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cruise

Barcelona

Blend city living with beautiful coastline, cosmopolitan shopping, unique dining and incredible nightlife and that’s just the start

Why Barcelona in my opinion is a great place to do a pre or post cruise stay

Here at Cruise club we have a great selection of hotels that will appeal to everyone with different options on budget style and location

Personally I like to work with H10 Hotels, having fourteen hotels spread out over this vibrant city I can normal choose one of their hotels that guests would like to stay at personally my favourite hotel is the H10 M Marina which is just a short walk from the beach Whether you are a culture vulture or are simply out for a few days of leisure and relaxation, our hotels in the centre of Barcelona will make sure that you make the most of your holiday

May be a link to h10 web site

Dining

The most authentic thing you can do in Barcelona is take a visit to one of the markets buy a baguette and some cheese and a nice bottle of wine and go and sit in one of the beautiful parks that Barcelona has to offer

Or treat yourself to one of the tapas restaurants scattered around this great city

From Monday to Friday do what the locals do when going for lunch they order Deldia which is a fixed priced and you get three courses wine and water

If you install the Restalo app this is great for getting deals and offers in and around Barcelona

Leaving a tip is not expected in most restaurants but it all depends on you and how you rate the service you was given 5% is generally enough

Things of interest

One or Two day bus tour

Discover the spectacular sights with this one day two day hop on hop off bus tour prices start from £26.00 per person

Montserrat tour from Barcelona including lunch

Venture into the Catalan countryside to visit Montserrat and go wine tasting on this full-day tour from Barcelona.   Begin your tour in Plaça Catalunya, where you will hop aboard an air-conditioned bus to the Natural Park of the Mountain of Montserrat, just an hour away from Barcelona. A unique massif famous for its gothic shapes, beautiful views, and trails, Montserrat is said to be the most important mountain in Catalonia

Prices start at £85.00 per person

Flamenco night at Tablao cordobes

Make your own way to Tablao Cordobes, located on Barcelona’s iconic La Rambla boulevard, and take a seat at a table positioned in front of the stage. Opt for the traditional buffet option to select from an appetizing array of 33 hot and cold dishes or simply order a drink from an extensive menu during the show.

So now pick your cruise, there are so many cruises that depart from Barcelona you will be spoilt for choice please visit are our website cruiseclubukuk.com and search your next cruise

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Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: julietaylor@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2511

 

Following on from my previous blog here is a list of the main ports of call and major towns in Iceland

Reykjavik

The capital city on the South Western coast and Iceland’s largest city. It’s a plethora of multi coloured buildings overlooked by the outsanding Hallgrimskirkja church, you can go right to the top for spectacular views of the city. Other famous landmarks are The Sun Voyager, a steel sculpture and Harpa, and the large modern concert hall most definately worth a visit.

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The Golden circle is a recommended route from here and easy to book as an excursion from your cruise, beginning in Reykjavik driving along baron roads to Geyser, onto the Golden circle and stop off at an extinct volcanic crater Kerid.

Akureyri

The second largest city in Iceland is in the North of the Island, at the bottom of the Eyjafjörður Fjord and surrounded by mountains. It is also a good base to see many of Iceland’s most beautiful natural sights including waterfalls, Lake Myvatn, volcanic areas and canyons as well as river rafting, hiking, fishing, whale watching and horse riding.

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula

This peninsula is over 90km long at the western tip of Iceland and one of the most spectacular parts of the island, in Winter it can be difficult to reach by road so a cruise is your ideal way to visit. There are golden beaches, stretches of lava fields, amazing gorges and waterfalls, lovely villages and folklore a plenty, the locals love to tell of trolls and elves. The most spectacular view however is the Snæfellsjökull glacier, a dormant volcano towering above the national park. Rumours arise that people believe it to be one of the seven chakras in the world and a meeting point for extra terrestrials

Isafjörður

The largest town in the Westfjords region of northwest Iceland, its an important trading port of the island, its one of the most important fishing towns, as seen on Jane Mcdonald’s show. Ísafjörður also holds some of the most celebrated festivals in Iceland, including the music festival Aldrei fór ég suður, Runners’ Festival, mud-soccer European Championships, and Við Djúpið a classical music festival

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Grimsey

Grímsey is a small island, 40 kilometres off the north coast in the Arctic. Tourists go to solely step over the line that is the Arctic circle. Home to only 100 people mainly fishermen, but over a million seabirds this is a nature and birdwatching paradise.

