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CRYSTAL ESPRIT CHRISTENED IN THE SEYCHELLES  --  Luxury yacht launches Crystal Cruises’ next chapter -

 

Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, officially welcomed Crystal Esprit to its fleet of ultra-luxury vessels Sunday 20th December, as the sleek yacht was christened in an elegant ceremony held at Eden Island Marina in Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles.  Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez, welcomed a distinguished audience of local dignitaries, yacht guests, travel partners and professionals and executives from the line’s new parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), for a day of celebration, as Crystal Esprit marks the beginning of one of the most significant brand expansions in luxury travel and hospitality history.

 

On hand to christen Crystal Esprit was the yacht’s godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes, fiancée of Mark Richards, one of the world’s most awarded and recognised yachtsmen. Richards serves as chief executive of Grand Banks yachts, based in Australia, and is an eight-time champion skipper of the 628-mile Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Lady Meakes christened the yacht with the traditional breaking of Champagne against the hull – specifically a bottle of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut, 2004.  The evening culminated in an elaborate fireworks display at sea.

 

“To say today is a special day is an understatement,” said Rodriguez. “Since joining Crystal just over two years ago, a personal goal of mine has been to see Crystal realise the next step in continuing to pioneer luxury travel and hospitality; and today I am seeing that dream fulfilled.” She went on to personally thank GHK Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, for his and his company’s support of her vision for Crystal’s future.

 

Crystal will, indeed, pioneer the luxury travel and hospitality industry far beyond the reaches of ocean cruising, as the line is poised to launch Crystal River Cruises in 2016 and 2017, with five luxury river yachts – more than double the originally planned number – gracing the waterways of Europe include the Rhine, Seine, Danube, Main, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. In 2017, Crystal Luxury Air will take off with all-first-class outfitted Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking guests on multi-week journeys to far-off destinations not typically served non-stop by major airlines.

 

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018) – and Crystal Luxury Air (fall 2017).

 

For reservations, call Crystal Cruises on 020 7399 7603 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk

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Princess Cruises to add new ship to fleet in 2019

 

Princess Cruises has confirmed that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will build a new ship for the line, which will enter service in late 2019. The as-yet unnamed 143,000-ton vessel, which will be built at a cost of approximately 600 million Euros, will carry 3,560 guests.

 

The announcement, made last week by Princess Cruises’ parent company, Carnival Corporation, will increase Princess’ fleet to 19. The vessel will be a sister ship to Royal Princess (launched in Southampton in 2013 by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge), Regal Princess (launched 2014) and Majestic Princess (launching 2017).

 

The new ship will include signature elements of Princess Cruises’ previous vessels including the vast central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience; The Sanctuary top-deck relaxation area; and the Lotus Spa. The ship will additionally include brand-new innovations that will be announced in due course.

 

Princess Cruises will confirm the ship’s deployment at a later date.

 

Tony Roberts, vice president of Princess Cruises UK, said: “We’re incredibly excited to confirm that Princess Cruises’ growth continues with the order of another royal class ship. Demand and confidence in Princess has never been higher and we’re delighted that in just a few years’ time even more guests will get the chance to travel with us in style to over 360 destinations across the world.”

 

 

www.princesscruises.co.uk

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European Waterways Announces New Itinerary for

 

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Celebrate the Year of the Monkey

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ITV documentary featuring Princess Cruises to air on Thursdays at 8.30pm ...

 

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EUROPEAN WATERWAYS’ NEW WHISKY TRAIL CRUISE

GETS HOTEL BARGE GUESTS INTO THE RIGHT ‘SPIRIT’

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Saga Travel releases 13 new river cruises for 2017 !

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CROISIEUROPE ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF THIRD PADDLEWHEEL RIVERBOAT UNDER CONSTRUCTION

IN SAINT-NAZAIRE

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 Get into the carnival atmosphere with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Mardi Gras adventure in 2017

 

For the very first time, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to experience the world-famous Mardi Gras on an epic ex-UK adventure of the Caribbean and North and Central America. Setting sail from Southampton on Fred. Olsen’s flagship, Balmoral, in February 2017, this 46-night cruise – for adults only – offers guests 18 phenomenal ports of call, plus three full days and two overnights in New Orleans, allowing plenty of time to soak up the carnival atmosphere!

 

This fantastic cruise visits some of the most beautiful and exciting destinations in the Caribbean, North America and Central America, offering guests a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to take in a host of incredible experiences in one stunning holiday. In Road Town, Tortola – voted the best port in the Caribbean by Fred. Olsen’s guests – take a ride on a Jeep Safari tour and enjoy the rugged landscapes, or swim with dolphins in the island's warm, crystal-clear waters.

 

In the United States, enjoy a two-night stay in vibrant New Orleans and join in with the fun and festivities at the annual Mardi Gras Carnival. Be sure to collect the symbolic colourful beads, as ‘Krewes’ parade their hand-crafted floats and costumes through the city; dance and drink the night away on Bourbon Street; and delve into delicious ‘King Cakes’ at this fabulously extravagant festival.

 

Fred. Olsen is offering a range of shore tours to enhance guests’ experience of the Mardi Gras celebrations, including taking up a prime position in the parade-viewing stands in downtown New Orleans. From here, guests will be able to enjoy a variety of food and drink from the many street vendors and will be in the ideal location to watch the colourful parade and catch some of the free gifts and treats that are thrown into the crowds from the floats.

