Cruising with the Oscars
By Lynn Houghton | 22 Feb 2013
The 85th Academy Awards take place this Sunday in Hollywood, and the nominations for this year’s Best Films bring some incredible destinations into sharp focus. If you’ve been inspired to visit one of the fabulous locations shown on the big screen, here are 10 fantastic Oscars-inspired cruises.
Stephen Spielberg’s epic Civil War film focuses on the 16th President of the U.S., Abraham Lincoln (played by Daniel Day Lewis), and has a pivotal scene shot inside the ‘Dixie Belle’ River Boat when the Confederates and Unionists meet to talk peace.
Take a cruise along the Mississippi River on the American Queen, a traditional River steam boat. This vital artery cuts through ten U.S. states before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Anticipate old fashioned showboat style entertainment in the Grand Saloon.
Departing 4 December, 2013, Avalon Waterway’s 13 day ‘Music City to the Big Easy’ itinerary is priced from £3,699pp and includes 2 nights Nashville, 1 night in Memphis and overnight in New Orleans, return flights, airport transfers. To book: T 0800 668 1901 or visit www.avaloncruises.co.uk
2) The Life of Pi
Ang Lee’s spiritual film is based on Yann Martel’s story of a young Indian boy, the son of a zookeeper from Pondicherry, India, who becomes shipwrecked and is adrift in the Pacific Ocean with a hyena, zebra, orangutan and Bengal tiger. The film has already won awards for its 3D special effects and a nod from the London Film Critics for Ang Lee’s superb direction.
In the story, the boy is shipwrecked far off of the coast of Japan before ultimately being rescued after 227 days at sea. In 2014, experience Compagnie du Ponant’s luxury eight night cruise on Le Soléal around Japan and discover this amazing island with its kaleidoscope of traditions. Visit Toyko with its frenetic and furious pace and also Osaka, the new beating heart of Japan.
Departing on 15 October, 2013, eight night Otaru to Osaka cruise from £1,882pp excluding return flights and transfers but including wine with meals. To book: T 0800 980 4027 or visit www.ponant.com
3) Les Miserables
Victor Hugo’s dramatic political novel, made into a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil and now transformed into an major motion picture; Les Miserables has been nominated in the best picture category by the Academy. Film buffs can head to Paris to sample the city’s history and culture visiting the Eiffel Tower, the famous Louvre Museum and partaking in that most traditional of Parisienne activities; sipping café au lait at street side cafés along the Champs Elysees.
Departing on 2 May 2013, join Independence of the Seas from Southampton on a two-night Paris cruise from £199pp. Price includes meals and entertainment on-board and taxes/fees. To book: T 0844 493 2061 or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk
4) Zero Dark Thirty
Billed as “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man”, Zero Dark Thirty is a historical drama directed by Katherine Bigelow. The film is a dramatization of the United States operation that found and killed Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Queda. Though the setting is Pakistan, the film was actually made on location in Chandigarh, India.
On a Tales of India and Arabia Voyages of Discovery cruise visit ports of call in India including the birthplace of Ghandi in Porbandar (India) and UNESCO listed Elephanta Caves near Mumbai. Also visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, Khasab, Oman as well as Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Departing on 3 December, 2013, 17 night cruise with prices from £2,239pp including return flights from the UK, overseas transfers, on board gratuities and taxes. To book: T 0843 221 8499 or visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com
Ben Affleck directs this thriller about a CIA agent who helps six Americans to escape house arrest in Iran by training them to act as a feature film crew. It has garnered critical acclaim for Ben Affleck’s first outing as a director and won the BAFTA for best film and best director.
Though the film’s location cannot be visited on a cruise, Arabian ports of call on this seven night MSC cruise share the Persian Gulf with Iran. Musendam is only 30 miles from Iran and a cruise on a Dhow through its fjords is a must-do excursion. Khor al Fakkan is the perfect gateway to discover desert dunes and typical wadis.
