Top Short Cruise Holidays for 2017
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Short break cruises, sometimes known as a “mini-cruise” or a “sampler” are one of the best options for those with time constraints. A short break cruise provides a welcome break without too much expense. One of the key factors people look at when booking a cruise is the price.

Two, three or even five night holidays are much easier on the wallet! 

A mini cruise will give you the chance to depart directly from the UK, making the holiday a comfortable convenience of leaving close to home rather than the hassle of having to get to the airport. Instead, begin enjoying your holiday the minute you step onto the ship and chill out for that much needed break.

Other advantages of a mini-cruise include:

  • Ideal for first timers
  • Destination discovery
  • Try new cuisines with a number of dining venues
  • Attractive pricing that you can upgrade without breaking the bank.

The following ships are the top picks for 2017 and offer a range from the casual to the elegant. Many of the same cruise lines offer short cruises on their other ships too.

Boudicca

Fred. Olsen Boudicca

Image courtesy Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ contains a vast amount of British elements. This is apparent with their ship, Boudicca. Boudicca is a compact ship, holding slightly more than 800 passengers but it more than makes up for that in size by being purely classical. Eat at simple yet charming locations like the Four Seasons Restaurant and the casual Tintagel Restaurant for some traditional dining.

You can also try the Secret Garden café for an authentic atmosphere that will have you believing you are in a Zen garden. The café serves a mixture of Indonesian, Thai and Indian cuisines in a buffet style. The aim of Fred. Olsen is not to be a mere cruise line but to feel more like a “home away from home”.

2017 highlights:

A five night round trip cruise from Greenock sails to Fort William, Ullapool and Invergordon, combined with scenic cruising through the Hebrides on the 26th May 2017.

On 8th Jun 2017 there is a 1 night journey sailing from Greenock (Glasgow) to Liverpool.

Magellan

Cruise and Maritime Magellan

Image courtesy Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Cruise & Maritime Voyages is perfect for travellers that want a relaxing cruise and no ship better emphasises this than the Magellan. The ship holds 1,250 passengers and has more than 15 different cabin types.

The elegance of the ship is further seen in locations ranging from the Waldorf and Kensington restaurants, which contain intriguing continental menus and an ocean view that is unforgettable. You can also relax at the many bars and cafes like the Captain’s Club, Churchill’s Lounge, Hampton’s Bar and Sinatra’s Bar. The Magellan is ideal to sample some rest and relaxation while watching the world go by.

2017 highlights:

22nd Jul 2017 and 23rd Sep 2017, departing from Newcastle for an overnight trip, the cruise is focused on wine tasting.

Departing from London Tilbury on 1st Oct 2017 takes passengers on a weekend jaunt to Amsterdam.

13th Dec 2017 will appeal to Christmas holiday shoppers with a 2 night expedition departing from London Tilbury to Antwerp.

Queen Victoria

Cunard Queen Victoria

Image courtesy Cunard Line

Cunard’s Queen Victoria acts as a time machine in a way as it attempts to bring back the golden age with a modern day perspective. The glamour and glitz begins as soon as you step into the ship’s enormous lobby and are whisked away to see all of the amenities that the Queen Victoria has to offer. Spend some time in the Cafe Carinthia and Chart Room, the first and most principal of the common areas.

The entire ship is decorated in an aesthetically pleasing Art Deco design and this is evident in areas such as the Queens Room, the Royal Court Theatre and the Britannia Restaurant amongst others. This is a cruise for someone who wants a more elegant experience at an affordable price and this is easily achieved with a short break cruise aboard a ‘Queen’.

2017 highlights:

4th Jun 2017 presents a 4 night round trip from Southampton to Amsterdam and Bruges.  Passengers have a choice of excursions to Bruges, Ghent, Ypres or Paris if they wish. A five night journey takes place on 13th Nov 2017 and adds on another port at Cherbourg, along with the not to be missed Big Band Ball.

Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Jade

Image courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line

Although the Norwegian Jade may be somewhat smaller than its sister ships, it still contains enough pizzazz and styling to make the ship a fun experience. Recently refurbished at a cost of £280 million, the Norwegian Jade has a more modern appeal in an Art Deco style. With all of the trimmings and the colour scheme, the ship feels more welcoming than before.