Husavik

Husavik a pretty little town in the north East of Akureryi, is known as the whale watching capital of Iceland and one of the best in the world, mainly so due to its ecosystem in Skjalfandi bay leading to masses of plankton, the main source of food for  humpback, mink and blue whales.

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Seydisfjordur

On the Eastern coast this is a small town full of culture, history and waterfalls. Lonely Planet have actually named it one of the best places to visit in Iceland, and with many old wooden buildings surrounded by snowcapped mountains and cascading waterfalls it is a charming little town.

So if this has whet your appetite for a visit to Iceland please contact me Marcia@cruiseclubuk.com or

0161 798 2516

 

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

 

Looking forward to my trip to Iceland next month, and watching Jane McDonald’s recent cruise around Iceland it made me realise that this island has come along in leaps and bounds over the years since the renound volcanic eruption and is now one of the most popular holiday destinations for both land and cruise holidays with tourists now outnumbering locals.

This will be my 3rd visit to Iceland, each time venturing a little further afield, from my first visit to Reykjavik, to driving along the South Coast last year and this time an escorted tour to the North. It is such a vast island of extremes and is known as the land of fire and ice due to the varying landscapes.

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Iceland features greenery, black lava fields, geysers, glaciers, volcanos, wildlife, and if you’re lucky the Northern lights, it is truly tremendous country full of contrasts.

The tourist season for Iceland runs all year, all seasons offer something different. Cruise lines tend to operate their itineraries in Summer, here you get the best weather and most daylight, especially Mid Summer where you get almost 24 hours with the Midnight sun. Most itineraries sail from UK, P&O, Celebrity, Fred Olsen and Norwegian operate cruises from Southampton, with Cruise & Maritime having the biggest base from Tilbury for Northern Europe sailings. Summer provides the most colour with vivid green scenery, activities are a plenty and peak season for whale watching.

Winter does carry the most spectacular contrast, with the blue skies, black volcanic fields and white roads of snow, this island is a photographers dream, and having a glass of fizz in the hot waters of the Blue Lagoon in the snow is most certainly an experience to never forget.

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Some cruise lines operate winter cruises where you can see the dramatic changes in landscape, mainly Fred Olsen, Cruise & Maritime and P&O, plus Hurtigruten and of course Jane’s Ocean cruises, although both of these are more expedition ships, much smaller but advantages include a much more indepth itinerary, plus you have the opportunity to call at more and smaller ports than the larger mainstream cruise ships.

I would love to sail around Iceland it’s on my ever growing destination bucket list, which led me into researching all the main ports of call on an Icelandic cruise which I thought I would share with you, please see my next blog for more information

 

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

                      

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

Having just returned from a fabulous cruise around the Caribbean I really couldn’t recommend it enough as the perfect winter sun destination.

I sailed with Norwegian cruise lines with their relaxed atmosphere, free all inclusive and freestyle dining, however most cruise lines have many ships sailing around the islands between October and March, some even all year round, but our winter is the best time of year to visit the Caribbean. So if you prefer smaller or large ships, formal or informal, loud or quiet there is always an itinerary and cruise line to suit your requirements.

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The Caribbean islands are mainly split into 3 sectors, Eastern, Western and Southern.

My first cruise was to the Western Caribbean, sailing from Miami we visited Jamaica, Bahamas and Cayman Islands. I thought these were stunning with plenty to do, whether lie on the soft golden beaches, climb Dunn’s River falls or shop in the array of tax free shopping I was in heaven. My passenger’s always told me the Southern Caribbean was the place to go, so this was the destination of my most recent cruise and wow, sometimes I feel like I dreamt the holiday now. The pictures that you see are really how these islands look, I was slightly worried with the aftermath of the hurricanes but they have recovered well. We began in Puerto Rico, stopping off at Barbados, St Kitts, Martinique, Antigua and St Thomas. The people are so welcoming and friendly and love us English.

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Southern Caribbean itineraries tend to sail from Barbados (P&O, Carnival and MSC), or San Juan in Puerto Rico (NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity). The most visited islands are Aruba, Bonaire, Martinque, Barbados and Dominica. The islands that mainly cover the Eastern Caribbean are St Martin, St Thomas, St Kitts and US Virgin Islands, with most of the major cruise lines sailing around here you can take your pick from anywhere between a 5-14 night cruise, the longer the cruise the more ports you get to experience.

