Celebrity Millennium Kicks Off Celebrity Cruises’ Revolution

The newly modernised Celebrity Millennium is officially ready to revolutionise modern travel. The ship’s dramatic transformation — part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION — is just the beginning of Celebrity Cruises’ biggest fleet-wide modernisation ever, with more than $500 million in luxurious upgrades taking the brand’s fleet to the Edge.

On the all-new Celebrity Millennium, discerning world travellers will enjoy enhancements that include:

  • Completely redesigned staterooms and suites
  • The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, with an exclusive new sundeck and redesigned lounge
  • Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges
  • A redesigned spa and casino
  • New designer boutiques featuring the hottest designer names

And all this is just the beginning.

Celebrity Millennium’s bow-to-stern transformation began on 2 January 2019, at the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore. There, it spent a total of 35 days in the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the new-build and Celebrity teams.

When redesigning the staterooms and suites, every detail was carefully thought through with guest comfort at the forefront. Celebrity Cruises collaborated with renowned international hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms on board and turned to famed designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE to refresh the suites and bring The Retreat to Celebrity Millennium.

Revolutionary enhancements made to the staterooms and suites include:

  • Refreshed suite design and finishes by Hoppen
  • The Retreat Sundeck, an exclusive open-air hideaway for suite class guests designed by Hoppen and featuring a new hot tub, cabanas, loungers, artwork, and more
  • The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club), an exclusive 24/7 lounge for Suite Class guests designed by Hoppen and offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment, and concierge service
  • All-new stateroom design in partnership with HBA
  • Celebrity Cruises’ eXhale bedding featuring luxurious cashmere mattresses
  • Completely redesigned stateroom bathrooms with all-new finishes and fixtures
  • Advanced RFID lock technology with digital key access has been added to every stateroom door
  • A total of 30 new staterooms being added, including:
    • 13 new AquaClass Staterooms
    • Seven new Ocean View Staterooms
    • 10 new Inside Staterooms

Celebrity Cruises is known to always be looking for new ways to open the world, not only through the places the brand visits, but through its globally inspired culinary experience, as well. The brand seized the “revolutionary” opportunity and reimagined many of the restaurants and lounges found on Celebrity Millennium, including:

  • Upgraded Oceanview Café, featuring a new open concept, increased seating options, and globally inspired culinary offerings
  • Upgraded Main Restaurant, with more seating and updated fixtures
  • Redesigned Sunset Bar, featuring a variety of inviting seating options perfect for alfresco dining or cocktails with a view
  • Redesigned Rendezvous Lounge hosting events and entertainment from day to night, with everything from a newly enlarged bar serving up tantalizing cocktails to a quiet reading nook for curling up with a book

Guests will find even more luxurious enhancements across the ship as part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, including:

  • Advanced pervasive Xcelerate Wi-Fi has been enabled on the ship to help keep guests connected
  • New boutiques featuring some of the hottest designers in the world, including Shinola, John Hardy, and Hublot
  • A new, wellness-focused spa design by renowned New York design firm Krause Sawyer will transform the treatment rooms, salon, fitness centre, and locker rooms
  • A new, semi-private consultation area in the fitness centre for personal training and consultations
  • A new salon featuring services such as a blow dry bar and luxury manicures and pedicures designed for the ultimate in relaxation
  • A newly enhanced Persian Garden thermal suite, where new therapeutic spaces and experiences, such a Turkish bath, infrared sauna, and salt therapy, combine to create the ultimate wellness journey within this tranquil, soothing escape
  • Enhanced art gallery and photo gallery by HBA
  • A sleek and sophisticated new casino design in partnership with HBA
  • A newly redesigned casino bar that’s poised to be one of the most exciting places aboard to celebrate
  • Introducing brand new, state-of-the-art slot machines that make the casino one of the most cutting-edge gaming experiences at sea

Guests are not the only ones who will get to experience THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, as “revolutionary” enhancements were made across the crew areas, including accommodations.

Celebrity Millennium is just the first revolutionary revitalisation for the brand. Celebrity Summit has already entered dry-dock in the Bahamas for its own stunning transformation, with seven more ships to be modernised by 2023.

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Posted in Celebrity Cruises, Cruise News

Cunard Announces Record 2020-2021 Summer Season In Australia

Cunard has announced that Queen Elizabeth will return to Australia for an unparalleled 118 days over the 2020-21 summer, headlining Cunard’s biggest ever Australian season.

