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There's nothing quite like 'life on the ocean wave' and you can experience it with our fantastic range of cruise holidays. All provide great value for money and a superb choice of cruising destinations. Modern day cruising really has come into its own, offering everything from tantalising food to amazing experiences and fantastic entertainment – not to mention many exciting ports of call.
The great advantage of ocean cruise holidays is that instead of you having to find your own way to the destinations, they come to you. With most touring holidays, a number of different destinations are included in the itinerary meaning that you will have to unpack your case every time you reach a new place. The beauty of ocean cruise tours is that once you have boarded your ship, you need only unpack the once – how convenient is that? Whilst on-board you can enjoy sumptuous food, dazzling entertainment, a range of activities or simply sit in the lounge with a good book and observe the landscapes passing you by as your ship gently cruises towards the next exciting port of call. With so much available on your cruise ship, you will arrive in the port feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready for a fabulous day of exploring and sightseeing. When considering cruise holidays, ask how long the ship stays in each port so you can really plan what you want to do with your day ashore.
Those who are experiencing ocean cruising for the very first time may wish to stick to locations closer to home before broadening your horizons with a range of other worldwide cruise destinations. The Mediterranean is a popular cruising destination where you can explore the Roman ruins of Italy, classical sights of Greece and soak up the sunshine on The Algarve. You can combine your Mediterranean cruise with visits to Morocco, Tunisia, The Canary Islands and Madeira – all featuring a variety of fascinating places to explore and amazing sights to see.
The world really is your oyster with ocean cruises allowing you to visit a variety of faraway destinations that were once difficult to access. Cruise the Atlantic Ocean until you reach the stunning east coast of America where you can shop till you drop in New York City, admire colourful autumn foliage in Boston and the spectacular art-deco buildings of Florida. Why not cruise to America's west coast? Where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more. For soaking up sunshine upon white sandy beaches with luscious palms blowing gently in the breeze, a Caribbean cruise is for you where ports of call will feature many of the islands. Travel further south and you can admire the ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico or spot awesome wildlife that call The Amazon their home.
Venture further across the Pacific Ocean where you can see stunning glacial scenery of Canada and the wilderness of Alaska. For warmer climes that have an exotic feel, visit the paradise island of Hawaii with its unique yet fascinating volcanic environment. Amazing ancient civilizations can be found on a cruise to the Mystical East where you can experience the cherry blossoms in full bloom in Japan, whilst the stunning Angkor Wat and magical floating water markets await in Cambodia and Thailand. No cruising holiday to the Far East would be complete without meandering along the mighty Yangtze in China.
Whatever you're looking for in a holiday, cruise tours should definitely tick all the right boxes so what are you waiting for? It's time to raise that anchor and set sail on a new adventure to discover the world around you!
The Marco Polo, CMV Magellan and MV Azores are popular choices when it comes to ocean cruises:
MS Marco Polo
Described as the 'epitome of sea-going elegance', the beautiful 22,000-tonne Marco Polo offers a classic, traditional cruising environment. Priding itself on its warm welcome and sumptuous dining, this child-free ship boasts eight passenger decks which between them ensure ample deck space on which to sunbathe, play deck games, take a promenade or even jog, for those who are so inclined. This high-class vessel also has a pool and Pool Bar, desk-top jacuzzis, gym, hair and beauty salon as well as sauna and massage facilities. To wind down after a port of call or a night of dancing till dark, all cabins offer private facilities with bath/shower, TV with satellite and in-house channels, hairdryer and personal safe.
View the Marco Polo deck plan
The current flagship of the CMV fleet, the Magellan operates as an adult friendly ship. Carrying around 1250 passengers in 726 cabins, the Magellan combines expansive surroundings and friendly service with fabulous entertainment and delicious cuisine. Facilities on board include a theatre-style show lounge, swimming pool on the main deck, spa facilities, a card room and much more!
View the Magellan deck plan
The new flagship of the CMV fleet from 2017, the Columbus houses 775 cabins, having been newly refurbed in 2015, the Columbus has plenty to offer on board. Facilities include two swimming pools, spa facilities, a gym, an ice-cream parlour, five restaurants and much much more.
View the Columbus deck plan
The beauty of a cruise means you can literally explore a new destination on almost every day, itineraries will vary but here are some of the destinations you might stop at:
Possibly one of our most exotic cruise stops, you could spend a few days exploring the lush Hawaiian Islands with possible stops at Maui, Hilo, Kona and Nawiliwili. With stunning beaches and fantastic scenery Hawaii is a great place to explore and what better way than by cruising and arriving at a new destination each day.
