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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | £3.95

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AN EA MED CSTERN FOR TRWUISE O WITH THOM

ROYA L PR IN C E S S

CRUISE SON S

EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE FROM THE LAUNCH OF THE YEAR

GREEK ODYSSEY

THE

Uncovering the secret charms of the Dodecanese

HOTTEST

HIGHLAND FLING

HOLIDAYS IN THE WORLD ** *

Sailing around Scotland on The Queen’s favourite ship

93 MUST-SEE DESTINATIONS 41 INSPIRING ITINERARIES 32 STATE-OF-THE-ART SHIPS

cruise-international.com 08 9 771758 232012

PLUS GYLES BRANDRETH CHEF JEAN-MARIE ZIMMERMANN SALLY GUNNELL ●


EXPERIENCE THE MULTI AWARD-WINNING LUXURY OF

THE WORLD’S BEST RIVER CRUISES Douro • Rhine • Moselle • Danube • Rhône • Seine • Dutch Waterways Venice & the River Po • Volga • Mekong • Nile • Yangtze

There is simply no better way to experience the great waterways of the world than by gliding serenely from port to port aboard one of Uniworld’s exquisitely appointed vessels. From the Zagatrecommended staterooms and fine dining to the choice of included excursions and door-to-door transfers, these river cruises truly deserve to be called ‘the world’s best’.

All European cruises are all inclusive in 2014*! Call FREE to request our brand new 2014 brochure

0800 773 4107 quoting CI7 UNI or visit

www.titantravel.co.uk/uniworld

Opening times: Mon & Tue 8.30am – 7pm, Wed – Fri 8.30am – 6pm, Sat 9am – 5pm T’s & C’s apply. Calls free from BT landlines, mobiles may vary. *Excludes itineraries in Russia.


Book early and save up to £600 per person! IN PARTNERSHIP WITH


WE'D LOVE YOUR VOTE! We were delighted to win

Bes t Affordable Cruise Line 2012

and Cruise Line of t he Year 2011. We’d love to win again and would really appreciate your vote for the 2013 awards.

To vote for Fred. Olsen in the awards, simply visit cruise-international.com

Fred. Olsen’s new 2014/15 itineraries are on sale now, for a brochure call 0800 0355 242

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Past guests tell us our smaller ships are ideal for creating a warm, sociable atmosphere on board. We sail into the heart of destinations around the globe, from a choice of local departure ports around the UK and it’s great to know these benefits have left a lasting impression on our guests. In 2013 we’ll continue to provide great value holidays you’ll remember for years to come.

AWARDS

2013


CONTENTS

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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EDITOR’S LETTER Watching a member of the Royal Family name a ship is definitely something you don’t do every day – but then, Royal Princess is anything but ordinary. The Duchess of Cambridge was the perfect choice of godmother for this stylish new ship, as you can see from our photos (page 28), and on page 34 our Royal Princess correspondent (also a Kate) gives her verdict. Gyles Brandreth was a rather reluctant cruise goer until he experienced the delights of the Mekong – he shares his insights on page 86, and if you’re yet to take your first river cruise, there are top tips on page 81. We Brits have been flocking to Florida for years – but the big trend now is to combine a Caribbean cruise with a stay in Miami, Orlando or Tampa. Sound appealing? Check out our guide to the Sunshine State (page 62). If the idea of a cruise on an intimate ship appeals, we’ve chosen the best small (but perfectly formed) cruises around (page 43) while Julie Peasgood takes a trip to the Scottish Highlands on The Queen’s favourite ship (page 53). There’s also a review of an idyllic-sounding journey around the Greek Islands (page 48). And don’t forget voting closes for this year’s Cruise International Awards on 16 August. Everyone who votes will have the chance to be entered into the prize draw to win a luxury Caribbean holiday for two. What are you waiting for?

UP FRONT 8

HOT SPOT

The beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, first mentioned in Homer’s poems

FEATURES 19 NEW TO CRUISE

Want an adventure on your holiday? Here are the most exciting cruises around

28 ROYAL PRINCESS

The Duchess of Cambridge names Princess Cruises’ newest ship

30 FRENCH STYLE

Michelin-starred chef Jean-Marie Zimmermann shares three recipes

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33 NEW SHIPS

Reviews of the glamorous Royal Princess and luxury river ship Avalon Expression

43 SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED Size isn’t everything, as these cruise ships prove

48 GREEK ODYSSEY

A trip around the Dodecanese Islands

53 HIGHLAND FLING Julie Peasgood takes a cruise on The Queen’s favourite ship

72 TASTE OF LUXURY

Tropical treasures on a Thomson Platinum Collection cruise around the Caribbean

81 NEW TO RIVER CRUISE Your essential guide

86 TOP TIPS FOR RIVER CRUISING

Fresh from the Mekong, Gyles Brandreth shares some essential tips

91 PASSAGE TO EASTERN EUROPE

A cultural cruise along the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest

COMPETITIONS 56 CRUISE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

Liz Jarvis, Editor liz.jarvis@cruise-international.com CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

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Last chance to vote for your favourites – with fantastic prizes to be won

76 WIN A CRUISE TO EGYPT AND THE PROMISED LAND You could be discovering ancient wonders on an Eastern Med cruise

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AUG/SEPT 2013

The Highlands (p53)

Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place London SW3 3TQ Tel: 020 7349 3700 info@cruise-international.com www.cruise-international.com

Danube (p16)

EDITORIAL EDITOR Liz Jarvis ASSISTANT EDITOR Natalie Milner ART EDITOR Rhian Colley DESIGNER Alicia Fernandes EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Josephine Price CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Julie Peasgood, Deborah Stone

Miami (p64)

Egypt (p95) Cambodia (p86)

ONLINE DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER Oliver Morley-Norris ADVERTISING GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER Lyndal Beeton PUBLISHING PUBLISHER Simon Temlett MARKETING MANAGER William Delmont COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Vicki Gavin DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR Steve Ross MANAGING DIRECTOR Paul Dobson

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EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD AVALON WATERWAYS Alan MacLean, THE CAPTAIN’S CHOICE TOUR Gary Bartelings, CARNIVAL Lynn Narraway, CUNARD LINE Peter Shanks, EWATERWAYS Daniela Wagner, FRED. OLSEN Nathan Philpot, HEBRIDEAN Ken Charleson, PRINCESS CRUISES Pieter van der Schee, ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Jo Rzymowska, TITAN TRAVEL Richard Tarrant, VIKING RIVER CRUISES Wendy Atkin Smith, VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY Ann Brine, THE LUXURY CRUISE COMPANY Scott Anderson SUBSCRIPTIONS CRUISE INTERNATIONAL Subscriptions Department, 800 Guillat Avenue, Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8GU, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1795419841 Email: cruise@servicehelpline.co.uk http://cruise.subscribeonline.co.uk SUBSCRIPTION RATES UK £33 (6 issues) ROW £40 (6 issues) NEWS DISTRIBUTION News Trade (UK and Rest of World): Seymour International Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT CRUISE INTERNATIONAL (ISSN 1758-2326) (USPS 025-056) is published bi-monthly by The Chelsea Magazine Company, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ UK.

CONTENTS FLORIDA SPECIAL 62 FLORIDA CRUISE AND STAY

Your total guide to the Sunshine State

64-65 MIAMI/ FORT LAUDERDALE Cool Art Deco and incredible beaches

66-68 TAMPA

An unexpected gem on the Gulf Coast; plus, St Petersburg and Clearwater

69 ORLANDO

79

Home of the theme parks of course – but also fantastic shopping

REGULARS 11 CRUISE NEWS

Our essential round-up of all the events, destinations and ships making waves in the world of cruise, plus holiday reads

© The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 2013. All rights reserved. Text and pictures are copyright restricted and must not be reproduced without permission of the publishers. The information in CRUISE INTERNATIONAL has been published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. However, where appropriate, you are strongly advised to check prices, opening times, dates etc, before making final arrangements. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or damage caused by reliance on the information contained within this publication is hereby excluded. The opinions expressed by contributors to CRUISE INTERNATIONAL are not necessarily those of the publisher. For up to date travel advice, always check fco.gov.uk before you go.

Printed in England by Wyndeham Heron Origination by All Points Media allpointsmedia.co.uk Cover image © Yuri Arcurs/ Alamy

Follow us @Cruisemag Like us facebook.com/cruiseinternational Visit us cruise-international.com

14 CRUISE STYLE

Our favourite colourful accessories and the best beauty buys for summer

16 CRUISE WELL

The latest health and wellbeing news to see you though your travels

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79 RIVER CRUISE NEWS

A new ‘Space Ship’ for Scenic Tours, CroisiEurope combines two popular cruises and three new ships for Avalon

95 ASK THE EXPERTS

Travelling to Egypt; tipping ettiquette; and how to pack for a mystery cruise

97 YOUR CRUISE PHOTOS 98 CELEBRITY TRAVELS We chat to Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell about the places that inspire her

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inspiration

hot sp t o

Zakynthos, Greece

photo: Š istock

the third largest of the ionian islands, Zakynthos (or Zante) was first mentioned by homer in his masterpieces the iliad and the odyssey. the most famous landmark on the island is Navagio beach, a cove on the southwest shore, with white pebbles and turquoise waters. Also known as shipwreck Bay, it is surrounded by cliffs, and accessible only by boat. No wonder it’s acclaimed as one of the most romantic beaches in the world. >> Turn to page 48 to read about a cruise round the Greek islands

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NORWEGIANS LOVE A LAUNCH!

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7NT MED CRUISE FROM

484

£

pp*

BROCHURE HIGHLIGHTS: • Book before 31 July 2013 for big savings on a great range of 2014/15 sailings to the Mediterranean, Baltic, Caribbean & Bahamas, Hawai’i, Alaska, Panama Canal and more. • Four ships cruising in Europe with two sailing here year-round. • Norwegian Getaway’s first full season in the Caribbean. • Exciting Cruisetours in Alaska. • And the unparalleled freedom and flexibility of Freestyle Cruising®.

ORDER THE NEW 2014/15 FREESTYLE CRUISING BROCHURE NOW AT: www.ncl.co.uk/brochures

FOR MORE INFO & TO BOOK GO TO www.ncl.co.uk EXPLORE: www.ncl.co.uk BOOK: 0845 201 8900

NCL_UK

Norwegian Cruise Line UK

*Price based on Inside Stateroom on Norwegian Epic’s Western Med 11 May 2014 sailing and includes £75 per person discount. Savings are applicable to new bookings only made from 19 June to 31 July 2013. Full brochure price will be charged for a minimum of 28 days in the 5 months after the end of the offer period. Savings are applicable to selected sailings and categories from April 2014 to April 2015. Saving amount is dependent on cruise duration, destination and stateroom meta category. Except where indicated, all fares are per person based on £GBP, based on double/twin occupancy of an inside stateroom including government fees and taxes. Except where indicated fares do not include transfers, flights, travel insurance, drinks, hotel meals, shore excursions, personal expenses, cover charge at selected restaurants, service charges & any other item not expressly included in the fare. On board service charges are additional, applicable to your cruise (currently £7.00 per person per day; no charge for children under 3), will be added to your holiday price and shown separately on your confirmation invoice, all prices exclude discretionary daily service charge payable on board or in advance and auto gratuity charges payable on board. Fares and offers shown are applicable only to bookings made through the Norwegian Cruise Line London office and are subject to availability and change at any time. Full Terms & Conditions and Norwegian Cruise Line Booking Conditions apply – please see www.ncl.co.uk. Fares correct at time of going to print, June 2013. ©2013 NCL Corporation LTD Ship’s Registry: Bahamas and United States of America. 4285.06.13


Cruise

news

WHAT’S HOT

SHIPS EVENTS DESTINATIONS ●

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY

ROYAL PRINCESS LAUNCHES Princess Cruises’ hotly anticipated new ship made her debut last month, and will be sailing itineraries including an 11-day Scandinavia & Russia cruise, with ports of call including Oslo, Gothenburg, Berlin and Helsinki, and a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale, calling at Princess Cays, St Thomas and St Maarten. (You’ll find coverage of the Royal Princess launch event on page 28 and a review of the ship on page 34).

Disney Cruise Line will use Venice, Italy, as a home port for select sailing during the 2014 season. During these cruises, Disney Magic, which is undergoing a ‘reimagineering’ transformation this September with new spaces for the whole family, will overnight in Venice. Cruises will also call at the Greek Isles and Sicily for the very first time, including Katakolon, Rhodes, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini and Corfu in Greece and Catania, Sicily. Rates start at $796pp for four-night cruises, based on two people sharing. For more information visit disneycruise. disney.go.com

Dubai is fast becoming one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, with over 420,000 cruise passengers welcomed this year, and cruise lines including MSC offering enticing itineraries to the region. For more information on cruising from Dubai go to definitelydubai.com 

HAVE YOU VOTED YET? Voting closes for the Cruise International Awards 2013 at 11.59pm on 16 August – to vote go to cruise-international.com/awards. Don’t forget, there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a Caribbean holiday for two to the beautiful islands of St Kitts and Nevis, and everyone who votes will have the chance to be entered into the prize draw.*

AUGUST/SEP T EMBER 2013 |

AWARDS

2013 11

*TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. FULL DETAILS AT CRUISE-INTERNATIONAL.COM.

EASTERN PROMISE


what’s hOt

norwegian cruise line’s latest ship Norwegian Breakaway has launched, offering passengers a taste of new York at sea – and with a definite emphasis on fun and relaxation. “the ship’s strong ties to the big apple are apparent throughout the ship, from her hull designed by legendary artist peter max to the entertainment on board with three broadway shows, including Rock of Ages,” said Francis riley, vice president and general manager of norwegian cruise line. on board highlights include the plank, which juts out to sea and is accessed via the ropes course; an ocean-front promenade, the Waterfront, with opportunities to dine outside; a state-of-the-art spa; and 15 dining options, ranging from the casual, family-style italian cucina’s, Wasabi sushi bar, to celebrity chef geoffrey Zakarian’s fine-dining ocean blue seafood experience. there’s also a large casino and nine bars and lounges including maltings beer and Whiskey bar and shaker’s cocktail bar, as well as the ice bar, featuring ice sculptures and new York city-inspired cocktails; or for warmer climes there’s the Vibe beach club, a private over-18 retreat with oversized hot tubs and views of the ocean. For families, cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy is a display of aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians, performed under a colourful big top spiegel tent on board. there is also a fireworks display on every cruise. staterooms range from family rooms and balcony staterooms to mini-suites, plush deluxe owner’s suites and penthouses with floor-to-ceiling windows and butler service. Breakaway will be joined by a sister ship, Getaway, in January 2014, which will be based in miami (and have miami-themed decor). all cruises on Norwegian Breakaway depart from new York, with voyages to bermuda, the bahamas, Florida and the caribbean – plus a mini-cruise round-trip from new York. the 14-night Southern Caribbean fly-cruise, departing from new York on 5 and 19 January 2014, calls at san Juan, puerto rico; st. thomas, us Virgin islands; philipsburg, st. maarten; castries, st. lucia; bridgetown, barbados; basseterre, st. Kitts; new York / Fly uK, costs from £2,103pp based on two people sharing an inside stateroom and departing london Heathrow. For more information call 0845 201 8900 or visit ncl.co.uk

Holiday reads Island Summers: Memories of a Norwegian Childhood By Tilly CulmeSeymour (Bloomsbury, £16.99) Three generations of women are bound by the Norwegian Island of Småhølmene. 12

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The Food of Love Cookery School By Nicky Pellegrino (Orion, £12.99) Four women, all at turning points in their lives, converge at a cookery school in a Sicilian mountain town. And they take away more than just a few new recipes.

Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller Short stories (Little, Brown, £8.99) The Asham Award, the foremost prize for stories by women, presents a collection of tales that transport you to faraway lands, from both new and muchloved writers.

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

photo: © princess cruises/disney cruise line/iain masterton/alamy/george hh huey/corbis/michael stavaridis/norwegian cruise lines

breakaway to the big apple


EXOTIC INDIA & MOUNTAIN KINGDOMS BY PRIVATE PLANE OMAN

INDIA

N E PA L

B H U TA N

DELHI

TA J M A H A L

THE FINEST WAY TO TRAVEL

INDIA & MOUNTAIN KINGDOMS

IT’S ALL INCLUDED

On this incredible 19 day journey discover India, Nepal and Bhutan – countries steeped in fascinating history and culture and boasting awe inspiring architecture and extraordinary landscapes. You’ll travel in comfort aboard our all-business class private plane, stay in the finest hotels, dine on superb local cuisine and explore the amazing sites in the company of expert local guides while our dedicated flight crew and experienced escort team, which includes a doctor, will take care of your every need.

Spend two nights in the amazing city of Muscat, Oman before flying on to India to explore Udaipur, visit the stunning Amber Fort in Jaipur, discover the Holy City of Varanasi and enjoy a serene boat ride on the Ganges at dawn. Explore Nepal’s capital Kathmandu in the foothills of the Himalayas and see the spectacular landscapes of Bhutan’s Paro Valley. You’ll also visit bustling Delhi, and, of course, experience the breathtaking sight of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Your fully inclusive tour price includes all travel and accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees, all meals, special immigration and luggage handling arrangements (where possible) and the personal attention of an experienced escort team, including a doctor throughout. To find out more about the Captain’s Choice Exotic India & Mountain Kingdoms tour, call us now. Prices from £17,865 per person twin share. Tour dates: 25 September – 13 October 2014.

