Remote, rugged and starkly beautiful, Iceland is a country where nature unashamedly calls the shots, and a cruise is one of the best ways to see it. Visitors can taste true wilderness at its most unadulterated in a tempestuous landscape that beats to the island’s volcanic pulse with steaming hot springs, vast smouldering lava fields,...

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The Metropol Parasol installation in Seville on the Costa del Sol The Costa del Sol, Spain’s sunniest corner, stretches out along the southern coastline of Andalucia. For centuries, the whole region was under Moorish occupation, the legacy of which remains today in glorious mosques, palaces, gardens and fortresses. As such, some of Spain’s biggest attractions are accessed from ports along the Costa del Sol. The Alhambra...

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The twin crater lakes of Caldeira das Sete Cidades in Sao Miguel Several cruise ships feature calls at the Azores during their repositioning cruises between the Caribbean and Europe in the spring and in the other direction in the autumn. This remote archipelago west of Portugal is a legendary staging post for sailing ships attempting to cross the Atlantic. White-washed houses plus 17th and 18th century convents...

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People relaxing in the stunning winter garden area on-board Queen Victoria at sunset Fresh out of the shipyard following a £34m refit in spring 2017, Cunard’s Queen Victoria is looking stunning, sporting redesigned staterooms and suites, a beautiful new restaurant, new bars and a vast expanse of enlarged teak deck. Yet the ship retains a real traditional elegance with a plush Victoriana theme throughout – glittering chandeliers, a...

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The main pool area on-board MSC Meraviglia in the sunshine Like its legendary godmother Sophia Loren, MSC Meraviglia is full of show-stopping style that gives more than a nod to her Italian heritage. Christened in a firework-filled celebration in May at the Channel port of Le Havre, which was celebrating its 500th anniversary, MSC’s new flagship is no shrinking violet. I loved the bold, blingy designs...

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The scientific Activity Centre on-board MS Roald Amundsen Although it is best known for its year-round service up and down the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten is also a growing force in the world of expedition cruises. MS Finnmarken in Geirangerfjord The company has been in business since 1893, operating ships between Bergen and Kirkenes, carrying passengers, cars and freight and stopping at every tiny...

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A guest whizzing down a waterslide on-board Disney Dream Disney Dream is more floating wonderland than cruise ship; a sea-going version of Disney’s famous theme parks filled to the funnels with enchanting touches. But while pixie dust has been liberally sprinkled throughout, Disney must be applauded for not going overboard. The nautical decor is surprisingly tasteful, and while this is the ultimate family-friendly cruise...

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