Excitement and Innovation Lead the Way for 21st Century Cruising


Gone are the days where cruising involved little more than sumptuous buffets and hours spent lounging around the pool. Today’s cruise liners are offering passengers experiences that are bigger, better and more exciting than ever!

Andy Yuell, director of marine design specialist company SMC Design explains “It’s no longer enough to be offering something as good as you get on land – it’s got to be better.” So what’s on offer? Read on to find out!

Exhilarating Shore Excursions

An increasing number of cruise liners are upping the ante on their shore excursion offerings with trips to the Arctic topping the list of most impressive outings. Once passengers reach the icy waters they can take part in an array of exciting new experiences such as ice camping, kayaking, hot air ballooning and cultural exchanges.

For those who prefer a warmer climate, Azamara Club Cruises passengers can enjoy a range of exclusive events held at venues across Italy and the Caribbean as part of its “AzAmazing Evenings” scheme. Viking River Cruises has managed to snag its passengers private tours of St Petersburg’s Hermitage while Crystal Cruises holidaymakers are given the opportunity to gain cultural insight into homes and villages located on Polynesia’s Easter Island.

The Sky is the Limit

Forget water slides and trampolines, these days contemporary cruising is all about taking passengers to new heights. November will see the launch of Quantum of the Sea’s North Star, a glass encased viewing pod attached to a mechanical arm. The revolutionary new attraction will give Royal Caribbean passengers a chance to embark on a 15 minute ride that will take them 300ft in the air where they can soak up 360 degree views of the open ocean.

The luxury vessel will also be equipped with a RipCord skydiving simulator by iFly. The contraption will encase thrill seeking passengers inside a 23ft tall glass chamber where they are suspended above a heavy duty wind stream. If that isn’t enough adrenaline, Quantum will also boast a FlowRider surf simulator, climbing wall, flying trapeze and the world’s first at sea dodgems.

Extravagant Eats

Royal Caribbean continues its impressive inventory of passenger experiences with the introduction of Jamie Oliver’s world famous Italian restaurant on-board its newest ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.

P&O’s Britannia is also serving up a sumptuous menu of celebrity chef creations from names such as Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar, Olly Smith and Eric Lanlard. TV personality James Martin will also front Britain’s first on-board cooking school, the Cookery Club.

River Relaxation

The river cruising scene is thriving with approximately 25 new river vessels set to hit waterways across the globe this year. Viking River Cruises is at the forefront of the boom and is the first line to introduce Western-style vessels on the Yangtze and Elbe Rivers. The new generation of cruising vessels are sleek, streamlined and equipped with all the latest mod-cons and luxuries including flat screen TV’s, iPads, butlers and balconies and leisure centres.

All Out Indulgence

The provision of opulent health and well-being facilities seems to be high on the to-do list of most luxury cruise liners. AquaSpa from Celebrity Cruises offers passengers the ultimate in spa retreat indulgence while travellers on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2 are treated to 16 spa suites boasting hydrotherapy showers with integrated steam sauna and a private whirlpool bath with spectacular ocean views.

The time has never been better to book a cruise! With an increasingly impressive collection of on-board amenities and off-ship encounters on offer, passengers are guaranteed a truly unforgettable sailing experience. Visit us today or call 0808 2746 777 for more information.

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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