 

There is also the opportunity for guests to attend the ‘Orpheuscapade Black Tie Ball’ in New Orleans – something rarely experienced by tourists. This ‘Black Tie’ event is held in the local Convention Centre, and features live music and dancing, plus the chance to get up close to the gigantic carnival floats, as a local celebrity leads the parade directly through the Convention Centre.

 

In Florida, there is the chance for guests to visit Tampa on Fred. Olsen’s maiden call, and   to sample the diverse culture and atmosphere of Miami, before sailing north to Port Canaveral. Located on America’s Space Coast, this is home to two awe-inspiring space rocket launch sites – the Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 

Details of Fred. Olsen’s Mardi Gras cruise in February 2017 are as follows:

 

- Balmoral’s 46-night L1703 ‘Central America & the Mardi Gras’ cruise, ex Southampton on 4th February 2017 (adult-only). Prices start from £3,449 per person.

 

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Funchal, Madeira – Bridgetown, Barbados – Castries, St. Lucia – St John's, Antigua – Road Town, Tortola – Falmouth, Jamaica – Banana Coast (Trujillo), Honduras – Belize City, Belize – Cozumel, Mexico – New Orleans, USA (two-night stay) – Tampa, USA – Key West, USA – Miami, USA – Port Canaveral, USA – Jacksonville, USA – Charleston, USA – Hamilton, Bermuda – Ponta Delgada, Azores – Southampton, UK

 

 

 

For further information: http://www.fredolsencruises.com/places-we-visit/cruise-holiday/central-america-and-the-mardi-gras-l1703?referrer=7&isback=1

 

 

The price listed is based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded Superior Interior Room and includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.

 

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.fredolsencruises.com Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.

Mardi Gras Scenic

Save £1,500 Per Person On A Luxury Rhine Highlights River Cruise,

plus free private door-to-door chauffeur transfers

Prices now starting from just £1,545pp

 

Book an 8-day luxury river cruise discovering the highlights of the Rhine from £1,545pp, departing on 8th May. Pick from one of 15 UK regional airports, or take advantage of Scenic’s no fly Standard Premier Eurostar option.

 

Scenic (0808 102 0155 www.scenic.co.uk) is offering 45% off an 8-day Rhine Highlights luxury river cruise as part of their new year sale, when booked by 15 February 2017. Accommodation is on one of the most spacious luxury ships on Europe’s waterways. Depart on 8th May 2017 from Basel. Now from £1,545pp.  See website for full information and cruise

 

Scenic offers the flexibility of Freechoice options, allowing you to make the most of trips and experiences that appeal to you most. From experiencing a scenic ride on the oldest cog railway of Germany and discovering Drachenburg Castle, sampling Edam’s famous cheese, or observing the famous filigree twin towers in Cologne, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

 

Raise a glass in Basel in anticipation of the voyage ahead. Experience the youthful exuberance of Strausbourg, a juxtaposition of traditional and cosmopolitan, opt to sample the best wines of the region, or enjoy a guided hike through the majestic vineyards of the Black Forest.

 

Next stop is Mannheim, where a Scenic Enrich experience awaits. Here enjoy a private tour of the Baroque Palace of Rastatt, before experiencing a private classical concert. It’ll be an evening of grandeur unlike any other, and a chance to create memories to cherish for a lifetime.

 

Succumb to the charm of Rüdessheim, hopping on board Winzerexpress, before taking to the idyllic streets peppered with ambient cafés. Next is Kolbenz, where Medieval gems and natural wonders lie waiting to be discovered.

 

Enter the historic city of Cologne, and discover the splendid Drachenburg Castle, or stroll through the city and get up close to the filigree twin towers of the famous cathedral.

 

Cruise through the iconic canals that have made Amsterdam world famous. Alternatively, discover charming Volendam, with its unusual raised homes and quaint wooden church before heading to the equally charming village of Edam, famous for its round cheese.

 

Look back at this once-in-a-lifetime trip, before you wave farewell in Amsterdam.

 

 

What’s included:

 

•7 nights in the one of most spacious ships on Europe’s waterways

•20 on board meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners

•Flights from 15 regional airports, or return travel via Standard Premier Eurostar.

•Unlimited on-board complimentary drinks*

•Once-in-a-lifetime Enrich events and experiences

•14 flexible excursions and touring in various ports

•Spacious private balconies and Scenic ‘Sun Lounge’ if you upgrade from a standard suite

•An on-board butler service for every one of our guests, irrespective of cabin grade

•All fabulous dining experiences included in a range of venues

•Scenic Tailormade – numerous opportunities to explore via a hand-held GPS device, on foot or complimentary electronically assisted bike

•All tips and gratuities are included

• No hidden extras whatsoever

 

*All drinks are included except for a very small number of rare and vintage spirits, wines and champagnes.

Braemar in

Get ‘Into the heart of your destination’ with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ in 2017

 

 

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to get closer to some of Europe’s prettiest destinations in 2017, sailing from Southampton, with its new ‘Into the heart of your destination’ brochure. Guests can take advantage of Fred. Olsen’s four smaller, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Black Watch and Boudicca – to sail along the River Weser to Bremen, Germany; cruise along the entire length of Nærøyfjord, Norway; or dock alongside Bordeaux’s beautiful promenade.

 

Guests can also come face to face with the stunning fjordland in Norway, get to the heart of captivating cities in Scandinavia and the Baltic and canals and rivers that are restricted to ships Fred. Olsen’s size.

 

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

 

“Southampton is well-known as the UK’s most popular cruise departure port, and this demand has brought with it even more ships, which seem to grow larger and larger every year.

