Sunday, 30 September 2012

Crystal's Monaco Grand Prix Experience

Crystal Cruises has announced four new privileged opportunities for guests to experience the fast cars and glamorous events of next spring’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix

Three options offer different, intimate ways to watch the world’s most prestigious automobile race from either the uber-exclusive driver/team-prep paddock area; a chic private balcony/residence above the renowned Casino; or the best of the fan grandstands near the start/finish line, overlooking the stunning port. 

A fourth new excursion brings guests to the official Formula One VIP party celebrating the race’s end, where guests can dance ‘til dawn. The four Crystal Adventures were created exclusively for Crystal Serenity’s May 18-30 Esprit du Grand Prix-themed Mediterranean cruise. The itinerary features two days in Monte Carlo, from May 26, race day, to Monday May 27.

In addition to the finest locations for viewing the race, the Grand Prix Adventures include gourmet catered meals and knowledgeable hosts to enlighten guests and escort them to and from the events. Premium champagne, open bar and indoor-outdoor comfort are also offered for the two more private options. The most exclusive “Team Paddock” viewing choice also brings guests shoulder-to-shoulder with Team Ferrari or Team Pirelli, to the pit lanes for driver-eavesdropping, behind-the-scenes to the garage and to a private stand and hospitality area to watch the Driver Parade.

After the cars finish winding through Monte Carlo’s streets, many drivers and audience elite head to the stylish Amber Lounge for the F1 party — and Crystal guests can too, via the fourth Grand Prix Adventure, which offers a VIP table, unlimited Dom Perignon, delicious three-course dinner, cocktails, dancing and a private vehicle to take you “home” whenever you choose.

Prices for the outings range from $829 to $14,199 per person. The 12-night voyage starts with an overnight in Istanbul and visits Mykonos, Santorini, Sorrento, Corsica, Monte Carlo (overnight) and Florence before finishing with an overnight in Barcelona. Until October 31, all-inclusive “Book Now” fares start at £3,530 per person, double occupancy.  

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Regent's Christmas Crackers

This December, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers guests an extra dash of merriment with all-inclusive festive sailings to the South Pacific and South America. Each ultra-luxury voyage offers the fantastic value of free round-trip air, unlimited complimentary shore excursions and ultra-luxury, all-inclusive offering on board.

Regent's team of talented chefs will serve special European and American tasting menus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Sample menu items include lobster and ricotta ravioli, Christmas goose, roasted turkey on chestnut-stuffing, Bûche de Noël, and traditional pumpkin pie. An interdenominational service is also held on Christmas Eve.

Toasting the season, travellers will sail along the mighty Amazon aboard the line’s all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner for a 22-night cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Miami departing 16. The 'Ultimate Amazon' sailing offers up to 43 free shore excursions and visits eight different ports in Brazil, French Guyana, Barbados (above), St. Barts and Puerto Rico. 

Departing December 19, the 21-night 'South Pacific Secrets' voyage from Bali to Auckland aboard the 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager showcases the best of Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the 28 complimentary shore excursions, which include a winery tour in Western Australia, mountain biking in Tasmania and discovering sea lions on Kangaroo Island, guests can also enjoy the choice of a free three-night, pre-cruise land programme in Bali or a three-night, post-cruise hotel programme in Auckland. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Around The World With Silversea

Leading luxury cruise operator Silversea has announced  it will start 2014 - its 20th anniversary year - with an exceptional voyage. The special 113-day 2014 World Cruise will encompass 54 ports in 29 countries, with 12 overnights and eight late departures.

Setting sail from Los Angeles on  January 6, the 382-guest Silver Whisper will circumnavigate the entire globe. Heading first into the Pacific, the ship calls at Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand before a two-day call at Sydney. The three days in Hong Kong and two days in Shanghai that follow will allow an extensive array of Overland Adventures, and a myriad of half and full-day excursions.

Guests will then spend a month exploring Asia calling at Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia before arriving at one of the world’s most intriguing and enigmatic destinations, Myanmar. Silver Whisper will remain at dock in Yangon for three days to allow ample time to discover the colonial architecture of Burma’s largest city, monumental Shwedagon Pagoda, and unforgettable Bagan with its 2,200 temples and pagodas. The antiquities and urban contrasts of India, Oman, Jordan and Egypt are then followed by twin calls in the Holy Land.

The global journey concludes with a sweep of former capitals of empire, notably Istanbul, Athens and Rome and the delights of Messina, Sorrento and Monte Carlo. An overnight in Barcelona will bring the World Cruise to an artistic conclusion.

