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River vs Ocean Cruising

9th May 2018

If you’re new to cruise, or indeed have always stuck to either river or ocean cruising, you might be curious to know more about the differences between the two. The fact is, both kinds of cruising offer some incredible opportunities, but of course there are many aspects which contrast. Find out more with our overview of river vs ocean cruising.

 

 

The Destinations Visited

There aren’t many crossovers when it comes to the destinations travelled to on river and ocean cruising. While an ocean liner can sail across the seven seas transporting you to countries and islands all over the globe, river ships traverse the world’s rivers, from The Rhine in Europe to the exotic Mekong in Southeast Asia. Usually, a river cruise will allow guests the opportunity to be in a new destination every day, with the ship sailing through the night, whereas on an ocean cruise you might find one or more sea days. So depending on whether or not you’re looking to spend time relaxing on the ship, or prefer a port-heavy itinerary, this could sway your decision.

Activities on the Ship

With the above in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that ocean liners will generally offer a lot more in the way of things to do onboard than river ships. You’ll usually find a plunge pool, gym, and possibly spa facilities on a river ship, however on an ocean cruise ship there will this plus a lot more. From F1 simulators with MSC Cruises and ice rinks with Royal Caribbean, to cookery schools and Strictly Come Dancing events with P&O Cruises, there’s no denying that ocean ships offer a lot more onboard activities. This is one aspect specifically worth considering if you’ll be cruising with children.

 

 

Atmosphere Onboard

There is a certain family-friendly, excitable atmosphere on larger, mainstream ocean cruise ships that you won’t find on a river cruise ship. With more guests, – Symphony of the Seas can hold almost 7,000 – more attractions, and larger social areas, these vessels are great for kids and those looking for fun and thrills. Alternatively, if you want to relax and soak up the surroundings and local culture, a river cruise could be the better option. With a much lower passenger-count, and often just one bar and one restaurant, the ambience on a river cruise ship is calmer and arguably more refined. Having said this there are a number of luxury ocean cruise lines which provide a similar experience.

Onboard Food and Drink

Those travelling with little ones, or foodies who enjoy plenty of choice and variation, would probably prefer an ocean cruise where dining is concerned. Some of the bigger lines offer a fantastic array of restaurants, for instance Carnival Cruises boast everything from Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que to the brilliant Dr Seuss themed Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast for kids. On a river cruise on the other hand, you’ll often get just one or maybe two restaurants, serving a small a la carte menu. While the food onboard is delectable, there is limited choice. Those with dietary requirements should mention these at the time of booking, and then again when onboard.

Entertainment on the Ship

Generally speaking, entertainment on a river cruise ship involves some unique experiences which allow the guests to become immersed in local culture. You can expect things like local musicians and dancers, or talks about upcoming destinations. These sorts of opportunities are also seen on ocean liners, however you’ll also often get some extravagant productions. Find the likes of Hairspray and Jersey Boys among other Broadway/West End style performances, and a fantastic aquatic acrobatic show with Royal Caribbean.

 

 

Conclusions

The differences between river cruising and ocean cruising can be seen as pros and cons depending on your likes and dislikes, and what you’re looking to get out of your cruise holiday. Each certainly have their merits, and while cruisers might tend to stick to one or the other, it can be refreshing and usually rewarding to try something new, so be sure to be open minded and consider all options.

On the other hand, some cruise lines offer both ocean and river cruising itineraries, ensuring you never have to choose between your favourites. With the highlights of ocean cruising on a smaller scale, more intimate-sized ship, passengers will love the best of both worlds. One of the most popular cruise lines to cater to both markets is Thomson-Marella who also operate TUI River Cruises. If you’re still unsure of what option to go with, get in touch with our expert team for more advice!


Compare a City Break to a Mini Cruise

3rd May 2018

If you’re considering a few days away somewhere, no doubt you’ve looked into the classic European city breaks; Rome, Paris, Barcelona, to name a few. But why limit yourself to just one place? Why not take in numerous destinations in comfort and style on a fabulous mini cruise.

