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Top 5 Destinations For Winter Sun

clock 16th July 2014 | comment0 Comments

Dark mornings, ice covering the drive way and freezing temperatures that have us wrapped up so tight we can barely move – welcome to winter in England. It seems to come round quicker every year and we dread the long winter season that has us feeling dreary and remembering the sun as only a distant memory.

I know summer has only just began and I am already thinking about where I can get my sun fix when the bleak weather sets in. Some great winter sun deals are starting to circulate in the office, so it is the perfect time to start thinking about a winter break.

I am sure you would agree there is nothing better than jetting off to somewhere hot when everyone else is having to turn on their electric blanket to recover from constant sneezing and dreading the thought of having to step outside. However, whilst the ice thickens in England, elsewhere in the world the sun is at its hottest so here are my top 5 places to cruise to during the winter:

Florida

Known as the sunshine state of America, Florida is one of the friendliest places I have ever been. It is not only the sun that shines bright all day here, the people are extremely welcoming and invite you to enjoy everything this exciting wonderland has to offer.

With miles of sun-soaked beaches, water-front restaurants and an array of unique attractions, Florida is the ultimate adventure playground. With most cruise lines basing their ships in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Miami during the winter you will be able to choose from an extensive range of different itineraries and ships.

Whether your cruise starts or finishes here you can spend a few days enjoying the fun way of life lived here. Enjoy a day at Miami Aquarium watching incredible shows featuring killer whales and dolphins or take a trip to the Everglades where you will glide over the swamps in a hover boat whilst learning about the distinct wildlife living here.

If it is just the sun you desire, Florida is your perfect haven with its long stretches of heavenly beaches that can reach temperatures of up to 32°c during the winter.

The average temperature in Florida during November – February is 29°c.

See our: Florida Cruise Deals

The Caribbean

Defining paradise, the Caribbean islands are the most blissful destinations in the world that guarantee to take you on the ultimate escape. Picture-perfect beaches with pure white sand, crystal clear waters and swaying palms make these islands the most desired cruise destinations in the world.

Boasting year round hot temperatures, the long days of sunshine will enable you to soak up the scorching temperatures to your hearts content. For the more adventurous you can try snorkelling, para-sailing or jet skiing around these intreguing islands.

A Caribbean cruise will include stops at islands including the Bahamas, St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua. Although all of the islands may look the same, they all have their own unique character that make every stop a new experience.

Known to many as 'the friendly islands' the locals invite you to explore their home and experience everything they have to offer as well as try their traditional dishes and island cooked food.

The average temperature in the Caribbean during November – February is 32°c.

See our: Caribbean Cruise Deals

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands entice every visitor with their breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches and tropical way of life. From indulging on tapas on a rooftop restaurant to sunbathing on the heavenly beaches, a trip here will ensure you completely forget about winter.

Tenerife will amaze you with its backdrop of soaring mountains lining the pristine beaches, perfect for lazy days in the sun or family beach activities. Along the way, Lanzarote invites you to explore its volcanoes and black sand beaches. When it’s time to unwind Gran Canaria is bursting with quaint fishing villages and attractive harbours that create the perfect scene for switching off.

For the active cruisers, these islands are home to an array of memorable adventures. From extraordinary snorkelling, exploring the iconic National Parks or rock climbing up one of the famous mountains, there is no shortage of adrenalin-pumping explorations to be had here.

The average temperature in the Canaries during November – February is 24°c.

See our: Canary Island Deals

Dubai

A world of its own, Dubai stands ready to show off its luxurious and extravagent lifestyle to everyone. Nowhere in the world exploits the diversity that Dubai does, one minute you are in the middle of an empty dessert, the next you are surrounded by towering buildings. A cocktail of amazing sights, every time you turn you are faced with something that stuns you once again.

Don your explorers hat as you experience adventure after adventure with everything this extraordinary city has to offer. Go skiing in a shopping mall, slide under shark infested waters at the Atlantis waterpark or ride a camel through the enchanted desserts. Not many places in the world can offer the variety of excursions that Dubai does.

As evening sets in the city turns into a magical wonderland with fountain shows, vibrant nightclubs and award-winning beach front restaurants serving up some of the most exquisite dishes you will ever taste.

The average temperature in Dubai during November – February is 32°c.


See our: Dubai Cruise Deals

Hawaii

There is nowhere else in the world quite like Hawaii, this tropical paradise will excite all of your senses as you are welcomed into this fresh, tranquil haven. Crystal clear waters line the dramatic mountains and lush forests, making this island a blissful retreat. 

The soothing sounds of volcanoes bubbling away combined with swaying palms are a recipe for the ultimate winter getaway. Along with hot temperatures and warm waters, it has everything you dream of during winter.

It is not only the scenery that is beautiful here, the locals love to share their lifestyle with you. Encouraging you to join in traditional Hawaiian activities and try their iconic island cuisine, it will not be long before you are in full 'Aloha' mode!

This colourful island is home to an array of some of the world’s most intriguing National Parks and plant life. Even if you plan to go on a relaxing getaway, I would definitely recommend a stroll around one of these parks.