Options are also available to extend the journey, by adding a pre-cruise Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles (17 days), or extend from Barcelona to Lisbon (7 days) or Southampton (16 days).

Full World Cruise guests will enjoy a number of added benefits, including a gala Bon Voyage evening at the Montage Beverly Hills (or similar), baggage valet service, inclusive air (or air credit), generous onboard spending credits, exclusive shoreside events, such as an overnight visit to Angkor Wat, with dinner in the shadows of Bayon Temple, and a delightful array of surprises.

Prices start from £33,650 per person, based on double occupancy for the 113-day cruise.

For bookings, follow this link to the Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

New Autumn Edition Out This Week!

OK folks, stand by your letter-boxes - the all-new Autumn edition of World of Cruising magazine will be dropping through them any day now!

The latest issue is, as ever, packed full of the very best cruise writing from the sharpest and most knowledgeable collection of writers on the subject. From Gary Buchanan and Peter Newall to Captain Greybeard (aka John Honeywell) and Sarah Gilbert and Jo Foley to Guy Mansell, we have an immaculate array of travel-writing quality.

And then, of course, we have the best section of Cruise News, Views and Reviews on the high seas.

In this edition, we head to the Danube River in eastern Europe and the Rideau Canal in Canada; the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic; and Taiwan in the Far East and Italy for our essential World of Spas section.

Each destination feature is carefully chosen to showcase some of the most enticing and happening places in the cruise cosmos, as well as offer some welcome winter sun options as the autumn weather draws in.

For ship reviews, we offer the blissful L'Austral of Compagnie du Ponant, the Celebrity Eclipse of Celebrity Cruises, the Crystal Serenity of Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises' new Riviera and a special Passenger Perspective of the Azamara Quest.

As ever, it all adds up to the best possible read in the wide world of cruising, so make sure your subscription is fully up to date!

Oh, and don't forget to Follow us on Twitter, too -

Fred Olsen + Portsmouth = Autumn Bliss

After a summer of wet and windy weather, many of us long for warmer climates, before winter sets in. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has two longer cruises, with some fascinating destinations to explore, departing from Portsmouth this autumn. The smart new terminal building and greatly improved road access – due to the new Hindhead Tunnel – plus excellent rail links, make this a superb departure port. 

The first departure is aboard Boudicca, a 23-night cruise to the Mediterranean, focusing on Turkey. Departing October 12, it sails south to southern Portugal, with a first visit to pretty Portimăo, in the Algarve. Another day at sea brings the lovely island of Ibiza, pleasantly sunny and quieter in October, before moving on to another island – Malta - where Boudicca calls into the historic capital, Valletta. An added attraction on this cruise is the distinguished guest speaker, veteran broadcaster Michael Nicholson OBE (above). Michael will be hosting a theme of ‘Reporting the World’ through Fred. Olsen’s exclusive onboard enrichment programme, Vistas.

Prices for this stunning cruise start from £1,399 per person, based on two adults sharing an outside, twin cabin, with a LateSaver deal. The price includes all meals and entertainment on board and port taxes. There is no extra charge for taking part in Vistas activities. 

Another long cruise promising some wonderful weather this autumn is Boudicca’s ‘Caribbean Voyage’. This 28-night cruise departs  Portsmouth on November 18 and features two relaxing days at sea before visiting Funchal on the pretty ‘Garden Isle’ of Madeira. The ship then makes her Atlantic crossing and her first port of call in the Caribbean is Bridgetown, Barbados, one of the most popular islands with British visitors. Next is the lovely harbour of St. George’s in Grenada – known as the ‘Spice Island’ – then Castries, in lush, green St. Lucia. Other islands visited are Antigua, with its 365 beaches (one for every day of the year), St. Kitts, Tortola and tiny St. Maarten, all with their own personalities and glorious scenery, plus a warm Caribbean welcome guaranteed.On the return crossing, Boudicca calls into Ponta Delgada in the Azores, before returning to Portsmouth.

Prices for this cruise start from just £1,699 per person, based on two adults sharing an outside, twin cabin, with a LateSaver deal (cabin allocated on embarkation).This price includes all meals and entertainment on board and port taxes, representing great value for money.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's cruise agent specialists. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hurtigruten Helps Protect Fragile Arctic

Protecting the fragile environments they sail in is of paramount importance to Hurtigruten. Its philosophy of ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’ is one supported by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), who will increase their number of guidelines for specific sites in Spitsbergen from 9 to 21 for 2013. They aim to ensure the continued protection of this vulnerable destination and to ensure guests can continue to enjoy visiting it in years to come.

