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Cruising is one of those luxuries that we often have in the back of our minds that we would love to ‘do one day’. Just the word itself conjures up images of romance, adventure and relaxation on the high seas.
There is sometimes a mis-perception that cruising is ‘too expensive’ or restrictive – yet these days this certainly isn’t the case. There are cruises offered by companies at all levels of price and as most cruises include the price of your meals and activities, it can sometimes work out better priced than a regular hotel holiday!
The other big benefit to a cruise is that you get to experience different ports, different places and see different sights, yet you only have to unpack your bags once. Often the cruise sails at night while you sleep so you can adventure day to day in different ports, or simply relax on the sunny decks and enjoy the holiday.
With so many cruises on offer and so much of the world to explore – just where to start is a key to planning the perfect cruising holiday. It doesn’t have to be 6 star with a private butler to feel like you are being treated to the best holiday!
At House of Travel we’ve asked our agents to compile a list of their favourite cruise holidays around the world at all levels of price and service, and here is a list of the top 5 as a great starting place to plan your own cruising holiday;
Pride of America is a Norwegian Cruise Liner that offers an amazing 7-night Hawaii cruise departing from Honolulu and heading on a round trip throughout these tropical islands. Offered all year around and easy to access now that Hawaiian Airlines are due to start their 3 day a week service and of course our own Air NZ flies regularly. The Ports of call include - Honolulu; Kahului-Maui; Hilo-Hawaii; Kona-Hawaii; Kauai.
For those who have always wanted to experience the Northern hemisphere at its most extreme, there are several options for Cruising in Alaska. One of our favourites is the 7-night Inside Passage, which departs from Vancouver on a roundtrip. There are a number of cruise lines who operate this itinerary with slightly different ports of call so make sure you speak to you House of Travel specialist about what places you want to visit to book the right one for you. One of our favourites is Holland America Line's MS Zuiderdam. It doesn’t operate all year around due to weather so departures are from May to September and ports of call are: Vancouver; Tracy Arm Fjord-Alaska (cruising); Juneau-Alaska; Skagway-Alaska; Glacier Bay-Alaska (cruising); Ketchican-Alaska; Inside Passage (cruising).
No cruising list is going to be complete without including the Greek Islands! There are so many lovely cruises amongst these isles that the choice is difficult to make! The favourite for us is a 12-night Greek Isle cruise from Rome to Venice or vice versa depending on the itinerary that works best with the rest of your trip. The cruise is aboard the Ruby Princess (one of the Princess Cruise ships) and has set dates for departures between May-November. The itinerary reads like a ‘who’s who’ of Greece and Italy as ports include Rome (Civitavecchia); Naples-Italy; Santorini-Greece; Kusadasi-Turkey; Mykonos-Greece; Athens (Pireaus)-Greece; Katakolon-Greece; Corfu-Greece; Dubrovnik-Croatia; Venice (overnight on the ship in Venice).
You will think you are in a romantic Hollywood movie with a Cruise on the Mediterranean! One of the best is a 24-night ‘Magic of the Mediterranean’ Cruise which departs from Barcelona and cruises through to Venice or vice versa aboard Nieuw Amsterdam (Holland America Line). Once again, this doesn’t operate all year around and has set departures between May to August. Ports include Barcelona-Spain; Marseilles-France; Monte Carlo-Monaco; Livorno( Florence,Pisa)-Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia)-Italy; Naples-Italy; Messina-Sicily; Katakolon-Greece; Corfu-Greece; Dubrovnik-Croatia; Venice-Italy (2 nights); Istanbul-Turkey (overnight); Lesvos-Greece; Kusadasi-Turkey; Santorini-Greece; Argostoli-Greece
Europe Rivers If you’ve done a few ocean cruises then maybe its time to try a cruise with a difference. The 14-night Magnificent Europe river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest (or vice versa) may be just the ticket for you! Several river cruise companies offer an itinerary similar to this one so make sure you speak to your House of Travel specialist about which ports you want to visit or where you want to explore. One of our most popular is with APT who have set departures from March to October. APT’s itinerary includes the following ports: Amsterdam; Cologne; Koblenz; Rudesheim; Wertheim; Wurzburg; Bamberg; Nuremberg; Regensburg; Passau; Melk; Durnstein; Vienna; Budapest
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