The Venetian skyline bathed in orange light as the sun sets

Port in Focus: Venice

Irrepressibly romantic and impossibly evocative, Venice stands alone as one of those rare destinations that casts a mesmerising spell over all who visit. Centuries of history roll down the maze of canals that flow between the stately squares and grand palazzos that bear testament to a colourful and turbulent history, when this city commanded the...

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A Silversea expedition cruise ship behind a polar bear in the Arctic
Italian-owned Silversea, which operates some of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious ships, is a line that is going through a big wave of investment and change. Silver Explorer At present, the line has five ‘classic’ cruise ships, including the brand-new 596-passenger Silver Muse, launched in April 2017, and four expedition ships. Between them, the...

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Crystal Symphony sailing away from Cape Town at sunset
When it was launched in 1995, the 51,044-ton Crystal Symphony was way ahead of its time even for a luxury line, with multiple restaurants and a high proportion of balcony cabins. Crystal has kept this beautiful ship contemporary-looking through a series of clever refits, and its latest incarnation, following a multi-million dollar upgrade in October...

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Friends enjoying champagne in Sansibar on a Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship
When the German transatlantic liner Augusta Victoria set out from Cuxhaven on the first ever ‘pleasure cruise’ back in January 1891, it inaugurated the concept of cruising as we know it today. That historic 57-night Mediterranean cruise was conceived by Albert Ballin, chairman of the Hamburg-Amerikanische-Paketfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) – better known at the time as Hamburg-America...

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A panoramic, aerial shot of Jelsa in Croatia and the surrounding bright blue sea
In recent years, the Adriatic has emerged from the Mediterranean’s shadow as the must-see region to explore by cruise ship. Once you sail along the intricate coastline of Croatia and Montenegro – the dramatic rocky cliffs and deep inlets punctuated by striking terracotta-tiled merchants’ houses in the distinctive Venetian style that dominates this region –...

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A Red Bull race car soaring around a track during the F1 Grand Prix
There can’t be many experiences more glamorous than sailing into the millionaires’ playground of Monte Carlo on-board a mega-yacht, bound for one of the glitziest events on the French Rivieras calendar. This is true jet-set territory and a chance to rub shoulders with the glitterati, mooring up alongside their extravagant floating gin palaces, before stepping...

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Cruising is sublime at any time of year, but there are certain periods during the contrasting seasons when corners of Mother Earth become particularly magical. Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, when nature’s fireworks display is at its most magnificent, is the main reason cruises head to New England and the Canadian Maritimes...

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The exterior of Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 as it sails through the ocean
Every detail on-board Hapag-Lloyd's MS Europa 2 has been meticulously planned. The vibe is a blend of casual elegance combined with state-of-the-art technology; catering to a sophisticated, international and cosmopolitan audience. At 40,000-tonnes, MS Europa 2 accommodates 500 luxury cruise passengers who are looked after by a crew of 370. With one of the highest passenger-to-crew...

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Classic cars lining a street of colonial buildings in Havana

Port in focus: Havana

Despite the fact that it must be one of the most photographed places in the Caribbean, nothing can prepare you for the sheer beauty of Havana. Crumbling old buildings in sherbet yellow, burnt orange and brilliant turquoise. A glorious mish-mash of architectural styles, from Moorish to Spanish colonial, baroque and art deco. Those amazing vintage...

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