Simply the fineSt way to See the world CALL 0845 304 1668 WWW.CAPTAINSCHOICE.CO.UK/EXOTICINDIA


CruiseStyle Our pick of the hottest travel buys for your next trip

FLOWER POWER

Daisies are a big trend again this summer – for an instant wardrobe update try Danish designers Pilgrim’s Marguerite Silver Blue ring (£29.99, available from argento.co.uk)

WALK TALL

Go glam with these gorgeous wedges by Jean-Michel Cazabat (£154, shopbop.com)

GOING PLACES SUMMER SCENT Looking for a new fragrance? Caudalie’s Figue de Vigne, with its notes of fig leaf, white cedar and Bergamot is perfect for lazy days in the sunshine (£26 for 50ml, EDT, available at uk.caudalie.com)

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A R E I V RI CHIC

Add a stylish and practical touch to your luggage with a world map tag (£9.99, theletteroom.com)

For sheer elegance it would be hard to beat this Fifities-style Oriental Bloom silk print dress. Available in sizes eight to 16 (£750, suzannah.com).

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SHOPPING

COVER UP

Want something that will take you from pool to lunch on sea days (and back again)? This tunic is ideal (£113, aubadestore.com)

ST... E B E H T 5 OF SUNSCREENS Piz Buin Wet Skin : spray this on wet or dry skin and it will give you the same level of protection – genius (from £8.99, boots.com)

Yon-Ka Solar Care: has a fine, light texture, not sticky, and contains Vitamin E and essential oils (£20, yonka.co.uk)

BEAUTY LUXE Carol Joy takes inspiration for her range of luxury beauty treatments from her worldwide travels, and recently launched a Beauty on Board service in association with the Fairmont Monte Carlo, visiting guests on cruise ships and yachts along the Côte D’Azur. Or you can experience Carol’s Swiss-made IV range of skincare products (ingredients include Golden Millet Oil and Diamond Dust), at home (from £60, caroljoylondon.com)

SUITS THEM Kids love having their own suitcases to pull along and sit on, and we’re big fans of Trunki’s range of colourful cases (£37.99, trunki.co.uk)

Thalgo Age Defence: offers anti-UV and anti-ageing protection including anti-dark spot properties (from £22.50, thalgo.co.uk)

FOR MEN FINISHING TOUCH For the man who wants to look his best on formal nights (vintage print Ted Baker cufflinks, £40, houseoffraser.co.uk)

CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

St Tropez: melts into the skin, leaving it feeling hydrated as well as protected from the rays (£20, sttropez.com)

Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Cooling Mist: does what it says on the tin (from £11, nivea.co.uk)

Go online: For more shopping ideas go to cruise-international.com/ category/cruise-style-blog

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health & Wellbeing

cruise Well

Every issue we bring you the latest health and wellbeing news

words: natalie milner photos: © carnival/oceania/konjac sponge company/avalon waterways

Serenity Retreat

Carnival Sunshine features the adults-only Serenity Retreat, complete with whirlpools overlooking the sea and bar service. To unwind you can relax under the shade of an oversized umbrella or in the tranquil shaded area on luxurious chaise lounges. Available to all guests over 21 for no extra charge (carnival.co.uk). Silky soft skin Okinawa, Japan, is famed for its residents’ long and healthy lifespans due to the laid back ethos, fabulous climate and natural resources. The Konjac facial sponge, made from 100% Japanese Konjac plant root – found in places including Okinawa – stimulates blood flow and removes impurities. £6.99, from Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, konjacspongecompany.com From the East

Wellness Cruise

the canyon ranch spaclub on oceania’s Riviera has treatments anchored in the healing traditions of ancient china, india and asia. the thai massage promotes flexibility; the 2,000-year-old Japanese shiatsu massage uses thumb pressure to tone; and the ancient indian abhyanga massage uses warmed medicated oil to relax the muscles and increase resistance to disease. From $145-$169 for 50 min and $200-$225 for 80 min (oceaniacruises.com).

avalon Waterways offers a blue Danube Discovery Wellness cruise on 14 July 2014. start the day with morning exercises including yoga, attend lifestyle lectures and enjoy fresh and healthy food. Visit historic baths in budapest and the famous spa town of Karlovy Vary, czech republic. From £2,609pp if booked before 30 september 2013 (avaloncruises.co.uk).

Zumba classes at sea

You can enjoy free dance-fitness Zumba classes on board the newly launched Norwegian Breakaway and the rest of the fleet. The calorie-burning routine combines global-inspired dance moves with high-energy music including hip-hop, salsa, African beats and Reggaeton. All sessions are led by instructors from the Zumba Instructor Network. 16

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Alaska Cruise & Stay Collection 2014

Casual Alaska & US Rockies Train

Fly London to Seattle & enjoy a 2 nights stay before embarking on a casual Alaskan cruise aboard Carnival Miracle to Tracy Arm Fjord (Scenic Cruising), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria and British Columbia before arriving back into Seattle. Embark the Amtrak Empire Builder Train for 2 nights in a Private Roomette to Chicago. Stay 2 nights in central Chicago before flying back to the UK.

14nts | May to September 2014

Prices from

£1749

Alaska, Vancouver & Whistler Mountaineer Train

Fly direct from London Gatwick or Manchester on a Thursday to Vancouver. Stay 2 nights in Vancouver, enjoying an afternoon at leisure in Vancouver. On the Friday enjoy a daytime roundtrip journey to Whistler from Vancouver aboard Rocky Mountaineer. On the Saturday embark a 7 night Alaskan cruise aboard Holland America Line ms Zuiderdam to the Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan before arriving back into Vancouver. Fly back to UK. Prices from

10nts | May to September 2014 RUISE CENTRE Visit our NEW C rnet London opposite High Ba ne) ation (Northern Li Underground St

£1699

Rocky Mountaineer Train & Alaska Cruise

Fly direct on a Saturday from Gatwick to Vancouver transfer to 4* hotel in Vancouver before embarking on your Alaskan cruise aboard Celebrity Century to Inside Passage, Icy Straight Point, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Ketchikan and the Inside Passage before arriving back into Vancouver. Stay 1 night 4* hotel in Vancouver with FREE entrance to The Lookout in Vancouver. Embark the Rocky Mountaineer Train (Red Leaf Service) to Kamloops with breakfast and lunch onboard. Stay 1 night in Kamloops (room only) before again embarking Rocky Mountaineer Train to Banff with breakfast and lunch onboard. Stay 2 nights in Banff with FREE entrance to Banff National Park. Transfer to Calgary and fly direct Prices from back to Gatwick.

13nts | May to August 2014

£2199

Longer Alaska with San Francisco Stay

Fly London to San Francisco where you will stay 2 nights giving you a chance to explore this wonderful city. Then embark Star Princess for your Alaskan adventure to Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Ketchikan and Victoria (British Columbia) before arriving back into San Francisco. Disembark and fly overnight to London.

14nts | May to September 2014

JetlineCruise

Open 7 days a week 9am - 9pm Talk to one of our specialists today

Prices from

£1799

0800 082 2176 www.jetlinecruise.com

Terms & Conditions: Although every endeavour is made to avoid inaccuracies within this advert Jetline Travel accepts no responsibility for any that may occur. All prices and offers are correct at the time of going to press and are subject to availability and the terms and conditions of the tour operators. Credit card charges of 2.5% will be charged on all credit card payments (4% for American Express) and 0% for debit cards. Prices are per person based on 2 sharing. Prices are From. Prices include port taxes, fuel surcharges, flights where necessary and pre cruise hotel stays where necessary. Transfers (unless stated), selected drinks, excursions and selected personal activities on board are extra. ABTA J1693 agent for ATOL 6153.


photo: © istock

new to cruise

GO WILD

Fancy a taste of adventure on your next holiday? Perhaps an expedition cruise that gets you up close to some of the world’s rarest wildlife or remotest areas... or maybe you’re an adrenaline junkie, who loves white-knuckle rides and a challenge. Whatever you want, cruise lines have got it, says Deborah Stone cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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wave of excitement People are looking for new and exciting holidays and cruise lines are responding with fabulous on board innovations and adventurous ports of call. Cruises have been operating in the Arctic, Antarctic and South East Asia for a long time, but there’s growing interest in off-the-beaten-track destinations. For instance, the Northern Lights have brought northern European destinations, such as Svalbard, to more people’s attention. Some would consider this an adventure holiday, others would look for more far-flung ports of call. Cruising the Arctic, Antarctica, Galapagos and the Far East is more popular than ever. But the style of cruise ship you choose is just as important as the places you visit. More families are cruising – leading to on board water parks, ice rinks, planetariums and simulators. Cruise lines have been investing in innovation for so long that they’re a huge step ahead of most land-based hotels. And the fact that you can go ice skating in the Caribbean and sky diving in the Mediterranean reflects cruising’s adventurous streak. Andy HArmer, director of tHe cruise Lines internAtionAL AssociAtion (cLiA uK & ireLAnd). 20

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NEW TO CRUISE

ARCTIC AND THE FROZEN NORTH You’re virtually guaranteed a polar bear sighting on the ice around Svalbard. You’ll be with armed guides when on land – ice bears are constantly on the look out for a meal – but kept at a safe distance, so you’ll need binoculars to see those yellow teeth close up. Hopefully. In Greenland, glaciers can be several kilometres long and as high as an office block. This is the place to see serious icebergs, too, and some are so big you could fit a house on them.

What to pack

PHOTO: © ROYAL CARIBBEAN/CELEBRITY CRUISES/JENS HENRIK NYBO/VISITNORWAY.COM

For cruises to the Arctic you should take rubber fishing boots, with extrathick soles, to keep feet warm and dry when jumping in and out of the zodiac boats used for excursions. You’ll also need waterproof trousers for walking and layers of fleeces and thermal vests– even in summer. A fleecelined waterproof jacket is essential, as is a hat and gloves – and don’t forget your binoculars.

On an expedition cruise you can view the wildlife from the comfort of your observation lounge. In the Arctic, zodiac boats take passengers close up to glaciers and icebergs or you can walk through the wilderness to spot foxes, hares and musk oxen.

WHALE WATCHING Hurtigruten is offering excursions to Andenes in Nordland County to see Sperm whales in their natural habitat. For more information go to hurtigruten.co.uk 

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ALASKAN ADVENTURES The adventure capitals of North America are undoubtedly Alaska and the west coast of Canada. Here you can see the massive Hubbard Glacier, which is more than 400 years old, watch humpback whales, spot brown bears and marvel at eagles. Inland there are wild caribou, bison and moose roaming around. Alaska has snow-capped mountains, more glaciers than anywhere else and icebergs galore. But most cruises are just seven days and Alaska is a long way to go for a week, so you could consider adding a land-based stay to your holiday.

Celebrity Cruises offer highlights such as cruising through the Inside Passage: calling at Icy Strait Point, the Hubbard Glacier, the capital city of Juneau and fascinating Ketchikan. Then you can book a six-day add-on that takes you from Vancouver to Alberta. For more information visit celebritycruises.co.uk

PHOTO: © ROYAL CARIBBEAN/CELEBRITY CRUISES

Royal Caribbean has some particularly good excursions. You can go dog-sledding along a snow-covered glacier, take a helicopter ride to get a better view of the ice, go white-water rafting at Juneau, brown bear hunting – with your camera – at Icy Strait Point, snow-shoe trekking towards Laughton Glacier, near Skagway, and whale watching in a high speed boat.

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new to cruise

You could go dog-sledding along a snow-covered glacier on your cruise excursion. 8

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august/sep t ember 2013 |

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NEW TO CRUISE

ANTARCTICA AND THE SOUTH POLE Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of Scott and Shackleton, be overwhelmed by the number – and smell – of a colony of penguins or just witness the serenity and beauty of wind-sculpted ice then the Antarctic will be your ultimate challenge. The spectacular wildlife includes orcas, humpback and minke whales, seals and sea birds such as petrels. Some cruises to the deep south also include visits to the Falkland Islands where you’ll find the largest black-rowed albatross colony in the world and a warm welcome from the locals.

Specialists such as Discover The World and Quark Expeditions give you the chance to spend a night under canvas on the ice, go kayaking among icebergs, attempt cross country skiing, or even try your hand at mountaineering and ice wall climbing.

Exploring the Antarctic by zodiac boat will be your ultimate challenge.

Chimu Adventures has a 22-day Falklands and South Georgia cruise from £5,579pp, departing 17 October. Chimuadventures.com; 0207 403 8265.

TIP:

only 100 passengers are allowed to land at one time on Antarctica, so small ships are best. Go in November/December to see penguins and albatross or in January/February to see whales.

PHOTO: © CHIMU ADVENTURES/MSC CRUISES

Want a high-octane rush? The Plank on Norwegian Breakaway is a steel beam that juts out from the dizzying high ropes course and leaves you teetering 150ft above the sea.

You think that maybe you will be able to wave at the people on Lido deck below but all you can see are the inside of your eye lids and all you can hear are your own screams echoing all the way.” Carnival Cruise Director John Heald on Carnival Sunshine’s new Twister slide.

THRILLS AT SEA

MSC Preziosa features Vertigo, a waterslide almost 400ft long which shoots over the side of the ship. There’s a seven-night cruise from Genoa on 3 November, from £399pp, with calls including Sicily, Tunisia and Barcelona. Call 0844 561 1955; visit msccruises.co.uk CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM


advertisement

7 seconds.

the time it takes to go from chillin’ to thrilling. Royal Caribbean International has been working hard, investing multimillions of dollars to add even more ‘wows’ across their fleet. In 2014 three stunningly enhanced ships, sailing a host of brand new itineraries direct from the UK, offer you the opportunity to experience the wows for yourself. With more cutting-edge technology, breathtaking new entertainment, and a fresh batch of speciality and complimentary dining venues, there’s even more to love about sailing from the UK with Royal Caribbean in 2014. Add the incredible selection of itineraries on offer—from romantic minibreaks to school-holiday perfect family adventures—and it’s easy to see why Royal Caribbean are an obvious choice for your next cruise adventure. That’s not to mention all the other conveniences that are only possible when you sail from the UK: a holiday that begins as soon as you arrive at the ship, and none of the stress or baggage restrictions that come with flying. It sounds like bliss, and it is. Does the sound of Glacier hiking fill you with excitement? Or would you

love to see the very best contemporary Scandinavian design set against beautiful surroundings? Northern Europe cruises available on both Independence of the Seas® and Adventure of the Seas® from Southampton, and on Brilliance of the Seas® from Harwich, offer you the opportunity to do all this and so much more. Spend a night in awe-inspiring St Petersburg, explore the incredible landscapes of the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland, or wander the medieval cobblestone streets of Tallinn, Stockholm and beyond. If your imagination casts you to café lined boulevards and sun-kissed beaches, then Royal Caribbean’s fantastic selection of Mediterranean cruises from Southampton are certain to tempt you. From Spain’s golden beaches and colourful churches,

to Italy’s classic cuisine and wealth of relics from ages past, you’ll be captivated by what’s on offer. Royal Caribbean cruises to both Northern Europe and the Med will set sail throughout August, September & October in 2014 and they’re all available to book now. It’s time to start planning a holiday like no other, today.

15 night Central med cruise with free room upgrade on

Adventure of the Seas® from only

£1399pp

0844 493 3005 royalcaribbean.co.uk/ci or contact your travel agent *Prices shown are per person on 15-night Central Med on Adventure of the Seas® on 8 May 2014. Prices are in Pounds Sterling and are inclusive of taxes but do not include gratuities. Itineraries, dates and pricing were correct at the time of going to print but are subject to availability and change. Room upgRades offeR applies when either a balcony room is booked for the same price as an ocean view. Please ensure the booking is made in the higher cabin category, effectively receiving the upgrade. Only applicable to new bookings created and confirmed (BK status) 1 Jun–31 Jul 2013 on selected 2014 Royal Caribbean® sailings departing 1 Jan–31 Oct 2014. For full booking terms and conditions, please refer to the Royal Caribbean® 2013/14 Cruise Holidays brochure (2nd edition), visit royalcaribbean.co.uk or contact your local travel agent. FlowRider® surf simulator only available on selected ships. For full offer terms and conditions and a list of applicable sailings, visit royalcaribbean.co.uk.


NEW TO CRUISE

SOUTH AMERICA Explore the fjords along Chile’s coastline for glaciers and ice fields. But it’s the Amazon River that really appeals to the inner adventurer, with its magnificently fading colonial cities thousands of miles from civilisation and a kaleidoscope of exotic birds. Go in search of alligators at night in motorised canoes, or try piranha fishing, jungle trekking and survival training. Princess Cruises’ 14-day Amazon River cruise, from £2,180pp (without return flights), on Pacific Princess departs 23 December. 0845 075 0031; princess.com

PHOTO: © PAUL SOUDERS/CORBIS/CELEBRITY CRUISES/ROYAL CARIBBEAN

A cruise to the Galapagos Islands offers the chance to see the world as nature intended it.

