Long considered one of the quintessential cruise destinations, with its crystal clear waters, palm fringed beaches and pristine white sands, the Caribbean offers everything – including year-round sunshine.
Packed with activities to keep your heart pumping, including a challenging Climbing Wall and state-of-the-art Fitness Centre, the Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas has plenty of features to keep you occupied during the sailing days. Perfect for families with kids and teens, the ship provides passengers with an active resort-style experience. There’s plenty to please adults too – if you just want to relax whilst onboard, there are spa treatments to melt your troubles away. But deciding on where and what you're going to eat is more of a challenge – from fine dining to more casual options you can eat your way round the Caribbean and never be disappointed.
The Majesty of the Seas continuously tours the Caribbean so there’s no shortage of options in terms of where and when you embark and the length of your cruise.
For more information on options available visit cruiseharbour.co.uk
Explore the Cycladic and Saronic islands of Greece on a mega -yacht which makes port at lesser known islands such as Kea and Delos. Stroll the back streets of Nafplio’s medieval old town and marvel at the coastal fortress town of Monemvasia. This nine-night holiday, with two in Athens and seven nights on board, takes you on an unforgettable journey across the Aegean Sea and you can simply hop on, and off to experience the wealth of culture and breath-taking beauty of the Greek Islands. Beginning and ending in Athens, this carefully curated trip, visiting a total of eight islands, includes popular islands with busy restaurants and bars, remote outposts untouched by tourism, the spectacle of Santorini, bustling Mykanos, Crete, Hydra and medieval Monemvasia.
With only a handful of guests, and a large amount of living space, there is plenty of entertainment on board – from swim stops along the way, to a sophisticated Captain’s dinner, a local culture evening and a barbecue outdoors on deck. There’s also the opportunity to personalise your trip with additional trips and guided tours at each destination.
For departures in April and May visit artisantravel.co.uk
Beginning in Monte Carlo, this romantic 10 night cruise around the western end of the Med includes stop-offs at Rome, Amalfi, Messina, Valetta and Mallorca before ending up in Barcleona. With a day in each destination there really are too many highlights to list and extra excursions can be added at each port of call.
The history and romance of Rome speaks for itself but don’t miss Amalfi’s Capuchin Monastery built in the 1100’s on the city’s steep slopes which dramatically out of the sea and the rich culture of Messina, the gateway to Sicily, known for its speciality cuisine, the Torre Faro tower which overlooks the Straits of Messina and the 12th century church which bizarrely seems to sink into the street.
Day seven means Malta, and the historic city of Valletta where the St. John’s Cathedral is a must-see; the ancient paintings and artifacts inside are remarkable. Don’t miss the Mosta Dome, the San Anton Palace Gardens or Dingli Cliffs that overlook the coastline and the Grand Valletta Harbor itself offers an amazing view as well as many different attractions including the many bars, restaurants and boutiques. Your final destination, the bustling city of Barcelona, is known for its fascinating architecture including the still unfinished La Sagrada Familia, the stunning Gothic Quarter and the Casa Batllo, its city beaches, and fabulous Catalan-inspired food. With two full days at sea during the cruise, there’s still plenty to do. As a smaller ship, the all-suite Regent Seven Seas Voyager offers classic cruising at its best, with a capacity of 700 passengers, dedicated butler service, a myriad of on-board dining options and entertainment and activities, together with a state-of-the-art spa and swimming pools.
For more information on departures between May and August visit barrheadtravel.co.uk/cruises
The flagship of the Cruise & Maritime Voyages Fleet, the adult-only Magellan offers an intimate cruise experience, coupled with friendly service. Sailing from Port of Tyne (another perk) with a maximum of 1,250 passengers in her 726 cabins, the Magellan has nine passenger decks so plenty of space to roam when you find your sea legs. With a range of restaurants, bars and sports facilities, days at sea are your chance to chill. Relax by the pool, enjoy a beauty treatment or two or simply curl up in a cosy chair and watch some of the world go by.
The elegant Kensington and Waldorf Restaurants provide full English breakfasts, a five-course lunch and a daily-changing menu of tasty treats for dinner. The more informal Raffles Bistro is open throughout the day with the option of alfresco dining on deck. If you feel peckish poolside, you can tuck into burgers and salads at the open-air Grill, whilst the various bars offer panoramic vistas and musical distractions for some dedicated down time.
The eight-day Scottish Isles & Faroes trip gives you the chance to see some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the far north. Departing from Newcastle, day two is spent exploring Dundee, day three Shetland’s capital Lerwick, and day four the village of Kollafjordur, on the island of Streymoyis in the Faroe Islands. Centred along the northern shore line of the Kollafjordur Fjord; there are trails to hike and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Faroese daily life at the fishing port and fish factory, or grab a bite to eat at the local café. Other stops include the beautiful Orkney Islands and the increasingly popular holiday destination of the Isle of Skye, before returning via Belfast where you can admire its beautiful Victorian buildings, shop in stylish boutiques, sip a Guinness in one of its charming old pubs, or take a scenic stroll in Barnett Demesne Park, before the final stop in Liverpool where you eventually disembark.
With departures in July, for more information visit hayscruise.co.uk
The award-winning Seabourn ships are known for their outstanding luxury, and the Seabourn Quest carries a bevy of award-winning dining options alongside her world-class entertainment and spacious suites. With just 229 suites, (and more staff than you can possibly imagine) Seabourn Quest is small in terms of a cruise ship, which allows her access to ports other ships simply can’t reach.
We love the Beauties of Brazil, a 21-day trip which starts in Buenos Aires and travels along the spectacular Atlantic coastline via Sao Sebastiao, Rio and Natal before cruising up the Amazon to disembark at Manaus. With just four out of the 21 days at sea there is so much to see and experience on this trip. Spend two days in Rio, on day 17 you cross the equator, and you spend three days cruising up the mighty Amazon, including a stop off at Santarem, a busy port for the trade flowing up and down the Amazon between the Atlantic and the inland forests. It’s here where you find the famous ‘Wedding of the Waters’ where the clear, dark Tapajos River meets the muddy ochre Amazon. Due to their different densities, the rivers flow alongside each other for quite some distance, between the same banks.
With such fabulous on-board facilities and food you may be reluctant to spend time ashore, but you’d be a mug not to explore the sights and sounds of this fascinating part of the world.
For more information on departures for Beauties of Brazil, or other options visit seabourn.com