This year, AECO extended its site inspection expedition and took a team of specialists, including biologists, an archaeologist, a botanist and other tourism experts, to the East Svalbard Nature Reserves. The work of the scientific team was to conduct biological, cultural heritage and botanical observations in order to derive practical guidelines for environmentally friendly field landings that AECO members are required to follow. 

This includes areas where Hurtigruten sails during its circumnavigation of Spitsbergen itinerary. This project is funded by the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, a fund that all visitors, including Hurtigruten guests, contribute to via a fee incorporated into their airfares.

Hurtigruten offers three itineraries in Spitsbergen on various dates in July and August 2013.

In the Realm of the Polar Bear – This nine-day voyage offers a complete circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. Prices start from £3,896pp and include seven-nights full board on MS Fram, a night pre-voyage in Longyearbyen, with breakfast and lunch, a city tour, island landings and lectures by expedition team (based on two sharing).

Flights from London to Longyearbyen via Oslo are extra and a package including flights, taxes and transfers, costs from £792pp. Departs 14, 21 and 28 August 2013.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's adventure-cruise specialists.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Go Green On The Zambezi Queen

Creating a unique travel option in the Chobe, one of Africa's finest national parks stretching across 11, 000 km² of lush African bush was the inspiration behind the unique and totally eco-friendly Zambezi Queen River Boat, part of the renowned Mantis Collection.

Guests tend to enjoy their experience even more in the knowledge that they are not leaving a heavy footprint, carbon or otherwise, after their visit. Being aware of the impact people have during their travels is in the forefront of the travelling community's mind nowadays.

Very few travel experiences are said to compare with the Zambezi Queen. Something that guests often remark on is the delightful contrast of being in a remote African destination and viewing all this raw beauty in sophisticated five-star luxury.

The Chobe is home to the largest elephant population in the world, currently estimated to be around 120,000. Elephants by the dozen often come down to the river to drink, and to play. Prides of lions, leopards, huge herds of buffalo and numerous species of antelope also wander the riverbanks, and hippos and crocodiles regularly appear from the water. And all of this can be enjoyed with a drink in hand, sitting in a comfortable chair!

Running between Botswana and Namibia, it is a travel experience of a completely different kind and is available on a 2, 3 and 5-day itinerary, with cruise-only prices from $975 (based on double occupancy).

For UK bookings, check with the luxury cruise specialists of the Cruise Line Ltd for tailor-made packages including the Zambezi Queen. Call 0800 008 6677.

Monday, 24 September 2012

P&O Line Up A Sweet Treat

Master Pâtissier and Cake Boy legend, Eric Lanlard, has teamed up with P&O Cruises on two Food and Wine theme cruises for 2013, to give passengers an insight into his intricate design and detail of cakes, patisserie and desserts.

Lanlard, who has previously made cakes for Her Majesty the Queen Mother, David Beckham and Claudia Schiffer, amongst others, made a bespoke cake for P&O's celebrations of their 175 years of heritage, which was cut by HRH The Princess Royal on July 3.

Lanlard will give passengers an insight into some of his techniques and designs in baking, patisserie, chocolate and desserts, and will travel on two cruises in 2013.

  • A 14-night Western Mediterranean on board Azura, departing April 27, joining Atul Kochhar and Olly Smith on board. Vantage Fares from £1,069pp.
  • A 28-night Caribbean no-fly cruise on board Adonia, departing November 11, joining Marco Pierre White on board. Vantage Fares from £2,439pp.

Whilst on board, Lanlard will be participating in a theatre Q&A session conducted by the cruise director, a book signing and photo session, demonstrations in the theatre and a private masterclass for 10 people (a charge will apply - on board Azura only). 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's leading cruise-agent specialists.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Ponant Set Sail For Arctic

Compagnie du Ponant, the luxury French yacht cruise operator and specialist in soft expeditions and great journeys around the world, has run Antarctic cruises for years and is currently developing a new Arctic itinerary cruising through the North-West Passage for its brand new ship Le Soléal, which launches in July 2013. 

The newcomer will feature Iceland, Greenland and Arctic Canada in its first season, before going on to a series of unique voyages in the Russian Far East and Japan via the famous North-West passage in September and October.

Le Soleal will be a sister ship to Ponant's two ground-breaking super-yachts Le Boreal and L'Austral (above), which made their debuts in 2010 and 2011 respectively, taking 260 passengers in deluxe style.