 

“However, this is not the case with Fred. Olsen; our smaller ships bring our guests an experience that can’t be super-sized! We can take you closer to enchanting cities and navigate waterways that are out of reach to larger vessels. This means our guests can be confident that they will see the best sights, get closer to city highlights and reach the most remote, untouched corners of the globe that some of the larger ships simply cannot go to.”

 

Fred. Olsen’s new ‘Into the heart of your destination’ brochure includes the following sailings in 2017:

 

- Braemar’s M1709 10-night ‘German Waterways’ cruise, ex Southampton on 18th April 2017. Prices start from £1,099 per person.

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Flensburg, Germany – Cruising Flensburg Fjord – Travemünde, Germany – Kiel Canal Transit – Hamburg, Germany (two-night stay) – Cruising River Elbe – Cruising Weser River – Bremen, Germany (overnight stay) – Cruising Weser River – Southampton, UK

 

For further information: See http://www.fredolsencruises.com/places-we-visit/cruise-holiday/german-waterways-m1709?referrer=7&isback=1

 

 

- Black Watch’s 16-night W1705 ‘Sun, Sea & Monaco Grand Prix’, cruise, ex Southampton on 19th May 2017 (adult-only). Prices start from £1,999 per person (with limited availability).

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Malaga, Spain – Cartagena, Spain – Cannes, France – Nice, France (overnight stay) – Barcelona, Spain – Gibraltar – Southampton, UK

 

For further information: See http://www.fredolsencruises.com/places-we-visit/cruise-holiday/sun-sea-and-monaco-grand-prix-w1705?referrer=7&isback=1

 

 

- Balmoral’s 13-night L1724 ‘The Baltic & St. Petersburg’ cruise, ex Southampton on 2nd October 2017 (adult-only). Prices start from £1,399 per person.

Ports of call: Southampton, UK – Kiel Canal Transit – Copenhagen, Denmark – Tallinn, Estonia – St. Petersburg, Russia – Riga, Latvia – Warnemünde, Germany – Kiel Canal Transit – Southampton, UK

 

For further information: See http://www.fredolsencruises.com/places-we-visit/cruise-holiday/discover-the-baltic-l1724?referrer=7&isback=1

 

 

 

All prices shown are based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded Interior Room, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, plus port taxes.

 

In addition, guests who book one of these cruises by 1st March 2017 will enjoy a free upgrade to Fred. Olsen’s 'all-inclusive' drinks package where they can enjoy selected drinks all day and evening, without having to pay a penny!

 

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.fredolsencruises.com Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.

L'Art de Vivre

EUROPEAN WATERWAYS CELEBRATE HOTEL BARGE L’ART DE VIVRE’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2017

 

Distinguished Heritage Includes Being Once Owned by Descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte

 

European Waterways has announced that 2017 is the 100th birthday of its popular hotel barge L’Art de Vivre. The luxury 8-passenger vessel cruises the Burgundy region of France, but actually started life back in 1917 carrying munitions to the Allied troops on the Western Front during World War One.

 

After many “career” changes, she is now a hotel barge that embodies the Burgundian “good life,” with en suite cabins, an elegant saloon where guests enjoy fine wines and gourmet meals, a spacious sundeck with a spa pool, and bicycles to explore the ever-present towpath and surrounding countryside.

 

“Many of our hotel barges have enjoyed colourful lives like L’Art de Vivre. It’s all part of the immersive experience we offer our guests, who soak up the historical, cultural and culinary lore of the region as they cruise gently and in comfort” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “At 100 years of age, L’Art de Vivre may be our ‘Grand Dame,’ but she’s as spry as ever! Like all vessels in our fleet, she has been expertly upgraded and modernized by skilled craftsmen and designers, so that today she offers the ultimate in modern convenience and style.”

 

“You could say the spirit of L’Art de Vivre is in all our hotel barges,”said Banks. “By offering fine wines and spirits, gourmet meals, and chauffeured tours that include private wine tastings, every European Waterways cruise gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy ‘the good life.’ We look forward to toasting her centenary with our guests on board in 2017, perhaps with a glass of Napoleon brandy?”

 

A Spirited History

 

European Waterways’ L’Art de Vivre boasts a fascinating past that includes a series of name changes throughout the years evocative of alcoholic spirits. She was originally christened Marie Brizard after the 18th century creator of Anisette, the anise-flavoured liqueur. After helping to win the war for the Allies, she began delivering barrels of cognac from Angoulême to Rochefort along France’s River Charente. Name changes over the decades ahead included Cognac, Royal Cognac, Napoleon, Mark Twain, Magellan and Kir Royal.

 

The barge was purchased in 1975 by Florian Walewski, a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, before finally joining the European Waterways family in 1999 and being renamed L’Art de Vivre. Today, L’Art de Vivre cruises the scenic Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy and guests are pampered by an attentive crew of four – a captain, master chef, tour guide and hostess.

 

Prices for a 6-night, all-inclusive cruise are from £2,700 per person, including a current 5% discount offer.

 

Please visit www.gobarging.com for more information

 

For Reservations Tel: +44(0) 1753 598555

Princess Cruises unveils new family features on UK-bound ship

 

Princess Cruises has announced that the 3,200-guest Caribbean Princess will undergo a comprehensive two-week refit from March 26 to April 6 while in dry dock at Freeport, Bahamas.

 

The multi million pound renovations will include new and upgraded family features.

 

On completion, Caribbean Princess will head to the UK, sailing the British Isles roundtrip from Southampton between May and September.

