Timeshare holidays offer so much more choice than even five or ten years ago that the old adage “same resort, same week, each year” is now totally outdated.
And one of the fastest-growing trends in timeshare is cruises. Only on a floating holiday can you wake up in a different port every morning and because one cruise does not fit all, cruise lines are matching their cruise ships and itineraries to people’s lifestyles which makes this once in a lifetime type of holiday even more tempting.
For holidaymakers who fancy the idea of leaving land to explore new horizons, there are a boat load of cruise options for 2013. Whether you are looking for a romantic break or are taking the whole family, Yahoo recently rounded up this year’s best cruise offerings and here are some of the highlights…
Best Cruise for Romance Seekers
With turquoise lagoons, powdery beaches and breathtaking sunsets, French Polynesia is a lover’s paradise. Paul Gauguin Cruises’ intimate 332-guest m/s Paul Gauguin sails through the South Pacific, taking in a number of picture-perfect ports, including Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti – the cruise line even has its own private beach in Bora Bora and islet in Taha’a.
Best Cruise for Mature Couples
If you’re looking for a laid-back escape to ‘old-fashioned America’, then Mississippi River cruising will be just the leisurely ticket. Avalon Waterways makes its stateside debut this year, with chartered cabins aboard the elegant 436-passenger Victorian-style paddle wheel steamboat, the American Queen. Passengers can enjoy daily guided excursions, lectures from onboard river historians, evening showboat-style entertainment, and delicious Southern-style cuisine.
Best Cruise for First-Timers
Celebrity Cruises’ latest addition to the Solstice fleet, the 3,030-passenger Celebrity Reflection, launched last year and has since arrived in America for a series of weekly Caribbean sailings out of Miami. The ship is perfect for first-timers, thanks to its expansive spa, beer bar, crowd-pleasing itineraries, and wallet-friendly rates.
Best Cruise for Budget Crunchers
Carnival’s “Fun Ships” are most definitely purse-friendly. The firm’s Carnival Glory has just been given a large makeover and offers passengers the chance to enjoy a summer sailing to Eastern Canada, with a brand-new burger joint, Mexican restaurant and Punchliner Comedy Club all aboard. The ship has plenty of four and five night itineraries from New York City and Boston.
Best Cruise for Big Spenders
German cruise line Hapag-Lloyd will be rolling out its super-luxe Europa 2 this May. Each plush cabin comes with a private balcony, free-of-charge minibar, and high-tech trimmings, while big spenders can upgrade for extras such as whirlpool baths, steam saunas, and butler service. Onboard, expect gastronomic delights with eight restaurants and six bars, while the original production shows, cooking school, and spas provide the perfect entertainment. For ultimate glamour, try “The Legendary Riviera” cruise, calling on ports like Monte Carlo and St Tropez.
Best Cruise for Foodies
The intimate Nenuphar barge gives you the chance to discover the Foodie paradise of Burgundy, France, from its countryside canals – all while enjoying fine French dining and free-flowing wine. The barge’s weeklong itineraries include market-fresh fare, perfect pastries, and generously poured wine, as well as visits to area Côte d’Or vineyards for private wine tastings, forays into local farmers’ markets, and an onshore dinner at a rare three-star Michelin restaurant.
Best Cruise for Nature Lovers
Mother Earth could not have created a more perfect cruise break for nature lovers than the National Geographic Sea Bird and her sister ship, the National Geographic Sea Lion. Both small ships have been touring Alaska’s hidden coves for 30 years. Passengers can expect to come face-to-face with Alaskan fjords, set out on hiking and kayaking excursions, and spot whales and bears – all while enjoying the insights of naturalists, scientists, and even a Lindblad-National Geographic-certified photo instructor.
Best Cruise for Off-the-Path Explorers
For intrepid seafarers eager to uncover uncharted cruise ship ground, set sail on Australia-based Orion. The 106-passenger ship will sail to the South Pacific’s Forgotten Islands, as well as the stunning beaches of Bali. Passengers can also take in Komodo (home of the infamous dragons), Australia’s Thursday Island, and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reed. The ship even has professional onboard photographers to help you capture the sights.
Best Cruise for Culture Vultures
Voyages to Antiquity is perfect for culturally-minded cruisers. The cruise line’s Aegean Odyssey has just started taking in exotic Asian ports of call. The ship’s explores the Orient in February and November, with exciting port calls in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and more. Passengers can expect special guest lecturers and trips to ancient spice trade centres, old colonial capitals, and tucked-away ethnic enclaves.
Club La Costa’s dedicated Travel Club has cruise specialists on hand to help its members choose the best possible cruise for them, while both RCI and Interval International offer cruise exchange holidays.