The season will also feature visits from Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 and sister ship Queen Victoria during their world voyages, with the royal trio spending a record 49 days in Australian ports between them.

Queen Elizabeth’s four-month season will begin in November 2020 and will include more than 60 itinerary options as she sails from her homeports of Melbourne and Sydney.

Voyages will range from two-night cruises between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to longer journeys around Australia and New Zealand.

New offerings include 12 and 13-night cruises between Sydney and Auckland calling at a range of stunning ports along the New Zealand coastline, as well as calls to Tasmania and Victoria. The cruises can also be combined to create a destination-rich 25-night journey featuring an impressive nine New Zealand ports.

Other highlights include a Royal Rendezvous with Queen Victoria in Sydney on March 1, 2021 – marking the first time the two ships have met in Australia – as well as a special overnight call in Auckland on December 31, 2020, enabling Cunard guests to be among the first in the world to celebrate the New Year.

The new programme will also feature overnight calls in Hobart, Wellington and Auckland as well as Queen Elizabeth’s maiden call to Lyttelton and Cunard’s inaugural call to New Plymouth in New Zealand.

At 90,900 tonnes, the 2081-guest Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the cruise line’s current trio of Queens.

At the end of last year Queen Elizabeth underwent a refurbishment including the introduction of a brand new holistic spa concept, Mareel Wellness & Beauty.

Full details of the 2021 World Voyage season and Queen Elizabeth’s 2020-21 Australian programme will be released on March 4, 2019 with holidays scheduled to go on sale on March 12, 2019.

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Posted in Cruise News, Cunard Cruise Line

P&O Cruises Reveals IONA’s First Winter Season

Late departures and overnight stays in iconic destinations are among the key features of P&O Cruises new ship Iona’s inaugural winter season, which goes on sale on Monday March 18, 2019*.

Between October 2020 and March 2021 Iona will sail south to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands for winter sun as well as visits to spectacular cities in northern Europe.

Guests will be able to enjoy day-into-night visits on shore to discover local nightlife with late departures from Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife and Fuerteventura.

Overnight stays in Barcelona, Lisbon, Cadiz and Rotterdam are also part of the mix as Iona sails conveniently from its home port of Southampton.

An exciting choice of hand-picked shore adventures are being developed, ranging from waterfall canyoning in Madeira and river rafting in Vigo, to tuk tuk tours of Lisbon and star-gazing from Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, in Tenerife.

Traditional shrimp fishing by horseback in Bruges and cruising canals in Amsterdam on a vintage boat are among other new city-based shore experiences.

A mix of seven and 14-night itineraries will be offered during Iona’s maiden winter season.

Ports of call in Spain, Portugal and the Canaries will include: Cadiz, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Madeira, Tenerife, Alicante, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Malaga, Valencia and Vigo.

Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Zeebrugge (for Bruges), and Hamburg are among the northern European cities featured.

Guests travelling on Iona to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands could look forward to shore experiences including:

Canyoning in Madeira – an action-adventure in the crystal clear waters and gushing waterfalls of Madeira. A hand-picked adrenalin-fuelled canyoning trip will see guests splashing and sliding down the beautiful river falls or swimming and abseiling in ravines.

Sundowners with the stars in Tenerife – For a truly memorable experience guests will be taken to watch the sunset at the summit of Mounte Teide as they savour a cocktail and dinner designed by two-Michelin starred chef, Erlantz Gorostiza. They can watch the skies darken, ready for magical star-gazing in Teide National Park. The park has the reputation as being one of the top three best places in the world to observe the night sky.

Rafting adventure in Vigo – For an exhilarating experience guests will be able tackle the lively Mino River on a rafting adventure through white water rapids. Along the way they will see some of the most stunning Galician countryside.

Lisbon by tuk tuk – a truly immersive journey through this beautiful city, moving through the streets in an open sided tuk tuk to all the well-known sights and panoramic views. There will also be an opportunity to sample regional food including Lisbon’s traditional custard tarts – pastel de nata.

Trek on a moonscape in Lanzarote – In this unique volcanic landscape guests will enjoy an other-worldly hike. Walkers will get a real insight into the various forms and features of this luna-like scenery with an opportunity to visit craters and see lava gorges.

Guests travelling to Northern European cities could look forward to:

An evening canal cruise in Amsterdam – An exhilarating city-by-night trip on a vintage canal boat.

Discovering Bruges independently – at the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climb the 365 steps of the 13th Century Belfort tower for magnificent city wide views, sample a selection of beers at an award-winning brewery and browse the myriad of chocolate shops.

