When you’ve set your sights on Spain, France, and the United Kingdom for your next cruise adventure, be sure to hop aboard a cruise ship that offers luxury amenities and experiences that complement your trip. Several cruises around Europe offer incredible spa experiences, all-inclusive dining and once-in-a-lifetime shore excursions. Here are some of our favorite ships to sail in Europe.
Queen Mary 2
One of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world can take you around Europe and beyond. The elegant and stylish flagship Queen Mary 2 from Cunard is the place to discover mouthwatering culinary dishes, live evening performances, traditional afternoon tea, and freshly made chocolate. Indulgence is an understatement on this ship and you’ll find plenty of reasons to lounge and relax on board.
Taking cruise travelers around Lisbon, Portugal to Ireland and Brussels, a 14-day cruise aboard the Seabourn Quest is another major player among luxury cruise liners and boasts a number of award-winning dining venues. Spend some time in the Card Room, work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, and enjoy drinks in the Observation Bar.
Learn about the legends of Europe aboard the Celebrity Edge. It’s one of the newest cruise experiences of the year and features futuristic amenities, including the cantilevered Magic Carpet that flies above the ocean. It also has 29 restaurants, bars and lounges. Other highlights include the Eden space where you can enjoy amazing views of the ocean and creative cocktails. From the breathtaking Grand Plaza to luxurious Spa sanctuary, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy your voyage around Europe aboard this modern ship.
A cruise to Hawaii could be just what you need to make the most of vacation time and enjoy some new experiences. If you’re ready to pack your bags for a tropical adventure, just make sure you’re picking the right time of year to head off on your voyage to the islands. Even though Hawaii’s climate stays the same year round, there are a few times a year that are worth planning your trip around.
Avoid the Summer Months
If you’re not a fan of humidity, avoid the summer months for your cruise vacation. Even though you’ll get plenty of sun, it can be overly hot and humid on deck and as you head out to explore the islands. You’ll enjoy calmer waters and more comfortable temperatures right after summer ends. This is also a popular time to make your way to the Oahu North Shore and other top surfing destinations because the beaches tend to be less crowded.
Consider High and Low Season
When you’re booking a flight along with your cruise to Hawaii, you’ll need to consider high season and low season rates. Flights and hotels tend to be much more expensive during the late winter and early spring months when more people are trying to get away from colder weather. If your cruise is departing during this season, you might have a hard time finding a great deal on flights and hotels to a port.
Take into Account Seasonal Activities
One of the benefits of going on a cruise to Hawaii is the wealth of offshore excursions. If you plan your visit during November through May, you’ll get the chance to see humpback whales on a whale watching tour — or even right from the cruise ship. Many festivals and events are held during this time of year which means you can enjoy some cultural activities and events during your visit. Take some time to find out what events are happening on the islands and what type of weather you are most comfortable traveling in to choose the right cruise.
Outside of the incredible spa experiences and gourmet dining at some of Hawaii’s world-class resorts and cruise, you can enjoy some unique excursions and activities around the island. The island of Kauai is a popular destination for luxury adventures and off-the-beaten path excursions. Here are some of our best picks for luxury experiences around Hawaii.
Doors-Off Helicopter Tour in Kauai
Almost all of the island of Kauai is only accessible by helicopter or airplane. If you want to see the stunning landscapes and sites like Jurassic Falls, Na Pali Coast and the Waimea Canyon, settle in for a helicopter tour that can take you from Lihue to Kauai for an afternoon of adventure. Some tour operators offer a ‘doors-off’ tour where you can peer outside the door as you fly above trees and landscapes for some incredible views. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss out on!
Sunrise Lava Tour
Make your way to the volcanoes of the Big Island at sunrise to see the active lava flows on a morning hike. Volcanoes National Park is a rainforest park that is affected by volcano activity daily. It can be a challenging hike for new climbers but a great way to get outdoors and see volcanic activity safely. The lava flows daily and tours begin as early as 4 a.m. Plan on hiking about four to five miles in either direction to make the most of the experience and see the volcano in action.
Kauai Backcountry Adventure
One unique way to experience the island of Kauai is by going on a tubing tour. Instead of traveling around the island in a kayak or a boat, you can go tubing down the rivers through the rainforest and old plantations. The Lihue Plantation already has an old irrigation system that’s perfect for tubing. Head off on a guided tubing excursion to discover the landscapes and travel through dark tunnels as a group. It’s a fun and unique way to explore the island in a few hours.