 

 

Five Great Things about a Mini Cruise

 

There are so many advantages of choosing a mini cruise instead of a self-led city break, here are our top five;

 

  • All the food is taken care of. While of course it’s great to go out and about and sample new foods on holiday, it’s also a real comfort to know that the majority of your food and drink is readily available onboard.
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  • Staff to give you advice. Whether you want tips on the best things to see, or need help with any issues during your holiday, having crew onboard to assist you can be extremely reassuring.
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  • Good quality accommodation. With a mini cruise you can avoid all the hassle of trying to find the best places to stay in a city that suit you. You can simply choose your cabin when booking according to your needs.
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  • You don’t have to fly. There are plenty of mini cruises departing from the UK, so you can avoid losing anytime flying or navigating airports. Simply embark onto your cruise ship, check-in, and relax.
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  • Seeing multiple destinations. On a city break you generally stay in one part of a city and explore as much as you can of it. On a mini cruise you’ll usually be transported to a few different areas, in one or more countries.
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    What People Get Wrong About Mini Cruises

     

    Many holidaymakers have the wrong impression about mini-cruising, and we want to set the record straight;

     

  • It's more expensive. This simply is not the case when you’re comparing a like for like holiday (same destinations, same standard of food and accommodation). In fact it’s often the cheaper option, especially if you want to go to more than one place.
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  • There’s not enough time in port. Yes you will be bound to your cruise itinerary, but cruise lines know where their guests want to be. They’ll offer longer days and evenings, and even overnights in port as much as possible.
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  • You have limited dining options. Of course a cruise ship will have fewer restaurants than a European city, but more often than not there are more venues onboard than you’ll be able to dine in. And cuisine on cruise ships is becoming a higher and higher standard all the time so you don’t need to worry about lack of quality.
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    If you’re still not sure which suits you when comparing a city break to a mini cruise, there’s another fantastic option. Talk to our team about creating your own unique, cruise and stay holiday, on which you’ll be able to make the most of all the aspects of cruising as well as spend a few extra days in the destination of your choice, exploring on your own.


    10 Reasons to Book A Princess Cruises Suite

    5th April 2018

    Considering the fantastic service and onboard features that Princess Cruises offer all their guests, we were curious about just how much could be enhanced for those who opt for a suite. After looking at all the extras included, it’s fair to say that suite guests are treated to some really special indulgences, all of which help to create an incredible and unforgettable cruise holiday. Here are our top ten reasons to book a Princess Suite.

     

     

    1. The extra space – with up to 932 square feet to a suite, guests even have enough space to host a private evening cocktail party with family and new friends.

    2. Complimentary in-suite extras – it’s these minor details that truly make suite luxury what it is. Find everything from fresh orchids and high quality toiletries, to complimentary stationery and pens, umbrellas, and a cruise card wallet.

    3. Upgraded balcony furniture – spending time enjoying the view from a suite balcony can be a perfect evening, especially with the two comfortable loungers, and table with two chairs at which you can treat yourself to a glass of wine and some room-service dinner.

    4. Dining advantages – suite guests benefit from priority reservations at speciality restaurants, and the superb service that comes with Club Class Dining, such as no waiting to be seated, dedicated waiting staff, and table side meal preparation.

     

     

    5. Extra helpful services – those staying in a suite can make the most of services like same day laundry, shoe polishing, and luggage valet, all of which can make your stay even more comfortable and easy.

    6. Priority excursion reservations – suite guests have a high chance of securing the shore excursion they want, with priority booking service onboard.

    7. Sumptuous bedding – with Jacquard-woven cotton linens, and a pillow menu with plenty of choice, every night’s sleep onboard should be a solid and comfortable one.

    8. Lotus Spa Thermal Suite – suite guests have access to this luxurious and relaxing spa area on selected Princess Cruises ships. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring.

