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Highlights of Cunards Summer 2020 Season

clock 13th September 2018 | comment0 Comments

Many cruise fans would say that Cunard offer the essence of cruising, being one of the oldest and most traditional lines in the business. With years of experience under their belt, Cunard has explored destinations all over the world, and yet they still manage to please guests by bringing in something new with every season. Read on to find out about the highlights of Cunard’s summer 2020 season.

 

 

 

Extra Time in Port

 

One common remark among cruisers all over is that they don’t have enough time to explore some of the ports they visit. Understanding this, Cunard has resolved to offer guests a longer time in a number of ports on various itineraries. In summer 2020 there will be:

  • More evening departures (the ship will leave port at 9 pm or after)
  • In cities including Hamburg, Juneau, Malaga, and Boston to name a few, guests will have more time to see everything they want to. Whether this be taking in an extra museum, heading to a local restaurant to sample the best food in town, or spending time in a bierkeller with a pilsner or two.

     

     

  • More two-day calls in port
  • Cunard will also be including more overnight stays in port; enabling guests to see a city over two days including some of the nightlife should they wish to. This will be the case for Barcelona, Reykjavik, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, St Petersburg, Singapore, and Quebec on some itineraries. This will mean guests can explore Hong Kong’s infamous Temple Street night market at ease, or take in an evening ballet or opera at the stunning Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.

     

    More New York Round Trip Cruises

     

    New York is among the most popular cities to visit in the world and is home to many of the most recognisable landmarks. The city has long been an important port to Cunard; a cruise line known for their transatlantic crossings. In addition to these voyages, summer 2020 with Cunard will see more itineraries beginning and ending in New York, making it easier for cruisers to see more of the city. Simply add on a hotel stay at the start or end of your cruise, and have more time to see everything on your list.

     

     

     

    8 New Ports

     

    The upcoming season will also include no less than eight fabulous new ports for Cunard;

     

  • Ishigaki – a scenic Japanese island situated near to Taiwan
  • Jakarta – the vibrant Indonesian capital
  • Seward – an Alaskan haven of wildlife and forestry
  • Tokyo – Japan’s city of modernity and lights
  • Ringaskiddy – a pretty and historic Irish fishing village
  • Kushiro – a peaceful city found on Japan’s north island
  • Nordfjordeid – home to a magnificent glacier and authentic Viking history
  • Bornholm – this Danish island is both tranquil and rugged
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    Take a look at the range of summer 2020 Cunard cruises, and decide where you will discover in style next.



    10 Worldwide Events to See on a Cruise

    clock 31st May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Why watch the big event you’ve been waiting for on the TV, when you might be able to get out on a cruise and see it? From sports tournaments to festivals, the world’s most popular events are more accessible than you think. Discover how you can combine your interest with your holiday, with our 10 worldwide events you can see on a cruise.

     

     

    1. World Cup

    The world cup is arguably the most highly-anticipated sports event of all, with patriots all over the world getting involved and excited whether they’re usually interested in football or not. This year the prestigious tournament will be held in Russia, and many cruise lines – including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Azamara Cruises, and P&O Cruises - are including a stop in St Petersburg, so that passengers can take in a game or two.

    2. Cannes Film Festival

    This stunning, annual festival is watched by film fans and celebrity followers all over the world, whether it be for the unique productions or the fashion choices. Located on the Cote d’Azur, Cannes often features on European cruises, so if you’ve dreamt of seeing the event, why not consider a Mediterranean cruise in May?

    3. Grand Prix

    The exciting F1 calendar takes race competitors all over the world, and happily many of the locations can be reached on a cruise. Get in touch with our team about cruises to see the grand prix in Singapore, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, and Monaco, and about the various cruise and stay F1 packages we offer.

     

     

    4. New Orleans Mardi Gras

    This world renowned festival in New Orleans dates back to 1699, when French explorers arrived to the area. Celebrations have thrived over the years, and the rhythm, colour, and flavours of the event have captured the attention of people all over the globe. There are a number of Caribbean cruises which include New Orleans in their itinerary, on which you can be a part of this springtime event.

    5. US Tennis Open

    Located in New York in August/September, the US Tennis Open is the last Grand Slam event of the season. Held in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre, tennis fans all over tune in to watch the world champions battle it out. Royal Caribbean often cruises in this region of North America, or why not consider adding a few days on to a grand Cunard transatlantic?