Roam the Reeperbahn – Guests can follow in the footsteps of The Beatles in Hamburg. An evening adventure to uncover where the Fab Four found fame it includes a visit to a cult bar for German Schnapps and a visit to the Ritze, an old cellar boxing club.

*pre-registration from 8am on Monday March 11, 2019

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Seabourn’s Alaska And British Columbia In 2020

Seabourn has its sights on setting sail into another great year in Alaska & British Columbia in 2020 with new offerings for guests exploring the beauty, culture and history of The Great Land.

Reflecting on Seabourn Sojourn’s successes through the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and anticipating even more in 2019, the award-winning line is curating a similarly enriching cruise schedule for the vessel in 2020, including NEW seven-day cruises heading both north and south; optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn guided kayak, Zodiac and hiking tours as well as an exciting array of shore excursions; and two superbly crafted pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys extending cruise experiences to treasured locations blended seamlessly into regular itineraries.

Seven Days Northbound and Southbound

Seabourn has scheduled 10 new seven-day cruises designed to complement Seabourn’s popular line-up of 10-, 11- and 12-day voyages in Alaska & British Columbia. Heading northbound and southbound between Vancouver and Juneau, each seven-day cruise can be combined to create a 14-day roundtrip cruise including spectacular glacier experiences at Hubbard Glacier and Tracy/Endicott Arm with no repeat ports of call either way. In addition, should 14 days be too much or seven days too little, the remaining 10-, 11- and 12-day voyages between Vancouver and Seward or Vancouver and Los Angeles are lovely and leisurely as Seabourn guests so often prefer.

Alaska & British Columbia Up Close

The popular Ventures by Seabourn programme will offer exclusive and immersive experiences with adventurous activities available in the most exciting destinations in Alaska & British Columbia in 2020. Expertly planned, professionally operated, and escorted by expert teams of guides including scientists and local guides intimately familiar with the land, the optional kayak, Zodiac, catamaran and hiking tours play off the modest size of Seabourn Sojourn by offering close-up touring opportunities that larger cruise ships cannot access.

As part of the Seabourn Conversations programme, the expedition team members regularly interact with guests throughout each sailing, sharing keen insight and in-depth knowledge about the history, ecology and culture of the region. Their valuable insights are offered both in complimentary formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. In addition, the team chronicles their adventures with stories and photos via Seabourn’s Ventures Tracker.

Ventures by Seabourn will be offered in select destinations scheduled to visit during the 2020 season in Alaska & British Columbia, including:

Alert Bay – A kayak exploration of Cormorant Marine Park, one of the best places to encounter the prolific wildlife of British Columbia, with double sea-kayaks paddled through forest-sheltered, scenic waters and land alive with seals, whales and eagles.

Inian Islands – Join naturalist guides onboard Zodiacs to explore picturesque, weather-beaten shorelines teeming with Steller sea lions, otters and seabirds, as well as whales drawn by rich sea-life just offshore. It’s a privileged destination few travellers experience.

Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords) – Paddle by kayak into the furthest reaches of Misty Fjords, with untouched wilderness and wildlife at every turn and the freedom to explore as few do.

College Fjord – Board a Zodiac and prepare to be amazed surrounded on all sides by 10 tidewater and large valley glaciers. Led by Expedition Team members, it’s an exploration for all the senses with the thunder of calving icebergs impossible to forget.

Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm – Paddle by kayak past icebergs, waterfalls and wildlife amid stunning backdrops of towering mountains en-route to North Sawyer or Dawes Glacier.

Excitement, for Shore

As with all Seabourn voyages, Seabourn Sojourn’s journey to Alaska & British Columbia will offer exciting opportunities for guests to step off ship and on shore for memorable activities that last less than a day. Scheduled shore excursions for the 2020 season include:

Juneau: Taku Glacier Lodge, Glacier Seaplane Discovery & Yoga: A Mindful Living Tour – An extension of onboard programming of Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, this Mindful Living Tour includes a flight in a classic de Havilland seaplane over five glaciers to Taku Glacier Lodge along the Taku River across from Alaska’s largest and one of the world’s few remaining advancing glaciers. Feast on grilled wild Alaska salmon, join a certified yoga instructor for a soulful session, and enjoy a guided interpretive nature walk.