An update of the accommodations has created more expansive living quarters. A new addition to the Jade is the addition of the Cavern Club, as seen on the Norwegian Epic. Of course, specialty dining is one of the main draws of the ship with classic dining experiences such as at La Cucina; Cagney’s Steakhouse; the Brazilian Moderno Churrascaria; Teppanyaki and Le Bistro.

2017 highlights:

Several two night cruises from Southampton to Hamburg are taking place with dates being 2nd June 2017 and 20th June 2017 stopping in Hamburg, Germany.

Ventura

P&O Cruises Ventura

Image courtesy P&O Cruises

The P&O Cruises’s ship Ventura is yet another crown jewel in their extraordinary fleet line up. The ship, which holds more than 3000 passengers, is well known for its extensive entertainment options that will ensure that you will never get bored.

Some of the options include tributes to famous performers at the Tamarind Club, the Latin beats of Havana or even an authentic British experience in The Exchange pub. The ship is also well known for its large selection of restaurants. The Epicurean may be the most elegant restaurant on any cruise ship whereas those looking for a more exotic experience would do well to try the Indian cuisine at Sindhu.

2017 highlights:

On 26th April 2017 departing from Southampton for a four night round trip with port of calls at Amsterdam and Bruges.

The 31st May 2017 and 10 Nov 2017 offer four night round trips out of Southampton with one call at Bruges.

A four night cruise from Southampton on the 11th Aug 2017 with stops at St Peter Port, Guernsey and Bruges before heading back to Southampton.

On 15th Sep.2017, take advantage of a two nighter to St Peter Port, Guernsey on a round trip from Southampton.

29 Sep 2017, 27 Oct 2017 and 24 Nov 2017 are the dates to depart from Southampton for a quick two night journey to Bruges and back again.

For the first timer, a short break cruise holiday is the best option to obtain the overall cruise experience and satisfy the curiosity of what cruising is all about. For the seasoned cruiser, it is a perfect way to collect those cruise points for frequent guests and leave the stress behind until your next cruise holiday experience.

For more information on any of these cruises click here

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The London Cruise Show 2017
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London Cruise Show 2017

The leading cruise show in Europe is coming to London again!

The annual show sponsored by the Daily Mail has become very popular with those of you who are contemplating your first cruise holiday and also seasoned cruisers who are looking for something out of the ordinary.

Two days of wonderful cruise advice and free talks from the experts giving you the chance to find out more about certain ships and destinations. You will not find this kind of information in the brochures so be sure to visit the show on the 18th and 19th of February!

WIN TICKETS FOR THE LONDON CRUISE SHOW BELOW

We have 20 pairs of tickets to give away for the show. Simply enter your email address below and you’re done!

This contest is now closed. Winners will be notified shortly.

ABOUT2CRUISE SPECIAL OFFER

If you want to be sure of getting a ticket we have arranged a discounted price for our readers. For just £4 you can guarantee your place at the show. That’s a discount of £6!

To take advantage of this offer visit www.cruisingshow.co.uk and use the code ’2CRUISE’ or call 0871 620 4024. (Calls cost 13p per minute plus network costs)

Our Top 10 Twitter Profiles
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Top 10 Twitter Cruise Profiles

In the past, there was not a lot of information for potential cruisers to find out about the options available to them. This consisted mainly of glossy brochures put out by the cruise lines or travel magazines. Thanks to social media and sites like twitter, today’s experts and consumers can connect easily for mutual benefit.

In this post we have listed 10 of our favourite twitter accounts to follow. These in our opinion offer some of the best unbiased cruising tips around.

@CruiseCritic

Cruise Critic is one of the world’s largest online cruise resources with over 67,000 followers. Their Twitter feed is a great place to find information on every cruise line with reviews of all ships and ports of calls.

@CruiseLineFocus

Cruise Line Focus speaks on the business side of cruising and is a popular choice with over 37,500 followers. Click on their links for various intriguing articles about the future of cruising. Some of the retweets from other established Twitter accounts offer a wealth of information.

@CruiseLog

As the official Twitter account of Cruise blogger Gene Sloan, over 29,000 Cruiselog followers get regular offers and reviews of various cruise lines in a more personal way. Here you will learn things about cruising in a really easy to read format.

@CruiseRadio

This is the official Twitter account of CruiseRadio, a website with many podcasts about various news and curiosities in the cruise world. The account reposts material from their site such as top 10 lists and reviews of new cruises. Follow them and join over 15,000 followers who receive regular updates.