 

The refit will include new youth and teen clubs as part of the line’s partnership with Discovery Consumer Products. Each of the three centres will be renamed to mirror the designs:    

 

 

   · The Treehouse (formerly Pelicans, ages 3-7): forest and animal-themed

 

   · The Lodge (formerly Shockwaves, ages 8-12): inspired by the outdoors

 

   · The Beach House (formerly Remix, ages 13-17): contemporary surf-themed lounge

 

 

In addition there will be new activities and games for children, including hands-on science experiments, mini golf tournaments, talent shows and LEGO boat-building competitions.

 

The line will also be introducing interconnecting staterooms on Caribbean Princess, fitting 87 in total. Other additions are an upgraded top-deck ‘Movies Under the Stars’ giant screen and Princess Luxury Beds in every stateroom.

 

Caribbean Princess will also be prepared for the Ocean Medallion technology, which will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season. The new technology will enable guests to order food and drinks to anywhere they are on the ship, provide interactive information about onboard activities and allow parents to locate where their children are onboard, as well as a host of other features.

 

After sailing the British Isles for the spring and summer, the ship will travel to the new Panama Canal locks and the Caribbean.

 

Prices for a 12-night British Isles sailing with an overnight stay in Dublin start from £1,399pp, departing Southampton on June 30, 2017. Calling at Guernsey, Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Invergordon, Edinburgh, Le Havre.

 

Prices for a 7-night summer Caribbean cruise start from £848pp, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale departing on July 28, 2018. Calling at Grand Cayman, Island of Roatan, Belize City, Island of Cozumel.

 

Further information on enhancements, including food and beverage, will be announced over the coming weeks.

 

Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “With new amenities catering to families, Caribbean Princess not only provides comfort and technology to stay connected but enriching experiences that can be shared together as a family – all renovated with the goal of helping our guests create lifelong memories.”

 

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com/holiday, call 0843 374 2402 or speak to your local travel agent.

Caribbean Princess new livery

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards to soar on the high seas with P&O Cruises

 

This autumn, guests on Arcadia will be able to utter the famous words ‘the eagle has landed’ as Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards joins the ship’s September 10, 24-night transatlantic journey from Southampton as a guest speaker.

 

During the cruise, which visits New York, Rhode Island, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Saguenay, Quebec and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Eddie will regale guests with hilarious stories of how he became an unlikely superstar during the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary and won a place in the hearts of spectators around the globe. Eddie will also take part in Q&A sessions and will introduce a screening of the popular film Eddie the Eagle, starring Hugh Jackman.

 

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow said: “Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is a unique British sporting hero with an incredible story to tell. I’m sure that our guests will thoroughly enjoy hearing his tales and will be inspired by his determination and ‘have a go’ attitude.”

 

Prices for the 24-night USA & Canada cruise onboard Arcadia (J715) start from £2,349 per person.

 

For more information or to book call P&O Cruises on 0843 374 0111, visit www.pocruises.co.uk 

or visit your local travel agent.

 

Arcadia BBQ COUNTER_rendering

Princess Cruises announces seven new dining venues for UK-bound ship Caribbean Princess

 

Princess Cruises has revealed that the multi-million pound refit of Caribbean Princess will include seven new and redesigned dining venues. This will be the line’s largest food and beverage renovation to take place during a refit.

 

The 3,200-guest Caribbean Princess is currently in dry dock in the Bahamas until April 6. On completion, the ship will head to the UK to sail the British Isles roundtrip from Southampton from May until September.

 

The new dining options include:

 

World Fresh Marketplace – Replacing Horizon Court buffet (deck 14), World Fresh Marketplace will have a new look and improved layout. New food options include a pancake station, specialty hand-crafted sandwiches and a carvery with a selection of roast meats. All buffet selections are complimentary.

 

Planks BBQ and Steamers Seafood – New to the ship and the Princess fleet, Caribbean Princess will have two casual evening specialty restaurants. Both located in Café Caribe, the new dining venues are well suited for families who want to enjoy a special meal in an informal setting. Buffet-style breakfasts and lunch options are complimentary. Both restaurants will have a cover charge of $12 per person for the waiter-served dinner menu.

 

· Planks BBQ will serve family-style ‘planks’ of loaded ribs, beef, sausages and chicken plus sides – fries, chili, coleslaw and dill pickles.

· Steamers Seafood consists of seafood selections including mussels, scallops, clams, prawns, and crab-stuffed flounder. For $10 more, diners can

  choose king crab legs or lobster tail.

 

Top-deck dining venues – Four of the Princess pool deck dining venues will be redesigned, renamed and enhanced.

 

· The Salty Dog Grill will replace Trident Grill and will offer the ‘Ernesto’ burger, created by Chef Ernesto Uchimura, made up of rib eye beef patty, grilled pork belly, caramelized kimchi, beer battered jalapeño, aioli, and cheese. In addition, tacos - either grilled chipotle chicken or sweet potato-green chile - loaded fries with chili cheese or bacon & cheese and classic hot dogs will be included on the menu. All food is complimentary with the exception of the Ernesto burger, which is $5 (or $8 if paired with a beer).

· Slice, formerly Pizzeria, will have a new complimentary menu that includes Neapolitan-style pizza; deep dish focaccia layered with marinara, meatballs and cheese; California artisan toast topped with avocado or caprese salad; and sliced stromboli with deli meats and cheese.

· Coffee & Cones will be the first in the fleet to brew specialty coffee drinks on top deck. The venue will also offer soft-serve ice cream and gourmet ice cream sandwiches.

· The Mix will be an updated version of poolside Blackbeard’s bar serving drinks on the top deck. Complete renovations due to finish in autumn.

