0203 848 3600

Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

{0} out of 10 Rated Excellent
ATOL Protected
02038483600

Cruise Blog

Cruising a Pirate’s World

clock 27th March 2019 | comment0 Comments

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.



Have a Halloween with Disney Cruise Line

clock 11th October 2018 | comment0 Comments

If you’ve seen Disneyland® Paris or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida at Halloween, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what you can expect onboard a Disney Cruise at this time of year. Those of you who haven’t, however, are in for a real treat. Little kids and big kids alike will adore the festivities onboard, from the Disney characters in costume to the scary story time, not forgetting the adults’ costume party. Read on for a window into Halloween with Disney Cruise Line.

 

What's Onboard?

 

At every turn, you’ll be well aware that it’s Halloween season, with the ship being fully decorated complete with plenty of pumpkins, and a bare, eerie tree in the atrium.

 

 

Get engrossed in a scary story all about an old sunken ship, told by an authentic captain out on the top deck. Listen to the tales of this wise old captain as the sea air around you helps you to transport you to another world.

Most guests tend to get involved in the fun by bringing along their own Halloween costumes or accessories to wear, whether this be a glamourous Disney princess dress, or an all-out zombie outfit!

 

Disney Characters Onboard

 

As with any Disney Cruise Line holiday, plenty of your favourite movie Characters will be making an appearance, but this time with a difference! Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Disney characters will also be donning their Halloween costumes, ready for the Mickey's Mouse-querade Party. You can expect to see the likes of Mickey and Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Donald Duck out and about meeting cruisers and posing for photos. The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Sally and Jack will also be there to say hello to guests, after telling their tale at Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream interactive event.

 

 

Halloween for Adults

 

Whilst the daytime and kids activities are fun for all the family, of course, adults are likely to want a bit of time to play themselves. Well aware of this, Disney Cruise Line host a Halloween Isn’t Just for Kids adults-only party, where you can dance, drink a cocktail or two, and show off your own elaborate costume – or not if you prefer! Find out more about Disney Cruise Line fun for adults.

If Halloween with Disney Cruise Line sounds like the perfect holiday fun for you and yours, take a look at our range of October cruise itineraries with Disney.



Disney Cruise Line Announce 2020 Itineraries

clock 28th September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Family-focussed cruise line, Disney Cruise Line, has recently announced what’s in store with them in 2020. There will be some fantastic opportunities on offer, making it even easier to find the perfect cruise holiday for the whole family. Read on to discover more about your options.

 

 

Two Amazing Hawaii Cruises

 

It’s been five years since Disney Cruise Line ventured to Hawaii, and the idyllic North American state is now sorely missed by cruisers and crew alike. So, in 2020 Disney Wonder will be hosting two very exciting cruises to the region – one departing from Vancouver and ending in Honolulu, and the other on the return trip back to Vancouver. The itineraries will offer guests the opportunity to visit Oahu Island and its gorgeous Waikiki beach, see the stunning waterfalls and greenery on Kauai island, and gaze out at the extensive tropical views from the summit of Maui’s Haleakala Crater.

 

More Cruise Departures from Florida

 

The folks at Disney Cruise Line know that the sunshine state is a brilliant holiday destination in itself, and so with this in mind, in 2020 they will be offering more cruises departing from both Miami and Port Canaveral. Itineraries starting here mean that guests can spend a few days at the start of their holiday exploring Florida and all it has to offer, whether this be the theme parks, the beaches, or the shopping! All cruises from Florida will include a stop in Disney’s exclusive Castaway Cay island in the Bahamas, as well as a number of fabulous sunny Caribbean destinations.

 

 

New Homeport of New Orleans

 

Perhaps the most exciting announcement for 2020 is Disney Wonder’s new homeport of New Orleans. This world-famous city of jazz, food, and festivals was the setting of the beautiful Disney film, The Princess and the Frog. So Disney film lovers can start their holiday off right by exploring the colourful streets, listening to soulful music, and eating local treats such as soft beignets and punchy gumbo just like Tiana and Naveen. There will be six different cruises to choose from, each departing from New Orleans in early 2020.

 

 

Have a browse through our latest Disney Cruise Line deals, and start planning your family’s next big adventure.



Celebrity Cruises Announce Details of 2020 Ship

clock 13th September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Celebrity Cruises invited UK cruise agents to St Nazaire in France, to visit the shipyard in which the highly anticipated Celebrity Edge ships is being built. Whilst being shown around, the cruise line made another very exciting announcement, that of the details of their next big project: Celebrity Apex.

 

 

After seeing the hype and attention surrounding Celebrity Edge, this highly-esteemed cruise line resolved to bring another ship to the market. Celebrity Apex will be identical to her sister ship, offering cruisers some incredible, innovative design features, a wealth of accommodation choices, and outstanding dining. The Edge class of ships are said to elevate the meaning of modern luxury cruising. Every inch of the ships has been well-thought out and designed to a tee, with aspects like panoramic ocean views wherever possible, the fabulous ‘Dinner on the Edge’ experience on the cantilevered ‘Magic Carpet’, and more suites than any other Celebrity Cruises ship. We are especially excited about the twin-level Edge villas, which even feature an outdoor plunge pool.

