Wednesday, 31 August 2011

No Regional Flight Supplements In 2012 With Avalon

Luxury European river cruise company Avalon Waterways is offering savings of up to £185 per person with no regional flight supplement to pay on 2012 bookings made before September 30.

The river-cruise specialist is offering a range of UK departures from up to 13 airports and an exclusive private door-to-door transfer service is included in the holiday price.

To find out more, visit www.avalonwaterways.com or contact the river-cruise booking experts of The Cruise Line.

Regent's Dining Enhancements

Express breakfast and lunch options, new wine additions and improved menus are just a few of the latest enhancements to be made to the already all-inclusive food and drink offerings with Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The line continually strives to find new ways to improve and enhance its onboard offering to further benefit guests’ overall experience and these are the latest initiatives to be rolled-out across the fleet.The new updates include:

· New Canyon Ranch Balanced Menu Selection

The award-winning legendary spa experience, Canyon Ranch, on board all Regent ships, provides a spectacular setting for passengers to restore resilience, serenity and feel fantastic. Guests can now discover just how good ‘Good For You’ tastes with the line’s delicious, healthy cuisine – the Canyon Ranch Balanced Selection available at each meal, in The Compass Rose restaurant.

· New Express breakfast and lunch options

In Alaska and the Baltic, with so much to see ashore, Regent’s new “express breakfast” and lunch options enable guests to eat well before heading off into ports with lots of shore excursions.

· New dishes to reflect the destination during key regional seasons
Ingredients sourced locally that typify the country being visited that day have seen introduced to the menu during sailings in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Alaska.

· New wines added to the complimentary wine selection and Connoisseur wine list

Sancerre, Pouilly Fuissé and Chateau Neuf-du-Pape are a few of the new wines the line is adding to their complimentary pouring wine selection. Other French wines are also being added to the complimentary list in The Compass Rose. The Connoisseur wine list, a selection of wines available to purchase, has also been enhanced.

· Expanded lunch and dinner menus in the main dining room, The Compass Rose

An additional appetizer, two main courses, side dishes and three-course vegetarian option have been added to the lunch menu while an appetizer, side salad, main course and side dishes are being added to the dinner menu.

Other new enhancements include freshly-prepared smoothies and milkshakes by the pool, individual teapots for afternoon tea, new varieties of breads, bagels and muffins available at breakfast and new Kosher food and wine selections.

For more details, visit www.rssc.com or contact the luxury cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Silversea's Grand 2012 Programme

Silversea has unveiled its new full-colour, 200-page 2012 Voyages brochure. The visually captivating picture-book details over 200 itineraries exploring seven continents, over 100 countries, and more than 450 destinations.

Plus, for the first time, the brochure features a Microsoft Tag 2D bar code on its back cover that enables smartphone users to view The World of Silversea, the company's exciting new video that invites travellers to step aboard and experience the award-winning luxury and pampering ambiance of Silversea.

The 2012 Voyages brochure opens with an easy-to-read, voyage-by-voyage summary followed by a section revealing the hallmarks of Silversea's unique luxury lifestyle. The balance of the brochure provides detailed worldwide cruise itineraries by region, including highlights of shore excursions, descriptions of land programmes, deck plans and general information, while new for 2012 is a pricing summary booklet inserted into the back cover pocket.

2012 Highlights:

The company's popular "Passport to Luxury" promotion is available on all voyages in 2012, with the exception of Silver Explorer expedition cruises. The multi-tiered programme provides an Onboard Spending Credit of up to $1,500 per suite ($750 per person).

World Cruise 2012
Silver Whisper will embark 6th January from Fort Lauderdale on her first-ever World Cruise, a remarkable 115-day journey that concludes in glamorous Monte Carlo. On this magnificent odyssey, her guests will visit 45 ports in 27 countries stretching from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, the Far East, Arabia and Europe. Along the way, they will enjoy multi-day stays in 13 major cities and exclusive insider access to seldom-seen global treasures.

Grand Voyages
Created for the sophisticated traveller who has the time and passion to indulge in travel on a grand scale, this special collection offers extended voyages from 24 to 61 days. These unique odysseys combine the luxury of sailing aboard the line's elite, all-suite ships with expanded journeys to diverse regions of the world, featuring visits to must-see traditional ports, as well as exotic destinations that are off the beaten path - all on one cruise.

West Africa Expeditions
Silversea has created three new West Africa expedition itineraries for 2012 that visit the once colonised north-west countries, travelling along coastlines infamous for their historic role in the slave trade and exploring the southern waters where vast seabird colonies are sustained by the nutrient-rich upwelling of the icy Benguela current.

For more information, visit www.silversea.com or the UK's luxury cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Gap Adventures Seeing Double In Costa Rica

A big increase in visitors to Costa Rica has been reported by a leading independent adventure tour operator, with Gap Adventures claiming bookings have more than doubled for their small-group guided tours this year.

It's easy to see why, though, with spectacular volcanoes, lush rainforests, unique wildlife and beautiful beaches all contributing to the appeal for this fabulous and versatile Central American destination.

Now, due to the immense popularity, Gap Adventures has introduced seven new tours for 2011.

Spotting wildlife while cruising through canals, searching for the elusive quetzal bird, hiking through jungles, chilling on the gorgeous Pacific coast, searching for dolphins on a sunset sail and whitewater rafting are all on offer, making for some wonderful cruise-tour opportunities.

Take this tour, for example:



Costa Rica Learn to Surf; Price, £649pp; Departs, 19 November

Highlights: Standing up on your first wave in Costa Rica, breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific and chilling on the beach. Enjoy an eight-day trip from just £649 per person. Price includes seven nights’ hotel accommodation, some meals, local transport, surfboard, rashguard and leash for four days, five surf lessons, two "surf safari" excursions to explore different breaks and a Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

For full details, visit www.gapadventures.com or contact the adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Fred. Olsen extends ‘No Fuel Surcharge Guarantee’

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to announce that its ‘No Fuel Surcharge Guarantee’, introduced earlier this year, has been extended to cover all bookings made up to and including December 31, for cruise departures from January 1.

The extension of this guarantee provides reassurance to those booking within this period that they will have not have to face any additional fuel-related costs to their cruise, providing they make the commitment by the end of this year.

For more info, visit www.fredolsencruises.com or, for bookings, see the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Costa's New Japan itineraries

Costa Cruises is offering three new itineraries to popular Japanese destinations and will introduce new cities in 2012 after resuming its itineraries in the area this weekend.

