The stunning Geirangerfjord in Norway
HELI-FLIGHTS IN THE FJORDS
Let nature do the talking on this Princess Cruises (0344 338 8663/princess.com) voyage to Norway where granite cliffs and towering mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the rugged fjords that cut into the Norwegian coastline.
Geirangerfjord is the pearl of them all and hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful, where visitors can go on adrenaline-busting speedboat rides or paddle across the peaceful waters on a kayak.
In Stavanger, take to the skies on an exciting helicopter ride, or join a glacier hike from the pretty hamlet of Olden, set at the head of one of Norway’s longest fjords and surrounded by a towering ring of snow-capped mountains.
Hike across the nearby Briksdal glacier or take a ride on the electric “Troll car” up the mountain to admire the breathtaking views of gushing waterfalls tumbling down sheer cliffs.
Sapphire Princess comes with the line’s popular attractions including the Movies Under The Stars film screen, where you can catch up with Hollywood blockbusters and sing along to concerts.
An entertaining diversion during the day, it comes into its own in the evening when you can cozy up under a blanket with freshly made popcorn.
Alternatively, brush up on your basketball skills on the sports deck or perfect your swing in the golf driving nets before cooling off in one of the onboard pools.
And if all this builds up an appetite, savour the Tuscan specialities of Sabatini’s Italian trattoria and the choice cuts at the Sterling Steakhouse.
● Seven nights from £759 (two sharing) full board. Departs Southampton July 21.
Meet Mickey at Disney’s Castaway Cay in the Bahamas
DISNEY THRILLS IN THE BAHAMAS
Sprinkle your summer holiday with pixie dust and hang out with Mickey Mouse and the gang on this Virgin Holidays package (0344 488 3084/ virginholidayscruises.co.uk) that combines a week at Walt Disney World with a three- night cruise to the Bahamas.
Throw yourselves into theme park thrills and spills at Disney’s All-Star Resorts before sailing away with Disney Cruise Line to explore the Bahamas’ capital Nassau where you can swim with dolphins or ride off on a Jeep adventure to historic forts and wash it down with a visit to a local rum distillery.
Escape to one of the island’s pristine white sand beaches for the day or discover the thrills of the Atlantis Paradise Island resort’s rip-roaring water park. At Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, there are sandy beaches and water play areas galore along with exhilarating banana boat rides, parasailing trips and fishing jaunts.
Disney Dream is like a floating Disney resort with Captain Mickey at the helm.
There are kids’ pools and waterslides, including the fun AquaDuck water coaster, kids’ clubs and entertaining shows.
But if it all gets too much, there are adults-only areas to escape to as well.
● Ten nights from £1,625 (two adults and two children sharing) room only at Walt Disney World and full board on the cruise.
Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Orlando and car hire. Departs August 10.
Enjoy a visit to the Leaning Tower
GO MAD IN THE MED
Cruise through the Mediterranean on the world’s biggest ship, Symphony Of The Seas which holds nearly 7,000 passengers.
The newest giant from Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 3033/royalcaribbean.co.uk) boasts a jaw-dropping line-up of facilities, with seven neighbourhoods, including an onboard park of plants and trees; a fairground-themed Boardwalk with a full-size carousel and Royal Arcade shopping street with boutiques, bars and cafes.
Step ashore in Barcelona to stroll along Las Ramblas and admire Gaudi’s distinctive Sagrada Familia cathedral and climb to the top of Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower on a trip from La Spezia.
Soak up the Gallic vibe of Marseille or take a hiking trip to the top of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Symphony Of The Seas offers thrills aplenty for adrenaline junkies who can whizz down the 10-storey Ultimate Abyss slide, ride the waves on surf simulators and speed through the air on a zip-line.
There are around 20 restaurants and cafes offering everything from Japanese and Mexican cuisine to Jamie’s Italian and the mystical Wonderland restaurant, themed around the adventures of Alice with a Mad Hatter-style menu that magically appears when brushed with water, mystical wisps of dry ice and chocolate desserts that melt before your eyes.
● Seven nights from £1,592 (two sharing), full board. Price includes return flights from Gatwick to Rome and transfers. Departs Civitavecchia July 26.
Explore the amazing St Petersburg’s and the culture they have to offer
SPLASH DOWN IN ST PETERSBURG
Intrepid types can walk the plank or splash down twisting waterslides as they sail through the Baltic Sea on Norwegian Cruise Line’s (0333 241 2319/ncl.co.uk) ship Norwegian Breakaway.
This voyage takes you into Russia’s cultural heart with an overnight stay in St Petersburg, known as the Venice of the North, thanks to its peaceful canals lined in pastel-coloured buildings. Marvel at treasures in the famous Hermitage Museum, home to more than three million items and catch an evening performance of the Kirov Ballet.
Tallinn in Estonia captivates with medieval charm while Scandinavian capitals Helsinki and Stockholm brim with colourful Viking heritage, stylish designer shops and a sun that never sets during the summer.
Not only does Norwegian Breakaway possess a plank that extends 8ft off the side of the ship, it offers more than 25 dining experiences including a circus- themed dinner show in its own “big top” where diners are entertained by a colourful vaudeville display of clowning around, contortionist acts and nail-biting acrobatics.
For a breath of fresh air choose from the string of alfresco bars and restaurants lined up all along the upper deck called the waterfront.
● Nine nights from £1,492 (two sharing) full board. Price includes return flights from Heathrow to Copenhagen. Departs Copenhagen August 9.
Marco Pierre White hosts masterclasses on a Spanish cruise
BUGGY ADVENTURES IN THE CANARIES
Sail to Spain and the Canary Islands with Marco Pierre White on this voyage with P&O Cruises (0344 338 8003/pocruises.com).
The celebrity chef hosts special two-hour masterclasses (£80) giving treasured tips as he prepares some of his favourite dishes, before you get to tuck into the fruits of his labours.
When he’s not chained to the kitchen, the chef can be spotted at a book signing and talking about his career at a Q&A session.
Ports of call include the historic Spanish city La Coruna and the lush Portuguese isle of Madeira, renowned for dramatic walking levadas and where visitors can speed down the streets in traditional wicker toboggans.
Enjoy speeding down the streets in the traditional wicker toboggans
La Palma is the first Canary Island stop where intrepid types can explore the volcanic terrain on a buggy adventure, while in Tenerife,jump aboard the cable car to the top of Mount Teide.
Gran Canaria is the final call where families can make a splash at the Aqualand Waterpark and climb the giant Maspalomas sand dunes.
Ventura is one of P&O’s larger family-friendly ships, which carries more than 3,000 passengers with four swimming pools, speciality restaurants and varied entertainment. While youngsters enjoy the kids’ clubs, parents can relax in the spa.
● 12 nights from £1,299 (two sharing) full board. Departs Southampton August 5.
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