Friday, 31 January 2014

MSC To Increase UK Med Cruise Offers

MSC Cruises has announced a big increase in its Mediterranean fly-cruise capacity for the UK market in 2015 as part of its focus on its Mediterranean heritage next year.

However, the big Italian line will not operate any ex-UK sailings for a year from "early 2015," although it insists it WILL return to the UK after next year.

MSC Opera (above), which is currently sailing out of Southampton, will be out of action for part of summer 2015 as part of the company's two-year 'Renaissance Programme' to refurbish its Lirica-class ships in dry dock for 38 weeks.

The cruise line has already announced its redevelopment of MSC Armonia, Sinfonia, Opera and Lirica as part of its new Med voyage focus in 2015. And Giles Hawke, managing director for UK and Ireland, explained: "As market leader for Mediterranean cruises it is important that we work to reinforce this position by increasing our fly-cruise capacity, along with improving our ships to include more balcony cabins, more on board entertainment and additional technological advancements.

"We are considering various charter options and working with our air partners to come up with the best approach to keep up with the current customer demand for fly-cruises direct to the Mediterranean. We will also be introducing tools supporting travel agents in order to make the fly-cruise booking process easier than ever."

MSC Opera will be cruising from Southampton in 2014 on a selection of mini cruises, Baltic cruises, Fjord cruises and the 'Continental Discovery' cruise, while MSC Magnifica also starts a short programme of 7-night cruises in the autumn from Southampton, featuring an overnight stay in Amsterdam plus visits to Belgium, France and Hamburg.

More info: call 0844 561 1955 or visit

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Star Clippers Highlight Sail-Cruise Romance

Sail-cruising is a brand of the cruise world all its own, and there are a range of different experiences it can provide unlike any other kind of vessel. Foremost among is them is a genuinely romantic ambience to every voyage, and tall ship specialist Star Clippers has recently selected 10 of its most exciting, adventurous and romantic cruises to highlight for the 2014/15 season.

Each voyage highlights a different aspect of life on three of the world’s finest tall ships, from the great cultural sites of Europe to the most picturesque Croatian ports, the best beaches in the Caribbean and the most fashionable spots in the Balearics, plus the new Cuba destination.

Guests can choose between a 16-night transatlantic voyage or a three-day taster cruise; there are opportunities to learn yoga, attend lectures or simply relax on the sun-warmed teak decks, gazing up at a mass of billowing sails.

All voyages also include full board on the ship, entertainment and use of the watersports equipment on each vessel.

Highlights of the Top 10 include the new Balearics cruise, calling at anchorages only accessible to small ships, including the sleepy but beautiful islands of Formentera and lively Puerto Pollença on Mallorca; a 14-night Caribbean voyage calling at four ports in Venezuela (the coast of which is scattered with beautiful, unspoiled islands) and the Dutch ‘ABC’ islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, with some of the finest beaches on the planet; and Star Clipper’s "Treasure Islands" itinerary, sailing from St Maarten and with more stunning beaches.

More info: call 0845 200 6145 or visit

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

British Virgin Islands Firmly On Cruise Map

The wonderful Caribbean retreat of the British Virgin Islands will be firmly on the cruise map like never before from mid-2015 after the island government signed new long-term contracts with Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line.

The two companies have got together to guarantee a total of at least 425,000 passengers a year, a deal BVI Premier Orlando Smith says paves the way for the islands to be among the leading players of the Caribbean cruise industry.

The agreements, which grant preferential berthing to the two lines, were inked by Karl Holz, DCL president, and Colin Murphy, VP destination and strategic development for Norwegian, who will guarantee 350,000 passengers a year on top of Disney's 75,000.

The lines will pay a head tax of $15 starting in May next year that is subject to increase after five years based on a set formula that takes into account factors including inflation. The tax, much higher than the current rate, will help pay for a major upgrade and expansion of the cruise berth and landside facilities at Road Town, Tortola.

In a statement, the Premier said the Norwegian-Disney agreements mark the first time BVI has a guaranteed, year-round number of cruise passengers. He called the extension of the cruise pier and its associated landside development "the most fundamental" of decisions related to growing tourism through the cruise sector. He added: "By signing this berthing agreement, we are demonstrating, as a territory, that we are moving forward on the road of progress. The agreement is about the future sustainability of our cruise tourism sector."

