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Luxury Travel

top ten Cruises to book now

Charitable Travel’s experts have picked out ten diverse and exciting cruises around the world, all designed to expand your horizons.

This is a feature from Issue 11 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

1. The Mediterranean Sojourn

Our experts say: “Step aboard one of ‘Regent Seven Seas’ exclusive snow-white yachts and relax as it sails from Venice to Istanbul

The 12-night cruise, the Ballad Of The Aegean Sea, is a great choice for history buffs. From the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace in Spit to the Greek temples of Athens, a Crusader castle in Rhodes to the Ottoman minarets of Istanbul, it’s packed with architecture and antiquity. The all-suite Seven Seas Explorer has luxurious spaces and entertainment ranging from taking a cooking class to getting a seaweed wrap.

2. The Family Mini Cruise

Our experts say: “Disney Cruise Lines has two bite-size sailings that offer families tonnes of themed fun.”

Summer 2023 will see Disney Dream sail two four-night cruises roundtrip from  Southampton to La Rochelle in France and Bilbao in Spain, both pretty seaside towns packed with history and culture. On board will be entertainment in the form of West End-style musicals, character experiences, fun splash pools, magical dining experiences and Kids clubs themed around Star Wars and Toy Story. There’s also adult-only fine dining and a spa.

3. The Galapagos Expedition

Our experts say: “Discover the ecological wonders of one of the most biodiverse places on earth with one of the most sustainable cruise lines on the planet.”

An 11-day expedition cruise with Hurtigruten takes in Ecuador’s capital Quito, before boarding the small ship MS Santa Cruz II to explore the Galapagos Islands. Spy unique wildlife like giant tortoises, marine iguanas and rare seabirds, and explore bays and beaches in small expedition boats as well as kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkelling. The carbon-neutral ship has an interactive onboard science programme and lectures.

4. The Panama Canal Transit

Our experts say: “Star Clippers’ epic Panama Canal cruises combine Caribbean islands with the world’s most famous shipping route.

Beautiful tallships, with white sails and polished brass, are every romantic’s dream of what cruising should be, but Star Clippers’ have onboard pools and a spa too. Royal Clipper’s 14-night voyage from Barbados to Isla Flamenco, Panama includes stops in colourful Dutch-style Willemstad in Curacao, UNESCO World Heritage Colombian city Cartagena, and Panama’s idyllic and remote San Blas Islands, plus the wildlife-rich canal.

5. The Nordics To North America Epic Voyage

Our experts say: “Visiting four countries over 15 days, the cruise will require serious sea legs but the reward is incredible scenery and access to remote, fascination communities.

From Reykjavik, the cruise calls at the puffin-smothered cliffs of the Westman Islands and the dramatic black sand beaches of Djúpivogur in Iceland. In Greenland, there’s Inuit culture in Nanortalik and Viking history in Qaqortoq. Across to Canada, you’ll discover L’Anse aux Meadows, the first Norse settlement in the Americas, and charming Halifax. Then on to New York City.

6. The classic transatlantic crossing

Our experts say: “There is perhaps no cruise more iconic to a Brit than a transatlantic one from Southampton to New York, and Cunard does it in true British style”

A crossing takes seven nights but the elegant Queen Mary 2 has plenty to entertain. Cunard’s flagship has impressive dining, with classic delicacies like Dover sole meunière on the menu and the chance to take afternoon tea at sea. Evening entertainment includes music, dance, stand-up comedy, magic shows and dazzling West End-style musicals. Or you can retire to the library, do a wine tasting or try stargazing in the onboard planetarium.

7. The Far East Teaser

Our experts say: “Dip your toe into some exotic shores but keep your western comforts.”

Princess Cruises has a nine-day Sea of Japan cruise, round-trip from Tokyo. The five other Japanese ports are Aomori, with its 17th-century castle; Niigata, famous for seafood and sake; artisan and culture-rich Tsuruga; the pretty fishing port of Sakaiminato, and Nagasaki, where you can visit the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, commemorating the 1945 tragedy. There’s also a stop in Korea’s Busan, a mix of high-rises and ancient temples.

8. The Alaskan Odyssey

Our experts say: “Royal Caribbean’s seven-night Glacier Experience cruise offers rugged scenery in comfort.”

From Vancouver, Enchantment of the Seas heads to the Inside Passage, a wild archipelago spanning 25,000 scenic miles, and onto Alaska. You’ll find a blend of Russian and Native American history in Sitka; pale blue glaciers, 7,000-foot-tall mountains and icebergs in Tracy Arm Fjord; centuries-old bars in Juneau, and colourful totem poles in Ketchikan. Historic Haines is a staging ground for rafting or bear-watching trips.

9. The Grand Baltic Tour

Our experts say: “A wonderful way to sample the beautiful architecture and captivating culture of some of Europe’s finest capital cities.”

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral sails from Southampton on a 14-night Baltic Capitals cruise. You’ll alight in Copenhagen to see the rainbow waterfront of Nyhavn; In Stockholm for the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan; in Tallinn for fairy tale medieval streets; and in Helsinki for the best sauna you’ve ever had. You’ll also navigate the Kiel Canal and make port at the charming seaside town of Warnemunde in Germany.

10. The Caribbean Island Hopper

Our experts say: “Virgin Voyages represents a new brand of cruising for those who want to have a good time and its cruises call in at some good-time ports too.”

Virgin’s base is Miami, a multi-cultural city of Art Deco architecture and golden beaches. Onboard the Scarlet Lady you’ll find Michel instarred chefs and joints serving everything from Korean barbecue to Hawaiian poke; out-there entertainment including Romeo and Juliet with a circus twist, and a wellness programme incorporating JLo-approved facials and sunrise yoga. Ports of call include quirky Key West and the ruins and lagoons of Costa Maya in Mexico.

Book your cruise today!

Call us now on 020 3092 1288 or email [email protected] to get the ball rolling on your perfect cruise!

This is a feature from Issue 11 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.