Here’s some great excursions to make the most of your time on dry land
THEY are some of the most exciting destinations in the world – and what better way to reach them than by cruise?
October is Plan A Cruise Month, when the UK’s favourite cruise lines offering all sorts of deals to tempt Brits to get on board.
So where should you be heading in 2018?
Here, travel editor LISA MINOT picks her favourite stops across the globe and suggests some great excursions to make the most of your time on dry land.
For more details or further cruise inspiration, check out cruiseexperts.org.
YOU don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to experience the thrills of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. P&O’s Oceana will take in the race as part of a seven-night Med fly-cruise next summer.
EXPLORE: The race itself will be the highlight of this cruise, which departs from and returns to Malta, and also takes in Ajaccio, Villefranche, Livorno and Rome.
For £169 you can get a standing ticket to the Grand Prix, coach transfer, picnic box and ear plugs.
BOOK: The seven-night cruise is from £939pp, including flights on May 24. See pocruises.com or call 0843 373 0111.
HEAD to a quiet corner of this party island on Symphony of the Seas which, when it sets sail next year, will be the largest ship in the world.
EXPLORE: It may be difficult to tempt yourself away from the ship but the trip from the capital Palma to the little island village of Valldemossa will show you a very different side of Majorca.
Visit the La Cartuja monastery – once a royal hunting lodge and a one-time sanctuary for Frederick Chopin.
BOOK: The seven-night cruise will sail from Barcelona and call at Palma, Marseille, Florence, Rome and Naples. Prices are from £1,125pp, including return flights.
See royalcaribbean.co.uk or call 0844 493 4005.
THE highlight of Norwegian Cruise Line’s seven-day Western Caribbean break is a chance to visit Harvest Caye, off the coast of Belize.
This special island is exclusively for NCL passengers and is a 75-acre oasis.
EXPLORE: Make time for the Mayan Ruins & Spice Farm excursion where you’ll learn how vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon are cultivated.
BOOK: Norwegian Escape departs from Miami regularly throughout 2018.
Prices are from £1,695 per person including flights. See ncl.co.uk or call 0333 241 2319.
TO celebrate Plan A Cruise Month we’ve teamed up with Cruise1st.co.uk and MSC Cruises to give you and a pal the chance to win a seven-night cruise on board MSC Magnifica.
The cruise – worth £1,538 – includes a balcony cabin.
Departing Southampton on September 24, 2018, you’ll cruise to Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam and Hamburg and back.
Terms and conditions apply
VISIT Cuba’s capital now before the Americans really get their hands on this fascinating city.
Stroll the seafront Malecon and watch the Caribbean waters crash against the sea wall while vintage cars cruise by.
EXPLORE: The Top 10 Best Of Havana excursion will let you experience this fascinating city in just a day.
Eat with locals then tick off all the main attractions, including the Capitolio, the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana, Hotel Nacional and Plaza de la Revolucion.
BOOK: The six-day cruise onboard Carnival Paradise departs from Tampa Bay in Florida and calls at Grand Cayman and Havana.
Prices for next year start from £579, cruise only. See carnival.com or call 0808 234 0680.
GOT a bit more time on your hands? Then making your way to Mauritius has to be on anyone’s bucket list.
Fred Olsen’s Boudicca sets sail from Liverpool next month on a 33-night voyage to the Indian Ocean, via mainland Spain, Majorca, Malta and Greece.
EXPLORE: In Zanzibar, you must go to the idyllic Rock Restaurant, perched in the middle of the ocean. Depending on the tide you’ll have a 360-degree ocean view.
BOOK: Departing Liverpool on October 14, the cruise is from £1,999pp, including all flights. To book, go to fredolsencruises.com.
YOUR journey through the Panama Canal on Thomson Cruises’ TUI Discovery 2 will take in the best of the Caribbean, Central and South America – on a truly British ship where pints are in pounds and afternoon tea is served.
EXPLORE: Head ashore in Colon, Panama, for a chance to meet indigenous Embera Indians in the Panamanian rainforest.
BOOK: The seven-night Pride of Panama cruise is from £1,300pp including flights from Birmingham to Montego Bay on January 16, 2018, as well as food, drink, transfers and tips.
Book at thomson.co.uk/cruise or call 0871 230 2800.
CRUISING can mean rivers too – and Emerald are one of the best for you to get on board for the first time. The eight-night Secrets of the Douro River cruise gives you a glimpse of medieval Salamanca to the vineyards of Pinhao.
EXPLORE: Take to water yourself in Pocinho, Northern Portugal, for a guided canoeing lesson.
BOOK: Departures for 2018 start from £1,145pp if booked by October 31, which includes free onboard drinks or 250 euros per cabin for treats.
Book at emeraldwaterways.co.uk/call 0808 252 3974.
SEE the Med next summer with a seven-night cruise onboard the Disney Magic from Barcelona, calling at Naples, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Livorno (for Florence and Pisa) and Cannes.
EXPLORE: Disney offers the chance to go white water rafting in the Var mountains behind Cannes.
BOOK: Seven-night Disney Magic cruise from £1,628pp, based on two adults and two children sharing an inside cabin. Includes full board, flights from the UK on May 26 and one night’s stay at the Renaissance prior to the cruise departure from Barcelona.
To book, call 0800 1690 742 or visit disneyholidays.co.uk.
AVALON Cruises’ eight-day Active Discovery on the Rhine promises off-the-beaten path secrets. Choose from a jogging city tour to hiking in the forests.
EXPLORE: Check out the Volcano Experience while docked in Koblenz. Tour the labyrinth of mining corridors which became beer cellars.
BOOK: Prices from £2,080pp, based on a Heathrow departure on July 8, including all excursions and full board.
To book, go to avaloncruises.co.uk or call 0800 668 1801.
WITH excursions curated by broadcaster Ben Fogle, the ten-night Arabian Coast Immersion cruise on the Celebrity Constellation will take you to the heart of three Middle Eastern desert treasures in luxury. Departs Abu Dhabi and calls at Muscat in Oman, Sir Bani Yas and Dubai.
EXPLORE: See stunning dunes, try sandboarding, watch the sun set over a glass of date juice and ride a camel into the night.
BOOK: Departs Heathrow on November 27, from £2,270 for the first guest in an oceanview stateroom with a second guest paying just £1,310.
See celebritycruises.co.uk or call 0800 441 4054.