@WorldofCruising

Dedicated to the UK’s own World of Cruising magazine, it’s nice to see highlights offered from the magazine in an instant on Twitter. World of Cruising magazine has been around since 1998 and the articles from the website are created by prominent writers who will keep you informed and entertained.

@CaptGreyBeard

CaptGreyBeard is the account of John Honeywell, a well-known travel writer who specialises in the cruise sector. Considered to be a very respected writer, his posts mostly consist of his opinions, which over 7,500 followers find interesting and sometimes amusing! Other cruise related articles and reposts of any relevant cruising news can also be found here.

@CruiseCurrents

Keep on top of the cruise news with Cruise Currents twitter account. They tweet not only the latest news but offer tips on how to improve your cruising experience as a whole. The account with over 7,200 followers is a good introduction for novices who are new to cruising.

@CruiseMiss

Considered one of the best cruise travel bloggers in Twitterland, CruiseMiss offers her unique perspective on various cruise related subjects. Pictures are worth a thousand words and when it comes to her blog, visual reigns with vibrant images and videos. Her 5,500 plus followers will surely be enticed to jump aboard ASAP!

@CruiseCrazies

For those that want a fun outlook on cruising and a good chuckle to go with it should follow CruiseCrazies. With over 4,300 followers this twitter page offer links to news, articles, reviews and pictures presented in a humorous manner. Anyone who wants to avoid making a faux pas as a passenger should check out this account.

@CruiseLegend

Cruise Legend is a pretty well known twitter account. Many of the posts click through to their highly visual Instagram account filled with high definition photographs of ships & ports from around the world. This simple format is popular with over 2,200 followers.

Besides the top ten, did you know that @About2Cruise are on Twitter too? We have links to our blog posts and articles as well as cruise news and other important information for the avid and new to cruise holidaymaker. Come on in and join us and these top ten twitter accounts.

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Do you use social media sites to research your holidays? Tell us which ones below!

A picture is worth a Thousand Words!
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Pinterest Banner

Whether reminiscing or planning a cruise holiday, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Pinterest boards are a great place to visit to get some inspiration before heading out to sea. Here you will discover the world of cruising that is a feast for your eyes.

A basic search in Pinterest such as “cruises” will bring up thousands of photos that you can like or re-pin to your own boards. Cruise line´s internet sites usually have a follow prompt, so you can follow your favourite line on Pinterest too.

Even with the thousands of boards out there, you will be able to narrow it down to a few favourites you’ll want to follow. They tend to be the ones that post the most photos and have an abundance of followers.

To make things a little easier, we have picked some of the best accounts to follow. Besides enjoying fabulous photographs, you can click on the source for some interesting reading too.

Follow Popular Cruising on Pinterest to relive some of your favourite ships and ports or explore new ones. Click on to a few that will take you directly to their cruise podcasts.

Image: Kauai Hawaii via Popular Cruising

Kuai Hawaii

Hawaii is the land of flowers and waterfalls and with it comes lush and beautiful territory that can’t be seen anywhere else. The best way to see the islands from a bird’s eye view is to take a helicopter trip that is arranged by the cruise ship. The helicopter tours mostly focus on the Kauai part of the island.

The buzz word is out there and the word ‘cruise’ is attached to it. Get the latest information and tips with Cruise Buzz.

Image: Food on the MSC Divina via Cruise Buzz

Lunch on MSC Divina

The MSC Divina offers an enormous variety of foods from a wide variety of different cultures and cuisines, with something for everyone to enjoy. They say that presentation is everything and the dining experience onboard the Divina won’t disappoint the eyes or the palate.

This account has everything from ships to ports of call. Cruise Panorama is considered one of the top on-line magazines available today.

Image: Liberty of the Seas in Haiti via Cruise Panorama

Liberty of the Seas in Haiti

Liberty of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbeans Freedom Class cruise ships and is the third largest ship in the world after their Allure and Oasis of the Seas ships,

Besides partaking in all the things a cruise ship has to offer from activities, spas and dining, a port of call is the highlight of any holiday. To browse some ports of call, click on the Cruise Ports link above.

Image: Cruising from Southampton via Cruise Bart

Cruising from Southampton

If flying isn’t your thing, Southampton is just a train, bus or car journey away. Many cruise ships from all over the world are making stops at this port with some starting and finishing their itineraries here.

