As we were flying in to Valencia this week, I noticed the port from our airplane and started thinking about how long it has been since I have gone on a cruise. Then, from our hotel balcony during two of our five day stay in Valencia, I saw cruise ships docked at the port.
Hmmmm. Perhaps it is time for Mr Sunny and I to start planning a cruise? It is something he has never done before.
It seems in the UK, cruising is one of the lesser-known and experienced ways of traveling. In the US, it’s quite popular to go on a cruise holiday. In fact, I have been on four. In my opinion, a giant cruise ship is the best way to see the Caribbean islands. Further, I have also been through the Panama Canal on a cruise ship, as well as toured the Mexican Riviera.
For foodie and luxury travellers, moving across the oceans and seas via a cruise ship provides unrivaled luxury for passengers.
Did you know that the number one cruise ship port in the world is in the south of England? Southampton is known the world over, not just for the port of departure of the Titanic but for setting sail tens of thousands of travel passengers every year since then. Skipping across the northern shoulder of Europe should be your introduction to this form of holidaying.
A vintage city
Start by taking a look at the Roundtrip Southampton Cruise on the Bolsover Cruise Club website, and you’ll see the full 8-day itinerary. Your first stop will be in Rotterdam. As you pull in on your cruise ship, you will have the chance to see the maritime museum of older sail ships. They are expertly restored and kept to a pristine condition. The Netherlands is known for its exploration days on the high seas in such vessels. Thus this history is proudly represented for all passengers to see as they slowly roll into port. With this itinerary, passengers have two full days of exploration and can really use them to your advantage. It is suggested that exploring the Delfshaven neighborhood would be a great start. It affords some excellent shopping opportunities for luxury brands. The amazing 17th-century architecture will transport you back in time.
Belgium is the next stop, moreover, passengers would settle in for the day and night in Bruges. Entering from Zeebrugge, guests are introduced to the old fish market where the local fishermen still sell their daily catches. Zeebrugge means ‘on-the-sea’ which is perfectly apt for this sublime city as it sits neatly on the edge of the North Sea. It’s around a 30-minute car journey into the city from the port, so guests would need to make sure they have taken everything with they need with them for the day. It’s in a passenger’s best interest to make a restaurant reservation while coming into port so they don’t have to double back to the ship to have dinner. The cobbled streets date back to the medieval era and so do some churches that still stand tall in the city center. The Belfry of Bruges is easily the most recognizable building in the city. It’s a large bell tower, 83 meters tall and the initial construction was completed in 1240. It was added to slowly and finally completed in the early 19th-century.
A prime target
The last stop before heading back to Southampton is Cherbourg, France. This city may be small, but it played one of the most important parts of history. During the 1944 Normandy landings, Cherbourg was one of the most highly strategic positions the allies won. This is a great way to end a trip across the northern shoulder of Europe.
Before immediately jumping to booking a flight for your next holiday, instead, consider booking a cruise ticket. This trip is brilliant for first-time sailers, a skip across some of the most beautiful cities in Europe that only takes one week to complete.