So many beaches, so little time – so why settle for one when you can park your towel on several stretches of sand on an adventure-packed cruise holiday, says EMILY BAMBER SUN, SAND AND SIGHTS Beach
es, temples and ancient ruins – you’ll see them all cruising the eastern Med. Stretches of white sand fringe many of the coasts. Relax on a beach such as Agios Ioannis at Mykonos in Greece, where Shirley Valentine fell in love. There’s history too, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the lost city of Ephesus near Izmir in Turkey. One of the best places to take in the seascapes on such a voyage is from the Horizons Bar on Thomson Celebration, which has panoramic views and great cocktails. The cruise
ship is the most upmarket of the Thomson fleet with nine decks and various activities and sports.
There’s also a library, internet lounge, shops and boutiques. Click here now for amazing offers to Ephesus!
● Thomson Cruises (0871 231 3240/www.thomson.co.uk/cruise) offers a seven-night cruise from £869 per adult, £449 per child (four sharing), including flights from Gatwick. Departs Marmaris July 12. Combine with seven nights all-inclusive stay at Hotel Belcekiz Beach in Ölüdeniz from £1,269 per adult, £699 per child (four sharing). PACK YOUR SUN HAT
A cruise from Venice with MSC offers stops at plenty of delightful stretches of coastline, from Italy across to Turkey and back up to Croatia. Though tempted by cities such as Dubrovnik and Istanbul, on this cruise you could spend every port day at the beach.
Chill on a sunlounger at spots such as Kourouta in Greece.
Dubrovnik also has a beautiful beach at St Jacob’s, making it the perfect stop-off for combining city and coast. Save
your posh trunks for Cesme – a trendy resort known as the Turkish Cannes – where you can swim or take a boat trip.
Back on MSC’s Magnificatry one of three pools, including one with a sliding roof, or opt for a Balinese massage or Turkish bath in the Aurea spa.
● MSC Cruises (0844 561 1955/www.msccruises.co.uk) Want incredible offers to Dubrovnik? Click here now...SUN, SAND AND SIGHTS
Beaches, temples and ancient ruins – you’ll see them all cruising the eastern Med. Stretches of white sand fringe many of the coasts. Relax on a beach such as Agios Ioannis at Mykonos in Greece, where Shirley Valentine fell in love. There’s history too, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the lost city of Ephesus near Izmir in Turkey. One of the best places to take in the seascapes offers a seven-night cruise from £1,020 per adult, £180 per child (four sharing) including flights from Heathrow. Departs Venice July 24.
Barbados has soft, warm sands that have long been a hit and several cruises operate out of its main port of Bridgetown.
After a few days working on your tan at a hotel on Dover Beach, board the Carnival Victory and island hop to such
places as St Lucia, St Thomas and Dominica. Here, you will find rainforests, waterfalls and black-sand beaches.
There’s loads of aquatic fun on board – kids love the 200ft waterslide and poolside cinema screen.
● Virgin Holidays (0871 781 9893/www.virginholidayscruises.co.uk) offers three nights at the Almond Casuarina Beach Resort followed by a seven-night cruise on Carnival Victory from £1,579 per adult, £1,119 per child (four sharing), including flights from Gatwick. Departs Barbados July 11. CITY SANDS
Soak up the sights in the morning and the sun in the afternoon in Lisbon, Barcelona and Palma. All have beaches that are great for people-watching. Resorts such as Cannes on the French Riviera are lined with restaurants and
bars for alfresco dining.
The extensive pools and sunloungers on resort-style ship Ventura mean you can also top up your tan on board while the little ones go wild with a packed itinerary of entertainment. The ship’s art gallery houses 7,000 original works and lovers of fine cuisine can enjoy a Marco Pierre White restaurant.
● P&O Cruises (0845 355 5333/www.pocruises.com) offers a 14-night cruise on board Ventura from £2,112 per adult, £1,584 per child (four sharing a balcony cabin). Departs Southampton July 31. FOLLOW THE SUN
As summer draws to a close at home, there are plenty of places where the sun still shines; the Canary Islands and Madeira have heavenly beaches as well.
Rolling sand dunes at Maspalomas on Gran Canaria are a treat for children and the snorkelling and scuba diving at Lanzarote are excellent. On Tenerife visit Aqualand or Siam Park, and there’s more splashing around to be had on the resort-style Independence of the Seas, the largest ship cruising European waters this summer. It has a surf
simulator, rock-climbing wall and several whirlpools that extend more than 12 feet over the sides of the ship.
● Royal Caribbean (0844 493 2061/www.royalcaribbean.co.uk) offers a 10-night cruise on board Independence of the Seas from £1,334 per adult, £389 per child (four sharing). Departs Southampton on September 1.