With many themed-cruises, from music, golf, and gourmet cruises taking place throughout the year, the luxury cruise line also offers guests a unique product with world-famous French savoir-faire.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Alsace, Scotland & Italy With European Waterways

In need of an autumn tonic? Ready to look at a luxury hotel barge holiday? Well, European Waterways have three perfect ideas with you in mind! Just take a look at this little selection of late autumn offers from Europe's leader in small, deluxe river-cruising.

Harvesting the Beauty of Alsace
This autumn, the 12-passenger Panache is cruising through the historic French region of Alsace. Bordering Germany, the region features a combination of French and German cultures, with a classic landscape of rolling vineyards and winding waterways. Its medieval villages and historic citadels are tucked away between the Vosges Mountains on the west and the River Rhine to the east. During a characteristically long and warm autumn, the region’s half-timbered houses are set against an auburn countryside, complete with ripe rows of grapes just waiting to be picked and processed into wine.  

The Scottish Highlands
The magnificent Scottish Highlands are arguably the quintessential trademark of Scotland. Featuring the Grampian Mountains and Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, they are populated with medieval castles, country farm towns, and vast lakes. And passengers on European Waterways’ luxury barge The Scottish Highlander will be in “high” spirits, with spending long, peaceful days cruising the Caledonian Canal. 

Guests will take in the view on a gondola trip up Britain’s eighth highest mountain, Aonach Mor; Scottish history will be explored at the famous medieval Eilean Donan Castle featured in the movie Highlander; and more cultural magic will be unveiled at Cawdor Castle, the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. And, for some onboard entertainment, a Scottish piper will serenade passengers one evening and Captain Dan Clark will play Scottish tunes on his accordion at the farewell dinner. 

Say “Ciao” to La Bella Vita
Cruising slowly down the canals of northern Italy, one is truly living “La Bella Vita.” It means “the beautiful life” in Italian, and it is also the namesake of European Waterways’ stylish 20-passenger vessel that cruises the region. Travelling between Mantua in north central Italy and the coastal city of Venice, La Bella Vita cruises through the Po Valley and the Veneto on the canals and rivers of an ancient Roman trade route. It visits towns such as Ferrara, which boasts Medieval and Renaissance architecture, cobblestone streets, and the aroma of delicious local cuisine – where life in the moment really couldn’t be more “Bella.” 

La Bella Vita’s varied itinerary spans the gardens and wine cellars of the 17th century Villa Widmann-Borletti, to the colourful beach towns of the lagoon islands. Guests will tour Venice, the ancient city built on water, and the small fishing port town of Chioggia, featuring a colourful fresh fish market, among other excursions. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury river-cruise specialists.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Sail The China Seas

Noble Caledonia is offering a fascinating Far East journey from Sabah through the aquamarine waters of the South and East China Sea exploring the Philippine Islands, Taiwan and Japan aboard the Caledonian Sky next April.

Book Before September 30 and Save £500 Per Person; 14 nights from £5495
For the well travelled, this voyage from Sabah to Japan, sailing on April 11, offers a unique opportunity to visit little known and remote regions that are well away from the usual cruise routes in the Far East. The cruise begins in the Malaysian state of Sabah and heads north into the South China Sea for a call into the beautiful Philippine Island of Palawan where guests navigate what is reputed to be the longest underground river. Known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, it is an extraordinary five-mile-long cave, which starts in the limestone hills and ends in the sea.

From the exquisite white sandy beaches of Coron, you can snorkel in calm crystalline waters. The last call in the Philippines will be in the far north for a visit to the central mountains of Northern Luzon.

Continuing in a northerly direction, the next landfall will be the island of Taiwan where the ship spends time in the capital of Tapei. Thirty years ago, the city was an unattractive mess, today it is one of the finest and best-run cities in the East and an interesting place to learn more about the Japanese colonial period and the more recent era of Chiang Kai Shek.

Approximately 100 miles from Taiwan, the islands of Japan begin, an archipelago that stretches some 500 miles to the mainland bordered by the East China Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. Guests will enjoy three days cruising amongst these delightful outpost islands, probably best described as Japan’s Outer Hebrides. Finally, you reach Japan’s mainland and an altogether different experience as you explore some of her great historic cities before reaching Kobe, the last port of call. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury adventure cruise specialists.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Grab A Last-Minute Saving With Hebridean

Luxury cruise line Hebridean Island Cruises is offering up to 30% off last-minute bookings for this autumn. Guests can save up to £1,720 per person on cruises departing from October 2 to November 6.

