CRUISE TRIPS INTO BLUE
Voyages to Antiquity specialises in cruises that focus on a region’s history and culture, brought to life by guest speakers and in-depth shore excursions. New for 2018 is The Aegean Experience, which begins with five nights staying on the mainland (Athens, Delphi, Nafplio) before embarking on a nine-night islands cruise, taking in Hydra, Santorini, Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes, Nisyros, Delos and Mykonos and their key archaeological sites. The number of single cabins on the company’s small-scale ship, the Aegean Odyssey is being increased this summer to 39.
The Norwegian fjords
It’s a welcome surprise to find the Antiquity’s 350-passenger Aegean Odyssey ship making its first voyage to Norway in 2018. Guest speaker Roderick Dale, an expert in everything concerning Vikings, will be making a significant contribution on board and ashore. The round-trip cruise from London Tilbury includes lesser-known destinations such as Ulvik, known for its cider, Hellesylt, a village split by a waterfall and Kristiansand, where you can try shrimps and mussels at the quayside.
Alaska is second only to the Caribbean as a destination for big-ship cruising, but small-ship voyages allow you to get closer to the scenery. National Geographic Expeditions unveils the new 100-passenger Venture in June, designed to offer improved wildlife viewing and the ability to navigate the Inside Passage.
Sailing in the Grenadines
The unspoilt Grenadines are among the most magical islands in the Caribbean and there can be no more memorable way to explore them than under sail on the Royal Clipper, the largest of Star Clippers’ handsome tall ships. The round trips from Barbados take in the uninhabited Tobago Cays and Bequia’s Admiralty Bay, an immensely pretty natural harbour. Other stops include Grenada’s St George’s, a contender for the Caribbean’s most attractive port, and Marigot Bay on St Lucia.
Colombia, Guatemala and the Panama Canal
Noble Caledonia has an enticing new exploration of Central America next winter, aboard the 95-passenger Serenissima. It begins on the Pacific coast of Guatemala and ends up in the Caribbean Sea at the Colombian city of Cartagena. Among the many highlights are visits to Mayan ruins in El Salvador, trips to national parks in Costa Rica and the transit through the Panama Canal.