Cruise companies are desperate to slip their collective moorings and get back on the high seas.
And there will be no shortage of options during 2022, whether it’s watching the Fifa World Cup in Qatar, kayaking among icebergs or enjoying the thrills and spills on board the latest megaships, with their roller coasters, super-slides and aquaparks.
It’s also access all areas on classic cruises with passengers ready to splash out on innovative land programmes to join safaris and visit world-class wineries. There has never been a wider choice.
IN MAGELLAN’S FOOTSTEPS
Explore Pacific Ocean idylls such as Guam on Swan Hellenic’s 15-day Japan and Micronesia Discovery tour. Pictured is Guam’s Tanguisson Beach
Sail on new ship Minerva from historic Otaru, on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, to the subtropical island of Chichijima before exploring Pacific Ocean idylls such as Guam, first discovered 500 years ago by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
Book it: 15-day Japan and Micronesia Discovery departs on September 10, from £8,214 pp (swanhellenic.com, 020 7846 0271).
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ new 15-day tour calls at the Icelandic island of Heimaey, pictured above
Hurtigruten Expeditions continue to create new itineraries such as MS Fridtjof Nansen’s circumnavigation of Iceland with calls including Heimaey, where puffins nest.
Book it: 15 days from £4,720 pp departing from Liverpool on May 10 (hurtigruten.co.uk, 0203 9933 121).
ICEBERGS IN ANTARCTICA
Kayak among icebergs on Seabourn Venture’s Antarctica cruise.
Book it: 11 nights departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, on November 24 from £9,899 pp (seabourn.com, 0344 338 8615).
GREAT LAKES EXPEDITION
Viking this year launches its first expedition ship, Viking Octantis, for island hops across North America’s Great Lakes and Canada from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay.
Book it: Eight days from £5,995 pp on May to September departures (vikingcruises.co.uk, 0800 458 6900).
POLAR BEAR JOY
Five guests will get the chance to visit Wrangel Island, pictured, on Heritage Adventurer’s Ultimate High Arctic Expedition
Five intrepid guests, on a first come, first served basis, can spend ten nights on Wrangel Island, home to 500 polar bears. The stay during Heritage Adventurer’s Ultimate High Arctic Expedition features exploring in a six-wheel Tundra vehicle.
Book it: 28 days from £25,940 pp departing from Nome, Alaska, on July 24 (heritage-expeditions.com).
LIONS AND ELEPHANTS
Add a five-night tour of the Greater Kruger National Park Safari & Winelands from Azamara Journey’s South Africa Intensive Holiday. Spot lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes and visit the wine region.
Book it: 14 nights, departing from Cape Town, from £2,749 pp, land tour £4,582 pp (azamara.co.uk, 0344 493 4016).
SEA OTTERS AND BEARS
The Aleutian Islands form the Pacific Rim of Fire and new ship MV Sylvia Earle explores them to look for brown bears, caribou, sea otters and Steller sea lions.
Book it: 17-night Anchorage to Tokyo cruise via Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula departs June 22 with fares from £9,770 pp (auroraexpeditions.co.uk, 0808 189 2005).
Cruise Svalbard’s coast and fjords where polar bears prowl the pack ice during Ultramarine’s Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears fly-cruise.
Book it: 12-night cruise plus hotel stays in Oslo from £9,695 pp departing June 10 (mundyadventures.com, 020 7399 7630).
FUN IN THE RED SEA
Riot of colour: A snorkeller at a coral reef in the Red Sea. The eight-day The Best of the Red Sea cruise with Emerald Waterways departs on March 11 (file photo)
Snorkel, go paddleboarding and try kayaking from superyacht Emerald Azzurra’s marina during the 100-guest ship’s inaugural sailing The Best of the Red Sea.
Book it: Eight-day cruise from Aqaba, Jordan, departs on March 11 from £4,020 pp (emeraldwaterways.co.uk, 0808 301 3352).
COCKTAILS IN CROATIA
Top-deck cocktail parties await on 40-guest Salve Di Mare Summer Sets cruise. Dive into Croatia’s crystal waters from the swimming platform and laze on the sun decks between calls to Stari Grad, Hvar, Mljet, Dubrovnik, Korcula and Makarska.