 

Furthermore, specialty restaurant Sabatini’s will be renamed to Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and will boast a new look and redesigned layout.

 

Prices for a 12-night British Isles sailing with an overnight stay in Dublin start from £1,399pp, departing Southampton on June 30, 2017. Calling at Guernsey, Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Invergordon, Edinburgh, Le Havre.

 

After sailing the British Isles from May – September, Caribbean Princess will then travel to the new Panama Canal locks and the Caribbean.

 

Prices for a 7-night summer Caribbean cruise start from £848pp, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale departing on July 28, 2018. Calling at Grand Cayman, Island of Roatan, Belize City, Island of Cozumel.

 

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com/holiday, call 0843 374 2402 or speak to your local travel agent.

MSC Magnifica

It’s tea at the top as Brits admit to packing teabags in their suitcases

 

 

London, April 21 2017: Today MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, released new research into the UK’s holiday habits.  Research shows that Brits are serious about their home comforts with over half admitting to packing their favourite items of food and drink when travelling abroad, and almost a quarter stating they wouldn’t go on holiday at all if their favourite items weren’t available.

 

Tea came out as the most likely item to pack in your suitcase with over a third admitting they won’t travel without their favourite blend, closely followed by coffee and cereal. Whilst the research, conducted on 2,300 UK adults clearly showed that there are certain things Brits need to feel comfortable when travelling, it also uncovered that they aren’t afraid of trying new things with almost half stating that the thing they look forward to most about going on holiday is trying new and different food, with a further 35% stating they love to embrace different cultures.

 

MSC Cruises are taking this feedback seriously and have announced that their ship MSC Magnifica, which will be deployed from Southampton next year for the summer season, will give guests the ‘best of both worlds’ by making some enhancements to the cruise product to cater to the needs of British and Irish guests.

 

Antonio Paradiso, MD of MSC Cruises for the UK & Ireland said “At MSC Cruises we are renowned for our European glamour and style, but we also understand how important home comforts are for our guests. This is why we have worked to enhance our product specifically for the British market on board MSC Magnifica, and have added some special touches such as kettles in cabins through to making roast dinners, pies and pastries available in the buffet. We know that for many guests a holiday is about experiencing different cultures and tastes which is why all of our existing offering will remain, but we understand the importance of adapting to the needs of our guests and as a family owned company we not only have the flexibility to do this but also want to make our guests feel at home on board our ships.

 

“Our guests are at the heart of everything we do, and we have taken their feedback into consideration when defining the enhancements of our onboard offering. Whilst we have already decided on many of the additions, we are yet to select the brand of tea we serve on board, and in honour of National Tea day, we are opening the voting to allow the British public to select the brand of tea that will be available in all the cabins as well as the nine onboard bars and restaurants.”

 

The British public will be invited to choose the brand of English Breakfast Tea that will be enjoyed on board, selecting from some of the nation’s favourite brands; PG Tips, Tetley, Twining’s and Yorkshire Tea. To cast a vote visit the MSC Cruises UK Facebook or Twitter page with the selected brand to be announced later this year.

 

The enhancements to the onboard product extend beyond food and drink, with MSC Cruises adding a British twist to the entertainment. The MSC favourites such as Starwalker, a tribute to Michael Jackson and the famous Neon White Party will remain but the addition of a British Comedian and Cruise Director will be made, alongside access to British TV channels in cabins as well as  Premiere League and rugby games screened live in the sports bar.

 

 

MSC Magnifica will sail from Southampton to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe on 22 dates from April to October 2018. Further information and a virtual 360 degree tour of the ship can be viewed at www.msccruises.co.uk

 

 

 

Top 10 items Brits admit to packing in their suitcase for holidays abroad

 

1.      Tea

 

2.      Coffee

 

3.      Cereal

 

4.      Soft drinks

 

5.      Ketchup

 

6.      Bread

 

7.      Brown Sauce

 

8.      Fruit Juice

 

9.      Jam

 

10.   Beer

 

 

 

 

 

Further enhancements to the product which can be found on board MSC Magnifica during the 2018 summer season include:

 

·    Tea, coffee and kettles in cabins

 

·    British and Irish beer and cider available on draft: Guinness, John Smith’s and Strongbow

 

·    Sauces and condiments available including HP Sauce, Colman’s Mustard and Marmite

 

·    Roast dinner served in the buffet

 

·    Tea and scones alongside pies and pasties available in the afternoon

 

·    Curry corner in the buffet

 

·    A British Cruise Director and British late night comedian

 

·    Premiere League and international rugby games available in the sports bar

 

·    British TV channels in cabins

 

·    British newspapers available to view on board

 

 

 

For more information on booking a cruise see www.msccruises.co.uk or call 020 3426 3010.

 

 

carnival vista

CARNIVAL INTRODUCING ONLINE PRE-SALE WI-FI PACKAGES ON CARNIVAL.COM

FLEETWIDE ROLLOUT EXPECTED BY MID-SUMMER

 

 

 

Carnival Cruise Line is now offering guests an opportunity to pre-purchase Wi-Fi packages on carnival.com prior to their cruise.  The pre-purchase option is currently available on two ships – Carnival Vista and Carnival Fascination – with fleetwide rollout expected by mid-summer.

 

 

 

With this convenient new option, fully booked guests can select from Carnival’s popular social, value and premium Wi-Fi packages through the “manage my booking” tab on carnival.com. Guests must purchase an Internet package that covers the entire duration of their cruise when purchasing online. Daily packages are available for purchase once on board.