Costa Classica (above) left Shanghai on August 26 for a four-day cruise calling at Fukuoka (Japan) and Cheju (South Korea) before returning to Shanghai.

This decision demonstrates Costa’s confidence in Japan’s tourism market and its support of the revitalisation of the local tourism industry. As the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market, Costa has been operating cruise itineraries from China to Japan for more than five years.

From August to October this year, Classica will operate a total of 12 cruises to Japan and South Korea, with the wide selection of itineraries including Japan's Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. Four-day cruises visit Fukuoka and Cheju; a six-day cruise takes in Pusan (South Korea), Fukuoka and Kagoshima; and a five-day cruise visits to Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Cheju.

In 2012, Costa will further expand its operations in Asia and the Far East with the deployment for the first time of the Costa Victoria (75,200 gross tonnage and 2,394 total guests), which will replace Classica (53,000 tons and 1,680 guests). Victoria will also offer 246 veranda cabins and increase its offer in the area by about 40%.

New destinations in Japan include the tropical paradise of Hososhima/Miyazaki; Wakayama, which boasts the largest hot spring resort; Osaka, Japan’s second largest city; the popular sightseeing cities in the Kanto Area; Yokohama and Tokyo, the capital city.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (www.jnto.go.jp), a joint statement from the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization has reaffirmed that operations can continue normally into and out of Japan's major airports and sea ports.

For more info, visit www.costacruises.co.uk or, for bookings, contact the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hurtigruten Brings The Northern Lights Even Closer

For many, seeing the Northern Lights is a ‘must do’ on their wish list and, thanks to Norwegian cruise specialist Hurtigruten, it just got even easier for anyone in northern England and Scotland to fulfill this once-in-a-lifetime dream.

Direct flights from Leeds Bradford and Edinburgh are now featured for the first time, plus an additional Manchester date due to the sell-out success of the original date on March 5.

The flights
to Bergen tie in with a 12-day cruise along the Norwegian Fjords, where the Northern Lights are regularly spotted during the winter months.

This is the first time Hurtigruten has offered cruises with flights direct from Leeds Bradford or Edinburgh.

The cruise is a 12-day voyage from Bergen in the South to Kirkenes in the far north of Norway, just a few miles from the Russian boarder. The ship will
call at 34 ports along the way, most of which are never visited by the larger cruise liners.

There is simply no better way to experience the Northern Lights than by sailing through the sheltered coastal waters of Norway. It is also widely reported this winter is expected to be one of the best years for solar activity and therefore spotting the Lights.


In addition, throughout the 12 days, a wide range of winter activities can be enjoyed, with everything from snowmobiling and husky dog-sledding to a trip to the North Cape or a Lofotor Viking feast.

Choose from:

CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE – LEEDS BRADFORD – 25 January from £1199
per person including direct return flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Bergen, 11 nights full board on the ship, transfers and taxes. Based on two sharing.

CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE – EDINBURGH – 5 February from £1369
per person including direct return flights from Edinburgh Airport to Bergen, 11 nights full board on the ship, transfers and taxes. Based on two sharing.

CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE – MANCHESTER – 16 February from £1369
per person including direct return flights from Manchester Airport to Bergen, 11 night’s full board on the ship, transfers and taxes. Based on two sharing.

For more info, visit
www.hurtigruten.co.uk or the UK's leading adventure-cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Grab An Autumn Bargain With Oceania

How's this for a great last-minute cruise bargain? We love the idea of Oceania Cruises at the best of times, but this could be THE deal of the autumn:

Departing September 19, Oceania Cruises’ brand new luxury cruise ship Marina (above) has a spectacular 12-night sailing from Istanbul to Athens from just £1,499 per person, PLUS $1,000 per stateroom onboard credit (a saving of £1,327pp).

The voyage embarks from Istanbul and travels to Rhodes, Limassol, Haifa, Jerusalem, Crete, Patmos and Volos before disembarking in Athens.

For more info, visit www.oceaniacruises.com or the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Gareth Gates To Star For P&O

Pop Idol star and number one artist, Gareth Gates, will perform on a two-night cruise aboard P&O Cruises Oceana this September.

Gates will perform three shows in the 500-seat Footlights Theatre and will include his hit singles such as Spirit in the Sky, Anyone of Us and his version of Unchained Melody, the second biggest-selling single of the last decade. There will also be opportunities after the shows for photos and autographs.


The cruise departs from Southampton on September 3 and calls at Zeebrugge (for Bruges). A handful of balcony cabins are still available and priced from £406 per person based on two sharing on a full-board basis, including all main meals and entertainment.

Gates said: "I'm really excited about performing on board Oceana. I've never been on a cruise ship before but I've always wanted to and so this is going to be a fantastic experience for me."

For more info, visit www.pocruises.co.uk or the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Arizona In The High Arctic!

(Continuing my day-by-day Arctic tour with Hurtigruten)

Our final day with Hurtigruten in Spitsbergen. The afternoon saw us landing on Skanssebukin with its huge cliffs that look as if they have been plucked from Arizona and dropped here in the high Arctic.

Dunlin and Purple sandpiper foraged in the rocks whilst Little Auks and Puffins were flying back with bills full of fish. At one point, I witnessed an Arctic Skua chasing a puffin low across the water with the latter finally resorting to splashing into the water, still keeping its fish whilst the Skua shot overhead and flew off.


A fabulous week of contrasts, breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife. Do go. you'll never regret it.


For more info, visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk or the adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Unique Expedition to Reunite Original Polar Explorers

Leading Polar cruise operator, One Ocean Expeditions is proud to sponsor an extraordinary expedition in which the last wish of world-renowned polar adventurer, Frank Wild, to be buried alongside his ‘boss’ and loyal friend, notorious fellow explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, will be carried out at the whalers’ graveyard in Grytviken, South Georgia, a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

The special 18-night commemorative voyage to transport Wild's ashes to South Georgia, takes place exactly 90 years after his last voyage with Shackleton in 1921, and is only possible following a seven-year-long research journey by South African author and polar expert, Angie Butler, who discovered Wild's ashes in Johannesburg. Wild’s wish to be buried beside Shackleton never materialised due to the outbreak of WWII a week after his death.

Among the confirmed guests on the Frank Wild Expedition to South Georgia, is the Honorable Alexandra Shackleton, Sir Ernest's grand-daughter, and six members of Wild's family.

Angie Butler, whose recently released book, The Quest For Frank Wild, features exclusive publication of his original memoirs covering four expeditions including those on the Nimrod and Endurance, will also be joining the cruise as a guest speaker.

