Shanghai

Gōng xǐ fā cái, Happy New Year! 2018 welcomes the Year of the Dog, the eleventh animal of the zodiac, which symbolises loyalty and honesty. Those who are born in the year of the dog are friendly, loyal, smart and have a strong sense of responsibility. The Chinese New Year celebrations run from 8th February to 2nd March with three sections; Little Year, Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, and with our 2018 and 2019 world cruises visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong here are top highlights of the Chinese New Year.

When we think of wine, the regions of Bordeaux, Tuscany and Napa Valley come to mind. However, the Canary Islands are often overlooked. This sunny archipelago was once renowned for its exquisite wine, and still produces some of Europe’s finest bottles today. If you’re setting off on a Canary Islands cruise, it would be a crime not to sample some of Lanzarote’s delicious white wine.

Valentines

As the month of love is well and truly upon us, who are we not to indulge in a love-filled blog post!

When we think of Valentine’s Day; cupids, cards and flowers spring rapidly to mind, and as last year the UK spent over £1.3 billion to celebrate the day of love we are a loved-up nation. Far from the origins of the festival which has its roots in Pagan fertility and then through the martyrdom of two Valentine’s (or, in Latin Valentinus) who both met their end in Ancient Rome on 14th February, we nowadays adopt the ideal of love and romance which was first penned by Chaucer in the ‘Parlement of Foules’. So if you’re looking for some inspiration why not take a look at some of our World Cruise destinations to see how love is celebrated around the world.

Amazon

We boarded Magellan having not cruised before

With minor concerns about what was in store

But the ship was a smasher – it sure looked the part

And so did the crew in their uniforms smart.

Over 2,000 years ago a list known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and was used throughout the Mediterranean as a sort of tourist guidebook of the top places to visit, highlighting:

 
  1. The Colossus of Rhodes
  2. Great Pyramid of Giza
  3. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  4. Lighthouse of Alexandria
  5. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  6. Statue of Zeus, Olympia
  7. Temple of Artemis, Ephesus


The list has been accredited to many different Greek and Byzantium writers and it was first called a ‘themata’ the Greek for ‘things to be seen’ or ‘must sees’. Many credit Philo of Byzantium with a work called ‘On the Seven Wonders’ supposedly written in 225BC. From this list, the only surviving wonder is the Great Pyramid of Giza which still stands in the Giza pyramid complex in Egypt having been built between 2580-2560BC making it over 4,500 years old and it takes a place on the 7 Wonders of the Modern World list as an honorary wonder. 

Singapore Skyline

One of the most exciting parts of a world cruise is exploring new cultures. The island city-state of Singapore is an amalgamation of Asian cultures, forming the tip of southern Malaysia. Here, historic enclaves co-exist with innovative architecture to create a fascinating destination.

To find out more about the city, we spoke to Singaporean travel blogger Jaclynn Seah, who runs The Occasional Traveller. Jaclynn describes herself as “your average person with a job and only limited time to travel”, and started her blog while working in advertising. Having realised she was so busy that she’d forgotten to get away that year, Jaclynn decided to create a blog to inspire workaholics to take time out to explore the world.

Tulips in Amsterdam

Across the Netherlands, on Saturday 20 January locals and visitors alike celebrate the arrival of National Tulip Day as the flower season starts for another year. Dam Square, in central Amsterdam, becomes a temporary themed garden with more than 200,000 tulips. The theme for 2018 is ‘Romantic’, and over 10,000 people are expected to visit the square to collect their free tulip to mark the start of spring. Over 1.7 billion Dutch tulips are expected to be taken home across the world in the 2018 tulip season which runs from January to the end of April.

Sydney Harbour

When you think of Sydney you imagine the Opera House, Bondi Beach and the Harbour Bridge, but what if you wanted to do something a little different? Skip the crowds and discover a whole new side to the city as you check out these secret places to discover in Sydney.

Guernsey, Channel Islands

No British Isles Discovery cruise would be complete without a stop on the beautiful Isle of Guernsey, which  Cruise Critic has named  the ‘Best UK & British Isles Port of Call’ for 2017. Cruise Critic’s international team of editors who chose Guernsey explained that they felt “Guernsey encapsulates all the charm of a lost 1950s idea of Britain, with a French twist and a fascinating history”. The team went on to say: “St Peter Port (the capital) with its tiny streets and pretty houses, is charm personified; beautiful, unspoilt beaches lie just minutes away and the Second World War history is fascinating. Guernsey welcomes cruise ship passengers with free street Wi-Fi, an upgraded port area and an army of helpful volunteers during high season.”

Cruising the Fjords

The towering cliffs and deep blue waters of the Norwegian Fjords draw travellers from all over the world. With its fascinating Viking history, remote villages and some of the best views on earth, it’s easy to see why visitors flock to the country. If you’re not quite convinced, we’ve put together a list of 10 reasons to book a Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Tallinn, Estonia

Across this corner of Europe there are a number of established capital cities high on many bucket lists; Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo. Now, the Estonian capital of Tallinn has emerged from its Soviet shadow to become one of Europe’s most desirable travel destinations.