     

     

    9. Private photography appointment – guests can make the most of the onboard photographer and obtain a really special personal memento, by booking an appointment for a private portrait session.

    10. Special food treats – in addition to the above dining benefits, suite guests can enjoy treats like complimentary evening canapes, chef’s welcome goodies on embarkation day, in suite afternoon tea, and complimentary dining at a speciality restaurant on the first evening.

    These are just ten of the fabulous array of advantages guests can receive if they book a Princess Cruises suite. Find out more about the benefits of booking a suite, or start planning your next cruise in a Princess Cruises suite


    Our Top 5 Expedition Cruise Destinations

    22nd March 2018

    As more cruise lines are offering holidays to the world’s more remote destinations, visiting places you never thought you would is becoming increasingly easier. Whether you’re interested in meeting new people all over the globe, trying different foods, seeing some incredible wildlife, or gazing in awe at beautiful scenery, an expedition cruise can certainly deliver. Here are our top 5 expedition cruise destinations.

    South America

     

     

    From the busy streets of Rio and incredible steak in Argentina, to majestic Machu Picchu and Chile’s stunning fjords, those who opt for an expedition cruise in South America are in for some amazing experiences. Many cruise lines who travel to this part of the world offer some fantastic, bucket-list opportunities. These might include exploring part of the Amazon rainforest, dining with a local community, or experiencing the modern wonder that is the Panama Canal.

    Antarctica

     

     

    One of the world’s most remote areas, Antarctica is absolutely breath-taking. With an almost unnerving vastness, the sight of the environment alone is one that you will remember forever. Imagine sitting on the deck of your cruise ship while watching the passing glaciers, glass-like sea, and stunning wildlife that passes by. You could see penguins, whales, and huge sea lions, not to mention the many different species of birds. On exhilarating excursions led by guides it’s often possible to get up close and personal with this remarkable natural beauty. However, even when you're simply relaxing on the top deck, you'll have many opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife, thanks to these expertly designed Antarctica cruise ships.

    Galapagos Islands

     

     

    Known for its abundance of wildlife, more and more cruise lines are offering expedition cruises to the Galapagos Islands. This Ecuadorean archipelago is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, many of which can’t be found anywhere else. Be sure to look out for the Galapagos penguin – the only penguin that lives in the Northern Hemisphere – as well as iguanas, giant tortoises, and the red or blue footed booby bird. This destination is certainly a must-see for anyone who appreciates wildlife.

    Indian Ocean

     

     

    A cruise in the Indian Ocean can transport you to what feels like an entirely different world. From the beautiful beaches and views found in Goa, and expansive golden sand dunes in Abu Dhabi, to the wonderful wildlife in Africa, this part of the world has something to interest everyone. Feel yourself become entirely immersed in the different cultures here, meeting some of the friendliest people, eating some of the most delicious food, and seeing some extraordinary natural sites.

    Australia & New Zealand

     

     

    In addition to the extraordinary Great Barrier Reef, Australasia is home to plenty more fascinating locations. New Zealand’s breath-taking scenery can seem almost otherworldly, and the famous glow-worms are certainly a sight to behold. Discover some off-the-beaten-track spots in these gorgeous countries, and get to know more about the cultures and traditions that live on in many areas. An expedition cruise to this part of the world can bring all kinds of fantastic surprises.

     

    Expedition Cruising with Silversea Cruises

     

    One cruise line that is thoroughly devoted to destination immersion is Silversea Cruises. This luxury cruise line enables guests to really get to know the places they visit, by exploring a wide range of areas and providing some brilliant, enriching excursions.

     

     

    Silversea Cruises’ Immersive Opportunities

    With Silversea Cruises, you can relish in local hospitality while trying new cuisines, see a variety of cultural performances, and take part in some really special excursions. Look over the incredible and mysterious Nazca lines from a small plane, discover some amazing eco-systems in the rainforest, or buy some authentic Indian spices in Cochin’s pretty markets. These are just a few of the fantastic opportunities guests can make the most of on a Silversea Cruises expedition adventure.