Passengers on the once-in-a-lifetime voyage will depart Ushuaia, the world’s southern-most city in Argentina on November 20 on board One Ocean Expeditions’ impressive ice-strengthened ship, Akademik Ioffe.

Designed for Polar Research and combining modern comforts and superb amenities with first-class safety features, the ship will chart a course through the Beagle Channel towards the Falkland Islands, where the first planned shore excursion aims to reveal a profusion of seabirds and migratory birds, including the black-browed albatross.

Other highlights of the West Falkland Archipelago may also include bustling rookeries of rare rockhopper penguins, nesting Magellanic penguins, oyster-catchers and the flightless steamer duck, followed by a stop in the islands’ charming capital, Stanley, with its brightly painted houses and fascinating history.

Majestic glacier-covered mountains herald the Ioffe’s arrival at the rugged island of South Georgia, where visitors are greeted by the staggering sight of hundreds of thousands of king penguins covering every inch of the shoreline. It is here that the two friends, adventurers and polar explorers will finally be reunited during a ceremony at the whalers’ graveyard in Grytviken.

The 18-night Frank Wild Commemorative Expedition includes all meals and accommodation, plus Zodiac excursions and landings. The One Ocean Expeditions team includes hospitality staff, guides, historians, naturalists, kayak expedition leaders and experts in the Antarctic, all of whom bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and fun to the voyage. Prices start from $12,990 per person based on twin share, from $10,290pp for triple share and from $16,200pp in a One Ocean Suite.

For further information, visit www.oneoceanexpeditions.com or the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Walrus and Glacier Day

(Continuing the day-by-day blog of my recent Spitsbergen trip)

Well what a day this turned out to be on our cruise with Hurtigruten. Watching some 40 Walrus watching us under the midnight sun was pretty memorable.

This happened on the tiny crescent-shaped pebble island of Moffen some 80 degrees north, which is also only 2 yards high. What on earth the Walrus do when there is a roaring Arctic gale with huge waves is beyond me.

That was followed by the unforgettable experience of taking the small Polar Circle boats and cruising through the ice field beneath the huge Monaco Glacier and along its wall.

Crushing our way through the ice into patches of clear water, we found the occasional Harp Seal sunbathing on the icebergs whilst Glaucous Gulls were on the look out for a quick snack. Can't believe this week has gone so quickly and tomorrow we fly home.

For more information on this and other polar cruises, visit
www.hurtigruten.co.uk or contact the UK's adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Cruise For A Tenor With Cunard!

Cunard has introduced a new four-night winter voyage on board Queen Mary 2, departing Southampton on December 81. With prices starting at just £599 per person, the voyage’s star entertainment will be the four-tenor classical pop group, Blake.

Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, explains: “We have been able to introduce this extra pre-Christmas sailing because the ships' planned refit in November can be completed in less time than we allowed. Passengers on this additional voyage will not only benefit from keen pricing and top quality entertainment, but they will also be the first to experience the totally refurbished Queen Mary 2!”

In the November dry-docking, all the cabins and most of the public rooms on the ship will be refurbished. The itinerary for the Southampton round-trip voyage features Le Havre (for Paris) and Zeebrugge (for Bruges), as well as a whole relaxing day at sea.

Blake launched their first album in 2007, and saw it go straight to number one in the UK Classical Album Chart. In 2008, the group secured a Brit Award for Album of the Year. They have subsequently sold over half a million albums. This short voyage is an ideal way to experience Queen Mary 2 for the first time, and it will make an ideal Christmas break for those anxious to get into the festive mood.

For more information, vist www.cunard.com or contact the luxury crusie agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

An Unexpected Encounter with Spitsbergen Reindeer

(Continuing the day-by-day look at my recent Spitsbergen cruise with Hurtigruten)

It's today that our voyage on Hurtiguten's M.V. Fram brings us to Kongsfjorden, one of the most beautiful areas of the cruise and one of the most spectacular places in Spitsbergen.

The bay of Fjortende boasts magnificent scenery, a glacier that calves into the sea and a cliff on the north side that's alive with breeding seabirds.

Svalbard reindeer - as you can see - are stockier than their Norwegian mainland cousins with distinctly shorter legs. They tend to live in small groups of five or six and feed off the moss and willow on the tundra.

Tomorrow we will be going on a Polar Circle boat cruise deep into the ice field of the glaciers in another bay.

More information about the cruise can be found on www.hurtigruten.co.uk or from the specialist adventure-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Crystal's New California Shore Excursion Programme

Ultra-luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing 18 brand new shore-side excursions on its two unusual seven-night Crystal Symphony sailings round-trip from Los Angeles up the California and northern Baja coasts this autumn. Crystal Adventures will showcase the unique outdoor opportunities, culinary arts and varied scenery local to the remarkable Golden State region during cruises departing November 20 and December 4.

In Santa Barbara alone, adventure-seekers will have their choice of hiking, biking, horse-riding, paragliding, Segway-ing or kayaking through the area, learning about everything from California’s Chumash Indians to native sea life. Additional outdoor explorations range from kayaking past the Baja coast’s 100 foot-high blowhole to a jeep safari through Mexican countryside, with a winery as final destination.

California’s fine wines will be on full display via tasting trips to Santa Ynez and Napa Valley, the latter including a gourmet lunch at the famed Culinary Institute of America. Foodies can expand their epicurean acumen via tequila tasting/education, a Mexican cooking lesson outside Enseñada or a custom wine-blending competition in Santa Barbara. Guests can also explore the quaint Danish town of Solvang and hidden alleys of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

The two seven-night round-trip voyages visit Santa Barbara, San Francisco (overnight), Enseñada and San Diego, with prices from £2,524 per person, including return scheduled flights, transfers, seven nights in a deluxe stateroom with picture window with all meals and soft drinks, port taxes and a $500 per person onboard credit.

For more info, visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk or contact the luxury cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The World's Most Northerly Train

(Continuing my day-by-day look at my epic Arctic voyage with Hurtigruten)

Welcome to the world's most northerly settlement at
Ny Alesund, with what must be the world's most northerly train. Now just a museum piece, she rusts away quietly after pulling wagons of coal to the port for some thirty years.

Another day of fabulous scenery and fantastic history and wildlife, too. Reindeer, brent goose and ivory gull were all spotted today, with us cruising close to some incredible glaciers.

I wish had more time and space to tell you about this wonderful place but I guess you'll have to wait for it to appear in
World of Cruising next month!