Haines: Burro Creek Retreat & Crab Boil: A Mindful Living Tour – Another extension of Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, this tour unfolds at Burrow Creek Waterfall Lodge, a 120-acre rustic resort set just outside of Skagway along the coastline of Lynn Canal – America’s longest, deepest fjord. Take in stunning viewpoints, discover how the Lodge harnesses energy from the waterfall, and enjoy an elegant off-the-grid dining experience led by a Dungeness crab-and-shrimp boil.


Ketchikan: Wildlife Safari Cruise & Beach Bonfire – Step aboard the m/v Sea Lion for a wildlife viewing tour likely to see humpback and orca whales, Dall’s porpoise, harbour seals and bears, with excellent photography opportunities from a 360-degree observation deck. A leisurely break will be waiting on a remote island with an Alaska-style beach bonfire and local fare before touring Tongass Narrows, home to the world’s largest collection of totems.

Sitka: Half-Day Salmon Fishing – Fall hook, line and sinker into one of the best-kept secrets of Southeast Alaska, with sport fishing for king, silver, chum and pink salmon in Sitka Sound. With dramatic views and opportunities to see other marine wildlife, this is an all-around exciting excursion for fishers of all skill levels.

The Journey, Continued

Designed for guests who can’t get enough of Alaska & British Columbia, Seabourn Journeys offer pre- and/or post-cruise extensions featuring beautiful destinations and exceptional experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Sojourn. Escorted by knowledgeable guides and offering hotel accommodations as part of the package, the Seabourn Journeys to be offered for 2020 include:

UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer – Head inland by rail from Calgary on this seven-day pre-cruise Seabourn Journey to experience the majesty and grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park and Lake Louise, with spectacular scenery and Gold Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer all the way.

The Denali Experience – Truly a peak experience in Alaska, the line’s four- and five-day, pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journey options travel by road, rail and air to the highest mountain in North America, with the natural splendours and experiences centred around the looming, snow-capped eminence of this majestic mountain and national park.

Seabourn’s 2020 cruise season in Alaska & British Columbia launches June 12 with Glaciers & Alaska Inside Passage from Vancouver to Juneau and finishes with an October 2 departure for Fjords & America’s Gold Coast from Vancouver to Los Angeles.



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Top-Deck Family Zone To Feature On Caribbean Princess

Princess Cruises has announced that a new family-friendly, interactive top-deck area, The Reef Family Splash Zone, will open on its 3,140-guest Caribbean Princess ship. The enhancements will be available from June as the ship sails the Caribbean.

The Reef will comprise:

– A water playground with a splash pool, assorted sprays and showers, and an interactive whale feature complete with running water from its tail

– A multi-generational game zone including oversized activities such as giant Connect Four and Jenga, with a family-friendly bar serving mocktails and cocktails

– An updated pool and jacuzzi

– A variety of new, upgraded seating and furnishings ranging from single sun loungers to outdoor sofas and tables

– New shade canopies and wind panels

– Improved audio systems and lighting to give guests a better experience during evening events

Caribbean Princess already boasts a wealth of family-friendly features, which were expanded via a multi-million pound upgrade in 2017.

They include three youth and teen clubs, each themed around Princess’ partnership with the Discovery Channel; activities and games for children such as hands-on science experiments, mini golf tournaments, talent shows and stargazing; and interconnecting staterooms for use by larger groups of family and friends.

In addition, the ship was the first in Princess’ fleet to offer the Ocean Medallion. The Medallion is a complimentary, automated piece of technology, the same size as a 10p piece, given to each guest, which enables features including:

– Keyless stateroom access

– A streamlined embarkation and disembarkation process, giving quicker and easier access to the ship

– Enhanced interaction with crew members and other guests, e.g. staff can see guest’s individual food and beverage preferences and offer a more personalised service

– On demand beverage delivery

– Interactive games that can be played on portals across the vessel and the top deck ‘Movies Under The Stars’ screen, including trivia challenges and a ship-wide digital scavenger hunt

Princess Cruises is offering a 14-night Circle Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess, from £998 per person. Departing November 6, 2019 and sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, ports of call include St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba.

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My Top 4 Things To Do On A Caribbean Cruise

My first visit to the Caribbean was in 2013 and I was charmed by each island that I visited. So much so, I’ve been back several times and fallen in love with many other places.

Each island is different and has its own unique charm and characteristics, and one thing you’re never short of in the Caribbean is things to do! I’m going to share with you 4 of my favourite Caribbean islands and some of the best things you can do on each during your unforgettable Caribbean holiday.


