Thursday, 30 December 2010

Best Cruising Moments 2011

By guest blogger Steve Newman

Well, 2010 has nearly gone now and it's time to look back at some of my personal cruise moments from the past 12 months, as detailed here on Time Spent At Sea.

Crossing the Arctic Circle and seeing the midnight sun on the Hurtigruten has to be my best cruise moment. In fact, the whole cruise with them was simply amazing, from the lush, wooded sides and waterfalls of the Geirangerfjord to the frozen, barren tundra of The Nord Cap.

Climbing the 400 steps of Skellig Michael in Ireland to get to the stone beehive huts of the 6th century monastery as it rises out of the Atlantic comes a close second. This round-Britain cruise with Zegrahm Expeditions also visited the Shetlands, Bass Rock (above), The Scilly Isles, Jura and St Kilda looking at 13 wild and ancient islands. A truly memorable experience.

The rise of adventure/eco-cruising is also extremely heart warming to me, as more and more of the world is made accessible by zodiacs on small luxury expedition ships, with usually no more than 100 passengers on board. You don’t have to be 100% fit or under 25 to do these trips, either, and most have five-star comforts waiting for you when you get back on board.

Companies such as American Safari Cruises, Lindblad Expeditions, Aqua and Cruise North Expeditions are all putting time, effort and resources back into the environment and the local people. This theme continues with more cruise companies now actively pursuing a “Green” policy and even the bigger lines like Royal Caribbean and Costa now actively incorporating environmental considerations into their ships' design and sailing practices.

May we see more of it in 2011!

PS: If you missed it, here was my Hurtigruten feature sailing the classic Norwegian coastal voyage in World of Cruising magazine earlier this year: