Here are six reasons to try out a cruise holiday this year on board P&O's new cruise liner, the Britannia...
1. Visit Russia without a visa
The glittering fairy tale capital cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinki are all stylish and charming - but on any Baltic cruise itinerary the main attraction is the chance to visit St Petersburg, Russia, without the need for a visa.
On the Scandinavia, Russia & Estonia cruise you can see the jaw-dropping palaces in St Petersburg including Peterhof, the astonishing art collection at the Hermitage, the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood with its crazy-coloured onion turrets, and the final resting place of the Romanovs, including Anastasia, at the Peter and Paul Cathedral. Plus, you have the added attraction of the original Kitchen devil and P&O Food Hero Marco Pierre White, on board.
2. Marvel at the Norwegian Fjords
A cruise through the Norwegian Fjords, with its breathtaking waterfalls, glaciers and chocolate box pretty villages. Highlights include the ancient Briksdal Glacier, tranquil Sognefjord and the World Heritage city of Bergen, with its harbour-front wooden houses. Forget Nordic Noir, this is Nordic Bright - and it’s utterly captivating.
3. Roll the dice in Monaco
No wonder so many F1 drivers decide to make their home in Monaco; the tiny principality is one of the most glamorous destinations in the world. Visit on a day trip as a cruise passenger and you don’t need a fortune to enjoy it, either - you can hit the historic (and very beautiful) casino, enjoy lunch by the harbour and have fun choosing which yacht you’d buy if you won the lottery, or explore the palace where Princess Grace, aka Hollywood legend Grace Kelly, once lived.
But that’s not all. On the Spain, Monaco & Italy itinerary you’ll also call at Barcelona, where you can explore Gaudi’s masterpiece Park Güell, and enjoy authentic tapas in one of the many bars off Las Ramblas; and Rome, where you can follow in the footsteps of the gladiators at the Colosseum, enjoy a pizza in the Piazza Navona and go designer window shopping along the Via Condotti. Add in Genoa - gateway to the ice-cream coloured harbour of Portofino, as well as celebrity chef James Martin - and you’ve basically got heaven, all on one fabulous holiday.
4. Best of British
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is spectacular scenery, history and food right on our doorstep; and what better way to discover it than on a contemporary British ship? This itinerary takes you round Britain and across to Ireland, in the company of GBBO’s Mary Berry and Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin, who’ll be holding court in the Cookery Club, the first British cookery school at sea. Highlights include Dublin, Cobh (which is an easy train ride from Cork), Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and some scenic cruising along the Cornish coast. Foodies rejoice.
5. Make it a mini-break
Not sure if cruising is for you? The hottest trend in cruising right now is the mini-break - a chance to experience a couple of nights on board Britannia, round-trip from Southampton. This one takes you to the gorgeous island of Guernsey, where you can explore St. Peter Port, considered to be the prettiest town in the Channel Islands; and you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy all the state-of-the-art amenities on board Britannia. So it’s basically a win-win.
6. Chill out in the Caribbean
We’re not going to lie: a Caribbean cruise is probably one of the most blissed-out holidays you’ll ever have. This one takes you from Southampton to the exquisite Portuguese island of Madeira, before sailing on to the Caribbean. Highlights include St Martin/Sint Maarten, which is basically two islands in one, both equally enticing; lush St Lucia, with its rainforest, volcano and awesome zip-wiring; the spice island of Grenada; and Barbados. You fly back to the UK – or alternatively you can do it the other way round.
*All these cruises can be booked at pocruises.com/britannia