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What to Do in Singapore

clock 14th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Singapore’s colourful history means a fusion of cultures have influenced the country, and made it the unique destination that it is today. Its ever-changing nature has caused it to appear something of a mystery to many people, and we think the best way to begin to uncover and understand it is to explore both the popular and the lesser known spots.

As a popular port of call on many cruise itineraries, Singapore is probably more reachable than many people realise. Whether stopping here during an Asia cruise for a few hours or a few days, when it comes to planning your stay, our list of top things to do is a great place to start.

1. Try a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in Raffles Court

Raffles Court is a truly majestic hotel that dates back to 1887. It has hosted a plethora of historical figures including Charlie Chaplin and Rudyard Kipling, and is said to be the origin of gin-based cocktail, the Singapore Sling. The drink is thought to have been created in 1915, by a bar tender named Ngiam Tong Boon in the hotel’s Long Bar.

2. See some incredible animals

The Singapore Zoo is home to almost 3000 creatures, with everything from elephants, white tigers, and monkeys, to naked mole rats. Arguably one of the most ethical zoos in the world, the animals each have ample space, and the ability to roam free in some cases. For a more unusual experience, Singapore also boasts a Night Safari. This is a separate attraction to the zoo, and allows guests to see animals during the night while riding trams through the centre.

3. Eat local!

As a Southeast Asian country, Singapore can certainly compete with its neighbours when it comes to cuisine. There are so many choices ranging the whole culinary scale, from high end Michelin star restaurants to tiny carts selling street food – or hawker food as it’s known locally. You can even find the best of both worlds in Chinatown, with ‘Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle’ – a Michelin-starred street food vendor.

Our Commercial Manager Callum Buchanan feels that Singaporean food is really something special:

“Whenever I’m telling people about my time in Singapore the very first subject I talk about is the food. You’ll be blown away by the vast array of dining choices; I especially recommend ‘Mod Sin’ cuisine, simply meaning Modern Singaporean.”

4. See the Singapore Grand Prix

Combine your holiday with the Formula 1 racing schedule, and be a part of the brilliant experience that is the Singapore Grand Prix. With most activity taking place during the night, the atmosphere in the streets of Marina Bay is undoubtedly infectious and exciting. Find out more about the Singapore F1 Grand Prix and other F1 cruise holidays.

5. Stroll through stunning and tranquil gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and is home to hundreds of different species. Visitors will find a spectacular rainforest quarter, the National Orchid Garden, pretty sparkling lakes, and more. Or, Gardens by the Bay offers an altogether more futuristic space, boasting extraordinary features such an aerial walkway, modern sculptures, and technological tree-shaped gardens among others.

Callum rates Singapore very highly as a holiday destination:

“Singapore is such an amazing city full of culture and energy, and I guarantee you’ll leave Singapore richer in life and you’ll be planning your next visit before you have even left!”

Might this be the next destination for you? Find out more about Singapore cruises.



The World’s Most Instagrammable Locations

clock 18th April 2017 | comment0 Comments

There’s nothing more exciting than uploading a few holiday snaps to snaz up your Instagram feed - shots of beautiful blue skies, exotic beaches, world famous landmarks and not to mention, those jaw-droppingly gorgeous backdrops for all your selfies. The right shots can boost your Instagram profile in an instant, and make you the envy of all your friends.

To find out just how big of a deal posting a holiday picture is when away, we conducted primary research and found out the following:

• The average person posts around two pictures per day when on a trip

• Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for sharing content whilst away

• People’s main intentions for posting when abroad are to keep friends/family up-to-date, to document memories, and to make others jealous

 

We then wanted to determine where in the world the most famous Instagram locations are situated, and where you should be heading for the most popular posts.

During our research to uncover the world’s most Instagrammable locations, we were delighted to see many popular cruising destinations feature so highly on the list. And with a team that has cruised far and wide, we definitely agree that we have even snapped a few of these hotspots ourselves.

 

Top 5 most Instgrammed cities in the world

  1. New York
  2. Dubai
  3. LA
  4. Barcelona
  5. Tokyo

 

Which landmarks get the most likes?

