One for foodies
Food lovers will feel at home cruising the Mediterranean on the five-star Celebrity Equinox (above), says Caroline Hendrie in The Mail on Sunday. Your holiday starts aboard a special flight from Stansted airport’s private-jet terminal to Barcelona, where you’ll be whisked to the ship for a one-week cruise to Athens, departing on 2 July.
The cruise takes in Toulon in southern France, Genoa, Civitavecchia and Salerno in Italy, and Crete. At Salerno, you will gorge on an “exclusive five-star feast”, says Deborah Stone in the Daily Express. Chef Gennaro Esposito’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Torre del Saracino overlooks the Amalfi Coast’s “stunning scenery”.
But the fare is no less spectacular back on the ship. A partnership with GreatBritishChefs.com has brought Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton onboard.
The Jet Set Sail package costs from £1,338. See CelebrityCruises.co.uk for more details.
Around the world in 107 nights
If you are planning a “seriously long” break, why not explore the whole world from Southampton to Sydney and back again?
The 107-night Around the World Voyage with Fred Olsen is departing on 3 January 2017. The trip is on board Black Watch, which has just 423 cabins and a quintessentially British atmosphere, says Gemma Bowes in The Guardian. That explains the “traditional” pub, but there are also restaurants and bars, cinema, sports facilities and a spa on board.
Along the way, you’ll stop in the Caribbean, South America, French Polynesia, theCook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, the Maldives and Egypt. If 107 nights is too much, there is a 43-night option from Southampton to Auckland, or the 63-night trip back.
Cabins are available from £12,250. See FredCruises.co.uk for more details.
A Viking river saga
If raiding the inland waterways is more your thing, hop aboard one of Viking River Cruises’ popular Longships, says Jane Archer in The Daily Telegraph. The river boats can accommodate up to 190 passengers and the classiest suites enjoy wraparound balconies and 180-degree views. You can cruise the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine or Portugal’s river Douro.
See VikingRiverCruises.co.uk for details.
Indulgence for nature lovers
For nature lovers, this is a holiday made in heaven: a week cruising the Galápagos islands, with its huge diversity of habitats and wildlife. A new luxury yacht, Passion, will take you around the islands.
The ship is small and can take only a few passengers, which reduces the environmental impact on this important but fragile ecosystem, says Emma Thompson in the Evening Standard. You also stand a better chance of seeing the unique wildlife up close. “Occasionally, travelling posh can also protect the places you’re visiting” – and that’s the case with this tour. It’s a small price to pay “to keep Eden intact”.
Prices from £4,860. See CruiseTheGalapagos.co.uk for details.
The leviathan of the Med
The world’s biggest cruise liner, Harmony of the Seas, began sea trials last month for delivery in May. The 1,188-foot leviathan was built in Saint-Nazaire, France, at a cost of around £770m for Royal Caribbean International. It has 2,747 cabins on its 16 decks – room enough for 5,479 passengers. Inside, Harmony has three multi-storey water slides, including the unfortunately named “Ultimate Abyss” – the highest water slide at sea.
Once you’ve regained your sea legs, go for a drink served by a robot bartender before heading “out” for dinner at one of two “concept” restaurants, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and the Sabor Modern Mexican. This summer, Harmony of the Seas will be relocating to Barcelona to cruise the Mediterranean.