W三级成人视频e all have our holiday favourites. Destinations perhaps, or styles of getaway: the Greek islands, wine breaks or art-focused city stays, for instance, which we return to time and again. Trips that let us indulge our passions and require minimal research are easy wins when we’re planning our annual break. But what if you were to turn that holiday on its head next year, and try something the same... but different?
You might never have considered cruising before but – before you stop reading – put aside your preconceptions for a moment and imagine the ease, glamour and adventure of being on an ocean or river voyage. Smaller ships with the facilities of a top hotel can carry you in luxury from port to port while serving you fine food. Expert lecturers can guide you to the places you didn’t know you needed to visit. Leave the driving to the captain as you arrive in a different city every day, refreshed and ready to pursue your favourite interest.
三级成人视频Here is our round-up of water-based alternatives that may help you break the habit of a lifetime...
Like European culture? Try an expert-led cruise
In centuries past, those seeking culture would go on a “grand tour” of Europe. Now, one of the easiest ways to see several cities in a short time is to take a cruise. Destinations such as Athens, Vienna, Florence and Venice are well served and many cruise lines sail with expert lecturers on board. Opera lovers can enjoy a performance of Puccini’s Tosca in the Roman amphitheatre in Verona on a cruise aboard the 20-passenger La Bella Vita with European Waterways, while avid history lovers and culture buffs should look at Voyages to Antiquity, whose single ship, Aegean Odyssey, offers historical itineraries that delve into Crusader history in Israel or the Byzantine past of Turkey.
Windstar Cruises’ Greek Isles voyage brings extra sparkle to Europe’s cultural highlights: at Ephesus, in Turkey, rather than being funnelled in and out in the heat of the day, guests are served a white-glove-service dinner accompanied by a chamber orchestra in the illuminated courtyard of the site’s library.
Passengers on Scenic Sapphire can enjoy a gala dinner and performance in the Palais des Papes in Avignon, France, during an eight-day Rhône cruise. From £2,570pp including flights (0808 301 6220; ).
Love lakes and mountains? Head to Alaska or the Norwegian fjords
三级成人视频The image of snow-capped mountains reflected in shimmering lakes is always awe-inspiring, whether it is in Norway, in Alaska or sailing along the lochs of Scotland. In Japan, Imagine Cruising offers a nine-night voyage on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth combined with an escorted tour of Mount Fuji including the Hakone Sky Gondola and a boat trip across tranquil Lake Ashi, enjoying the natural beauty of the water-filled volcano crater.
Closer to home are the fjords and mountains of Norway where Iona, a brand-new ship from P&O Cruises, will spend its inaugural season in 2020. Arriving by sea is a great way to view the shoreline waterfalls and mirror-like lakes, but excursions allow you to explore further by kayak, hiking or taking the Flam railway.
Many cruise lines serve Alaska – where mountain vistas and serene waterscapes are guaranteed. For wildlife lovers, there’s the chance to see humpback whales, track brown bears or spot bald eagles. And few can forget the wonder of being on a ship’s deck and watching a giant glacier groan and shatter in front of them as it creates another iceberg. Seabourn offers special excursions including meeting the Kitasoo and Xai’xais townspeople in tiny Klemtu, British Columbia. In contrast, the family-friendly Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy are partnering up for an Alaskan season in 2019 with on-board go-kart tracks, laser tag and water chutes.
Scotland is spoilt for small-ship cruising round the bays, islands and lochs, with operators such as Hebridean Island Cruises and Majestic Line calling at picturesque stops such as Argyll and Bute, St Kilda and Orkney. Excursions might focus on gardens, wildlife or, of course, whisky.
A 14-day cruise from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Valparaíso, Chile, via the Chilean fjords on Silver Explorer costs from £6,390pp, departing on Mar 4 2020. Excludes flights (020 7340 0700; ).
Enjoy luxury hotels? Check out these glamorous suites
Think bells-and-whistles suites are unique to luxury hotels? Think again. Many cruise ships have rooms as plush as any top land-based venue – and with a balcony you’re always guaranteed a sea view. Regent Seven Seas Explorer has a £7,750-per-night suite with a Steinway piano and its own spa retreat. Silversea’s latest luxury ship, Silver Muse, has butler service to all suites. On Seabourn Encore the Wintergarden Suite comes with a glass-enclosed solarium and hot tub, a large veranda, dining for six and fresh orchids in the bathroom. The all-suite Scenic Eclipse, making its debut in April 2019, will have two helicopters and a seven-man submarine to serve its 228 guests, while new ships from French line Ponant have an underwater lounge with viewing windows and cameras to see the ocean life. The biggest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, boasts the Ultimate Family Suite with a slide from the bedroom to the living room, for a cool £30,000 a week, while Celebrity Edge has two-level villas with their own plunge pools and terrace. For Scandinavian chic, Viking’s all-balcony ocean ships have muted tones, groups of sofas and chairs draped with reindeer pelts, and even a snow grotto, cold plunge pool and splash bucket in the spa.