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Some people have said to me once you visit one Caribbean Island you’ve visited them all, or that they all look the same. I don’t agree, to me each one I have visited has offered something very different. From Volcanic landscapes and lush rainforests, wide long beaches to tiny secluded coves, local rum tasting and traditional bbqs to local culture and dancing, snorkling and swimming with stingrays, or just relax with a cocktail watching the sun set from your private verandah.

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Add on a few days hotel stay pre cruise, go shopping in Miami, or venture around Old San Juan amongst the little art and craft shops and colourful Colonial Spanish buildings. The Caribbean has it all and really is the world in your oyster and I for one am already planning my next trip

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I would love to share stories and hear which islands I need to see next, so for any advise or questions to help plan your perfect Caribbean cruise please get in touch with me

marcia@cruiseclubuk.com or call 0161 798 2516

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

 

Emirates airlines yesterday announced they are launching a new route from Stansted airport to Dubai with over 150 connections worldwide. This has created much interest for those that live in Essex and Eastern England, both Peterborough and Milton Keynes are highly populated for UK travellers to fly abroad, plus for international visitors to UK it creates more tourism outside of London city centre, Cambridge is one of the most picturesque cities in the area and has a lot to offer tourists with its old buildings, river Cam, Cathedral and of course the University.

emirates Our-Fleet

The daily route will begin from June 2018 using three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. They will feature 6 of the brand new first class suites, 42 seats in business class and 306 in economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

emirates food firstEmirates have recently overhauled their Boeing 777 aircraft with a multi-million dollar upgrade that includes newly-designed seats and upgraded in flight entertainment systems in all classes. Emirates are known throughout their fleet for their excellent service and spacious seats, the most exciting news however is the launch of their new suites in first class, these are a new innovation for Emirates, only launching last month on selected aircraft. They have private suites featuring floor to ceiling sliding doors, sleek design inspired by Mercedes-Benz S-Class and offering up to 40 square feet of space, with a 1-1-1 configuration. The idea to collaborate with Mercedes was a concept to bring together two global brands who are renowned for innovation, comfort and luxury designed with soft leather seating, high-tech control panels and mood lighting.

Emirates airlines are very popular with cruise passengers, especially noting that they offer a grand 30kg luggage allowance p/p. Many cruise lines offer itineraries from Dubai in the Winter months sailing around the Emirate states or sailing further afield to India. Emirates also fly much further afield so you can still travel in absolute comfort to Singapore, Thailand, Australia to join your cruise

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For information on itineraries or pricing please don’t hesitate to contact me on marcia@cruiseclubuk.com 0808 159 7586

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Many people ask if its worth purchasing a drinks package to make your cruise all inclusive, I personally can whole heartedly say yes, even if you aren’t a big alcohol drinker, many include an array of soft drinks too and one of the best value at sea is with MSC cruise lines

The advantage of adding an all inclusive package before you travel, is you can have a cheeky glass of sparkling wine once boarded to celebrate your holiday. That may be just me but to me the main thing is that it does work out better value overall, if you were to buy on a drink by drink basis any cruise line will automatically charge a 15-18% gratuity onto the cost of any drink, so for example if your wine is 4.50 euros, this is more like 5 euros, if your cocktail is 7 euros this is actually 8 euros. Once you have bought a couple of soft drinks and water during the day, a glass or 2 of wine with dinner and maybe a night cap this is all it takes to make your drinks package work for you

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MSC offer 3 different packages that can be added to your cruise

Option 1 – Cheers all inclusive package from £11p/p per day

This includes drinks at mealtimes only, including a selection of wine, beer and soft drinks in the buffet and main restaurants. This suits people who like a glass of wine with their meals only

Option 2 – Restaurant and Bar drinks package from £18p/p per day

This is a fantastic value all inclusive package and the most popular, including selected drinks in all restaurants and bars, including beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks. All drinks are branded however it doesn’t include premium brands.

