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Cruise Blog

Best Cruises for Disabled Passengers

9th September 2020

With numerous cruise lines providing spacious adapted cabins, accessible cruise excursions and outstanding assistance, disabled access cruises around the world are now easier than ever to book. Check out the best cruises for disabled passengers. [More]

List of Cruise Lines

11th February 2020

When it comes to setting off on your holiday, the thought of choosing which line to cruise with may feel a little daunting as there are so many, all offering different onboard experiences and itineraries. [More]

Cruising a Pirate’s World

27th March 2019

The adventure of sailing around the world often brings to mind images of the pirates of yore, especially since films and TV series have romanticised this historic way of life. There’s something thrilling about docking at ports where in years gone by pirates were swash-buckling, looting, and trading their wares. As well as in the Caribbean islands, pirates were once rife all over the world – from Asia to Ireland. Read on to learn more about cruise destinations which have a pirate history.

 

 

Tortuga (Haiti)

Made famous by the popular Disney films, in actuality, Tortuga acted as a refuge for English, Dutch and French thieves and escaped slaves back in the 17th century. These characters became what was known as the ‘Brethren of the Coast’, and they would attack Spanish ships in the Caribbean for treasure. Today, visitors to the island can see what’s left of Fort de Rocher – a 24-gun stronghold that was used by pirates to protect against Spanish invasion.

 

Nassau (Bahamas)

Nassau became a great pirate hang out in part due to its location in shallow waters. This meant that large warships could not approach the island, but pirate tall ships could. In the mid-18th century, there were around 100 natives compared to 1,000 pirates living on the island, and it was one of the latter – Benjamin Hornigold – who declared the place to be a Pirate’s Republic. Hornigold’s success as a pirate-inspired many other young adventurers, including one Edward Teach – who came to the island to join his posse. Other notorious characters including ‘Calico’ Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Charles Vane were all frequent visitors here. Today there are a number of pirate tours available on the island, on which guests can see various historical attractions.

 

 

Macau (China)

For centuries the South China Sea was a major setting for pirate activity, with Japanese pirates sailing south to raid and loot from the early 16th century. Activity went on for many years, and infamous Chinese pirate couple Zheng Yi and Ching Shih dominated the seas by the late 18th century with a fleet of more than 1,500 ships known as the Red Flag Fleet. After Zheng’s death, Ching continued with new husband Cheung Po Tsai, until they were defeated by the Portuguese Navy at the Battle of the Tiger’s Mouth in 1809. Madame Ching kept her pirate loot, however, and set up a gambling establishment in Macau, where many pirates had settled. Macau is accessible during a cruise to Hong Kong.

 

Port Royal (Jamaica)

Possibly the most well-known pirate haven is Port Royal in Jamaica – once referred to as ‘The Wickedest City on Earth’. Located close to modern-day Kingston, Port Royal was able to become such a place because the Jamaican governors offered it to pirates in return for help protecting against Spanish invaders. This led to the opening of many taverns and brothels, thereby attracting more pirates. Eventually, authorities began to intervene and by the mid-18th century, Port Royal had become a common location for pirate hangings – including those of Charles Vane and ‘Calico’ Jack Rackham. Visitors can see historic pirate and Jamaican Royal Navy paraphernalia at the archaeological museum here today.

 

 

Ile Saint-Marie (Madagascar)

Also known as St Mary’s Island, this small piece of land off the coast of Madagascar was once a popular spot among pirates. It is thought that a kind of utopia called Libertalia was developed among the pirate community here, although there is no real evidence of this. It is known, however, the pirates such as William Kidd and Edward Teach once walked here, and today there still stands an eerie pirate graveyard.

 

Charlotte Amelie (St Thomas)

Famous English pirate Edward Teach – better known as Blackbeard – lends his name to an important site in St Thomas’ capital; Blackbeard’s Castle. Built in the late 17th century by Danish colonists, the castle was originally known as Skytsborg. It is not known when or why the name was changed, but local tales say that Blackbeard regularly used the castle as a lookout point during his years of piracy in the Caribbean.

 

 

These destinations can be explored with a number of different cruise lines, on some fantastic modern cruise ships. Alternatively, if you’d prefer an experience more akin to those of a pirate, consider cruising with one of the more traditional tall ship style lines such as Windstar Cruises and Star Clippers. The beautiful ships in these fleets have been designed in an authentic, traditional way using plush, dark wood furnishings and rich colours.


5 Worst Mistakes to Make When Packing for a Cruise

18th March 2019

While there will be some exceptions, there are cruise essentials that you will need no matter which cruise line you sail with. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise, and avoid a packing faux pas! [More]

Carnival’s XL class ship is named: Mardi Gras and here's everything we know about it!

12th December 2018

Carnival Cruise Line announced the name of their first XL class ship on their highly popular game show ‘Wheel of Fortune’. The name could come at a shock to some, due to Carnival’s first ever ship also called Mardi Gras. However, it was exactly this reason why Carnival decided the name, due to the history behind the name.

The original Mardi Gras was the Carnival first ship and sailed in 1972 the ship was seen as a historic ship due to the fun element that Carnival introduced to cruising. The original ship was 27,000 ton and a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner. Mardi Gras will be six times bigger than its namesake at 180,000 tons with a capacity of 5,200 on its lower berth passengers and a maximum total capacity 6,500.

Excitingly Carnival is the first cruise line to introduce the world’s first ever rollercoaster onboard a cruise! The rollercoaster is called BOLT, a thrilling experience being at 800 feet, you’ll view some amazing ocean views. An electric rollercoaster which allows friends and family to race each other and control their speed. Mardi Gras creates history for cruising with the first rollercoaster, an exciting opportunity to explore something new. 

 

 

Mardi Gras is the first ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas. Currently, in construction in Meyer Turku Finland, Mardi Gras will be on sale for passengers to in January 2019 and ready to sail in 2020. Keeping Carnival’s fun traditions, the ship is to introduce new technological innovations and features never before seen on a cruise ship. The new ship will be based in Port Canaveral Florida, featuring a new terminal. Carnival is a cruise line which provides for a range of people due to their countless activities for singles, couples, families, and seniors. The cruise line carried over 4.7 million in 2016, showing their popularity being the only individual cruise brand to do so. Carnival is starting construction in 2020 and welcoming a second XL class ship in 2022, the second class ship will mark the anniversary of the line’s founding.


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