三级成人视频Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 recalls the golden era of transatlantic travel on its crossings from Southampton to New York and even family-friendly lines offer (for a fee) private deck spaces with exclusive facilities including cabanas and pools. Look at The Haven on NCL and the Yacht Club on MSC Cruises, say. If you enjoy staying at Ritz-Carlton hotels, you’ll be pleased to hear the brand is launching the first of three luxury cruise yachts in 2020.
A 10-night voyage on Regent Seven Seas Mariner, leaving Miami on Oct 22 2019, with two overnights in Cuba, costs from £5,089pp, including flights (023 8068 2280; ).
Are you a wine lover? Sample a European river cruise
Whether it’s the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne in France, the Wachau valley along the Danube in Austria, the Rhine at Rüdesheim or the rivers of Washington State – where American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines sail the Columbia and Snake rivers – a cruise is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the local viticulture.
Emerald Waterways organises guided hikes through vineyards三级成人视频 in Provence. You can glide above the Champagne region in a hot-air balloon on a barge trip (Belmond), visit the Marlborough wine region in New Zealand on a Holland America voyage from Auckland to Sydney, or enjoy tastings with Channel 5’s Wine Show hosts Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer (Celebrity Cruises). Or see the vineyards around Tain-l’Hermitage on an eight-day river cruise from Avignon to Lyon with Viking.
A 10-day wine cruise from Lisbon to Portsmouth on Ponant’s 264-passenger ship L’Austral costs from £3,716pp departing on April 13 2019. Includes excursions in Porto and to the vineyards in Bordeaux; excludes flights (0800 980 4027; ).
Seeking winter sun? Get under sail in the Caribbean
If there’s one thing better than fleeing to a Caribbean island in the middle of winter, it’s being able to visit a different one every day. The biggest passenger ships in the world sail from Miami and Fort Lauderdale to the larger islands, such as Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, while smaller vessels creep into the ports of lesser-known examples including Jost Van Dyke, St John and Virgin Gorda.
Now that Cuba is back on the map for US travellers, many cruise lines are heading there too. Yachting fans can board a Star Clippers tall ship to places such as Grenada or Martinique. Sea Cloud offers guests front-row viewing of the St Barths Bucket, a three-day regatta in March 2019.
For a taste of luxury, SeaDream offers a yacht-style experience with highly personalised service and signature experiences including champagne in the surf and the chance to sleep above deck on a bed under the stars. Sir Richard Branson is launching Virgin Voyages adults-only ships based in Miami from 2020.
A 14-night Caribbean cruise on Seabourn Odyssey, departing February 9, 2019, costs from £4,699pp, excluding flights (0843 373 2000; ).
Extended family? There’s plenty of choice…
You can’t beat cruising for keeping the whole family happy, from grandparents to toddlers. Everyone can do their own thing while only being a few minutes away from each other. On the same ship you can have dance classes for seniors, laser tag for teenagers and a colourful water park for youngsters. Plus all generations can get together to enjoy a lively show, play arcade games or enjoy a round of mini golf before sitting down in a friendly restaurant. As well as roomy family cabins, there are adjoining staterooms which can be linked together. Children from six months to 17 years old are catered for with age-specific clubs and babysitting services. Lines especially good at this are Disney, MSC, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess.
A 14-night Mediterranean Beaches holiday round-trip from Southampton on Independence of the Seas, leaving on July 27 2019, starts at £1,499pp (0844 493 3033; ).
Keen on safari holidays? Look at a wildlife cruise
Think of a place synonymous with wildlife and there’s probably a cruise that can take you there – from the Brahmaputra (tigers and Asian elephants) in India to whales in Baja and rare birds in the sub-Antarctic islands off New Zealand. African Dream, a 16-passenger boat operated by CroisiEurope, offers the chance to spot hippos from the deck and to take jeep safaris in Chobe National Park, home to a quarter of Africa’s elephant population.
三级成人视频Specialist operator Naturetrek sells birdwatching trips to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and from next year Celebrity Flora – the new 100-passenger vessel from Celebrity Cruises – will join ships visiting the Galápagos Islands, home to giant tortoises, marine iguanas and penguins. Some lines sail along the Amazon and UnCruise has a voyage to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez which includes snorkelling with sea lions and swimming with whale sharks.
Azamara Club Cruises combines a 10-night cruise from Cape Town with a five-night safari in Chobe National Park. From £9,489pp, excluding flights, departing on Jan 21 2020 (0844 493 4016; ).