Itineraries available include:

  • The Small Isles and Skye: a seven-night cruise from £3,410 per person – a saving of £1,140pp. Cruise departs from Oban on October 9 and calls at Eigg and Canna, Skye, Uig and Portree, Plockton, Inverie, Rum and Muck and finishes in Oban.
  • Gems of The Inner Isles: a seven-night cruise from £2,750 per person – a saving of up to £1,190pp. Cruise departs from Oban on October 16 and calls at Rum, Shieldaig, Portree, Inverie, Eigg and Glenmore, Tobermory and Craignure before calling back at Oban.
  • Lochs And Isles: a seven-night cruise from £2,295 per person – a saving of £765 per person. Cruise departs from Oban on October 30 and calls at Rum and Eigg, Inverie, Plockton, Kerrera, Lismore, Fort William and Ballachulish, before finishing in Oban.

Prices for all cruises include transfers between Glasgow and the ship or free car parking in Oban, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities, plus all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruising specialists.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Seabourn's Antarctica & Patagonia Quest

More than 20 years after the company pioneered an entirely new style of small-ship, ultra-luxury cruising, Seabourn is extending its repertoire to include Antarctica for the very first time. 

Passengers can now book a series of four 21-24-day voyages in 2013 on Seabourn’s newest ship Quest, sailing between Valparaíso, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The all-suite ship will cruise the Chilean coast, including visits to Puerto Montt for the Chilean Lakes District, Castro on the huge island of Chiloé, and Puerto Chacabuco for the Rio Simpson Valley and Coyhaique. It will also call at Punta Arenas, from where guests can tour the magnificent Torres del Paine National Park.

The ship will then thread the glaciers, peaks and channels of the Chilean Fjords, culminating in a transit of the Beagle Channel and its spectacular Glacier Alley. Weather permitting, following a call at Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, Seabourn Quest will cruise by Cape Horn bound for the Southern Ocean.

Guests on board will experience five days in Antarctica, including scenic cruising of highlights such as the breathtaking Lemaire Channel, picturesque Paradise Bay and the Gerlache Strait. An experienced Antarctic expedition staff will ensure guests enjoy the best of the hundreds of available sites for landings and cruising in smaller inflatable boats, based on real-time weather and wildlife reports during their Antarctic adventures. Scientists, naturalists and other lecturers in a number of disciplines will speak on board and accompany guests ashore to add insights to their once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

During the South Atlantic portion of the voyage, guests will enjoy visits to Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, and Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, en route to or from Buenos Aires. A 24-day Holiday version will include two days exploring the sub-Antarctic wildlife Eden of South Georgia Island, renowned for its beauty and its vast, teeming rookeries of king penguins  and other seabirds, as well as breeding elephant and fur seals.

For bookings follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sanctuary Retreats Pioneer 10-Night Nile Cruises

Sanctuary Retreats is delighted to announce the successful completion of the first long cruise down the Nile from Cairo to Aswan for 15 years on board the Sanctuary Sun Boat III, which departed Cairo on August 19 and finished in Aswan ten days later.

For the past 15 years, cruise ships have been unable to sail from Cairo to Aswan. However, this  route has now been re-opened by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and, with their support alongside the Egyptian Government and the Floating River Association, Sanctuary Retreats is the first company to have completed this spectacular journey offering an unprecedented selection of Egypt’s ancient wonders over 10 nights.

Dates for 10 night cruises in 2013 are April 6 and 20 on Sanctuary Sun Boat III, May 24 and July 2 on Sanctuary Sun Boat IV and May 10 and September 10 on board Sanctuary Nile Adventurer. All Sanctuary Retreats boats offer the very best in intimate and luxurious Nile cruising.

With 18 cabins, Sun Boat III is a smaller than average 5-star boat in 1930s colonial style with unique personalised service. The boutique Sun Boat IV has 40 luxury cabins and is furnished in a contemporary style with an art deco influence, while the elegant Nile Adventurer has just 32 beautifully designed cabins offering a relaxed cruising experience.

Prices start from $3,440 per person for the 10-night cruises on a full board basis with all sightseeing, entrance fees and guidance from world class Egyptologists included. Flights and transfers not included.

Early Booking Offer

All new bookings for the 10-night cruise made before January 31 can take advantage of a complimentary private transfer on arrival, complimentary re-cruise check-in with one additional night half board on board prior to the departure and an upgrade to an upper category deck, subject to availability.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's river-cruise specialists.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Grab A Luxury Oceania Saving

Food-lovers' cruise line Oceania Cruises is offering up to $1,000 onboard credit and savings of more than 50 per cent on select departures between October and May. These great new deals also include free flights, all meals, soft drinks and bottled water on board.