 

 

Celebrity Apex is due to hit the waves in April 2020, after her naming ceremony in Southampton. This is an especially apt date as it will be ten years since Celebrity Cruises had another of their ships named in the UK, and operated from here too – Celebrity Silhouette. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo – Celebrity Cruises’ president and CEO – has said that Apex’s station in Southampton was decided upon in recognition of the strong UK cruise market. With British cruisers being eager for Celebrity Edge, it seems that Celebrity Apex will too be well-received.

The Godmother for Celebrity Apex is yet to be decided, but considering who Celebrity Cruises have chosen for other ships in the fleet, it seems likely that we can expect an inspiring, and well-respected individual. The globally admired, Nobel Prize-winning activist, Malala Yousafzai is Godmother to the Edge.

 

 

After her naming ceremony, Celebrity Apex will embark upon a mini-series of sailings out of the UK. More details about the itineraries will be available when she goes on sale on 29th November 2018. Pre-register your interest in Celebrity Apex today to ensure you are among the first to get more information and be given an opportunity to book your place onboard.



Are Cruise Lines Becoming Greener?

clock 3rd September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Fans of cruising can often find themselves wondering, ‘what are cruise lines doing to help and contribute towards protecting the environment?’ There are in fact a number of initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions, including the use of solar panels as well as powering private islands with waste materials. Cruise companies have been making great strides in increasing sustainability and protecting the environment, and this will only increase in the future .

 

 

How Are Cruise Lines Protecting the Environment?

 

Many cruise lines have backed plans to protect the various environments on their itineraries in several ways. For example, there's now an alliance between Carnival Cruise Lines and the International SeaKeepers Society, which monitors water quality in locations visited by Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit. Equipment is has been built into these ships to gather data wherever they are. This is then relayed via satellite to scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, where they can keep on top of the water quality levels.

However, this is merely one example of many systems in place for monitoring the environment's health. There are groups all around the world dedicated to tracking this kind of data, including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System.

 

What Changes Are Being Made to help the Environment?

 

One of the biggest and most common changes we’ve seen is to the hull on cruise ships. By painting the hull with silicon-based paint, the ships glide through water more efficiently, therefore saving fuel. Royal Caribbean Cruises have taken this a step further by designing aerodynamic hulls, increasing the benefit of this fuel-saving tactic.

Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines. Keeping the incredible ships afloat and operating at 100% takes a huge amount of energy. Today’s cruise ships can carry more 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members - which is the equivalent of a small town - but measures can be made to increase the efficiency of the fuel used.

 

 

Here are some examples of other positive changes:

  • The US National Park Service has taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising in Alaska, and there are strict regulations for the passage through Glacier Bay. Only one ship at a time is permitted to enter the bay and the number of total visits per season is also restricted.
  •  

  • Holland America Line has partnered with the US National Park Service and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect whales in the oceans. Together their programmes educate mariners about recognising when whales are in close proximity and how to avoid them.
  •  

  • Royal Caribbean has invested $100 million into converting wastewater treatment systems into advanced purification systems, and also uses over 18 million gallons of biodiesel used each year, a much more sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel.
  •  

  • Disney Cruise Line recycle the condensation from air conditioning units and use it for things such as laundry or cleaning decks, which saves gallons of water per day. They also recycle a mix of materials onboard; some of which is processed by their partners, Keep America Beautiful - an organization which is all about preserving the environment.
  •  

  • Celebrity Cruises, have heat transfer windows that allow more light, which then reduces the cooling needed in the cabin.
  •  

  • Norwegian Cruise Line have adopted a number of different strategies to protect the environment and increase sustainability. The cruise line uses eco-ballast technology which is a water treatment system ensuring the ship doesn’t send toxins into the water, and donates cooking oil to farmers in port cities to be re-used as fuel. Steps have also been taken to remove the use of plastic straws across the entire fleet and Norwegian Cruise Line’s two private islands. Excitingly, a partnership with Ocean Conservancy means that the cruise line is the first to join the Trash Free Seas Alliance, which is a huge step forward in the cruising industry. Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line’s campaign, Hope Starts Here, aims to rebuild schools and structures damaged by hurricanes in the Caribbean islands. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line have funded the opening of a nature trail with Alaska Raptor Center, a dedicated avian hospital that rehabilitates injured birds of prey in Sitka, Alaska.
  •  

     

    Overall, it’s clear that a number of popular cruise lines are investing in the environment in one way or another, and as science develops, this will surely only improve. If this information has struck a chord with you, find out more about how you can do your bit for the world and the communities in it, with our five holidays that make a difference.



    Book with Confidence

    We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.


    Price Match Guarantee
    Search Cruises
    Your Shortlist

    You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.


    What our customers say


    "I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

    Christina
    (March 2019)

    "So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

    Gary
    (February 2019)


    Read more feedback