Suzanne Rowan Kelleher is a family expert with About.com. This mum of three has been a contributor to Fox News, AOL/MapQuest, amongst others and certainly has the experience to set anyone straight about cruising with the little ones and teens.

Image: Zip line fun via Travel with Kids

Zip Line Fun

For those with an adventurous side, there’s always thrilling activities to be enjoyed. One good way to get some adrenaline pumping is by trying a zip line, a popular activity that can be found in some ports. Zoom down the line at a fast speed as you watch the world flash by you.

Who hasn’t thumbed through their travel books at WH Smith? Fodor’s has published more than 440 guides including those on cruise holidays. Pick up some great tips from a leader in travel advice on their Pinterest boards.

Image: How to pack for a cruise via Fodors

Fodors packing pin

Read some advice on packing for your cruise by clicking on the image above.

Rolling along the inland European waterways is gaining popularity for those who are cruising fans and seeking a new adventure. Uniworld River Cruises on Pinterest provide some fantastic ideas to wet your appetite.

Image: Venice Italy via Uniworld River Cruises

Venice

Click on the image above to view the original on Pinterest.

Ok, we had to sneak in our very own contributions on Pinterest. So far, we have 50 boards and over 1300 followers. The best part is that our blogs and articles are attached to many photos. If you have to track back, it will be easy to locate an About2Cruise article through Pinterest.

Image: P&O Britannia via About2Cruise

P&O Britannia

The Britannia is the largest ship in the entire fleet of P&O. Sailing the Mediterranean she made her debut earlier this year. Prior to her maiden voyage, Queen Elizabeth officially named her in Southampton. With 141,000 gross tonnage and 4,100 passengers, Britannia is a mega-ship built mainly for the British Market.

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Green Cruising inc Carnivals new Technology
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green cruising news

Everyone understands the importance and principles of creating a green environment and governments are seeking ways to tackle the problems at hand.

The cruise industry has applied changes that so far have had a huge impact in improving the environment. All cruise lines are continuing to become more and more environmentally friendly.

One of the biggest changes that occurred was the incorporation of the advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) technology. This is a method that treats waste water so it’s safe to discharge at sea, therefore not hurting the vital aquatic life or polluting the sea.

The newest ships are incorporating the latest in green technologies in their design. Energy-efficient appliances, solar panels and cooking oil converters are just a few items being installed.

Although many of the older ships may not be as technologically advanced, the cruise lines are making sure they are doing their part in caring for the environment. They have scheduled practices of fine tuning arrival and departure times at ports to save fuel and reduce noise pollution.

It is also nice to know that the major players in the industry collaborate with government agencies to collect data about the ocean’s health and climate changes.

Shore Power Systems

The Port of San Diego contains a shore-power system that asserts major environmental benefits. It was installed early this year and is now up and running. Ships typically run their diesel engines to maintain power even when in port which is detrimental to air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Use of shore-power systems will greatly reduce these greenhouse gas emissions by over 50 percent each year. Ships will now be able to shut off their engines, whilst in port, plug into the grid and maintain power within all the cabins, crew and public areas.

There are several other ports that have installed the system, including the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Seattle and the Port of Juneau.

Ships need a specially built electrical connection with coordinating cables in order to plug into the local onshore network. It takes roughly 40 minutes for the connection to generate sufficient power for an entire ship but the environmental rewards will be immense.

Carnival to spend £237 million on cleaning up their engines

Carnival Cruise Lines have decided to plug into the shore-power systems while at ports that have the system, rather than remain idle with engines running. When docking at ports that have no grid available, they plan on utilising a lower sulphur fuel.

However, the big environmental news recently announced from Carnival is that they are allocating over 237 million pounds to clean their massive diesel engines.

As part of an agreement reached with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Carnival stated that they would install scrubbers and filters over the next three years to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide on at least 32 ships in their fleet.

The new technology will go unnoticed by passengers because it will be taking place inside the engine room.

Arnold Donald, the chief executive at Carnival Corporation stated that “This is a key step forward for Carnival Corp. and its 10 brands — and most importantly for the environment.”

This preparation will reduce the amount of air pollution on 70% of their ships. This procedure will be put into place on other lines owned by Carnival such as Holland America, Costa, Princess Cruise Lines, Cunard Line and P&O Cruises.

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