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Iglu Cruise at the 74th Monaco F1 Grand Prix

clock 27th May 2016 | comment0 Comments

Iglu Cruise representatives were on location escorting cruise guests during the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. As part of an exciting cruise and stay holiday guests have the chance to experience this major sporting event trackside as part of their holiday. Set amongst the glittering French Riviera, race goers will enjoy the unique experience of the world’s most famous Formula One Race.

 

monaco grand prix

Monaco Facts

It’s as glitzy as it is old, with the Principality ruled by the Grimaldi family for over 700 years.

Who were the Grimaldis? A famous family from the area who took over Monaco from the Genovese occupiers. In 1297 Francesco Grimaldi and his men captured the fortress dressed as Franciscan monks. The disguise allowed them access to the castle. Once inside they opened the gates allowing their soldiers in.

How well does Monaco get on with neighbours today? Very well, Monaco has full membership to the UN and is affiliated to the EU. The present day ruler Albert of Monaco works hard ensuring the country isn’t just known as a tax haven, but a country with a transparent fiscal system promoting banking and high tech industries.

Why is it so well-known? For starters Monaco residents are about the world’s wealthiest enjoying record years of longevity, a pleasant climate and paying zero taxes. Security is one of Monaco’s USP’s with the world’s highest number of policemen per capita. The facilities and amenities make it a welcoming playground for the rich and every May they host the Grand Prix.

What do drivers think of that? It’s the race they all want to win, if you bag this one whether the Grand Prix or support race, it puts rockets on your street cred. They have to earn it though, it’s tight and twisty, drivers say it’s like riding a bike in your living room, others say it’s like flying a plane in an auditorium.


Monaco is a stunning destination packed with glitz, glamour, culture and history. Visit as part of your Mediterranean cruise or attend during the world famous grand prix to absorb the exciting atmosphere.

See our Monaco F1 cruise guide for more information on cruise lines and ships that offer a Monaco Grand Prix Cruise package.

 

monaco grand prix
monaco port

 

View all F1 Grand Prix Cruise & Stay packages.



My First British Cruising Experience

clock 9th April 2014 | comment0 Comments

P&O Cruises are the pinnacle of British cruising and they pride themselves on offering a world-class, authentic British experience. One of the most popular lines in the UK, they cruise all over the world. Sally, from the Iglu Cruise Marketing team was lucky enough to experience life onboard Ventura. Read all about Sally's first British cruising experience below.

From chirping birds to splashing waves…

As the clocks went back and England started to glow with sprouting daffodils, spring temperatures and the sound of chirping birds waking us, I retired my coat to the rail and packed my bag for a European adventure.

Even at 4am, check-in was easy and the short flight from London was hassle-free. My nose pressed firmly against the plane window as striking views of ancient architecture swiftly passed me as I landed into Barcelona. You cannot fault the Spanish way of life with its quintessentially Latin flare and laid-back lifestyle of indulging on tapas in vibrant restaurants, however I did not have time for this today as I had someone waiting for me…Ventura.

Arriving at the port, she loomed before me with her sleek exterior eagerly waiting to welcome me onboard.

A warm welcome…

Boarding a ship can be daunting, especially for first time cruisers but after a friendly welcome from some of the ship’s crew and a convenient ship map in hand, the boarding process was extremely smooth. Miraculously my suitcase arrived at my cabin before me and my new home for the week was very inviting with a tempting king size bed, extensive wardrobe space and an impressive balcony that cantilevered from the aft of the ship.

On the first morning I reluctantly staggered out of what can only be described as the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. As I rubbed my lethargic eyes and opened my balcony doors I was hit with the fresh sea air against my face and an awe-inspiring view of the vast ocean swaying calmly around me. With a feeling of looking out at the whole world, it was the perfect way to awaken all of my senses and prepare for the day ahead.

It was the first and only sea day of my cruise. I am guilty of often complaining there are not enough hours in the day, but this clearly does not occur on a cruise. From sun-bathing (and gaining the famous 'British' red-tan!), cheering on Arsenal in the pub and having a manicure in the spa to taking part in fruit carving, having a galley tour and failing miserable at 'name that tune' – my day was packed with adventures. Not to mention the incredible food I indulged on, from the full English breakfast to the fresh pizza cooked at the poolside grill.

English Kings and Queens…

Formal night - a time that allows P&O to represent the traditional but modern style they are famous for. With everyone dressed in their formal attire, sipping champagne and having photographs with the Captain, it was a special evening that has left me with a joyous memory. The constant flow of smiles on everyone’s face was extremely infectious and there was a jubilant atmosphere all around.

P&O Cruises have one or two formal nights during a one week cruise and optional so those who do not want to dress up can dine in the buffet restaurant if desired. However for me, formal night is a great opportunity to dress up in an elegant cocktail dress, that rarely comes out of my wardrobe, and feel like a princess for a night.

After a formal dinner involving New England split lobster, Prosecco poached strawberries, fine wine and plenty of laughter, I experienced one of the line’s production shows. The main theatre spans over two decks and boasts gold décor, HD screens, innovative lighting and a large stage perfect for showcasing the talented singers and dancers.

Europe awaits…

Our first port was Toulon, I took the complimentary water taxi to the city centre where I enjoyed strolling around the quant shops that lined the charming yacht harbours. As we sailed away it was incredible to see how the clear blue sky allowed the sun to illuminate this picturesque city.

Arriving in Monte Carlo the next morning was an experience hard to put into words. The intense colours of the beaming sunset peered through soaring mountains that dwarfed the unique architecture and beautiful yacht harbours. Upon leaving the ship I explored the Grand Prix track before boarding the tour bus. After a scenic drive unveiling famous landmarks and celebrity homes I reached Nice. Moseying around the fresh fruit markets, stopping for a fresh macaroon and admiring the history-enriched buildings were my highlights here. It was then onto Cannes, a place that defines wealth and luxury, it was like being placed in the middle of a fairy-tale. Lavish boutiques, fresh pastry shops and water-front cafes lined the sun-drenched beaches and harbours bursting with extravagant yachts.

It was great to see the extensive range of excursions P&O Cruises had on offer. With adventurous, educational and relaxed options there is something for everyone at every port. The excursion staff were very helpful and had extensive knowledge of every city.

Fly-Med Success…

After canapés and cocktails in the Metropolis Bar, for my last meal onboard I went to The White Room, Marco Pierre White’s signature restaurant. Easily one of the best meals I have experienced on a ship, each dish set my taste buds alight and accompanied the chosen wines perfectly. After four truly exquisite dishes, I still couldn’t resist the Tiramisu and melt-in-your-mouth truffles.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Ventura and everything about the trip gave me insights into the fantastic opportunities guests will have on Ventura's Fly-Med season. Reaching exciting cities without having to spend two days at sea is a bonus and having the opportunity to spend a night (or 2) before or after your cruise is fantastic.

Although there were lots of things that stood out, these are the ones I want to point out:

• The price of drinks onboard were the lowest I have ever seen on a cruise.

• It was easy and convenient to fly and the transfer to the ship was very quick and efficient.

• The selection of afternoon teas and cakes (including shortbread, fruit cake and Victoria sponge) laid out every day were a delightful  'British' touch.

• Tea and coffee making facilities in my stateroom were very useful.

• The Great British Sail away on the top deck as we sailed away from Monte Carlo was very patriotic and fun.

• A Ventura chocolate placed on my pillow every night when I returned to my cabin was a special little touch that made me smile.

As my trip sadly came to an end and I sat in Genoa airport waiting to fly home, it gave me time to reflect on my Ventura experience. From the exceptional service, delicious cuisine and outstanding entertainment to the array of onboard activities, comfortable cabins and fascinating ports, it is clear to see why this iconic cruise line continue to be a number one choice for both first time and experienced cruisers.


By Sally Grimes



How to save over £1500 on the Monaco Grand Prix

clock 8th April 2014 | comment0 Comments

The Monaco Grand Prix - one of the most anticipated races of the F1 calendar, it represents the pinnacle of motor car racing at one of the most lavish addresses in the world.

Monte Carlo is a city that defines luxury with its water-front mansions, fancy boutiques and prime restaurants that line its iconic yacht harbors. Home to millionaires and A-list celebrities, it showcases the most glamorous lifestyles. Behind its flashy appearance lies fresh pastry shops, sun-drenched beaches and fascinating architecture, making it a must-see destination with lots to explore.

Most people, including myself, succumb to the fact we will only experience the Monaco Grand Prix on the TV or by winning the lottery, so I wanted to find out exactly how much it would cost in comparison to Azamara's Grand Prix cruise. Following on from my previous blog where I found out how great it was to combine a cruise with major sporting events, I wanted to delve into this further and find out if it is really is as good value for money as advertised...

 

  Independent Package Holiday Azamara Quest Cruise
Flights British Airways
Outbound 22/05/14
Economy: £164
Return 27/05/14
Economy: £436
Flights total for 2 people: £1200
Included
Return flights and all transfers
Hotel Columbus Monte Carlo 3*
Standard room: £198.59 per night
Hotel total for 2 people, 5 nights: £992.95
Included
5* Luxury stateroom accommodation
Grand Prix Tickets Sunday main race: £422.92 per person
Total for 2 people: £845.84
Sunday main race: £422.92 per person
Total for 2 people: £845.84
Food Average meal: £30 per person
Total for 2 people, 5 nights: £600
Included
All meals, snacks, bottled water,teas, coffees & spirits
Transport Aiport to hotel: £74.00
Average other taxi rides: £50
Total: £198
Included
Complimentary shuttle bus in Port
Total Price £3836.79 £2009.92

 

In addition to the above a cruise onboard Azamara Quest will include complimentary entertainment, fitness centre, enriching lectures, laundry service and gratuities.

With a saving of over £1500, even I was shocked by the phenomenal value for money you get from cruising to the Grand Prix...I am not relying on that lottery win anymore!

See our Grand Prix Cruise Deals 


By Sally Grimes



9 Must-See European Cruise Destinations

clock 4th April 2014 | comment0 Comments

Updated April 2018

 

With a cruise rapidly becoming the most desired holiday option for British holiday makers, cruise lines are expanding their horizons and sending their ships to new destinations.

Europe continues to be an extremely popular cruise choice, showcasing history-enriched cultures, breath-taking landscapes, and exciting culinary experiences. The European seas are lined with fascinating cities, and some of the most alluring coastlines in the world.

With more ships than ever based in Europe, there has never been a better time to delve into this captivating part of the world. There are so many cities to explore that it is hard to choose a favourite, here's our top 9:

Barcelona

It is hard to fault the Spanish way of life - sipping sangrias on sun-drenched beaches, and eating fresh tapas on the terrace of an architectural marvel.

Set on the east coast, Barcelona dominates this intriguing country. A city bursting with unusual buildings, exotic restaurants, and an energetic nightlife, combined with a cosmopolitan lifestyle and quintessentially Spanish flare.

 

 

A visit here on a cruise allows you to explore all of what this enticing city has to offer. Delve into the mysterious history behind the Sagrada Familia, spend an afternoon in awe of the iconic Montserrat, catch some rays on the beautiful beaches, or spend the day simply exploring this city by foot.

Described in one word: Cosmopolitan

Top thing to do: Try and catch a football game at the iconic Barcelona Football Stadium

Favourite food to try: Tapas

See our Barcelona cruises.

Florence

Small enough to explore on foot, Florence is an intriguing city that is sure to captivate every visitor. Its history-enriched architecture combined with modern art galleries and state-of-the-art restaurants harmonises old with new.

 

 

Known as the jewel of the Mediterranean, Florence is a true representative of Italian culture. With art and architecture in abundance, you are never short of breath-taking views. The centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lined with famous cathedrals and some of the world’s most famous churches.

A visit here gives you the chance to experience Italy at its finest - gorge on renaissance art work, listen to a traditional opera performance, or indulge on some fresh pizza and locally produced wine.

Described in one word: Intriguing

Top thing to do: Visit the Palazzo Vecchio

Favourite food to try: Fresh bread with olive oil

See our Florence cruises.

 

Rome

Oh Rome, glorious Rome - a city like nowhere else in the world, it certainly leaves a memorable impact.

One of the most photographed cities in the world, there is no shortage of commanding sights and landmarks. Like one big open-air museum, Rome will seduce you with its architectural masterpieces, famous artwork, and extensive shopping.

 

 

As well as bursting with history, Rome also boasts modern piazzas bursting with attractive restaurants, ice-cream parlours, and quaint cafes. The perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon to marvel at everything around you.

Visit the awe-inspiring Colosseum, see Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel, or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain.

Described in one word: Historic

Top thing to do: Catch a glimpse of Napoleon

Favourite food to try: Gelatae

See our Rome cruises.

St Petersburg

The dazzling city of St Petersburg holds more history than you can imagine, and this is apparent at every turn. With its winding canals, breath-taking cathedrals, and ancient bridges, it is known as the Venice of the North for good reason.