This place is surrounded by signs warning you not to go outside the settlement as polar bears are around. All the houses have shovels and skis by the doors, with 4x4s parked outside.

You can find out more at
www.hurtigruten.co.uk or, to book, visit the adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Get Into The Rio Spirit With Silversea

For those who fancy a fiesta, Silversea is pleased to announce that two of its 2012 itineraries will call at the world-famous Rio Carnival whilst in South America next year.

Silversea has embraced the festival spirit and created a Carnival Land Programme for Silversea revellers who would like to experience the exciting atmosphere of probably the best known Carnival in the world. Guests can enjoy accommodation at one of the city’s finest hotels and pre-reserved Grandstand seating from which to watch the parade go by.

Voyage 5204: Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, Silver Spirit, seven day voyage. Departing February 12, 2012, from Buenos Aires (Argentina), Silver Spirit calls at Punta Del Este (Uruguay), Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Paraty (Brazil) and Buzios (Brazil), before arriving in Rio. Fares start from £3,008 per person and offer complimentary economy class air plus a $500 “Passport to Luxury” Onboard Spending Credit per suite.

Silversea is offering a four-night post-cruise land programme with accommodation at the Caesar Park Hotel which includes reserved Grandstand seating in Section nine of the Sambadrome, allowing you to soak up the Carnival atmosphere. Prices from £2,599 per person sharing.

Voyage 5205: Rio de Janeiro to Bridgetown, Silver Spirit, 15 day voyage. Joining February 19, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro and departing February 21, Silver Spirit calls at Salvador De Bahia (Brazil), Recife (Brazil), Fortaleza (Brazil), Belem (Brazil), Scarborough (Trinidad & Tobago) and St. George’s (Grenada) before arriving in Bridgetown (Barbados). Fares start from £4,723 per person and offer complimentary economy class air plus a $1000 “Passport to Luxury” Onboard Spending Credit per suite.

With two nights’ in port in Rio, Silversea is offering a mid-voyage land adventure which allows you to indulge your senses with the exciting atmosphere of the world-renowned Carnival parade. Tickets for this programme include transfers between the ship and the Sambadrome with reserved seating in Section nine and must be pre-booked. Prices start from £449 per person.


For more info, visit www.silversea.com or contact the luxury cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

All This Ice And It's Too Early For a Gin & Tonic!

(Continuing my day-by-day look at my epic Arctic voyage with Hurtigruten)

Welcome to another day in the high Arctic. The scenery up here is incredible. Even on an overcast day like this morning, it takes your breath away. If you can't get all the way to the Antarctica, then do try and get up here as it's really, seriously wonderful.


On sunny days, the whole character of the place changes and you get a totally different type of beauty.

Tomorrow we are going to see some of the relics from the early polar explorers and visiting the world's most northerly settlement.


For more info on the cruise, visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk or contact the UK's adventure-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Gerald Scarfe Joins Fred. Olsen

As part of its growing cruise enhancement programme, Vistas, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is delighted to announce that the artist and satirical cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, CBE, RDI, will be joining Braemar’s cruise to the Atlantic Islands next April.

Best known for his biting and highly individual political cartoons, as well as his collaboration with Pink Floyd on their epic production of The Wall, Scarfe was born in St. John’s Wood, North London, in 1936 and started to draw and create models as he recovered from bouts of asthma as a child.

He started drawing cartoons for national newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Sketch, Evening Standard and Punch magazine and was one of the early contributors to Private Eye. His work is also familiar from the opening credits of the 1980s TV series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’. From drawing, he moved into creating papier-mâché models of politicians, and gradually into television, film and other areas of the arts.

Scarfe was awarded the distinction of ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ in 1989, in recognition of his talents as an illustrator. He was then awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008, remarking: “I am pleased, but surprised, since I’ve spent so much of my professional life being rude to people.”

He will host a ‘Drawing’ theme on Braemar's M1208 cruise to the Atlantic Islands, a 14-night voyage that departs from Dover on April 14, 2012, calling at Lisbon and visiting the islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife and La Palma in the Canaries, and two ports in the Azores, Praia da Vitoria and Ponta Delgada, before returning to Dover.

Prices start from £1,429 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’, and includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes. There is no extra charge for taking part in Gerald’s Vistas workshops.

Find out more about by visiting www.fredolsencruises.com or the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

How Can He Bear It?!

(Continuing the day-by-day look at my recent Arctic cruise around Spitsbergen with Hurtigruten)

Quite an eventful day today as we saw our first polar bear swimming beside the ship. I'm not really sure who was looking at who!

It's also great to see so many old faces from our recent Antarctic trip with Hurtigruten, and the Fram is as lovely as ever.


The scenery is truly spectacular up here and the bird life amazing. Longyearbyen is a tax-free zone so we have stocked up on booze and goodies for the flight home. Still strange to have no night time, though; the bar bill is starting to mount up already!


For more info on the cruise, visit
www.hurtigruten.co.uk or contact the UK's adventure-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

SeaDream Honoured By Cruise Critic

In the first annual Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards, SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream I has been placed as No 1 for Service in the Small Ship category.

Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown explained: “Cruise Critic members who have reviewed the ship are clearly very happy with their cruise experience. SeaDream I gets excellent ratings for service, which is attentive and formal, without being fussy or intrusive.”

Cruise Critic-issued awards are based entirely on reviews/ratings submitted by cruisers when they posted a review. Cruise Critic, the online guide to cruises, is one of the most influential travel sites on the web. With a world-renowned editorial staff, it provides objective cruise reviews, features, ports-of-call profiles and destination information.

Acknowledging the award, Bob Lepisto, President of SeaDream, said: “The crew aboard SeaDream I & SeaDream II are to be thanked for their tireless efforts to ensure each guest is well taken care of. Independent reviews like this reaffirm our claim of providing unbeatable service.”

Just last month, SeaDream I was showcased in London, at Tower Bridge, to over 400 UK travel industry professionals and the media, with a series of exclusive invitational events. Following her first visit to London, the ship sailed to Hamburg for a 20-day dry-dock and now, for the first time, is positioned for her northern-summer season in the Baltic, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Together with sister vessel, the ships are rated the ‘World’s Best Small Ship Cruise Line’ (source: the Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships). The expression “yachting” is not only a statement about size, it describes a lifestyle aboard the intimate vessels. Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom vessels are favoured for their elegant informality, personal service provided by a crew of 95, state-of-the-art facilities, inclusive open bar and gratuities, ocean-view accommodations, luxury spa and world class cuisine. Itineraries include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Amazon.

