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Best Firework Displays to See on a Cruise

clock 27th October 2017 | comment0 Comments

Fireworks are seen all over the world to celebrate anything from great communal occasions like New Year, to smaller, personal events such as birthdays and weddings. They are also widely used to mark historic anniversaries in a number of different countries. We take a look at some of the best firework displays across the globe which can be seen during a cruise!

Bastille Day, Paris

An important public holiday in France, Bastille Day – on July 14th – commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. On this day, The Storming of The Bastille took place – when rebels attacked the state prison. It is seen as a pivotal event in the revolutionary process, and as such is celebrated each year with great gusto all over the country. The main event however, is largely considered to be the magnificent fireworks display which lights up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Consider a cruise to France next July and be a part of this fantastic event.

 

Independence Day, New York

Another well-known occasion, during which fireworks dominate the sky, is the United States’ Independence Day - colloquially known as the Fourth of July. On this day in 1776, The Continental Congress decided upon the precise and final wording of the Declaration of Independence; and therefore the end of British control over the 13 colonies. Again, this date has become widely accepted as the birth of the USA, which is recognised and celebrated all over the country. Towns in every state put on firework displays on all different scales, but Macy’s in New York are renowned for their show in particular. Sit back on the deck of a ship on a cruise to New York and enjoy the spectacle of lights overhead.

 

 

Festa del Redentore, Venice

On the third weekend of July, Venetians celebrate the end of a terrible, epidemic plague which occurred in 1575 until 1577. The disaster was declared over on July 13th, an announcement that has been celebrated every year since. Festa del Redentore translates to the Feast of the Redeemer, a name which was chosen because of the Church of the Redeemer that was erected in hopes of saving the city from the plague. The Saturday night of the weekend sees all manner of people out and about, with a special focus on the grand finale of the evening – a majestic firework show which can last up to an hour. Take a cruise to Venice to witness this remarkable night.

 

Guy Fawkes Night, London

Of course the firework-focussed event we are all most familiar with is our own; the commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up parliament on 5th November in 1605. The population of London actually began to recognise and celebrate this day in the very same year, by lighting bonfires to show support of their King who had been saved. Every year since, towns all over Britain acknowledge this historic night by burning the ‘guy’ on bonfires and putting on fireworks displays. There are some spectacular shows all over, however it is often thought that the best place to see them is in the location of the original event: London. Take a cruise from the UK to see some amazing fireworks at this time of year.

 

 

Cruise lines sometimes host their own celebrations, where fireworks are the main event, for example for special anniversaries. For example, back in 2015 Cunard put on a stunning show to commemorate their 175th anniversary:

 

 

In addition to these beautiful events, fireworks are seen in many other areas of the world. Why not consider seeing a display in Asia, where fireworks were created in the first place? Take a look at some of the most fantastic opportunities to see displays in Asia, with the best places to see in Chinese New Year, and even the magnificent fireworks festivals in Japan.



8 Great Food Markets Around The World

clock 24th February 2015 | comment0 Comments

Whether you hope to try a rare local delicacy for the first time or you’re looking to bag a bargain of delicious fresh produce, you are guaranteed to find what you need and more at a food market. Foodies will be drawn in by the irresistible exotic aromas before being wowed by rows of colourful, vibrant and enticing market stalls. Here is where you will find the heart of any local community busy, bustling and ready for a brand new day. Put your phrase book to good use and practice your new found language skills whilst getting some authentic recipe tips from the local street chefs and stall holders.

Your next favourite dish could be just around the corner, so be adventurous and get a real taste of your surroundings with our handpicked eight great food markets below.

 

Borough Market – London

Let your nose lead the way as you explore the aromatic alleys and endless rows of tasty delights on offer in London’s famous Borough Market. One of the oldest food markets in London, market traders have held a presence next to Borough high street from as early as the 13th century. Grab a slice of history along with the quality British and international produce including delicious fish, game, cheese, freshly baked goods and much more. With quality and diversity as Borough’s core market values, you know your taste buds are in for a treat. The market is mostly undercover so whatever the weather it’s ideal for a lunchtime stroll. Great for British pork pies and yummy apple sauce.

 

 

Rialto Markets – Venice

The food markets of Rialto in Venice have been present since first settlement as far back as the 9th century. Despite some slight relocation due to the noisy and pungent fish market upsetting the local bankers, the trading of local and international produce from this spot remains an important chapter in Venetian history. The stunning stone Rialto Bridge aids traders and locals whilst making an essential viewing and photo spot for tourists. Great for fresh seafood and affordable souvenirs.

 

 

La Ciotat – Provence, France

France is renowned for its unmatched regional cuisine and the locals for their habitual trips to the local farmers markets. Food with the French means you will be spoilt for choice with the tempting selections of local cheeses, wines, baked goods and so on. With so many fabulous French markets to choose from it’s almost impossible to rank one above the rest, but a weekend trip to the quaint coastal port of La Ciotat in Provence is guaranteed not to disappoint. Enjoy the Sunday morning fare on offer at the large farmer and artisan market of Vieux Port before relaxing amid the scenic Mediterranean views and lunching on the beach. Great for stuffed vegetables and paella. A 45 minute drive north sees you in Aix-en-Provence where attractive markets are in abundance.

 

Union Square Greenmarket - New York City

Every Saturday Union Square Park comes to life with up to 140 regional market stalls selling fresh farm produce, delicious fish and tempting baked goods alongside meats, jams, pickles, cider and even fresh cut flowers. Experience the unique buzz of New York City life whilst trying some tasty street food and enjoying several live cooking demonstrations, all whilst perfecting your convincing New Yorker accent. Great for fresh pickled produce and live demos.