TIP:

Take Arctic kit for Chile’s ice fields but the Amazon will be hot and humid. Pack insect repellent with DEET, sturdy footwear, anti-malarial tablets (where needed), antihistamines, anti-diarrhea tablets, and rehydration powder may be useful – and could win you lots of friends.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships feature the FlowRider, a surfing simulator that pumps out 60,000 gallons of water a minute, providing fun even if you just want to lie down on a body board. There’s also the Zip Line that sends you soaring nine decks above the crowds on the Boardwalk and a rock climbing wall 200ft above the sea. And when Quantum of the Seas launches next year, the mega-ship will feature an on board sky diving simulator. 26

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Royal Occasion As the most hotly anticipated ship naming ceremony of the year took place in Southampton, Cruise International joined the Duchess of Cambridge and celebrity guests for the celebrations

SmaSh hit

catherine, the Duchess of cambridge, godmother to Royal Princess, prepares to cut the ribbon holding the champagne 28

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STAR CRUISERS

ROYAL CELEBRATION Among the guests at the star-studded gala reception were showbiz legends Christopher Biggins and Des O’Connor, CBE

Atomic Kitten singer and TV presenter Liz McClarnon (left) and singer Lemar (below)

The Duchess meets the ship’s crew in the glamorous Piazza

REGAL TOUCH

The Champagne (above); the Duchess on the bridge (right)

Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth, CBE, with his wife Wilnelia, Lady Forsyth-Johnson

TURN TO PAGE 34 TO READ A REVIEW OF ROYAL PRINCESS  Go online: For a video of the event go to cruise-international.com

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PHOTO: © STEVE DUNLOP/PRINCESS CRUISES

The Duchess is welcomed by Captain Tony Draper and The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth


French Style As The Verandah opens on Queen Victoria, Michelin-starred chef and Cunard’s culinary ambassador Jean-Marie Zimmermann, who created the restaurant menu, shares three special recipes Monkfish and scallops with bacon and pea ravioli For the sauce

For the garnish

120g Butter unsalted 2 Garlic bulbs Thyme Whole bay leaves 80ml White wine 100ml Fish stock 70ml Cream Onion Shallot

80g Pea Petit-Pois 100g Broad beans

For the pasta 6 Eggs (4 whole, 2 yolks) White Truffle oil Table salt 250g Flour

ServeS 4

For the Fish 160g Scallops 720g Monkfish tail – skinless Filleted and skinned Smoked pancetta x 12 slices

For pea purÉe Petit Pois 100ml Cream Salt

For the sauce l Sweat the shallots in butter, add a pinch of salt, the thyme, bay leaf and sweat for a further 2 mins, add the wine and reduce by 2/3, now add the fish stock and reduce by 1/4, add the cream and bring to the boil and simmer for 3 mins, pass through a fine sieve and finish with 50g of diced hard butter, cover the pan until required.

For the monkFish l Remove all skin, gently pat dry, add a little white pepper, wrap the fish in 3 slices of pancetta, and roll again, tightly in Cling Film, into a sausage shape, tying at each end. Poach in water for 6 mins, take out and gently remove the Cling Film. Rinse the scallops, pat dry, cook the fish in a warm pan with a touch of oil. Add a knob of butter to baste, remove from the pan and keep covered.

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150g Cooked spinach (250g raw) 50ml Cream 50g Grated parmesan 5g Garlic purée Pinch grated nutmeg Salt & pepper

For the ravioli l Roll out the pasta dough to number 2 on the machine and cut into 10x8 squares. Place a teaspoonful of mix into the centre of the dough brush around the edges gently with a little water. l Take a piece of pasta dough and place over the mix using your thumbs, making sure their are no air pockets. Seal the ravioli with 8cm cutter and remove the excess pasta. l Blanch in boiling salted water for 30 secs and refresh in ice water until cold, remove from the water and place onto a Cling Film tray. Place in the

fridge until required, reheat by placing in boiling water and cook for 4 mins.

For the pea purÉe l Warm the peas and cream separately in 2 pans. Add to a blender until smooth and creamy, add seasoning and 50g of diced butter, remove from the blender and pass through a fine sieve. For the garnish l Gently warm the peas and broad beans in a little butter and water, add the spinach and season, remove and drain on kitchen paper. to assemble l lace the pea purée onto the plate with a dessert spoon in a swiping motion. Next add the spinach followed by the ravioli. Cut the fish into 3 equal sizes, arrange the scallops and spoon over the peas and broad beans, pour sauce on the fish. cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

PhoToS: © dk/AlAmy/CuNARd CRuiSe liNe

For the ravioli mix For the pasta dough l Add the 2 yolks to the 4 whole eggs, add the truffle oil and the water to the mix. Sieve the flour and place into a blender, add a pinch of salt, gradually add the egg mix until it is a fine sandy texture, remove from the bowl and knead together on a floured surface until the dough comes together. When ready, cover with Cling Film and rest in the fridge for 30 mins.


recipes

warm Baked onion tart with Goats’ Cheese ServeS 4 For the pastry 250g White flour 100g Unsalted butter 2g Table salt 35ml Water

For the Filling 800g Yellow onions 3 Eggs 80ml Milk 70ml Whipping cream 125g Goats’ cheese Mixed salad leaves

tomato Vinaigrette 125g Tomato sauce 50ml Olive oil (extra virgin) 50ml Sherry vinegar

10g Tomato concentrate Salt and Pepper Mix all the ingredients together in a blender and strain through a sieve.

shallot and red wine Vinaigrette 25g Shallots chopped fine 25g Red wine vinegar 20g Vegetable oil 2g Salt 1g Ground white pepper 1g Thyme leaf chopped 1 Clove of garlic peeled and lightly pressed 1 large sprig of thyme Mix together in a bowl and leave for 6 hours before using.

method l To make the pastry mix the flour and butter together, add the salt then add the water. Knead until it comes together, roll into a ball, wrap in Cling Film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour before using. When the pastry is ready to use, roll it out evenly. l Thinly slice the onions and cook slowly with a pinch of salt until very soft; add a little water if necessary. l When cooked, allow to cool (to touch) before using. l Put the onions in the base of the tart 1/2 way up. l Whisk all the tart mix ingredients together and add seasoning; pour the tart mix into 2/3 of the tart. l Add the crumbled cheese on top. l Bake in the oven at 150°C for 20-25 mins. l Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes before serving. Serve with frisée salad and vinaigrette.

Baked LamB in pastry with mushroom duxeLLe ServeS 4 2 x 7-8 boned lamb racks (French trimmed) 1 x sheet readymade puff pastry

method l Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the lamb, cut the lamb in half and remove the middle bones, carefully following the contour of the bones. Season all over with salt and pepper. Using a pallet knife place the chicken mousse on top of the lamb 1/2 inch thick, do not cover the sides of the meat or the base. l Cut a piece of puff pastry twice the size of the lamb, place around the meat and trim off any excess, do not seal the edges of the pastry. Brush with egg and place in the fridge for 15 mins to rest, repeat the process again and cook in the oven 190°C for 15 mins for medium or 20 mins for well done, allow the lamb to rest for 15 mins. ChiCken mousse 100g Diced chicken 1 Egg white 100ml Whipping cream 2g Salt 1g Ground white pepper l Place the chicken in a blender, add

salt, pepper and egg white, blend slowly. Add the cream while the machine is running. Pass the mousse through a fine sieve, add half of the cooked mushroom duxelle to the mousse and place into the fridge to rest before using. cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

mushroom duxelle 100g Button mushrooms finely chopped 50g Oyster mushrooms finely chopped 50g Shallots finely chopped 10g Flat parsley chopped 50ml White wine 25g Unsalted butter 2g Salt, 1g pepper l Sweat the shallots in the butter,

add the mushrooms and cook until all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the white wine and reduce until the pan is dry, then season and add parsley. Remove from the pan and place onto a tray place in the fridge to cool down.

garnish 60g diced Maris piper potato 60g Cooked large leaf spinach 10g Oyster mushrooms 4 Cloves garlic 25g Unsalted butter l Blanch and refresh the garlic 4

times before pan frying in butter until golden brown. Add the diced potatoes to the pan, then the mushrooms; remove from the heat. Gently warm the spinach in butter and water, season and remove.

serVing suggestions l Place all the vegetables and spinach in the centre of the plate. Cut the lamb in half and place on top and serve immediately.

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Princess Cruises

- the destination expert

Mediterranean & Scandinavia • Caribbean & Panama Canal • Alaska • South America • Far East • Hawaii & Tahiti • Australia & New Zealand • Canada & New England • Mexico

Turn to pages 36-37 to see a selection of worldwide itineraries

Escape completely with Princess Imagine how it feels to escape completely. With Princess you can do just that. Our friendly crew will be the Consummate Host dedicated to taking care of your every request, as you sit back and enjoy the comfortably elegant surroundings of your relaxed, rejuvenating retreat at sea. Princess Cruises is the destination expert… so if there’s an ocean, we can take you there.

S

T E F OR U VO AWARDS

2013

For details about our fleet and cruises request a brochure on 0844 579 0099, contact your travel agent or visit www.princess.com.


photos: Š princess cruises/phill jackson/steve dunlop/amatucciphotography.com

new Ships

new ships

The latest ships on the scene are the epitome of elegance. Royal Princess is stylish, chic, and glamorous, while Avalon Expression offers a sophisticated river cruising experience cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

august/sep t ember 2013 |

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royalPrincess xxx

Our Royal Princess correspondent Kate Sutton made the round-trip from Southampton to Guernsey on Princess Cruises’ newest ship. Here she reviews her experience on board

B

efore i went on Royal Princess, i was a cruise virgin. i had a preconceived idea of what a cruise would be like, but i couldn’t have been more wrong – and my maiden voyage was to be on one of the most luxurious and opulent ships afloat. the first thing that struck me about Royal Princess was the sheer size of the ship. Having only ever sailed on a ferry from Dover to calais for a booze cruise back in the nineties, arriving in southampton and coming face to face with this magnificent vessel was a real shock. i couldn’t wait to explore. my friend Kate and i were directed to our stateroom and just as with the check-in procedure, everything ran like clockwork. security was reassuringly tight, staff were polite and efficient. i had imagined a tiny cabin but actually it had plenty of room: twin beds, a tV bigger than the one i have at home, and a small, but perfectly formed bathroom with enough shelves to handle all the beauty accoutrements of two women travelling alone, and we were lucky enough to have a balcony on which to watch the world go by. We dropped our suitcases off and made our way to our first port of call – one of the many bars. the only trouble was there was too much choice. should we have a soft drink? a beer? probably, at some point. or should we treat ourselves to a cocktail? We figured that it was five o’clock somewhere in the world and ordered two mojitos from the seaView bar, opposite the seaWalk. and then two more for the road (or the sea). one of the things that we were most looking forward to was our visit to the lotus spa. being pampered is probably a once a year treat for me so i couldn’t wait to book in for my elemis Deep tissue massage. We were given a tour of the spa beforehand, with its rainforest waterfall and heated water beds, and then our therapists showed us to our treatment rooms. the next hour and a half went by in a blurry haze of relaxation and scented oils. We left the spa and floated around the piazza, the gold and marble decorated atrium and the focal point of this ship, which spans several floors. We toyed with trying out one of the many swimming pools that are dotted around – there’s even an adults-only pool on the top deck – but, alas, the british weather scuppered our plans. they’re so appealing though that, had the sun been shining, i could have seen myself luxuriating on a lounger, reading a magazine for hours. after much deliberation, i braved the seaWalk, ever so slowly, and not looking down. it was definitely time for us to think about dinner and i think one of the many plus points about going on a cruise is the variety of food on offer. oh, and the fact that you can eat what you want, 34

| august/sep t ember 2013

how much you want and when you want. i have to admit we took full advantage. it’s not often that i’m not on chief cook and bottlewasher duty so we headed over to the concerto dining room. We were surprised to see the staff lined up either side of us at the entrance to the restaurant. at home, i’m lucky if i get a “Hello mum” from my youngest. but on Royal Princess, the staff stand and greet you – they say “hello” and wish you a pleasant evening. i think it’s something i’ll introduce. so, what can i say about the food? imagine going out for a special birthday dinner with your family. You’ve saved up and bought a new dress for the occasion. Well that’s what it’s like going for dinner on Royal Princess – every night. the food was delicious, freshly cooked to order, and always delivered with a smile and some friendly banter. We tried every restaurant on board, just to make sure. in the evenings, we were entertained by magicians, ventriloquists, singers, bands, the beatles tribute acts, champagne fountains, jugglers and men balancing on top of each other (a particular favourite). We ate club sandwiches at 3am while watching films in our cabin and, although we didn’t visit the casino, we did hit the dancefloor at club 6, and may have just partaken in a little duty-free shopping. as a first-time cruiser, i don’t think i could have asked for a better experience on a more brilliant ship. Would i go on a cruise again? Just try and stop me. 8

For more on Royal Princess go to cruise-international.com

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com


new ships

photos: Š princess cruises/phill jackson/steve dunlop

After much deliberation, I braved the SeaWalk, not looking down

Clockwise, from left: Kate braving the SeaWalk, the glass-bottomed walkway; Piazza Atrium; Deluxe balcony stateroom; Club 6; The Sanctuary; Bellini’s; Lotus Spa; the two Kates relaxing on board; the Fountain Pool cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

J u n e /J u ly 2013 |

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V

S

E FOR U OT AWARDS

2013

Discover the world Dis destination experts with the de Discover some of the world’s most iconic and unique destinations with Princess in 2014 and 2015. Onboard you’ll enjoy warm and welcoming service in the comfortably elegant surroundings of your Princess ship, with delicious cuisine freshly prepared onboard and signature venues like Movies Under the Stars, the Piazza and the Sanctuary. What better way to escape completely?

Alaska & Canadian Rockies

13

Nights

Heart of the Rockies & Alaska’s Inside Passage Pacific Princess

Weekly departures from 7 May to 3 Sep 2014

Calgary/Banff (D) • Banff (B, D) • Banff/Lake Louise (B, D) • Lake Louise/Jasper (B, L, D) • Jasper/ Kamloops by Rocky Mountaineer (B, L, D) • Kamloops/Vancouver by Rocky Mountaineer (B, L, D) • Vancouver/Embark Pacific Princess • Juneau • Skagway • Glacier Bay National Park scenic cruising • Ketchikan • Vancouver

Australia & New New Zealand Zealand Australia &

Far East

9

Nights

Hokkaido & Russia

12

Diamond Princess

Nights

£3,089pp Package fares from £4,049pp from

Fares based on 7 May departure. Fares for other departures may vary. Some departures include scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord instead of Glacier Bay. See www.princess.com for details.

Package fares include your cruisetour, return flights, and transfers.

Diamond Princess

2, 20 Jun, 26^ Jul, 4^†, 13, 22 Aug, 9, 27 Sep 2014

28 Dec 2014, 10^, 22 Jan, 3^, 15 Feb 2015

Tokyo (Yokohama) • Kushiro • Shiretoko Peninsula scenic cruising • Korsakov • Otaru • Hakodate Aomori • Tokyo (Yokohama)

Auckland • Tauranga • Akaroa • Dunedin (Port Chalmers) • Fiordland National Park scenic cruising • Hobart • Melbourne • Sydney

Cruise only fares

from

£1,204pp

Cruise only fares

^Includes a call during the Nebuta Festival in Amori. †Port order varies. Fares based on 2 Jun & 27 Sep sailings. Fares for other departures may vary.

B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Cruisetour only fares

Australia & New Zealand

17

Nights

2-DAY

Grand Asia

EXPERIENCE

Sapphire Princess

HONG KONG

7, 24^ Oct, 10 Nov 2014

Beijing (Tianjin) • Busan • Nagasaki • Shanghai • Hong Kong overnight onboard • Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) • Singapore • Bangkok (Laem Chabang)

Cruise only far fares

from

£1,629pp

^Itinerary operates in reverse. Fares based on 10 Nov sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

12

Nights

Vietnam, Thailand & Malaysia Grand Adventure Sapphire Princess

16 F Feb 2015

Singapore • Ko Samui • Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Ho Chi Ming City (Phu My) • Singapore • Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang) • Penang • Phuket • Singapore

Cruise only far fares

from

£1,219pp

* Kagoshima replaces Nagasaki. Fares based on 11 Jun sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

from

£1,219pp

^Itinerary operates in reverse. Fares based on 22 Jan & 15 Feb sailings. Fares for other departures may vary.

28

Nights

Round Australia Dawn Princess+ 20 Sep 2014 Diamond Princess 18 Nov 2014, 27 Feb 2015

Sydney • Hobart overnight onboard • Melbourne Adelaide • Albany • Bunbury • Perth (Fremantle) Bali (Benoa) • Darwin • Port Douglas (for the Great Barrier Reef & Cairns) • Airlie Beach (for the Whitsundays) • Brisbane • Sydney

Cruise only fares

£3,039pp

from

+Onboard currency is the Australian dollar and this ship operates Traditional Dining only. Entertainment programmes and formal nights may also vary. Fares based on 18 Nov sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

14

Nights

New Zealand Sea Princess+

29 Sep, 13, 27 Oct, 10 Nov, 5, 30 Dec 2014 13, 27 Jan, 4, 18 Mar, 1 Apr 2015

Brisbane • Auckland • Tauranga • Napier • Wellington • Akaroa • Dunedin (Port Chalmers) • Fiordland National Park scenic cruising • Brisbane

Cruise only fares

from

£1,369pp

+Onboard currency is the Australian dollar and this ship operates Traditional Dining only. Entertainment programmes and formal nights may also vary. Fares based on 29 Sep, 13, 27 Oct, 10 Nov & 5 Dec ’14 & 27 Jan ‘15 Feb sailings. Fares for other departures may vary.


