR £££

Opened in 2015 by Lima’s most famous chef, Gaston Acurio, it’s no surprise that it can be tricky to get a table at Buenos Aires’ top fish restaurant — ceviche enthusiasts won’t want to leave. PHOTOS: © GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK/AWL IMAGES/PICASA

ALVEAR PALACE HOTEL ££££

A former apartment block for wealthy beef magnates, Alvear is one of the city’s grandest hotels and worth a stop for a classic Alvear Afternoon Tea at L’Orangerie or sundowners from the Roof Bar. LA MALBEQUERIA ££

This is a pleasant bar to sample some of Argentina’s world-famous wines. Malbec dominates, but there’s a good selection of other

LOCAL FLAVOURS Porteños eat late so don’t turn up before 9pm unless you want to be surrounded by tourists. Food is a big deal in Buenos Aires so for top restaurants, book ahead.

A LITERARY LEGEND

GREEN SPACE

Visit El Ateneo, one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops, which is housed in the ornate Teatro Grand Splendid.

Work up an appetite and head for a jog around Bosques de Palermo, known as the ‘lungs’ of the city with over 12,000 trees and 400-hectares of green space.

SUM MER 2018 | VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK

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INTERVIEW

A guiding star Viking Office Manager Clare Armitage remembers the moment she became a Viking Godmother

I got to become a Viking Godmother for ‘length of service’ at Viking. I have worked for Viking for over 10 years, starting in reservations and then moving on to dealing with groups. After having my first child I came back into our Operations department where I worked on everything behind the scenes, including guests’ documentation. I am currently working as the office manager.

What’s your favourite thing about Viking Longship Eir?

It is very hard to choose my favourite thing about Viking Eir, as everything is my favourite. The friendly staff, the food, the décor, the luxury, the places you visit – it is just amazing, the list goes on. What was the highlight of the christening ceremony?

The highlight for me was sharing the stage with so many of my Viking colleagues that I have known for years. Everything from start to finish was perfect – we were treated like royalty from the moment we touched down in Amsterdam! What do you love most about cruising?

I love how relaxing it is. I love that you wake up in a different country every day. What’s your favourite music to listen to at sea?

I love anything by the English singersongwriter, James Bay.

What’s your favourite destination?

I have been lucky enough to visit Moscow a few times and I love it. I got to visit the Kremlin, the Armoury, Saint Basil’s 82

VIKINGCRUISES.CO.UK | SUM MER 2018

Cathedral and ride on the Metro! It is such a fascinating city. What are your travel plans for 2018?

I’m hoping to go to Malta again for some summer sun. A recommended read?

I don’t read many books, but I do like a good magazine. Anything encompassing travel, food and lifestyle – in fact, I love reading Explore More! Fo c u s

EXPLORE

more

PHOTOS: © ISTOCK

How did you come to be a Viking Godmother?

5 ng 201 8 £3.9 Cru ises / Spri with Viki ng the wor ld See mor e of RIOUS

Fo o d CEL

And your dream voyage-of-alifetime?

E B R AT I N G

ORLD OF THE W F L AV O U R S

My dream voyage would be one of our Ocean cruises. The Cuba, Panama & the Pacific itinerary looks fantastic and I have always wanted to SUN V I K I N G Dow n Under visit Cuba. I’m really Making history drawn to the history of the country, plus the streets lined with pastel houses, the vintage cars and, of course, the rum!

G LO S G A R D E N to

Your guide seasonal planting


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Explore More issue 13 - Summer 2018  
Explore More issue 13 - Summer 2018