Azamara Club Cruises
www.azamaraclubcruises.co.uk 0844 493 4016
Azamara offer upscale boutique cruises within the Royal Caribbean Cruise portfolio. Azamara prides itself on offering guests two or three nights in ports such as St Petersburg, Sorrento, Venice and Monte Carlo. Its two ships, Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey, take just 650 passengers each and are able to enter smaller harbours. Every cruise has a ‘destination specialist’ on board to give in-depth information about the ports of call.
In December Quest will sail from Singapore to Hong Kong and in January it sets out for a 14-night Chinese New Year voyage. In the spring it will sail from Dubai to Athens. In April Journey will make a transatlantic voyage and a seven-night cruise of the Adriatic coast.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
www.fredolsencruises.co.uk 01473 742424
Selected Fred Olsen cruises feature the ArtsClub, a programme of special interest cruises, hosted by lecturers from university professors to diplomatic service personnel. They may not be household names, but all ArtsClub lecturers have a proven track record in their subjects, as diverse as gardening, watercolour painting, dance, music and even computers for beginners. There is no charge for particpation and passengers are free to dip in and out as they choose.
A typical cruise might be aboard the 804-passenger Black Watch to Greenland and Iceland. On board the 15-night cruise, the ArtsClub offers lectures on all aspects of photography. From £1,649 per person.
www.noble-caledonia.co.uk 020 7752 0090
In December, Noble Caldeonia is offering its Christmas ‘Power and Glory of the Roman Empire’ cruise, an 11-night voyage aboard MS Island SkyOne, from Malta to the Levant, including the Libyan coast. Nicholas Reed will lecture, as the ship voyages around the Eastern Mediterranean, visiting some of the most important historical sites, including Leptis Magna in Libya. Reed will be on hand to share his knowledge of the sites, dating from the founding of Rome in the eighth century BC to the defeat of the last Roman Emperor at Constantinople in 1453.
Also in December, the 120 passenger MS Clipper Odyssey will sail from the Bali Sea to the South China Sea by way of the Flores Sea, the Makassar Straight, Celebes Sea and Sulu Sea. The 17-night cruise will pass by these remote and beautiful islands and will end in Kuala Lumpur to see in the New Year. From £5,595 per person.
www.swanhellenic.com 0844 871 4603
In November the beautifully preserved MS Minerva will depart from Malta for its Roman Africa cruise, on which passengers will learn about the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs and Crusaders who have sailed the route before. Minerva will stop at the elegant walled cities of Rhodes and Valletta, the ancient Greek city of Agrigento in Sicily, the ninth century medina at Sousse and ancient Paphos in Cyprus.
Prominent historian Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe will be on board, enlightening passengers on the history of these Mediterranean countries as well as discussing his numerous excavations and work as president of the Society of Antiquities. Sir Barry has been professor of European archaeology at Oxford University since 1972. Also onboard will be Christopher Bradley, a lecturer specialising in North Africa and the Middle East and the celebrated pianist Ferenc Matrai. From £2,100 per person.
www.titanhitours.co.uk 0800 988 5858
Titan HiTours, renowned for its specialist escorted tours, are now offering cruises on the river Nile in 2011. The 12-day Cairo, Alexandria & Nile Cruise itinerary combines a thorough exploration of these two historic cities with a seven-night cruise between Aswan and Luxor. There is also the shorter eight-day ‘Egypt’s Timeless Riches’ itinerary. From £1,395 per person and £995 per person respectively.
Voyages to Antiquity
www.voyagestoantiquity.com 0845 4379737
Voyages to Antiquity is a new cruise line, specialising in the history and culture of the Mediterranean. It aims to open a window into the origins and delights of Western civilisation. These expertly planned voyages are not just about history but also about experiencing the flavours and scent of the Mediterranean through its cuisine, wine and beautiful scenery.
The Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship that is being rebuilt to cruise in the central and southern Mediterranean. Originally a mid-size vessel carrying up to 570 passengers, the new generous suites, junior suites and staterooms, many with balconies, means she now accommodates fewer than 380 guests.
Voyages to Antiquity offers a range of 15-day voyages. In September the ‘Sicily is the Key to Everything’ itinerary between Athens and Rome includes Nauplia, Taormina, Syracuse, Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte, Palermo, Cefalu, Paestum, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Capri. In October its voyage, centring on Pompei, will leave Rome for Venice via Pompei, Herculaneum, Paestum, Cefalu, Palermo, Segesta and Selinunte, Agrigento, Syracuse, Taormina, Dubrovnik and Split. Another October itinerary, colourfully entitled ‘God Desired to Crown his Work and Thus Created the Kornati Islands’ will leave from Venice for Athens via Rovinj, Losinj, Zadar, Split, Trogir, the Islands of Korcula and Hvar, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Ithaca, Itea, Corinth, Nauplia, Mycenae, Epadaurus and the Corinth Canal. From £2,295 per person.
Voyages of Discovery
www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk 0844 822 0802
In January, Voyages of Discovery will leave Buenos Aires and following in the ‘Wake of the Beagle’. This voyage will cruise past the Falkland Islands before rounding the tip of the continent to Patagonia. Guests will experience the kaleidoscope of stunning natural beauty that leads the cruise to Valparaiso and Chile’s capital, Santiago. From £2,599 per person.
In the summer Voyages of Discovery will be sailing from Harwich and back to the White Sea and Archangel, cruising among the islands, inlets and yawning fjords characterising Norway’s coastline. Guests will experience the White Nights of summer solstice as they round the North Cape to follow in the wake of Arctic convoys to Russia and the White Sea.
North Atlantic voyager and natural scientist Peter Mawby will be on board to discuss wildlife that will be found on this trip. Historian Professor Ian Beckett will be guest lecturer on the first world war. From £1,899 per person.
www.windstarcruises.co.uk 020 7292 2369
Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their unpretentious luxury and their ability to visit hidden harbours and secluded coves. Carrying between 148 and 312 guests, the luxurious ships cruise to nearly 50 countries calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas.
This January, Windstar Signature Collection Host Series is offering guests the opportunity to learn gardening secrets from award-winning British garden designer Anthea Guthrie on a seven-night Caribbean voyage onboard Wind Surf, that takes 312 guests and has deluxe, oceanview staterooms, four restaurants, two pools and a spa along with unlimited yoga and pilates classes.
Guthrie will also host an exclusive Windstar shore excursion to the Soufrière Estate Botanical Gardens on the west coast of St Lucia.
Wind Surf’s seven-night voyage will depart from Barbados calling at Bequia, St George’s in Grenada, Mayreau, Portsmouth, Dominica, Pigeon Island and St Lucia. From £2,845 per person.
National Cruise Week
The Discover Cruises website is a one stop shop for everything cruise, whether it’s for a family travelling for the first time, a couple looking for adventure, or a solo traveller in need of a relaxing spa break. Offering ultra luxury, deluxe, river and specialist collections, Discover Cruises gives visitors access to the latest on destinations, what’s new on board and a wave of exciting and innovative excursions and activities.
For further information please visit www.discovercruises.co.uk