Hawaii, Hawaii &Tahiti Tahiti& South Pacific

15

Nights

14

Hawaiian Islands

Nights

Grand Princess

Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan

14

Nights

Caribbean Adventurer Caribbean Princess

Golden Princess

20 Oct, 4, 19 Nov, 4, 19^ Dec 2014; 3, 18 Jan, 2, 17 Feb, 4, 19 Mar 2015

Los Angeles • Hilo • Honolulu (Oahu) • Nawiliwili (Kauai) • Lahaina (Maui) • Ensenada • Los Angeles

Cruise only fares

from

£1,119pp

Tahiti & Polynesia

Nights

2-DAY

EXPERIENCE BORA BORA

Pacific Princess 9, 19 Oct, 8, 18 Nov, 8, 18 Dec 2014 Ocean Princess 27 Jan, 6, 16 Feb 2015

Tahiti (Papeete) overnight onboard • Huahine Rangiroa • Raiatea • Bora Bora overnight onboard • Moorea • Tahiti (Papeete)

Cruise only fares

from

17 Jan, 31 Jan^, 14 Feb, 28 Feb^ 2015

7, 21^, 28 Jun, 12^, 19 Jul, 2^, 9 Aug 2014

Santiago (Valparaiso) • Puerto Montt • Amalia Glacier scenic cruising • Punta Arenas • Ushuaia Cape Horn scenic cruising • Falkland Islands (Stanley) • Puerto Madryn (for Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve) • Montevideo • Buenos Aires

Fort Lauderdale • Princess Cays • Ocho Rios Grand Cayman • Island of Cozumel • Fort Lauderdale • Princess Cays • St. Thomas San Juan • Grand Turk • Fort Lauderdale

Cruise only fares

^Port order varies. Fares based on 4 Dec sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

10

Caribbean & Panama PanamaCanal Canal Caribbean &

South America

£1,179pp

Fares based on Pacific Princess 18 Nov sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

from

£1,319pp

Fares based on 17 Jan & 14 Feb sailings. Fares for other departures may vary. ^Itinerary operates in reverse.

17

Nights

Andes & South America

3 Dec 2014; 14 Mar^ 2015

Los Angeles • Cabo San Lucas • San Juan Del Sur • Puntarenas • Lima (Callao) overnight onboard • Pisco (San Martin) • La Serena (Coquimbo) • Santiago (Valparaiso) from

£1,019pp

Fares based on 3 Dec sailing. Fares for other departures may vary. ^Itinerary operates in reverse.

from

^Port order varies. Fares based on 7 June sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

10

Nights

Golden Princess

Cruise only fares

£1,363pp Package fares from £2,448pp Cruise only fares

Eastern Caribbean Voyager Royal Princess

4, 24 Nov, 9, 29 Dec 2014; 18 Jan, 7^, 27~ Feb, 19 Mar, 8, 28 Apr 2015

Fort Lauderdale • Antigua • St. Lucia • Barbados St. Kitts • St. Thomas • Princess Cays Fort Lauderdale

£729pp Package fares from £1,564pp Cruise only fares

from

^Port order varies and calls at Grand Turk instead of Princess Cays. ~ Port order varies. Fares based on 9 Dec sailing. Fares for other departures may vary.

15

Nights

Panama Canal Island Princess

27 Sep 2014; 20^ Jan, 4, 19^ Feb, 6, 21^ Mar, 5, 20^ Apr 2015

Los Angeles • Cabo San Lucas • San Juan Del Sur • Puntarenas • Panama Canal Full Transit (including Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks) • Cartagena • Aruba • Fort Lauderdale

£1,379pp Package fares from £2,304pp Cruise only fares

from

Fares based on 27 Sep sailing. Fares for other departures may vary. ^Itinerary operates in reverse.

Package fares include your cruise, return flights, and transfers

For details of these and many more 2014-15 cruises, including sailings from Southampton and fly-cruises in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Greek Isles, Black Sea and Holy Land – request a brochure now on 0844 579 0099, contact your travel agent or visit www.princess.com.

This advert should be read in conjunction with Princess Cruises 2014-15 brochures, containing Booking Conditions which you must read before booking (also available at www.princess. com). Fares shown are subject to availability based upon two adults sharing the lowest available grade interior stateroom, including Government Fees and Taxes. Prices are correct at time of going to print, and may go up or down.


Avalon Natalie Milner reviews Avalon’s newest Suite Ship – and takes a cruise along the Rhîne

photo: © avalon waterways/natalie milner

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he latest addition to Avalon Waterways’ fleet, Avalon Expression, joins their collection of sleek suite ships and offers cruises along the rhîne, main and Danube rivers. It has two full decks of panorama suites where, on a warm evening, you can open the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling French doors to unveil your own private piece of the river. beds are angled for a perfect view, and the marble and granite bathroom oozes elegance with power shower, extravagant L‘Occitane bath products and dark polished wood. It’s these small but significant details that make this a luxury river cruise experience. the ship’s streamlined, panoramic windows in both the Lounge and restaurant perfectly frame the passing landscape, or for an even better view you can relax at the front of the ship in the sheltered outdoor Observation Lounge. there are some surprising touches on board, including a fitness centre, giant chess board and whirlpool on the sky Deck, hairdressing salon, flatscreen televisions in every room – including a channel tailored to the ship’s current location – and excellent complimentary wifi. Avalon Expression has the design elements to match its elegance: from the effective soundproofing in between suites to the multi-sided shower cubicles offering maximum comfort. the restaurant is designed with a clever half divide, enabling you to enjoy an intimate dining experience while taking in views from both sides of the ship. When it’s time to dine you’re in for a treat. A hot and cold buffet greets you at breakfast, and the chef can rustle up anything you fancy, from eggs benedict to a bespoke omelette. At lunchtime guests disperse between the two dining areas, for either Light Lunch in the Lounge or a generous lunch buffet in the restaurant – and when it’s warm a barbeque sky bistro is provided on deck. As for evening meals, there are generous fine-dining menus with complimentary wine – and waiters 8

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Expression


new ships Far left: Avalon Expression Clockwise, from top: Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, Oberwesel; the Sky Deck; a standard ensuite; Club Lounge; Panorama Suite

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make sure there’s never a dry glass. there’s a selection of salads and soups to start, with main meals ranging from risotto to plump steaks, and an array of cheese platters, ice cream and cakes for dessert. later you can steal a moment to sip a complimentary tea or coffee, and try to resist the delectable cookies, in the club lounge overlooking the stern of the ship. and just before bed – in case you’re still peckish – a late Fare snack is available. You’ll have to put your name down early if you want to experience the exclusive panorama bistro dinner, served with views from the bow of the ship for just 25 guests. this unravels as nine sumptuous courses of taster dishes displayed as mini pieces of art, including melt-in-the-mouth scallops and cherrychocolate cakes – a culinary delight. if the sun is shining on the sky Deck it’s the perfect place to settle into a premium lounge chair, sip a cool local riesling spritzer and journey along the romantic rhîne. the lush forests – setting to many a grimm brothers’ fairy tale – are interspersed with vineyards clinging to the steep hillsides. as the ship meanders along the river, castles and towers emerge from behind a blanket of trees and turrets cut into the sky – sleeping beauty eat your heart out. “Father” rhîne puts on a parade, allowing the ship

Spiral staircases wind into elegant rooms adorned with towering f ireplaces to glide between his banks while proudly displaying the castles of times gone by – it’s enchanting. the next day the castles become tangible with a visit to reichsburg cochem. as the cool air of the castle envelops you it conjures a childhood world of secret passages and knights in shining armour. the tour guide brings the castle alive, and the handy headphones supplied on every tour mean that you can wander at your own pace and still hear every word. spiral staircases wind into elegant rooms adorned with chandeliers, towering fireplaces, engrained ceilings and extravagant dining tables. as i perched on the balcony i felt like rapunzel. cochem itself is worth exploring and you can sample a glass, or two, of the local riesling wine. as you travel northwards the hills flatten, the castles disperse and the fairy tale adventure develops a sinister aura as you call at cologne. the city was turned to dust in World War ii, with ninety per cent of its prewar architecture destroyed. but while this absence is prominent today, the city’s past is being constantly rediscovered, and highlights include the roman Dionysus mosaic at the romano-germanic museum. of course the city’s most famous heritage comes in a bottle: eau de cologne created by John maria Farina in 1709. but visually cologne cathedral dominates the city – the tallest building in the world when finally completed in 1880 – having escaped the war mostly unscathed it stands proud above the skyline. there’s no better way to take in the captivating variety of this beautiful region than by its waterways on a ship of pure elegance. as Avalon Expression journeys towards amsterdam, the final port of call, we don’t want our fairy tale cruise to end. 40

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MAGNIFICENT EUROPE A 14-night Magnificent Europe voyage with Avalon Waterways on Avalon Expression, departing from Budapest or Amsterdam from April-October 2014, includes the Rhîne Gorge and Cologne plus destinations along the Danube and Main rivers. Prices start at £3,045pp, if booked before 30 Sept, based on two sharing, including flights and door-todoor pick up service. For more information call 0800 668 1801 or visit avaloncruises.co.uk.

Clockwise, from top left: Cologne Cathedral; old town of Cologne; the gatehouse, Reichsburg Cochem; exploring the little town of Cochem; stained glass in the castle; the old gate in Cochem

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TO D BO AY O & K SA VE

“It’s yachting, not cruising”

Asian Discoveries

2013-2014 CARIBBEAN

TIC

TRANSATLAN • ASIA • EAN MEDITERRAN NORTHERN EUROPE •

COSTA RICA

www.seadream.com. Reservations: 0800 783 1373 or call your travel agent.

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SeaDream I and SeaDream II yachts with 56 suites and 95 staff Highly inclusive, always exclusive

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17 luxury voyages aboard SeaDream II - October 2013 to April 2014

AWARDS

2013

Rated by the Berlitz Guide to Cruises as the Best Boutique Cruise Line in the World, for 11 successive years.


Smal l

intimate cruising

but

perfectly Want a more intimate holiday? Nick Dalton looks at the experiences to be had on cruises where size isn’t everything

formed

SeaDream Yacht club there really is a millionaire lifestyle on board seaDream’s two mega yachts, where a maximum of 112 passengers stroll the teak decks, use the complimentary laptops and, on caribbean voyages, revel in the champagne and caviar splash, an ultra-posh beach barbie. the water sports marina that opens at the stern is packed with gear, including sailboats, and the sleek sophisticated rooms even feature an ipod dock. Food is delectable (you can take a shopping trip with the chef) with 24-hour free room service, and the free drinks even extend to more champagne.there are a number of unusual caribbean itineraries: SeaDream I’s seven-day voyage, on 4 January 2014 sails from colón in panama, near the entrance to the panama canal, to san Juan, with calls including Jacmel in Haiti, two in the Dominican republic, and ocho rios in Jamaica. From £1,999pp, all-inclusive, plus £261 taxes, not including flights. seadream.com; 0800 783 1373 cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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photo: © seadream yacht club

Champagne and CaVIaR


Swan Hellenic Culture and tradition there’s old-style elegance aboard Minerva, with formal dinner nights, as the 350 passengers sail between ancient bastions of culture. the interior is elegant, and the shackleton lounge has a cosy, clubby feel. Minerva gets into small ports and there’s an included programme of excursions to museums and landmarks, as well specialist outings such as botany walks and mountain hikes. the 15-day Island Discovery departs from tenerife on 14 april 2014, and calls at fellow canary islands including la palma, as well as madeira, mainland spain, lisbon and casablanca before arriving at portsmouth. From £1,295pp including flights. swanhellenic.com; 0844 488 1045

Hebridean Country life at sea a luxury scottish country hotel that’s taken to the water, Hebridean Princess offers an experience for 50 guests completely unlike anything on a big cruise ship. sailing around the coast, islands and lochs, everything is included: excursions to everywhere from highland castles to whisky distilleries, guided walks amid extraordinary scenery, the use of bicycles and even fishing equipment. the restaurant has the woody, white-linen feel of the orient-express, the food is local – and you’d never find haggis at the gala dinner on a mega cruise. the five-night Highlights of Argyll cruise departs from greenock on 11 november for scenery that’s rich in misty autumn colour, including loch Fyne and isle of cumbrae – for britain’s smallest cathedral. From £1,880pp, all inclusive. hebridean.co.uk; 01756 704700 (For our review of Hebridean Princess see page 53).

Variety Big exCursions Variety runs a number of small but delectable ships. Panorama II, carrying only 49 guests, looks like a russian oligarch’s toy, it’s a gleaming white twin-masted cruiser. there’s a wealth of wood, neat cabins with a seafaring feel, and a deck bar. a swimming platform opens from the stern, and you can even borrow kayaks, snorkels and windsurfers. the sevennight Antiquity to Byzantium cruise, from athens, takes in half a dozen mainland spots and includes daily excursions – including one from Katakolon up mt olympia that big ships rely on as a money-maker. the cruise runs regularly until 25 october, then again from 7 march 2014, and costs from £755pp, plus £150 taxes, not including flights. varietycruises. com; 0208 324 3114 (For more on Variety see our cruise review on page 48). 44

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intimate cruisinG

Voyages To anTiquiTy Trips inTo hisTory, wiTh The experTs

photo: © swan hellenic/hebridean/voyages to antiquity/variety/voyages of discovery

Aegean Odyssey was designed to carry 570 people but has been made for only 378, so there’s plenty of room. the mid-sized ship can get into places the big ships can’t, perfect for its pilgrimages into little, historic ports, mostly in the mediterranean. not only does the ship take you to the heart of ancient civilisations, there are almost daily shore tours with experts, on board guides and speakers. the experience nods toward a golden age, with stylish afternoon tea and traditional rooms, yet there’s an on-deck tapas bar and the marco Polo restaurant is smart-casual mediterranean. the 19-day Time Fears The Pyramids cruise, on 26 october, sails from istanbul to cairo, visiting lebanon (with a tour of the roman temples of Baalbek) and israel (tours of Jerusalem and tel aviv), as well as turkey, Greece and cyprus. in egypt the ship has an overnight stay in alexandria, with two nights in hotels in both luxor and cairo. Prices from £2,500pp, including wine with dinner, flights and hotels. voyagestoantiquity.com; 0845 437 9737

Voyages of DiscoVery The ancienT world, in your own Time Voyager carries 556 passengers yet has the feel of a discreet hotel; a recent refurbishment left the ship understated and smart yet kept the mirrored art Deco pillars and details from an earlier incarnation. Voyager sails to gems of the ancient world but, unlike some other cruise lines, doesn’t include excursions, leaving you free to wander at will among fascinating places, having learnt about them from guest speakers. In The Footsteps of St Paul sails for athens from istanbul on 31 october and calls at islands and mainland resorts in Greece and turkey over 13 days. From £1,299pp, including flights. voyagesofdiscovery. co.uk; 0844 488 0895 cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com


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Compagnie du ponant Never leave FraNce, wherever you are French style pure and simple on four elegant vessels that look like cruise liners in miniature, yet have a private yacht philosophy. on L’Austral (264 passengers) it’s like being in the med wherever you’re sailing, with the French cuisine of the gastronomic restaurant, the parisian sothys spa and a casually elegant style. in celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary, a number of 2013 cruises have 25 per cent off, meaning that an eightday round trip from lisbon on 23 october starts at £1,192pp, including wine with dinner, plus £305 taxes, not including flights. stops include portimao, cadiz and seville. ponant. com; 0800 980 4027

Sea Cloud there’s lots of talk about ships having the feel of a private yacht but you can’t argue with this one. When it was built for an american tycoon in 1931 it was the largest private sailing yacht. book the owner’s suite in its louis xiV splendour or the original colonial-style cabins, and you’ll understand. the rich, wood-beamed dining room is like something out of The Great Gatsby, there’s a discreet bar and the blue lagoon, the name for the deck relaxation area, is lined with blue-cushioned wooden sun-loungers. the eight-day round trip from bridgetown departs on 12 December and visits trinidad, grenada, st lucia, union island and beautiful little bequia. From £1,690pp, including wine with meals, but not flights. eWaterways.co.uk; 0808 168 1458 46

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photo: © seacloud/istock/compagnie du ponant/bokn@hotmail.fr/ mathieu gesta/francois lefebvre/ erick larrieu

It really Is a prIvate yacht


AUTUMN FLY-CRUISE SAVINGS

Combine small-ship cruising with the very best of cultural travel AUTUMN FLY-CRUISE SAVER FARES DEPARTS SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

ATHENS TO VENICE

Cruise on the Aegean Odyssey and explore

the fascinating history and civilisations of the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic Seas. Carrying around 350 passengers, you’ll enjoy the personal service and the intimate yet spacious surroundings on board.

EXCEPTIONAL VALUE:

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PLUS special fly-cruise saver fares & no single supplement on these two memorable sailings!

ROME TO ISTANBUL 13 days from just £2,195*

13 days from just £2,350*

Fly to Athens for overnight on board and sightseeing the next day. Then cruise to: Nauplia (Mycenae) Monemvasia ~ Katakolon (Olympia) Ithaca ~ Corfu ~ Sarande (Butrint) Cruise Kotor Bay ~ Dubrovnik (overnight) Split ~ Zadar ~ Venice (2 nights on board) ~ fly home SAVE £800 PER CABIN †

VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY INCLUDES: • RETURN SCHEDULED FLIGHTS (AND FREE UK REGIONAL CONNECTIONS) • EXPERT GUEST SPEAKER PROGRAMME • SHORE EXCURSIONS IN MOST PORTS • OPEN SEATING DINING PLUS WINE WITH DINNER ON BOARD • GRATUITIES ON BOARD • OVERSEAS TRANSFERS

DEPARTS OCTOBER 16, 2013

PREMIUM INSIDE CABIN (CAT K) PREMIUM OUTSIDE CABIN (CAT H)

BROCHURE FARE

SAVER FARE

£2,750pp £3,350pp

£2,350pp £2,950pp

Fly to Rome and transfer to the ship in Civitavecchia. Then cruise to: Sorrento (Pompeii) ~ Palermo (Monreale & Segesta) ~ Taormina Nauplia (Mycenae) ~ Athens ~ Delos Mykonos Izmir (Ephesus) ~ Lemnos Istanbul ~ fly home SAVE UP TO £2,340 PER CABIN † STANDARD INSIDE CABIN STANDARD OUTSIDE CABIN DELUXE CABIN WITH BALCONY

BROCHURE FARE

SAVER FARE

£2,465pp £3,110pp £4,765pp

£2,195pp £2,750pp £3,750pp

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT# *Prices are per person based on two sharing and include discount. †Savings on 22 September departure apply in categories K and H only. Savings on 16 October departure vary by cabin grade. #Single price offer is subject to availability, and available only on certain cabin grades. Please enquire for more details.

