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Cruising with Jane McDonald Series Six

2nd February 2018

Updated December 2019

Cruising with Jane McDonald is back for Season 6!

Cruising with Jane McDonald on Channel 5 follows everyone’s favourite songstress onboard cruises across the world’s oceans and rivers. After voyaging to the Greek islands with Celestyal Cruises, Portugal's Douro river with Emerald Waterways, and exploring India's Golden Triangle and the Ganges with Uniworld, what else will Jane discover this time? Make sure to tune in and find out on Cruising with Jane McDonald!

Check out more info per episode below-

For past episodes, catch up with Cruising with Jane McDonald on Channel 5's My5.

Jane McDonald

 

Jane McDonald

Hailing from Wakefield, Jane McDonald is as famous for her appearances on legendary daytime TV show Loose Women as she is for her singing career. Starting out as a cruise singer in the 1990s and finding fame on the hit BBC1 docusoap The Cruise, Jane’s history of cruising makes her perfectly qualified to go on trips all over the world in order to selflessly show the British public what cruising options are out there for us. With her cheeky northern charm, down to earth airs and genuine joy for all things cruise, there’s surely no one better than Jane to present cruising holidays to the nation.

 

The Show

Jane’s series of Cruising with Jane McDonald has been unbelievably popular so far. At almost two million, nearly as many Brits tuned in for the Christmas Special as went cruising in 2017! So far, Jane’s been everywhere from the Hebrides to the Southeast Asia, often on packages and ships available to book with Iglu Cruise.

 

Series 6

Episode 1: Friday 29th November 2019, 9pm Channel 5- Great American Lakes

This time Jane’s off to the Great Lakes of the USA and Canada for a little less well-known river cruise than the grand waterways of Europe. Here she takes in Cleveland and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame showcases many of her musical idols before heading down to the intimating Niagara Falls. Here, not only does Jane get wet under the thunderous falls, she even takes a thrilling zip line over the water as well as riding a jet boat on the Montreal rapids.

Episode 2: Friday 6th December 2019, 9pm Channel 5- The Mediterranean Riviera

Sailing with Oceania Cruises, Jane begins her trip in Rome where she takes a vintage car ride around the ancient city before boarding the ship to check out Florence, Pisa and Monte Carlo. Here she gets a taste of life in one of the most affluent areas of the world with private yachts and exclusive hotels before finishing in Barcelona and trying some traditional tapas in the old food market.

Episode 3: Friday 13th December, 9pm Channel 5- Danube River Cruise

In this Christmas special with APTouring River Cruises Jane emplores the delights of the stunning Danube River. First she boards a vintage steamtrain once used by the royal family of the Hungarian Empire before stopping off along the waterway at Bratislava and Belgrade and on to the famous Iron Gates. Finally, after seeing folk performances and local treats, she heads to Romania to check out the iconic Bran Castle of Dracula fame.

Episode 4: Friday 20th December, 9pm Channel 5- The Adriatic

Embarking on an Adriatic adventure with Silversea Cruises, Jane joins Silver Shadow on a journey to numerous hidden gems, indulging in delicious cuisine and soaking up the stunning scenery. The voyage begins in the breathtaking and historic city of Dubrovnik before continuing to Venice, Croatia and finally, the Bay of Kotor.

 

Series 5

The hit series came back with a bang for series 5, as Jane cruised with the fantastic Princess Cruises around the west coast of Australia. We discovered more about one of their ships, the Sun Princess, as she dined in the luxurious Chef’s Table restaurant, and enjoyed a wide array of entertainment – including an onboard wedding!

During her trip down under, Jane saw thrilling destinations such as Geraldton, where she took in the stunning Pink Lake, and then Fremantle, a gorgeous port city with plenty of maritime history. Finally, Jane visited Albany and Broome, both boasting impressive coastlines and exciting marine life.

In episode two of series 5, Jane explored some gorgeous Greek islands on a seven-night cruise with Celesytal Cruises. Here Jane discovered more about this popular holiday destination, such as Santorini and Mykonos, including all the fun things to see and do in this part of the world - from taking in astounding history to trying your hand at making cheese.