    6. NY Fashion Week

    In September every year fashionistas everywhere look to New York for new styles and inspiration. Instead of simply being glued to the media for a week, consider being a part of the action on one of Cunard’s unique Transatlantic Crossing Fashion Week cruises. Onboard events include catwalk shows, exhibitions, and specialist guest lecturers, and of course you can add a few days on to your trip to spend in New York itself.

     

     

    7. British Golf Open

    Golf cruises are a very popular choice when it comes to themed cruises, and the annual British Golf Open in particular is easy to experience as part of a holiday. Talk to our sales team about arranging a UK cruise in conjunction with the Open, which will include tickets to a round or two and possibly some special golf experiences onboard.

    8. Rio Carnival

    The mere mention of Brazil often generates visions of colourful feathers and samba music, thanks to the world-renowned Rio carnival. This 5-day party happens every year before Lent, and offers a fantastic excuse to eat, dance, and celebrate for anyone who needs one! See the carnival on a South American cruise which includes a stop in Rio de Janeiro.

    9. ICC Cricket World Cup

    Held at four year intervals since 1975, the ICC World Cup has been held in gorgeous locations including the Caribbean, Australia, and India. Those who enjoy the game can combine their interest with a cruise by simply timing their holiday with the tournament. It can also be possible for us to procure tickets to the games and add a few land days to your trip if necessary.

     

     

    10. Melbourne Horse Racing

    One of the most highly-esteemed horse races in the world, the historic Melbourne Cup has been captivating enthusiasts since 1861. Held in early November, cruise lines such as Carnival and P&O Cruises usually offer cruises that begin or end in either Sydney or Melbourne, and often include tickets to the races in with the package.



    Looking Back at 2017 in Cruise

    clock 22nd December 2017 | comment0 Comments

    This year has seen all sorts of surprises and huge events all across the globe, and in the cruise industry specifically, 2017 has certainly been significant in a number of ways. We at Iglu Cruise have had a whirlwind of a year full of some amazing memories, here are our top highlights.

    Events

    After the success of our Iglu Cruise Holiday Show in recent years, this year once again we hosted two highly successful events. The spring show was held in April at Sandown Park Racecourse, and saw a great number of cruise fans benefit from specialist cruise advice not only from our experts, but invited guests from several suppliers as well. We were also lucky enough to be joined by travel journalist Jonathon Beaumont, and TV personality Nina Myskow. Our autumn show took place in October at the Epsom Downs Racecourse. Here, once again hundreds of cruisers came along to listen to guest speakers and cruise enthusiasts, and enjoyed the stories and experiences of BBC’s Nicholas Owen.

    Relaunch of Iglu.com

    In an effort to make our website more accessible and user-friendly, we decided upon a few changes, and relaunched Iglu.com in autumn of this year. The developments included the option to search for the site using voice-recognition technology, on your mobile or with a digital home assistant. As well as this, we have made the site more responsive to various mobile devices, meaning it has become easier to browse through our selection of cruises and book online from your phone or tablet.

    Tailor-Made Experiences

    This year we also made it possible for some of our customers to be a part of exclusive tailor-made experiences, hosted by members of the Iglu Cruise team. In July we arranged an amazing trip to the annual Calgary Stampede rodeo show in Alberta, Canada, during which cruisers enjoyed what has been dubbed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. As well as this, throughout the year we organised some guided tours at the Grand Prix, including those in Barcelona, Monaco, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.

    Team on Tour

    Iglu Cruise as a trusted travel company is passionate about having knowledgeable staff who can pass on sound advice to customers. As such a conscious effort is made to send employees away on trips throughout the year, in order to increase their understanding of both destinations and cruise lines. This year was no exception, and members of the team were able to discover more about destinations like Alaska, Florida, and Tuscany, and enhance their knowledge of popular cruise lines such as Viking Ocean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Azamara Cruises.

    Big Cruise News

    One of the biggest cruise stories in 2017 has been Thomson Cruises’ name change to Marella Cruises. Announced in October, the travel company decided a new name was in order, so that their cruise line could be more distinct from the rest of the business – known as TUI. Another exciting development this year was Carnival Corporation’s reveal that same-sex marriages can now take place on P&O and Cunard ships. The first ceremony has already been scheduled onboard P&O Azura, just next month; warm wishes to the happy couple.

