The Birmingham Cruise Show will be taking place on Saturday 16th – Sunday 17th September at the NEC, Birmingham. Packed full of information and inspiration,  the show will bring together the leading cruise lines, specialists and holiday providers all under one roof.  A perfect opportunity to learn more about cruises, pick out a dream holiday and enjoy exclusive show-only special offers and deals, with over 28 cruise lines and partners in attendance. The show will also boast a host of celebrity speakers and global explorers all bursting with travel ideas and practical advice that’s bound to inspire and will provide the chance to soak up the holiday atmosphere with live music and a glass of fizz in the elegant new wine bar.

We’ve picked out a few of the more unique and quirky experiences you can have on board.

The Yoga Cruise:
With spectacular ocean views as a background, yoga classes take place in the open air, on Star Clippers’ ships’ sun-warmed teak decks, under thousands of square feet of billowing sails. The experience is the ultimate relaxation for body and soul, enhanced by the fresh sea air.

Taste the vegan delights:
Vegan travellers on Oceania Cruises‘ ships can experience the best of culinary diversity at sea as the cruise line debuts its biggest ever vegan menu offerings, along with the only cold-pressed raw juice and vegan smoothie bars at sea! The huge vegan menu, available at breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Grand Dining Room, features more than 250 dishes, with highlights including vegan tortilla, Thai red curry and Tuscan-style bean soup. Acai berry bowls, cold brew lattes and sweet green juice are also available in the Raw Juice and Smoothie Bar.

Explore the most extensive and rarest wine collection at sea on board Celebrity cruises. Along with one of the largest teams of sommeliers in the world, it is no surprise that Celebrity Cruises has won multiple awards for its approach to wine. Guests can educate their palate on a variety of shore excursions, taking in some of the leading wineries from 3rd century BC French vineyard Château de Crémat, to the Greek Argyros Estate which is ranked among the top 100 in the world, and the Torres Estate which is one of Spain’s most celebrated wine cellars. Wine aficionados will be spoilt for choice! For luxury accommodation to match the wine, look no further than the extravagant two-storey Edge Villas, boasting a spacious 700 square feet of split-level splendour with floor to ceiling windows, one bedroom, two bathrooms, plus a private plunge pool that overlooks the waves below.

Discover the ancient Inca Empire and the Peruvian rainforest in luxury:
Explore Lima’s colonial landmarks and unravel the secrets of the Sacred Valley of the Incas before heading to the magnificent Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Embark on a journey to one of the world’s most uninhabited regions, the mighty Amazon on Delfin III, one of the world’s most luxurious small ships. Take in scenes of Amazonian river local life from the ship and enjoy views of the largest rainforest on earth.

The ‘anti-cruise’ – see the wilder side of Norway:
Hurtigruten’s fleet of ships has been carrying freight, fish and Norwegian families up and down the coast for more than 100 years – and now tourists can tag along too! Nearly every day year-round, a Hurtigruten ship leaves the western city of Bergen for the 12-day odyssey and heads north. The ships churn past some of the world’s most remote, remarkable scenery, above the Arctic Circle, past UNESCO-honored island communities, through the icy Barents Sea and into Kirkenes, an energy boom town close to the Russian border. Then they head back south, plying a nautical highway that began in a limited way in 1893 and has continued ever since. Oil and gas workers, students, retirees and families are transported in both directions and tourists are welcome on the north, south or round-trip — as long as they understand the route doesn’t revolve around them!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans with Celebrity:
Are you ready for the party of your life? This fabulous Big Easy blow-out is one crazy celebration with the streets of New Orleans’ atmospheric French Quarter erupting with parties and parades. Stay and celebrate for three days in February and soak up the atmosphere before the Celebrity cruise ship sails around the Caribbean.

Get a front row seat to nature’s own mesmerising light show – the Northern Lights:
The unearthly beauty of the aurora borealis mesmerises all who stay or travel to the Polar Regions. One of the best chances of experiencing the Northern Lights is on a Hurtigruten voyage in the winter season. In fact, the cruise line is so confident that they have issued a Northern Lights Promise for 12-day voyages between October and February and they will send passengers out again for free the following winter if guests miss the phenomena the first time round! This is a great way to experience the magic of the Northern Lights while you enjoy a comfortable journey along over 780 miles of rugged Norwegian coastline.

