Your cruise ship awaits…
Looking for an excuse to book an incentive trip of a lifetime? From dazzling destinations to fabulous food, and true romance to family fun, here are our top reasons to set sail in 2017.
THERE’S SO MUCH CULTURE
Few holidays give you the chance to visit several grand classical cities and monuments on one trip. On an ocean or river cruise, especially in Europe, you could find yourself admiring glorious artworks, exquisite architecture and thought-provoking archaeological sites almost every day. For the ancient stuff, take a look at itineraries that concentrate on Greece and Turkey. For art, you can’t beat Italy, which along with Spain and Croatia is also crammed with historic buildings. A journey along the Rhine, Main or Danube rivers will reveal much medieval splendour, from cute villages to noble castles and palaces.
Top tip: Make friends with any on-board lecturers for additional insights outside of their planned talks.
IT’S GASTRO GREAT
Celebrity’s QSine restaurants offer amazing dishes.
Food plays such a big part in a cruise that some guests will happily ignore a solar eclipse rather than miss dinner. Larger ships have multiple restaurants, many with menus devised by celebrity chefs, though some will be more famous in the USA than in the UK. Other venues concentrate on regional cuisines – Italian especially, but also French and Asian. Look out for innovations such as herbs grown on board. Selected shore excursions may have a gourmet theme, such as wine tastings, a visit to a cheesemaker or a market with one of your ship’s chefs. With so much competition, the “standard” restaurants on ships offer plenty of quality and quantity.
Top tip: Most cruise lines charge extra for their speciality restaurants, so watch your bill.
YOU CAN INDULGE YOUR INTERESTS
Cruises with special themes are becoming more popular each year, and there’s something to appeal to everyone. Wine buffs are catered for by tasting visits to vineyards, often in the company of an on-board guest expert. Art and architecture is another passion that is covered by several companies. Gastronomy, dancing, bridge, music and even golf are other themes. More river cruise lines are now adding guided cycling and hiking trips, while other itineraries take along a geologist or wildlife expert. On larger ships without a set theme, look out for classes such as painting or craftwork.
Top tip: Take along a favourite item from home – wine glass, paintbrushes, binoculars, dancing shoes.
IT’S EXCELLENT FOR ENTERTAINMENT
Grease is one of many great shows stagged by Royal Caribbean
On today’s larger vessels you will feel like you’re living in London’s West End or Las Vegas. The main theatre is usually the centrepiece, staging glittering shows with singers, dancers and even acrobats. Many ships have a polished wood dancefloor so you can show off your Strictly moves as a live band performs. Some of the best musical entertainment comes in the lounges or the atrium, where a string quartet or jazz trio may perform. Apart from the music there may be a giant outdoor cinema screen, a casino, quizzes and – if you must – bingo, while comedians and magicians are always popular acts.
Top tip: Check your daily programme for pop-up performances such as operatic singers.