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P&O Iona in the Norwegian Fjords

10th August 2018

It has recently been revealed that P&O Cruises’ latest ship, Iona, will enjoy her inaugural sailing season in the magnificent destination of the Norwegian Fjords. This stunning part of the world has such a fantastic variety of things to see and do, making it a great choice for a family-friendly line like P&O Cruises. Discover more about what makes a cruise in this region so special (here you can find our Iona cruise deals, with itinerary and prices).

 

 

The Scenery

 

When sailing on a Norwegian Fjords itinerary, guests will be blessed with vision after vision of beautiful surroundings. Whether it’s the view of otherworldly Geirangerfjord from the ship or sweeping sights of Bergen from the funicular that climbs up Mount Fløyen, there is seemingly no end of amazing scenery. Just be sure to pack your charger or plenty of batteries for your camera!

 

The Food

 

Norway is considered by many to be an up and coming foodie haven, with its simplistic but beautifully designed dishes. While cruising here be sure to indulge in a few delicacies, from coffee and skillingsbolle (like a cinnamon bun) to brunost (a sweet-flavoured cheese made with goat’s and cow’s milk). And of course, those who enjoy a tipple will want to sample Scandinavia’s favourite spirit – aquavit – and visit a local brewery for a refreshing beer.

 

 

 

The Adventures

 

Cruisers looking to channel their inner explorer will revel in the vast amount of active excursions on offer in this part of the world. Norway is a natural playground, and offers the perfect environment for some exhilarating activities;

 

  • Zip-lining. With P&O Cruises it’s possible to have a go on the 300-metre zipline between Mount Ulriken and Mount Fløyen, enjoying views from a 643-metre vantage point on the way!
  • Kayaking. The waters in and around the fjords are ideal for kayaking as the lack of wind means you should stay steady and able to paddle around easily and comfortably.
  • Rafting. Rivers such as the Valldøla in Valldalen offer the chance to go rafting on some fast-paced rapids, so jump in and get the blood pumping!
  • Hiking and Climbing. With ample mountainous land waiting to be explored, Norway is a brilliant spot for those who enjoy climbing, hiking, and Nordic walking.
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    The History

     

    When we think of Nordic history, our minds tend to go straight to the Vikings. These fearsome people ruled for around 250 years, conquering lands all over the world along the way. Today you can see remnants of their existence dating back to 872, especially in towns such as Stavanger, also known as the ‘Cradle of the Vikings’.

    As well as exploring this aspect, a visit to Bryggen in Bergen is another must for history-lovers. Here you can explore the wharf that was one integral to the German confederation of merchant communities – the Hanseatic League – from around 1350 to 1750. See fascinating exhibits at the Hanseatic Museum to learn more about this period of history in Norway.

     

    Why sail to the Norwegian Fjords onboard Iona?

     

    Iona is an ideal ship for your visit to the Norwegian Fjords for a few reasons. Like the destination, the ship truly offers something for everyone, with plenty of choices when it comes to dining and activities. In addition, the design of the ship and its focus on the surrounding ocean and natural views is perfect for the fjords. Imagine sipping on your morning coffee in the glass-walled atrium, whilst drinking in the gorgeous views of fjords, glaciers, and waterfalls? Find out more about life onboard P&O Cruises' Iona.

    Cruises onboard P&O’s Iona will go on sale to past passengers on Monday 10th September, and on general sale on Wednesday 12th September. It is possible to pre-register on Monday 3rd September.

    Pre-register your interest with us to be among the first to get more information.


    Explore the Galapagos Islands on a Cruise

    2nd August 2018

    As the eyes of the world increasingly turn to environmental concerns, awareness of the astounding range of flora and fauna species grows too. There are a number of regions where the miracle of life on earth is abundant; the safari land in Africa, the river banks of the Amazon, and of course, the incredible Galapagos Islands. This archipelago of Ecuadorean islands is becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, and what better way to explore them than on a cruise.

     

     

    Which Cruise Lines Operate in the Galapagos Islands?

     

    More and more cruise lines are offering itineraries in this part of the world, often combining a visit to the Galapagos with other destinations in South and Central America. Here are a handful of our favourite options;

    Silversea Cruises, Silver Galapagos – This purpose built ship manages the terrain here perfectly. With a capacity of just 100 guests, cruisers will have an intimate experience and will profit from the first-hand expertise of the onboard staff.

    Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Flora – Another ship designed for exploring the Galapagos Islands, onboard Celebrity Flora guests will relish in the onboard ambience which perfectly echoes and celebrates the surroundings.

