There is real life, and there is cruise life – which is basically real life, with added pizzazz. Life at sea suggests a sense of theatre that is hard to match on the average landlocked trip. That said, not all cruise ships are created equal. Like humans, some are big and some are small. Some favour the “formal,” others are imbued with a casualness that is so far removed from cruising’s first incarnation in the 1800s as to be unrecognisable.
All great cities have had their moments, high points in history that shaped their architecture and geography and defined their culture. Some – London, Paris and Rome, for example – have had several.
There is plenty about Brussels that makes it like no other city. It’s the capital of the European Union for a start (but you wouldn’t necessarily sense it), operating in two native languages (French and Dutch/Flemish). The historic centre is like a reverse donut, with the imposing Grand Place in the middle, surrounded by mundane, often tawdry streets that in any other European city would be prime real estate. In among these, all within walking distance, are sublime and surreal art collections (Brueghel, Rubens, Magritte), impressive churches, alluring shops, high-quality eateries (including the legendary chip stands), and splendid eccentricities such as the Manneken-Pis and a comic-book museum (Tintin et al.)
Half term is upon us already. If you've not had time to plan any days out with the family and are looking for inspiration, look no further. Here are 50 of the UK's best.
Keen to expand your river cruising experience? Whether you're looking to join a popular voyage on the Danube complete with music and musuems or if you dream of seeing Russia's grand architecture via a sojourn on the Volga, we've got you covered.
Malaga has shaken off its reputation as being merely the gateway to the Costa del Sol. Revamped and revitalised, the city now boasts a sleek port, an exciting culinary scene and a rapidly growing clutch of artistic attractions. In fact, it’s quickly becoming recognised as one of Spain’s cultural hubs, bursting at the seams with places to explore from the attention-grabbing Pompidou Centre and ever-popular Museu de Picasso – which celebrates Malaga’s most famous son – to the street-art-cloaked streets of its edgy Soho district.
A cruise can make the perfect family holiday. With entertainment, childcare and meals often built into the price, it takes much of the stress out of arranging a trip with children. From Disney characters to hair-raising rides, cruise lines are upping their on board offerings for all ages.
Sharing a meal is one of life’s great pleasures – if it’s not then you’re probably keeping the wrong company – but new research claims diners are increasingly eating alone.
I took a turn at the helm, following the blinking light of the GPS religiously and battling to keep us in anything even vaguely resembling a straight line.
Even the most jaded of traveller can’t fail to be charmed by the Chilean port city of Valpo (as the Unesco World Heritage listed town is affectionately known). Spend even the smallest amount of time here and you’ll quickly discover the delights of Valpo’s 45 cerros (hills), overlooking the Pacific, that are dotted by sugar almond hued houses whose exteriors are made of corrugated metal peeled from decades old shipping containers.
The rehearsal rooms are abuzz as Porto’s São João National Theatre prepares for its upcoming show by renowned British playwright Martin Crimp. Theatre-lovers in Portugal’s second city are already rushing to bagsy a seat at the prestigious playhouse. But will tourists be joining them when the play kicks off next month? The question is not one of artistic quality. Crimp’s play is a class act. Adapted from Euripides’ The Phoenician Women, the production raised the roof when it debuted in Hamburg (in German). No, the pivotal issue relates to language. The Rest Will Be Familiar to You from The Cinema is just the kind of exciting, experimental work that would have theatre buffs salivating were it showing in London. Only it’s not. Plus, the play is in Portuguese, not English.
At first glance, Trellech might seem like just another one-pub village straddling the Welsh border. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll realise that this parish in the wooded Wye Valley is one of the most curious places in the country, with a lost medieval city and Neolithic standing stones pointing to an illustrious – if mysterious - past.
Britain's restaurant scene has never been more exciting. Our cities, and the neighbourhoods within them, are developing their own distinctive culinary characters, drawing on tradition and local produce, but spun in new ways by dynamic chefs. From small plates to pies, Indian to Italian, it's enough to make us hungry for our next weekend break. Here's our definitive guide to the best homegrown cities for foodies.
Staying safe when skiing or snowboarding in the mountains is crucial – an important part of that is being aware of the risk of avalanche where you are, being prepared when heading off piste, and knowing what to do should an avalanche happen.
From quirky to downright weird, a guide to the most unusual places to stay around the world, featuring the world's best spaceship treehouses, ice suites, underwater hotels and glass igloos.
Firenze, the cradle of the Renaissance, is one of Europe’s great art cities. With frescoes by Giotto and Ghirlandaio, canvases by Botticelli and Bronzino, and sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, there is so much exquisite art and architecture within its ancient walls that it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
What could be better than decamping with a selection of your closest friends and family to a rambling old house in some boiling hot, beautiful and bargainous spot in southern France, Italy or Spain for a week? In your imagination, the seven days stretch ahead in a sun-drenched procession of early morning runs; long, lazy sauvignon-fuelled lunches; river swims; midnight feasts; and time, finally, to talk properly to everyone like you haven’t since you were a student… And the kids will just look after themselves, won’t they? A hotel without the hassle. A home with a better location.
State-of-the-art dry ski slopes, ginormous indoor resorts, new luxury hotels and now a world-class ski school – it appears there’s nothing China won’t do to ensure it’s on the top of its game when hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Spas afloat are no longer the preserve of ocean-going ships. Pampering is available on a growing number of river vessels, too. Here we round up five of the best...
Romantic languages, romantic cultures and romanticism have a common root that comes from Rome. Somewhere mixed into this etymological mush is the figure of the Latin Lover.
Analysing the drawn-out, billion-dollar airline negotiation breakdowns that led Airbus to abruptly end its A380 program only 11 years after it begun is a complex business, with an ultimately sad conclusion.
“You can do anything you want, including drive the thing.” With those words Kate McCue’s father, Patrick, planted the idea – when Kate was just 12 – that Kate could captain a cruise ship.
Everyone knows about York’s Roman and Viking history, but not so many people realise it has a wealth of luxury boutique accommodation and a thriving cultural scene, with cool neighbourhoods full of independent shops, restaurants and cafés, as well as countless museums, theatres and attractions. York is an ideal size for exploring on foot, and is surrounded by some of England’s most beautiful countryside; it is only just over two hours by train from London or Edinburgh.