P&O have a 2 night taster party cruise from and back to
Southampton to Zeebrugge or the next one would be Cunard's Queen
Victoria on the 13th December from and back to
Southampton visiting Gothenberg, Copenhagen and Hamburg - so
Christmas market type cruise.
Just prior to the 1st December, Fred Olsen have a 3
night taster to France on Braemar visiting Honfleur and Cherbourg
from and back to Southampton again.
A lot depends on where they wish to visit and their budget. If
they were looking for a fly / cruise then there are many, many
alternative opportunities - the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Canaries
Fred Olsen is probably the best cruise line to fit the criteria.
They sail from Southampton & Portsmouth and with their small
ships cater ideally for the more senior passengers.
I would suggest that the Balmoral & Braemar are slightly
easier to get around than the Boudicca & Black Watch. I would
also select a cabin near a lift which will reduce the amount of
walking required. On the Braemar I would suggest Main Deck 4 and on
the Balmoral again Main Deck 6 .
Fred Olsen they have 4 ships in their fleet and again are all
small ships - The Balmoral (1350 passengers) is based in
Southampton all year round and the Boudicca (880 passengers) &
Black Watch (804 passengers), Braemar (929 passengers) also sail
fromSouthamptonat various times of the year.
Some examples of cruises available are:
Fred Olsen - Black Watch - 3 nights - 13th December 2012
- Southampton -Rouen overnight -Southampton
Fred Olsen - Braemar - 3
nights - 23rd November 2012 -
Fred Olsen also sail out of Portsmouth which may be worth
considering and they have this cruise available
Fred Olsen - Boudicca - 4 nights -
16th December 2012 -Portsmouth,Cherbourg,Rouen
P&O do have the Adonia which is Adult only ship and carries
710 passengers but I have had a look at the sailings for 2012 &
2013 and the ships shortest cruise is 7 nights in August 2013, the
remaining cruises for this year are fly cruises with the exception
of a 16 night Christmas cruise.
Cruises are a fantastic way to holiday if you are less mobile or
disabled as most are fully accessible and some offer accessible
shore excursions. Different cruise lines vary in what they can or
cannot offer however with the aid of a scooter or wheelchair you
would have no barriers at all on the ship. Some cruise lines are
able to offer accessible excursions that can accommodate people
using their wheelchairs or scooters and again we can arrange this
for you and advise on information prior to you booking your cruise
as well as arrange full assistance in embarking and disembarking
Being a specialist in cruising for the disabled and less mobile
we have all the information with regards to hiring a scoter or
wheelchair plus other medical aids for cruising, also we hold and
abundance of information on the accessibility of the ports of call
and shore excursions and the accessibility of the ship itself.
The most suitable cruise line would be Royal Carribbean who have
UK departures for 2013. They offer many dining options and for kids
great facilities such as Ice Rinks and climbing walls. MSC
Cruises & P&O also have UK departures but can be a bit more
on the formal side when dining. However you can find alternative
dining options which enable you to dress down for dinner.
There's a great choice of companies which offer cruise holidays
to this stunning region, including:
- Holland America (with 70% of permits to Glacier Bay)
- Celebrity Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
- Princess Cruises
- Silversea Cruises (Luxury All Inclusive)
- Regent Seven Seas (Luxury All Inclusive)
- Crystal Cruises (Luxury All Inclusive)
- Disney Cruise Lines
- Carnival Cruise Lines
Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Reflection (Celebrity Cruises)
are among the largest ships calling into Istanbul, and do so
throughout the year, so when you visit might well depend on how hot
you want it to be. With regards to Israel, the Holy Land Cruises
are usually around September to November, with the largest ships
including Celebrity Silhouette (Celebrity Cruises), and Mariner of
the Seas (Royal Caribbean International).
Next May, we would like to cruise through the Panama Canal, to
Mexico, hoping to see whales in the Baha Peninsula. We would also
like to incorporate a trip to New York and Las Vegas.
The Panama Canal is a fascinating cruise and a Balcony Stateroom
would be required for this Special Voyage. I have completed the
full transit through this canal many times when I worked for Cunard
and Royal Caribbean Intl.
In May 2013 there are 6 possible voyages to consider.
However, to cut down on multiple flights there's the Crystal
Symphony Voyage on 6th May from Los Angeles to New York. This is a
17 night voyage with the option of staying in Las Vegas for 3
nights prior to flying on to Los Angeles and joining the ship.
After the voyage there's the option of staying in New York before
flying back to London / U.K.
A less expensive option could perhaps be Holland America Line
(1st May, Miami to San Diego on the M/S Amsterdam, 15 Nights) or
Royal Caribbean (17th May, Miami to San Diego, Vision of the Seas,
15 Nights). Both voyages could be topped and tailed with hotels in
New York and Las Vegas, however, multiple flights would be
required. Both cruise lines are full board basis with drinks and
In my opinion, the Crystal Cruises option is the better one, as
the cruise line is now All Inclusive so it's easier to budget. I
cannot promise there'll be whales, but they are prevalent in the
Baja Peninsula region.
If you are happy to fly to the Mediterranean, then Norwegian
Cruise Line (aka NCL) would be a good choice, as they operate
Freestyle Cruising where 'smart casual' is the order of the day,
every day. If you are looking to cruise from the UK, then cruise
lines such as P&O and Celebrity do have a couple of formal
nights a week, but also offer casual dining venues as an
alternative for anyone who doesn't want to dress up
The best time to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis to
give it it's official name, I would say, is between January and
March and this Winter 2012/13 is going to be a spectacular season
with the expected solar storms forecast by NASA being arguably the
best for 50 years!
Peter Ruck, General Manager
Baldwins Travel and Cruise
157 High Street Tonbridge Kent TN9 1BP
Tel: 01732 351223
Several cruise lines have crèche facilities including Cunard and
However there is only one cruise line that has a creche that
will take children from as young as 3 months old and that is Disney
Cruise line. The "It's a Small World" nursery on Disney dream and
Disney fantasy and "Flounders Reef" nursery on Disney Magic and
Disney Wonder provides care for little ones from 3 months to 3
You are able to enjoy the Romance of the Rhine through all the
seasons as each brings its own particular beauty including
December for the great Christmas markets. Probably best to avoid
January and February.