Departing on 1 December 2013, prices from £329pp seven night cruise on MSC Lirica excluding return flights. London return flights available on request from £490pp. To book: T 0844 561 1955 or visit www.msccruises.co.uk
6) Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O Russell, Silver Linings Playbook is about Pat who suffers from bi-polar disorder, and his return home from a mental institution. The film revolves around Pat father’s lost bet on a Philadelphia Eagles game that can be won back if Pat and friend, Tiffany, score 5 in a dance competition.
Though most cruise ships do not sail up the Delaware Bay to Philadelphia, cruise aficionados can certainly visit the home of American Independence at the beginning or at the end of a cruise from NYC as it is a short train ride away.
Departing on 23 May 2013, with prices from £2,440pp for Crystal Cruises’ 12 night North Atlantic Explorer itinerary on the Crystal Symphony visits NYC, Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Bar Harbour, Maine, Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Reykjavik, Iceland. To book: T 0207 287 9040 or 0207 399 7601 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk
This introspective film about an octogenarian couple affected by the wife’s stroke is set in Paris. In a triumphant return to the screen, Emmanuelle Riva plays half of a cultivated couple who are retired piano teachers and whose lives are turned upside by tragedy.
On an eight day Viking River Cruises journey, the Viking Pride sails from picturesque Paris, and through breath taking Normandy visiting Rouen, Les Andelys, Giverny and Conflans.
Departures in October 2013, prices from £1,195pp including return economy flights, wine, beer and soft drinks on board, guided tours, French lessons, airport transfers. To book: T 020 8780 7995 or visit www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk
8) Django Unchained
Django Unchained takes place in the pre-Civil War Deep South and is about an escaped slave returning to the plantation where he was captive to free his wife. In this brutal, revenge motivated Western, Quentin Tarantino delivers another violent film about America’s unpalatable past.
Regent Seven Seas offers an 11 night cruise that visits Savannah, Georgia famous for sprawling plantations, mansions and anti-bellum homes. Charleston, North Carolina is also on the itinerary and is dripping with traditional Southern charm; its stately homes, leafy patios and hidden gardens worth seeing in a horse-drawn carriage.
Departing 11 April, 2013, 11 night cruise with prices from £3,799pp including return flights, transfers, shore excursions, free beverages including wine and spirits, gratuities and mini-bar. To book: T 02380 682 280 or visit www.rccs.com
9) Beasts of the Southern Wild
A lyrical film set in a Louisiana Bayou at the time of Hurricane Katrina, a flood-threatened US town, called the Bathtub, sets the scene for a battle of survival for six-year-old Hushpuppy and her father.
Sail from the Port of New Orleans for a Gulf of Mexico adventure. Be sure to arrive a day early to explore the famous French Quarter and try out Cajun cookin’ at its best.
Departing on 14th September 2013, this nine night Western Caribbean fly cruise on the Carnival Conquest is from £1,319pp excluding return flights but including airport transfers. To book: T 0843 374 2272 or visit www.carnival.co.uk
‘No’ – Best Foreign Film
Story is based in Chile during the reign of tyrant Pinochet; an agency is nominated to come up with a clever marketing campaign to boost voting in the democratic elections to get the dictator ousted. Pablo Larrain, the film’s director said the story struck a chord with him, “Dictators are not usually ousted through democratic elections and this is a profoundly human story, which is resolved through things that have to do more with beauty than with horror.”
Take a cruise on the MV Stella Australis along Chile’s amazingly diverse coastline with its icy fjords and rugged mountains, especially exciting for nature buffs. In the far south magnificent glaciers, deep blue lakes and thousands of islands remain today as enticing and fascinating as they were to Magellan, Drake and Darwin
Departing on 12 January 2014, 16 night cruise with prices from £5,295pp including international and domestic flights, ten night’s accommodation, excursions and tours, English speaking local guides, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes. Price does not include gratuities and visas. To book: T 0207 752 0000 or visit www.noble-caledonia.co.uk