Casting off: what’s new in the world of cruising

Casting off: what’s new in the world of cruising

River adventures
Who says river cruising is only for the over-60s? G Adventures has launched a series of escorted river voyages aimed at the younger market, with nine itineraries exploring Peru, France, India, Cambodia and Vietnam. You travel in a small group, of presumably like-minded souls, on your own boat, and prices are competitive. A 10-day cruise on the Mekong, for example, starts at £1,299pp, excluding

Quids in
Fred Olsen Cruises was so confident newcomers would be hooked on cruising that, two years ago, it launched a money-back guarantee. If you decided within 48 hours that you didn’t like your cruise, you would get a full refund and a flight home. Only five of the 190,000 cruisers who have sailed since have accepted the offer, so Fred has taken a second gamble. Cruisers on their maiden voyage can now book their next cruise while on board, with just a £1 deposit instead of the usual 15%. There’s nothing to pay and no cancellation charge up to 91 days before sailing.

Break the ice
If there’s one thing you need for kayaking in Antarctica, it’s a reliable guide. Seabourn Cruise Line has recruited Matt J Dolan, whose credentials include kayaking the length of the Inside Passage, to take passengers for paddles through the icy waters. Expect encounters with penguins, leopard seals and even the odd whale. Seabourn Quest will spend a season in Antarctica from the end of 2016;
21-night voyages start at £10,799pp, excluding flights; kayaking included, no experience necessary.

Ms mozart gets some fine tuning
The luxury cruise line Crystal will launch into the river-cruising scene in July 2016, after buying the MS Mozart. The grande dame, launched in 1987, is being refitted to emerge as the poshest vessel on Europe’s waterways. It has an indoor pool, a library and a wraparound promenade deck, and will ply the Danube, carrying 160 guests in lavish style. Fares and itineraries will be announced on November

Put yourself on a pedestal
Selfies are so last year. How about having a statuette of yourself created as a memento of your cruise? Costa Cruises is offering passengers on its flagship, the Costa Diadema, the chance to do just that. You’ll be full-body-scanned, wearing whatever you want your mini-me to be dressed in, with the images sent to a lab in Barcelona for 3D printing. Sizes range from 13cm to 21cm and the statue will be sent to your home. Certainly a novel addition to the mantelpiece.
From £63;