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MSC Cruises' Top 10 Mediterranean Ports

10th February 2020

A cruise to the Mediterranean will bring you to some of the most iconic destinations in the world, boasting rich culture, unique architecture and plenty of warm, friendly hospitality. MSC Cruises are one of the leading experts in unforgettable Mediterranean itineraries - check out MSC Cruises' top 10 Mediterranean ports! [More]

P&O Cruises’ Summer 2020 Highlights

6th September 2018

P&O Cruises is excited to present their summer 2020 collection, details of which have finally been released for us to have a gander and look through! So what exactly is coming up? Well to start with, a fantastic 160 new cruises! This means even more different cruise options to choose from, and many memories to be made onboard with the UK’s favourite cruise line.



160 New Cruises and More Destinations!

With 160 new cruises it means there are plenty of destinations available for passengers to choose from, so where will P&O Cruises take you in 2020? From April 2020 to October 2020, cruises will be in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Iberia, Norway, and Iceland. Imagine a breath-taking summer in the Mediterranean with pristine beaches, and delightful scenery. But it doesn’t stop there with even more regions such as the Baltics, North America, Canada, and the British Isles as well. P&O will be offering a variety of itineraries, from short breaks to a fabulous 30-night voyage onboard Arcadia. Where will be your summer spot? With the Mediterranean being a popular favourite, will you switch it up and try summer 2020 in Iceland, or maybe Canada?

A Stunning New Ship: Iona & Her Itineraries

The launch of Iona is a popular subject in the cruise industry, and we at Iglu Cruise are certainly very excited about it! With the ship holding over 5,200 people, the saying ‘the bigger the better’ is definitely true in this sense. Iona is bringing the outside, inside with its beautiful SkyDome - the first of its kind in the industry – blurring the lines. With over 15 places to eat, more than eight specialty restaurants, and over 10 bars and lounges, Iona will surely be the ship everyone is talking about. But what about Iona’s itineraries? Iona will be offering itineraries in the Norwegian Fjords from May 2020 until September 2020. Find out more about what’s in store onboard P&O Iona.


More exciting itineraries

Arcadia is treating us to a 30-night itinerary to Canada & North America in September of 2020, which includes an amazing overnight call in Boston plus three full days in New York. This itinerary creates an astonishing experience to see the world famous Big Apple. Arcadia is also offering passengers a Northern Lights cruise in October 2020, giving passengers more opportunities to experience viewing the amazing Northern Lights. Aurora will be operating the only Iceland itinerary of the season, which is also going to be including an overnight call in capital city Reykjavik.




Excited about Iona 2020? Or about P&O summer 2020? Pre-register now to increase your chances of securing the cruise holiday of your dreams.

Cruising for Wine Lovers

7th February 2018

Cruising and wine are two interests that make a perfect pairing. Not only can most cruise lines transport you to notable wine districts all over the world, but many also bring wine tastings, presentations, and experiences onboard as well. If you consider yourself something of a connoisseur, or even just enjoy a simple glass every now and then but would like to learn more, there are a number of destinations and types of cruises that could be right for you.

European Cruises

When it comes to European wines there are an incredible number of places worth exploring. Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Portugal are generally the most popular, but just about every country produces their own blend – not forgetting the UK. Try a punchy local Rioja in southern Spain on a Mediterranean cruise, or a classic Riesling on the Rhine on a German river cruise; wine lovers will not be disappointed in Europe– especially with most cruise lines offering various wine-themed excursions.



Celebrity Cruises

This popular cruise line has partnered up with Channel 5’s The Wine Show, to bring guests some extra special wine-related experiences. Presenters Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer have put together a series of recommended excursions – including vineyard tours and tastings across Europe. They will also often appear onboard to host talks and tastings on the ship. Celebrity Cruises also boast an enviable collection of rare wines at sea, and an expert team of sommeliers.


Australasia Cruises

Although Australian wine came pretty late into the game considering the history of wine in other regions, its popularity has seen a dramatic rise in recent years. In fact it is now the fourth biggest exporter of wine in the world. There are wine regions all over the vast country, including around Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne. In the Adelaide Hills alone there are around 50 different wineries, and you’ll find cruise excursions taking you to tastings in several of these, with a delicious gourmet lunch included too.