     

    More Destination Options

    2017 has also seen an increase in potential cruising destinations. Thanks to warmer relations between North America and Cuba, Cuban ports like Havana and Cayo Largo del Sur can now be included on more itineraries. Also, Swiss-owned MSC Cruises can now take guests to their exclusive island off Abu Dhabi’s coast – Sir Bani Yas Island. This is a beautiful haven, offering beaches, an extensive nature reserve for endangered animals, and all sorts of activities ranging from snorkelling to massages on the beach. November 2018 will also see the opening of another private island for MSC - Ocean Cay in the Caribbean will be the largest private island owned by a cruise line, at 95 acres.

    New Ships in 2017

    This year has seen a number of new ships introduced to the world of cruising, which has given regular cruisers more choice and diversity when it comes to what kind of holiday they are looking for. New vessels include:

  • MSC Meraviglia & MSC Seaside, MSC Cruises
  • Majestic Princess, Princess Cruises
  • Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Silver Muse, Silversea
  • Viking Sky & Viking Sun, Viking Ocean Cruises
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    As well as this, cruise lines like Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Cunard, and Silversea have all declared new ships in their future, but what new ships can we expect next year? Here are some of the vessel’s we can’t wait to see:

  • Carnival Horizon, Carnival Cruises - April 2018
  • Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean - April 2018
  • Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line - April 2018
  • MSC Seaview, MSC Cruises - May 2018
  • Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line - November 2018
  • Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises - December 2018
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    Awards

    We are so excited to be able to say that Iglu Cruise has won no less than ten awards this year! To be recognized for our skills and professionalism as cruise experts is truly gratifying, and very encouraging for the year to come. The awards we have achieved are:

     

  • Online Agent of the Year 2017, Travel2
  • Best Online Cruise Travel Agent 2017, Cruise International Awards
  • Top Agent for Scenic Waterways in the South, Scenic
  • Best Online Travel Agency 2017, Agent Achievement Awards
  • Cruise Specialist of the Year, Royal Caribbean
  • Highly Commended - Best Online Travel Agent 2017, WAVE Awards
  • Highly Commended - Passenger Favourite Cruise Agent 2017, WAVE Awards
  • Travel Business Partner of the Year 2017, Carnival UK
  • Outstanding Contribution Award 2017, Princess Cruises
  • Top Specialist Agent 2017, Celebrity Cruises
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    As well as this we have been nominated for two awards in next year’s WAVE awards, happening in 2018. Please vote for us for Best Cruise Travel Agent and Best Cruise Online Travel Agent.

     

     

    On the whole, 2017 has been a real adventure, full of surprises and some big changes in the industry. With this in mind, we expect 2018 to bring with it all kinds of fun, so all that remains is to cheers to the New Year!

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    Family Cruising at Christmas

    clock 21st December 2017 | comment0 Comments

    With so many cruise lines offering a variety of entertainment for all ages, it’s no wonder a cruise is a great gift for the whole family! During the festive season there’s no need for the chaos of preparing an extensive dinner, or battling to put up the decorations. On a Christmas cruise, the details are taken care of for you.

    Family on the beach

    From the moment you step onboard you’ll find your favourite ship has been enhanced into a festive wonderland. Cunard Queen Mary is a real sight to see especially, with awe-inspiring gingerbread models and Hans Christian Andersen -esque displays. With a huge programme of activities, many of which are Christmas themed, you can be rest assured that the whole family will find entertainment they love this winter. Below are just some of the highlights.


    Movies and Shows

    Cruise lines are constantly going above and beyond to offer a huge range of shows onboard. From theatrical shows and comedy to the latest movies and live music, you are spoilt for choice across all venues. Our favourites include MSC Cruises’ exclusive Cirque Du Soleil shows, as well as Disney Cruise Line’s magical Tangled: The Musical! Of course at Christmas time, make sure to look out for the festive classics showcased in theatres and outdoor screens.


    Pools and Spas

    All the family will enjoy the range of pools that can be found onboard the majority of cruise ships. Meanwhile, you will often find adult-only spaces including relaxing spa facilities, pools, and whirlpools, as well as areas designed especially for kids. Carnival Cruises’ Dr Seuss-themed water park has some brilliant features including a tipping bucket and splash zone, while MSC Cruises ships MSC Preziosa and MSC Seaside have some incredible water slides.

    Carnival Cruises Waterpark


    Dining Options

    You’ll be thrilled to find that you won’t be missing out on a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, as well as all your favourite festive sweet treats! With many restaurants serving mince pies, yule log and Christmas cookies, you’ll feel right at home (without all the cleaning up afterwards!). For those looking to break tradition though, opt for a speciality restaurant such as Johnny Rockets with Royal Caribbean, or pile your plate with all your favourites at the informal buffet restaurants.