The most photographed setting, on both Instagram and Facebook feeds, for each of these 5 cities were the respective famous landmarks in each location.

new york skyline iphone photo

The research found that the neon lights of Times Square make it the most instagrammed location in the world, with a staggering 2 posts every single minute from the bustling hub of New York City. Closely behind was the impressive Empire State Building, with the instantly recognisable Brooklyn Bridge coming in third, securing a firm position for New York in the rankings.

Dubai’s stunning Burj Khalifa came in 4th place, with 757 check ins every 24hours, commonly accompanied by the hashtag #Dubai. The iconic ‘Atlantis’ also made the top 10, coming in 6th place.

burj khalifa dubai

In 5th place was the melting Gaudi masterpiece in Barcelona that is the Sagrada Familia, which has 32 check ins every hour. The Spanish city was also found to be home to some other “must snap” spots, with Park Guell and the Noucamp also featuring in the top 10.

Bathing in the milky blue waters of Iceland’s beautiful blue lagoon made 7th in the list, with 15 check-ins per hour from the country’s ultra cool capital, Reykjavik.

blue lagoon iceland

 

Hashtags

We all know that when it comes to getting those all-important ‘likes’, using the right hashtag is important. The holiday hashtag #travel was used 163,552,733 times by people on holiday, with the specific country’s name being the top hashtag across all top cities.

Our research found that people love posting to their Insta whilst on holiday, uploading on average 2 pics per day, and making people jealous was one of the main motivations for posting. The top reason people said they posted so many pics, however, was to document the great memories they were making as they jetted around the globe.

 

Get social with us and share your favourite holiday snaps! Follow @iglucruise on Instagram and like us on Facebook



Find your American Dream with a cruise and stay

clock 27th October 2016 | comment0 Comments

carnival cruise line

When it comes to bucket list holiday destinations, North America often ranks quite highly, and with a collection of cities and states offering a wide range of experiences it’s easy to see why. From the east coast to the west or the deep south there is something special and unique about each place with different foods, dialects, traditions and even climate. Find your American dream with a cruise and stay in one of North America’s captivating cities, here’s our top 5 for starters!

Orlando – For Fun

orlando

Home to world renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World®, Universal Studios Orlando®, SeaWorld® and more, Orlando is an epicentre of fun. A destination bursting at the seams with activities and things to do, Orlando is ideal for families, couples, singles and just about anyone looking for a good time. Full days and even overnight stays can be enjoyed in the theme parks whilst outside the magical walls there are also opportunities for wildlife encounters, sporting events, thrilling adventures with zip lines and Broadway style musicals.

Miami – For Sun

miami

Miami sits on Florida’s south eastern tip and dazzles in the light of America’s sunshine state. Good vibes and laid back lifestyles are unavoidable here with plenty of beaches and reasons to be outside. Cuban influences add some Caribbean soul and the achingly cool Art Deco district sets an iconic scene for great holiday snaps. South Beach is a real buzz of activity with entertainers, skaters and rollerblades and when the sun sets the neon nightlife wakes up for those inviting Miami nights.

New York – For Shopping

new york

Everything seems grander in New York City and the same can definitely be said for the shopping. Whether it’s the glowing luxury designer boutiques on Fifth Avenue, huge department stores like Macy’s or the thrift shops and flea markets of Brooklyn, you’ll want to set some spending money aside for your time here. Find fashion, art, technology e.t.c and fuel your days with delicious dishes from the famous New York delis.

Las Vegas - For Nightlife

las vegas

Las Vegas stays awake for all night party fun and provides a fantasy land for hedonistic escapism. Sin City sits in the Nevada desert calling all night owls for endless entertainment and after dark amusement. The extensive hotels and brightly lit casinos are buzzing day and night with attractions, live shows and things to do. Whilst the nightclubs come in all shapes and sizes from stunning rooftop locations to poolside parties.

Memphis – For Music

memphis

A stay in Memphis is a must for any music fans passing through the deep south of North America. Known as the home of blues music and the birthplace for rock’n roll, Memphis holds amazing histories and to this day is still a major music centre. Fans of Elvis will love a trip to Graceland or a visit to Sun Records, the main source of inspiration for the popular West End production - Million Dollar Quartet.

Find your American dream with a Carnival cruise and stay holiday.



Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay

clock 23rd September 2016 | comment0 Comments

Reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, Castaway Cay is a private island retreat of swaying palm trees, sugar-white sandy beaches and calm turquoise waters, laden with paradise offerings and ample amenities. Enjoy the paradisiacal surroundings of your own Bahamian Island, with signature Disney Cruise Line hospitality. From the moment you step off your ship, everything you need for a perfect beach getaway is catered for; plenty of sun loungers and parasols, tasty snacks and refreshments, family-friendly entertainment, beach towels, and so much more.

©Disney. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas

 

What You Can See & Do

You’re spoilt for choice at Castaway Cay; there really is so much to see and do! Take advantage of open air BBQ dining with complimentary meals, Disney Character Greetings, complimentary childcare for children aged three through to 12, shops featuring unique Castaway Cay gifts and souvenirs, great supervised kids clubs, free tram transportation around the island, and hiking trails and biking routes. But that’s just the start of it…

Castaway Family Beach – the main beach on Castaway Cay is the perfect place for family fun. There’s always an activity of some sort going on, plus lively music and dancing. Head out into the blue lagoon and have a great time sailing, kayaking, swimming or snorkelling. At Cookie’s BBQ, tuck in to a delicious feast.

Pelican Plunge – swim from the shores to this 2,400 square-foot floating platform. Take a ride down one of the two splash-tastic slides and get soaked by the huge bucket dump that sprays you with hundreds of gallons of water.

Spring-a-Leak – explore the ‘storm-ravaged’ remnants of this fun-filled water play area, spread out over 2,400 square-feet.

Gil’s Fins and Boats – don’t worry about lugging along heavy snorkelling gear with you; rent it instead. Not only that, you can also hire kayaks, paddleboats and aqua trikes.

Snorkelling Lagoon – be mesmerised by the underwater marine life just off of Castaway Family Beach. There are trails you can follow, including the Discover Trail for novices and the Explorer Trail for the more experienced snorkelers. Remember to look out for the hidden Mickey Mouse.

Scuttle’s Cove – the younger Disney guests can enjoy activities a plenty at Scuttle’s cove. Supervised by Disney counsellors, the huge 1,200 square-foot wet play area provides plenty of fun for the kids, with pop jets, geysers and bubblers only adding to the thrills.

In Da Shade Pavilion – if the sun is getting too much, retreat to this indoor haven of games and activities, such as table tennis, football table and basketball.

Serenity Bay – this adult-only oasis is reserved exclusively to those over 18 years of age. Totally unwind in a serene and tranquil environment, where open-air cabana massages, Air Bar BBQ food and frozen speciality drinks are just waiting for you.

Teen Hideout – it does exactly what it says on the tin; a place where teens can hideout and chill in their very own area of paradise. Teens 13 – 17 can lounge about carefree – without a nagging parent in sight!

©Disney. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas

 

Shore Excursions

To make the most of your time on Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line have specially selected a great selection of shore excursions to provide you and your family with some unforgettable experiences. Top tip - to avoid any disappointment, you can pre-book any port adventure 120 days before your departure. Here’s just a snippet of what you can do…

Extreme Getaway Package – recline on an inner tube, snorkel and meet stingrays in the blue lagoon, and go biking along the offshore trails.

Parasailing – take part in a thrilling aerial adventure and fly high above Castaway Cay.

Watercraft Ski adventure – be in control of your own WaveRunner watercraft on this intense guided tour, whilst learning all about the marine life and history of the area.

Abaco Backcountry Fishing Adventure – head out to South Abaco for a special fishing trip, where you’ll enjoy some catch-and-release fun catching bonefish, tarpon, permit and barracuda.

Glass Bottom Boat Scenic Voyage – hop in to the glass-bottom boat for a crystal-clear view of Castaway Cay’s underwater marine life.

Know Before You Go

Be prepared before you go to Castaway Cay. The language spoken here is English, with many of the English-speaking Disney Crew Members living on the island.

When paying for things on Castaway Cay, you can use US dollars, but you're more likely to use your stateroom keys as a form of payment, just like you would use a credit card.

You’ll even find a Post Office on the island, operated by the Bahamian authorities. It isn’t open every day, but guests can still mail their letters to loved ones back home by using the drop box outside the Post Office.

