IS THERE MORE TO CRUISES THAN MEETS THE EYE?
With the Cruise Show coming to town, I figured I would reinforce my illusions about what is to go on a cruise. Illusions they were as I quickly found out how mistaken I really was. I’d been pretty narrow minded about what a cruise can be. Sure, there are the luxury intercontinental cruises which I originally dismissed as a bore, but I never really appreciate how much luxury is on offer, their pools are water parks, children and parents have cinemas, shops, gyms, playgrounds and much more to keep them occupied. I now concede it’s unfair to call these massive vessels floating hotels, they’re more like floating holiday parks, and while the temptation still isn’t quite swaying me into booking a transcontinental cruise just yet I’m no longer as quick to judge or to dismiss. However, I soon realise there is more to cruising and it’s the other types of cruises that really get my attention. I’d categorise them by following:
The City Dockers
Every day or so the ship docks at a new harbour, its passengers allowed to disembark to explore a new city while overnight guests are comfortably transported to next port of call while they sleep. Essentially it’s a multi city break, and a pretty efficient way of getting to each destination, your accommodation is your method of transport and you can easily reach a decent number of destinations in a single holiday rather then flying out for each city break individual. The Mediterranean and Adriatic are great example with stunting cultural, historical and cosmopolitan cities all within close proximity.
There was a time where the thought of going on a cruise bored me to sleep. Surely what’s so exciting about spending a week or so trapped on a floating hotel full of tourists, children up to mischief because they are as bored as I would be, their parents bronzing themselves on deck? A never-changing horizon, an ocean you can-not dive into to cool off, so you’re left with a small, crowded swimming pool. Nope, I’m pretty sure that a cruise is not really my type of holiday. Or is it?
The Destination Cruise
Ok, so you may spend a few days, with endless horizons but the destination makes it worth it. I’ve discovered if you have the time and are willing to be ‘trapped’ in the confines of your vessel then you can transported to some of the world’s most remote and otherwise inaccessible destinations, the headliner of course being Antarctica. Take a more detailed look and you’ll see our oceans are dotted with tiny islands. The island of St Helena being very high on my list, with no airport the only way to get to this volcanic outcrop in the Atlantic home to some 2000 people would be on the RMS Helena. Google Map the world, find a tiny island or a remote port you’ve never heard of and chances are there will be some kind of cruise which docks there.
Typically smaller ships take you on an adventure experience of a lifetime and for me this is quite possibly the most appealing of all cruises because of the strong emphasis on exploration rather than a traditional cruise. The adventure can take you anywhere, it may be a Nile Cruise which takes you to some of Egypt’s most wonderful attractions left by past civilisations, or it could take you through the breath-taking fiords of Norway, or, of course, there are the majestic icebergs of the Arctic Ocean. Adventure cruises are incredibly varied and there is so much on offer to whet any traveller’s appetite. So, could I be soon on a cruise of my own? Absolutely. While the traditional perception of a cruise is still not at the forefront of my travel bucket list, the idea of sailing to some remote archipelago, dodging icebergs or docking in capitals of culture certainly gets my sea legs twitching for a nautical adventure.
Maz Marek Nusl
The UK’s biggest event for discovering a world of voyages. Did you know that a whopping 1.64 million people from the UK and Ireland took a cruise last year? In recent years there has been a revolution in cruising as a new generation of travellers have discovered the joys of a holiday at sea. Whether it’s the offbeat destinations and once-in-a-life-time expedition voyages that intrigue you, or the state of the art entertainment and trend-setting resort style ships that appeal – cruising is constantly striving to set new standards and provide you with the best way to see the world.
Want to find out more? Then The CRUISE Show, Europe’s leading event dedicated to discovering a world of voyages, is a must attend event. If you’re new to the idea of cruising and need help to plan your first voyage, or an experienced cruiser looking for inspiration, this show is a perfect start to finding your ideal cruise holiday.
Uncover everything from thrilling adventure cruises to far-flung destinations and sumptuous ultra-luxury all-inclusive voyages, to relaxing cultural river cruises and tropical family cruise-holidays with lots to entertain all ages - the CRUISE Show will have it all. This really is your chance to meet directly with world leading cruise lines and specialist operators all under one roof, and ask those all important questions face to face.
We are also offering readers reduced price advance tickets to the show! Get your tickets for only £4 (that’s saving £6 off the door price!!) by quoting ‘DOINIT’ when booking tickets online at or when calling 0871 620 4024.(Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras)