Tilbury’s position on the east coast of England and its proximity to London makes it a great location from which to embark on a cruise. This is made possible by the town’s deep-water port, which also handles a considerable number of container ships. Located in the Essex borough of Thurrock, Tilbury has a long history as a defensive town - which is epitomised by its 16th century fort.
Regarded as the Venice of the north, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is made up of a series of 90 islands, which are connected by almost 1,200 bridges. Today, Amsterdam is a city of contrasts, with many people being attracted to this vibrant destination for its range of bars and night clubs. On the other hand, Amsterdam is home many renowned architectural structures, insightful museums and beautiful gardens.
The Royal Palace was originally built in the 17th century to serve as a town hall, but is now one of three palaces in the Netherlands to be under disposal of the monarchy. In the springtime, be sure to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, where seven million flower bulbs create a beautiful display of bold and bright colours.
Built on seven hills, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon shares a similar status to the Italian city of Rome and the Turkish city of Istanbul. This vibrant and cultural city has much to offer to the discerning visitor, with many beautiful gardens, stunning architectural wonders, and cultural relics such as the traditional trams which have operated in Lisbon since the 1930’s. Head to Cine Theatro Gymnasium if you get the chance, as this is where you will be able to experience a daily performance of Fado – a distinctive Portuguese style of music that has gained UNESCO World Heritage status.
Funchal is the capital city of the Portuguese island of Madeira, situated just north of the Canary Islands. This lush green island is a natural paradise and provides a peaceful and tranquil environment for anyone looking for a real sense of escape. Funchal does not disappoint in this respect, with many wonderful gardens to explore, as well as a number of beautifully ornate cathedrals and palaces.
Cartagena was the location of the first Spanish colony in South America and is also the location of one of the first sanctuaries of freed African slaves across the Americas. Brightly coloured houses dominate the old town, which is surrounded by a city wall. Here, you will be able to discover a number of landmarks including the Clock Tower building and a number of 500 year-old coral stone forts.
Cristóbal is a port town in the Colón district of Panama. The port of Cristóbal is one of the oldest still operating in Panama and is the perfect stop when experiencing the Panama Canal. As with all of Panama, Cristóbal is characterised by a rugged landscape of mountains, upland plains and varied coastlines. The city of Cristobal is not only rich in history but is also endowed with pristine beaches and exotic plants and bird life.
Providing an easily-navigable route between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, the Panama Canal is one of the most impressive man-made structures in history. Having first opened in 1914, it was significant for removing the need to traverse the dreaded Drake Passage in order to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific or vice versa. It took 33 years to complete the project and it remains, to this day, one of the greatest engineering feats in history.
Situated within the islands of French Polynesia, Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands. This huge island is home to many wonderful natural features including towering cliffs, deep bays, waterfalls, beaches, valleys and much more. This island was one of the first to be visited on Robinson Louis Stevenson’s voyage on board Casco.
The Tahitian city and capital of Papeete emits a fine blend of French and Polynesian charm. There are many historical elements to the city including Louis Antoine de Bougainville (the first French explorer to complete a circumnavigation of the globe), the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Papeete, and the Presidential Palace. With average temperatures rarely dropping below 25C, you can simply soak up the sun and watch the world go by at a more relaxing pace.
Situated just a few miles off the northwest coast of Tahiti is the island of Moorea, which offers less of a tourist atmosphere than its larger neighbour. Much of the island is rural and this presents a number of opportunities including a plethora of hiking and cycling opportunities. There are many beaches upon which to relax on the island and, due to the island being less affected by tourism, it is easy to find a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Often regarded as the closest thing to ‘paradise on earth’, Bora Bora’s calm beaches filled with white-powder beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush green palms are truly magnificent. Its remote location in the South Pacific Ocean – as part of the French Polynesia archipelago – provides a tropical climate, with temperatures rarely dipping below 25C. Seeing is believing, and a visit to this sumptuous island will truly take your breath away.
Although it may be invisible, the International Date Line holds considerable significance for marking the point where the date changes by one day. Situated 180 degrees east or west from the Greenwich meridian, the line extends to the east of New Zealand, through Polynesia and between Russia and Alaska. The name may suggest it is a line, but it has been altered accordingly to ensure no nation is divided in two. Crossing the line in an eastward direction will take you back in time by one day, whereas, if you are travelling in a westward direction, you will add one day to the previous date.
Auckland is home to the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand, with a population of 1.45 million people – one third of the country’s entire population. With a wide range of museums, shopping districts, restaurants and natural features, Auckland is a rewarding delight for all visitors. Whale watching, strolling along the beach, exploring volcanic cones, and sky jumping are just some of the amazing opportunities this city presents, making a visit to Auckland one that you will never forget.