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CRUISE PLANNER


to enjoy life in a private resort whilst visiting the world. Following the sun with the seasons, itineraries allow passengers time to enjoy both the ship’s facilities and longer stays in each port. Sold cruise only. In 2012, she voyages to South Africa and the Indian Ocean; then to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific; across to West Coast USA, Alaska and the North-West Passage; Greenland, Canada and New England; and then East Coast USA, Florida and the Caribbean. Fares include port tax, drinks and gratuities. www.aboardtheworld.com


ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Ship


Monarch,


Majesty of the Seas Legend,


Splendour of the Seas Grandeur,


Enchantment of the Seas


Rhapsody, Vision of the Seas


Voyager, Explorer, Adventure, Navigator, Mariner of the Seas


Radiance, Brilliance, Sere- nade, Jewel of the Seas


Freedom, Liberty, Inde- pendence of the Seas


Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas


4* Resort 32.23 Two 78,491 2435/765 4*-Plus Resort 44.31 Two 138,000 3114/1176 5* 5* 5* Resort 36.02 Two 90,090 2501/869 Resort 43.92 Two 160,000 3634/1360 Resort 41.27 Two 222,900 5400/2150


A huge fleet of attractive, large, modern ships with all the amenities of a contemporary resort. The brand, one of the best for families, has five main styles. The oldest duo are used mainly for the short- cruise market as they lack some of the latest creature comforts and have smallish cabins, although both have been extensively refurbished. The six Vision-class ships (in pairs) brought in a new era of contemporary design and facilities and the Voyager quintet then added an amazing range of unique facilities (like rock-climbing walls and ice rinks) and even more choice. The Radiance quartet offer a slightly classier alternative to an already consistent product, with some of the best features of the Vision and Voyager ships. The massive Freedom-class went on to include surf-pools, water parks and other innovative facilities and are as much a destination in themselves as anywhere they go. The advent of the truly gigantic Oasis of the Seas in 2009 and sister Allure a year later add a whole new dimension to their slick ‘city-at-sea’ concept, with a positively futuristic array of features and amenities, including a unique ‘neighbourhood’ concept of big, open public spaces like the al fresco Central Park, lively Boardwalk (with its Aqua Theater) and massive Royal Promenade (complete with ‘floating’ bar). The dining choice on these two is also among the best at sea for any of the Resort-style vessels, rivalled only by NCL’s Norwegian Epic. Royal Caribbean also allow flexible dining with their My Choice option, which provides pre-booked dining in the main dining rooms any time between 6 and 9.30pm (as well as the choice of multiple alternatives on all the mega-ships). Operating to all the main cruise destinations, including Hawaii, Alaska, northern Europe and the Med, Mexico, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Canada & New England, South America, Dubai and the Middle East, Bermuda and year-round in the Caribbean. Independence operates out of Southampton to Spain, Portugal, the Canaries and Western Med with a more British onboard flavour for much of the year. Gratuities not included. www.royalcaribbean.com/co.uk


Rating 4*


4* 4* Type SR Dining Tonnage P / C Resort 29.20 Two 73,000 2500/858 Resort 33.33 Two 69,130 2074/732 Resort 30.30 Two 74,137 2446/760


SAGA CRUISES Ship


Saga Ruby Saga Pearl II Saga Sapphire


Spirit of Adventure Rating Type


4*-Plus Classic 4*-Plus Classic 5*


Classic SR Dining Tonnage P / C 4*-Plus Adventure 27.18 One 9,570


38.16 One 25,000 655/380 41.68 One 18,591 446/252 52.80 One 37,301 706/560 352/170


Quest for Adventure 4*-Plus Adventure 41.68 One 18,591 446/252


The holiday company primarily for the over-50s specialises in breathing elegant, new life into older vessels like Saga Ruby (ex- Vistafjord and Caronia of Cunard), the heavily refurbished Saga Pearl II (formerly the 1981-built Astoria), and newcomer (in March 2012) Saga Sapphire, the former stylish Europa of Hapag-Lloyd from 1981-1999 that most recently operated as Bleu de France for Pullmantur. Onboard style is low-key but elegant, with good lecture programmes and thoughtful, well-organised shore excursions. Dining is good quality in one leisurely sitting, and there is always a buffet alternative, while the new Sapphire adds even more choice with an alternative Indian/Asian fine-dining option. All three tour the Med, northern Europe and Greenland in summer while travelling further afield in the autumn and winter, to the Canaries, Caribbean and Africa, with a World Cruise on Ruby. The ‘Spirit’ brand will be boosted in May 2012 by the transfer and renaming of Pearl II to Quest for Adventure, which, along with Spirit of Adventure (the former Berlin) is a different proposition, sailing with a more small-scale, expedition- orientated style and onboard programme around Europe, the Black Sea and Middle East, plus, in autumn and winter, the Caribbean, Amazon, Canada, New England and the Far East, albeit still with high-quality dining and service, and including tailor-made shore excursions and wine with lunch and dinner. Gratuities are included. www.sagacruises.com, www.spiritofadventure.co.uk


SEABOURN CRUISE LINE Ship


Seabourn Pride, Spirit, Legend


Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn, Quest


Rating Type 6*


Boutique 6*-Plus Boutique SR Dining Tonnage P / C 48.07 Open 10,000 208/164 71.11 Open 32,000 450/335


Outstanding small deluxe ships, with their latest trio serving as the new benchmark for boutique cruising. Seabourn has consistently high service levels, something other lines have sought to emulate. The original trio are truly, small Grande Hotels at sea, with exceptional cuisine and service but low-key entertainments, as befits their style. The arrival of Odyssey and her sisters (2009-11) added a significant extra element of opulent sea-going refinement, offering even greater onboard sophistication, highlighted by a 2-deck Health Spa, even more lavish suites and four superb dining choices. And, although the extra size increased passenger capacity more than 100 per cent, Seabourn succeeded in maintaining the same elegant, personal service, while increasing the amount of individual space aboard to one of the highest in the world. Their worldwide winter programmes take in the Far East, India, Arabia, Africa, the Caribbean and South America, with summers spent in Europe, plus an annual World Cruise and Grand Voyages from 26-91 days. Packaged with tax, flights and drinks. Gratuities included in fare. www.seabourn.com


SEA CLOUD CRUISES Ship


Rating Type Sea Cloud Sea Cloud II


5*-Plus Classic 5*-Plus Classic


SR


Dining Tonnage P / C


39.56 Open 2,532 44.75 Open 3,849


64/60 86/60


Traditional sail-cruising doesn’t come more eye-catching or genuine than this fleet of luxury tall ships. The original Sea Cloud dates back to 1931 and has been beautifully and lovingly maintained and updated over the years, while Sea Cloud II was an updated version in 2001. Cabins range from large suites to small 2-berth cabins but all are beautifully furnished and well equipped. Onboard style is casual and relaxed (with a couple of more formal dinners per cruise),


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