    Silversea Cruises’ Ships

    Many Silversea Cruises ships venture to expedition destinations, giving guests ample choice with regards to where they visit, dates, and ship. Rest assured that all vessels can be relied upon to provide outstanding standards of luxury, with great service, dining, and onboard facilities. Enjoy delicious cuisine at The Restaurant, where you will find regional specialities as well as firm favourites, before learning more about a new culture or a fascinating piece of history at a lecture, or seeing a local performance onboard.

    Browse through Silversea's expedition cruises on Silver Galapagos, Silver Explorer, and Silver Discoverer to see which fascinating destinations you could explore.


    Highlights of P&O’s Upcoming Winter 2019-2020 Season

    12th March 2018

    P&O Cruises have released the details of their winter 2019-2020 cruises, and the collection is stocked full of happy holiday firsts! Expect more opportunities to experience a calypso Christmas in the Caribbean, kaleidoscopic New Year’s Eve fireworks in Dubai, and plenty of blissful short breaks departing from the UK. Here’s a roundup of all the highlights of the upcoming season:

     

     

    More Chances to Explore Dubai & the Arabian Gulf

    This part of the world is one that captures the imagination of many. On a cruise to Dubai and the Arabian Gulf, guests will uncover some truly special treasures and experience all sorts of holiday firsts. Bask in the beauty of the Khasab fjords in Oman, and experience bliss like never before while paddling along mangroves in Abu Dhabi. The season offers a range of 7-14 night cruises in the region, and some itineraries include stops in India and even a magical New Year’s Eve in Dubai.

     

    See More on Your World Cruise

    P&O Cruises’ adult-only ship, Arcadia, will be embarking on an impressive world cruise on 3rd January 2018. Lasting for a total of 99 nights, guests will see a fantastic array of breath-taking destinations the world over. Some of our favourite stops include Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and an overnight in Shanghai. Vibrant Auckland and the wild and wondrous Bay of Islands are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

     

     

    A Longer Season the Caribbean

    P&O Cruises are offering guests more opportunities to spend time in the sunny climes of the Caribbean in winter 2019/20. The season has been extended for both Azura and Britannia, meaning families have more chances for some brilliant holiday firsts together in the Caribbean, and can make a tonne of memories to last a lifetime.

     

     

    East Coast USA & Panama on a Caribbean Cruise

    In addition to exploring the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, in winter 2019/20 P&O Cruises guests can opt for a cruise that includes Panama and various ports in North America’s east coast. Some people consider the intricate Panama Canal to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and those fortunate enough to experience it will soon see why. Tick this brilliant feat of engineering off your bucket list on your next Caribbean cruise.

     

    See More of Europe on a No-Fly Cruise

    Those who don’t like flying, and those who don’t have plenty of time to play with, will benefit from the range of no-fly European cruises departing straight from the UK. Choose from a variety of cruises ranging from short breaks to longer stays in the Canary Islands, Norway for the Northern Lights, and some wonderful European Christmas Market itineraries.

     

     

    Early Booking Benefits

    Those who choose P&O Cruises Select Fare, before 30th April 2018, could be in for some fantastic savings:

    • Secure your booking with just a 5% deposit (with Select Fare or Early Saver Fare) – deposits being 15% after 30.04.2018

    • Past passengers receive a 5% discount on their cruise (T&Cs apply)

    • Members of the Peninsular Club can also receive further added benefits

    Find out more about P&O Cruises’ loyalty scheme – The Peninsular Club – and discover all the advantages of being a frequent guest with P&O Cruises.

    With 181 new holidays to choose from, you’ll have plenty to consider when it comes to booking your winter 2019-2020 cruise. Be sure to pre-register with us today to help enhance your chances of securing the one you want.


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