The first island I visited and one that is still my absolute favourite. Your cruise line will offer numerous shore excursions, but a lot of things are easily doable on your own. My recommendation here would be to enjoy a beach day. Antigua has some incredible beaches, but my favourite is Dickenson Bay and it’s just a few dollars to reach by taxi. Golden sands, warm, clear waters and several beach restaurant/bar options.

Sting Ray City is also a favourite here. If you decide to do this, it might be best to book it as an organised excursion with your cruise line, just in case it’s a busy day on the island!


Jamaica doesn’t always get the best praises from cruise passengers, but if you book your tours with your cruise line, all you need to do is sit back, relax and look forward to enjoying one of the most colourful and vibrant islands in the Caribbean. It’s a great place and I always tell people to just see it for themselves before passing any judgement. I’ve visited twice and never had an issue.

There are several cruise ports, so excursions offered will be based on where you dock, but as an example, if you dock at Montego Bay, I would highly recommend a beach day at Doctor’s Cove. It’s truly one of the most impressive beaches I have ever seen! There is a cost, but it’s worth it and there’s an array of water sport options available. If you want to enjoy something more historic, then a visit to the Rose Hall Plantation is an absolute must.

If your ship docks in Ocho Rios, then the stand out tour here is of course Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s national treasures. The falls are approx. 150 feet high and extend across more than 600 feet. The entire site is natural, nothing is man-made, and the climb takes between 1-1.5 hours. It’s a fun way to be at one with nature and you can take it all at your own pace – stopping in several lagoons as you go.


One of the busiest (if not THE busiest) cruise ports in the Caribbean, Cozumel is your gateway to hundreds of fabulous things to see and do. It’s perfect for shopping, private beach breaks, diving and for delving into the rich Mayan history. The majority of tours offered here are based on the island, but you could also opt for something on the Mexican mainland and visit ancient sites such as Tulum. One of the noted highlights here is the El Castillo (The Castle), perched on the edge of the 2,500-ft. wall and overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

I also highly recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop, which leaves from Downtown. It is a 4-hour tour across to several bars on the East Side of the island, a place not frequented by many tourists and that has no electricity supply, so remember to take cash! The food at each bar is delicious and the beaches they overlook are stunning.

St Lucia

One of the lushest islands in the Caribbean, St Lucia is great for shopping, beach breaks, history and some one-on-one time with nature. Embark on an aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds. It’s a relaxing excursion option and also includes a short walk at the end to explore the floor of the rainforest. If you’re looking for something with slightly more adrenalin, you can also do a zip-line through the canopy.

Cruising the Caribbean

There are hundreds of Caribbean itineraries available and as there are a selection of sailings that are 10-nights or less, it’s a great way to enjoy a cruise and stay holiday. Embark in the Caribbean, or even Miami, and choose to extend your holiday either pre-or-post-cruise. The best option for this is usually a 7-night cruise itinerary mixed with a 7-night land stay.

However you decide to enjoy the Caribbean, you’re in for a real treat. It’s still one of my favourite places to cruise and I’m sure it will soon be one of yours, too.

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Posted in Destinations, General Cruise Articles

Double FREE On Board Spend on Fred. Olsen’s longest-ever ‘Grand Voyage’ in Autumn 2019

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has launched its new ‘Exceptional Explorations’ brochure, showcasing great-value offers on once-in-a-lifetime adventures to the world’s most exotic destinations in 2019/20.

Holidaymakers looking to embark on an ‘Around the World’ odyssey with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can enjoy double FREE On Board Spend – of up to £1,400 per person – on board Boudicca’s 168-night D19GV ‘Grand Voyage’, setting sail in October 2019, on all new bookings made by 28th February 2019 inclusive.

Meanwhile, those looking to enjoy an exotic holiday within a shorter duration can take advantage of a ‘FREE Drinks & Tips’ upgrade on a number of exciting fly-cruises in 2019/20, as part of Fred. Olsen’s popular ‘Cruise Sale’, when booking by 28th February 2019 inclusive.

In its ‘FREE Drinks and Tips’ offer, Fred. Olsen guests can enjoy selected house wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks all day and evening, without the added hassle of settling a bar bill, plus all gratuities will be paid by the cruise line.

Details of Boudicca’s ‘Grand Voyage’ are as follows:

– Boudicca’s 168-night D19GV ‘Grand Voyage’, ex Dover on 3rd October 2019.

