For some time now the average age of people taking a cruise holiday has been falling. If you include summer cruises in the equation, then the number of children travelling has an effect on the average but, crucially, the demographic has shifted again: so that even if you discount school holiday dates, the majority of cruisers travelling with brands like MSC Cruises are in their 50s and 60s. Not so long ago, the average age would have been around 70 and even beyond. And, let’s be honest, these days people in their 50s and 60s are scarcely old, they’re merely grown up!
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It is, in many ways, the perennial conundrum that faces the holiday planner and the want-away cruiser: do you plan months, or even years, in advance or do you make a snap decision based on a whim and, if you’re lucky, some last-minute, discounted fares to sweeten the deal? Sadly, there’s no definitive answer as to the best course of action, both approaches have their merits and both can lead to a really great cruise depending, of course, on your needs and expectations.
If you think Europe’s best ports of call are all dotted around the Mediterranean, then you’re in for a surprise – a nice surprise, but something of a revelation too, as Hamburg is simply brilliant fun and a significant city that holds its head up in the most exalted company. It’s not just one of the best Baltic ports, Hamburg has to rate as one of Europe’s finest port cities!
There aren’t many Greek islands that are as immediately impressive as Santorini, particularly for those arriving by ship. Indeed, cruise ships often linger in the great caldera (or crater) as the views of to the island and its capital, Thira, are simply, stunning. The cliffs are, of course, pumice and form the edge of the volcanic crater than made the islands. Thira (sometimes Firá and also Hóra) sit’s on top of these cliffs sporting her famous crown of blue and white stucco houses and churches that have adorned countless postcards of the Greek islands.