Option 3 – Deluxe all inclusive package from £35p/p per day

This is a fully comprehensive all inclusive including unlimited spirits including premium brands, liqueur, aperitifs, classic and Premium cocktails, wide selection of wines by the glass, draught and bottled beer, non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks, juices, premium mineral water, energy drinks, espresso and cappuccino, drinks from the theme bar menus, minibar, and drinks and food from room service menu

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The prices do vary on the length of your cruise but offer fantastic value and means you don’t have to worry about a surprise bill at the end of your cruise, plus if you’ve always fancied trying a new drink or cocktail that you have always wanted but maybe a bit wary, you can without worrying about the cost, you never know you may discover something really special

These drinks packages can be added on to your cruise before travel and just paid for with your final bill, so if you already have a cruise booked with us or are thinking about making a booking, consider these options before you board. The money you save could pay for that excursion or treat in the spa

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

                   Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

Visit two islands with one port of call when your next cruise docks in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Being the most southern islands in the Caribbean, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago lies just 6 miles off of the North-East coast of Venezuela, South America.

Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago
Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago

They have two seasons each year: Dry Season, which is the first five months of the year, with the Wet Season being the remaining seven months of the year.

The two ports which are open to cruise ships are; Port of Spain in Trinidad and Port of Scarborough in Tobago.  Being just a twenty minute ferry ride apart, you can plan your visit to whichever of the Twin islands quite easily, due to the very frequent ferries that operate each day. The cost is also very minimal, at just £6 per adult, each way.

Having visited Tobago myself, it is a haven for beach lovers. They offer stunning, relaxing beaches with local crafts and food for sale. They have small markets close to beaches giving you the option to browse for souvenirs at your own freewill. Be sure to try the fruit here, its cheap and so fresh! Just what you need on a hot summers day in the Caribbean.

Cumana Bay, Trinidad
Cumana Bay, Trinidad

Trinidad is of course renowned for their Carnival which is one of THE most attended carnivals in the world, taking place February each year. Here you can witness the most Extravagant-barely there costumes, vibrant colours, dancing, music, food and some of the most beautiful women on the island. Known as “The Original Carnival” it is certainly something to witness if you are sailing here when it is on.

So if you are sailing into one of the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago on your next cruise, and you want to see the sister island, take a ferry and explore! Be sure to check your “All Aboard” time, you don’t want to miss the boat!

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points,

(1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com 0808 278 0342

 

Having just returned from my first Cruise & Maritime cruise my first words would be wow. I boarded with trepidation as I’d heard so many mixed reviews of this cruise line but from the quick and efficient check in to the glitzy atrium in my favourite colour purple my first impression certainly exceeded expectations

My cruise was sailing from Tilbury and around the Scottish Isles on Cruise & Maritime’s new flagship Columbus.

Our first stop was our cabin, and I was mightily impressed with the size even though it was only an inside. The storage space was unbelievable with so many drawers in the wardrobe area and the main cabin, the bathroom a reasonable size too my only gripe was that there was only 1 plug socket.

With the weather being so nothing like when we left Manchester our first port of call was a cheeky glass of prosecco in the swim up bar to cool off before catching a few rays in the unusual British heat.

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The food in the main restaurant was fantastic, just as good as what I’ve eaten on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. My only disappointment at breakfast was the lack of fresh bread, it was mainly standard sliced, which I guess really was a good thing as bread is my downfall on a cruise or any holiday. Lunch was served until 3, on many occasion we got back too late for lunch but afternoon tea was served from 3.30 -4.30 with an array of cakes and sandwiches. Waiters walked round the ship with a selection of canapes about 10.30 incase you fancied a little something extra

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My highlight was being invited to the Captains dinner on the first formal evening. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine before being introduced to the Captain and the Hotel director, a photo opportunity later and we were taken into the private area of the Chefs table in the main restaurant for dinner. There were some amusing conversations as the Captain was Greek and hotel director Italian so you can imagine the competition

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The theatre was always full for the shows and there was plenty of entertainment onboard, the cruise was actually an Antiques Legends theme which included many a celebrity including Henry Sandon and Caroline Hawley and you could have your treasures valued

The service onboard was good, not as good as other cruises I’ve been on but nothing to complain about. Our cabin steward was eager to please and always on hand when required.