This really is an exceptional itinerary and I am thrilled to tell you that I will be joining Boudicca as she embarks on this historic sailing for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

On Fred. Olsen’s ‘Grand Voyage’, guests will be able to go in search of lemurs and chameleons in their native Madagascan habitat; behold the beautiful, unspoilt beaches, dense jungle interiors and spectacular coral reefs of Indonesia; and meander through the colourful ‘floating garden’ island of Madeira.

In South Africa, guests will continue to tick items off their ‘bucket list’, as they seek out the ‘Big Five’, on unmissable safari adventures, during stops at Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay; see the penguins of Boulders Beach on a tour from Cape Town; while, in Australia, ‘Boudicca’ will sail to the Great Barrier Reef and Kangaroo Island, home to wild kangaroos, wallabies and koalas.

Meanwhile, those looking to jet set across the world on a shorter Fred. Olsen fly-cruise will have the added benefit of a ‘FREE Drinks & Tips’ upgrade, for bookings made by 28th February 2019 inclusive.

Visit culturally-diverse Singapore and the famous ‘James Bond Island’; wonder at the incredible temples of Burma and the ravishing landscapes of Bali; and explore the fascinating city of Mumbai, before retiring for an evening of fine dining and entertainment aboard stylish, 880-guest Boudicca.

Fred. Olsen’s ‘FREE Drinks & Tips’ upgrade is available on the following sample fly-cruises:

– Boudicca’s 16-night D1926 ‘African Wildlife & Landscapes’ fly-cruise, ex Cape Town, South Africa (flights from London Gatwick / Manchester / Scotland) on 30th October 2019.

Ports of call: Cape Town, South Africa (overnight stay) – Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Richards Bay, South Africa – Mamoudzou, Mayotte, Comoros – Hell-Ville (Andoany), Nosy Be, Madagascar – Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles (overnight stay)

– Boudicca’s 14-night D2002 ‘Singapore, Bali & Burma’ fly-cruise, ex Benoa, Bali, Indonesia (flights from London Gatwick / Manchester / Scotland) on 22nd January 2020.

Ports of call: Benoa, Bali, Indonesia (overnight stay) – Singapore – Phuket, Thailand – Yangon (from Thilawa), Myanmar (Burma) (overnight stay) – Colombo, Sri Lanka (overnight stay)


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Posted in Cruise News, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Why Everyone Should Try A Cruise

There are a hundred reasons why I think everyone should go on a cruise, but I don’t think anyone has time to sit and listen to me waffle on for what could very easily turn into days of cruise talk. With that said, I’ll share some of my top reasons as to why you should go on a cruise.


There is so much choice when it comes to cruising, there’s probably five times as much choice than any new cruiser first realises. You can tailor-make your experience from start to finish, you can do as much or as little as you like, and you can pick your own level of luxury. What’s not to love about that?


The destination options with cruising are endless, there is so much you can see and do. Do you want to go to Antarctica and follow in the footsteps of famous explorers? No problem. Maybe you want to just enjoy a week or two in Europe, exploring cities that are closer to home and offer a bit of everything? If so, that’s also an option. You can go as far as you like, and in many cases, for as long as you like. Did you know that cruises range from 1 night all the way to 170 and more?

Onboard experience

Whether you’re travelling with family, friends, your partner or on your own, you’ll still have an abundance of choice when it comes to ships and what kind of facilities you’re looking for when onboard. There are ships that have been built specifically for family fun and they feature things such as water parks, dodgem cars, race tracks, ropes courses and much more. On the flip side, there are also ships we’d refer to as more traditional, where sea days can be enjoyed out on the open decks, listening to expert guest lecturers or even playing shuffleboard on the promenade deck. Remember what I said earlier, you can tailor-make your entire experience before you even step aboard.

No-fly options

One of the biggest appeals in recent years for many holiday makers looking to embark on a cruise has been the level of choice, in both ship and destinations, on no-fly sailings. What is a no-fly sailing? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds, it’s a cruise that sails from a UK port and then back to a UK port, there are many cruise lines that offer these sailings. No-fly cruises are always my first choice and destinations are far from limited, contrary to what some people think. I’ve been around the world thanks to no-fly cruises and there’s nothing stopping you from doing it.

These are just a few of the reasons why I think everyone should at least try a cruise. I hear lots of people shout it down before even stepping foot onboard. I was one of those people and now I can’t spend enough time at sea.