The average temperature in the Hawaii during November – February is 26°c.

See our: Hawaii Cruise Deals


By Sally Grimes



Time For a Hoʻolauleʻa - The Festivals of Honolulu

clock 5th June 2014 | comment0 Comments

There are some very good reasons why the Hawaiian islands are some of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, and those reasons are reflected in the islands’ many festivals. Colorful, joyous celebrations which welcome in both Hawaiian and haole revellers alike, Hawaii’s best festivals include a range of things to do for visitors both young and old; from stately parades to all-night parties, whole cities put everyday life on hold to celebrate the beauty and history of these remarkable islands. Although there are fantastic events across each of the islands, Oahu - and the state capital of Honolulu in particular - is home to some of the most famous and exciting. Visitors quickly succumb to the city’s beauty and hospitality even on the calmest days, so imagine the scene when the city shows up to celebrate; there’s nothing else like it in the world.

Honolulu Festival

For three days in March (2015’s will be held from March 6-8), Honolulu descends into revelry. Parades, performances, and fireworks all draw people from across the islands - and around the world - to celebrate Hawaii’s diversity and its deeply-felt connections to the other countries and islands of the Pacific Rim. These connections are seen from the moment you step off your cruise ship - Hawaii is a rich blend of Asian, South Pacific, and American influences, and by taking part in this 21 year-old festival, visitors are able to immerse themselves in Hawaiian life and culture.

Take the famous performances, for example. Examples of the traditional dances of Hawaii and other Pacific islands are available everywhere from shopping malls to luaus, but the Honolulu Festival is the place to be if you want to see Alaskan Native dancing and Japanese samurai performances, as well as the brightest talents of the islands showcasing the hula and other Hawaiian dances. Singing, drumming, and even acrobatic performances all have their place here as well, celebrating the diversity of Hawaii’s thriving culture.

Of course, nobody can visit the Honolulu Festival without taking in the Grand Parade, traditionally held on the last day of the festival, followed by a spectacular fireworks show. For four hours, the parade winds through the streets of Waikiki, treating everyone to some of the highlights of Hawaii’s heritage and diverse culture. Richly decorated floats, marching bands, dance troupes representing not only Hawaii but all the cultures of the Pacific islands, and other traditional performances from across the Pacific Rim will keep revellers of all ages enchanted and entertained until the sun goes down. Alongside the parade route you’ll find games, food booths, and much more, ensuring that by the time you reach Waikiki beach (or your ship) for the fireworks show, you’ll have had your fill of fun and excitement.

King Kamehameha Day and Floral Parade

On June 11 every year, the Hawaiian islands come together to celebrate Kamehameha the Great. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, King Kamehameha united the islands, preserved their independence, and helped to establish their place in the growing Pacific trade routes. For over 140 years, Kamehameha Day has brought Hawaiians together in celebration of their unique history and heritage, and the modern festival is the perfect time for visitors to take in the real Hawaii.

Although celebrations are held across the islands, the most famous festival - the King Kamehameha Floral Parade - takes place in Honolulu, Oahu. Held on the first Saturday after King Kamehameha Day, the Floral Parade will reach its 100th running in 2016, and is a much-beloved part of Oahu life. Celebrations begin with the ceremonial draping of leis on the statue of Kamehameha the Great, while leis are also placed on a Kamehameha statue located at the United States Capitol. The parade route starts at the beautiful ʻIolani Palace (open as a museum, and well worth a visit) before winding its way through Oahu and ending at Kapi’olani Park; Waikiki is one of the major hubs of activities (and easily accessible by most cruise docks), but if you’d rather watch the float away from the worst of the crowds, Ala Moana is a good compromise.

The parade itself is a wild profusion of music and color, from some of the island’s best marching bands to the intricate, spectacular floats which utilize the exotic flowers and plants found on this island paradise. Be sure to catch the traditional pa’u riders, one of the parade’s most popular sights; decorated in flowers, leis, and flowing clothes, the pa’u “royal court” of queen, princesses, and ladies-in-waiting is sight to behold. Once you’ve had your fill of flowers and music, visit Kapi’olani Park for the Hoʻolauleʻa - with arts and crafts, games, food, and even more performances, this party is the perfect way to cap off a perfect day in Oahu.

Aloha Festivals

Celebrated across the Hawaiian Islands, the Aloha Festivals - held in late September for over 60 years - are one of the most exciting times to visit Honolulu. Think of the biggest block party you’ve ever seen, and you won’t even come close; the streets fill with celebration, Hawaiians and visitors alike join together to have fun, and the soundtrack is provided by rock bands and traditional musicians. Wandering through Waikiki during the Hoʻolauleʻa, you’ll find traditional dance performances, food booths with mouth-watering offerings, the chance to make a lei of your own, and many more attractions.

Aside from the block party, the Aloha Festivals feature many other highlights as well. The festivities begin the day before the party, with the ceremonial recognition of the festival “royal court”, complete with hula, chanting, and a glimpse at Hawaii’s past. A floral parade then kicks off the next day at nine am, ten hours before the Hoʻolauleʻa. Here you’ll see pa’u riders, floats, and more music. You’ll think you’ve seen the best that Hawaii has to offer, but then the Hoʻolauleʻa will begin, and you’ll realize that there’s still a whole world of excitement left to discover in this beautiful, exciting city.