We them sail away from the oceans into the wonderful world of river cruising, first down the famous Ganges river in India in a 2-part special before heading along the Douro in Portugal and Spain for a European river cruise with Emerald Waterways, stopping off at a range of Iberian gems. At a number of ports along the way to Spain, the songstress discovers the history of the stunning Douro through tile painting, a tour of Casa De Mateus in Vila Real, and a visit to a Portuguese custard tart factory in Lisbon. Secrets of the Douro is a magnificent way to explore the river across eight days of unrivalled cruising. Starting and ending in Porto, you'll visit villages, vineyards, and the city of Salamanca. You can find more fantastic Douro river cruises.

 

 

Series 4: June 2018

The fourth series sees Jane travel down under in a two-parter for episodes one and two. In the first episode, we follow as she begins her voyage of Australia and New Zealand on Holland America Line’s ms Noordam. We start with a bus tour of Sydney cruising past all the iconic landmarks, and a visit to the Sydney Opera House. Then, she’s on the ship for a trip to Tasmania to see the unique wildlife before heading up to New Zealand. In the second episode, we go to the North Island to see Wellington before getting stuck into some quad-biking with backdrops as thrilling as the ride. This leg’s finale is a meeting with a Maori tribe before jumping in a helicopter to see Auckland.

 

 

Meanwhile, in the third episode, Jane jets off to South America for a cruise in a super-luxury Silversea cruise ship. On the way, she sees some Banksy street art and heads to Chile to see glaciers and enjoy a whiskey cooled with cubes direct from the ice-sheet. As if that isn’t breathtakingly cool enough, we then stop by Patagonia before heading to the iconic Falkland Islands.

 

Series 3: February - March 2018

In the first episode of series 3, Jane went off up the California coast with Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess. She saw a range of fantastic places including Hollywood’s walk of fame, the Golden Gate Bridge, and famous cable cars of San Francisco. Discover more about Princess Cruises in Los Angeles and more of North America. In the second episode, Jane went off to Iceland, truly a land of unrivalled natural beauty and phenomena. Here she took in a spot of whale-watching, had a dip in the famous hot thermal geysers, and saw the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

 

 

In the third episode, Jane head east for a river cruise along the exotic Mekong River. We followed Jane through both Vietnam and Cambodia aboard the Amadara, seeing some wonderful locations such as Angkor Wat, one of the oldest religious monuments in the world. In the fourth and final episode, Jane steamed up the legendary Mississippi River. Starting her trip in New Orleans, Jane took in the jazz scene and raucous atmosphere of the city before hopping aboard the American Steamboat Company’s American Queen - the world’s largest paddle-steam boat. To cap it off with her usual musical finale, Jane made a pilgrimage to Graceland, once the home of, but now shrine to, the one and only Elvis Presley.

 

Series 2: September - December 2017

After the success of series one, four more episodes and even a Christmas special were commissioned for series two. In episode one, Jane embarked on a brilliant Baltics cruise aboard the stunning Viking Sky – a truly luxurious vessel. Cities included St Petersburg and Stockholm, for some culture and a lot of fun. In the next episode, we followed Jane around the Mediterranean as she stood in awe at world famous sites including the magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and then through France along the Rhone in episode three, with a few glasses of wine along the way!

 

 

The fourth episode was located in a country that sits on many a bucket list – Cuba. Here Jane was welcomed with open arms by locals and enjoyed a little salsa, some incredible food, historic buildings, and of course the iconic cars. All this and a brilliant Cuban house party too.

 

Series 1: February - March 2017

In the first episode of the first series, Jane embarked on a fantastic Caribbean cruise with MSC Cruises, onboard MSC Divina. Here she was lucky enough to swim with the sharks on the island of St Maarten, and explore the oldest Baptist church in the Bahamas. Then came a Hebridean adventure with just six other cruisers, before Jane’s first river cruise on the Danube which included stops in the beautiful cities of Vienna and Budapest.

 

 

The fourth and final episode of series one had Jane enjoying a truly incredible cruise, which many would consider a once in a lifetime holiday; in Canada and Alaska. As well as seeing the amazing wildlife and gorgeous scenery, Jane was even able to have a go at dog-sledding on an ice field!


