Popular Articles

55 Articles Found
A Guide to Best Budget Cruises
Since the advent of low-cost airlines, savvy travellers have come to realise that no-frills doesn't mean no-satisfaction. Indeed, what is often perceived as prudent when it comes to air travel also holds true in cruising. Most British cruise lines would recoil in horror at being termed 'budget' but there is a wealth of affordable voyages available if you know where to look. Over-capacity in cruising hot-spots, coupled with a downturn in American cruisers heading to the Eastern Mediterranean means many sailings are going for a song. Plus, the post-Brexit plunge in sterling has sent ripples through the travel industry, with tour operators set to apply hefty currency surcharges to land-based holidays. Fortunately cruising is free of both surcharges and punitive exchange rates. Unlike European resort holidays, where the euros can add up, opting for a British cruise line (except Cunard) means you can pay for almost every element of your holiday in pounds, thus insulating your wallet against currency fluctuations. And it's not just food and drink. You can sign up for excursions in pounds, safe in the knowledge that there won’t be any nasty surprises at the bottom of the gangway. Your trip is paid for before you set foot on dry land. 
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. Autumn -- or "Fall" in North America" -- foliage enthusiasts, for instance, will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise, whereas water sports-lovers (and families) much prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travellers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your holiday schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
Small Ships in Alaska: A Guide to Cruising Off the Beaten Path
While many cruisers have their first glimpse of Alaska through bigger ports such as Ketchikan and Skagway, there have always been those who want to take the route less traveled through the Inside Passage. Enter small ships. Able to dock in isolated bays and tiny cities like Petersburg and Wrangell, small ships provide more intensive -- and usually more expensive -- ways to explore Alaska's coast. Life onboard an Alaska small ship, which typically carries fewer than 100 passengers, is a far more relaxed experience than you find on a standard cruise. You wake up to the sound of birds instead of noise from the balcony next door. Your days consist of kayaking or hiking, rather than shopping and taking helicopter tours. Evenings are spent reading in your room or listening to a naturalist talk. And there's no need to buy a new cocktail dress, although you might spend just as much on outdoor gear. Fortunately for adventurous travelers eager to embark on Alaska expeditions, several cruise companies offer these intimate, nature-focused experiences. Even better, the lines are expanding their fleets, as well as their itinerary and excursion offerings. Here's a look at Alaska's small ship cruises and where they're going.