    G-Adventures, Yolita – Accommodating just 16 guests – yes 16 – Yolita provides an incredibly personalised experience. Explore the beautiful islands while befriending like-minded people and learning more about the complex eco-system from the experts.

     

     

    Why are the Galapagos Islands so Important?

     

    Located more than 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the 21 islands that comprise the Galapagos are home to far more species than you might realise. The famous biologist Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and it is said that the discoveries he made here went on to inspire his theory of evolution. This is because many of the species found here cannot be found anywhere else, meaning they have developed in accordance with what the region can supply - which is indicative of the process of natural selection.

     

    What species are unique to the Galapagos Islands?

     

     

    Among the huge array of animals and plant life here include some very special creatures which do not live anywhere else on earth;

     

  • The Galapagos penguins
  • The Galapagos tortoise
  • Red and Blue-footed booby birds
  • Land and marine iguanas
  • Darwin’s finches
  • Flightless cormorant
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    There is also plenty to see in the way of marine life, such as sea turtles and sea lions, so guests should take advantage of any scuba or snorkelling opportunities during a cruise.

    Take a look at our range of Galapagos Island cruises, and finally tick this stunning place off your bucket list.


    Carnival Cruises Announce Makeover of Carnival Triumph

    1st August 2018

    This well-loved, American cruise line has decided to give one of their classic ships something of a rejuvenation, in fact, a $200 million rejuvenation. Having been sailing since 1999, naturally, Carnival Cruises feel that the ship is due for a facelift, and with it will come a whole host of exciting new additions relating to onboard accommodation, dining, and activities. Find out more about what will be included in the makeover of Carnival Triumph.

     

     

    Will Carnival Triumph have a New Name?

     

    Yes. She will be joining Carnival Cruises’ Sunshine class, and a fitting new name will be attributed after she has been remodelled. She will enter a dry dock period in March 2019, in Cadiz, Spain, and will then return to the seas at the end of April after a naming ceremony, after which she’ll be known as Carnival Sunrise.

     

    How will the accommodation on Carnival Triumph change?

     

    All staterooms will benefit from a refit and will be decorated in bright colours and soft pastel hues reminiscent of the cruise line’s itineraries in the sunny islands of the Caribbean. As well as this, the two Captain’s Suites, in particular, will boast some stunning changes; for example, the windows will be floor-to-ceiling, offering the perfect view of the surrounding ocean.

     

    How many new things will there be to do onboard?

     

    Carnival Triumph already offers a great range of exciting onboard activities and pastimes, from the Dive-In movies to the waterslides and Seuss at Sea. But, in true Carnival Cruises fashion, more and more activities are being thought up all the time. Here are some of our favourite new options that will be found on Carnival Sunrise;

     

  • Serenity Adult-Only Retreat – ideal for when you need just a little ‘me-time’, and to relax in a perfectly tranquil setting complete with superb sea views.
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  • The Warehouse – a great space for letting go and having a laugh, where you can play a range of exhilarating video and arcade games with all the family.
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  • WaterWorks – cool down in this brilliant water park, under the drench bucket or zooming down the tunnel or twister slides.
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    What will be improved when it comes to dining?

     

    There will be some new restaurants brought onboard the ship, including some real Carnival Cruises favourites;

     

  • Lido Marketplace – for poolside snacks including lobster rolls, pizzas, and frozen yoghurt
  • Cherry on Top – a fun candy shop will all sorts of sweets and gifts
  • JavaBlue Café – a trendy coffee shop offering classics as alcoholic coffees
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse – a casual BBQ joint with al fresco seating
  • Cucina del Capitano – for delicious Italian meals in a family-style environment
  • The Chef’s Table – for an extra special evening with a number of courses
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse – for succulent steak and first class service
  • Bonsai Express – a popular venue serving a range of delicate sushi and sashimi
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    Will there be any new public lounges onboard?

     

    Yes, cruisers can expect a few new haunts in which to spend their evenings onboard. Enjoy a crisp beer or some of the Caribbean’s finest rums in the RedFrog Pub, or sing along with live entertainment in Piano Bar 88. Or, spend the whole night in the Limelight Lounge for some good comedy before it transforms into a nightclub, or head to the new, multi-purpose Liquid Lounge where you’ll find all kinds of entertainment day and night.

    To stay up to date with all the latest cruise news be sure to sign up to our mailing list.