Those looking for a real cruise bargain can choose from:

November 1, Istanbul to Athens, 7 nights now from £912:
Oceania's 1,250-guest ship Marina features six fine-dining restaurants and no dining supplements and departs from Istanbul, calling into the Turkish coast and Greek islands, including Kusadasi, Rhodes and Crete. This 'Mediterranean Medley’ was priced at £1,807pp and includes all flights, meals and a $500 ship-board credit per stateroom. 

November 15, Istanbul to Dubai, 21 nights now from £2,322:
Enjoy the luxury of sailing on a smaller ship, free flights, a $1,000 credit per stateroom and a saving of £1,575 off the original fare. The 650-guest Nautica departs from Istanbul to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the UAE, arriving in Dubai on December 6. The cruise was £3,897 and also includes return flights, all meals, bottled water and soft drinks as well as the onboard credit.

December 20, Christmas in the Grenadines, 14 nights from £2,312:
Save £2,077 off a grand Christmas Caribbean cruise and enjoy free flights and an extra $300 stateroom credit. Oceania's newest ship Riviera will spend Christmas in the British Virgin Islands and Grenadines, with Christmas Day alongside the island of St. Vincent, Christmas Eve in Antigua and Boxing Day in Barbados. The 'Island Holiday’ cruise was £4,389, including free return flights, all meals, bottled water and soft drinks and ship-board credit.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Take A Voyage Of Discovery In 2013/14

The new Winter 2013/14 season with Voyages of Discovery sees MV Voyager heading to the Far East with 21 new ports of call for the brand, including Dubai, Tokyo and San Remo through to itineraries in India, China, Myanmar, South Korea and Japan.  

The line's newest ship will also call at the bustling port of Bangkok (Thailand) and berth right in the heart of the city - a completely new venture for Voyages of Discovery, made possible due to the small size of Voyager. Voyages of Discovery is also offering a 5% early booking discount on all Winter 2013/14 bookings made by October 31

Highlights of the programme include:

  • Asian Capitals and the Magic of Vietnam – A 19-day cruise from £2,399 per person. Passengers can explore Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore and Hong Kong before taking in the scenery of UNESCO listed beauty spot, Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). Price is based on a January 2, 2014, UK departure.
  • Treasures of Asia – A 16-day cruise from £1,999 per person. Guests can discover the nature and wildlife in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Highlights include a visit to Thailand’s bustling capital of Bangkok, Mount Kinabalu National Park (Malaysia) and the Angkor Wat temple (Cambodia). Price is based on a February 17, 2014, UK departure.
  • Ancient Worlds and Modern Masterpieces – A 15-day cruise from £1,599 per person where passengers can experience the Suez and Corinth Canals. Price is based on an April 7, 2014, UK departure.

Guests can enjoy Voyager’s newly-enhanced features, including three restaurants offering a range of dining options and al fresco dining and flexible seating, the refreshed library area and the Lookout Lounge, which provides panoramic views from the front of the ship. Almost 90% of the cabins are outside cabins and 30 have balconies. All of the public areas on board will benefit from a light refurbishment including new art work and soft furnishings.

All Voyages of Discovery standard fares include return flights from the UK on fly cruises, all relevant overseas transfers, gratuities and service charges, meals and entertainment and the Guest Speaker programme on board the ship. A complimentary chauffeur service is available on higher grade cabin bookings. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's adventure-cruise specialists.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Norwegian's September Bonus

Guests booking with Norwegian Cruise Line this month will automatically receive up to $500 per stateroom to spend on board as part of a special autumn promotion. The offer is valid when a European or Transatlantic cruise of three nights or more is booked by September 30 for travel from April 2013-2014.

Once on board, guests can redeem this credit against a range of experiences which could include luxurious treatments in the ships’ spas, or shore excursions which give guests the chance to explore ports of call during their trip. 

Speciality restaurant dining is another way guests can choose to use their onboard credit as Norwegian’s ships have a choice of up to 28 dining options with eateries including the impressive Teppenyaki, Cagney’s American steakhouse, authentic French and Italian or the Brazilian Churrascaria where meat is served by tableside passadors.

