Monday Myth Buster – Myth: Cruise itineraries are all the same
When cruising was first launched back in 1904 the choice of destination was limited to transatlantic ports. From ocean-going round the world extravaganzas to expeditionary river cruises, to themed and immersive experiential adventures, modern cruising now offers more choice than the infused oil aisle of a Surrey branch of Waitrose.
As the sun unfurls the petals of a daisy, so have technological advancements and globalization opened up the world of cruising. Now it’s possible to hop a ship to just about anywhere from Burma to the Baltic including a whole host of sites which are tricky to reach by any other means such as Polynesia, Easter Island, the Shetland Islands, the Galapagos and the Antarctic.
Luxury cruise line Seabourn alone announced a new cruise program for winter/spring 2018/19 which features over 37 unique voyages in destinations that include South America, Antarctica, Australia, Indonesia and the Caribbean, and new ports of call such as Quito in Ecuador and Fiji’s largest island, Vanua Levi.
If the huge choice of cruise destinations has left you unimpressed there is also the option to enliven your holiday by choosing a ‘cruise and stay’ itinerary. For example you could kick off or crown your cruise to the dramatic ice-laden coastline of Alaska with a week on the Rocky Mountaineer train.
Just as diverse as its saltier sister, river cruising boasts European itineraries (that allow you to take in multiple countries in one trip) alongside more far-flung holidays on the rivers of America, China, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The range of itineraries is constantly growing, with a new week-long Columbia and Snake River cruise by UnCruise Adventures launching in 2018.
Changes to cruise itineraries are not just geographical but temporal with cruise holidays today ranging from round the world breaks up to 6 months in length to 2-day mini-cruises such as Fred Olsen’s weekend cruise to Amsterdam. Known as celebration cruises, these short breaks are ideal for first time cruisers who want to dip a toe in the water. They are also a fun and novel way to mark a special event such as an anniversary, a birthday, the passing of an exam, or even a hen night.
Although traditionally destination led, the cruise industry is keeping up with modern preference-based leisure trends by offering experiential cruises based around a theme, the number and diversity of which is staggering. Themes include art cruises with on-board art lessons, music and theatre performance cruises, golf cruises, food and wine cruises where you shop, forage, cook and eat, photography cruises, live music cruises, cruises for cat lovers, nature spotting cruises and even clothes-free options.
In short, cruising is now as creative and individual as you.
By Sarah Glayzer.