 

 

 

Wi-Fi is the latest amenity available through Carnival’s online pre-purchase system, which also includes steakhouse and Chef’s Table reservations, spa treatments, shore excursions and beverage packages prior to departure on carnival.com.

 

 

 

Carnival’s social package is unique in the cruise industry and provides unlimited access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other popular sites. The value plan includes unlimited access to the Web for checking email, sports scores, weather updates and a wide range of other applications, while the premium package provides the fastest available connection speed and allows access to some streaming video services.

 

 

 

Guests booked on Carnival Vista and Carnival Fascination may log into Manage My Cruise to pre-purchase these packages.

Limelight club

Musical stars to light up the Limelight Club on P&O Cruises Britannia

 

The stars will be shining in Britannia’s Limelight Club as P&O Cruises announces the latest big names to headline this popular entertainment and dinner venue. New to the Limelight Club line-up are:

 

· Anne Reid, MBE: Anne Reid is one of Britain's most-loved and respected actresses, star of the very popular Last Tango in Halifax, Ladies of Letters, Dinner ladies and The Mother. What is less well known is her life as a cabaret performer. Anne and her musical director, Jason Carr, will present an evening of songs and stories and music and memories such as filming with Daniel Craig, performing Shakespeare at Buckingham Palace and making Last Tango in Halifax.

 

Anne will appear on a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise departing June 18 2017. Prices from £663 per person.

 

· Judy & Liza: 50 years after Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli last performed together at the London Palladium, the life of the two legendary songstresses returns to the stage thanks to this acclaimed new production featuring Emma Dears and Lucy Williamson, both of whom have spent many years in London’s West End. “Judy & Liza” features live performances of many favourite Judy and Liza hits including Cabaret, Maybe This Time, The Trolley Song and The Man That Got Away.

 

“Judy & Liza” will be on Britannia’s 13-night Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain cruise departing September 30. Prices from £1,149 per person.

 

· Jahméne Douglas: Jahméne is a British soul singer and was the runner-up to James Arthur on the 9th series of The X Factor in 2012. In December 2012, he signed a record deal with Sony Music] and in July 2013 released his debut studio album, Love Never Fails, which peaked at number one on the UK Album charts and included appearances from Nicole Scherzinger and Stevie Wonder. Jahméne was named Best Male Newcomer at the Urban Music Awards and was also nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards.

 

Jahméne will perform on Britannia’s 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing October 13. Prices from £949 per person.

 

·        Christina Bianco: Two-time Drama Desk Award nominated actress, singer and impressionist Christina Bianco has become a YouTube sensation with her diva impression videos. A woman of a thousand versatile voices, Christina has gained 23 million views worldwide, leading to performances on major television programmes such as The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Today Show. Christina has also sold out extended runs headlining at The Hippodrome, the Royal Albert Hall’s prestigious Elgar Room and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

 

Christina will be performing on Britannia’s 14-night Caribbean cruise round trip from St Lucia departing November 18. Prices from £1,219 per person.

 

· Michael Starke: Michael is best known for his role as Sinbad in Brookside but has made many other TV and film appearances including ‘Stig of the Dump’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Holby City’ as well as co-starring with Samuel L Jackson in ‘The 51st State’. Michael has also returned with great acclaim to musical theatre with starring roles in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show and Willie Russell’s ‘Our Day Out’ and as Monsignor O’Hara in Sister Act and the all singing and dancing ‘Edna Turnblad’ in the record breaking UK touring production of “Hairspray’.

Michael will be appearing on four Britannia voyages: a 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing August 12, with prices from £1,349 per person; a 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing September 16, with prices from £1,149 per person; a 14-night Madeira & Caribbean cruise departing October 27, with prices from £999 per person; and a 14-night Caribbean cruise departing November 24, with prices from £1,379 per person.

 

· Claire Sweeney: Claire has starred in many major shows over the years including Chicago, Guys and Dolls (opposite Patrick Swayze), Educating Rita, Legally Blonde, Fosse, Tell Me On A Sunday and Hairspray. She has also worked as the forces sweetheart, entertaining British troops abroad. She was the first entertainer into Afghanistan and Oman and was delighted to perform at A Party To Remember live on BBC TV to celebrate VE day. A highlight of her career was to sing at the festival of commemoration from Horse Guards Parade to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, in the presence of HM The Queen.

 

Claire will be performing on five Britannia cruises: a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise departing May 21, with prices from £599 per person; a 14-night Scandinavia & Russia cruise departing June 4, with prices from £1,199 per person; a 14-night Spain & Italy cruise departing June 25, with prices from £1,099 per person; a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise departing July 9, with prices from £649 per person; and a 14-night France, Monaco & Italy cruise departing July 22, with prices from £1,299 per person.

 

· Chesney Hawkes: Chesney Hawkes is an English pop singer, songwriter, and occasional actor, best known for his 1991 single, "The One and Only", which topped the UK singles chart and reached the top ten in the United States. Chesney has also made over 1,200 headline appearances in the UK as well as throughout Europe with TV and radio work.

 

Chesney will perform on three Britannia cruises: a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise departing August 5, with prices from £729 per person; a 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing August 12, with prices from £1,349 per person; and a 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing September 16, with prices from £1,149 per person.

 

· Boyzlife: Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, a part of the multi-platinum, record breaking bands, Westlife and Boyzone, have joined forces to create Boyzlife. This exciting new show will be packed full of untold stories, further Westlife & Boyzone hits not yet performed by Brian and Keith together, as well as many favourites from the previous tour.... plus a few surprises!