 

 

As you walk around you are struck by magnificent buildings and cathedrals that belong in fairy tales, all separated by romantic canals. There are so many sights to take in, you'll never want to put your camera down.

Be taken back in history on a visit to The Winter Palace in the Hermitage Museum, climb the 300 steps up St Isaac’s Cathedral to take in a panoramic view of the city, or dance under The Peterhof Fountains.

Described in one word: Inspirational

Top thing to do: Visit The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Favourite food to try: Stolle Pie

See our St Petersburg cruises.

Dubrovnik

Looming out of the clear Mediterranean waters, the enchanting city of Dubrovnik holds history as intriguing as its sights. Known as 'The Pearl of Adriatic', there are few places that are as enthralling as this city.

 

 

Named a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Old Town comprises tranquil harbours lined with ancient buildings and stony roads. Every walkway leads to another incredible view, and you are sure to be charmed by everything your eyes cross.

Don your walking shoes and stroll around the ancient quarter to learn all about the city, take a ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car, or visit the magnificent Sponza Palace. After taking in all these sights, tucked in the narrow streets find quaint cafes and restaurants for you to sit and reflect on this magical part of the world.

Described in one word: Stunning

Top thing to do: Visit the Church of St Blaise

Favourite food to try: Oysters

See our Dubrovnik cruises.

Venice

Even the word Venice creates a near-instant sense of serenity. A city where roads are canals, cafes outnumber shops, and taking a gondola ride is classed as taking a taxi.

 

 

Home to over 500 historic bridges and a maze of cobbled streets set between pleasant canals, Venice is a city of intense uniqueness. Whether you are on the water or walking the streets there is no shortage of unimaginable views.

St Mark's Square will delight with its ancient buildings, al-fresco restaurants, and edges lined with boutique shops and cafes. From here you can branch off to the small walkways that are home to museums, galleries, and market stalls.

Described in one word: Alluring

Top thing to do: Take a gondola ride

Favourite food to try: Pasta

See our Venice cruises.

Rhodes

A trip to Rhodes will take you back in time to a land of ancient wonders. The oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe, it is home to history-enriched architecture and aged ruins.

 

 

This picturesque island takes you on a journey of discovery as you stroll around the cobbled streets and marvel at everything it has to offer. The major sights dominate the land, including the pink-domed 16th century Mosque of Suleyman, and the Byzantime Museum.

Whether you want to explore the sights, search the local markets, or indulge in some local cuisine, Rhodes is a destination of great exploration.

Described in one word: Mysterious

Top thing to do: Soak up some sun in St Pauls Bay

Favourite food to try: Greek salad

See our Rhodes cruises.

Monte Carlo

A place exuding wealth and luxury, Monte Carlo is a haven of lavish yacht harbours, upscale restaurants, and enticing beaches.

 

 

One of the most glamorous addresses in the world, this pristine land allows dreams to come true when you experience the extravagant lifestyle that is common here. After a day spent soaking up the sun on one of the lavish beaches, or spending your pennies in the chic shopping malls, you can experience the incredible nightlife on offer. This includes exciting casinos and sleek water-side bars.

If you want to delve further than the glitzy town of Monte Carlo, Nice and Cannes are a taxi or train ride away, allowing you to see even more of this impressive part of the world: The French Riviera.

Described in one word: Luxurious

Top thing to do: Tour the Grand Prix track

Favourite food to try: Macaroons 

See our Monte Carlo cruises.

Amsterdam

A city that brings pictures to life, Amsterdam is vibrant from morning to night. With streets lined with quaint cafes, shops, and bars combined with the charming canals overshadowed by grand bridges, Amsterdam is the hidden gem of Europe.

 

 

Although not a huge city, there is a lot to see and do. From museums, galleries, and biking tours, you will be able to experience all the fantastic things to do that Amsterdam has to offer. A truly special option is a visit to the floating market, where you can haggle for fresh flowers, local food, and unique artwork.

Even with the extensive range of things to do, Amsterdam is a relaxing city that has a serene atmosphere and boasts a truly relaxed way of life.

Described in one word: Cultural

Top thing to do: Visit the House of Anne Frank

Favourite food to try: Cheese

See our Amsterdam cruises.


By Sally Grimes 

 



Azamara Cruise to the Monaco GP

clock 19th May 2010 | comment0 Comments
Amazara Cruise to the F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2012 [More]


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