Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel, dba Cruise Holidays.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fitness is Fun on a Cruise

If you’ve cruised, you know, and if you haven’t cruised yet, you’ve heard: the food on a cruise is delicious, plentiful, and available 24 hours a day. It’s hard to resist, but why should you? All of your cruise ship dining, with the exception of some specialty restaurants, is included in your fare.

And, don’t let the fear of coming home with some extra pounds keep you from cruising. The vast majority of ships are equipped with excellent fitness facilities: some are as cutting edge as any you can find on land.

On Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships, the fitness center is all about location: it’s top-deck forward, which provides fantastic views. Three spacious tiers of activity include free weights and weight machines; stationary bikes, treadmills and ellipticals; and a variety of fitness classes, including TRX suspension training. Oasis Class ships also have Gravity machines, which condition the body through Pilates and resistance training, and Kinesis walls, which use a pulley system. For a really fun workout, visit the ship’s climbing wall, ice skating rink, surf simulator or roller rink (on Quantum Class ships).

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Class ships offer 45-minute indoor cycling classes from Flywheel Sports to get your heart pumping. These bikes provide an upper-body workout, too, through the weighted bars attached to each bike. Norwegian also offers classes in the stretching and strengthening techniques used by the Rockettes, godmothers of the Norwegian Breakaway; high-intensity boxing classes; and an extensive Zumba dance fitness program. If you’d rather be outside, visit the top deck and try to master the more than 40 obstacles on the ropes course.

Windstar’s luxury yachts and small ships offer a different kind of fitness experience through their incredible water sports platforms. When open, these mini-marinas provide you with direct access to the sea. You can use a variety of floating mats, windsurfing boards, snorkeling equipment, kayaks and skiffs. The ship’s crew will even take you water skiing. While in port, you can also borrow one of the ship’s bikes to get some exercise while exploring on shore.

Check with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, to select a ship that has the kind of fitness facilities and classes you want, then sail away to an active vacation (along with a trip to the midnight buffet!).

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Monday, January 18, 2016

River Cruising is for Millennials, Too

If you’d like to take a cruise where the focus is on the sights and experiences waiting on shore, river cruising is a great choice. And, if you’ve stayed away from river cruising because you think it’s for age 55+ only, take another look.

It’s true that river cruises attracts mature cruise fans, for a variety of reasons. The ships are smaller and more intimate, with luxurious furnishings. Itineraries are often 14 days or more, and fares tend to be higher than ocean cruises of similar length. But, those characteristics certainly don’t exclude non-seniors: a luxurious, small-ship, inland cruise experience can be appreciated by people of any age!

Some aspects of river cruising can truly appeal to educated, globally aware, travel-loving millennials. River cruises take you away from tourist-oriented sea ports and into the interior for a close-up look at a region’s history, culture and daily life. On a river cruise, you can usually walk off the ship right into the heart of a city or town, and start exploring without delay.

Your days can be as active as you like, too. While you usually won’t find extreme adventures, like zip-lining or kayaking, there are sure to be lots of walking and hiking tours available. Many river cruise ships carry bikes for passenger use on shore, too. Plus, days without a port call are rare on river cruises; each day bring a new reason to get off the ship.

If you’ve checked river cruise prices in the past and have been discouraged, check again. River cruising is the fastest-growing segment of the cruise industry. The number of ships that cruise the rivers of the world increases each year, helping to keep fares in check. Plus, your river cruise fare may include more than you think. Beverages, internet access and even shore excursions are usually included in a river cruise fare.

So, where can you go on a river cruise? It’s a fantastic way to see Europe: there are cruises that sail through Russia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Eastern Europe, or Portugal. You can sail China’s Yangtze River, or see Southeast Asia via the Mekong. River cruise lines are beginning to offer adventures on India’s Ganges and the Peruvian portion of the Amazon, too.

To learn more about river cruises and find one that suits your millennial tastes and budget, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cruising in Chile

Nestled between the peaks of the Andes and South America’s Pacific Coast, blessed with diverse and stunning natural beauty, ports along the 2,653-mile length of Chile welcome cruise ships.

Valparaiso, a common port of embarkation or debarkation, is also the port for Chile’s capital, Santiago, about 70 miles inland. Some visitors bound for Santiago get lost in the charms of Valparaiso instead: it’s reminiscent of San Francisco, with dramatic hills and Victorian-style homes. Spend some time looking at artifacts from Chile’s Easter Island at the Fonck Museum, or take an excursion to the expansive beach resort at Vina Del Mar.

If you can tear yourself away from Valparaiso, the thriving city of Santiago and its distinctive neighborhoods await you. These include Centro, the oldest part of the city, and the Belle Artes neighborhood, with galleries, art museums and tempting boutiques. Visit San Cristobal for marvelous views of the city and mountains – the city zoo is there, too. And, don’t miss the main city square, the Plaza de Armas, with its grand Spanish Colonial buildings and lovely gardens.

Sailing south along the coast, your next stop may be Puerto Montt, a little piece of Bavaria on a Chilean mountainside. The lingering influence of German immigrants is evident in the architecture and cuisine. Puerto Montt is also a gateway to Chile’s Lake District, an exceptionally beautiful area of sparkling lakes, rushing rivers and impressive fjords. Visit Puerto Varas on Lake Llanquihue and enjoy the views of the Orsorno volcano; or, browse the charming shops and pubs of Pelluco Beach Resort.

The port of Punta Arenas is often cool blustery (to be expected that close to Cape Horn), but there are wonderful and unusual things to see, such as the sculpted cypress trees and ornate mausoleums of the City Cemetery. Also worth a visit are La Cruz Hill, which has panoramic views of the city and the Strait of Magellan, and the adorable penguins at one of the nearby reserves. For a truly spectacular experience, take a charter flight to scenic Torres del Paine National Park; some cruises offer day excursions to Antarctica, too.

Cruises that call on ports in Chile often sail around Cape Horn to visit Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, too. November to March – the South American summer – is the best time to go, so talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert soon.

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