Call now to reserve your cabin

AWARDS

2013 We hope you will vote for us again in 2013

VOYAGES TO ANTIQUITY Call 0845 450 1385 or visit www.voyagestoantiquity.com

ABTA No.Y2206


Above: Boat-lined harbour in Symi, Greece 48

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greeK islanDs

greek

Odyssey A cruise around the Dodecanese Islands allows you to discover the unspoilt charm of the region, says Lynn Houghton

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s i soak up the sun by the private pool of my spartan-white bungalow in agios nikolaos, i spot the three masts of the Panorama II coming into view. Within a few moments the sparkling, sleek sailing vessel has snuggled into this cretan port within view of my beach location at the minos beach Hotel. i’m joining the 49-passenger sailing yacht on a seven-night cruise around the Dodecanese islands. our itinerary takes in crete, Karpathos, lindos and rhodes town, symi, bodrum (turkey), Kos and santorini. there will be swim stops in tiny coves and remote beaches thrown in for good measure. it promises to be utterly blissful. First impressions make a big difference and as soon as i step on board the Panorama II i’m greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by the crew and the captain. as this is a circular cruise (guests can embark or disembark in different ports) passengers are already on board who have travelled from santorini the night before – they will stay on until the day after tomorrow. the yacht has room for a little library, sitting area and dining room. in my cabin, there’s plentiful storage and a good sized bathroom with an excellent shower. this ship is too small for balconies but there are large port holes that allow in plenty of light. the cruise is half board allowing guests to try out the local cuisine ashore. most meals on board are a buffet and very often feature fresh fish such as shrimp, calamari or even mackerel along with an entire table of salads and greens. but on my first evening there’s table service as it’s the captain’s dinner and cocktails. our first call is Diafani, the northerly port of Karpathos. Here everyone takes advantage of the gorgeous beach and the quiet port town of only 400 inhabitants. We then visit one of the villages, olympos, known for keeping traditional dress alive: the women wear white headdresses if they’re single or black versions if married, both colourfully embroidered. our tour guide takes us to visit a traditional Karpathian one-room house owned by the local priest, or papa. it’s divided in half between a multi-function living room and, on a raised platform, are sleeping quarters for the entire family. i have a traditional meal at the familyrun olympos taverna with fresh bread baked by the grandmother, followed by a greek salad loaded with vegetables plus gialohorta, very similar to samphire, which grows by the sea. this is all topped 8

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photo: © istock

There will be swim stops in tiny coves and remote beaches. It promises to be blissful


xxx

with the local feta cheese, finished with fruit and loukoumades – sesame doughnuts with honey. Delicious. tradition and history are very much a theme of the Dodecanese islands, which were dominated by the Venetians and then sold to the order of the Knights of st John. after many years of conflict with the turks, there was a 400-year period of ottoman occupation that left a significant imprint. in bodrum, turkey, we visit the amazing bodrum castle and minarets from the ottoman era. there are two fascinating exhibits of pre-historic bronze age shipwrecks, which have lead to unique discoveries about the syro-palestinian coastlines of that period. one of the displays holds a tiny, golden seal of nefertiti, part of the treasures brought back from egypt. the stop the night before was symi. the architecture of this wealthy port, made rich by plundering the island’s surrounding sponge beds, is Hellenistic, pre-classical grecian. everything is freshly painted and beautifully preserved. Visually, this is by far my favourite port with its lovely bell tower and shops. after bodrum, we sail on to amorgos, our tender drops us into the crystal clear water and within a few moments we are motoring up to the shore to swim in the clear cool waters of a remote spot. back on board, we next sail to the main port just below Hora, and hop in a taxi in preparation for our next tour. Driving up a the hill, we round a corner to an astonishing view – below us, the cliffs of agia 50

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anna tumble down to the sea and the enormous expanse of deep blue water is astonishing. these cliffs are the precarious location for the monastery of Hozoviotissa – dedicated to the Virgin mary, protector of the island. this whitewashed church is quite literally suspended from a cliff and there’s a considerable hike to get there. it is run by an order of monks, and they are very welcoming to visitors, giving us access to the tiny sanctuary and a drink of raki and coffee as refreshment afterwards. as we sit in the annex room of the monastery high above the sea, surrounded by pictures of a succession of greek orthodox bishops, i reflect on the isolation of these islands and how the lives of the people who live here have been dominated by the sea. How appropriate to visit in a seafaring vessel. i’d sail these waters again in a heartbeat.

GETTING THERE Variety Cruises offer an eight-day Aegean Odyssey cruise on Panorama II through the Aegean Islands and Turkey, from £1,410pp, based on two sharing, departing 25 April 2014. Calls include Santorini, Patmos, Kusadasi, Mykonos and Athens. Visit varietycruises.com; call 0208 324 3114.

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photo: © istock/DaviD Beatty/RoBeRt haRDing WoRlD imageRy/coRBis/vaRiety cRuises

Clockwise from top left: Traditional Greek salad; Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Olympos; Panorama II; houses clinging to the hillside on Santorini; traditional headdresses in Olympos; Hora, Amorgos


The 2014 Hebridean Princess Cruise Directory is NOW available

To book or request a brochure call 01756 704 704 or visit www.hebridean.co.uk Limited availability remaining for 2013

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quoting CIHP14 AWARDS

2013

By appointment to HM The Queen Provision of cruise holidays on Hebridean Princess All Leisure Holidays Ltd, trading as Hebridean Island Cruises

Hebridean Island Cruises, Kintail House, Carleton New Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 2DE


scottish highlands

ighland

photo: © AlAn novelli / AlAmy

As Hebridean Princess celebrates its 25th anniversary, Julie Peasgood falls in love with The Queen’s favourite ship

Above: Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich

Fling


hen we first spot Hebridean Princess anchored in the port of oban, it seems unassuming, without a particularly regal bearing, or a huge wow factor. but the traditional lines of its modest exterior give little hint of the delights within. impeccable service, a piper to escort passengers on board individually, and décor more reminiscent of a luxurious country house hotel than a ship: think rich, classic drapes, antique furniture and cushions plumped to within an inch of their lives. there’s an inglenook fireplace in the lounge and a fourposter wouldn’t look out of place in the cabin. this is the only cruise i’ve ever been on where we didn’t have to brandish a credit card on arrival, and received no extra bills whatsover when we departed. the initial outlay may be steep, but in this case ‘allinclusive’ means what it says – there are no added gratuities (and the staff are exceptional), wifi is free, and if required, passengers can be collected by luxury coach from glasgow airport and taken through magnificent countryside to the departure port of oban, gateway to the Highlands and islands. most importantly, the champagne is on tap – no one will bat an eyelid if you consume your entire body weight in bubbles. my husband and i enjoyed some fine wines on board, and the food was consistently good (especially considering the tiny galley it’s produced in). the gracious restaurant staff paid meticulous attention to detail, and we liked the fact that regional dishes and fresh local fare featured prominently. morning porridge could be garnished with whisky and honey fresh from the comb, while clootie Dumpling – a festive fruit pudding boiled in a ‘clout’ or cloth – was one of several new and intriguing discoveries. (and i finally understand the true meaning of “ne’er cast a clout till may be out”.) all meals are served in the columba restaurant and most tables are for two – but there are several larger tables for groups journeying together, or for solo travellers wishing to meet fellow passengers. given the size and intimacy of the ship (50 passengers and 38 crew) making new friends is guaranteed. Hebridean Princess is a ship that inspires loyalty, and David indge is a man who inspires. His official title is chief purser, but never have i seen a purser pop up in so many places. He not only welcomed everyone aboard, but after bracing walks he’d be waiting at the quayside with a silver tray bearing coffee, dangerously good home-baked biscuits and shots of single malts. When we weren’t in David’s care we were in the capable hands of anne Doig, our knowledgeable guide. anne escorted us on all the shore tours – to castles, gardens and lochs – and what she doesn’t know about the West Highlands and its history isn’t worth knowing. the company prides itself on the quality

of its guides and lecturers, and with anne’s expertise and nicholas merchant’s entertaining talks, covering everything from tales of the Highlands to tiaras, we were kept well informed at every stage. i’ll admit i hadn’t initially been as excited about visiting the inner Hebrides as my husband, patrick, who’s half scottish and was longing to see the likes of rum, muck and mull. i thought it might be cold and a bit bleak. it wasn’t. it was breathtakingly beautiful. and unlike the rest of the country, the sun was shining nearly every day. in fact, such was the lack of rain that the distilleries of skye and tobermory had even been temporarily forced to halt production – malt whiskies must be made with local water that’s seeped through the rocks and peat, giving each its individual flavour. our cruise was entitled Castles and Gardens of the West, and we witnessed some spectacular examples of both. our first visit was to the isle of rum where we took a gentle morning stroll to Kinloch castle, built by the industrialist and playboy, sir george bullough. no expense was spared when creating this lavish, edwardian extravagance, crammed with rare artefacts and stags heads – and there was a severe case of tartanitis – george was from lancashire but loved all things scottish. rum is mainly a nature reserve, home to red deer, rum ponies, otters, seals, basking sharks, golden eagles, manx shearwater seabirds… and about 30 humans. We spotted seals in the afternoon too, when we walked around loch scavaig and its hidden partner loch coruisk. reputed to be the most magnificent of all the freshwater lochs, they are cradled within skye’s black cuillin mountains and are as dramatic as it gets. at inverewe gardens, a tropical sanctuary nestling at the edge of loch ewe in Wester ross, the magical landscape is filled with extraordinary trees covered in ‘old man’s beard’ lichen – a sign of the unpolluted air of the Highlands. one of the most unusual aspects of this cruise is that, as well as entry to the various castles and gardens, all drinks and snacks on shore are included. We savoured scones in eilean Donan castle (the most photographed fortress in scotland, gracing a thousand shortbread tins) and felt no guilt tucking in on the isle of raasay as we’d cycled round the island first – on bikes provided by the ship. i enjoyed retail therapy in the picture book town of tobermory, and the imposing Duart castle was our final destination, with a candlelit champagne reception to celebrate. Hebridean Princess offers a uniquely personal service unlike anything i’ve experienced. Fresh milk in the fridge daily, Villeroy & boch china and a baby whisky decanter were welcome touches in our small but sumptuous cabin. it’s obvious why this is the Queen’s favourite ship. it’s definitely now one of mine.

Clockwise from top left: Eilean Donan Castle; Tobermory, Isle of Mull; Julie on board Hebridean Princess; waterfall in The Black Cuillin, Isle of Skye; food on board; relax on deck; Attadale House and gardens, Loch Torridon 54

GETTING THERE Hebridean Island Cruises offers cruises around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland from £2,395pp (based on two sharing). The five-night North Through the Sound of Sleat round-trip cruise includes Canna, Skye, Eilean Bàn, Inverie, Eigg and Ardnamurchan, departing on 12 September 2013. Prices include all meals, drinks, excursions, gratuities, relevant cruise taxes/fees, transport from Glasgow or free car parking, and single trip travel insurance*. Visit hebridean.co.uk or call 01756 704 700.

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photo: © istock/hebridean island cruises/alamy/John braceGirdle/*terms and conditions apply

The décor is reminiscent of a luxurious country house hotel


At Inverewe gardens the magical landscape is filled with extraordinary trees covered in ‘old man’s beard’ lichen

CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM


The

Awards 2013

AWARDS

photos : istock/george h.h. huey/corbis

2013 Vote at cruise-international.com/awards Supported by

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CRUISE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS 2013

Prizes The

AWARDS

2013

*FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS FANTASTIC PRIZE AND FOR FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS GO TO CRUISE-INTERNATIONAL.COM/AWARDS PHOTOS: © MICHAEL STAVARDIS

Grand Prize

A Caribbean island holiday for two The lucky winner of our grand prize and their guest will jet off with British Airways to the stunning island of St. Kitts, where you’ll enjoy a three-night stay at the luxurious St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino, before transferring to the beautiful island of Nevis for a further four nights. With its white and black sand beaches, colourful culture, historical sights, exceptional restaurants and friendly hospitable people, St. Kitts, named after Christopher Columbus, has all the elements required for a relaxing getaway. St. Kitts, a popular port of call on many cruises, has a history of colonial influence and there are some beautiful artefacts and architecture to discover. The most famous and most visited site is without a doubt Brimstone Hill Fortress, the only man-made UNESCO listed World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean. The St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino makes an excellent base for your holiday on the island, where most of the pleasures are

outdoors. Horse riding and hiking are a great way to see the countryside. There’s an 18-hole golf course and watersports, including diving, are a big draw. If you want to go snorkelling or scuba diving, the waters around St. Kitts and Nevis play host to amazing reefs, shipwrecks and a wealth of colourful fish and coral. Following your stay on St. Kitts you’ll discover the enchanting island of Nevis, with its incredible wildlife and beaches. Highlights include the waterfalls, the Botanical Garden, and the delightful town of Charlestown. Take a catamaran cruise and you may even get to see whales swimming in the crystal clear waters. You’ll stay at the fabulous AAA Five Diamond Four Seasons Resort. Set along a prime stretch of Pinney’s Beach, it’s the perfect place to relax in one of the three free form infinity pools or hike up one of the Resort’s Nature Trails to see the playful Vervet Monkeys. Your holiday in St. Kitts and Nevis will be a magical experience you’ll always remember.

Vote at cruise-international.com/awards* CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

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cruise international awards 2013

Categories The

Best cruise line l Best river cruise line l Best luxury cruise line l Best luxury river cruise line l Best specialist cruise line l Best affordaBle cruise line l Best for families l Best innovation l Best for entertainment l Best onBoard restaurant l Best destination (europe) l Best destination (rest of World) l Best for WellBeing l Best for activities l Best cruise Blogger l Best cruise product or service l Best cruise agent l

In addition, there will be two special categories, Best New Ship and Lifetime Achievement, voted for by our panel of judges.

AWARDS

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VOTE FOR UNIWORLD IN THE CRUISE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS 2013 2012

U.K.

Editors’ Picks

Best River Cruise Line

Uniworld

For the chance to win a Caribbean holiday! Uniworld ld were h honoured d to b be voted ‘Best Luxury River Cruise Line’ and ‘Best for Shore Excursions’ in last year’s Cruise International Awards. Equally, Titan were delighted to receive the award for ‘Best Cruise Product or Service’ for their renowned VIP Home Departure Service. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who voted for us in 2012 and ask that you lend us your support again in this year’s awards.

To vote for Uniworld as your favourite in the categories:

‘BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE’ ‘BEST LUXURY RIVER CRUISE LINE’ ‘BEST FOR WELLBEING’ and vote for Titan’s exceptional VIP Home Departure Service as:

‘BEST CRUISE PRODUCT OR SERVICE’ visit www.cruiseinternational.com/awards


CRUISE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS 2013

Prizes The

2nd

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2013

A pair of designer watches

His and Hers Hugo Boss watches worth £279 Two watches featuring scaled black leather straps and polished stainless steel cases

Tumi Tegra-Lite International Carry-On worth £595 Combines the highest levels of durability and impact resistance with the ultimate in lightweight ease and maneuverability

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1st

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PROMOTION XXX

The Personal Touch Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is an award-winning, family-run company with a rich sailing heritage – bringing the world closer to their guests, offering exciting itineraries spanning the globe

F

rom the moment you set foot on a Fred. Olsen cruise ship you’ll feel at home. Their traditionally built, smaller, more intimate-sized ships mean you’ll not only sail right to the heart of some amazing destinations, you’ll also get to know your fellow passengers and crew. Staying true to their ‘bringing the world closer’ concept, Fred. Olsen offers its guests a choice of 10 UK departure ports to destinations as diverse as the Norwegian Fjords and the Amazon River. For the 2014/15 season they’ll be visiting 246 ports in 85 countries and offering an increased amount of overnight stays meaning their guests have more time ashore to discover the destinations they visit. 2014 will see new additions to their celebrated ‘themed’ cruises, including a 16 night Film Stars & Fast Cars cruise, providing an opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival. And for those who love a surprise, Fred. Olsen will be operating their first ever Mystery Cruise departing Tilbury in November 2014. There’s plenty to do on board too, if you want to unwind the outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzis, saunas, library and lounges are perfect; while the dancing and cabaret shows are sure to keep you entertained. Almost everything is included in the price of the cruise: all of your meals – from five-course à la carte dining to casual buffets and late night snacks; use of the onboard gym and other leisure facilities; and all evening entertainment including the Captain’s Drinks Party. Tea and coffee are complimentary and you’re also treated to delicious afternoon tea and in-cabin sandwiches and snacks.

PHOTO: © FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES

AWARD-WINNING CRUISES Fred. Olsen won the coveted title of Best Cruise Line at the Cruise International Awards in 2011 and has since won Best Affordable Cruise Line in 2012 and Best for Learning accolade in 2011 and 2012; an award won for their Vistas on board enrichment programme. Vistas offers guests a wide range of talks, lectures and tuitions from experts, including wine connoisseur Jilly Goolden and writer and former MP Edwina Currie. CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

Fred. Olsen offers an intimate style of cruising where it’s easy to make friends with like-minded people, or do your own thing at your own pace. It’s the personal touch, combined with the outstanding destinations that make cruising with this line so special.

