Cruise Destinations

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Your guide to the latest news and updates from cruise destinations and ports of call around the world. Mediterranean, Europe, Caribbean, Alaska, South America, south-east Asia, Australasia, Arctic, Antarctica, Middle East. Southampton, Barcelona, Rome, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Barbados, Panama, Norway, Dubai, Bahamas, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Baltic, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Marseille, Athens, Greece, Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Le Havre, Amsterdam, Bruges, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Bergen, Svalbard, Iceland, Reykjavik, Costa Rica, Dominica, Puerto Rico, New York, Vancouver, Seattle, Skagway, Juneau, China, Shanghai, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand,

After travelling hopefully across the Atlantic, QM2 delivers us to New York

Robert Louis Stevenson got it right. "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive," he wrote in El Dorado. He also said "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." I should have been thinking of those two statements when the alarm woke me at 4.15 am on Friday morning. It had been set so there was time to drag myself from bed in time for a landmark moment in Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic crossing. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge spans the entrance to the harbour, crossing [...]

By | 2014-05-19T08:59:25+00:00 19 May 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

Kimberley Coast on the screen

Pleasantly surprised to discover that Australia's Kimberley - which I have just visited on Silver Discoverer - is about to feature on BBC television. Its spectacular scenery will be displayed in the latest season of Coast. Historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver leads a local team of presenters to discover the spectacular coastline - its people, their history, and its many natural wonders. In the Kimberley of Western Australia, according to the BBC's publicity, Neil "wrestles the southern hemisphere's biggest tides at the surging Horizontal Falls, so I'm guessing he wasn't there at the tame neap tides, as I was. Tim [...]

By | 2014-05-07T08:56:01+00:00 7 May 2014|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Cruising to victory in the IoM TT

The murderously expensive Monaco Grand Prix aside, there are not many opportunities to combine cruising with motorsport. So hats off (or should that be crash helmets?) to Fred Olsen, who have put together a voyage which ties in with the Isle of Man TT in May next year. The Superbikes and Scenic Hikes itinerary on Balmoral, leaves Southampton on May 31, 2015, and visits Guernsey, Tobermory and Kirkwall before putting into Douglas, on the Isle of Man. There's also a stop in Dublin. Julie Colquitt, the island's business development manager, said: ""We are thrilled that Fred Olsen Cruise Lines have [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 2 May 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Through Gorgeous George Gorge to climb the falls and swim a billabong

Many of the rivers bays, headlands and other topographical features in the Kimberley are named after various members of European royalty from the 19th century, the time when the region was being mapped for the first time. The fact that one of the first explorers of this remote part of Western Australia was a chap called King adds confusion to the regal connection. It's a shame that young Prince George could not have been with us today on Silver Discoverer's visit to the King George River to wrap up the Royal Visit to Australia. I'm pretty sure he would have [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 28 April 2014|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Muddied but unbowed, Silversea’s explorers discover the Kimberley

It's been a week of firsts, visiting Australia's Kimberley region on board Silver Discoverer, and there were plenty more of them yesterday. On a five-hour excursion by Zodiac up the Prince Regent River, I saw my first saltwater crocodile, and a pod of rare snub-nosed dolphins. The croc was basking in the sun on a rock ledge at the side of the wide, arrow-straight river. Its fearsome array of pointed teeth could not have been whiter if it had a regular regime of dental care. They glistened in the sun as the menacing creature remained unconcerned by the flotilla of [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 26 April 2014|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

Quantum is Shanghaied: Why Royal want to get you on a new boat to China

Everything changes: a new cruise ship which boasts dodgem cars, a sky-diving simulator and an observation pod inspired by the London Eye is to be based in ... China. Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, nearing completion in a German shipyard, launches this autumn. After a brief visit to Southampton it will spend the winter sailing from New York. In May 2015 the 4,180-passenger vessel will relocate to Shanghai from where it will operate year-round, sailing three to eight-night cruises to Japan and Korea. The company already has Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, each carrying more [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 18 April 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Explorer IN, Adventure OUT

Change of plan for Royal Caribbean in the UK - Adventure of the Seas is being replaced on its Southampton sailings by sister ship Explorer of the Seas from next year. They are virtually identical Voyager-class vessels, each carrying 3,114 passengers. Adventure first entered service in 2001, Explorer a year earlier. Before arriving in the UK next April, Explorer will spend a month in dry dock for an overhaul and "refreshment," during which it will be fitted with a Flowrider surf simulator and a 3D cinema. Several of the speciality restaurants familiar on Royal Caribbean's newer vessels will also be [...]

Fjord focus for Disney Magic cruises

Cruise ship Disney Magic will be making its first ever voyages to the Norwegian fjords - inspiration for the animated adventure Frozen - in 2015. The 1,750-passenger ship will also be coming back to the UK, with cruises starting and ending in the port of Dover. Magic, built in 1998 and given a multi-million pound makeover last year, will also be sailing in the Baltic and - another first - on a cruise to Iceland and the Faeroes. The first northern European cruise of the season is a seven-day voyage departing from Copenhagen on May 30 and visiting Tallinn, St [...]

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 26 March 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Dubrovnik Celebration for Thomson

Cruise ship Thomson Celebration is to call the walled city of Dubrovnik its home for the summer of 2015. The 1,250-passenger ship will be sailing four adults-only itineraries to ports including Sibenik, Korcula, Rovinj, Split and Hvar in Croatia, Trieste, Bari and Brindisi in Italy, and Corinth and Itea in Greece. Thomson will be increasing its air capacity on flights to Dubrovnik to 50,000 seats for the summer, and adding departures from Glasgow, Newcastle and Bristol to the existing airports of Birmingham, Manchester, and Gatwick. Its ships Thomson Spirit and Thomson Majesty have been elevated to Platinum status and will [...]

By | 2014-03-24T10:18:13+00:00 24 March 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

Three Queens together in Liverpool and Southampton for Cunard’s 175

Looks like 2015 is going to be the year of the Britannia. TWO Britannias to be precise. In the blue corner (as far as funnel décor is concerned) P&O will be putting on a party to mark the christening of their Britannia and will be counting the takings as the newest and biggest ship built for the British market sails from Southampton throughout the summer. And in the red corner, Cunard will be marking the 175th anniversary of its first ship, Britannia, which set sail in July 1840 to inaugurate the first ever scheduled service across the Atlantic. Cunard's flagship [...]