 

Boyzlife will be performing on Britannia’s 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing August 12. Prices from £1,349 per person.

 

· Richard Hadfield: As a member of Collabro, Richard and his band mates auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and went on to triumph in the 2014 final, receiving 26% of the public vote. They were immediately signed by Simon Cowell’s SYCO record label and stormed to the top of the UK charts, selling 320,000 copies of their debut album Stars and being one of only two new UK acts to sell over 100,000 albums that year. Richard and his band mates also sang at the Royal Albert Hall, Dominion Theatre, the London Palladium, headlined at London Pride in Trafalgar Square, toured in Hong Kong and Japan and shared the stage with One Direction, Little Mix, Bette Midler, Alfie Bow, Neyo, Ed Sheeran and Katherine Jenkins to name a few.

 

Richard will be performing on Britannia’s 14-night Spain, France & Italy cruise departing October 13. Prices from £949 per person.

 

 

Britannia’s Limelight Club is a combined entertainment and dinner venue in the great tradition of a supper club. As guests enjoy a superb three-course meal - featuring contemporary European dishes such as native sea bass fillet on Devonshire crab salad; rump of spring lamb with cannelloni bean and black garlic puree; and monkfish and bacon scampi with parmesan potato beignets - they will be treated to a variety of quality entertainments and guest performers whose raconteur skills match that of their singing and includes live music, featuring a wide range of genres, from jazz to pop, blues and soul. Once the entertainment finishes, the venue turns into a late-night club and dance venue.

 

For more information or to book call P&O Cruises on 0843 374 0111, visit www.pocruises.co.uk or visit your local travel agent.

brabant

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ventures into new 'European River Cruising' on Brabant in 2018

 

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen' brochure. Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, Brabant, to go on general sale from 26th May 2017.

 

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on durations ranging from five to 25 nights, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

 

Fred. Olsen will be bringing its unique style of ‘destination exploration’ to the river cruise market, with exciting itineraries visiting some of Europe’s most stunning rivers, canals and valleys. Guests can choose to sail the breath-taking Danube, taking in the major cities and wildlife-rich Danube Delta; savour the highlights of the heart of Europe, along the twists and turns of the Moselle, Rhine and Main valleys; or enjoy a ‘taster’ cruise to Amsterdam, when the tulips are in full bloom.

 

Importantly, Fred. Olsen has also incorporated a large amount of scenic cruising in daylight hours into its new river cruise itineraries, so that guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery on offer at the best time of the day.

 

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

 

“At Fred. Olsen, we specialise in creating a ‘home-from-home’ atmosphere on our ocean cruises, and we are proud to be bringing our many decades of expertise and rich sailing heritage to the river cruise market for the very first time. In fact, the name Brabant harks back to Fred. Olsen’s historic passenger ship of the same name from the 1920s.

 

“Guests can rest assured that the new Fred. Olsen river cruises will be underpinned by the usual high standards, award-winning customer service and understated elegance that they have come to expect of our ocean-going offer. We firmly believe that we have crafted the perfect formula to ensure that our new river cruise guests are able to get the most out of their holiday with Fred. Olsen.”

 

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

 

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views. With just four decks – Haydn Deck 1, Strauss Deck 2, Mozart Deck 3 and Sun Deck 4 – and fewer than 80 rooms and suites, staffed by 40 crew members, Brabanthas the intimate and friendly feel that Fred. Olsen’s guests know and love.

 

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s 'closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel. Cherry wood interiors and contemporary colours combine to make guests feel relaxed from the moment that they step on board. Juliette balconies with panoramic windows are a feature of many of the rooms, so that guests can enjoy expansive views of Europe’s most impressive waterways.

 

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

 

All holidays featured in the new ‘River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure are based on fly-cruises, and include return flights from / to a London airport and transfers to / from the boat. Cruise-only options are also available.

 

An example itinerary from the new ‘European River Cruisingby Fred. Olsen’ brochure is as follows:

 

Springtime Dutch Discovery– 5-night fly-cruise via London, from Amsterdam to Dűsseldorf, prices from £999 per person (fly-cruise package) / £749 (cruise-only, excluding flights / transfers), based on two adults sharing a Standard Room.

 

Selection of dates available: 5th April 2018 (R1801) to 15th April 2018 (R1803)

 

Ports of call: Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Cruising across IJsselmeer – Hoorn, The Netherlands – Kampen, The Netherlands – Cruising IJssel River – Deventer, The Netherlands – Cruising past Zutphen – Arnhem, The Netherlands – Cruising the Pannerden Canal & Fortress – Nijmegen, The Netherlands – Dűsseldorf, Germany

 

With so much variety in one short sailing, this is the perfect way to sample the river cruising experience. Starting in Amsterdam, you will be able to visit legendary Keukenhof Gardens and view the vibrant tulips in bloom.

 

Then, from gliding through Dutch countryside, to transiting the Pannerden Canal, there is a wealth of scenic delights to be discovered, from the elegant comfort of ‘Brabant’. Dotted along the route are towns and cities steeped in seafaring history and authentic culture.

 

As with its ocean cruises, peace of mind and relaxation start from the moment that guests choose a Fred. Olsen holiday! Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise programme will be reinforced by its industry-leading Enjoyment Promise: if guests book at least 12 weeks in advance, on cruises of five nights or more, and find that the cruise is not for them within 24 hours of sailing, they just need to let Reception know on board and Fred. Olsen promises to arrange and pay for their flight back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of their cruise.

