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Cruise control: 5 top cruises for 2015

With 2015 seeing the launch of a number of outstanding new cruise ships and the opening of new routes making some of the world’s most remote places substantially more reachable, this year is not one to miss on the cruising calendar. Whether you’re a cruising first-timer or seasoned expert, here are five cruises you can’t miss out on in 2015. Erica Bush jumps on board…

Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity Cruise Ship in Lisbon © Gary Bembridge

The Brittania

With the spectacular launch of their new flagship in March, P&O’s Brittania is set to be a popular option for 2015. The biggest of P&O’s cruise ship fleet, Brittania has been labelled ‘the Nation’s ship’ after being named by her majesty the Queen herself. The vessel is a family friendly ship and, having won Best Family Cruise Line for the last two years, P&O are certainly a safe bet if you are travelling with the family. The ship offers a free on board programme for 2-17 year olds called ‘The Reef’ offering age-specific activities provided by qualified and experienced staff. There is also a night nursery until 2am and, a first for P&O’s fleet, a deck and pool specifically designed for teenagers. But the kids don’t have all the fun, on board there is plenty to do for the adults including a cookery school with celebrity chefs such as Marco Pierre White, an extensive spa and gym, dance and art classes, cinema screenings, shopping and plenty more.

Viking Star

The Viking Star is Viking Cruises’ first ocean-going ship after being the leading fleet in river cruises. The vessel is now setting off on her maiden season of 2015 and is set to be an exciting edition for cruising fans. Labelled as a ship of comfort and culture, the Viking Star boasts a beautiful infinity pool, a serene ‘Wintergarden’ perfect for afternoon tea, a Spa complete with Nordic traditions, a library, restaurants that include locally-sourced ingredients and more alfresco dining than any other ship at sea, all while using the latest green technology. And with only 930 guests on board, the size of this small vessel means she can dock in prime locations such as Venice, Athens, Istanbul.

Alaska

With Alaska’s cruise season officially kicking off in May, spring is the time to book a cruise in this wonderful area of the world. Alaskan cruises are becoming more and more popular due to its wild open spaces that are home to an array of flora and fauna and snow-capped mountains, glaciers and fjords. And with over 25 cruise ships currently travelling to Alaska from May-September, passengers definitely have choices ranging from high end to lower budget.

Mini-cruising

If spending a week or two at sea isn’t for you, how about trying a mini-cruise for 2015? Although short in duration, a mini-cruise offers you great value for money and the ability to pack a lot in to a short space of time. MSC Cruises are a great bet to go with, offering maximum style for less, with prices starting from just £29 per person. Destinations include France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Loire Cruises

An area previously unreachable by cruise ship, the Loire River in France boasts beautiful scenery rich in cultural heritage. CroisiEurope’s latest edition to their fleet is the MS Loire Princesse and, using innovative technology, will now be the first cruise vessel with cabins to cruise along the Loire. The ship will use an ancient technique – the paddle wheel – which will enable it to navigate shallow waters and travel overnight. This exciting outing begins in April and will offer six and eight day cruises at infamously fair CroisiEurope prices.

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