Cruise views: Berlitz ‘bible’ is back!

We are proud to say that, in addition to being both a lovely man and almost certainly the world’s greatest authority on cruising and cruise ships, Douglas Ward is a friend. So it is a special pleasure to report the publication of his authoritative annual “Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships”, which will be available in […]

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Cruise views: A new shipboard rip-off revealed

Almost unbelievably, some cruise lines have dreamed up yet another way of squeezing cash out of customers. They ask all passengers whether they prefer first or second sitting for dinner, then impose a hefty nightly charge for guaranteeing that you get the right one. We are so gobsmacked by this greed that we hesitate to […]

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Cruise views: Giant ships ‘damage entire communities’

Sailing through the very centre of Venice on a giant cruise ship is undoubtedly a thrill for passengers, but it is not so thrilling for the city of Venice which is trying to ban these incursions. The Venetians fear that the wash from such vessels might undermine the city’s ancient and fragile foundations. And, not […]

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Never mind Hollywood, head for Dollywood

We’ve made about 50 trips to the United States over the years, and never cease to be amazed by the huge variety of holiday opportunities that the country offers. Equally amazing, however, is the lack of imagination shown by many of the tour operators who plan and sell holidays to the USA. Not everybody wants […]

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Cruise views: Europe-Australia link

Our most thrilling cruise ever was undoubtedly sailing from Southampton to Sydney on the first half of a world cruise. Travelling east always generates a sense of excitement, and if your destination is Australia there is the added romance of repeating a journey made by countless emigrants from the UK. Distant relatives may well have […]

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Saga’s winter sun offer is hard to beat

We are always on the lookout for those real travel bargains that crop up occasionally, and here’s one for anybody wanting a suntan in time for Christmas. Week-long breaks at the plush Tenerife Playa hotel, right on the promenade in Puerto de la Cruz, usually cost anything up to £950 per person including flights, but […]

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Hotel of the month: September

There’s something strange about Calcot Manor, near Tetbury, in Gloucestershire. It doesn’t really look like a top-class hotel – but it just keeps on winning awards. There’s no fuss, but everything runs with smooth efficiency. And although it welcomes children, somehow you never seem to see them. More correctly known as “Calcot Manor Hotel and […]

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Hotels join the great wi-fi fiddle

A reader has contacted us to complain about the sky-high internet access charges imposed by American hotels. He very recently stayed at the Westin, on New York’s Times Square – which is not exactly a cheap hotel in the first place – and was blithely told at check-in that wi-fi would cost him an eye-watering […]

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Cruise views: Scottish islands get a fare deal

We’ve been a little unkind to Fred Olsen Cruises lately – partly because we don’t like the changes they are making to two of their ships. So we are especially pleased to report a really welcome Fred Olsen innovation: a keenly-priced cruise around the Scottish islands. Cruises in this area are notoriously expensive, and until […]

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Cruise views: The cheap way to see Japan

If you have already cruised around Britain, round Africa, round South America, and perhaps even round Australia, where next? Princess Cruises ( have one answer: they have added a number of sailings around Japan to their worldwide cruise programme. But are these voyages right for Western travellers? A report in “USA Today” makes interesting reading. […]

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