Best Winter Destinations for Christmas and New Year

4th December 2017

Updated September 2018

 

Have a Christmas or New Year celebration like no other this year, by visiting a new and exciting destination on a cruise. The world is full of incredible places at every corner, and many of these play host to some wonderful parties and Christmas festivities throughout December and January. Here are our top 5 spots, that we recommend everyone see at this time of year - at least once in their life.

New York

For many people, New York at winter is the epitome of Christmas spirit. This is in no small part thanks to movie classics like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, in which New York is the setting for warm Christmas tales. Whether you cruise to New York in the run-up to Christmas or are there for New Year’s Eve, the glittering city that never sleeps will undoubtedly provide you with everything you need to feel like celebrating. From the buzzing atmosphere and lights in Time Square to a frosty, romantic moonlit carriage ride in Central Park, New York offers some truly special experiences.

 

 

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a fantastic destination for those who want a change of scenery, but don’t want to travel too far. Close to the UK, there are a number of options for a no-fly cruise here. In the winter months, the city comes to life with music, lights, and decorations, and the friendly residents will welcome you with open arms. See the stunning Amsterdam Light Festival, at which global artists put together some beautiful displays through the streets and canals. There are of course Christmas markets as well, and some fabulous parties and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

 

 

Paris

The famous City of Lights is, of course, a hub of illumination and bustling activity at this time of year, boasting some stunning views and wonderful options when it comes to festive things to do. Revel in Christmas spirit at the Christmas Market on Avenue des Champs-Elysees, where you can also take a spin on the ice rink. If you have time, a visit to Disneyland is an absolute must. Whether you’re 6 or 66, a bit of Disney magic at Christmas is a great recipe to get you feeling merry and bright. Start planning your trip and ask us about our cruises to Paris.

 

 

Norway

Visit the land of Frozen and get lost in a real Winter Wonderland. A cruise in Norway is a great option for this time of year, particularly because of the chance to see the Northern Lights. December and January often have a high number of clear nights, meaning the vibrant lights are more likely to be visible. The sparkling scenery and welcoming ambience in this part of the world is perfect for celebrating during the festive season, simply gazing at the stars with a hot chocolate, sat on the top deck of your cruise ship is truly the stuff of dreams. Find out more about our great range of Norway cruises.

 

 

Sydney

The New Year’s Eve firework display at Sydney Harbour is a well-known event that causes visitors to flock to the city every year. Sydney is a port of call on many world cruises, and if you are lucky enough to be here at the right time, you can have one of the best views of the show available. The famous Sydney Opera House also holds glamourous New Year’s Eve celebrations, giving you the opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy a bit of luxury during your holiday. See the New Year in with style on an Australasia cruise.

 

 

Whether you are considering a cruise during the main events, or are merely seeking a few days away before or after, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options out there. Take a look at all our December and January cruises, and book your next adventure today.


Christmas Market Cruises

10th October 2014

Updated October 2018

The Christmas Market Experience

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to get away and experience how other countries celebrate this joyous time of year. Although we have Christmas Markets in England, most would argue that they are not as grand as in other European countries. Various cities all over this historic continent, including Prague, Amsterdam, and Bruges, fill their streets with intriguing market stalls, vibrant lights, and spectacular Christmas trees, making the perfect winter wonderland.

Every year sees an increasing amount of people travel to these enchanted cities during winter, and it wasn’t long before cruise lines saw a great opportunity in offering short itineraries to give guests the chance to sail the ultimate Christmas experience.




Top 5 Christmas Market Ports

Zeebrugge, Belgium

A quaint village nestled in the picturesque coastline of Belgium, Zeebrugge has a charming character that boasts some of the most sensational Christmas Markets in the world.

Although a fairly small port, once covered in all of its Christmas glory visitors feel like they are are standing in the middle of a huge city. With attractive canals, historic buildings, and narrow streets, every corner you turn presents a new surprise.

 

belgian chocolates

 

Famous for its divine homemade chocolate, local beers, and unique lacework, it is not only the sights that will make you fall in love with this city. Belgium allows you to immerse yourself into a fascinating storybook.