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Virgin Voyages Redefines Cabin Design

Virgin Voyages has released itinerary details and cabin designs for the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady. With four-and-five-night voyages to the Caribbean, Sailors will set sail in sleek uber yacht style with Virgin Voyages’ patent pending cabin design featuring the Seabed, a completely new transformational bed that converts from full-sized bed to lounger. The Seabed allows Sailors the unique opportunity to transform their cabin from a quiet hideaway to relax to a place to revel among friends.

The Scarlet Lady will sail a variety of Caribbean voyages befitting of any curious traveller’s tastes, with four and five-night Havana After Dark itineraries featuring an overnight stay in Havana, Cuba; five-night Mayan Sol voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico and five-night Dominican Daze voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Sailors will be able to explore more with extended hours in port with an overnight or a late-night sail away on all voyages.

Cabin Design

While at sea Sailors can enjoy all the action of the Scarlet Lady and retreat to their private hideaway overlooking the ocean, with 93 percent of cabins offering an ocean view and 86 percent featuring a Sea Terrace. The sea will be the headlining star of the cabins aboard the Scarlet Lady with Virgin Voyages’ exclusive patent pending cabin layout designed by PearsonLloyd with Virgin Voyages’ Design team, which uses intelligent architecture to optimize space and views of the ocean. The cabin is custom-created to accommodate the Seabed, the first-ever transformational cabin bed at sea, specially engineered and handcrafted by Walter Knoll in Germany. The concept of the Seabed came from the convivial nature of cruising and gives Sailors more space for social gatherings in the cabin– and eliminates the unspoken awkwardness of inviting new friends over with no place for them to sit but on the bed. Instead, Virgin Voyages Sailors can enjoy their cabin in two distinct ways as a place to revel or a place to relax.

With clever cabin lighting, the mood lighting will automatically adjust to enhance the time of day based on where the ship is in the world, reflecting the blue seas and the gold to purple sunsets of the Caribbean waters.

The cabins will feature PIR presence sensors that automatically detect when someone has left the cabin and go into energy saver mode, where blinds will close and air conditioning will adjust to an eco-saver temperature, conserving energy to support the company’s commitment to operate one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

With thoroughly thought through design, Virgin Voyages deliberately chose to use top quality materiality throughout the cabins, like a saddle leather chair, complete with refined stitch detail.  Most standard cabins will have transitional Seabeds, in-room entertainment with 43”+ 4K flat-screen HDTVs, mini bars, glam areas and flexible wardrobes. All cabins were engineered to optimise bathroom space featuring rain shower heads for a spa-like wash.

All terraces aboard Scarlet Lady will feature custom-designed hammocks, handwoven by artisans from Yellow Leaf a social enterprise that fosters women’s empowerment and community transformation in rural Thailand.

With several cabin categories there are 1,330 cabins aboard the Scarlet Lady and 78 RockStar Suites. Every Sailor wishing to voyage aboard the Scarlet Lady can find their special hideaway with roomy XL Sea Terrace cabins, Sea Terrace cabins Sea View cabins, Insider cabins, Social Insider cabins that sleep up to four in a chalet-style bunk and Solo Insider cabins designed and priced exclusively for the solo traveller.


Sailors will embark on their journey aboard Scarlet Lady from Miami, where they can toast to the Magic City’s colourful evening skyline as the ship sets sail at 7 pm.

The Scarlet Lady will offer four and five-night Havana After Dark itineraries that will take Sailors on a cultural quest through Cuba, with an overnight stay in Havana that will afford Sailors ample time to explore and visit Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges.

Virgin Voyages’ Mayan Sol itinerary will be a five-night voyage to Costa Maya, Mexico where antiquity contrasts modernism, with Mayan ruins just a stone’s throw away from the port and colourful coral reefs that lie just off-shore. Virgin Voyages has partnered with ITM Group to bring Sailors to this incredible paradise filled with rich history and excitement.

Sea lovers will revel in the Scarlet Lady’s Dominican Daze voyage, where she will journey to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on a five-night sailing. Voyages to Puerto Plata will be an ocean lover’s dream holiday. Puerto Plata is the perfect place for Sailors to catch some waves at surf school, explore trekking through canyons or catch a cable car up the mountain to buy handicrafts in an artisan village or enjoy endless island views.

The Scarlet Lady’s inaugural 2020 season will open for bookings this Valentine’s Day, February 14. On this special day, Virgin Voyages will reveal more details relating to the ship’s onboard experience as well as an additional destination to be featured on all voyages. Details about on-shore experiences offered by Virgin Voyages, or Shore Things as they refer to them, will be released in late 2019.

