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Cruising with Jane McDonald

clock 2nd February 2018 | comment0 Comments

Updated April 2019

Cruising with Jane McDonald is back!

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-

 

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 Six: Airing April 19th 2019 at 9pm

 

Sailing into series six you can join the adventure on Channel 5 to the rivers of India including the magnificent Ganges with Uniworld River Cruises.

As series 6 continues we follow Jane to the Secrets of the Douro, a European river cruise with Emerald Waterways, stopping off at a range of Portuguese 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 here.

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


 

Series One: 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!

Series Two: 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 Three: 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 Four: 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 Five: December 2018 - current

The hit series came back with a bang, 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.



The benefits of booking your river cruise early

clock 14th March 2016 | comment0 Comments

A river cruise is a popular way to experience a multitude of exciting destinations in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Cruising the world’s waterways opens up the chance to visit many new places in one holiday. With the ability to access cities and villages that ocean cruise liners can’t, allowing for more opportunities for port stops, it’s easy to see why river cruising is a popular holiday choice.

With several river cruise lines, ships and itineraries to choose from, there is something for everyone. Whether you dream of seeing the sunset in Cambodia sailing along the Mekong or hope to visit the fairy-tale castles of Europe’s northern capitals, there is a river cruise to suit.

Once you have decided upon the river cruise of your dreams, don’t wait to make your dream a reality. Ships have a limited capacity in order to reach river ports and so can fill up quickly with savvy cruisers choosing their cabins. There are many benefits to booking your river cruise early, see just a few of these below.

The best choice of cabin

When you book early you have a bigger selection of cabins and decks to choose from. If the view is of great importance to you, we suggest going for a middle or upper deck as these cabins tend to have larger windows or even balconies, whereas lower decks tend to have portholes. You may also prefer to be away from the engine or anchor, or based in the middle of the ship for a sturdy sailing.

 

river cruise cabin

 

Low cost airfares

Most airlines tend to have lower airfares when you book in advance. This can be true of both scheduled and low cost flights. With non-direct flights, you are also likely to get better flight times for connecting flights the earlier you book. It is now possible to book up to a year in advance for some airlines.

Early bird booking offers

There is almost always a plus to being first in the queue and many river cruise lines reward early bookers with early bird offers and discounts. Take advantage of early booking benefits and relax knowing you’ve also secured the cabin and deck you dreamed of.

 

river cruise

 

More departure dates to choose from

There are popular times to take a river cruise depending on where you want to sail. May, June and September are known busy times, and with limited departure dates, cruises can sell out fast. Book ahead to make sure you can cruise when you want and get the best from your destination of choice. Check out our river cruise calendar for tips on when to cruise.

Looking forward

Our favourite benefit to booking your river cruise early, having something to look forward to! A holiday on the cards is excellent motivation and the best kind of reward for all of your hard work.

 

Top 10 river cruise deals | What's included in your river cruise | River cruise calendar





Highlights of the Mekong Delta

clock 13th July 2015 | comment0 Comments
Cruise the cultural waterway of Southeast Asia and experience all that the Mekong Delta has to offer. From the ancient ruins and temples of Angkor Wat to entire floating villages lining the banks of the Mekong, marvel at this fascinating and wonderful part of the world. [More]


Vienna's Finest Coffee Houses

clock 13th July 2015 | comment0 Comments
Take a trip along the Danube river and taste your way through Austria's fascinating and wonderful capital city with our favourite coffee houses of Vienna. Visit a Viennese Kaffehaus for an authentic coffee experience and chat amongst the locals for an idyllic afternoon. [More]


A Day in Budapest

clock 13th July 2015 | comment0 Comments

Updated February 2017

 

 

Budapest is without a doubt one of the most fascinating cities on the Danube. What with its stunning buildings, diverse history and relaxing hot springs, it’s no wonder it features as a must-see stop on almost all of our river cruises. With our Danube River cruises, you will have the chance to explore Budapest for the best part of the day, giving you a real chance to get under the city’s romantic skin.

Here are a few of the best bits you don’t want to miss out on.

Shoes on the Danube

A powerful tribute to the many Jewish Hungarians that were killed in WWII, the Shoes on the Danube Bank mark a dark period in the city’s modern history. The Arrow Cross militiamen who carried out the slaughter are said to have ordered the victims to remove their shoes at the edge of the river. They were then executed so that their bodies fell into the water to be washed away. You will find the display on the west bank of the river on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade. It’s just a short walk away from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The view from Fisherman’s Bastion

From this picturesque spot, you can see all along the length of the Danube from a panoramic platform. Not only are the vistas sensational, but the neo-Gothic design of the Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya) also makes it worth the trip. You’ll find it on Castle Hill, close to another one of the city’s most stunning buildings; the Matthias Church. This ornate Roman Catholic place of worship towers grandly above the area and contains one of the most impressive religious interiors in Budapest.

Have a beer in a “ruin” pub

Kerts or “ruin” pubs, as they are known in English, are a unique drinking venue to the city of Budapest. Formed in derelict, abandoned buildings, trendy bars have sprung up all over the city, kitted out with old furniture and donated wares. They serve a double purpose: firstly, they are some of the coolest places to drink in the city and, secondly, they provide a place for communities to gather. Ruin pubs are dotted all over the city, in and among some of Budapest’s best attractions, making it easy to visit one or two during your sightseeing travels. Ruinpubs.com gives you an excellent breakdown of the Kerts in the area, complete with map and directions. For an authentic experience in Budapest, don’t miss out on these rough-and-ready gems.

Buda Castle at night

Before you head back to the ship, you must take a moment to see Buda Castle lit up at night. This huge, historic complex comprises of both the Royal Castle and the Royal Gardens, and has long been the official residence of the kings of Hungary. A World Heritage Site, this glorious castle also has within it the Budapest History Museum, which tells the story of the city from its founding years up until the modern period.

The Spas

One of the most unique quirks about Budapest is the amount of spas that you’ll find located around the city. The Gellert Baths is one of the best known and most visually alluring of the spas, but as a result of this it can become overcrowded, especially in the peak season. For the most novel experience, try the Szechenyi Baths’ outdoor pools, which are regularly used by tourists and locals alike. Veli Bej, the oldest Turkish bath in the city, is a much more intimate and quieter affair and can be found at Fejedelem Way - just don’t forget your swimming gear.

View our Danube River Cruises.



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