    A Cruise Expert's Review of Symphony of the Seas

    31st July 2018

    Updated March 2019

    We love sending our staff out on various cruises and ship visits so that they can continue to hone their expertise and pass on knowledge to our customers. This being said, we felt it absolutely necessary to send a few of our guys out on what is now (at the time of writing!) the world’s largest cruise ship; Symphony of the Seas. Find out what cruise specialist Chelsea thought of this incredible ship.

     

     

    There are many, many awe-struck moments that you will feel onboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. But then, this is what they do best.

    When you arrive you are hit instantly by her sheer size. She dwarfs all other ships in port and dominates the view. Many people are a little worried about the 5,518 passenger capacity onboard, but they really don’t need to be. Most of the time, you don’t even realise you are sailing, never mind on a cruise ship!

    The ship is so vast that you don’t feel swamped by other passengers at all, and instead, you simply feel relaxed. The only time you might see the majority of the other passengers is in the theatre, which spans over two decks towards the front of the ship. I was lucky enough to watch Hairspray here, and was taken aback by the staging, the lights, and the whole performance. It really does rival the West End!

    Inside the ship, you feel as though you are in a huge shopping centre. It’s filled with entertainment, restaurants, shops, and bars. Each ‘neighbourhood’ is truly amazing in a different way;

     

  • Central Park with its trees and plants really makes you feel like you’re having a coffee in a park
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  • The Boardwalk boasts the Aqua Theatre and sports bars
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  • The Royal Promenade is the heart of the ship, and where you will find the majority of shops and bars
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    Not to mention all the other amenities onboard the ship; waterslides, the Abyss, the Pools, FlowRider, the zip-line, rock-climbing walls, laser tag - is it possible there’s too much to do?

    The cabin we had was a Balcony cabin overlooking the Boardwalk. It was perfect for two people and had a sofa area by the balcony. We had a great view of the Aqua Theatre, but this did also mean we could hear the Aqua Theatre Show when our door was open. If the door is shut, you hear next to no noise at all which is great for the evenings.

    As great as our accommodation was, I would, in fact, recommend an Oceanview Balcony cabin on this ship. Aside from these cabins, you can only see the ocean beyond the Aqua Theatre and from the windows in the main restaurant - it isn’t visible elsewhere on the ship. By staying in an Oceanview Balcony, you would know you were holidaying on a cruise ship after all!

     

     

    A cruise isn’t a cruise if you don’t mention the food. The Main Restaurant on Symphony of the Seas is beautiful, and the standard of the food you just cannot fault. The Windjammer is everything you expect and caters for every fancy. The speciality restaurants that you see on other Royal Caribbean ships are also present; Jamie’s Italian, Izumi, and Chop’s Grille for example. As with some of the other large ships in the fleet, 150 Central Park and Wonderland are also both onboard. My only regret is not being able to try Wonderland’s ‘Imaginative dining’ - I would advise anyone to book a table here in advance through your Cruise Personaliser, so as not to miss out.

    As for the staff, we couldn’t fault any of them. They always - always - went above and beyond as usual.

    Take a closer look at life onboard Symphony of the Seas, or if you’re already sold, browse through our range of Symphony of the Seas cruises.


    Discover Luxury River Cruising with Scenic and Emerald Cruise Show

    30th July 2018

    We recently partnered up with Scenic Tours & Ocean Cruises and Emerald Waterways to bring an exclusive event to our Scottish customers, hosting an afternoon tea for 25 lucky VIPs at the Torrance Hotel in East Kilbride, Glasgow.

     

     

    We were very excited to present these cruise line partners to a new area in order to showcase their beautiful ocean and river products, along with the very exciting luxury Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse.

    Our guests were greeted by the Iglu Cruise team and William Young - a representative from Scenic Tours - in the morning with welcome tea and coffee, starting the day off right. William then gave our guests an informative presentation on each of these two exciting brands. Many of our guests had experienced both ocean and river cruises in the past and were very much looking forward to being introduced to all that Scenic and Emerald can offer – including why they should choose to sail with these brands.

     

     

    The highlight of the day for most of our guests was the introduction to Scenic Eclipse; a stunning luxury yacht. This gorgeous new ship is turning heads everywhere, being equipped with its own helicopter and also a seven-seater submarine that can take guests to destinations previously inaccessible to the ordinary traveller.

    Many questions were raised and answered, and stories were swapped of previous adventures over a beautiful afternoon tea of delightful sandwiches, cakes, and pastries.

    All in all, a wonderfully relaxing and informative afternoon was had by all.

    Thank you to all who were in attendance on the day, it was great meeting you and we can’t wait to see you at our next show.

    Find out more about all our upcoming events.


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