Itineraries included in the offer range from Transatlantic crossings to Eastern and Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Canary Islands and Baltics sailings on five Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Itineraries in the offer include: 

  • A seven-night Venice and Aegean Sea fly-cruise on Norwegian Jade. Departing various dates from May-October 2013, sailing from Venice and calling at Dubrovnik, Piraeus (for Athens), Izmir (for Ephesus) and Split. Priced from £904pp based on a May 11 departure. 
  • A seven-night Western Mediterranean fly-cruise on Norwegian Epic. Departing various dates between May and October, sailing from Barcelona and calling at Naples, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Cannes and Marseille. Priced from £949pp, based on departures October 6 and 13. 
  • A nine-night Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen fly-cruise on Norwegian Star. Departing various dates between May and September 2013, from Copenhagen to Warnemünde (for Berlin), Tallinn, St. Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki and Stockholm. Priced from £1,214pp based on May 7 and 16 departures. 
  • An eight-night Transatlantic cruise on board the brand new Norwegian Breakaway. Departing on April 30 from Southampton and arriving in New York City. Priced from £1036pp.   

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's cruise-agent specialists.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Learn A New Skill At Sea With Swan Hellenic

Want to perfect your handiwork with a paintbrush, get to grips with Tai Chi or learn the art of needlework? Join Swan Hellenic’s recently refurbished ship, MV Minerva, for a 15-day Passage to Oman cruise and try your hand at a new skill.

Passengers on board the Middle Eastern cruise can make the most of the ship’s enhanced facilities during their time at sea and take part in a range of workshops and masterclasses. Tai Chi master Qu Leilei will join passengers on board to teach them the ancient art of body and mind relaxation whilst Sophie Long, who is trained in more than 30 embroidery techniques, will also be hosting fascinating needlework workshops.

The Passage to Oman cruise starts from £1,595 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin) and departs from Safaga (Egypt, overnight) to call at Djibouti, Salalah (Oman), Muscat (Oman, overnight), Khasab (Oman) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates, overnight). The price is based on the November 21 departure. Masterclasses on board other Swan Hellenic cruises can include painting, bridge, writing, singing and wine-tasting.

The price also includes return flights from the UK, transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions, talks by eminent Guest Speakers, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's adventure-cruise specialists.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Quark's New Polar 2013 Season

Quark Expeditions is pleased to announce the company’s Arctic 2013 season, featuring icebreaker adventures to the North Pole and luxury ship expeditions to Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland.

Many of the Arctic region's most sought after destinations are coming back for the 2013 season, with two North Pole voyages departing June 19 and June 30, as well as the “Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen” trip, which was named as one of the “50 Tours of a Lifetime” in 2011.

New Expedition Added

New for next year's season is the “Greenland Explorer: Valleys and Fjords” expedition, which follows the dramatic coast of the world’s largest island. Passengers will get to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Illusiat Ice Fjord, one of the largest and fastest moving glaciers. It travels approximately 100 feet per day while dropping huge icebergs into its narrow coastal inlets.

Explorers will also encounter indigenous communities as well as the rich animal life surrounding this beautiful country, including many varieties of seals, whales, dolphins, polar bears and sea birds. The journey takes passengers to two of the world’s most northern capitals, beginning in Ottawa and ending in Reykjavik (the reverse itinerary is also available). Prices start from £4,120 for 14 and 15-day itineraries for departures in August 2013.

For more adventure cruise ideas, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's leading adventure-cruising specialists.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Silversea Add Belfast To UK Flight Programme

Award-winning Silversea has announced Belfast as the latest UK route to be added to its extensive flight programme. The luxury line will introduce the new route to all of its worldwide voyages, with Belfast also included in the complimentary return economy air programme on selected voyages for the remainder of 2012 and 2013.

Silversea maintains relationships with most international carriers to ensure the best airfares and schedules are available to its guests, offering complimentary economy air on 95% of all voyages. Guests can also take advantage of Silversea’s attractive upgrade rates to Business and First Class.

With all-suite accommodations, butler service and all-inclusive indulgences such as gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux, Silversea offers itineraries to the most vibrant and intriguing of destinations while its smaller ships allow access to rarely-seen harbours off the beaten track and can also dock right in the heart of a city rather than anchoring offshore, allowing guests more time to explore.

Belfast will be the ninth air city in the Silversea UK Air Programme, adding to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

For bookings, follow this link to the Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

National Cruise Week!

OK, British cruising's big annual sales and marketing bonanza is about to kick off and it's time to pay attention to many of the special deals and other incentives on offer.

Just to start with, National Cruise Week runs from September 15-23 this year, and it is a feature item for all cruise agent specialists and others keen to promote the idea of holidays at sea.

Organised by the Association of Cruise Experts (ACE) and the UK's Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), it is a chance for cruising to really showcase its amazing range of choice and quality, as well as the sheer value for money that a cruise represents.

It all starts this Saturday and, for the ensuing 8 days, there will be a range of special offers, discounts and other added 'extras' for anyone booking a cruise during the week.