Cunard: Queen Mary 2

Cunard offer a unique cruising opportunity onboard QM2, in that guests can earn themselves a Level 1 or 2 Award in Wines; a recognised qualification in the wine industry. These are gained by spending time learning about oenology with the help of sommeliers, and renowned global winemakers who are brought onboard. You can expect tutored wine tastings, production workshops, fine wine seminars, and more. Port lovers will be especially delighted with the impressive array of 46 vintage ports in the Carinthia Lounge.

California Cruises

Around 90% of North American wine is produced in the sunny state of California – another popular cruise destination. A number of round-the-world, America, and even Caribbean cruises include stops in California, and ports like San Francisco are a great place to spend a few extra days on a cruise and stay holiday. Visit the glorious wine regions of Sonoma and Napa Valley for some brilliant wine experiences, either on an excursion or individually. Horse-riding here is a very special and memorable way to explore the vineyards.



APT River Cruises

For those who seek a cruise spent truly immersed in oenology, APT River Cruises’ Wine Series is a fabulous option. The line has collaborated with the winemakers of Australia’s First Families of Wine, in order to provide some wonderful wine-themed experiences on their selection of Wine Series cruises. Wine ambassadors will be onboard to host each river cruise, on which they will give talks about traditional wine-making in Europe, and of course wine tastings and meals with paired wines. These cruises take place in the wine regions of Europe, and include visits to various vineyards.

South Africa Cruises

A cruise in Africa is a fantastic and exhilarating opportunity to experience some of the most wonderful and unique aspects of our world. As well as new scenery, food, and of course culture, if your cruise includes a stop in South Africa, you’re in for a treat where wine is concerned as well. With 17th century European settlers came wine-making, and so viticulture here is in fact older than you might expect. Many cruise lines offer some brilliant wine-themed excursions, including tastings, tours of famous wine estates, and of course the chance to buy some exquisite bottles.



Please remember to drink responsibily when enjoying wine or other alcoholic beverages.

So You Think You Know the Mediterranean

8th January 2018

With the Mediterranean remaining the number one choice of destination for UK cruisers, we thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at some of the preconceptions, and indeed lesser known facts about this popular part of the world.


Home to the Original Shopping Mall

Holidaying in the Mediterranean will inevitably involve some souvenir-buying, and most tourists will visit local markets and bazaars for these. But did you know that today’s large, commercial shopping malls actually originated in the Mediterranean? The first complex of this type was constructed in Rome by Emperor Trajan, in the early part of the 2nd century. His emporium is thought to have been filled with all kinds of wares, from spices and foods, to clothing and material.


The Same Festivals Celebrated Differently

Festivals like Easter and Christmas are celebrated in most Mediterranean countries. At these times you’ll notice traditions like those in the UK, such as street parades and glittering decorations, but there also some less familiar customs:

• In Valencia, Spain, for instance, you might see flour-throwing on December 28th – The Day of the Innocents

• On Easter Saturday in Corfu you’ll need to keep your wits about you, to avoid injury during the popular pottery-smashing ritual

The Med is Home to some of the UK’s Favourite Foods

Most visitors to the Mediterranean like to explore new foods and try all the best local cuisine, and it may come as a surprise to learn that in fact, many of the most popular foods we eat in the UK have origins here. It’s no secret that favourites like pizza and pasta hail from Italy, but there are also some treats that might not be expected:

• Fruit cake and bacon are thought to have first been introduced by the Romans in Italy

• ‘Fish and Chips’ actually originated in Portugal and Spain

• It’s thought that the creation of pies began with the Ancient Greeks


Mediterranean Languages Have Influenced English

Many European languages have borrowed words from one another throughout history, and the English language itself has been shaped by a great number of words from the Mediterranean.

• French - we have France to thank for words like ‘menu’ and ‘restaurant’

• Spanish - Spain has given us the likes of ‘mosquito’, ‘patio’, and ‘vanilla’

• Italian - we use ‘camera’, ‘temperature’, and ‘zero’, from Italy

• Greek - ‘Phobia’, ‘ethos’, and ‘plethora’ all have origins in the Greek language.