Mr Smith added that the infrastructure improvements will enable BVI to accommodate the latest mega-ships such as Disney Dream and Norwegian Getaway, which is scheduled to replace St. Maarten with Tortola on its seven-day eastern Caribbean programmer starting in summer 2015.

The plans for Tortola involve dredging to expand the turning basin, navigation channels and berthing on both sides of the pier, lengthening the dock from 230 meters to 396 and widening it from 9.9 meters to 13.7. Additional mooring dolphins will be built along both sides, a new deck will be added to the widened pier, and landside development includes a visitor centre, restrooms, shopping village and a transportation staging area.

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.

One Ocean Offers Scientific Whale-Watching

Getting up close and personal with the wildlife, culture and scenery on any cruise is something we are really passionate about here at World of Cruising, hence anything that promotes these activities gets our seal of approval.
And this is definitely the case with the latest opportunity from One Ocean Expeditions, who will feature marine and conservation expert Dr Ari Friedlaender on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov to discover how whales behave in the icy waters of Antarctica this spring.

Specialists in small-ship cruise adventures One Ocean is offering a truly unique opportunity to join a 10-night Antarctic trip to study humpback, minke and killer whales, departing from Ushuaia on March 16.

Participants on this special departure will learn how to document whale numbers, help to conduct photo surveys, determine movement patterns of marine mammals and identify individual animals. They will also be able to locate and document the behaviour of whales previously fitted with satellite tracking devices.

The Marine Mammals voyage will be accompanied by Dr Friedlaender, a Research Scientist at Duke University, who has been to the Antarctic nearly 20 times on scientific voyages.

Accommodation for the trip is on board the impressive ice-strengthened ship, which has been designed for Polar research, with the comfort and safety of passengers its number one priority.

It offers a separate bar and lounge area, dining room (with exceptionally fine food), and a library, plus a theatre-style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and salt water plunge pool.

The 10-night voyage includes all meals and accommodation, plus Zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers, foul weather gear and overnight camping. Prices start from $6,290pp based on triple share, while twin accommodation begins at $8,590pp. Suites range from $10,090 to $11,190.

More Info: call 0117 9658 333 or visit

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Project Orient Survey

The intriguing prospect that is Project Orient - a planned new cruise line operating traditional liner-type services between Britain and Australia - has put out an urgent plea for all cruise-goers to respond to its online survey to gauge interest in the potential idea.

It is a genuinely new and novel proposal and the company is continuing to work towards securing funding this year for the long-term dream of resurrecting the classic liner service to Australia.

In case you have not already seen it, Project Orient has a new website at, featuring various press coverage about the project and the all-important Survey, which asks a number of questions about potential interest in taking the traditional 26-day voyage, which would call at the likes of Rome, Suez, Dubai, Singapore and Mumbai, as well as Fremantle, Perth and Sydney.

Project Orient are in the process of building alliances with tourist boards, designers and banks, and aim for a full launch once an equity partner is signed on.

It remains a pipe-dream for now - but with the potential to be a very real and tempting cruise line if the cruise-going world shows sufficient interest

And it certainly shows more sign of becoming a reality than the ludicrous Titanic II idea of Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who has yet to sign anything remotely resembling a ship-building contract more than a year after trumpeting his sea-going nonsense at two high-profile dinners in New York and London that many media outlets bought hook, line and sinker!

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.

Cruise & Walk In The Caribbean

We know the 'cruise and walk' holidays with Ramblers Worldwide have proved popular here on Time Spent At Sea in the past, so here is another opportunity to try their unique combination with Fred. Olsen Cruises - this time on a pair of fly-cruise trips to the Caribbean early next year.

The Caribbean and Latin America 
This rare 16-night Cruise & Walk opportunity covers three islands in the Eastern Caribbean, three in the Dutch Antilles and three ports in Panama and Colombia. The adventure begins with a flight to Barbados where guests spends a night in a hotel and exploring the island before boarding Fred. Olsen’s Braemar, which then sets sail for Castries, St Lucia. From there, it is on to the Spice Island of Grenada, famed for its production of nutmeg, mace, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Next port of call is Bonaire, the most easterly of the Netherlands Antilles (and just 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela), followed by Aruba.

Then it is full steam ahead for the mainland of Latin America calling at Colon close to the Panama Canal, which offers the chance to visit the San Lorenzo National Park, famed for its forests, mangroves and pastureland. Next up are Cartagena and Santa Maria in Colombia and, on the way back to Barbados for the flight home, the ship visits another of the Dutch Antilles islands, Curacao.

