From endless sunshine to frozen grandeur, there is an ocean cruise to suit every interest. Here’s our pick of what to book now.
Make a special pizza in Naples, where you can pick your toppings and cook on a subterranean geothermal rock. In Genoa, go behind the scenes at the aquarium to see the plankton farm that feeds the rescued whales. These unusual excursions are offered on Meraviglia. Sail on a seven-day round trip from Genoa on April 1, 2018, and call at Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseilles. Cabins cost from £1,469pp. msccruises.co.uk, 020 3856 3087.
Furry interesting: Spot polar bears on an Arctic Canada cruise
Go white-water rafting down the Valldal river in Norway, then warm up round a bonfire for snacks and views of the Geirangerfjord and the Seven Sisters waterfall. For a gentler outing, take a hike to the Kjenndal Glacier followed by a cruise on Lake Lovatnet. A week from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords on Sapphire Princess from August 11, 2018, costs from £2,796 for four sharing a cabin. princess.com/go, 0843 374 2401.
Gallivanting in the Gulf
P&O Cruises is offering cruises tailored to British tastes to the Arabian Gulf for the first time in 2019. Sail on a round trip from Dubai for 11 nights aboard Oceana on January 30, 2019. You can go camel-racing, dine in a bedouin tent, see the Ferrari World theme park, visit souks and go dolphin-spotting in a dhow. The cost is from £1,449pp, including flights. pocruises.com, 0843 373 0111.
A week from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords on Sapphire Princess from August 11, 2018, costs from £2,796 for four sharing a cabin
Symphony of the Seas will be launched next spring and you can join nearly 6,900 passengers on a seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Rome. The ship will call at Naples, Barcelona, Majorca, Marseilles and La Spezia. Departures on June 21, June 28 or July 5, 2018, cost from £844pp, excluding flights. royalcaribbean.co.uk, 0844 493 4005.
Rooms with a view
Another new ship, Norwegian Bliss, will have two huge observation lounges to see whales and glaciers on the 4,000-passenger ship’s inaugural season in Alaska next summer. There will be seven-day cruises through the Inside Passage departing every Saturday from Seattle. Zipwire through the rainforest in Ketchikan, pan for gold in Juneau and ride the vintage railroad to Dead Horse Gulch in the Yukon from Skagway. Premium all-inclusive fares departing July 21, 2018, start at £1,349pp, including drinks but not flights. ncl.co.uk, 0333 241 2319.
On the Meraviglia liner passengers can take part in an array of different activities, including making a special pizza in Naples, where you can pick your toppings and cook on a subterranean geothermal rock
The fascinating exhibition Franklin: Death In The Ice at the National Maritime Museum in London (to January 7) examines the mysterious end of Sir John Franklin’s quest to chart the Northwest Passage in Arctic Canada in 1847. See polar bears as you voyage in Franklin’s wake on an ice-strengthened vessel next summer, sailing from Resolute for ten days. Departure on August 23, 2018, costs from US$ 6,795pp excluding flights. oneoceanexpeditions.com.
A cricket theme has been added to a Medieval Cities And River Seine cruise aboard Magellan, sailing from Tilbury. There will be visits to Amsterdam, Antwerp, Rouen and Honfleur, while on board, David Gower and Chris Cowdrey will talk about their careers. Fares for this six-night cruise departing on October 24, 2017, are from £499pp. cruiseandmaritime.com, 0844 998 3877.