Over 20 Countries and States Have Mediterranean Coast

When we think of ‘The Mediterranean’, it’s not uncommon to mention the likes of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, but in fact, more than 20 recognised states enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea on their shores. Here are a few more to explore on a Mediterranean cruise:

1. Gibraltar

2. Spain

3. France

4. Monaco

5. Italy

6. Malta

7. Slovenia

8. Croatia

9. Montenegro

10. Albania

11. Greece

12. Cyprus

13. Turkey


Cruising in the Mediterranean

As a long-standing, popular holiday destination, and with plenty of pretty ports to choose from, it makes sense that a great number of cruise companies offer itineraries in this part of the world. The UK’s favourite cruise line, P&O Cruises, offers a brilliant range of itineraries in and around The Med. This could be a great option for families, not only because of P&O Cruises’ onboard features, but also because Mediterranean countries are just a short flight from the UK. Or, if you’d prefer not to fly however, P&O Cruises also offer no-fly cruises departing from the UK.

Family Cruising in the Mediterranean

What makes P&O Cruises perfect for a family cruise in the Mediterranean?



5 ships in P&O Cruises' fleet of 8 have been designed with the wants and needs of families in mind, which means that they offer some of the best activities, entertainment, and family-friendly dining options at sea. Children are welcome in all onboard restaurants, each serving a wide variety of foods to cater for guests of all ages. The entertainment on the ships has also been well thought out to appeal to everyone. The stunning Once upon a time show is a particular favourite among families.

If you do fancy spending a special evening together, without the little ones, be sure to take advantage of P&O Cruises’ onboard kids club: The Reef. This is split into four age groups thereby ensuring that each child can access activities and entertainment materials suitable for them. This might be a soft play area, puzzles, books, or video games for example.

Another great aspect of cruising with P&O Cruises in the Mediterranean is the excursions. P&O Cruises offer a fantastic range, from exploring Rome’s infamous colosseum, taking a trolley train ride in Malta, to river rafting in Croatia, there will undoubtedly be something to suit every age group. Discover just how many places you could see, and what adventures you could have with your family on a P&O Cruises' Mediterranean cruise.

Top 5 Family Cruise Destinations in the Mediterranean

20th September 2016

Updated February 2017


Our favourite teenage guest blogger is back this month sharing his insights on family cruising in the Mediterranean. If you're looking for a Mediterranean cruise for your family, why not consider it from a teenager's point of view with Henry's top tips and best bits.




I first visited Barcelona when I was 12, and I loved it. The dock is quite a walk away from the city, but there will always be coaches to shuttle you in. Despite this, my family and I decided to make the walk, which lasts about half an hour, and it was lovely. Mainly on a bridge, it boasts spectacular views over the city and a welcome breeze sweeps in to cool you down. You can even see the magical Sagrada Familia in the distance, which brings me to my next point; Antoni Gaudí’s phenomenal architecture. His gothic works include the Casa Batlló, a residential building which captures your imagination. The Park Güell also contains much of Gaudi’s works, as well as more stunning views looking down on the city. However, the masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia, which is absolutely mesmerising. Think again if you plan to ignore the architectural side of Barcelona – I was just as dismissive of museums and buildings as the next child, but Gaudi’s work is just astonishing, and something that you can’t miss.

I also enjoyed the general atmosphere of the city; it wasn’t chaotic like you might get in small Turkish towns, but it maintained a unique charm, which is seen perfectly in Las Ramblas, the famous lively promenade, where you can buy fresh food, drink, souvenirs and clothes. For those not wanting to take a chance on the food, Barcelona has the usual cafés and restaurants, including McDonald’s. From here, the beach is no further than a 20 minute walk away, and it stretches all the way along the coast. Be warned though, the golden sands and hot weather attracts thousands of people, leaving little room for latecomers. Barcelona really is a perfect destination for cruises with the family.

Sports fans can also enjoy cruise trips to the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona, and to the Olympic sports grounds of the 1992 Summer Olympics.



I have been to Santorini twice, and really enjoyed it on both occasions. There is plenty to enjoy for the children and the adults. Cruise ships have to anchor away from the island and passengers taken in by shuttle boats, which is a pleasant experience in itself. The main town itself is at the top of a hill, meaning a funicular takes you up, another enjoyable experience. The town itself is charming, with its narrow streets and lovely buildings packed tightly together. The cobbled paths lead you along the top, with beautiful views of the sea and volcano – and probably your cruise ship! There is a nice mixture of restaurants, cafés and ice cream shops. Eventually, you will reach the famous blue and white buildings which are the trademark picture for Santorini. These are nice, but by now the children might be getting a bit restless. I would recommend walking down the Santorini ‘donkey path’, which offers fantastic views of the volcano, and is a very fun activity for the kids.