December is the best time to visit Zeebrugge and from the moment your eyes catch sight of the Christmas decorations you are transformed into a magical wonderland that instantly fills your heart with glee. From the sweet aroma of mulled wine to the sight of locals huddled around their favourite market stall, Christmas is certainly not just one day here.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Although one of the most popular cities for weekend breaks, Amsterdam has managed to retain its charismatic charm and pristine scenery. With its quintessentially Dutch feel, quirky architecture, and picturesque canals, nowhere else in the world compares. This completely unique city will open you up to a whole new world.

From mid-November, Amsterdam looks like a Christmas postcard with perfectly decorated trees, lights hanging from every building and rows of market stalls. The large city squares make it the perfect place to hold Christmas markets with excessive areas of intriguing stalls and fresh food and drink stands. Even away from the main squares, the narrow streets and winding canals are lined with festive treats.

It is not only the Christmas markets that allure you to visit Amsterdam, but the museums, restaurants, and famous canals offer a jam-packed visit of unique exploration. 

Dublin, Ireland

Undergoing a huge transformation in the last decade, Dublin is a city where old meets new. The historic buildings and ancient history sit next to modern shopping malls and vibrant bars. With something for every type of traveller, Dublin welcomes you any time of year but takes Christmas to a whole new level.

Famous for its pubs and bars, there is nowhere else in the world to offer a better place to enjoy cosy time sampling local ales as the chill from outside creeps in every time somebody opens a door. Even for a none drinker, it is hard to not stop in the local whilst exploring the city.

 

dublin in winter

 

Although home to a shoppers paradise, it is the December Christmas markets where you will want to spend your money. From handcrafted gifts, local foods, and unusual creations, the market stalls that come to Dublin in December are among the most appealing.

Tallinn, Estonia

At any time of year Tallin is a fairytale city, and even more so at Christmas time. Every medieval wall, soaring building and narrow street is covered with enchanting lights and festive glory. A glamorous winter wonderland, you can expect to find ice rinks, magical markets, and stalls brewing fresh mulled wine – what more could you want to get you in the festive mood?

Tallin’s atmosphere is typical of an Eastern European city – mysterious and unforgettable. Stroll through enraptured sidewalks, sip coffee in the market square, or explore the medieval history that makes this city so unique. Perfect for the relaxer and adventurer, Tallinn leaves a lasting impact on every visitor.

As the winter season approaches, Tallinn starts to prepare for a busy season, with Christmas being the number one priority. Every street is covered with festive market stalls, every café rivals to have the best Christmas menu, and every building is covered top to bottom in lights. Local choirs will perform Christmas displays and encourage spectators to join in, ensuring the festive spirit is spread from all around.

A trip to Tallinn will turn even the worst kind of Grinch into a joyous bundle of Christmas smiles.

Antwerp, Belgium

Home to the best chocolate in the world, the finest cut diamonds, and many religious buildings, Antwerp is certainly a hidden gem with more than meets the eye. Although fairly small in size, it boasts more than twenty museums, extensive shopping, and delightful parks.

Belgium is the trendsetter for Christmas markets, and Antwerp is no exception with December turning the city into a huge festival. With a backdrop of The Cathedral of our Lady, the Christmas markets here are among the most attractive of all the markets. Radiant Christmas lights can be seen from miles around as the whole city is illuminated with some of the most breathtaking Christmas decorations you will ever see.

 

antwerp christmas market

 

With a large influence on cuisine, the streets of Antwerp ooze with aromas of freshly baked pastries and melting chocolate. Everyone should take a minute out to sit and enjoy a coffee and sweet treat whilst watching the festive fun going on all around.

After visiting Belgium during Christmas time, the memories are sure to return every year.

 

Sailing from convenient UK ports including Tilbury and Southampton, you can experience some of Europe's best Christmas markets without the hassle of flying. With some of the best river cruise lines in the industry - Riviera Travel, AmaWaterways and Saga River Cruises, to name a few - offering countless itineraries, whether you're a family of four, a party of two or going solo, you'll find the perfect Christmas cruisefor you!


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