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

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cruising to a UNESCO World Heritage Site


When your cruise sails to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s an automatic must-see. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated more than 1,000 sites around the world that are considered irreplaceable due to their outstanding cultural or natural importance.
Here are just a few of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites you can visit on a cruise:

The Amazon
The Amazon River and its massive drainage basin in and around northern Brazil is one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. It teems with wildlife like electric fish, giant otters, black caimans and freshwater dolphins, and colorful flora. Some cruises of the Caribbean include the eastern portion of the Amazon, but you can also find cruises that focus solely on the famous river.

Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay National Park, a highlight of many cruises of Alaska’s Inside Passage, protects sensitive marine ecosystems and ancestral homelands of the Tlingit people. About 80% of visitors arrive via cruise ship – the best way to watch tidewater glaciers calve new icebergs into the bay.

Acropolis of Athens
This ancient citadel above the capital of Greece is populated with historically important buildings. The Parthenon is the best known but there are remains of other structures of classical Doric and Ionic design. Many cruise ships visit Athens on itineraries that include the Greek Isles or ports along the Adriatic coast.

Great Barrier Reef
The world’s largest living organism stretches more than 1,400 miles just off the coast of Queensland, Australia. In addition to beautiful corals, the reef supports many species of fish, sea snakes, marine turtles, sponges, dugongs, dolphins, whales and sea birds. Look for a cruise itinerary that stops at the Whitsunday Islands. From there, you can take glass-bottom boat, snorkeling or diving tours of the reef.

Komodo National Park
Up to 10 feet long and weighing up to 300 pounds, the world’s largest lizard – the impressive Komodo dragon – dominates the ecosystem of Komodo National Park, which includes three of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands. The rugged and beautiful islands are also home to water buffalo, unusual birds and adorable civets. You can visit the park on a variety of Indonesian cruises, some departing from Australian ports.

There are so many more UNESCO World Heritage sites you can cruise to – talk about the possibilities with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Cruise Among the Fjords of Norway



The coastline of Norway, decorated with fjords and waterfalls, is dramatic and exciting. It’s a different type of cruise experience and a spectacular alternative to cruises of Southeastern Alaska.

Several ice ages helped to carve the Norwegian coastline with deep, U-shaped valleys. When the ice melted, these glacial valleys filled with water, forming the deep, breathtaking fjords you can sail among today.

With a wide variety of itinerary lengths and ship types – mainstream, premium, luxury and expedition – you have lots of choices for cruising Norway. To start, many people choose a 7- to 10-day cruise that focuses on the fjords along the southern third of the coast. Options for cruise lines include Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC and others. To maximize your time among the fjords, look for a cruise that departs from Oslo or Bergen and visits ports like Stavanger, Geiranger, Alesund and Flam.

If you’d like to sail further north, check out itineraries from Hurtigruten. This Norway-based line has amazing itineraries that will take you beyond the Arctic Circle to the wonders of Tromso and the North Cape, prime areas for incredible northern lights viewing. This line has ships specially designed to sail up narrow fjords and into small ports.

If you can tear your eyes away from the scenery, choose from shore excursions that will take you hiking or kayaking, shopping for woolen goods, learning the history and culture of Norway or tasting local foods like brunost cheese and golden cloudberries.

You can also visit Norway on a cruise that will take you to other Northern European countries, combining your fjord viewing with port visits in northern Germany, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and the British Isles. Some cruises that include Norway also venture west to the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

As one of the world’s northernmost countries, July and August is the most popular time to cruise Norway, but you can go as early as May and as late as September. The summer days are long – in the port of Bergen, the sun is up nearly 18 hours a day during the summer solstice, giving you more time to soak up the views.

To plan your Norwegian cruise adventure, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

A Cruise Ship May be Closer Than You Think

Where can you set sail aboard a cruise ship? Most of us are familiar with the biggest cruise ship home ports, including New York, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Los Angeles. But there are more options, including some that may allow you to drive, instead of fly, to your ship. By some estimates, about half of U.S. residents live within driving distance of a cruise ship. Home ports also typically offer fun opportunities for a pre- or post-cruise stay.

Here is a list of cruise departure ports you may not be aware of:

In the northeast: 
Baltimore, MD: Board a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship bound for Bermuda, Canada or the Bahamas.

Boston, MA: Sail to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, or the New England and Canadian coast with Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises or Royal Caribbean.

Montreal, QC: From the cruise terminal in Old Montreal, sail with Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises and others down the St. Lawrence River to Maritime Canada and New England, or south as far as South America.

In the south:
Port Canaveral, FL: A quick drive from Orlando, this port provides an opportunity for a combined amusement park-and-cruise vacation. You can sail Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian to the Bahamas and all points in the Caribbean.