    Action-Packed Fun

    As well as the swimming pools, many ships are home to rock-climbing walls, surf-simulators, zip-lines and even go-kart tracks, with much more in the works. Norwegian Cruise Line have excitingly revealed upcoming plans for laser tag venues as well as the largest at-sea racetrack! From meeting their favourite TV and film characters to climbing high above the top deck, kids of all ages will be spoilt for choice during sea days.

    As well as all this, don’t forget to check out the programme of activities onboard. Many cruise lines will offer seasonal extras which are great for the whole family. Expect visits from Santa or maybe even a Santa’s grotto, Christmas craft workshops, spell-binding carol singers, and beautiful gingerbread villages.


    Kids Clubs

    Don’t forget that parents can still enjoy a special evening together too! Thanks to onboard Kids Clubs offered on many larger cruise ships, you and your partner will be able to relax knowing that the little ones are in good hands. These clubs are usually separated into age-appropriate groups with entertainment to cater towards toddlers, children and teenagers. A team of fun and friendly hosts will be on hand while the kids enjoy the latest video games, dance classes and sports.


    Couple dining


    Treat the family this Christmas

    Although there are a few common misconceptions about cruising at Christmas time, it’s easy to see why this is actually one of the best ways to spend the festive season! Not only will the whole family enjoy more traditional celebrations, but you’ll also explore new destinations and try new activities, all without the stress. The weather won’t be bad to depending on where you decide to go! There are a huge range of December cruises available, though if you’re feeling stuck get in touch with our helpful team for more advice here.



    Tips for River Cruising in the Festive Season

    clock 18th December 2017 | comment0 Comments

    The infamous European Christmas markets are right on our doorstep, and yet so many Brits are yet to see them. With cities like Cologne, Vienna, Strasbourg, and Copenhagen all offering some of the best options around, it can be difficult to decide just where to visit when you do finally make the decision to go! One way to remedy this, however, is to opt for a river cruise in December. This way it’s possible to see multiple destinations on one trip.

     

    Which Christmas markets can I see?

    Europe is not short of waterways by any means, and as such there are a number of strategically-positioned, important cities that can be accessed on a river cruise. In December, The Rhine, The Danube, The Rhone, and The Seine are just some of the most popular rivers that can transport you to some incredible winter wonderlands. The Rudesheim market, in The Rhine valley boasts over 100 stalls with gifts and treats from all over the world, Budapest on The Danube offers a traditional Hungarian feel, and of course in Paris on The Seine visitors will find delicious crepes, tartiflette, and all manner of keepsakes. These are just a handful of the top Christmas markets you could see.

    Can I bring my children?

    While most river cruise lines are designed for adults, in general children are also welcome onboard. Amawaterways have taken steps to make their ships more family-friendly, by introducing adjoining staterooms on both AmaViola and AmaStella. Tauck River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises are also slightly more geared towards children than some other river cruise lines, offering excursions like scavenger hunts and family bike rides. Selected Uniworld ships also offer a games room for kids and activities like craft workshops and cookery lessons which can be especially fun at Christmas. It is worth keeping in mind however, that some Christmas market locations can get very busy, and can involve a considerable amount of walking, so it’s important to consider this if bringing children.

     

    What’s it like for solo travellers?

    River cruising can be a fantastic option for solo travellers, owing to the extremely relaxed and sociable atmosphere onboard. Generally, river cruise ships have multiple public lounges where entertainment such as live music and quizzes will take place. This makes it all the more easy to meet fellow cruisers and converse with new friends. Excursions on these cruises are also perfect for solo travellers. Take part in an organised group tour of a new city and, of course, its Christmas markets. River cruise lines like Scenic River Cruises and Avalon Waterways often do great deals for solo travellers too.

    Are there other Christmassy things to do?

    While river cruises in December do have a real focus on European Christmas markets, there are other festive things to do and see in these beautiful cities. When you’ve had your fill of gluwhein and pretty trinket stalls, take a look around and you will find all sorts of other activities. Why not show off your skills on the ice rink on the Champs-Elysees, sip on a hot chocolate while becoming enchanted by the twinkling lights and decorations in Vienna, or admire the magnificence of German Christmas trees – or Tannenbaum – in Cologne.

     

     

    River cruises in December can be anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your preference and time limitations. Considering this, and the wide selection of destinations, dates, and types of cruise, it is usually possible to find a European Christmas market cruise to suit everyone.



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