Cruising is one of the widest ranging categories of leisure activity and, put simply, there’s a cruise option for every taste and budget. At the Cruise lounge, we’ve done them all and have the knowledge and personal experience to guide you in selecting a cruise option. Here’s a summary of the various categories available, so why not come in to 70 High St Berwick and explore your world of cruising?
Want to experience remote coastline, polar regions or get up close to nature? Then adventure cruising is for you. Here’s a quick guide to what’s available.
Adventure cruising has its roots deep in the human psyche. It stems from our innate desire to inquire, explore and expand the boundaries of our environment. One could name great navigators such as Magellan, Cook, La Perouse and Pytheas as some of the best known “adventure cruisers”.
The 21st-century adventure cruiser, however, is transported in vastly different vessels to those great adventurers. Gone are the days of deprivation, scurvy and mythical sea monsters. These days you sail with state-of-the-art satellite navigation, first-rate medical facilities, gourmet cuisine and comfortable bunks.
Just as cruise travel is enjoying a healthy resurgence, adventure cruising, or expedition cruising as it is also called, is booming. This tallies with recent studies that indicate travellers are more in search of “experience-driven travel”. But how do you tell an adventure or expedition cruise from the regular fun-afloat type? The following is a list of qualities to watch for:
- Products driven by the destination and experience rather than the allure or cachet of a particular vessel.
- Fewer passengers, typically less than 500, but often as few as a dozen. This enables operators to better deliver a more personal and fulfilling experience.
- Smaller vessels capable of navigating narrow and shallow waterways inaccessible to regular cruise ships.
- Flexible and adjustable itineraries to take into account changing conditions and opportunities.
- An extensive shore excursion program, often with a choice of several disembarkations per day.
- Destinations often have little or no tourism infrastructure and focus instead on natural, cultural and ecological attractions.
- Cruise crew includes lecturers drawn from academia and science who are able to impart an enriching interpretation during the voyage.
- Premium pricing.
From onboard water parks to rock schools, storytelling sessions to pizza parties, family cruises offer a dizzy array of non-stop fun.
Cruise lines are welcoming families with open arms and the result is a win-win situation for you and your family.
The beauty of a cruise with your children is that you can fall asleep having savoured the sites of one magical destination and wake up in another, with no stress, no need to panic about getting from A to B, and no listening to repeated pleadings of ‘are we there yet?’ in the family car.
With prices covering accommodation, childcare, food and entertainment, a family cruise really can be excellent value.
FIRST TIME CRUISERS
Thinking about taking a cruise holiday but just not sure if cruising is for you, the best and only way to find out is by actually taking a cruise. Most people who take a cruise for the first time get hooked, pardon the pun, but cruising is an affordable, fun and relaxing way to enjoy a holiday with family and friends.
Surprising, most people find that the ships are not as crowded, the food pretty fab and you don’t have to wait in line for anything, except maybe to get on the ship!
If you have ever contemplated taking a cruise with extended family, several of your best friends or for a corporate event then a group program will be of benefit for you.
A group program locks in many benefits, from locking in pricing, cabins and departures dates to added extras such credits to use for various on board purchases or activities, sail away parties and facilities to hold your functions or corporate events in private. Most cruiselines will secure a group if you book more than 8 or more twin cabins.
Cruising is a fantastic way to spend your honeymoon, if you can imagine taking your favourite resort to your favourite destinations then that is what cruising gives you, cruising on beautiful ships to exotic and unique destinations gives you the best of both worlds.
Most cruiselines embrace the newly married and offer fantastic little extras that you would not normally get, from those coveted tables for two to fresh flowers and Champagne for which, on most lines, you’ll have to pay.
What’s the best bet for your honeymoon? It depends. Before honing in on a romantic honeymoon cruise, it’s important to figure out what type of honeymoon you want. Are you the active, outdoorsy types? Do you prefer a low-key on board ambience? Are you luxury-seekers, or do you prefer more informal and relaxed surrounding and age matters, too. While most honeymooners have tied the knot at ages ranging from 20-something to 30-something, there are also plenty of choice options for more mature folks. Late-in-life nuptials deserve celebrations, too!