Book it: Seven nights from £1,549 pp departing from Split on July 2 (sail-croatia.com, 024 525 7534).
Flamingos on the Galapagos Islands. Visit the isles on a seven-night tour with Aqua Expeditions
Superyacht Aqua Mare sets sail in the Galapagos Islands on seven and 14-night itineraries from May 6 with 16 crew attending up to 16 guests. Two rib tenders make twice-daily expeditions from the four-deck ship.
Book it: Seven nights from £6,908 pp (aquaexpeditions.com).
HIGH SEA THRILLS
Soar high above the sea on BOLT, an all-electric roller coaster thrill ride that loops over Mardi Gras’ top deck. More excitement comes on Carnival Cruises’ 50th birthday Sailabration cruise with calls to Mahogany Bay, Honduras, and Costa Maya, Cozumel.
Book it: Seven-night Sailabration departs from Port Canaveral, Florida, on March 5. Cruise price from £1,029 pp (carnival.com, 0808 234 0680).
MAKE A SPLASH!
Guests aboard Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder of the Seas, pictured, can choose from 19 swimming pools
Choose from 19 pools and Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, on Royal Caribbean’s 5,734-passenger Wonder Of The Seas, launching in March.
Book it: Four-night Okinawa fly-cruise from Shanghai to Japan departs on April 5 with prices from £1,219 pp (royalcaribbean.co.uk, 0344 493 4005).
Mission Control is P&O Cruises’ first multi-sensory escape room — an ‘underwater’ experience on fictional submarine Arvia II on new LNG-powered Arvia.
Book it: 14-night Canary Islands voyage departs on December 9 with fares from £1,449 pp (pocruises.com, 03453 555 111).
DREAMING OF DISNEY
Children can hang out with Captain Mickey and Minnie on Disney Wish but this new ship also has adults-only bars, lounges and a pool area for relaxation while children play in mini clubs.
Book it: Four-night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Bahamas, on July 11 calls into Disney Castaway Cay. Cruise only from £3,294 pp (disneycruise.disney.go.com, 0800 171 2317).
A rendering of the Spiral, a slide that spans 11 decks of the MSC World Europa cruise liner
It’s going to be great fun sliding 11 decks from the top to the promenade on MSC World Europa’s Spiral to reach great restaurants and the Masters Of The Sea pub which brews and serves craft beer.
Book it: Seven-night cruise from Dubai departs on December 24. Fly-cruise from £1,749 pp or Christmas cruise for only £849.
FUN & GAMES
WORLD CUP CRAZY
Silver Spirit moors in Doha for three days during the Fifa Qatar World Cup 2022. Fans can head to a match and check out the futuristic 80,000-seat Lausail Stadium, designed to represent the sails of a traditional dhow boat by British architects Foster + Partners.
Book it: 12-day Dubai to Mumbai sailing on December 8 from £4,800 pp (silversea.com, 0844 251 0837).
This rendering shows the smart decor of Norwegian’s 3,215-passenger cruise ship Prima, which launches this summer
Savour sea views when 3,215-passenger Norwegian Prima launches this summer with an infinity pool on each side.
Book it: 12-day Southampton to New York sailing via Reykjavik, Iceland, on September 23 from £2,824 pp (ncl.com, 0333 2412319).
Live jazz in the Take Five lounge awaits guests on new 3,660-guest Discovery Princess. The ship’s Sky Suites have 270-degree panoramic views from 1,000 sq ft balconies.
Book it: Seven-day Mexican Riviera maiden voyage from Los Angeles departs on March 27 with cruise fare from £699 pp (princess.com, 0344 338 8663).
Wellness is a priority on Celebrity Beyond with experiences and products from Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand’s well-being adviser. The ship’s 30 restaurants include Le Voyage, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s debut restaurant at sea.
Book it: Ten-night Western European maiden voyage from Southampton on April 27 from £1,344 pp (celebritycruises.com, 0344 4932043).
By Lesley Bellew