Tampa, FL: Tampa offers a nice selection of short cruises to Cozumel or the Bahamas, plus longer cruises of the Western Caribbean via Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Holland America.

New Orleans, LA, or Galveston, TX: Drivable for many residents of the south-central U.S., both ports offer cruises to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Costa Maya, the Cayman Islands or Jamaica on a Disney or Royal Caribbean ship.

On the West Coast:

San Diego, CA: From San Diego, hop on a ship from Crystal Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises or others to sail to the Mexican Riviera, South America, Hawaii or the South Pacific.

San Francisco, CA: This is another place to begin a cruise to Mexico or Hawaii or sail north to see the Pacific Northwest or Southeastern Alaska. Cruise lines include Princess, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania.

Seattle, WA, or Vancouver, BC: These ports are best known for cruises to Alaska on Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess and Celebrity ships.

To discuss drive-to options for your next cruise, talk with Anita, your travel professional.

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Cruise to the Galapagos Islands


The Galapagos Islands have become an incredibly popular cruise destination and it’s no wonder. These small, volcanic islands are like no place else on earth. A remote province of Ecuador, which lies 550 miles to the east, the islands teem with wildlife found nowhere else on the globe. They are a World Heritage Site, a biological marine reserve, and a national park. In other words, a real treasure.

A small-ship cruise is an ideal way to visit these special islands. A luxurious ship provides easy movement between the islands, along with comfortable accommodations and exceptional dining. There are cruises as brief as four days and some as long as 18 days, which usually includes a pre-or post-cruise stay in Ecuador. To see a good variety of Galapagos habitats and species, experts recommend a cruise of at least eight days.

Cruise ship routes in the Galapagos are carefully controlled for the protection and preservation of the islands’ unique ecologies, but there are variations between itineraries. Be sure to compare carefully before you choose.

Guided shore excursions will help you fully experience the islands. Wear your sturdy walking or hiking shoes and bring your camera. You may be able to capture photos of:

Marine iguanas, the only type of iguana that forages for food in the sea.
Darwin’s finches, with species that vary in subtle ways from one island to another.
Blue-footed boobies, which have bright-blue feet they show off when courting.
Giant tortoises, versions of which used to roam most of the earth, however, now, the Galapagos are one of only two places on earth that you’ll find them.
Flightless cormorants, the only type of cormorant that has lost the ability to fly (although, with their small wings, they swim well).
Galapagos penguins, the world’s only tropical penguin.

You can sail to the islands at any time of year, but you may prefer one or the other of two main seasons:

December through May, the weather is warm (high 80s during the day) with sporadic rain and calm water.
June through November, the weather is a bit cooler and more comfortable for hiking (high 70s during the day), with little rain. A change in ocean currents means that the water, while rarely rough, may be choppy.

To plan your cruise to the Galapagos – one of the world’s most distinctive destinations – talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Crossing the Atlantic


Does the idea of crossing the entire expanse of the Atlantic Ocean tickle your imagination? If so, talk with your professional travel advisor to explore the options for a transatlantic cruise.


These ocean crossings are truly special. With a string of consecutive days at sea, a transatlantic cruise can put the stresses of everyday life into perspective, reminding you of the vastness and beauty of the ocean and our world.

You’ll be away from the pressures of home and work and the noise of social media, if you choose. You won’t even need to worry about what to see on shore each day. You’ll have time to enjoy all the amenities of the ship (spas and swimming pools, deck games and more), to curl up with a good book for a whole day (or longer), to relax on a deck chair and simply watch the changing colors and moods of the ocean, and to try out every dining venue on board.

A transatlantic cruise also provides time to get to know your fellow passengers and make new friends. Cruise lines often schedule special guest lectures and learning sessions, giving everyone something interesting to talk about at dinner.

Some transatlantic cruises are repositioning cruises, which means the cruise line is repositioning the ship from one part of the world to another. For example, some ships sail the Caribbean through the winter, then reposition across the Atlantic to sail Europe during the summer. These cruises range from about 11 to 20 nights or more, often visiting lovely ports at the beginning or end of the cruise, or both. To provide just two examples:

A crossing from Miami to Barcelona would take about 15 days and may stop in the Azores, Lisbon, and Majorca.

A ship that’s repositioning from Copenhagen might sail for about 20 days, with stops in London, Ireland, and Bermuda before reaching Miami.

There are also transatlantic cruises that are not for the purpose of repositioning a ship. Some cruise lines offer itineraries that regularly cross the Atlantic. For example, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 crosses the Atlantic from Southampton, England, to New York at least once a month from April through November with voyages typically lasting six days.

Transatlantic sailings tend to provide excellent value, with costs per day as little as $50 per person – with all the relaxation and pampering you’ve dreamed of.

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