 

Scenic launch brand new Scenic Choice privileges across

 

2018 Europe river cruises

 

 

 

Scenic have launched their brand new Scenic Choice privileges, allowing guests to choose from a range of options to enhance their 2018 European River Cruise. For a limited time only, guests can enjoy exclusive access to a range of benefits, plus savings of up to £1,800 per couple, when booked before 30 September.

 

 

 

As well as savings of up to £1,800 per couple across any 2018 Europe river cruise, guests can also choose from one of the following privileges: -

 

 

• Private door-to-door chauffeur driven transfers

   

• Luxury pre-holiday airport hotel stay with parking at up to 15 UK airports

   

• Eurostar upgrade to Business Premier Class

   

•Luxury on board Spa Package

 

 

 

Further details on the Scenic Choice privileges can be found here.

 

 

 

Scenic’s signature all-inclusive approach means guests can leave their wallet at home. Included in the price of all Scenic Europe river cruises are return flights from a choice of up to 15 UK airports, or a NO FLY option on selected itineraries via Eurostar and first-class rail transfers, fine dining in a choice of restaurants, all beverages, a personal butler service, WI-FI, laundry, a flexible Scenic Enrich and Freechoice excursion programme as well as all tips, taxes and port charges.    

Scenic Jade Web Balmoral Cruising web

Three Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ships to undergo multi-million pound refits this winter

 

 

Three of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ships will undergo multi-million pound refits this winter – in preparation for the start of the 2018/19 cruise season.

 

Two of Fred. Olsen ships – Braemar and Balmoral – will be refurbished before Christmas with the third, Boudicca, upgraded in March 2018. Black Watch, benefitted from extensive improvement work at the end of last year.

 

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are very proud of our smaller, classic cruise ships and we recognise the importance of investing in ongoing upgrades to ensure that our guests can continue to enjoy them at their best. The refreshed Black Watch has been very well received by both new and existing guests so we are delighted that the rest of the fleet will also benefit.”

 

The schedule for the Fred. Olsen ships includes: upgrading the existing public areas, creating new facilities – such as a new restaurants and gelato bar on Balmoral, a new dining room on Boudicca, a new buffet restaurant on Braemar – and cabin enhancements across the fleet.

 

The 929-guest ship Braemar will set sail from Southampton to Hamburg on 23rd November 2017 for a nine-day dry dock at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. Her first sailing after the refit will be a 16-night M1730 ‘Voyage to the Caribbean’ cruise from Southampton on 5th December 2017.

 

Fred. Olsen’s flagship Balmoral, will arrive in Hamburg on 10th December 2017 for a nine-day dry dock, before the 1,350 guest-ship departs on a 16-night L1728 ‘Canaries Christmas & Funchal Fireworks’ sailing from Southampton on 21st December 2017.

 

The 880-guest ship Boudicca will undergo a more extensive 13-day refurbishment in spring 2018, entering dry dock on 16th March 2018, before leaving from Dover on 29th March 2018 on a five-night D1804 ‘Mystery Cruise’.

 

In 2018/19 Fred. Olsen’s fleet of four smaller, more intimate cruise ships will be visiting no fewer than 228 destinations in 73 countries around the globe, covering 91 areas of scenic cruising, from the UK departure ports of Southampton, Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh (Rosyth).

 

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.fredolsencruises.com or call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm; Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 10am – 4pm).

 

To find out more about Blohm+Voss, go to www.blohmvoss.com

World War One Centenary Cruise

Departs Southampton 8th November 2018,

7 nights Braemar  •  M1828  •  Prices from £799 (cruise only)

 

Visit France and Belgium on a very special seven night sailing specifically timed to commemorate the centenary of World War One ending. Each destination on this emotive itinerary has been included to offer you opportunities to pay your respects to the fallen at infamous battlefields, fascinating museums and iconic memorials.

 

After a short sail along the English Channel from Southampton, Braemar will call first into Dunkirk. As the site of one of World War Two’s most famous events, this pretty commune features a number of museums offering an in-depth look into French wartime history. Situated close to Belgium, Dunkirk is also ideally placed for tours to Ypres, which was reduced to rubble in World War One. Perhaps cross the border and visit the Great War battlefields; take a moment at the Menin Gate Memorial, where the Last Post is played every evening as a mark of respect; and learn about Belgium’s role in World War One at the superb In Flanders Fields Museum. Ypres is also within reach of Ghent, while Mons  – a major World War One battleground and the site where the first WWI Victoria Crosses were handed out – and the Belgian capital are short journeys away too. You’ll dock in Ghent for a full day on 11th November, offering you the chance to head to Brussels and be part of the annual Remembrance Sunday commemoration.

 

It’s also possible to tour to Brussels from Antwerp, although if you’re prepared to venture slightly further afield it’s well worth heading to Liège. This historic city is where the opening engagement between the Germans and Belgians in World War One took place and the ruined Fort de Loncin – the only fort not to surrender to the German advances – is a must-visit. Alternatively, if you prefer to stay in pretty Antwerp, be sure to wander the pretty cobbled streets and take in the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the legendary diamond district and the abundance of chocolate shops. Returning to France, Braemar’s final stop is Boulogne-sur-Mer, the closest port to the Somme and the exceptional Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Thiepval features a fascinating visitor centre and museum dedicated to remembering the brave soldiers that lost their lives in the fierce battles of the Somme. Within Boulogne there’s much to discover too, including the gothic church of St Nicholas, the medieval castle and the 12th century, UNESCO-listed belfry.

 

For further information on this cruise visit the website at www.fredolsencruises.com

WWI