Transatlantic – April to June or August to October
They say a transatlantic cruise is one of life’s greatest travel experiences – after all, it’s difficult to top elegantly cruising into New York as you sail past the Statue of Liberty. Cruise aficionados often say this is cruising at its finest, and allows passengers to relive the golden age of sea travel on board a luxury cruise liner.
It takes around seven days to travel between America and Europe, but the beauty of an uninterrupted week of sailing is that you have plenty of time to unwind and lose yourself in the comfort of your ship. Pamper yourself into a state of blissful oblivion in the spa, bury your nose in a good book, dine to your heart’s content or simply disconnect yourself from the outside world to recharge your batteries. Many ships also offer classes in subjects such as cookery, languages and photography – so why not take the time to learn a new skill while you have no distractions at sea?
We offer a plethora of exotic and exciting transatlantic destinations, in both directions across the pond. This means you can fly to New York and cruise back in style without worrying about the weight limit on all that shopping! Many eastbound destinations also drop by exciting European ports in Madeira, the Canaries, Spain, Italy and much more. While sailing from the UK, the Caribbean, the Azores, Miami and Florida are popular destinations.
So often the only hard part is deciding which of these fantastic cruises to set sail on!
Peak season for transatlantic cruises tends to run from April to early June and late August to October, this is when cruise lines reposition their ships to their new seasonal homes.
You might be keen to tick off your list New York’s well-known landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Empire State Building. Aside from these sights, a hop on/hop off bus ride is a great way to start, especially if you haven’t seen the city before.
Head downtown to see the likes of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, the Rockefeller Center and Broadway. Or go uptown where you can catch a glimpse of the palatial homes of the rich and famous, along with The Lincoln Center (home to the Metropolitan Opera House), Central Park and Harlem.
No trip to New York is complete without a credit card workout and the shopping options are truly endless. The high-end shops on Fifth Avenue sparkle with expensive designer merchandise while SoHo is the trendier shopping neighbourhood to head for. While American labels tend to be much cheaper than those in the UK, if it’s a real bargain you’re after then look no further than Century 21 in Lower Manhattan – stock flows in and out all day long and the aisles are crammed with shoppers. Grab your bargains on a weekday morning to beat the crowds. For a slightly different shopping experience, take a look at Chinatown with its fish and herbal markets, Buddha figurines and other souvenirs. Don’t miss Ting’s Gift Shop, with its pressed-tin ceiling and quality Chinese toys.
Famed for its tropical climate, golden beaches, Hispanic culture and art deco seafront, Miami, Florida is the epitome of glamour and passion. The city hosts diverse neighbourhoods, from Downtown Miami with its gleaming glass skyscrapers to Little Havana, home to a vibrant Cuban community.
Miami Beach is also renowned for its glittering hotel strip, palatial mansions and glamorous inhabitants. South Beach’s coloured buildings are iconic set against the turquoise-coloured seas and cloudless skies.
When it comes to food, Miami offers a diverse range of delights. Don’t miss the frita (a Cuban version of an American hamburger), chicken and watermelon waffles, cinnamon rolls and sweet stone crabs. Vegetarian food is also easy to find, so there’s plenty to savour for all types of pallets.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio may well boast more things to do and see than any other city in South America so allow plenty of time to do it all. The imposing Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacobana and Ipanema beach and, of course, the deliriously infectious beats of Samba go to make Rio de Janeiro truly unique.
One of the world’s best known tourist attractions, Sugarloaf Mountain epitomises Rio de Janeiro, rising some 400 metres above the city and getting its name from a characteristic cone shape resembling a sugar loaf. Apart from the panoramic views at the summit, it’s also famed for the awesome two staged cable car ride to get there: a memorable experience as you ascend and marvel at the outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean and the bustling city sprawling below you. If you prefer to keep your centre of gravity nearer land, you could always take a taxi or board a bus at Copacabana or Ipanema – watch out for the sign “Urca” in front.