For more information, visit www.seadream.com or contact the luxury-cruise experts of booking agents The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Beluga Whales with Hurtigruten

Many thanks to all of you who emailed and said how disappointed you were we couldn't do the live blog from the Arctic on board Hurtigruten's Fram last week (due to internet connection problems).

So here in some form of compensation is a one-week-later very shortened daily entry. These Beluga whales were in a pod of some thirty animals we saw as the ship was berthed at Barentsburg on the first night.

They looked for all the world like a group of white jellybabies cavorting in the surf!

For more info on booking the cruise, see
The Cruise Line Ltd.

See you tomorrow!

AmaWaterways to Relocate AmaDagio to the Rhone

Award-winning river-cruise line AmaWaterways will relocate its beautiful 150-passenger MS AmaDagio to the Rhone River in Southern France at the start of the 2012 season. The ship will cruise a 7-night Lyon to Arles (and reverse) itinerary from late March through to the end of the year as part of the company’s popular “Provence” river cruise programme.

AmaWaterways President Rudi Schreiner said: “We are extremely happy our guests in France will be able to travel the Rhone on a ship that we custom-designed and built ourselves. The AmaDagio will enable us to deliver the premium onboard experience and provide the same high level of amenities and services our passengers have come to expect from a cruise on the Danube and Rhine.”

Highlights of the “Provence” cruise itinerary include excursions to the renowned Beaujolais wine region; visits to a winery, local market and olive farm; tours of Roman ruins; and overnights in the UNESCO Heritage sites of Avignon and Arles, where guests will experience the Provencal landscape that inspired poets, painters and writers for centuries.

A week’s `Best of Provence’ sailing on board AmaDagio in 2012 costs from £1,654 per person, based on two sharing, including all meals, wine with dinner, complimentary use of onboard bicycles, free Wi-Fi and infotainment centre and daily escorted tours.

For more info, visit www.amawaterways.co.uk or the river-cruise experts of cruise-agent specialists The Cruise Line Ltd.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Enjoy Scenic Washington State & British Columbia with American Safari Cruises

Well-known in yachting circles as a favourite for 'gunkhole' cruising — a yachter’s paradise of quiet, scenic anchorages — the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands star in American Safari Cruises’ Pacific Northwest Passage itinerary returning in 2012. The cruise features Washington state and British Columbia, with a new home port of Seattle, Washington.

Beginning September 14, 2012, the 22-guest Safari Quest (above) sails 10 week-long cruises round-trip from Seattle. The yacht returns in the spring for six more week-long cruises beginning March 29, 2013. The Pacific Northwest Passage itinerary explores the inlets and islands of the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands including visits to Victoria, Jervis Inlet, the Harmony Islands, Princess Louisa Inlet, Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia; Friday Harbor, San Juan Island and Stuart Island in Washington.

Sailing from Seattle, the yacht passes through the historic Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to Puget Sound. In Victoria, guests enjoy a tour of Butchart Gardens with a traditional British high tea, a visit to the Royal British Columbia Museum and the historic Empress Hotel.

A flexible itinerary allows time to search out and view wildlife such as orca whales, eagles, seals, sea lions, porpoise, black bears and deer. ASC's expedition-style cruising means the yacht freely explores among the inlets and islands of the Pacific Northwest. An onboard expedition leader provides expert narration while leading waterborne or land-based adventures including kayaking, hiking, beachcombing and skiff rides. Paddle boards are also available for solo adventures in these scenic waters.

Other highlights of the cruise include exploration by foot or by kayak in Princess Louisa Inlet, only half a mile wide and culminating at the spectacular Chatterbox Falls; scenery and solitude while relaxing in the upper deck hot tub; stroll along Nanaimo’s picturesque waterfront promenade; a visit to the town of Friday Harbor with boutiques, galleries and a Whale Museum; hiking along a bluff to Turning Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island and kayaking among the sheltered Harmony Islands.

Cruise fares start at $3,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

The inclusive cruise includes all yacht activities and equipment; transfers; meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. The Quest also features a hot tub, Tempurpedic mattresses, and heated tile floors in all bathrooms and upper category balconies. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can also be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom.

For more info, visit www.americansafaraicruises.com or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise travel agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A Volga Adventure with eWaterways

eWaterways the niche and river cruise experts have a new itinerary for 2012 on Europe’s largest and longest river - the Volga. The exceptional 11-day Russian Cruise-and-Stay package takes place on the Volga Dream, a well-appointed ship which journeys along this emblematic river and other important waterways to Russia’s ‘Golden Ring’ cities.

Starting in Peter the Great’s ‘Window on the West’ St Petersburg and ending in the medieval yet modern capital Moscow, this cruise promises a real exploration of this vast country’s vistas, history and culture.

The all-inclusive Volga Discovery Holiday is crammed with excursions, informative tours and the best of Russian cuisine. The impressive programme includes visits to the remarkable Palace Square and a tour of the Hermitage Museum at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg; a tour of the magnificent Church of the Transfiguration with its 22 ‘onion’ domes on Kizhi Island; a trip to the Cyrilo-Belozersky Monastery in Goritsy and the 16th-century Monastery of the Transfiguration and Church of Elijah the Prophet in Yaroslavl, as well as a city tour of the beautiful 10th century town Uglich - all before a visit to the renowned Kremlin, the Flea Market and the Dmitry Blood Church in Moscow.

The Volga Dream accommodates just 109 passengers in 56 well-appointed, spacious cabins, each of which feature a window, individually controlled air-conditioning, satellite flat-screen televisions, mini-bars and a welcome fruit basket. With a crew of 60, including an expert tour guide, the standard of service is impeccable.

One of the highlights is the onboard dining experience. With the à la carte evening dinner taking a different theme everyday, the Chef brings fine dining to each guest night after night. From the fresh steamed sturgeon to a rack of lamb or steak au poivre, tiger prawns and authentic Russian Borsch, every meal is a chance to marvel at the culinary excellence of the kitchen. The onboard facilities include a single sitting dining room where complimentary wine is served with meals, a chic lounge and bar, fitness centre, spa treatments and library with internet access.

The 11-day Volga Discovery Cruise will run from May-September 2012. Prices start at £2,059 per person (including taxes), which includes 5-star hotel stays in Moscow (2 nights) and St Petersburg (2 nights), a 6-night deluxe cruise aboard the Volga Dream (full board basis), all transfers, tours and excursions, house wine and soft drinks with meals onboard and lunches and dinners in local restaurants. Flights and visas are not included.