Peruse an art gallery at sea:
The Seven Seas Explorer is commonly known as the most luxury ship ever built. A pair of Picassos flank the entrance to the Regent Suite, Mirós are in the Master Suites and a Chagall and two Picassos hang in the bar of the Prime 7 steak house. A priceless Weidemann is on the wall of the private dining room between Prime 7 and the French restaurant Chartreuse.

Southeast Asia River Cruising:
Be wowed by a magical themed gala dinner at Angkor Wat, the magnificent 12th Century World-Heritage listed temple complex and also the location of a once-in-a-lifetime Scenic Enrich event where guests can see a performance by Apsara dancers in a traditional Khmer experience in the ‘Treasures of the Mekong’ Scenic cruise. Breathe in the essence of South East Asia during the 13-day journey from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia on board Scenic Spirit.

¡Cuba Libre!
Hear specialist talks by Dr. Richard Beacham (FRSA, Professor Emeritus, King’s College London) on The Cuba Experience (I) itinerary. Cruise the coast of Cuba from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Havana in the capital, to Cienfuegos, ‘the Pearl of the South’, the city of Trinidad, and Santiago de Cuba, the nation’s second great metropolis and the birthplace of Bacardi. Then sail the Caribbean to the historic sugarcane port of Montego Bay in Jamaica.

Champagne, chateaux and cheese:
Cruise through Champagne country from Epernay to Paris along the scenic Marne. Enjoy five included tours as this six-night cruise calls at some of the most historic towns and cities en route to the capital, and offers passengers the chance to sample some of the local delicacies – Champagne being the drink of choice! An afternoon touring Paris and an overnight mooring provide a grand finale to the cruising experience.

Polar Regions
Polar Code: MS BREMEN becomes one of the first passenger ships in the world to receive the Polar Ship Certificate:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ four-star expedition cruise ship, the 155-passenger MS BREMEN has become one of the first passenger ships in the world to receive the Polar Ship Certificate which will be mandatory for ships operating in the Polar Regions. MS Bremen will be operating three international cruises during the 2018/2019 season, including sailing to the North-East Passage in the Summer of 2018, from Tromsø to Nome, stopping at Murmansk, Nowaja Semlja, Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, Cape Chelyuskin, New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Islands, Kolyuchin Island, and the remote Chukchi Peninsula.

Travel an epic 1,200 miles along the Danube:
Take in the sights of Europe with unforgettable highlights including seven countries (Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania) and five world famous capital cities (Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Belgrade and Bucharest). Cruise through the ‘Iron Gates’, the imposing gorge where the Danube breaks through the Carpathian Mountains. Journey to kilometre zero, at the estuary of the Danube where it meets the Black Sea, a visit to the Danube Delta and amazing wildlife and scenery will remain unforgettable experiences. The trip is rounded off by a stay in Bucharest, the legendary Romanian capital, packed full of history and tradition.

Explore the ‘Russian Versailles’:
Visit the Petershof, also known as Petrodvorets, the ‘Russian Versailles’, a former imperial palace and one of the most dazzling and largest of the residences of the Court of the Russian Tsars, on a CroisiEurope shore excursion. Its terraced garden features four cascades and 144 magnificent fountains. The construction of the palace and pavilions, the laying out of the grounds, the installation of the fountains were the work of the greatest architects of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sail along the Rhine in Flames:
The famous Rhine River comes alive every summer with a stunning display of fireworks set to music that explodes into the skies above Germany’s Rhine Gorge each July. Admire the magnificent pyrotechnical displays from on board the MPS Da Vinci as the Rhine is bathed in magical light from countless fireworks, and the spectacular scenery along the river is brought to life.‎

Ballet Cruise:
Guests will have the unique opportunity to enjoy dancing by ballet stars from the most renowned theatres in the world. Be transported into the magical world of ballet during two exclusive onboard performances by soloists from L’Opéra de Paris and the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.

Learn a new skill:
Guests can spend two weeks on the fabled Yangtze River to explore the wonders of China. Discover cosmopolitan Shanghai, imperial Beijing and the Terra Cotta Army. On Viking River Cruises’ Imperial Jewels of China cruise, guests can immerse themselves in a ‘culture curriculum’ by learning basic Chinese and honing their tai-chi skills.

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