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Viking Launches NEW Cruise Programmes For 2020 And 2021

Viking has announced today the launch of its new season of 2020 and 2021 ocean and 2020 river cruise programmes.  With prices starting from £1,195 per person on a seven night Danube Waltz river cruise and from £1,940 per person on the Iberian Explorer ocean cruise, guests who plan ahead can choose from a range of different destinations to suit different budgets.

Viking Ocean Cruises

As well as a range of new ocean itineraries available in 2020 and 2021 including the ‘Caribbean & Mediterranean Odyssey’ and the ‘South Pacific and the Land Down Under’, the cruise line also announces its new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise.  The grand voyage will span 161 days, six continents and 75 ports, with overnight stays in 13 cities. Setting sail on December 14, 2020 from Miami, the itinerary will include six new ports of call for Viking, including Honolulu and Nawiliwili, marking the company’s inaugural visit to the Hawaiian Islands. The new itinerary will allow guests to explore the islands of the Caribbean and the South Pacific; call upon ports in Asia, from Hong Kong to Bangkok; explore countries of the Middle East, including Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel; and sail through the Mediterranean before concluding in London.  Prices for the 161-day cruise, sailing through 33 countries start from £45,995 per person.

New ocean itineraries launching in 2021 include:

Greek Odyssey – sailing from Athens to Athens over 11 days

Iconic Adriatic Antiquities – sailing from Venice to Rome over 15 days

West Indies and Western Mediterranean – sailing from San Juan to Rome over 21 days

2021 Viking World Discoveries – sailing from Los Angeles to London over 140 days

Viking River Cruises

Viking revolutionised river cruising with the introduction of its state of the art Viking Longships which, since their introduction in 2012, now make up 80 percent of its 78 strong river fleet.  Viking is quickly expanding its fleet and portfolio of river cruise itineraries to meet demand, with plans to add seven new river vessels to its fleet in 2019, including six Viking Longships and an additional ship specifically designed for Portugal’s Douro River. One of its most sought-after itineraries Portugal’s River of Gold has already been on sale since last year with all the 2019 sailings nearly fully booked.  In 2020 Viking offers travellers the rare opportunity to view the Passion Play in Oberammergau which is only performed once every 10 years.

New river cruise itineraries for 2020 include:

Oberammergau with Salzburg

Sailing the Danube River from Germany, through northern Austria to Hungary, before exploring historic Bavaria and the enchanting city of Salzburg, thebirthplace of Mozart and the filming location for The Sound of Music. The itinerary takes in a dramatic performance of The Passion Play—a depiction of the trial, suffering and death of Christ. A 400-year-old pledge to God that is celebrated once every ten years, guests will witness this time-honoured tradition. Prices for this 12-day cruise, sailing through 5 countries start at £4,375 per person.

Kiev, Black Sea & Bucharest

Travellers can discover Kiev’s rich heritage in the 1,000 year old Ukranian capital on this new itinerary which covers two countries in 12 days and includes 11 guided tours. Sailing the Dnieper River, calling at Odessa, the “Pearl of the Black Sea” guests will experience Ukraine’s enduring treasures. Following an ancient trade route across the Black Sea, the itinerary includes a stop in historic Bucharest, Romania’s elegant capital where guests can immerse themselves in its old-world charm.

Viking now offers a three night extension to Istanbul on this itinerary, allowing guests to trace the Ukraine’s Byzantine influence to its source and to visit important religious sites such as the spectacular “Blue Mosque” and legendary Hagia Sophia, and to gain insights into the rich history and culture of the Ottomans at Topkapi Palace.

Viking’s ocean and river cruises consistently win customer-voted and industry-recommended awards.  In 2018, The British Travel Awards recognised it as Best River Cruise Line and Best Midsize Ships Cruise Line.  The cruise line also received recognition at the Food and Travel Awards when it was named Best River Cruise Line and Cruise Line of the Year and Best Boutique Cruise Line and Best River Cruise Operator at The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards, as well as taking the title of Best River Cruise Line at the British Cruise Awards.  With over 1.5 million members Which?, the largest independent consumer body in the UK, named Viking a Recommended Provider for its river cruises.

Guests can take advantage of early booking discounts including a saving of £1,000 per person on every river cruise booking before 31 March 2019.  For selected ocean cruise itineraries in the Mediterranean and The Americas & Caribbean guests can save £500 per person before 31 January 2019.  All onboard gratuities are included.

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Posted in Cruise News, Viking Cruises
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