For more info, visit www.ewaterways.co.uk or contact the river-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Discover New Experiences With Celebrity Silhouette


Be among the inaugural cruise season crowd aboard Celebrity Cruises’ brand new ship Celebrity Silhouette on a 12-night Holy Land fly/cruise from just £1,072 per person (based on two people sharing an inside stateroom).

Silhouette offers a host of brand new onboard venues and experiences including the interactive “Lawn Club Grill,” where guests can select and grill their own meats alongside expert chefs; “The Alcoves” relaxing, private, Wi-Fi-equipped cabanas on the real grass lawn; and “The Hideaway” with private tree-houses available where guests can read, listen to music and surf the net.

The price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers and a 12-night cruise departing from Civitavecchia (Rome) en route to Palermo (Sicily), Haifa (Israel), Ashdod (for Jerusalem), Mykonos (Greece) and Naples/Capri (Italy) before returning to Civitavecchia; meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

Price is based on an October 10 departure.

For more info, visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk. or, for bookings, consult the specialist cruise travel agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Paul Gauguin's South Pacific Sale

Paul Gauguin Cruises has launched a South Pacific Sale offering fabulous savings of up to £1,258 per person on selected winter 2011/2012 sailings with prices starting from just £3,119 per person if booked by August 31.

These offers are available on seven-night Society Islands voyages round trip from Tahiti visiting Raiatea, Taha’a, Bora Bora (overnight) and Moorea (overnight) with departures on the following dates: November 5 and 12; December 3 and 21; and February 25, 2012.


Prices start from £3,119 per person fly-cruise based on a seven-night Society Islands voyage departing in November and including return scheduled flights, transfers, seven nights in an ocean-view stateroom with all meals, soft drinks, selected alcoholic beverages and gratuities.


For more info, visit www.pgcruises.com or the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Viking's China River Tours Go To 'The Roof of The World'

Here's an interesting press release this weekend from top river-cruise operator Viking, whose latest programme of cruise-tours through China now has three highly enticing possibilities.

Imperial Jewels of China, Shanghai to Beijing; from £2,245/12 Days
See all of China’s key highlights in just 12 days. Explore cosmopolitan Shanghai and, in Beijing, imperial treasures like the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Cruise the wildly beautiful Three Gorges region of the legendary Yangtze, and admire the engineering marvel of the Three Gorges Dam. You also visit Xian, home of the famous Terra Cotta Army.

Roof of the World, Beijing to Shanghai, plus Tibet; from £2,850/16 Days
Discover the many faces of China on this fascinating 16-day adventure. See the imperial treasures of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai and enjoy a 6-day Yangtze River cruise. Then experience the Tibetan plateau, known as the “Roof of the World”. Spend three spiritually enlightening days in Lhasa, visiting Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace and more.

China’s Cultural Delights, Beijing to Shanghai; from £2,695/17 Days
This 17-day odyssey explores China’s cradle of culture with an epic 11-day Yangtze cruise between Chongqing and Nanjing. See all the wonders of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and the Three Gorges, plus visit the birthplace of porcelain, the elegant classical gardens of Suzhou, a sacred Buddhist mountain and much more.

For more information, visit www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk or contact the river-cruise specialists at The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Big Autmn Savings With Crystal

As if Crystal Cruises’ autumn sale wasn’t big enough already, the ultra-luxury cruise operator is offering even greater savings on its 25th October New York to Miami Caribbean cruise with prices for this 12-night voyage starting from as little £3,723 per person – a saving of £498 per person.

Crystal’s “Pink Sands and White Beaches” voyage begins with a scenic sail-away from New York followed by visits to Bermuda, St Maarten, Antigua, Aruba and the Cayman Islands. Throughout, guests will be stimulated and enriched with an array of complimentary workshops and classes:

A “Digital Filmmaking” theme offers camera buffs hands-on tutelage in travel video production from Travel Channel Academy founders throughout the sailing. News junkies will relish insights from Shelby Coffee, formerly editor of the LA Times, president of CNN Business News and executive vice president of ABC News. Veteran US State Department Senior Foreign Service Officer, Robert Warne, will enthral world affairs enthusiasts with his vast experience in international economics.
Animal lovers can help care for stray donkeys via Crystal’s free “You Care, We Care” voluntourism excursion in Antigua.

Prices include return scheduled flights, transfers, 12 nights in a deluxe stateroom with picture window with all meals and soft drinks, port taxes and a $500 per person onboard credit.


For further information, visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk or contact the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Costa Returns To Japan

Costa Cruises has announced it is resuming its Japan itineraries and introducing new destinations, following the terrible earthquake that hit the country earlier this year.

On August 26, Costa Classica will be leaving Shanghai for a four-day cruise calling at Fukuoka (Japan) and Cheju (South Korea) before returning to Shanghai.

This decision demonstrates Costa’s confidence in Japan’s tourism market and its support of the revitalisation of the local tourism industry. As the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market, Costa has been operating cruise itineraries from China to Japan for more than five years.

From August to October this year, Costa Classica - home-ported in Shanghai - will operate a total of 12 cruises to Japan and South Korea.

The wide selection of itineraries includes three Japanese destinations: Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kagoshima: four-day cruises to Fukuoka and Cheju (South Korea); a six-day cruise to Pusan (South Korea), Fukuoka and Kagoshima and a five-day cruise to Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Cheju (South Korea).

In 2012, Costa will further expand its operations in Asia and the Far East , with the deployment for the first time of the Costa Victoria (75,200 gross tonnage and 2,394 total guests), which will replace the Classica (53,000 gross tonnage and 1,680 total guests).

For the first time on these cruises, the Victoria will offer guests the chance to book 246 veranda cabins to enjoy the splendid scenery of the Far East, including Japan, from the privacy of their own cabins. Costa Cruises will increase its offer in the area by about 40%.

Victoria will also sail to an array of new destinations in Japan including the tropical paradise of Hososhima/Miyazaki; Wakayama, which boasts the largest hot spring resort; Osaka, Japan’s second largest city; the popular sightseeing cities in the Kanto Area; Yokohama and Tokyo, the capital city.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (www.jnto.go.jp), a joint statement from the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization has reaffirmed that operations can continue normally into and out of Japan's major airports and sea ports.

