Julie Peasgood is a TV presenter, travel expert and Contributing Editor for Cruise International
Q. Can you recommend some destinations for a cruise-and-stay holiday?
A. Cruise-and-stay holidays can offer the best of both worlds, especially if you’re seeking a lot of variety. You have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful cruise combined with an action-packed city break before or after you sail – or you can relax in a beachfront hotel and get to know a destination fully, before embarking on further adventures on board. Top of the list of my recommendations is an Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Solstice, starting with a two-night stay in the charming, innovative city of Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks and known as the Emerald City because of its widespread evergreens. The elegant, trendsetting Solstice then explores the awe-inspiring glaciers and wildlife of Alaska for a week, before docking again in Seattle to experience two nights on an Amtrak train through the ‘Wild West’ to Chicago, and a further two nights in that dynamic city. Families, however, may prefer the itinerary offered by Disney Cruise Line, courtesy of Virgin Holidays, which incorporates a shorter sailing on Disney Dream around the Bahamas with a holiday at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – a verdant tropical wonder world at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Carnival’s Victory cruises to Key West and Mexico, with six nights soaking up the sun, shops and nightlife of Miami, while Thomson offers a wealth of cruise and stay breaks in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.