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.


Despite being a prominent feature on happiness indexes and a regular ‘must-visit’ destination from bloggers and travel sites, Helsinki still remains an overlooked Baltic cruise destination. Overshadowed by the likes of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, the capital city of Finland is a real treasure.

Few places on Earth can offer a natural landscape with a cutting edge metropolitan city quite like Helsinki, as Jenni Pöyry, Communications and Media Relations at My Helsinki, says: “Helsinki is a city of contrasts; the hidden gem of the North. Helsinki is a city where urban life and beautiful nature combines. It’s also very compact and functional city which makes it also possible to explore within short amount of time.”

But what if you haven’t got long to spend in the city? If you are tight for time on your Baltic cruise holiday but you really want to make the most of it, here is our guide on how to spend 12 hours in Helsinki.

Norwegian Fjords

Norway as a country is best known for its magnificent scenery and stunning fjords. But that's not all this Scandinavian state has to offer. Norway is a very modern, forward thinking country, with a rich culture and are extremely proud of their heritage. They welcome tourists to come and visit their fjords, while at the same time preserving the stunning landscape is a top priority for them.

It is also said, the best way to discover Norway is by cruise. Taking a Norwegian fjords cruise really gives you a great taste of what this country is really about.

Below we have highlighted some of the best destination to visit in Norway. These destinations have been highlighted to showcase what really makes Norway such a wonderful country, covering art, history, culture and of course nature.

Northern Lights

More and more people are choosing to venture north during the winter months to try and catch a glimpse of the elusive and beautiful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). This natural phenomenon has been fascinating man for thousands of years. While nowadays we have a good understanding of how we can see the lights, how they are produced and the factors that come together to cause this natural light show, there have been quite a few different ideas on what the swirling lights could have meant.

Church of the Savior on Blood

2017 will mark the centenary year of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Often cited in history as the making of Soviet Russia and the breaking of Imperialist Russia, it marks one of the most significant periods in Russian history.

What you may not know is that there was not one but two revolutions in Russia in 1917, the February and October Revolutions, although civil unrest had been simmering away for more than a decade after almost 300 years of imperial rule by the Romanov’s. The February Revolution of 1917 resulted in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the creation of a provisional government with the October Revolution, better known as the Bolshevik Revolution, of 1917 resulting in the beginnings of the creation of the Soviet Union.

Here we mark the most important locations in St. Petersburg that still stand today and were key to Russia breaking away from the Romanov rule in February 1917 and beginning its 74 years under the control of the Soviet Union, before its dissolution in December 1991.

Many of these important landmarks located around St. Petersburg can be visited on a Baltic Cities cruise, with our shore excursions department offering tours to various locations across the city.

Short Cruise Destination

You don’t need to book two weeks off of work to enjoy a cruise holiday. The delights of Europe and the British Isles are ready for you to discover thanks to the wide selection of short cruises on offer.

Now all you need is two or three days to escape to Amsterdam, Dublin, France and many more destinations. Cruise holidays really are for everyone with these short breaks that allow you to choose from a relaxing break or a whirlwind city break. But how to you make the most of a short cruise?

With so much to see, taste and experience, how do you fit it all in to just a few days? To ensure you have the best cruise possible, let us walk you through everything you need to do to really enjoy your short cruise holiday.

Hamburg Christmas Markets

While many major cities across the UK host festive events and markets in the lead up to Christmas day, it is always tempting to jump across to the continent on a mini cruise to experience traditional European Christmas markets. But the problem is what European market do you go to? German, Dutch, French or Belgian. With a Christmas market cruise, there is the opportunity to taste Glühwein in Hamburg on one day or indulge in Belgian chocolates in Antwerp on another day. Ensuring that even the most Scrooge-like individuals among us begin to feel the Yuletide spirit, and with only 15 weeks to go until Christmas day, here is a roundup of the best European markets this winter.