Above: Braemar in Norway Clockwise from top left: English Harbour, Antigua; fine dining on Black Watch; Devil’s Island; Braemar’s Grampian Restaurant

For more information call 0800 0355 069. To vote for Fred. Olsen in the Cruise International Awards go to cruise-international.com/awards

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FLORIDA CRUISE AND STAY

S

e n i h s un tate THE

MAP: © SCOTT JESSOP PHOTO: © ALAMY/IAN DAGNALL COMMERCIAL COLLECTION

Golden beaches, cool theme parks and within easy reach of the Caribbean – no wonder so many of us choose to cruise from Florida. Liz Jarvis offers some top tips for your pre- or post-cruise stay

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Miami Vibrant and effortlessly cool, with sugar-sand beaches, great nightlife and wonderful art deco architecture, miami is one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Things To do Hang out in south beach (aka sobe), the art Deco era seafront district and do some people-watching; swim in the atlantic ocean; visit coral gables, with its cool bars, coconut grove and biscayne bay; go shopping at bayside marketplace and lincoln road mall; and if you want to get a taste of cuban lifestyle (and delicious food), head into little Havana.

Where To eaT the Forge is an acclaimed steakhouse (said to be haunted by al capone); for sandwiches and salads, go to segafredo; and definitely try the Key lime pie (and the crab) at the legendary Joe’s stone crab.

Where To sTay miami beach resort (miamibeachresortandspa.com) is in a quiet area overlooking a private stretch of beach.

Fact File PORT: PortMiami HOw faR fROm aiRPORT? 15 mins CRuise lines THaT gO fROm THeRe: Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Disney, Fred. Olsen, MSC, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean find OuT mORe: miamiandbeaches.com

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FLORIDA CRUISE AND STAY

FACT FILE PORT: Port Everglades HOW FAR FROM AIRPORT? 45 mins CRUISE LINES THAT GO FROM THERE: Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, MSC, Holland America, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn FIND OUT MORE: sunny.org

Fort Lauderdale Laidback Fort Lauderdale has wonderful beaches and shopping – plus it’s close to the Everglades.

THINGS TO DO Take an airboat ride in the Everglades; visit the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation; shop for bargains at Sawgrass Mills; walk along the Hollywood oceanfront boardwalk (not that Hollywood); take a gondola tour of Las Olas; hang out on the beach.

WHERE TO EAT Try YOLO (You Only Live Once) for contemporary American cuisine; Pelican Landing, a seafood restaurant with a casual ambience and good food; and Sage French Café and Wine Bar.

WHERE TO STAY

PHOTO: © GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU/GMCVB.COM/VISIT FLORIDA/ISTOCK

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale (hilton.com) is perfectly located for nearby attractions and Port Everglades. 

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XXX

You’re right on the Gulf Coast, with its miles and miles of glorious beaches

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FLORIDA CRUISE AND STAY

Tampa

An unexpected gem, Tampa offers visitors a taste of the laidback Florida lifestyle, with stunning beaches, watersports, excellent restaurants and nightlife, plus some great attractions. There’s a huge advantage to flying in to Tampa to join your cruise and that’s the airport – widely regarded as one of the best in the US. Compared to Miami and Orlando, getting through security is incredibly quick and hassle-free. Plus you’re right on the Gulf Coast – so within 20 minutes of picking up your bags, you could be sunning yourself on the beach. The port is located right next to The Florida Aquarium (flaquarium.org), with its excellent marine displays (including tropical fish and illuminated tanks of jellyfish), and within easy reach of other attractions. So whether you have a few hours before your cruise or are staying a bit longer, there is plenty for you to do.

THINGS TO DO Busch Gardens (buschgardens.com) is one of the biggest draws here – it’s a more laidback theme park than its Orlando cousins, and although it offers plenty of high-octane thrills on rollercoasters including Cheetah Hunt, there’s also the chance to get up close and personal with giraffes and other animals. The historic neighbourhood of Ybor City is well worth a visit, just a short tram ride from the cruise terminal. It’s where many of the early immigrants settled and you can still buy hand-rolled cigars there, plus there’s a market at weekends and from lunchtime onwards the bars and restaurants spring to life. 

PHOTO: © VISIT FLORIDA/ISTOCK/VISIT TAMPA/VISITSTPETECLEARWATER.COM

Above: the idyllic beach at Caladesi Island State Park Left to right: Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens; downtown Tampa; hang out in Ybor

FACT FILE PORT: Tampa HOW FAR FROM AIRPORT? 20 mins CRUISE LINES THAT GO FROM THERE: Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Royal Caribbean FIND OUT MORE: visittampabay.com

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BEAUTIFUL BEACHES St. Petersburg and Clearwater (visitstpeteclearwater. com) with their miles and miles of glorious beaches are just over half-an-hour from Tampa by car and ideal for families or anyone who wants to chill out. Get out of the sun for a few hours by exploring the Dali museum (thedali.org). And if you fancy a taste of Greece in Florida, head over to Tarpon Springs, where you’ll find authentic tavernas and sponges for sale.

WHERE TO EAT You’re spoiled for choice because the restaurants here are excellent. Try Datz (datztampa.com) for breakfast or brunch and local neighbourhood-style tapas restaurant Ceviche (ceviche.com) for dinner.

WHERE TO STAY The luxurious Intercontinental (intercontampa.com) is the perfect base if you’re just spending one or two nights in Tampa, as it’s within easy reach of the airport, cruise port and all the main attractions. If you’re staying a bit longer, then the Sandpearl (sandpearl. com), located right on Clearwater Beach is widely regarded as one of the best hotels in the area, with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

top tip

get you Don’t for ESTA to need an S – go to visit the U s.gov h esta.cbp.d

Above: Clearwater Beach; The Dali Museum 68

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Clockwise from top: Bargain-hunting; the NASCAR Museum at Daytona; Magic Kingdom; Taumata Racer water slide at Aquatica; Hogwarts Express CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM


Florida cruise and stay

Orlando orlando remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for us brits – and adding a cruise on to your stay gives you the best of both worlds.

Fact File Port: Port Canaveral How far from airPort? 1 hour Cruise lines tHat go from tHere: Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean find out more: visitorlando.com

since the nearest beaches are an hour away, the main attractions here are of course the theme parks. there are five parks at Walt disney World (disneyworld. disney.go.com), including magic Kingdom, home to new Fantasyland, plus two water parks. at universal, there are two theme parks, and the Wizarding World of Harry potter (complete with Hogwarts). or you can enjoy the water slides and rides at aquatica (aquaticabyseaworld.com). another great thing to do in orlando (although you may want to do this post-cruise) is shop – visit the premium outlets mall on international drive and you’ll find loads of shops selling designer bargains, including Kate spade, Victoria’s secret and ann taylor. nearby daytona is home to the nascar track and there are lots of driving experiences on offer. there’s also a great beach. port canaveral is on the space coast, and a visit to Kennedy space center is a must for anyone interested in space travel.

Where To eaT seafood lovers should head to lee & rick’s oyster bar; Jiko in disney’s animal Kingdom lodge has africaninspired specialities; while cosy chatham’s place is where the locals eat.

Where To sTay if you’re going to be spending time at the theme parks then one of the onsite hotels is best, as you’ll get special guest privileges. at Walt disney World, the Victorianstyle disney’s grand Floridian is excellent, or disney’s caribbean beach resort is fun. While at universal, the luxurious loews portofino bay hotel (loewshotels.com) is an astonishing replica of the italian fishing village. alternatively there are lots of hotels on international drive to suit all budgets. cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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photo: © istock/123RF/visit FloRida/WaRneR BRos. enteRtainment inc/JkR/visit oRlando/disney/univeRsal oRlando ResoRt

Things To do


Discover the

Caribbean Thinking about taking a cruise from Florida? Award-winning Carnival Cruise Lines has a range of exciting itineraries to the Caribbean islands

Above: Relax in the marine paradise of Grand Cayman Right, clockwise from top: Mahogany Bay; tropical island of Half Moon Cay; Seaside Theatre; take the plunge on the Twister waterslide

W

hen it comes to cruising from Florida to the Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, winners of Best Cruise Line at the Cruise International Awards 2012, are the experts. Not only will they make sure you have plenty of fun on board – but they offer itineraries guaranteed to help you discover the best the islands have to offer. Carnival Cruise Lines depart from four Florida ports – Miami, Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Port Canaveral (Orlando) and Tampa, meaning you can enjoy a fabulous pre- or post-cruise stay in the Sunshine State.

THE DESTINATIONS HALF MOON CAY, THE BAHAMAS

Fulfill your tropical island fantasy on Carnival Cruise Lines in Half Moon Cay, the Bahamas, an idyllic sun-drenched island hideaway where you can play in the turquoise seas and ride horseback on white sand.

GRAND CAYMAN

Enjoy laidback British civility in a sunsplashed tropical locale on your Carnival Grand Cayman cruise. A spectacular marine paradise lies just offshore. 70

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MAHOGANY BAY, ISLA ROATAN

With silky-sand beaches and diamondclear seas, Roatán, Honduras, is one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems, built on a backbone of volcanic rock and ringed by the world’s second largest coral reef.

LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC La Romana, Dominican Republic, is a captivating slice of the tropics on the island’s southeast coast.

COZUMEL, MEXICO

Cruises to Cozumel, Mexico, dock at the island’s heart – just minutes from San Miguel’s seafront shops and the white sand Seafarers from around the globe have flocked beach at Chankanaab to the harbours of St. National Park. Drift among Thomas since pirates sailed star corals and sea fans on the seas. a Cozumel diving excursion There are five or simply kick back on the Carnival ships that SAN JUAN, beach as the turquoise waves sail from Florida to the PUERTO RICO roll in. Caribbean: Historic San Juan, once Carnival Liberty nothing more than Carnival Breeze cobblestone streets and the BELIZE Carnival Dream distinctive architecture of the This tropical paradise Carnival Conquest Spanish who founded it, is promises adventure, both Carnival Legend now a modern world capital. onshore and off. Crystalline rivers flow through impressive lowland jungles, GRAND TURK, home to a myriad of rare wildlife. Silky TURKS & CAICOS sand beaches, waving palms and colourful Cruises with Carnival to Grand Turk deliver coral gardens are just part of Belize’s natural you to an enchanted island, an oasis of wonders. Whether mountain biking through green set in aquamarine seas ringed by a a lush rainforest or snorkelling with sharks, pristine coral reef and the steep wall of the you’ll experience things you’ve only imagined. continental shelf.

ST. THOMAS, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

The Ships


promotion

Sample cruise: shiP: Carnival Dream itinerary: Eastern Caribbean day 1: Port Canaveral (Orlando) day 2: Nassau, The Bahamas day 3: ‘Fun Day’ at sea day 4: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands day 5: St. Maarten day 6: ‘Fun Day’ at sea day 7: ‘Fun Day’ at sea day 8: Port Canaveral Cruise PriCe: A sevennight Eastern Caribbean cruise on Carnival Dream departing on 2 Nov 2013 costs from £289pp, based on two people sharing (not including flights).

From the Twister waterslide to 3D movies, the spa and gourmet dining, you’re spoiled for choice What’s on board Here’s a selection of just a few of the highlights waiting for you on your Carnival cruise ship to the Caribbean...

© Photos: Carnival Cruise lines/noel hendriCkson/radius images

Movies at thrill theatre

it’s been said that a good film is one that makes you feel something. You’ll feel it for sure at the onboard thrill theatre, where 3D, jumping-off-the-screen visuals are only part of the experience.

hasbro, the GaMe shoW

team up with your friends and family to play giant versions of favourite board games and win prizes, all in front of a live audience.

redFroG Pub

sample caribbean fare, dominate at the foosball table, enjoy some sweet tunes from live musicians and sip the tasty signature private-label brew, thirstyFrog red. Kick back and feel the island vibe come to life. cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

ea sPorts bar

Watch games live on big flat-screen tVs, and keep up with real-time scores.

CaMP Carnival

camp carnival offers tons of activities designed for different age groups: two to five years, six to eight years, and nine to 11 years.

sPortsquare

carnival’s innovative outdoor recreation area features the skycourse ropes course where you can test your courage high above the sea.

WaterWorks

the fantastic on board waterpark is home to the twister waterslide, hundreds of feet of awesomeness with one of the fastest, wettest rides you’ll find anywhere.

enjoy a dip in one of the whirlpools looking out over the great blue sea.

GourMet steakhouse

the steakhouse menu features mouthwatering beef cooked to your specifications, as well as a fantastic selection of seafood, entrées, gourmet appetizers and an extensive wine list.

Guy’s burGer Joint

carnival has teamed up with celebrity chef guy Fieri to create a cool poolside spot for burgers and hand-cut fries.

bonsai sushi

bonsai delivers a unique experience – dine amidst expertly-pruned bonsai trees while enjoying festive koi kite celebrations.

Cloud 9 sPa

this two-deck spa features both exclusive spa staterooms and an extensive range of topquality facilities and treatments in an elegant, tranquil setting.

To book your Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean, go to carnival.co.uk or call 0845 351 0556 or call your travel agent

serenity adult-only area

available to guests 21 and older. relax in the sun, under one of the colourful, oversized umbrellas or in the separate shaded area, and august/sep t ember 2013 |

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Luxury taste of

ew things sum up luxury better than lying back, cocktail in hand, watching the sun sparkle on crystal seas before it takes a final dip below the horizon – but knowing you don’t have to spend a fortune for the privilege definitely makes it sweeter. We joined Thomson Dream for the ship’s debut cruise as part of the platinum collection fleet. Departing from bridgetown, barbados, the first day was spent at sea, giving us the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and explore. Thomson Dream and Celebration have joined the platinum collection after multi-million pound refurbishments. cabins have been refitted for a more contemporary look, with flat screen tVs as standard, while the bars and lounges have also been revamped. many of the best-loved public areas – such as the broadway show lounge – retain their original charm, while the medusa lounge has been treated to new upholstery and fittings for a more stylish look. another clever transformation is the grill restaurant, which takes a secluded corner of sirens and converts it into a romantic bistro in the evening. the menu switches between French and asian Fusion (taking inspiration from various Far eastern locales) 8 Clockwise from top left: Bottom Bay in Barbados; native flower, Dominica; swimming pool on the Lido Deck; tropical plantation house; L’Escargot Restaurant, St Maarten; deluxe cabin 72

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photo: © thomson cruises/Discover Dominica authority/st maarten tourist Bureau/istock

Thomson Cruises offer good quality, affordable cruise holidays – so how does their new Platinum Collection measure up? Lucy Tomlinson finds out

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photo: Š

affordable luxury


A hike through the rainforest on Dominica revealed why it’s known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean

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turquoise seas, white sands and sun-worshipping to perfection. the air of luxury was enhanced by our preferred means of transportation – a sleek catamaran. While we basked and bathed on Deep bay beach, the crew whipped up a lobster and champagne feast. a hike through the rainforest on Dominica revealed why it’s known as the nature island of the caribbean. We paused to gaze at the spectacular trafalgar Falls, which crashes thunderously down a 220ft drop, before heading on to the emerald pool – where a much more serene waterfall feeds a shallow basin. a stunning finale to a truly memorable cruise.

