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Explore the Galapagos Islands on a Cruise

clock 2nd August 2018 | comment0 Comments

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

    clock 1st August 2018 | comment0 Comments

    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.



    Discover Luxury River Cruising with Scenic and Emerald Cruise Show

    clock 30th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    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.



    Virgin Voyages Announce Name of New Ship

    clock 20th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    A lot of excitement is building around all-new cruise line Virgin Voyages, and even more highly-anticipated news has just come in hot off the press - the name of their first ship will be…

    Drum roll, please…

    Scarlet Lady!

     

     

    What else do we know about Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady?

     

    Scarlet Lady’s home port will be Miami, from where she will set sail as early as 2020. Designed with a futuristic, sleek design and plenty of outdoor space, Scarlet Lady aims to be as pioneering to the world of cruise as all other Virgin brands that have gone before. You can see this in her emblem on her hull of a mermaid adorning the Virgin logo - in contrast to the Flying Lady adorning Virgin Atlantic’s aeroplanes. This emblem, colour scheme, and name all pay homage to Sir Richard Branson’s first foray into the travel industry, Scarlet Lady being one of the first planes to fly for Virgin Atlantic.

    As well as celebrating Virgin’s past, Scarlet Lady looks to the future. This includes a commitment to achieving sustainable cruise holidays by converting clean energy onboard the ship and pledging to be single-use plastic free. A second philosophy pledged by Virgin is a focus on getting women into jobs higher up the chain of command onboard.

     

    What can we expect onboard Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady?

     

    Scarlet Lady will be an adult-only ship catering to up to nine-hundred ‘sailors’, aged 18-years-old and above. This means there is a focus on wining, dining, and relaxing while onboard. There are some fantastic onboard venues to enjoy and socialise in while cruising with Virgin Voyages, including Richards’ Rooftop, a huge open deck terrace on the top of the ship. There is also an experimental lab-styled restaurant called ‘The Test Kitchen’ which comes complete with periodic table, test tube décor, and experimental dishes to sample.

    One major feature on Scarlet Lady, and the two future ships following, is the focus on the concept Virgin are calling ‘Vitamin Sea’. This is a focus on their ‘sailors’ getting the right balance of ‘detox and retox’. This entails the process of having a great time and then recovering again afterwards. Vitamin Sea includes yoga meditation, fitness classes, sports activities, a juice bar, the largest day-bed afloat, and Runway jogging track. For sure, a Virgin cruise will be a zen-like balance of good times and rejuvenation!

    Stay up to date with all the latest cruise news by signing up to our mailing list.



    A Big Thank You! Interview with Voyages to Antiquity Competition Winner

    clock 17th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Catch Up With Voyages To Antiquity Competition Winner, Martin Myers.

    In cooperation with Voyages to Antiquity, Iglu Cruise hosted a competition with the prize of a fantastic cruise for two on board Aegean Odyssey from Bordeaux to London. To win the competition we asked Iglu Cruise fans to say why they wanted to sail with Voyages to Antiquity in one sentence. Over a thousand cruise fans responded but it was Martin Myers who was lucky enough to win the fiercely close competition. His winning answer was “Intimate ship, included excursions and tips, overnights in port and informal dining- What's not to like!?” Martin’s winning response may express everything that makes Voyages to Antiquity a cruiser’s favourite, but he hasn’t finished having his say. Here, we catch up with him after his dream prize cruise with Voyages to Antiquity and see just how he got on.

    guests onboard agean odyssey

    How did you find Aegean Odyssey?

    We then boarded Aegean Odyssey again a seamless process and were escorted to our cabin where our luggage was already present, we then began to notice that within a few short hours that all the staff were not only incredibly friendly and professional but already knew our names without need for introduction, this blew us away and added another level to an already very high standard of hospitality.

    How was your accommodation on Aegean Odyssey?

    The cabin was spacious, light and well-appointed with a good sized bathroom. This was the first time we had sailed on a small ship and both myself and Lee were not at all phased by this, in fact quite the reverse as we had everything on board required. As we toured the ship in more detail during our sea day it became apparent that the standard of maintenance, cleanliness and decor both inside and outside were second to none, along with some well thought-out rooms such as the Library, Observation Lounge and Lido Deck where the Tea & Coffee station was a great addition.

     

    agean odyssey cabin

     

    What entertainment was there on Aegean Odyssey?

    We were invited on one evening to pre-dinner drinks followed by dinner with Voyages to Antiquity’s General Manager Mr John Kain. At first, we weren’t sure exactly what his role was but the charming Charlene at the reception desk nicely educated us. Some fellow passengers were also invited and the evening was a great success, of note too was the friendliness of the other passengers and the camaraderie that was fostered whilst out on excursions and dining. The lectures on board were well presented. In particular, the one given by Mr John Hughes about the Eden Project was excellent as we are both keen gardeners and John's knowledge of plants was extensive.

    How was Aegean Odyssey’s food and service?

    The meals in both the Terrace Grill and Marco Polo Restaurant were faultless from start to finish. This was not only in terms of choice and quality, but in innovative menus featuring new ingredients and styles of cooking. This all lead to a sense of care being taken not only in preparation but in delivery as well. We also enjoyed the wines which were served with dinner and the level of service in both areas was outstanding with nothing being too much trouble as all the waiting staff were brilliant. Special mention has to go to Maureen in the Terrace Grill and Charleston Lounge and to our cabin steward Melody who made sure we were well looked-after.

     

    agean odyssey food

     

    How were Voyages to Antiquity’s excursions and tours?

    On the second day after breakfast although the weather was not kind we did enjoy our visit to some of Bordeaux’s famous vineyards. We had a very informative tour of the town and saw beautiful countryside. Here, we were able to see the vines, caves and the processing area where the wine was made along with a tasting in a very pleasant setting.

    The port of Falmouth gave us an opportunity to see St Michael's Mount which has long been on our bucketlist and in Dartmouth we were able to visit Agatha Christie’s holiday home Greenway again. This was some where we had been meaning to see, however, the icing on the cake was that in Dartmouth we were able to meet up with my mother and brother who live locally. We spent some quality time with them quayside in glorious Devon weather. The sail-away from Dartmouth was unforgettable as it seemed the entire town had come to the banks of the River Dart to wave us goodbye.

    Would you recommend a cruise on Aegean Odyssey with Voyages to Antiquity?

    Yes! Our time on the trip was fantastic from start to finish, all the arrangements were seamless and the quality and location of the hotel in Bordeaux could not have been better as the visit coincided not only with the tall ships being moored along the banks of the River Garonne but also the annual wine festival all directly outside the Hôtel Mercure Bordeaux Cité Mondiale Centre Ville, where we also enjoyed spectacular views of the city from the 7th floor breakfast restaurant.

     

    agean odyssey lounge

     

    What was your highlight with Voyages to Antiquity?

    I could go on and on as on as we felt like we had won the lottery! But, we’d have to say the ship was by far the highlight of our stay. Our time onboard Aegean Odyssey was unforgettable for so many reasons and we would like to thank all those at Iglu Cruise who made this possible.

    Want a similar experience to Martin with Voyage to Antiquity?

    If you like the sound of Martin’s fantastic experience, you can check out all Voyages to Antiquities’ latest and greatest deals onboard MV Aegean Odyssey and find the perfect cruise for you.

    Plus, be sure to keep an eye on our Iglu Cruise competitions page, where you'll find information about all current competitions and past winners.



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