Star Flyer's Big Southampton Date in 2012

In 2012, as part of a maiden summer season of Baltic tall-ship cruises, Star Clippers will offer a sailing from Southampton on the 170-passenger, full-rigged tall ship Star Flyer, the first time one of the Star Clippers’ tall ships has been in British waters since the ship’s launch in 1991.

To celebrate the occasion, the line is offering a voyage that includes five nights’ full board on the ship; five nights’ parking at Southampton; port transfers to Hamburg airport; a return flight to Heathrow; and a private taxi transfer back to Southampton to collect parked vehicles. Prices start from just £999 per person.

Star Flyer will depart from Southampton on May 5 on this epic one-off voyage between two of northern Europe’s greatest maritime cities, Southampton and Hamburg, sailing via Amsterdam, which has a great sailing heritage of its own, prior to cruising Baltic waters in Summer 2012. The ship will be the most head-turning in port and is guaranteed to draw much attention when she arrives in the Solent from a transatlantic crossing earlier in the day on May 5.

The five-day sailing offers plenty of time at sea to learn about sailing a tall ship, navigation and operating the sails or simply relaxing on the teak decks or in the al fresco Tropical Bar.

For more info, see www.starclippers.co.uk or contact the adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Blogging from the Arctic

From Steve Newman in Longyearbyen

Well hello! Here we are in Spitsbergen deep inside the Arctic Circle. We board Hurtigruten's MV Fram in about two hours so I'm writing this in the hotel. It's snowing! But the scenery is fantastic - wild reindeer are grazing outside our hotel but we can't go out to the end of the road as there are polar bears about!

Amazing last night sitting in the bar at 1am with the locals in broad daylight. Well, we have a meeting with the expedition staff now so I'll write again tomorrow (Internet connection permitting) and hopefully have some pictures for you.

(NB: Pic added from Hurtigruten via World of Cruising editor)

Silversea Reveals 20 Grand Voyages For 2012

Those who yearn for the days when travel was an adventure to be savoured will be pleased to learn that Silversea is offering a new series of 20 "Grand Voyages" in 2012.

Designed exclusively for the traveller who relishes a more leisurely pace, this special collection offers extended voyages from 24 to 64 days. These unique odysseys combine the luxury of sailing aboard intimate, elegant ships with expanded journeys to diverse regions of the world, featuring visits to must-see traditional ports, as well as exotic destinations that are off the beaten path.

Highlighting the Grand Voyages are generous savings incentives and a $1,500 per suite "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit. Some of the voyages also include round-trip economy air (from select gateway cities) and transfers between airport and pier on embarkation and disembarkation days.

AFRICA & MEDITERRANEAN: Silver Wind departs February 3, 2012, on a 53-day "Safaris & Mediterranean Sun Coasts" voyage from Cape Town to Istanbul, sailing around the southern tip of Africa and northward along the continent's Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean, with calls in 15 countries, including exotic Mozambique and Morocco. Guests will also enjoy such marquee cities as Monte Carlo, Rome and Athens. Other highlights include a three-day, two-night stay in Barcelona and overnight visits in Richards Bay, Walvis Bay and Livorno (Florence). Fares from £14,261, with complimentary economy class air.

ASIA & AUSTRALIA: Silver Shadow departs December 11, 2012, on a 24-day "Grand Asia & Australia" voyage from Hong Kong to Sydney with calls in Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Highlights include an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Fares from £6,566. Economy class air from £1,774.

MEDITERRANEAN & NORTHERN EUROPE: Silver Whisper departs May 1 on a 34-day "Springtime Grand Europe" voyage from Monte Carlo to Copenhagen with calls in Spain, Portugal, France, U.K., Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Russia and Estonia. Highlights include a three-day, two-night stopover in St. Petersburg and an overnight in Bordeaux. Fares from £11,863, with complimentary economy class air.

SOUTH AMERICA: Silver Spirit departs January 10 on an exciting 64-day "South America & Rio Carnival" voyage. Sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Spirit will circumnavigate South America, first heading southward along the Pacific coast, then passing through the Strait of Magellan and on to the Falkland Islands, before voyaging up the east coast to the Caribbean. In total, 18 countries will be visited. Highlights include a 2-night stay in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival and overnight stays in Callao (Lima), Punta Arenas and Buenos Aires. Fares from £20,902.

WORLD CRUISE 2012: The grandest of all voyages, and in a class all its own, is Silversea's grand World Cruise. On January 6, Silver Whisper will embark guests in Fort Lauderdale for a remarkable 115-day voyage that concludes in glamorous Monte Carlo. On this magnificent odyssey, her guests will visit 45 ports in 27 countries stretching from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, the Far East, Arabia and Europe. Along the way, they will enjoy 13 overnight visits and exclusive insider access to seldom seen global treasures. Fares from £36,883.

For more info, visit www.silversea.com or consult the luxury-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Stop Press Cruise Offer From Oceania!

You know it's a good day for press releases (and great late cruise deals!) when you pick up something like this, from chic Oceania Cruises:

September 7: Venice to Istanbul, 12 nights from £1799, saving £1451

Oceania Cruises has a saving of up to £2245pp off a 12-night cruise through the Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul on board Marina, the company’s new, luxury cruise ship, plus a credit of $1000 per stateroom.

The sailing now costs from £1799pp (was £3250, saving £1451) or you can upgrade to a Penthouse suite for £2399pp (was £4644, saving £2245pp). Prices are based on two sharing and include gourmet dining in a choice of six restaurants at no supplement, complimentary bottled water and soft drinks.

Visit www.oceaniacruises.co.uk or the specialist luxury cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Regent Offer Four New Early Winter Voyages

Regent Seven Sea’s free and unlimited shore excursion programme is designed to bring out the best of each destination and provide a carefully considered and safe way to explore off the beaten track destinations. Sailing on the all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager, where guests are one of only a few hundred, the line has announced four new cruises taking in the best of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, enabling guests to experience free excursions to some of the world’s holiest and most ancient cities.

The four new itineraries include calls to fascinating ports such as Ephesus, Safaga and Haifa as well as a transit of the Suez Canal and extended overnight stays at Ashdod and Petra, to provide an unforgettable east-meets-west experience. Choose from:

Luxor to Limassol: 8 nights, Nov 12
Calling at Petra (overnight), Sharm El Sheikh, transit Suez Canal, Ashdod (overnight), Haifa, Limassol. Balcony Suite from £ 2,675 per person.

Limassol to Barcelona: 8 nights, Nov 20
Calling at Alanya, Rhodes, Ephesus, Valletta, Barcelona (overnight). Balcony Suite from £2,350 per person.