Prices are from £2,850 per person, departing on January 25  2015.

Islands in the Caribbean
This 16-night Cruise & Walk option begins in Barbados after a night on this exotic island on board Braemar. Then the ship sets sail for Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and thence to Havana, Cuba, for two tantalising days. Next is Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos Islands followed by St Kitts, St Maarten and Antigua (for two days), before returning to Barbados for the homeward flight.

Prices are from £2,590 per person, departing February 8, 2015.

All of the above prices include all meals, an exclusive welcome party on one evening and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on a sea day, guided walking tours, shore visits, sightseeing programmes, on-board entertainment and restaurant tips plus the services of a dedicated tour leader.

More Info: call 01707 386767 or visit

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

More Norway From Hurtigruten

Norway continues to be a popular and highly aspirational cruise region for British holidaymakers (hence our big feature on Norwegian cruises in the current issue of World of Cruising).

And those looking for more options should definitely check out Hurtigruten’s new preview brochure for 2015/16 that showcases key Norwegian and Explorer voyages and includes more direct flight charters as well as a new coastal itinerary and ex-UK ‘Fjord Highlights’ Explorer Voyage.

Discounts of up to 25% are available on selected Coastal Voyage bookings made by September 30 and Explorer Voyages made by June 30.

Coastal Voyages
Voyage-only prices start from just £819 per person for the six-day Classic Voyage South for departures from January to March 2015, on a full board basis.  

A number of new regional flying options have been added to the programme, with direct charters to Norway now offered from five new regional airports: East Midlands, Cardiff, Newcastle, Dublin and Jersey. Additional charters have also been included from existing regional departure airports, with 69 planned in total for 2015.

Explorer Voyages
A one-off ‘Fjords Highlights’ has been added to the programme, departing from Dover on May 1, 2015. The unique 10-day trip on MS Fram sails over to Norway visiting some of the most beautiful fjords, including Lysefjord, Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord, before returning to Dover. Prices start from £1,949 per person on a full board basis.

More info: call 020 3582 6642 or visit

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Holland America Feature A Trio Of Savings

Anyone looking to grab some European travel and sunshine this spring and early summer should take note of the latest trio of cruise offers to hit the World of Cruising Inbox, this time from Holland America Line.
Take your pick from this tempting threesome:

Save up to £700 on seven-night Norwegian Fjords fly-cruise – now £909pp
This Rotterdam round-trip cruise, departing May 17 on MS Noordam, takes in the best of Norway and its stunning fjords. The first port of call is Oslo, where guests can explore the city’s Viking history, before heading out for scenic cruising of the Oslo Fjord. The ship then visits Kristiansand, home to one of the country’s best fish markets, Stavanger, and Flam. Guests will enjoy a cruise through Sognefjord before returning to Rotterdam. Price is based on two sharing an inside stateroom, and includes return flights from London Gatwick.

Save up to £900 on 12-night Mediterranean fly-cruise – now £1,469pp
Departing on 29 June, this round-trip Venice cruise explores the most interesting ports of the Eastern Mediterranean. First off, MS Nieuw Amsterdam calls in Katakolon, gateway to Olympia, followed by Piraeus from where Athens can be visited. Guests will then be able to enjoy an overnight stop in Istanbul, before the ship moves on to Lesbos, Kusadasi (from which Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, can be visited), Santorini and Argostoli in Greece. The voyage ends with an overnight call in Venice and prices are based on two sharing an inside stateroom, and include return flights from London Gatwick.

11-night Mediterranean cruise from just £80pppn - £899pp in total
This voyage departs from Venice on June 9 on MS Noordam, this cruise takes in a wonderful range of Eastern and Western Mediterranean destinations. The first port of call is Katakolon, from where guests can visit Olympia, followed by Nafplion, the perfect port for visiting Corinth. The ship then moves onto Piraeus (Athens), beautiful Mykonos, Kusadasi (Ephesus), World Heritage Site Rhodes, scenic Santorini and Naples, before ending in Civitavecchia (Rome). Price is again based on two sharing an inside stateroom. Fly-cruises are available from £1,199pp

More info: call 0843 374 2300 or visit 

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Monday, 27 January 2014

Win A Spa Break For 2 At Champneys!

