It’s Tea Time!
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Tea was discovered over five thousand years ago and is the second most consumed drink after water. Tea is a fantastic pick me up and one of the most refreshing drinks available. Of course, here at home, consuming a cup in the afternoons is not only a cherished tradition but part of many peoples lifestyle. Just because you are going on a cruise holiday doesn’t mean that the 4 PM calling for tea must be eliminated!

Each and every afternoon on many cruise ships, there’s the traditional British tea time. What varies is whether they have ‘Afternoon Tea’ consisting of tea, sandwiches, scones and cake and mainly a self serve or ‘High Tea’, a more formal event with white-gloved waiters serving on fine china with several trays of goodies.

Afternoon tea is something not to miss on a cruise holiday. Here is a brief description of what you can expect on some cruise lines that take tea time seriously.

CRYSTAL CRUISES

The Palm Court holds afternoon tea daily with a harpist or musical performances themed towards the composer of the day. The waiting staff are very attentive, whether alone or with a group of friends. The sandwiches and savory pastries are always a delectable indulgence as are the wide variety of fine teas.

afternoon tea

Image courtesy of Crystal Cruises

CELEBRITY CRUISES

Celebrity will be happy to include a bottle of bubbly (if requested) during their version of a proper high tea. One of their specialty restaurants is set up for a fully fledged High Tea with a violinist, premium Forte teas, Wedgwood china and Riedel crystal and finger sandwiches and pastries. The high tea experience takes place once or twice a sailing and is not gratis but afternoon tea is an everyday occurrence and free of charge.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE

Holland America’s fleet is vast with many fabulous dining venues but their themed afternoon tea events really do stand out. One to note is the once a week Royal Dutch High Tea. This features waiter service in the main dining room with music provided by a string quartet. The right tea is always on hand and compliments a menu that includes a stunning presentation of delicate tea sandwiches and an assortment of biscuits and pastries.

CUNARD LINE

There’s always a location for afternoon tea as a standard tradition onboard a Cunard ship. Afternoon tea is served at no extra cost in the Queens Room daily throughout the fleet. Also available is the enhanced Afternoon Tea experience which is chargeable but comes with many extras including a glass of Champagne, gourmet sandwiches and afternoon tea cakes. There will also be a Harpist playing during the event.

afternoon tea

Image courtesy of Cunard Cruises

PRINCESS CRUISES

Afternoon Tea takes place on a Princess ship every day and is complimentary. Indulge in picture perfect finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and petit fours. White gloved waiters serve a variety of teas, whilst passengers listen to the soothing tones offered by a string quartet or other musical entertainers. Discover the variety of teas available instead of the standard originals with exotic fruit and aromatic flavours and pamper the palate with the miniature sandwiches and pastries served.

P&O CRUISES

Afternoon tea is served in the one of the restaurants onboard all of the ships in P&O’s fleet. However, if you are booked on the new Britannia, then a real once in a lifetime treat is available. The owner of London’s Cake Boy boutique, celebrity chef and French patisserie, Eric Lanlard is overseeing Britannia’s new Champagne afternoon tea event in the Epicurean Restaurant.

afternoon tea Eric Lanlard

Image courtesy of P&O Cruises

FRED. OLSEN CRUISES

Fred Olsen offer a complimentary afternoon tea service which includes many sandwich and cake options. They also offer a traditional afternoon service which incurs a small charge but offers fantastic views from the Observatory Lounge plus music from the onboard pianist and a range of premium teas and sandwiches.

Afternoon tea is a real highlight for many even when on holiday and with the different options available these days don’t forget to ask your cruise specialist for details before you book.

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Reflection and Remembrance on a Cruise Holiday
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normandy

During 2014, several cruise lines are offering sailings for the recollection and understanding of two of the most significant events that took place in the 20th century. The waterways and seas of Europe are flowing to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War I and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The following cruise lines have added commemorative sailings.

Azamara Club Cruises

The ‘Memories of WWII Voyage’ will last for eleven days, will be held on the ship Azamara Journey and is due to start on June 3rd. Beginning out of Lisbon and finishing in Hamburg, the Azamara Journey will take passengers to see some of the most moving and historic parts of the war such as Cherbourg to see the D-Day Landing Beaches.

Amsterdam is also on the agenda and there is a ‘The North of France WWII’ experience tour offered, that takes visitors through graveyards and museums as well as the landing beaches. In the evening, there will be a D-Day Party complete with fine suits and big band music.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

UK based cruise line Fred. Olsen are honouring the 70th anniversary of D-Day as well. They plan on focusing on the sacrifices made during the war effort. The Braemar is the ship assigned for this once in a lifetime sailing and commences on June 1st. ‘The New Squadronaires’ with their ‘Big Band’ sound and considered the “RAF Number One Dance Band” are the headliners for this sailing. Tony Harris, Official Ambassador for the Help for Heroes charity will also be onboard.

Saling from Harwich, passengers will visit sights such as the Tyne Cot Cemetery and the D-Day Museum. While in Le Havre overnight, passengers get the opportunity to view the Allied Landing Areas the next day, June 6th which is designated as the ‘Day of Remembrance’.

The last port of call is Dunkirk where passengers will visit the Battle of Dunkirk Museum as well as the Town Cemetery which honours those Commonwealth soldiers fallen in both WWI and WWII. There is also a memorial set up to pay homage to the British Expeditionary Force. During the period of 1939 to 1940, there were 4500 casualties here who were left with unmarked graves.

Silversea

The ten day cruise aboard the Silvercloud offered by Silversea in partnership with The National WWII Museum, who have arranged tours to Normandy for years. The ship cruises from Lisbon to Hamburg and begins on May 30th with some of the top historians on-board including Lord David Montgomery, Dr. Donald L. Miller and Rick Atkinson, amongst others.