Above: The Emerald pool, situated deep in the rainforest on the Caribbean island of Dominica

TROPICAL TREASURES CRUISE Thomson Cruises offers a seven-night Tropical Treasures cruise on Thomson Dream including calls at St Barths, Antigua, Dominica and Barbados. Prices from £1,129pp, based on full-board for two adults sharing a 4 or 5 inside cabin, departing on 19 January 2014 from Bridgetown, Barbados. Includes return flights (Birmingham), transfers, port taxes, tips and service charges. Visit your local Thomson shop, thomson.co.uk/cruise or call 0871 230 2800.

photo: © istock

on alternate nights. this is the perfect spot for a special occasion, perhaps to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary. For other ideas, the ship’s social hostess lorna is on hand. For those determined to keep up the body beautiful there is a small fitness centre with resident personal trainer and saunas, plus classes. the beauty salon and spa has also been upgraded. after the day at sea, our first port of call was basseterre, the capital of st Kitts. excursions on offer included a rainforest hike, and the scenic railway, which was originally built for the less leisurely pastime of transporting sugarcane around the island (hence the nickname ‘sugar train’). With music from the scenic railway choir, hilarious commentary from the driver and the perfect hostess, this was definitely the most relaxing way to enjoy some stunning views of lush sugarcane fields and dramatic coastline. the next morning Thomson Dream cruised into philipsburg, st maarten. the Dutch side of the island is casual, with a slightly hippy feel, while the French side leans more toward the chic. sea dreams continued the next day in stunning tortola. road town’s attractive main street offered shops and historic buildings, while apple bay and smuggler’s cove are alluring white sand beaches. a boat trip around the island reveals a stunningly rugged coastline dotted with secret coves and mysterious islets. the most famous of these is norman island, said to have inspired stevenson’s Treasure Island. our day in antigua was dedicated to the pursuit of glorious relaxation. this laid-back island offers idyllic

Go online: To see the Top 10 Affordable Cruises go to cruise-international.com/affordable-cruises

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The launch this year of Coachella’s first festival at sea on board Celebrity Silhouette, headlined by Pulp and Hot Chip, marks a new age of cruising. From chocolate tours to personal shopping experiences, if you’re after a unique holiday there are some incredible options available, discovers Annabelle Bladon

Cool Cruıses

Samba your way to the Rio Carnival From the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, birthplace of the tango, to the laid-back beaches of Rio de Janeiro, fiery Latin rhythms lie at the heart of this Azamara cruise, which culminates in three days at the largest carnival in the world. On your way you will pass through Punta del Este, summer playground of Latin America’s rich and famous, and the lush green island of Ilhabela, once a hideout of smugglers and pirates. With an emphasis on overnight and late stays, you will have plenty of time to explore, but as the ship enters

Rio’s spectacular harbour, make sure you savour the peace and quiet with a Caipirinha; you’re about to hit the frenzy of the street parties and the world-famous Sambadrome. Azamara (azamaraclubcruises.com) Twelve nights on Azamara Quest, Quest, 31 January 2013, from £2,309 (approx.) based on double occupancy, cruise only, calling at Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Ilhabela, Brazil; Parati, Brazil; Buzios, Brazil; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

from £7.99 AUGUST/SEP T EMBER 2013 |

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A cruise to Egypt and the Promised Land

Enter our fantastic competition and you and a guest could be discovering ancient wonders with Thomson Cruises

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f you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the pyramids and the Holy Land, here’s an incredible opportunity. We’ve teamed up with thomson Cruises to offer one lucky reader and their guest the chance to win an amazing cruise holiday for two to Israel, egypt and turkey. During your cruise you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most exciting archaelogical treasures, including the pyramids, tutankhamun’s tomb and the Wailing Wall. Cities you’ll visit include Jerusalem, bethlehem, and Cairo. You’ll travel on Thomson Majesty, the latest addition to the thomson Cruises fleet. Cabins are modern and well-dressed, and every outside cabin comes with a picture window. the ship boasts five restaurants, stylish piano bars and lounges for entertainment, and also has a state-of-the-art spa, with two saunas and seven themed treatment rooms. 76

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competition

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★ A full board eight-day Pharaohs & The Promised Land cruise for two ★ See Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Pyramids ★ Travel in style on board Thomson Majesty

win an eigHt-day PHaraoHs & tHe Promised land cruise Competition entry form How to enter: For your chance to win a fabulous cruise holiday with Thomson Cruises,

simply answer the following question, then complete and send this form to the address below. All entries must be received by 11.59pm on 5 August 2013. From which city can you explore the Pyramids of Egypt? A: Limassol B: Cairo C: Alanya

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Send your coupon to: Thomson Cruises Competition, Cruise International, The Chelsea Magazine Company, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ, UK

Terms and CondiTions 1. Entries close at 11.59pm on 5 August 2013. 2. All entrants must be resident in the UK and aged 18 or over. 3. The prize is for an eight-day Pharaohs & The Promised Land cruise on board Thomson Majesty departing on 6 or 13 November 2013 from Manchester, Gatwick or Birmingham airport, based on two sharing a standard outside cabin on a full board basis. 4. The cruise holiday prize does not include shore excursions, pre-bookable cabin service, travel insurance, visas, personal expenses, spending money, or transportation to and from the airport. 5. Entrants must hold a valid passport and it’s the entrant’s responsibility to check visa and passport requirements. 6. Prior to departure, we advise the winner to purchase comprehensive travel insurance and have any relevant inoculations. 7. TUI Travel PLC reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value should circumstances make this necessary. 8. In addition to these rules and conditions of entry, the usual Cruise International competition rules apply and can be viewed at chelseamagazines.com/terms-and-conditions. 9. Entry constitutes acceptance of all these rules and conditions.

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Or enter online at: cruise-international.com/thomson-pharaohs-competition

PhoTos: © ThoMsoN CrUIsEs

Day 1: Fly to Limassol, Cyprus, where you’ll embark on your cruise on board the Thomson Majesty. Day 2: Alanya, Turkey. legendary hangout of Queen cleopatra, must-sees include the manavgat Waterfalls; the surreal rock formations at Damlatas cava; and perge and aspendos, with their ruined temples, theatres and aqueducts. Day 3: At sea. Day 4: Alexandria, Egypt. a medley of mosques, churches and monuments jostle for your attention in alexandria. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the military museum at el alamein. Day 5: Port Said, Egypt. guarding the northern entrance to the suez canal, port said is the perfect springboard from which to discover the sights and wonders of cairo. and on the edge of the city, where cairo merges into desert sands, you’ll discover the pyramids. Day 6: Ashdod, Israel. From ashdod you can visit the awe-inspiring cities of Jerusalem and bethlehem. see the garden of gethsemane, stand in the shadow of the Wailing Wall and enjoy floating around in the Dead sea. Day 7: Ashdod. Day 8: Return to Limassol and fly back to the uK.

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news

WHAT’S HOT

River Cruise

SHIPS EVENTS DESTINATIONS ●

Lap of luxury

Scenic Jade will be the ninth river ship to join Scenic Tours’ ‘Space-Ship’ fleet in 2014, hot on the heels of the Scenic Gem, due to launch next year. Jade will sail along the Rhîne, Main and Danube rivers and offers an all-inclusive luxury experience complete with private butler service, large private balconies and fresh local cuisine. A £7 million renovation is being carried out across the fleet, with suites offering a ‘pillow menu’ and HD TVs. See scenictours.co.uk.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CroisiEurope has combined two of its most popular routes to create a brand new 10-day cruise along the Rhîne and Rhône rivers for 2014. Starting in Amsterdam and ending in Avignon, with transfers at Strasbourg, the voyage includes Europe’s most ancient Cathedral in Aachen and the Traboules secret passageways in Lyon. Departs from April to Sept 2014. And from next year CroisiEurope goes all-inclusive. Visit croisieurope.travel for more information.

PHOTOS: ©

Avalon Waterways will introduce three more ships to its Suite Ship fleet in 2014 with Avalon Poetry II, Avalon Illumination and Avalon Impression. Poetry II offers the most intimate experience, but all three ships have two full decks of Panorama Suites plus a small number of staterooms. Avalon’s suites have wall-to-wall windows that open to form a French Balcony with a seating area. A spacious Sky Deck and elegant room furnishings are standard throughout the new ships. Visit avaloncruises.co.uk for more information. (For a review of a cruise on the latest ship, Avalon Expression, see page 38). CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

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PHOTO: © SCENIC TOURS/CROISIEUROPE/ISTOCK

NEW AVALON SHIPS


EXPERIENCE THE MULTI AWARD-WINNING LUXURY OF

THE WORLD’S BEST RIVER CRUISES Douro • Rhine • Moselle • Danube • Rhône • Seine • Dutch Waterways Venice & the River Po • Volga • Mekong • Nile • Yangtze

2012

U.K.

Editors’ Picks

Best River Cruise Line

Uniworld

New 2014 brochure OUT NOW! The brand new river cruise brochure from Titan and Uniworld showcases a host of magical itineraries, sailing the spectacular waterways of Europe, Asia and Africa. There are three new journeys for 2014, an outstanding new vessel (the super-deluxe SS Catherine), direct flights from a selection of UK regional airports and truly all inclusive value on every European cruise. What’s more, early booking discounts save you up to £600 per person and there are further loyalty savings for previous travellers with Titan or Uniworld. Whether you are new to river cruising or a veteran of this wonderful style of holiday, you won’t want to miss the elegance, opulence and multi award-winning service of a Uniworld cruise, along with door-to-door transfers as part of Titan’s acclaimed VIP Home Departure Service. Call for your 2014 brochure today.

Call FREE to request your copy on

0800 773 4108 quoting CI7 UNI2 or visit

www.titantravel.co.uk/uniworld

Opening times: Mon & Tue 8.30am – 7pm, Wed – Fri 8.30am – 6pm, Sat 9am – 5pm T’s & C’s apply. Calls free from BT landlines, mobiles may vary.


new to river cruise

Your essential guide to

words: Natalie MilNer photos: Š Uniworld BoUtiqUe river CrUise ColleCtion

river cruising

A river cruise provides a unique vantage point for you to see some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Here are our top tips to help you choose, book and plan your holiday Brought to you by

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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Choosing Your river cruise

The iTineraries

river cruises explore a wealth of extraordinary destinations, from the rhîne, the Danube and the seine, to the vast network of rivers, lakes and canals in russia. or you could cruise along the Douro, from porto, on portugal’s coast, all the way to the spanish border. if you want to venture further afield, then head to asia, and the fascinating mekong and Yangtze rivers.

The ships

the choice of river ship is often dictated by your choice of departure and destination, with vessels assigned to specific sailings. the newer long ships, such as uniworld’s luxurious SS Antoinette, feature facilities to rival ocean-going vessels, including a state-of-the-art 3D cinema and innovative balconies that convert to fully-enclosed conservatories at the push of a button.

The DuraTion

The rivers

one of the most fascinating aspects of river cruising is that each waterway is unique, with its own distinctive characteristics and highlights. sail the rhîne and you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes with fairy tale castles. cruise the legendary nile, however, and you’ll experience the world’s greatest open-air museum. or indulge yourself with a voyage through one of France’s most distinguished wine-producing regions, bordeaux. 82

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this depends upon how far you’re travelling – many itineraries last between eight and 11 days, but cruises through multiple countries can last anywhere up to 17 days. You may wish to combine itineraries for your very own ‘grand voyage’ experience; or choose a shorter voyage to discover whether river cruising is for you.

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com


neW to river cruise

36% of all river cruisers, or 46,700 passengers, were new to cruise in 2012.*

research the itineraries carefully to find a holiday that suits your tastes. many cruises offer coach trips once you have disembarked so that you can travel even further afield, while other voyages focus upon excursions closer to ports. and overnight stays are another perk to look out for.

130,000 British passengers took a river cruise last year, a 14% increase on 2011.*

* all statistics from clia UK & ireland photo: © Uniworld BoUtiqUe river crUise collection

When it comes to choosing your accommodation on board it varies between decks. on the lowest deck the windows in the staterooms are placed just above the water line to allow in natural light, while suites on the upper decks will usually have a full or French balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows and a seating area from where you can relax and enjoy the river view. it’s often worth paying that bit extra so that you can gain the full benefit of sailing past the constantly changing scenery passing you by on the river banks.

cruises vary in price – european cruises tend to be the most affordable whereas rivers like the exotic mekong and Yangtze are more expensive options, when you factor in flights. river cruises include more in the overall package than ocean voyages, with meals, drinks with dinner, snacks, all entertainment, airport transfers (titan offer a private door-todoor, chauffeur-driven transfer service allowing your holiday to start smoothly) and excursions all incorporated in the price.

European river cruising flourishes between April and October when destinations spring to life. There’s a focus on Dutch waterways in early spring when the bulb fields set a beautiful backdrop. Then attention moves to the Rhîne, Danube, Douro, Moselle, the French waterways and all other rivers for the rest of the summer season. And there’s the Christmas markets. Andy Harmer is the Director of Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland 8 cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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How is RiveR CRuising Different to an ocean cruise? River cruises get to the heart of a country’s culture – unlike ocean liners they can moor in the centre of inland cities. Meals are all-inclusive and they tend to have intimate one-sitting dinners. Gyms might be smaller and evening entertainment modest, but making friends in the lounge or sun deck is easier when there are fewer than 200 passengers. Staterooms are often smaller than at sea, but increasingly luxurious.

river ships are more intimate than big cruise liners – the average ship will carry 140 passengers – so rather than being lost in a crowd, you will definitely recognise your fellow passengers at dinner time.

Deborah Stone is an award-winning cruise writer and Contributing Editor for Cruise International

Once YOu’re On BOard

be prepared for a change of schedule if the rivers are too low, or high, for certain passages – such as navigation through locks. the cruise line will be used to this and swift alternative arrangements will be made. uniworld provide cosy fleece blankets for evenings on deck, so there’s no need to pack too many layers if you’re cruising in a mild climate.

culture lovers will find lots to do, from exploring the museums and galleries of paris, or the landscapes that inspired Van gogh, to the ancient artefacts of egypt on a nile voyage. 84

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When it comes to dining options the spread is no less lavish than an ocean cruise, with buffet breakfasts and lunches offering a range of hot and cold options – afternoon tea is a popular choice and table-service evening meals have complimentary wine. and there are always snacks, tea and coffee available so you will never get hungry.

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

* all statistics from clia UK & ireland photo: © BoUtiqUe river crUise collection

it’s all about the sightseeing on a river cruise and because you’re never far from shore, there are always plenty of excursions on offer. but remember to take some time to unwind on deck or in your room between visits, so you have the energy for more exploring.


new to river cruise

Shore excursions

90,000 Britons took a European river cruise holiday in 2012.*

River cruising is very much about the destination – whether it’s a Russian voyage or a cruise on one of the great European rivers – such as the Danube, which can take you through nine different countries. So check out the excursions. You may have a penchant for gastronomy or perhaps you love visiting gardens? See if there’s a ‘themed’ cruise which appeals or particular shore excursions that cover your specific interests. Andy Harmer

guided tours are an excellent way to explore a destination but there’s always the option to explore for yourself, or hire a bike to get even further afield. sometimes there’s the opportunity to choose between excursions if you’ve visited a site before – uniworld’s the choice is Yours programme offers just that.

Some river ships dock twice in one day giving access to two destinations in a short space of time. Organised shore excursions are usually inclusive, and a good idea if the port of call is unfamiliar. Don’t feel you have to go on every excursion – choose the tours that suit you best. Julie Peasgood is a TV Presenter, travel expert and Contributing Editor for Cruise International cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

For your copy of the latest Titan/Uniworld brochure call 0808 115 1988 quoting CI7 NRC

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TRAVEL TIPS

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR RIVER CRUISE Broadcaster, former MP and BBC ’s The One Show presenter Gyles Brandreth had never been on a cruise – until he and his wife Michele decided to explore Vietnam and Cambodia by river. Here he shares his top tips...

CRUISING IS MORE THAN A “PACKAGE HOLIDAY” I had preconceived ideas about cruising and package holidays: who wants to be cooped up on a ship with a bunch of strangers? Not me. What kind of intelligent, free-spirited grown man needs to have his holiday “organised” for him? Not this one. But I had a problem. I wanted to visit Vietnam and Cambodia. My children had all been on back-packing gap-year expeditions to South-East Asia and returned saying that both countries are absolute “must sees”. I didn’t have a gap-year to fill and, to be honest, my back-packing days are long behind me. I had only two weeks to spare and a lot to see. On word-of-mouth recommendation (it’s the best kind) I went to Titan Travel and they said, without hesitation:“What you need, sir, is a Uniworld River Cruise. If you want to discover the timeless wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong Delta in just a fortnight, it’s the only way. And it’s not a massmarket cruise. It’ll just be you and 20 or 30 fellow travellers. You’ll love it.” To my amazement, I did. 86

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RIVER CRUISE TIPS

HAVE A FLIGHT PLAN

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WHEN PACKING FOR A RIVER CRUISE, LESS IS MORE Titan and Uniworld advised us to travel light, with summery ‘smart-casual’ clothes plus a bit of ‘layering’ in case it got chilly. We ignored them and packed far too much. The guidebook we bought told us that the temperatures might range from 15°C to 40°C (as we were travelling in March), so we took clothes for all eventualities and something different for every day. A waste of space. On board our ship, and in the hotels we stayed at in Saigon, Hanoi and Siem Reap, the laundry service was tip-top,

speedy and quite cheap. To guard against the possibility of rain and the certainty of sun, the guidebook advised us to take umbrellas and hats, so we carted both half-way across the world – not necessary. This was a deluxe holiday: there were umbrellas handed out whenever one was needed. Conical straw hats are for sale on every street corner – priced at one US dollar each. Also, there’s no need to get local currency to use in Vietnam and Cambodia, the US dollar is acceptable everywhere.

We flew from London Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City with a two-hour stopover in Hong Kong. It’s a long journey and what you should do is have a proper flight plan: eat the main meal they give you straight after take-off, watch just one movie, then put on your eye-mask and sleep for as long as you can. I got it all wrong. I ate everything I was offered (lunch, dinner and then three breakfasts in a row – one as we approached Hong Kong, one in Hong Kong airport, one on the onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City), watched movies non-stop and did not sleep at all. I started the holiday with indigestion, a migraine and jet lag.

PHOTO: © ISTOCK/UNIWORLD BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISE COLLECTION/GYLES BRANDRETH

5 YOU CAN TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN PACE On the first day you’re left in peace – we slept for five hours, then braved the streets of Saigon – bustling with humanity and four million motor bikes. All the “must-see” elements are sorted for you by the cruise line and in between you can go solo and feel like a traveller instead of a tourist.

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BUT KEEP UP WITH THE GUIDES

The lotus may be the national flower of Vietnam, but this is not a holiday for lotus-eaters. To get the most out of a river cruise, you need to be into history and culture – ancient and modern. In two weeks, I learnt more than I ever dreamed I’d know about the heritage of Indo-China, the nature of Buddhism, the reality of the Vietnam War and the horrors of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. This is a trip that requires an alert mind and good walking shoes. There’s an outing every day – most days two – and we had local guides; their English was always good and their insights – and personal stories – gave you the reality of their countries in a way no guidebook ever could.

START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON Uniworld is an American company and we were the only Brits on our particular trip. I liked that because I was on this holiday to discover the East, not to make new friends from the UK. In fact, gradually, we did make friends, but I think it’s important not to rush it. 

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RIVER CRUISE TIPS

DON’T FEEL GUILTY

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On board we lived in the lap of luxury. The ship’s chef delivered first-class Western, Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. But these are poor countries and you realise this when you walk through the local market, or see inside the river houses on stilts where fishermen live with their families. Uniworld supports an orphanage, and tourism is Cambodia’s fastest-growing industry, with arrivals growing from 200,000 in 1997 to two million plus today.