WIN A ‘Relax & Be Pampered’ Break For Two at Champneys, 
the UK’s Premier Health Resorts - Value £500!!

Runner-up prize – A relaxing day for two at any one of Champneys resorts – Value £200*
Discover laid-back luxury at one of Champneys spa retreats, scattered across the UK. Choose from Champneys Tring in Hertfordshire (above), Forest Mere in Hampshire, Henlow in Bedfordshire or the innovative Springs in Leicestershire (below).
Each resort offers sumptuous accommodation in elegant surroundings, delicious cuisine, treatments and therapies focusing on both inner health and outer beauty, not to mention the latest fitness trends. Whether you choose an invigorating body scrub, energising exercise class, cleansing mud wrap or a dip in the thalassotherapy pool, there’s no better way to revive body and soul than with a spa break at Champneys.
This mid-week ‘Relax & Be Pampered’ break includes all meals, which are both nutritious and delicious, unlimited access to all spa facilities, which include whirlpool, saunas, steam room and gym, plus some 20 different exercise classes each day.
Add to that a host of treats and therapies, such as a thalassotherapy session, two massages, a wrap and a facial, PLUS a gift for each person worth £50.
How relaxing is that, courtesy of our essential World of Spas section?
The runner-up prize of a day at one these award-winning resorts includes use of all facilities, plus access to 20 different exercise classes, lunch and a welcome energy drink on arrival.
All you have to do is: Name one of the Champneys Resorts locations in the UK.
Then send your answer to us at the following address, including your own contact details:

Champneys Competition
World of Cruising magazine
115 Sydney Rd
N10 2ND

Or email with your answer and contact details at
The winners will be decided by random draw from all correct entries on February 28, and an announcement made in the March issue of World of Cruising magazine.
*NB: Competition prizes open to UK residents only.

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.

Fred Olsen & The Amazon

Wildlife enthusiasts (and we know we have quite a few here at Time Spent At Sea!) will be intrigued by a rare opportunity from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ to take an extended voyage along the Amazon River this March, which promises to deliver an in-depth experience into this amazing region, sailing round-trip from the UK.

The 35-night ‘Amazon River & Beaches of the Caribbean’ cruise departs from Southampton on Boudicca on March 22 and will take guests deep into the heart of the rainforest, teeming with exotic flora and fauna. It will also visit some of the world’s finest islands in the Caribbean, including Barbados, St. Lucia and Dominica, offering beautiful beaches and the chance for some welcome relaxation in the sun.

Very few cruise lines are able to offer this sort of in-depth Amazon voyaging but, as Boudicca is a smaller-sized ship, she can take guests further up the River, where the people, culture and colourful wildlife never fail to inspire.

More info: 800 0355 242
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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cruise News Round-Up - P&O, Crystal & Paul Gauguin

Yikes, but it's a busy week for cruise news! The stories and press releases have been pouring in thick and fast - so fast, in fact, we have had to turn to a round-up story today to include as many as possible.

So, with no further ado, here is the hot-off-the-press latest...

P&O Cruises has added departures from seven regional airports on selected Fly-Med cruises on Ventura for this summer. The direct regional charter flights will be available, at no extra cost, on 16 Fly-Med cruises across seven regional airports, namely Bournemouth, Belfast, Cardiff, East Midlands, Glasgow, Newcastle and Stansted. Flights are also available from London, Manchester or Birmingham as standard.

A variety of seven and 14-night fly-cruise holidays are available from March to October as Ventura sails from either Venice or Genoa, round the Greek Islands, Dalmatian coast, French Riviera and iconic cities like Rome, Venice, Naples, Dubrovnik and Florence. Book by February 28 to receive additional free on board spending money to use for drinks, shore excursions, spa treatments or fine dining.

More info: visit or call 0843 373 0111.

Crystal Cruises has announced the latest perk to its All Inclusive luxury cruise experience: free Wi-Fi for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests, starting this autumn. Effective with Crystal Serenity’s September 19 New England/Canada sailing and Crystal Symphony’s October 15 Panama Canal cruise, each Crystal Society guest will receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise.

Crystal Society members can use the new complimentary access time wirelessly via iPad, iPhone, laptop or other wireless device or on Crystal’s own Computer University@Sea 27” dual-compatible iMac computers. A multi-million dollar Wi-Fi upgrade rolled out in recent months will help guests enjoy maximum onboard connectivity.