William Gibbons, Director of the PSA, says: “This is now the fifth National Cruise Week and it has gained a momentum all of its own. We cannot shy away from the fact the industry has faced a challenging start to the year; however cruising is still continuing to grow in popularity. This is because a cruise offers exceptional value with a huge range of accommodation and destinations from the top-end exclusive, intimate cruise to the family fun holiday, all including meals and entertainment. It is key to the continuing growth of the market that we focus on attracting new people to the cruise concept, and National Cruise Week is promoting the amazing and diverse range of experiences and incredible value that cruising offers.”

We have already highlighted the Cruise Week offers from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises on September 9 (see it on this link), but there are certainly others, and it is worth making a note of what's available for your next (or first) cruise:

Inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas is extending its luxurious ‘gift with purchase’ guest promotion with L’Occitane, the renowned Provencal body and skincare brand offered in the line’s suite bathrooms onboard, for National Cruise Week. Guests who book a 2013 cruise with Regent between 15-23 September will receive a gorgeous ‘his and hers’ gift set from L’Occitane worth £180, including the award-winning ‘Immortelle’ Precious Cream.  

MSC Cruises is offering free onboard credit for any 2013 booking made during NCW 2012 on any ship in the fleet. The amount of credit offered depends on the cabin category booked. Passengers in a Category 1 inside cabin, for example, will receive £10 OBC per person; for a Cateogry 7 outside cabin they will receive £70, rising to £130 for a category 13 Aurea Suite. 

The PSA is also highlighting a chance to have a 'Tea-time cruise talk' with various specialists during the week, and you can find out more on this link. More special offers will be unveiled during the week itself, so be sure to check the PSA link below for all the latest details.

For more information on National Cruise Week, contact ACE on this link, or call 020 7323 7464, or the PSA on this link or 020 7436.

New Sampler Cruises From Oceania

Oceania Cruises is offering two new 'taster' cruises on board the company’s brand new mid-sized, luxury cruise ship Riviera. 

The six-night sailings, which depart on November3 and 9, cost from £1,026 per person, and include a $300 shipboard credit per stateroom, free return UK flights, all meals, soft drinks and bottled water. In addition, the first 20 bookings made will receive a free upgrade from a Veranda stateroom to a Concierge Level Veranda, which includes complimentary champagne on arrival and free use of the exclusive Concierge Lounge. 

By offering the two new shorter sailings, the company is providing first-time cruisers and those who haven’t previously experienced the high-quality Oceania fleet the opportunity to sample the company’s legendary cuisine, to take a cookery lesson in the only hands-on cookery school at sea, enjoy complimentary crafts and digital photography courses in the `Artist’s Loft’, food and wine pairing and tastings in La Reserve wine-tasting centre or the opportunity to relax in the Canyon Ranch Spa. 

The first of the taster cruises embarks with an overnight stay in Venice and calls into Dubrovnik, Corfu, Messina, Sorrento and Capri before arriving into Civitavecchia on November 9. The second sector embarks in Civitavecchia and calls into Livorno for Florence and Pisa, then Monte Carlo, Marseille and Barcelona, where guests disembark on November 15 after a full day and overnight in the city. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Back In Time With Fred. Olsen's Antiques-Themed Cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering a special antiques-themed cruise in autumn 2013, through its acclaimed onboard enrichment programme, Vistas. This 14-night ‘The Art of the Mediterranean’ cruise aboard Balmoral departs from Southampton on September 27 and will be accompanied by Lars Tharp (above), the Danish-born historian, lecturer and broadcaster, as the onboard antiques expert.

Lars is one of the longest-standing experts on the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and this enticing Mediterranean cruise calls first at Malaga, the wonderfully warm and inviting capital of the Costa del Sol. Balmoral then continues to Palamos, a historic Spanish fishing village which dates back to the 12th Century, and Ajaccio on the exotic island of Corsica, overflowing with reminders of its most famous resident, Napoleon. 

The cruise goes on to visit Mahon (Menorca), famous for its Xoriguer Gin Distillery, and Cartagena, an important port for over 2,000 years, before reaching Portugal’s lively capital, Lisbon. Here, guests can take in the delightful mix of palaces, churches, Art Nouveau cafés, museums and splendid bridges. Balmoral will then have a relaxing day at sea before returning to Southampton on October 11.

Prices for this cruise start from £1,459 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded ‘Inside’ cabin, Grade ‘I’, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, plus port taxes. Guests can join Lars’ fascinating talks free of charge. 

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's cruise-agent experts.