Modern cruises: Luxury and adventure on the high seas

Leisure cruises have been around for a long time. In 1900, the American-Hamburg Company launched the first ever ship designed for these seaborne vacations. Measuring 406 feet by 52 feet and weighing nearly 4,500 tons, the vessel was to set a trend. Of course, a lot has changed since the early days of ocean-based holidays. As well as becoming much safer, these ships now offer the upmost in luxury and sophistication.

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With names like Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, you might be wondering just how far the luxury goes.  So what do you get if you choose to sail with a modern cruise company?

There is certainly no shortage of destinations to choose from when you’re booking your cruise; the Caribbean with its white sand beaches, plentiful sunshine and tropical charm is always popular and stop-off points include St Kitts, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Puerto Rico and Barbados.

Alternatively, maybe a sojourn around Europe would better suit your requirements. Trips around the shores of the Mediterranean have long proved a hit among holidaymakers and there are plenty of itineraries for you to choose from, whether you fancy a tour of Spain and Portugal via their stunning coastlines or want to check out the best of the Greek Islands.

Or for something a little different, why not try a cruise along the magnificent Norwegian fjords? Here, you will travel past vast and beautiful glaciers, snow-capped peaks and picturesque settlements.

While onboard, you can tuck into sumptuous food and drink and unwind in superb accommodation. You’ll also get to make the most of a host of facilities, ranging from swimming pools, hot tubs and solariums to libraries and cinemas. Then there is the entertainment to enjoy. As well as live music, you can see comedy shows in action and there are even cooking demonstrations and competitions to take part in. It’s important to note that the facilities on offer do differ from ship to ship, so it’s worth checking before you make a booking.

And if it is total indulgence you’re after, it’s worth seeking out Celebrity ‘Millennium Class’ vessels. These ships exude style and glamour, boasting high-end fittings and fabulous staterooms.

Cruises have certainly come a long way from the functional voyages of the past. With exciting excursions and on-board facilities allowing you to do everything from taste wine to learn how to surf, even a lengthy voyage across the Atlantic will be thoroughly enjoyable. So if you fancy the celebrity treatment in more ways than one, a cruise might just fit in with your 2014 holiday plans…

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