©Disney. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas



Top 10 things to do in Hong Kong

clock 23rd August 2016 | comment0 Comments

Updated September 2017

Best known for its spectacular skyline, Hong Kong has many other surprises up its sleeve. With Chinese traditions, colonial roots, and stylish modern culture all entwined in this sparkling island metropolis, there really is so much to see and do - it’s no wonder we include Hong Kong at the beginning and end of many of our asia cruises.

Lantau Island

Home to the Big Buddha and the beautiful Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island is a haven of attractions; catch the Ngong Ping 360 Cables Car for a birds-eye view of the island, hike the trails that lead up to the scenic Sunset Peak, and walk along the golden sands of Cheung Sha Beach; Hong Kong’s longest beach. In the centre of the island find the Tian Tan Buddha - or Big Buddha as it's more typically known. The magnificent bronze spectacle stands a whopping 34 metres high, and faces north to watch over the People's Republic of China.

Star Ferry

If there is one thing you should do in Hong Kong, it’s taking the Star Ferry between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. The route provides a great viewpoint of the city’s famous skyline and Victoria Harbour. At night, catch the ferry around 8pm for a great view of Tsim Sha Tsui's daily Symphony of Lights spectacle.

Old Town Central 

Immerse yourself in authentic Hong Kong culture in Old Town Central, where old traditions and evidence of British colonialism meet exciting modern innovations and attitudes. Residents and visitors to this vibrant area will attest to its infectious, energetic atmosphere, which is no doubt the reason behind its popularity. Spend at least an afternoon exploring the boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and galleries, and discover all sorts of surprises.

Victoria Peak

From the top of Victoria Peak you can see Hong Hong’s striking skyscrapers, Victoria Harbour, and all the way across to the green hills of the New Territories. Ride the Peak Tram, a unique experience in itself, up to The Peak, and if you're feeling energetic you can walk a scenic route up to a higher point, for the optimum view of the city.

Temple Street Night Market

Once the sun sets in Hong Kong, the traders are out in full force with their spectacular array of handmade goods, antiques, and delicious street food, with opera singers and fortune tellers keeping the crowds entertained. The market is one of Hong Kong’s most popular street bazaars, located in the heart of Kowloon rather than Hong Kong Island itself.

Man Mo Temple

Close to Victoria Harbour on Hong Kong Island is Man Mo Temple. Built in 1847 this Taoist temple was designed to pay homage to the Gods of Literature (Man) and War (Mo), and sits in a larger complex which houses other Buddhist and Taoist places of worship. The temple is known for incense coils which hang off the walls and ceilings, and its stunning decoration.

Junk Cruise

The Junk boats of Hong Kong have become a representation of the old traditional values that is still evident today in this now cosmopolitan metropolis. Originally used by fishermen, the striking red sails stand out from the backdrops of the modern city skyline. Make sure to take a Junk cruise to properly admire the spectacular setting of Victoria Harbour.

Clock Tower

The Clock Tower is an iconic structure in Hong Kong, originally erected as part of the Kowloon to Canton Railway. The beautiful red brick and granite tower is now preserved as a Declared Monument, and serves as a poignant landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through to begin their new lives in Hong Kong.

Lamma Island

Called home by a wealth of multinational expats, Lamma Island has a unique atmosphere different to any other in Hong Kong. It is calm, friendly, easy to explore, and because of its small size and helpful community you can feel confident that taking a wrong turn here will only enhance your experience of the island. Chill out in one of the book cafes or pretty seafood restaurants, or walk one of the trails for some beautiful views of beaches, forestry, and pretty hillside homes. Simply hop on a ferry from Hong Kong's Central Pier to get here.

Tai O Fishing Village

This small and unique area is maybe quite unexpected after seeing the rest of Hong Kong. Situated in the Northwest corner of Lantau Island, Tai O is full of pretty homes which are held up above the water on stilts, in which the Tanka community have lived for generations. Explore the winding streets and fishing markets, where you can pick up a range of treats such as the popular shrimp paste - a potent sauce used to flavour all sorts of dishes.

Visit and explore Hong Kong with our handpicked selection of Asia Cruises that feature Hong Kong.



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