For those not wanting to go up to the town, you can also go on a cruise trip to explore the volcano. Whilst the volcano is dormant, an eruption can be detected three months before it happens, so there’s nothing to worry about. On my second visit to Santorini, we went on an excursion which involved a boat ride to the volcano, before walking up to the top and looking down the crater. You can feel the hot waves of air blow up, and there are also magnificent views on the other side. Afterwards, we were taken to a set of hot springs and we were allowed to swim in them, which was brilliant and something that other children will definitely enjoy. Santorini is a great destination for a child friendly cruise.



I think Gibraltar is unfairly labelled as a boring place because it is part of the UK and shares the same shops and road signs (etc.), Britons generally think that they are not really experiencing a new and interesting place. However, if you ignore the signs to Sainsbury’s, then you’ll discover and appreciate Gibraltar for its geographical and natural wonders. The Rock of Gibraltar is the obvious landmark, and rightly so. There are many excursions by local people which give good tours of the land before going up the Rock where the famous Gibraltar monkeys live – the only wild monkeys in Europe. They are all friendly and used to humans, meaning they happily jump on your shoulders for pictures. During World War II, the British army used Gibraltar as a base, due to its strategically convenient location, and there are many interesting tunnels and bases within the Rock which can be visited. The Upper Rock Nature Reserve provides a safe environment for the monkeys to live, as well as being the location to St. Michael’s Cave, which has spectacular stalactites and scenery. The Mediterranean Steps provide breathtaking views and, whilst I haven’t done it personally, the reviews online are all very positive.

Back down in town, there is the Grand Casemates Square, with the usual shops and souvenirs, while Europa Point provides nice views of Africa, and is the site of Gibraltar’s new football stadium. You can also get a very cheap bus around Gibraltar, which takes you in a full loop. When I was there, we stopped off at a beach round the book and enjoyed great weather, as well as a free inflatable course in the water (just sign up with the lifeguards), making it a great place for children.


Ibiza is a lovely place for relaxing on the beach. The sun is constant but never unbearable, and the blue waters are beautifully warm. I would recommend exploring the town first. The main town is fairly standard, with lots of shops and restaurants. The old town is beautiful and accessible for all. The Santa Maria d’Eivissa is a beautiful cathedral to consider visiting, and you can also visit the Ibiza Castle and wander around the narrow, cobbled streets, before heading down to the beach to relax. We ventured down a scrubby hillside before reaching a rocky beach, where the water was amazing. The island is fairly small, so may not appease those who are not satisfied with relaxing on the beach. The ship is quite a walk away, but there should be regular shuttle buses provided by the cruise line, or you might want to make the half hour walk, which is very pleasant – you could stop at one of the many quayside restaurants on the way back.



When I went to Naples, we took a train to the ruined village of Pompeii which was very fascinating. You can stroll around the ancient stone roads and see the destroyed buildings. Inside houses there are also the preserved human remains after the eruption of Vesuvius. There are plenty of statues, and also a café. Tour guides are also present, but you risk getting caught up with a very boring one. Whilst it is undoubtedly an extraordinary place, it is likely that young children may get bored, so I’d recommend saving Pompeii for the older children (14 and above), when they can really appreciate the place. Temperatures do get very high, but luckily there are lots of good beaches nearby. Further along the same train line, you reach the beach town of Sorrento. Alternatively, you might choose to spend the day climbing Mount Vesuvius, which is easy to do with many tours and clear pathways, and it boasts breathtaking views.

Back in Naples, there are also many attractions, in addition to the variety of beaches on offer. The Piazza del Plebiscito is very famous, whilst the Orto Botanico provides a welcome escape from the noise and traffic of the city roads. Meanwhile, for the tired children, you can settle down on one of the many beaches, including the Arenile Beach, which turns into a famous beach club at night. Naples also boasts some of the best pizzas in the world, so ensure you make time for a meal! The city is fairly easy to navigate, and you can do a lovely walk back to the ship through the narrow and winding streets. There are many grand churches and cathedrals, as well as little cafés where you can stop for ice cream.


Treat the family (and yourself) with a Mediterranean cruise for your next holiday. Popular family cruise lines include P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line.

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