All in all this was an excellent cruise, a wonderful itinerary and a fabulous cruise, I’ve never really thought about cruising with this cruise line before, in fact it was a customer of mine that brought this to my attention by booking this same cruise and I am so thankful to her as I had a brilliant holiday and would definitely cruise with Cruise and Maritime again

Carry on reading for my guide to our ports of call

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

Following on from my previous blog Lerwick in the Shetland Isles was our 3rd port and our tender dropped us in the heart of town to be greeted by some Vikings which added to the Scottish atmosphere. Located 123 miles from Northern point of Scotland Lerwick on the East coast is an old traditional harbour town surrounded by old stone buildings and it certainly feels like your going back in time. We had booked an excursion up to the North coast of the island and were told that no matter where you were in Shetland you would never be more than 3 miles from the coast

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Driving through the Tingwall Valley the landscape is dramatic and baron, we passed Mavis Grind a narrow 300 yard strip of land where the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean seem almost to meet. Arriving at  Tangwick Haa Museum we had a quick stop however the highlight for me was heading down to the pebble beach to spot the seals swimming in the water and sleeping on the rocks. Driving out to the Eshaness cliffs the scenery became much more dramatic and moody.  The spectacular Atlantic coastline has no comparison elsewhere in all of Shetland and here you can view the striking sea cliffs, with their rock formations that have been carved by the unrelenting power of the ocean.

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Our last port of call was Invergordon, I’d set my heart on a visit to Lochness, it felt like it was something we had to do whilst in the area, we managed to get a last minute place on one of the excursions. The drive was also very picturesque, along the Lochs and through the heart of Inverness we had a very knowledgeable guide. Boarding the Jacobs queen we began our 30 minute cruise around the loch over to Urquhart castle. This a one of Scotlands largest castles and dates back to the 13th Century, I would highly recommend watching the short film in the exhibition there, it details how the castle has been invaded on many an occasion and how important it was to Scotland’s battles and history. It now belongs to the National Trust as a tourist destination.

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And the question your all wanting to know is yes we did find Nessie……

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Sailing away from Invergordon to the sound of bag pipers , sat in a hot tub with a glass of fizz watching the sun set, this really was the perfect end to an amazing cruise.

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Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

 Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516

 

I’ve always wondered why people wanted to cruise around the British Isles when there are so many other destinations to visit. Even when I told people where I was going on my cruise I could hear in their voice they were thinking why is she going there, however I can now say I can see exactly why. Scotland is beautiful, there are so many interesting things to see and the landscape is so dramatic. I think when we look at going on holiday we don’t tend to think about what’s on our doorstep and we should really take more time to experience our own country

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Our first port of call was Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. First impressions were good ….it was dry. C&M provided a complimentary shuttles bus into the town centre only a 5minute drive away. We had been told there was a local tourist bus that took you to some of the main attractions, we found this to be exceptional value at £10 and almost identical to one of the shore excursions that had been offered. Our scenic drive took us past Scapa Flow, a body of water between Scapa Bay and Kirkwall, now a famous wreck and diving site, this was initially used as a harbour for the Vikings to the main Naval base for the Royal Navy in the first world war.

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Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement occupied from 3180 BC to about 2500 BC which was uncovered by a storm in 1850, excavations began and 8 houses were discovered. The preservation is immense and the Scots call it the Pompeii of Scotland, it has since been awarded a Unesco heritage site. A visitors centre and exhibition has also been built to immerse yourself in the history of the site

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On our way back to Kirkwall we passed the Standing Stones of Stenness and The Rings of Brodgar, both stone circles also from the Neothilic period, they have previously been compared to Stonehenge

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Kirkwall itself is a pretty little town with old narrow streets surrounding its main church and the bay curves rounds from the town leading back to the port which is a lovely walk

The Faroe Islands are a truly magical place and my favourite port of the trip. An archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located halfway in the Altantic between Scotland and Iceland with Danish ruling. All the islands are linked by tunnels, causeways and bridges and are very picturesque

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Docking in Torshavn we had booked an excursion of a scenic tour, and it did not disappoint, the landscape is so green, with sparkling water, the array of salmon farms, pretty coloured houses, narrow hairpin bends as we drove up the mountains and rugged cliffs this is a spectacular drive. The island is actually also known as sheep island due to the volume that you see scattered in the hills.

The town of Gjógv where we stopped for traditional pancakes and a coffee before having some free time, I must’ve taken over 100 photos, these islands are special, somewhere I would love to return too. Torshavn itself is also very pretty, coloured fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, surrounded by little cafes, bars and shops perfect for people watching

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Read my next blog to see where I visited next

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: marcia@cruiseclub.com 0161 798 2516