They will be offering lectures and Q&As. The ship will spend five nights going through the Caen Canal where it will visit the landing bases as well as the Abbey de Caen, the Airborne Museum and Hill 314 where firsthand accounts of D-Day will be told by local citizens and veterans alike. A series of ceremonies honouring the anniversary will be held in the American Cemetery and late night receptions can be found in the Utah Beach Museum and the Memorial de Caen.

Swan Hellenic

Swan Hellenic’s cruise ship, the ‘Minerva’, will mark the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and the centennial of World War I with a 13-day expedition. Departing from Portsmouth, the Minerva will sail to Dunkirk and Ypres, France to Flanders Fields.

A special 70th Anniversary service of remembrance will be held on the sixth of June on board and in full view of the beaches of Normandy. The Swan Hellenic cruise line has always been known for its lecture series and this ‘Reflections of France’ sailing will have several historians sailing with the guests.

A cruise holiday will provide a tranquil way to reflect on the history during this period. Many passengers may have a personal tie to these events in which they have lost a family member and can now get a chance to pay respect to those lost in either war. For history buffs, they can gain a deeper understanding of what transpired during these volatile times.

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Cruises from the Bristol Port of Avonmouth
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The United Kingdom has long been a popular place to embark on a cruise holiday with the most obvious benefit being that there are no airports to contend with!

Cruises from Bristol are relatively new and Avonmouth docks are easily accessible by road and rail plus of course Bristol airport is available for UK regional flights and for international travellers.

Avonmouth Station

Bristol is proud to call it’s port ‘Britain’s most centrally located deep sea port’, meaning passengers can easily reach the city centre from where their cruise ship docks and explore all that Bristol has to offer. Bristol’s prosperity has been linked to the sea since it was founded as early as the Palaeolithic era and has many attractions and sights for cruise passengers to visit and enjoy.

The city is famous for its music and film industries and also has several very famous artworks throughout the city by world renowned artist Banksy.

The City Museum and Art Gallery is popular with many visitors and it is home to a large collection of archaeology, natural history, Chinese ceramics and art. It is also free for all visitors and open daily.

MANY EXCURSIONS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE CITY

Bristol is also home to a wonderful historic city centre which has a number of large Tudor mansions which were once built for wealthy sea merchants who used Bristol port to trade goods in days gone by. There are also several buildings in the Byzantine architectural style which are unique to the city and sure to appeal to any fans of architecture and culture.

Many great day trips are available from this port for cruise passengers to enjoy. The charming city of Bath with its natural hot springs is just over 30 minutes away, Shakespeare’s beloved Stratford-upon-Avon and the university city of Oxford are both just an hour and a half away, and the historical wonders of Stonehenge are also less than 90 minutes from the port.

Bath Hot Springs

The two main cruise lines who offer cruises from Bristol are Fred Olsen and Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Popular British cruise line Fred Olsen’s ship Boudicca will be sailing from here for the first time in 2014 and appeals to passengers who enjoy a smaller, more intimate ship as it has capacity for just 800 guests, a mere minnow in comparison to the modern super liners of today – the largest of which can hold more than 6,000 passengers and more than 2,000 crew!

The Cruise and Maritime ship that offers itineraries from Bristol is the MV Azores. Again, this is perfect for those guests who like to enjoy a smaller ship with less passengers and a more personalised cruise experience.

WATCH THE MV AZORES VIDEO BELOW

With all of these great reasons to visit the port of Bristol and two beautiful ships departing from this port why not enquire here to see if a cruise from this wonderful city should be included in your future holiday plans.

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Have you ever taken a cruise from Bristol? Tell us below.

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A Nice Drawing of The Fred. Olsen Boudicca!
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Fred Olsen Boudicca

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Cruising Around the World
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When you imagine a round the world trip you probably think of young twenty-somethings carrying backpacks, partying relentlessly and enduring seemingly never ending bus and train journeys peppered with numerous flights in order to get to all the places you want to visit. It’s not a very glamorous picture, is it?

Well, if the idea of embarking on a round the world trip appeals to you, then why not do it in effortless and elegant style on a luxurious round the world cruise? You’ll still have the pleasure and excitement of experiencing new destinations, exotic locales and immersing yourself into different cultures, with none of the stress of planes, trains and automobiles, and the constant worry about losing your luggage in the process!

Cruise companies such as Cunard, Fred Olsen and P&O Cruises offer exciting and varied round the world itineraries. Most of these trips last well in excess of a hundred nights. I always like to think of how many new friends I could make on board in a hundred nights, by the end you’d surely have made some friends for life. It would be a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and get to know the staff who serve you better as well. This would also be great on smaller cruise ships where there wouldn’t be too many passengers to get to know.

Cunard Queen Mary 2Fred Olsen BalmoralP&O Adonia

For anyone who is uncomfortable when flying, or afraid of flying, a round the world cruise could be the perfect solution. This type of cruise allows passengers to visit countless different ports that they would otherwise be unable to without enduring a few flights.

Round the world cruises are also perfect for anyone who is less mobile and feel that they simply couldn’t cope with a traditional round the world journey. With a cruise, you are transported effortlessly to your next destination and don’t have any of the stress of actually getting there, it’s all taken care of.

One major benefit of round the world cruises is that cruise ships often spend more time in certain ports than they would if they were visiting that port as part of a shorter itinerary. This could mean that your ship would spend two day in a port where it would ordinarily only have docked for twelve hours. This means you can allow more time to explore the port, and the area around it, and see more of what it has to offer in the extra time you have. This is one benefit of a round the world cruise that I know I would definitely enjoy.

With round the world cruises sounding like the perfect way to see the world, your only tough decision might be picking which itinerary to embark upon.

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