Some cruises on offer explore Norway’s west coast and if you are lucky enough you may just spot the Northern Lights on a clear night. This stunning destination is a fabulous place to explore, with a number of different onshore excursions available you can really get the most out of this wonderful country.
Another great destination for cruising is in the Greek Isles, this cruise will allow you to explore a number of the different islands, each with their own identity. Visit Santorini, the town carved high into the cliff top, with stunning views for miles. Stop at Mykonos with its world-renown windmills peppered along the coast line. With the option of exploring a new Island almost every day the opportunities to explore are fabulous!
Well known for being the shortest route from the East Coast to the West Coast of the Americas by sea, the Panama Canal cruise is a popular itinerary. Spend days travelling along this manmade strip of water which carves its ways across Panama and joins the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Admire the magnificent landscape as you travel along this wonder.
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What are the cabins like?
Depending on which ship you are travelling on the cabins can vary. It’s wise to remember that cabins aren’t always very large, so don’t be shocked when you visit your cabin for the first time.
Will I have a window or balcony?
Again it depends on the ship, although the best prices are normally for inside cabins and you’ll have to pay to upgrade to a cabin with a window or balcony. Don’t worry though, inside cabins aren’t as dark as they sound and you’ll be too busy with the facilities on board to spend much time in your room!
What’s the food like?
Which ship you stay on will determine the dining experiences available. Some ships are more formal offering fixed dining times in the evening, whilst others offer a more ‘freestyle’ approach. Either way, expect freshly prepared food with lots of choice and variety. Many ships will offer a buffet option offering a variety of different cuisines.
Is it formal?
How traditional the cruise experience is will depend on the cruise line you're sailing with. The recent introduction of ‘freestyle’ cruising means you can do whatever you want at your own pace. If you're unsure whether the ship you're travelling on will be traditional or more flexible, check with us before booking.
Do I have to tip?
Cruise ships tend to automatically opt you in for a per-day tipping scheme which gets taken from your credit card at the end of your cruise. If you want to opt-out of this and tip staff as you go, you can normally do so by visiting reception. As an example, gratuities on the Marco Polo are £5 per person per night (for cruises of less than 16 days in duration) and automatically charged to passengers' onboard accounts.
What’s the dress code?
Some ships prefer guests to dress smartly for dinner, where others are more laid back and less formal. Attire is usually defined as casual but not 'sloppy', i.e. swimsuits are confined to the pool area only. If your cruise includes a Captain’s Dinner you will be expected to wear black tie attire.
Do I need my Passport?
Yes – for any cruises heading abroad you'll need a Passport to join the ship, although once you've checked in you shouldn’t need to use it again.
Can I get off and walk to local attractions when docked?
It depends on where the ship is docked - some ports are right in the heart of the city or town meaning you can get off the ship to explore to your heart’s content. Sometimes you’ll need to catch a coach transfer to the destination, but these should be listed within the cruise tour inclusions where they apply.
What facilities are there on board?
The Marco Polo and Discovery include a variety of leisure and shopping possibilities from relaxing lounges and on-deck swimming pools and whirlpools to gyms, libraries and spa and wellness centres where you can enjoy beauty treatments and hairdressing. There'll also be a traditional promenade allowing you to take in the views and fresh sea air. If you're purchasing anything on board the ship, just remember to use the correct currency for the ship, otherwise it can be charged to your room.
What about medical facilities?
A medical centre will be on-board, fully stocked with everything you may need in case of an emergency. In addition a doctor and nurse are on call 24 hours a day.
Can I bring alcohol on board?
It’s best to check this before you leave for your holiday. Some cruise lines are happy for you to consume your own alcohol in your cabin, but others aren’t. Be advised that you’re likely to get searched as you board the cruise ship and your luggage may well be scanned.
What if the weather is bad?
Cruising can be slightly unpleasant if the weather is bad. If you suffer with sea-sickness, take some travel sickness medication with you just in case. If it’s raining or cold outside there should be plenty of indoor activities to keep you amused.
Are shore/land excursions available?
Generally cruise ships offer extra land excursions to various sites and attractions, which are available at an additional supplement. These can normally be booked online before you travel or when you are on board the ship.
What if I’m disabled?
No problem. Many of the ships have lifts and wider corridors to help you navigate and in addition to this there are disabled cabins available with wider doors, disabled bathroom facilities and easier access.
How much luggage can I take?
You can take as much luggage as you like with you, but just remember the cabin is quite cosy so big suitcases can take up a lot of space. Some cruises include flights, so you need to check you observe airline guidelines.
Are they suitable for families?
Depending on the ship you are travelling on, some cruises offer fantastic facilities to entertain the kids, whilst others don’t. Check before you book to find the ship for you.
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