We have seen the evolution of how people have travelled to see the world to learn about cultures, people and history, to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of natures’ wonders, or to share an adventure with a loved one or family.
How you travel is just as important as where you travel, and luxury cruiselines have evolved to offer a comfort and elegance that you have become accustomed to. Most luxury cruises offer large cabins with butler service, all-inclusive cruise fares which include your onboard dining and facilities, shore or port excursions, taxes, gratuities, insurance coverage, etc. There are fewer hidden onboard expenses which makes it a worry-free travel experience for the individual.
Luxury cruiselines offers the discerning guest the privileges and customs of cruising of yesteryear in new and modern surroundings.
Repositioning cruises are a fantastic way to travel between cities or countries, most cruiselines reposition some of their fleet to cater for the demand in certain areas of the world during certain times during the cruising season.
As these are one way journeys you will find that these sailings extremely good value and if you have the flexibility to fly in and out of different cities, this is one of the great cruise experiences.
Some of the popular reposition cruises are transatlantic crossing, transpacific Crossing, Alaska Season and Europe (Mediterranean) to Asia.
River Cruising is life in the slow lane – watching towns and villages, mountains and monuments drift by in a peaceful, adult environment. Many people choose to holiday this way each year – it’s easy to see why. Cruising rivers and inland waterways offers a unique insight into countries and cultures, river ships are totally geared up for viewing the passing landscapes. Most have large, eye-level picture windows and sail by day at a leisurely speed, making this a wonderful way to unwind with inland waterways being usually smooth and calm.
Ships usually dock onto a jetty right in the centre of the towns and cities giving passengers time to explore. Many head off for the evening to find restaurants and theatres, but those who stay onboard will find most ships have excellent restaurants and tasteful entertainment.
The long, narrow shape of most river ships usually means fewer cabin choices, most offer outwards facing with either balconies or large windows.
European rivers such as the Seine, Rhine, Danube and Douro are the most-loved river cruises; further afield the Nile river cruise is possibly the best way to travel between the sights of ancient Egypt, China’s Yangtze is a must for anyone visiting the country, let’s not forget the mighty Mississippi with all its scenic beauty and raw culture, and we’ve noticed the Russian waterways are becoming increasingly popular.
Many cruise lines are recognising the large market of singles cruises and are catering to them in new and interesting ways.
Single cruisers can benefit from a selection of activities geared around the single traveller including meet and greets and special singles cocktail parties and can of course participate in all planned on-board entertainment and shore excursions.
Most cruise lines assign dining room seating, which makes it much easier for single cruisers to meet new people. At certain times of the year, many cruise lines will offer special discounts for single travellers. And others will give solo travellers the opportunity to share with a fellow single traveller.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the first cruise line to devote an entire area of the ship to solo travellers. The new Norwegian Epic has an area of the ship with cabins designed for solo travellers. The cabins are arranged around a bar and lounge area that is exclusively reserved for passengers in those cabins which encourage passengers to meet their fellow solo travellers. So popular is the concept that NCL report that the solo cabins are the first to sell. This feature will be expanded on the new Norwegian Breakaway.
Just because you’ve reached a certain age does not mean you can’t enjoy a fun cruise holiday. More and more cruise ships are catering for senior travellers. Whether you’re a couple or travelling solo, cruises can be as relaxed or active as you desire. You don’t necessarily have to travel on a dedicated seniors cruise, you can just choose the activities on an open-aged cruise that interest you.
If you like the idea of a children-free quiet haven, a dedicated seniors cruise might be the choice for you. You’ll be able to mingle with travellers of a similar age and interests. It’s never too late to start cruising, with many passengers embarking on their first cruise after they are 55.