 

 

La Central de Abasto – Mexico City

La Central de Abasto literally translates to the central supply, and there is probably no better way of describing one of the biggest wholesale markets in the world. A visually arresting array of produce is piled high and categorised by type. Stiff competition between traders results in rows of fantastic displays as they try to out-do each other to grab the punters attention. You may need a local guide to avoid getting swallowed by mountains of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, sugarcane, flowers and much more. Great for everything, they have it all! Note: Taking photos is forbidden without proof of permission which plain clothed security guards will request.

 

Mercado de San Telmo – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Head here for the great atmosphere and pure insight of day to day local life in Buenos Aires. The market is indoors and housed by a large building supported (inside) by an impressive wrought iron structure. Don’t forget to look up and admire the notable original ceiling which dates back to the late 17th century. Friendly merchants supply locals and tourists with a wealth of fresh fruit, veg, meat and baked goods plus antiques and artisan crafts. Great for coffee, churros (doughnuts) and souvenirs.

 

 

Jalan Alor (Food Street) - Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor Food Street is the place to be if you are looking for a budget evening meal with a side order of a buzzing and lively local atmosphere. As the sun sets on Food Street, an electric ambience lights the way as cafes, restaurants and market vendors merge into one and claim their spot of real estate in this aromatic foodie fusion. Stroll the length of the street to see the full selection of cheap Chinese, Thai and Malay cuisine before settling on your dinner destination, and stand firm with pushy hawkers trying to tempt you before you’ve seen it all. Great for noodles and value for money.

 

Kowloon City Wet Market– Hong Kong

Kowloon City is a must for any foodie fans visiting China’s kinetic south coast. Choose from a myriad of fresh meats, vivid vegetables from regional farms and live seafood literally fresh off the boat. An abundance of quality Asian cuisine from stall vendors and speciality stores make this a go-to destination in Hong Kong for a delicious and quick daytime snack, or purchasing fresh ingredients for a home cooked evening meal. Explore three floors of endless tasty Chinese and Thai treats and get your fix at the cooked food centre when hunger strikes. Great for curried dishes of varying spice levels.

Discover more food markets with a world cruise. More information on world cruises



Explore Venice Before It Is Too Late

clock 15th January 2014 | comment0 Comments

Following the news that Italian officials have ordered a ban on all larger cruise ships visiting Venice, now is the time to take advantage of visiting this iconic part of the world.

Bon Voyage Venice…

From November 2014 larger cruise ships will no longer be able to stop in Venice following a meeting between Italy Premier Enrico Letta, his ministers, Venice municipal officials and regional authorities.

The decision was made after environmentalists and locals stated their views that large ships cause irreparable damage to the Venetian lagoon’s ecosystem and the city’s history-enriched landmarks. They became concerned that the increasing size of modern cruise ships were ruining the unique features quintessentially ‘Venice’.

The ban will begin this month and the number of cruise ships 40,000 tons or more sailing in Venetian waters must be reduced by 20% of the current volume. Then, in November no cruise ships over 96,000 will be permitted to sail in the lagoon.

Cruise lines are hoping not to eliminate Venice completely from their itineraries and are looking for alternatives to still offer guests a chance to visit this popular city.

A must see…

The Eastern Mediterranean continues to be a popular itinerary choice due to the array of fascinating European cities visited. Venice always features in top 10 lists of destinations to visit in the world, and there are so many reasons why.

Often described by travellers as their favourite part of the world, Venice is an abundance of history-enriched culture, divine cuisine, spectacular sights and a cosmopolitan embellished atmosphere. From taking a gondola ride through the fascinating narrow streets to indulging in a fresh pizza in San Marco Square, Venice is a story-book that awaits to be read.

My favourite Venice explorations…

Here are my top five things to do in Venice:

Take a Gondola ride – The Gondola is a symbol of Venice and provides the best way to see the city. Taking you through narrow passage ways and under stunning bridges, it will make you fall in love with this city even more.

Visit Basilica di San Marco – One of the most iconic buildings in the world, this grand church boasts five large domes adorned with incredible mosaics. Inside is home to special treasures including statues, carvings and the Paka d’oro - made completely of gold.

Eat a pizza (or get a coffee) in San Marco Square – One of the most striking piazzas in the world, San Marco Square is lined with famous architecture, quant cafes and world-class restaurants. The square is the lowest area of Venice and access can be prevented by the high tide sometimes – a remarkable experience to see. The fresh pizzas you experience in Italy can only be described when you have tasted them for yourself.

Visit Ponte de Rialto – This famous bridge represents Italy for its architectural excellence and impressive features. Often highlighted in pictures of Venice, this bridge was built in the 16th century as a result of a competition held to replace the older version on the Canal Grande. The bridge is now home to various shops including jewellery stores and glass showrooms.

Shopping – The variety of shops in Venice truly captivate the famous cosmopolitan European flavour. With everything from quant boutiques, expensive fashion brands and fun tourist shops, it is every shopper’s heaven.

Get there while you can…

With only a short time left for you to experience a cruise here, I have picked out a selection of the best deals for you:

Western Med from Venice with Royal Caribbean 

Greece and Turkey from Venice With Norwegian Cruise Lines

Greek Isles from Venice with Celebrity Cruises

Italy and Croatia with P&O Cruises

Italy, Croatia and Greece from Venice with MSC Cruises

See you in Venice…

With less than nine months to visit this unique part of the world on a cruise and itineraries selling out fast, I suggest Venice being a top prioritie for your 2014 cruising list!

Ci vediamo la (See you there!)


By Sally Grimes



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