ENJOY THE CRUISE

In Saigon, Hanoi and Siem Reap, we stayed in luxury hotels. In between, for seven nights, we were aboard the MV River Orchid. It’s a brand-new ship, but with an old-world colonial feel. Every cabin has a river view, but the real surprise for me was that it was so comfortable and well-appointed. At first, I thought the ship was there to get us from A to B – or from Sa Dec in Vietnam to Phnom Penh in Cambodia – but then I began to realise that life on board was part of the experience. I began the day with the sunrise and excellent fresh coffee on the top deck, watching the paddy fields and the pagodas, the fishing boats and the sampans float by. I ended it sitting outside my cabin looking up at the night-sky.

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On this holiday there were once-in-alifetime treats in store on each and every day – without exception. You could never forget the visit to the tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War or the horror of the Killing Fields of Cambodia or the majesty of the many ancient temples at Angkor Wat – truly one of the wonders of the world. What were the unexpected highlights for me? Travelling by sampan through the floating markets and canals of Cai Be; taking an elephant ride through the forest one morning before breakfast; being blessed by a Buddhist monk in a small temple; visiting the home and mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi. I could go on. There was so much to see, the only way I managed to stay on top of what I was seeing was to keep a daily diary. If I hadn’t, I suspect too much of it would have simply flashed past me in a colourful and extraordinary blur.

BONUS TIP

Have lots of single-dollar bills handy and offer one or two dollars to anyone who looks as if they might be expecting a tip of some kind. It’s less stressful than worrying about it. 88

TRY TO TAKE A BREAK

Because every day was full of new experiences, we were on the brink of becoming punch-drunk. Then a veteran of nine Uniworld cruises said to us: “You must take a holiday from your holiday. I always do”. We followed his advice, opted out of one excursion, played backgammon on the sun-deck and saw a wedding party celebrating on the river bank. Who could ask for more?

GETTING THERE Titan, in partnership with Uniworld, offers a 17-day Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong cruise throughout 2014, from £4,449pp (inc. a £500 saving before 30 Sept 2013), including flights, full-board cruise, hotel, excursions, drinks, most meals and Titan’s VIP Home Departure Service. For your copy of the latest Titan/ Uniworld brochure call 0808 115 1989 quoting CI7 MEK; titantravel.co.uk

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PHOTO: © UNIWORLD BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISE COLLECTION/GYLES BRANDRETH

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KEEP A DIARY


2014

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Cruise the tranquil rivers of Europe in spacious luxury and enjoy panoramic views of stunning passing landscapes. This year we welcome two new Suite Ships plus, a further three new ships in 2014, offering our guests the very latest ship design and technology. You can save up to £600* per couple on all 2014 departures when you book by 30 September 2013.

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Private door-to-door home pick-up in an executive car to and from chosen departure airport or station for exceptional service from the moment you leave home †.

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Fully packaged holiday with scheduled flights or Eurostar, transfers and port charges so everything is taken care of for you.

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Sightseeing with expert local guides to must see stunning locations and individual audio systems for all guided shore excursions.

Service of a professional Cruise Director to help and support you plus on board lectures, local entertainers, activities and evening piano music.

Look online or call us FREE for more savings and for all our worldwide cruises

• Call reservations FREE on 0808 115 1943

†This service is available if you live within 75 miles of your chosen departure airport or Eurostar station, if you live further than 75 miles away you can still take advantage of this offer by paying the excess mileage at £1.70 per mile. ††On European, Mekong and Yangtze holidays. All offers are subject to availability for new bookings only and can be withdrawn at any time. For further details please see your brochure or our website. All details are correct to time of supply (June 2013).

ABTA No.V3031 COSMOS COACH TOURS LTD

• Visit www.avaloncruises.co.uk

COSMOS COACH TOURS LTD


DISCOVER A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE WORLD Europe • Russia • Asia Inspiring destinations, extraordinary comfort, exceptional cuisine, unrivalled service and fascinating tours – there is no more rewarding way to see the world than on a Viking river cruise. With prices starting from just £1,095pp for an 8-day European river cruise holiday, come and discover a different view of the world with Viking.

Call 020 8780 7900 www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk Travel safe, you are fully protected Price is correct at the time of going to print. All holidays are subject to availability..


danube cruise

photo: Š istock

E

A pAssAge to

astern europe A cruise along the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest reveals countries breaking free from a troubled past, says Jessica Tooze

Above: The Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

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I

t’s early evening in the Hungarian capital and a stroll through the bustling streets of pest reveals a vibrant city brimming with life. the shops on Váci street are open late and smiling vendors call out to tourists, waving the usual dubious trinkets. Vörösmarty square is set out with pretty wooden stalls selling all sorts of traditional treats from great boar furs to bowls of goulash and delicious scents drift through the air. the bars and restaurants are busy too, and people gather to drink local beers or kisfröccs (small wine spritzers) while others throng around the central market Hall, where row upon row of stalls offer

on the pest side, i can’t wait to begin a journey down the river to discover the troubled past of these countries and experience their modern renaissance. the blue Danube is more of a sleet grey as we board but inside the ship is bright and welcoming, with tasteful balconied staterooms that offer the perfect place to relax and watch the world drift by on the banks of the river. a buffet lunch is laid out, the pianist is playing in the lounge and many passengers are already busy getting to know one another. Aegir is one of two Viking ships that plough this stretch, sailing from budapest all the way to bucharest

I can’t wait to journey down the river to discover the troubled past of these countries and experience their modern renaissance colourful delights, from Hungarian folk costumes, dolls and carved hunting knives to potted foie gras, chicken feet, sausages, garlands of dried paprika and the delicious Hungarian desert wine tokaji. separating this energetic scene from stately buda on the other side of the city lies the dark stretch of the Danube, the blazing lights of the parliament building reflecting in its ripples as the sun dips behind the hills. Here it is easier to remember that not so long ago life in budapest was very different. and as the Danube flows onwards, towards the black sea, it cuts through countries that seem ensnared in a different world from the one we are familiar with in the West. as budapest’s eerie House of terror museum (in what was once the headquarters of the dreaded ÁVH secret police) compellingly displays, the 20th century has not been kind to Hungary and its fellow balkan nations. as i peer down from budapest’s famous chain bridge at Viking Aegir, which is docked underneath it 92

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in romania on an itinerary that offers hotel stays in each city at either end. We also sail through croatia, serbia and bulgaria – all countries that were part of the former Yugoslavia and under the rule of the ‘benevolent dictator’ president tito. Downriver, still in Hungary, we visit Kalocsa (pronounced Kalocha), a quaint town where the average monthly salary is low but the buildings are in good repair and new colleges are under construction; as the seat of one of the four catholic archbishops of Hungary, there is church money here. but one stop further, and into croatia, paints a different picture. Aegir docks in Vukovar in the east of the country, famous for the heroic 87-day siege in 1991 when its people defended against an onslaught from milošević’s Yugoslav people’s army. today the baroque town is an unnerving sight. i walk down the river from the ship and pass an ungainly abandoned hotel, riddled with bullet holes. the town’s main street is as moving as any cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com


photo: © istock/jessica tooze

war museum, its buildings scarred with shell damage. on trpinjska road, leading out of town, a tank is left as a memorial, stranded next to a souvenir stand. to wander through the location of such a recent battleground is a sobering experience, but Viking’s organised excursion that follows offers quite a contrast. We visit nearby osijek, on the junction of the Drava and Danube rivers, where many fine buildings have been restored to their former glory. We then head off in the coach to a local village to sample some traditional food and wine. the proprietor is quite a character and holds a little talk for our party where he extolls the croatian capacity for slivovitz (plum brandy) and pretends to shoot a stork with a bow and arrow, all aided by his mother who acts as his glowering sidekick. it’s the perfect light-hearted foil for the sobering sights of Vukovar. the main excursion every day is included in the cruise price, and almost all passengers choose to go along. and there’s quite a range on offer: from a tourist-tacky paprika museum and the wonders of the cathedral library in Kalocsa, to a tour of the rustic farmers’ market in Vidin, bulgaria, with the ship’s chef. after a busy morning exploring it’s tempting to relax on board for the afternoon – on deck there’s a giant chess set, a putting green and of course the cruise classic, shuffleboard, which can be quite addictive. on sunny days we eat lunch outside on the aquavit terrace at the bow of the ship and admire the view. in the dining room downstairs lunch and dinner are more formal – and there’s no option to sit on a table for two, so we get to know our fellow guests quickly. When we arrive in serbia we have a day to discover the capital, belgrade. the scars of war are evident here too, remnants of the nato bombing in 1999. but this is a fascinating city to explore. the orthodox cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

cathedral of saint sava, the largest in serbia, is still under construction but the small church next door gives a colourful insight into what this cavernous structure might be like once it’s completed. skadarska, dubbed the montmartre of serbia, fancies itself as quite the bohemian spot. an irregular cobbled street, it’s famous for its noisy taverns, musicians, cafés and art galleries. We stop for dinner at tri Šešira (three Hats – it was once a millinery) where increasing numbers of musicians seemed to appear from the kitchen until we were (rather offputtingly) serenaded by nine of them in total. soviet-style concrete apartment blocks abound throughout much of belgrade (as they do in all the countries we visit – our bucharest guide calls them commi-condos) but up in Kalemegdan park the citadel gives a magnificent view of the Danube and sava rivers, and over the high-rises. Here the sun comes out for the first time on our trip, blazing on the statue of Victory, and as young lovers canoodle on the fortress walls and belgraders stroll under blossom-covered trees it’s possible to see a city that is ready to reinvent itself.

Clockwise from top left: Osijek Cathedral, Croatia; Chain Bridge, Budapest; Saint Sava, Serbia; traditional Hungarian market; the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral, Bucharest; Bulgarian bowls; Slivovitz – plum brandy; Vörösmarty Square

GETTING THERE The 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe cruise with Viking River Cruises costs from £1,495pp, travelling in an E grade cabin in March 2014, based on two people sharing. The price includes return economy flights, all meals on board, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, six guided tours and all port charges, airport taxes and transfers. For further information call 0208 780 7995 or visit vikingrivercruises.co.uk.

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ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask the Experts

Got a question about cruise holidays? Get in touch with our experts at info@cruise-international.com

Q

I am thinking about taking a cruise along the Nile. Is it safe to go now and is there anything I need to take into account?

A. I believe that the River Nile is the best way to travel between the sights of ancient Egypt, and this world famous waterway offers a unique opportunity to view some of the world’s most ancient treasures. Around one million British nationals visit Egypt every year with most of these trips being trouble free. You just need to take the same care as with any other holiday abroad and as it’s a hot climate, you need to be mindful of the sun. The government website gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, offers the very latest guidance for anyone considering a holiday abroad. You may also wish to consider combining a Nile river cruise with a short stay – perhaps the antiquities of Cairo – before or after the cruise. As with Europe, and many other destinations, a river cruise is a fantastic way to experience the destination from the comfort of a cruise ship, and Egypt is no exception. Andy Harmer

Q

What is cruise tipping etiquette? Can I tip specific crew members during my stay as well as in the gratuity envelope at the end of the cruise?

PHOTOS: © AVALON WATERWAYS/123RF

A. Of course you can if you wish to – and indeed tipping a little at the beginning, or during your cruise, would probably ensure attentive service throughout. However, the usual etiquette is for tips to be given at the end – either in cash in the gratuity envelope, or added to your on board account. Or ask for them to be removed if you’d rather reward crew members personally. Cash tips given to your most helpful waiters during dinner on the last night, in the on board currency, are most appreciated. I tip my cabin steward before their last turn-down service, and always write a little thank you on everyone’s envelopes too as recognition of excellent service. Ships advise on amounts and guidelines vary from £3pp per night upwards. You can also compliment individual crew members in the cruise questionnaire. Julie Peasgood

A. Mystery tours are a British tradition that appeal to our humour and sense of adventure. They are popular with people who have ticked off all the obvious cruise itineraries and want something unexpected, or for fans of a particular ship who don’t care where it’s going. The departure point holds the clue to packing – a two-week round-trip from the UK won’t get you much further south than the Canaries. But the itinerary is kept secret until you reach each port, just to maintain the suspense. Mystery tours can also be good value, with free excursions and drinks included in the price. Deborah Stone

This issue’s experts

Julie Peasgood is a TV presenter, travel expert and Contributing Editor for Cruise International

CRU ISE -I N T ER NAT IONA L .COM

Q

Is it worth doing a mystery cruise and how would I work out what assortment of clothes to pack?

Andy Harmer is Director of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK & Ireland

Deborah Stone is an award-winning writer and Contributing Editor for Cruise International

AUGUST/SEP T EMBER 2013 |

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Cruise Gallery

YOUR PHOTOS

Every issue we invite you to send us your favourite photos from your cruise SEND US YOUR HOLIDAY SNAPS AND YOU COULD WIN A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE

“My daughter playing golf on board Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas”

ic C hr istmas st a nt fa r ou on r ne “Before din &O C ruises”cy Sykes P h it w na a ce O on Lu cruise

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How to enter: Send your photos, with your name, email address, phone number and a brief description of where and when you took the picture to: Post: Cruise Gallery, Cruise International, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ Email: info@cruiseinternational.com Facebook: Upload your photos onto our Facebook page facebook.com/ cruiseinternational

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Send us your pictures and we’ll feature them on cruiseinternational. com, plus we’ll print a selection in the magazine every issue – and the star photo will win a bottle of Champagne.

a stunning Nor wegian Fjords oudicca wit h Fred. O ls en Cruises”

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“Taken during a moody sunset

at C uraçao on our New Year voyage with Pr incess C ruises”

PHOTO: © FANCY COLLECTION / SUPERSTOCK

NEXT ISSUE on sale 6 Sept

our easter n Med on b lu C n w a L he “Me sitting in t rit y Ref lection – great ship ” leb Lee Smith cruise on board Ce

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AUGUST/SEP T EMBER 2013 |

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Celebrity travels

Sally Gunnell Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell, OBE, reveals her perfect spots to unwind

When you’re training you get to travel the world, but it’s very fly-in, fly-out. The place I’ve gone back to many times since is Barcelona, where I won my Olympic gold medal. Last year I went with some girlfriends, saw the Gaudi architecture and had a ball. I love the fact that you can walk everywhere.

i’m ambassador for the royal caribbean runners programme which, working with sport england, offers people the chance to run with others on board – and when they return home. all of the ships have running tracks and the most amazing gyms. i remember running on my treadmill at about 6.30 in the morning, watching us come into naples – it was wonderful.

I have very vivid memories of Labadee and its warm sea. We went on a family Caribbean cruise on Oasis of the Seas, and Labadee is a favourite port of call. We love to keep active when we’re away and the beach there has zip wires and lots of outdoor activities. And then in Mexico we got the chance to go snorkelling. one place we return to again and again is Florida. there’s something for everybody there. We’ve explored both coasts and we swam with dolphins, but most of all the boys, Finley, 15, luca, 12 and marley, seven, enjoy getting their boogie boards out on the waves. my husband Jonathan and i got married on captiva island so it’s very special to us.

i did some charity work with the Point Foundation in rwanda about three years ago and spent time with children in an orphanage. i want to take our kids there – they’re old enough now to experience the real, rural and cultural side of africa.

“I remember running on board, watching us come into the port of Naples” 98

| auGust/seP t emBer 2013

cru ise -i n t er nat iona l .com

words: Natalie milNer photos: © John worrall/alamy/istock/royalcaribbean

throughout my childhood i spent the summertime in Hemsby, norfolk, where my aunt had a bungalow on the beach. i remember eating doughnuts, taking friends with me, enjoying endless sunshine and playing on the beach. i was about 14 when i first travelled abroad. We went to the canary islands and the memory of the sand dunes at las Palmas has stayed with me to this day.


Exotic Delights FREE AIRFARE* PLUS UP TO

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Penthouse Suite . . . . . . . . . . . . . from £2,649 per guest fly-cruise Veranda Stateroom . . . . . . . . . . . from £2,229 per guest fly-cruise Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom. . from £2,009 per guest fly-cruise Inside Stateroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . from £1,879 per guest fly-cruise

$200 Shipboard Credit* offered on 3 January 2014 sailing; $100 Shipboard Credit* offered on 18 March 2014 sailing.

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CON TACT YOUR T RAVE L A G E N T | VI S I T US A T OCE A N I A C RUI S E S . C O M + Date refers to the cruise departure date.

Pre-cruise overnight hotel stay required (not included). ◆ Reverse itinerary — times and port order vary.

Overnight stay in port.

*Offers expire 30th September 2013. All advertised fares, offers and any applicable upgrades shown are per person based on double occupancy unless otherwise indicated, are subject to availability at time of booking, may not be combinable with other offers, or loyalty programme benefits, are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn without prior notice or remain in effect after the expiration date. Any applicable shipboard credits are per stateroom based on double occupancy. All fares listed are in Pounds Sterling, per person, based on double occupancy and include Non-Commissionable Fares. Cruise-related government fees and taxes are included. Single rates and rates for 3rd and 4th guests are available upon request; call for details. Cruise Ship Fuel Surcharge may apply for new bookings and, if applicable, is additional revenue to Oceania Cruises. Special Fares covering multiple sailings will represent the lowest priced date. Fares are cruise only. “Free Airfare” promotion does not include ground transfers and applies to economy, round-trip flights only from London. Regional connecting flights can be requested at additional cost from ABZ, BFS, BHX, EDI, GLA, LBA, MAN & NCL. Any advertised fares that include the “Free Airfare” promotion include airline fees, surcharges and all government taxes. Some airline-imposed personal charges, including but not limited to baggage, priority boarding and special seating, may apply. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Additional Terms and Conditions may apply. Complete Terms and Conditions may be found at OceaniaCruises.com or in the Guest Ticket Contract. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands. PRO40328 UK


Cruise International Aug/Sep 2013  

Cruise International Aug/Sep 2013