More info: call 020 7399 7601 or visit

Paul Gauguin Cruises is introducing two exciting new itineraries this summer that take in the amazing destination of Papua New Guinea. The 11-night Fiji to Australia voyage departing June 14 is a unique voyage that charts a course to popular and undiscovered ports from exotic Fiji to the Great Barrier Reef, while the 12-night Australia to Fiji voyage departing August 18 is the same as the above but in reverse.

Islands visited include Vanuatu, Guadalcanal, whose very name is synonymous with a turning point of World War II, and by Papua New Guinea itself, the second-largest island in the world. Prices start from £4,290 per person for 11 nights accommodation in an ocean view stateroom with all meals, soft drinks, selected alcoholic beverages and gratuities. Also included is airfare from Los Angeles.
More info: call  020 7399 7691 or visit
The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate of 50% off for 2014, see this link.

Ponant Heads Down Under

Those looking for a cruise on the more exotic side are increasingly spoiled for choice these days - and that choice is about to get even broader with the latest news from boutique French operator Compagnie du Ponant.

Ponant's new itineraries for the winter 2014/2015 season include seven innovative cruises to Australia and New Zealand, with the new itineraries taking passengers to the South Pacific Ocean and Oceania. Destination highlights include not only Darwin, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania, but also Auckland and Rotorua, cradle of Maori culture.

The voyages will all aboard the sleek and stylish yacht-like cruiser L’Austral, with 132 staterooms and suites, and a high-quality array of public rooms and dining choices.

Highlights of the eye-catching programme Down Under include:

  • Combining wide open spaces with the delicate “French Touch” on board the latest generation luxury yacht.
  • Zodiac® outings with experienced naturalist-guides to explore unspoiled wildlife.
  • Expedition programmes designed to explore Australia’s most emblematic sites and meet the Aborigines.
  • Snorkelling in the turquoise blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Discovering New Zealand, an archipelago on the edge of the world, and Maori culture.

Ponant offers seven departures between December 12, 2014, and February 2015 on board L’Austral, from just €2,150 per person, cruise only.

More info: call 0800 980 4027 or visit

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Nation Of (Holiday) Explorers!

According to the latest research on British holidaying ambitions, we are a nation of explorers. This probably won't come as a major surprise to the many cruise lines that already offer adventure and expedition-style voyages.

But exploration is definitely the key holiday trend for 2014 according to Celebrity Cruises, who say two thirds (65 per cent) of Brits are keen to experience something new on holiday this year.

In addition, Britons are proving their holiday ambition grit with over a third (35 per cent) believing they will be able to tick off their bucket list of top destinations to visit in their lifetime. One in ten think it is likely or very likely that they will experience them all, according to the research from Celebrity.

Brits are keener than ever to venture into the unknown with trips that will exercise the mind, rather than the body. The biggest holiday ambition is to visit a famous site (30 per cent), followed closely by being able to see wildlife (25 per cent) and experience a new culture (18 per cent).

Celebrity commissioned the research ahead of the launch of ‘Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures’ – a series of unique and exclusive shore excursions developed for those keen to add an alternative element to their holiday and really make the most of their time away. 
Writer, broadcaster and explorer  Fogle was appointed as Celebrity's ‘Destination Expert’ in 2013 to share his knowledge of the world with the cruise line’s guests and even shape the experiences they have on holiday. From life as a castaway on a Scottish island, to racing across the Antarctic and trekking the Sahara, he is certainly well qualified to advise on adventure and how to add a different dimension to holiday programmes. 
The new shore excursion programme includes speedboat rides and snorkelling with salmon in Norway, a gastronomic tour through Sicily, triathlon trails in Croatia and kayaking through the Stockholm archipelago.

Commenting on the survey results, Ben said: “It is really encouraging to see Brits realising  holidays can be more than a break away and an opportunity to try something different. Many are keen to realise their ambitions to take the road less travelled and immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences. With the launch of my Great Adventures, Celebrity Cruises are leading the way in innovative and exclusive shore excursions across the globe that will add a new and exciting dimension to their cruise holidays in 2014 and beyond.”

Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures were launched yesterday (January 24). For more information visit or call 0844 493 2043. 
The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate of 50% off for 2014, see this link.