Voted number one in Lonely Planet’s Best Value category for the 2018 Best in Travel list, Tallinn has quickly become a cultural hub. The cost effectiveness of the city is a real lure, particularly considering its proximity to more expensive locations such as Sweden and Norway. Tallinn has managed to maintain its fairy-tale charms, evident in its Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. But that isn’t to say that it has been totally left behind. It is after all the birthplace of Skype and has one of the most thriving food scenes in Europe.

Christmas around the world

While we may think of snow, roast turkeys and squabbling over the best chocolates in the tin as a typical Christmas, there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the festive season. Across the globe, Christmas is celebrated in unique ways. Some countries and cities embrace tradition, while others have their own contemporary twist. Whether you’re embarking on a cruise to the Canaries to bask in the sunshine, or to shop in Hong Kong’s luxury malls, you can still relish in yuletide joy on your holiday. In this article, we look at how various countries and cities celebrate Christmas around the world.

Sacred sites around the world

From the peaceful forests of Polynesia to the frenetic energy of central Bangkok; sacred and religious sites come in all shapes and sizes around the globe. While many of us are used to the traditional churches and cathedrals of Europe, exploring the world shows us how the rest of the world does worship and celebrates their faith. A world cruise can take you on a grand voyage of discovery, allowing you to get a taste of what the world has to offer, and with hand-picked shore excursions pulled together by industry experts you can find an itinerary which shows you the planet like you’ve never seen it before. 

Here we have pulled together our top selection of sacred and religious sites from around the world to inspire you. 

Magellan Fjords

From Russia to Italy, from the French Riviera to Tunisian waters, European Cruises are a must-have on your bucket list. Europe is such a diverse continent, from the gloomy cities to scorching beaches, there’s certainly no lack of things to do at each port. Vast mainland ports and tiny island stops can all be found on your trip, but one question still remains… Which cruise do you try first? We’ve taken a look at the best cruises you could go on in Europe, so all you have to do is renew your e111 card and get packing!

Northern Lights

We have all seen an image of the Northern Lights, but how many of us know what actually causes this natural phenomena? It is a popular question, and one that not many people have the answer to. Let us talk you through the myths and history of this natural phenomenon, what causes them and the variations in colour and we’re sure that you will be ready to jump on a northern lights cruise in search of them for yourself.

Best kept secrets in Amsterdam

When you visit a city you may be blinded by the lure of the major attractions and tourist hot-spots. But with a little bit of inside knowledge, there are secrets waiting to be discovered. Whether it is a hidden eatery that only the locals are savvy to, or an overlooked beauty spot, here we unearth Amsterdam’s best kept secrets for you to discover on your mini cruise holiday.

Coffee Shops in Tallinn

No matter where you are in the world, it’s always a great comfort when you find a nice cup of coffee. For some people, you may not be fully awake in the morning until you have had your dose of caffeine. Maybe you need a coffee with your lunch to keep you going through the day? Or just need one to warm you up if you’re in a colder climate.

If you are lucky enough to be on one of our Baltic cruises anytime soon and happen to be stopping in Tallinn, a cup of fresh coffee is never hard to find. As there are so many places to choose from, we have made it easier for you to find that perfect cup so you can carry on enjoying the sites of Tallinn. 

Breakfast around the world

During a world cruise, one of the few constant routines which can be kept, and what most passengers base their day around, is mealtimes. Cruising is notorious for those who love to indulge and quite often all those weeks of portion controlling and healthy eating can go out of the window once on board being treated to three beautifully prepared meals a day - plus plenty of snacks in-between!

When sailing on a world cruise you have 120 nights of sampling cuisines from all over the world as our culinary teams take inspiration from far-flung ports and enchanting destinations to create stunning dishes for passenger satisfaction.

So as breakfast is the most important meal of the day we are rounding up the top breakfasts from our 2018 and 2019 Grand Round the World Cruises destinations.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a diverse landscape of towering skyscrapers, mystical mountains, a harbour that glistens beneath the sunshine and places of significant religious value. This amalgamation of sites provides an almost endless supply of beauty spots available for those interested in photography.

The city bustles with life, meaning you have an endless stream of subjects to focus on. But here, we share with you some of Hong Kong’s best beauty spots to visit on your world cruise holiday.

Marco Polo in Greenland

The Marco Polo departed Rosyth on the evening of 12th July for Greenland making its way via the Faroe Isles and Iceland. My husband John was one of the Guest Speakers aboard and the following are a selection of some of the many photos we took. Greenland is such an amazing place we just wanted to share them with you. John presented his talks on photographing the delightful people and places we would be visiting. He used images we took on our brief visit to the world’s largest island in 2015. The previous cruise had been to mark the Marco Polo’s 50th Anniversary. Originally, she was the Alexandra Pushkin and operated from Leningrad (St Petersburg) to Montreal calling at London Tilbury.