If you’ve ever thought about a river cruise, you’ve never had more choice than you will this year. Lines are adding ships left and right; 34 new vessels will join the world’s rivers in 2014.
So it’s fitting that today at 8 p.m. (GMT), our editor in chef Carolyn Spencer Brown will be joined by special guest Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways, for our Cruise Critic Live River Cruising chat.
The cruise industry is awash with rumours that Sir Richard Branson is planning to launch a Virgin cruise line. The Virgin Atlantic boss has hired a US-based advisory firm to scout around for investors in the two-ship venture, which is, according to media reports, expected to launch in 2019 in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
So far, so not particularly surprising. In fact, it sounds like a perfectly sensible business idea if Branson can raise the money. Virgin is a respected brand and it’s highly active in the travel sector with airlines, trains, a new hotel chain and its tour-operating arm, Virgin Holidays Cruises. The cruise market is growing and the customers are getting younger and a bit more hip, which matches the Virgin image.
The question is, will Virgin Cruises be ‘different’ enough to attract this sought-after younger customer?
Now in its sixth year, The London CRUISE Show at Olympia, held between 22–23 March, 2014, has a wave of money-saving deals, upgrades and excellent competitions on offer.
With the world’s leading cruise lines and specialist operators exhibiting all under one roof, plus a packed programme of debates, informative talks and Q&A sessions during which you can meet the experts, this is the perfect place to discover your next cruise.
Cruise Critic will be there on our own stand, F4, and we’d love to meet you, so please come and say hello and chat to us and to fellow Cruise Critic members! Our UK editor, Adam Coulter, will also provide his specialist cruise knowledge during an expert speaking session on Saturday, 22March.
There are many exciting opportunities to win prizes* at the show; here is just a brief round up to give you an idea of what’s on offer:
We’ve all been there at one time. You’ve studied the deck plan – and turned it upside down a couple of times for good measure – and you are convinced you’re heading forward to the red stairwell. Instead you end up aft by the blue stairwell looking at a row of even numbered cabins when yours has an odd number. And on top of that all the doors look the same.
Finding your cabin can be a tricky business – and be an initiative test for first-time cruisers.
I’ve just returned from a wonderful Caribbean cruise on P&O Cruises’ Ventura. It’s been a year since I was on a P&O ship and in between I have found myself on a lot of US ships (Carnival Sunshine, Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway, Royal Princess).
And while on Ventura it really struck me how different the traditional UK cruise experience is, compared with a US one. Which I’d like to share with you here.
They’re back – and they’re better than ever. The 3RUN team which wowed the world last year – running and jumping all over Thomson Dream – have been brought back to show off the ship’s new home port of Jamaica. And this time they’ve teamed up with one of the few people who can give them a run for their money.