Celebrity Chef David Thompson Set For Aqua's New Mekong Ship

Aqua Expeditions has announced the appointment of Michelin-starred Chef David Thompson to its culinary team. Australian-born Thompson joins Aqua as Executive Chef of the new Aqua Mekong river-cruise ship, scheduled to launch in September. Thompson's Nahm restaurant in Bangkok is considered a destination in itself for international travelers.

The Chef was selected by Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO and founder of Aqua Expeditions, who sets great store by Aqua's culinary offerings, which are a notably feature of their original cruises on the Upper Amazon in Peru (also featured in the Autumn issue of World of Cruising - click on this link).

Galli Zugaro said: "I was determined to identify the very best and most creative chef in the region for my second river destination. As Asia's top ranked chef on 'San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants,' David is the perfect fit for the exclusive Aqua Mekong. His unique culinary experience and first-hand knowledge of Asian ingredients and palates will enable us to provide guests with the authentic culinary experience they expect from an Aqua cruise."

With a reputation for first-class cuisine influenced by South-east Asia, Thompson will create an exclusive menu for Aqua guests, combining the culinary traditions of Mekong River culture with the freshest local ingredients from the markets of Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
He says: "Working with Aqua Mekong will be an exciting challenge and the food will be based on the cooking of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the countries which depend on the Mekong River. I look forward to setting sail."
Aqua was the first adventure travel company to introduce five-star luxury cruises to the Amazon in Peru. The Aqua Mekong will be the company's first vessel in Asia and will take guests on a journey on the Mekong River, between Cambodia and Vietnam. 

More info: call +511 434 5544 or visit

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Friday, 24 January 2014

A Cruise Brochure For The iGeneration

Cruisers who are comfortable with their iPods and au fait with their iTunes will be interested to know Royal Caribbean has launched a new 2014 family cruise brochure specifically for tablets. Designed to coincide with peak booking season, the industry-first brochure is filled with videos and interactive content to help showcase all of the family-friendly features and amazing experiences available on a Royal Caribbean holiday.

Available to download free on iTunes, the new brochure also includes special early booking offers and a selection of the most popular itineraries. Featuring a range of helpful planning guides for mums and dads, including information on onboard restaurants and a link to the cruise line’s new kid-friendly Penguin Ahoy! app, the e-brochure is packed with great reasons to cruise.

Families seeking a star-studded cruise holiday can enjoy a break with DreamWorks favourites such as Shrek, Puss In Boots and more; watch special onboard productions of Let You Entertain Me, an ice skating show of How to Train Your Dragon; see the DreamWorks Animation parade down the Royal Promenade; and sample interactive character breakfasts in the main dining room and various other shows and activities.

For young princesses, The Barbie™ Premium Experience is the ultimate indulgence for Barbie enthusiasts. Guests can enjoy staterooms decorated in the iconic doll's signature style as well as exclusive, themed activities throughout the cruise – from an invitation-only tea party and mermaid dance class to a fashion design workshop and Barbie fashion show.

As well as two of the most popular experiences across the Royal Caribbean International fleet, the new e-brochure contains a whole host of information and interactive features to get families excited in advance of their cruise.

Jo Briody, director of marketing & PR, UK & Ireland, Royal Caribbean International explained: “Our new tablet friendly brochure is designed to allow families to plan their holidays together and to showcase all of our family-friendly videos and onboard features in one place. We hope its ease of use and inspiring content will urge more families to consider a cruise for the first time.”

Key offers for 2014 featured in the new family friendly e-brochure include:

  • A seven-night Western Mediterranean fly/cruise onboard Liberty of the Seas from £1,272 per adult and £861 per child (based on a family of four sharing an inside stateroom, including flights from London Heathrow). Based on 24 August departure.
  • A seven-night Greek Isles fly/cruise onboard Splendour of the Seas from £1,254 per adult and £744 per child (based on a family of four sharing an inside stateroom, including flights from London Gatwick). Based on 23 August departure.

More info: visit

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate of 50% off for 2014, see this link.

What's New From Oceania

It's been a while since we featured the boutique and foodie-centric style of Oceania Cruises, so we thought we would provide a quick update and look ahead to what they have in store for 2014.

Well-known for their exceptional culinary offering and emphasis on comfort and service, Oceania has new itineraries, new culinary classes, a $50m refurbishment programme and a re-christening in store this year, as well as a new art book and new facilities on board the line’s five mid-sized luxury ships.