Top 10 Destinations Best Accessed On A Cruise

clock 14th November 2013 | comment0 Comments

Updated March 2017

 

With over 195 countries in the world there is so much to explore and the desire to travel is now a significant part of our lives.

People of all ages have a craving to delve into the cultures, food, lifestyle and scenery of different countries and with the travel industry continuously growing, the world is quite literally everyones oyster.

Almost every country can be accessed on a cruise and cruise lines now offer exciting and unique itineraries all over the world. With some destinations only able to be accessed on water, cruising gives you exclusive access to explore certain destinations in maximum depth.

 

Here are my top 10 destinations that are best discovered on a cruise:

 

1. The Norwegian Fjords

A place so magical that even the sun is afraid to set here, the Norwegian Fjords is an area of extreme beauty. With deep carved inlets, snow covered mountains, striking glaciers and quaint scattered villages throughout, there is nowhere else in the world quite like this. A cruise around this magical area will allow you to see some of the most captivating views, as well as stopping at iconic ports for you to get a taste of what true Nordic culture is all about.

 

Cruise to Norway

 

2. Alaska

Alaska is a haven of mystical sights and enchanted areas that have never been touched. Enter a journey of discovery as you sail through crystal glaciers and whale populated waters. This part of the world cannot be appreciated in full depth unless you experience it on a cruise as you will sail close to the incredible formations and to the vast array of wildlife.

 

Cruise to Alaska

 

3. Panama Canal

Only able to be experienced on water, the Panama Canal is regarded as one of the most fascinating creations in the world. This narrow stretch of water that connects the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean will see ships being raised over 25 metres as they pass through the gripping locks. The incredible views of lush forests, interesting wildlife and local communities you will experience here will create everlasting memories.

 

Cruise to the Panama Canal

 

4. Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands are described as some of the most stunning islands in the world and with all of them being in a close proximity of each other, makes them conveniently accessible on a cruise. An area of tropical luxury where postcard views become reality, there is nowhere else in the world quite like the Hawaiian islands. With a combination of tropical rainforests, crystal clear waters and heavenly beaches, a cruise here will see you embark on a unique adventure.

 

Cruise to Hawaii

 

5. Galapagos

Situated alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are a mysterious, untouched land of extinct wildlife and incredible natural scenery. The islands are ruled by an array of unusual animal life including the giant tortoise and the land iguana. Named as a 'showcase of evolution' a cruise to this truly unique part of the world will ensure you gather life changing memories.

 

Cruise to the Galapagos Islands

 

6. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a paradise of white sandy beaches, coral gardens, incredible marine life and beautiful local towns. The combination of natural beauty and cosmopolitan style make these islands a haven of tropical adventures. A cruise here will ensure you make the most of all of the islands and enjoy the extensive range of excursions including island tours and snorkelling.

 

Cruise to the Cayman Islands

 

7. Suez Canal

Experiencing a cruise through the Suez Canal is sure to give you one of the most unique experiences of your life. Running 100 miles between the sand dunes of Sinai and the Nile River, this stretch of water will allow you to see some truly exquisite views. Deserted islands combined with the exciting sight of vast ships waiting to enter the canal at the Red Sea entrance sets up for a once in a lifetime experience.

 

Cruise to the Suez Canal

 

8. Mexican Riviera

The Mexican Riviera is known for its coastal beaches and exciting cities that scream adventure. Due to the array of different areas of Mexico to visit, seeing it on a cruise is definitely worthwhile. Mexico is packed with rich culture and is home to some of the oldest ruins in the world. With its unique combination of history, busy cities, stunning beaches and diverse cultures, this part of the world is certainly worth taking a cruise to.

 

Cruise to Mexico

 

9. The Caribbean

The Caribbean islands are the most picturesque islands in the world and it has been revealed that 8 in 10 people dream about visiting this part of the world. With over 6,000 individual islands, it is hard to decide which one to take a holiday to, exactly the reason why cruising here is your best option. Allowing you to visit multiple islands in the same week, a Caribbean cruise is a must for everyone. From the crystal clear beaches and tropical forests to the bright villages and cosmopolitan shopping areas, the Caribbean is certainly a fascinating part of the world to visit.

 

Cruise to the Caribbean

 

10. Bermuda

Bermuda is the little gem of the ocean that dominates the mysterious 'Bermuda triangle'. A cruise here will allow you to experience impressive island views as you sail in and out and upon arrival you will get to explore this picture-perfect area of stunning beaches, graceful British towns and world-class restaurants. Many cruise lines offer overnight stays in Bermuda so that guests can fully experience the true beauty of this iconic island.

 

Cruise to Bermuda

 

Explore the world over and discover exciting destinations on a world cruise. Browse and book our world cruise holidays.

More information on world cruises.

 

Related information:

Top luxury destinations you can visit by cruise.

 



By Sally Grimes



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