Barcelona to Ashdod: 8 nights, November 28
Calling at Barcelona, Valletta, Rhodes, Limassol, Haifa, Ashdod (overnight). Balcony Suite from £2,330 per person.

Ashdod to Dubai: 13 nights, Dec 6

Calling at Suez Canal (transit), Luxor (overnight), Petra (overnight), Cruise the Red Sea/Arabian Sea, Salalah (Oman), Port Qaboos (Oman), Dubai. Balcony Suite from £3,343 per person.

As the most all-inclusive luxury cruise line, fares include: free return flights on every cruise (or free Business Class flights on all Med sailings in suites C-MS), free unlimited shore excursions in every port, transfers and government/port taxes, concierge amenities, all fine dining including speciality restaurants, all drinks and beverages including fine wines, selected Champagnes, premium branded soft drinks, all onboard activities, 24-hour room service and in-suite dining.


For more info, visit www.rssc.com or contact the UK's specialist luxury-cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Sea of Cortes Boost from American Safari Cruises

An off-the-beaten path destination, Baja Mexico’s Sea of Cortés is a secluded and protected UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve and a favourite yachting destination for American Safari Cruises. As an enticement, the company is offering a $200 per person travel credit for new bookings made by September 30, 2011.

The 22-guest upscale yacht Safari Quest sails week-long adventure cruises from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, from November to April. On 13 select departures, each guest will receive a $200 travel credit. The travel credit may be used on an individual stateroom or a private charter for a family or group getaway to the welcoming warmth and remote wilderness of the Sea of Cortés.

Families interested in a holiday cruise may also take advantage of a $400 travel credit for teens aged 12 to 19 on the December 24 and December 31 departures.

Sailing round-trip from the picturesque town of La Paz, the yacht explores amidst the hundreds of islands and islets in this place author John Steinbeck found “ferocious with life” and described by Jacques Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world.” A flexible and unhurried cruising philosophy promises time to seek out wildlife, including many different species of whales, dolphins and sea lions - all prevalent in the wildlife-rich waters.

The inclusive cruise itinerary includes exploration of Isla Partida, Isla San Jose, Isla San Francisco and Isla Espíritu Santo. A visit to Bahia Agua Verde includes a mule ride into the arroyos of the peninsula guided by a local ranchero. At Isla Coyote, guests meet the Cuevas fishing family and tour the village and whale bone yard. Snorkelling with playful sea lions at Los Islotes is often a highlight of the trip.

Anchoring in quiet coves, the crew brings water toys out to play. The yacht transforms into a waterborne adventure platform for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing, skiff rides, snorkelling, swimming, swinging off the rope swing and tubing. Expert naturalists lead kayaking and hiking excursions to explore the beauty of the sea, the coastline and into the desert landscape to see giant Cardón cacti, red rock cliffs and white sand dunes.

The 13 select departures available with the $200 per person travel credit include: November 26; December 24, 31; January 14, 28; February 4, 11, 18; March 3, 17, 24, 31; and April 7.

Cruise fares start at $3,995 per person based on double occupancy. The inclusive cruise includes all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. The 22-guest Safari Quest features a hot tub, Tempur-pedic mattresses, heated tile floors in all bathrooms and upper category balconies. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom.

For more info, visit www.americansafaricruises.com or contact the adventure-cruise experts of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Celebrate the Festive Season with Silversea

Silversea Cruises is inviting travellers to wrap themselves in pampering luxury this festive season with a collection of enticing voyages that span the globe from Africa and the South Pacific to the Caribbean and South America.

This year, the all-suite, intimate ships of the Silversea fleet offer an elegant way to revel in the joy of the festive season with cruises ranging from 14 to 17 days. Designed to be a "home upon the oceans of the world," the all-inclusive vessels feature spacious ocean-view suites, most with private veranda, and the highest level of personalised service.

Highlighting the onboard ambiance for these voyages will be festive decorations, parties, menus and entertainment. With the exception of expedition cruises, clergy will be on board to conduct religious services, including a rabbi for Hanukkah. Plus distinguished guest lecturers and destination experts will also be on hand to host enlightening presentations.

And with "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credits of up to $1,000 per suite offered on these festive voyages, guests might choose to indulge in a little extra pampering in the spa or use their credit toward a host of other options, including any Silver Shore excursions (none are excluded), premium selections from the Connoisseur's List of wines and spirits, speciality restaurant dining fees, and/or purchases in the Internet Café and onboard boutiques.

Choose from this luxury collection:

VOYAGE 4137: Valparaiso (Santiago) to Fort Lauderdale, Silver Whisper, 17 Days, Dec 20-Jan 6. Calls in Coquimbo, Arica, Matarani, Callao (Lima), Salaverry, Manta, Puerto Limón and Key West. Highlights include $1,000 "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit, a crossing of the Panama Canal and overnight stay in Callao. Guest Lecturers: Adrian Sindall, former British ambassador, and Dr. Carolyn Dudek, associate professor of political science. Fares start at £5,403.

VOYAGE 5138: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale, Silver Spirit, 14 Days, Dec 20-Jan 3. Calls in Grand Turk, St. John’s, Bequia, Bridgetown, Castries, Gustavia, Spanish Town and Key West. Highlights include $500 "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit. Guest Lecturers: Rick McKay, award-winning filmmaker, and Dr. Jay Wolff, historian and destination expert. Fares start at £4,623.

VOYAGE 3134: Sydney to Auckland, Silver Shadow, 15 Days, Dec 21-Jan 5. Calls in Melbourne, Hobart, Stewart Island, Dunedin, Picton, Napier and Tauranga. Highlights include $1,000 "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit, overnight stay in Melbourne and cruising through the Milford and Dusky sounds. Guest Lecturers: Richard Tallboys, former British ambassador, and Dr. Lew Deitch, destination consultant. Fares start at £5,378.

VOYAGE 1131: San Diego to Fort Lauderdale, Silver Cloud, 16 Days, Dec 22-Jan 7. Calls in Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Puntarenas, San Blas Island and Cartagena. Highlights include $1,000 "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit and a crossing of the Panama Canal. Guest Lecturers: Lawrence Rudner, former professor and aerospace engineer, and Michael Freedland, journalist, broadcaster and author. Fares start at £4,068.

NB: Fares listed above are cruise only, per person based on double occupancy for a Vista Suite and include port charges and handling.

For more info, visit www.silversea.com or consult the UK's leading luxury-cruise specialist agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.