New cruises for summer 2014

Oceania's summer sailings include an almost entirely new line-up of over 90 voyages, including 70 European sailings (of which 93% are new), featuring 10 new ports of call in Tirana, Antibes, Hamburg, Chania, Kos, Syros, Ullapool, Lysekil and Milford Haven. 
In total during summer 2014, the line’s five ships – Riviera, Marina, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica – will sail to more than 180 destinations. In addition to the European programme, the ships will sail 10 Alaska voyages, 7 new Canada/New England cruises and 3 Panama Canal voyages.

New Grand Voyages for winter 2014
Oceania is adding 19 new Grand Voyages for winter 2014, ranging from 24 to 71 days. Included among the sailings is a 71-day South American Odyssey on board the 684-guest Regatta. This is a round trip from Miami, crossing the Panama Canal to Peru, sailing through the Chilean fjords and around the southern tip of Cape Horn, and spending two nights in both Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. 
Meanwhile, Nautica explores the East on a 46-day Imperial Explorer, a voyage from Cape Town to Hong Kong showcasing the best of Africa and Asia. Depending on the length of the voyage booked, guests will receive a one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay, laundry service and round-trip transfers.
Re-christening event

The big re-christening ceremony for the return of Insignia to the fleet will take place in April in Istanbul. The ship has been on a two-year 'sabbatical' with Oceania but returns this summer and will be feted in the Turkish port ahead of a 10-day Holy Land voyage to Greece, Israel and Cyprus.

The ship will undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment before rejoining the fleet, and the ceremony will be performed by Virginia Watters, wife of founding chairman Joe and the original godmother of the ship 10 years ago.

More info: call 0845 505 1920 or visit

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Jetline's Boost For Valentine's Singles

If you're single and ready to mingle, Jetline Cruise just might have a holiday idea for you.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Jetline believe there’s no need for ayone to be sitting home alone, hence they have drawn up an array of intriguing cruise options. But, they say, if you’re single, you had better be ready to mingle!

Solo cruising has grown in popularity over recent years as more lines cater for single passengers, so his represents an opportunity to do something unusual this February, with Jetline's Valentine’s Day Getaways for One.

10-Night Canaries & Madeira Cruise from £539

Fly to Barcelona on February 10 to embark on the Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Spirit for a romantic Canary Islands cruise. This package costs from £539 based on single occupancy in an inside cabin and includes flights and full board.

Cruise itinerary: Barcelona – at sea – Casablanca – at sea – Funchal – Arrecife – at sea – Malaga – at sea – Barcelona.

14-Night Tenerife All-Inclusive Stay & Cruise from £1,399

Fly to Tenerife on February 21 and transfer to the 4-star Playa Real Resort for a seven-night all-inclusive stay. Then embark on the MSC Cruises Armonia for a seven-night cruise around the Canary Islands. This package costs from £1,399 based on single occupancy in an inside cabin and includes flights, all-inclusive hotel stay and full board cruise.

Cruise itinerary: Playa Real Resort, Tenerife (7 nights) – at sea – Las Palmas – La Gomera – at sea – Funchal, Madeira (2 nights) – Tenerife.

More info: visit or call 0800 082 2186.

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Enjoy That Highland Spirit With Majestic

Small-ship cruising has become BIG cruise business in recent years, and we are always keen to highlight the latest ideas and offers here at World of Cruising.

And, if the Highlands of Scotland appeal to you, here is a chance to celebrate the birth of Spring on the West Coast with three new tempting special deals from the award-winning Majestic Line.

Three different 6-night itineraries are on offer at a 10% discount exploring the idyllic Argyll and Hebridean landscape, rich in history, wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

Majestic’s cruising season opens on April 5 with a grand one-way 6-night tour of Argyll and the Hebrides, sailing from the magnificent Firth of Clyde around the dramatic Mull of Kintyre to the Islands of the Hebrides, and stopping over at Gigha, Jura and other remote island anchorages en route to Oban.

The month of April has consistently been one of Majestic best cruising months, with high levels of sunshine, longer days and a landscape reborn with abundant springtime flora and fauna, an inviting prospect for guests looking for a special maritime adventure.   

Visitors can savour the scenery and exceptional hospitality onboard the company’s stylishly restored wooden fishing vessels, with a gourmet menu rich in local speciality produce and an experienced crew who have sailed these waters for many years.

More info: call 01369 707951 or visit

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