Cruise holidays are becoming more and more popular in the UK, responsible for one in eight holiday bookings. While once thought of as simply “floating holiday camps”, cruise trips now vary wildly, and companies like MSC Cruises offer deals taking you anywhere from the sunny climes of the Rhone to the breathtaking frozen paradise of the Antarctic. There’s so much to do that you can be certain of entertainment from morning until nightfall, and without the Carry-On stereotype you might have seen! Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect from a modern-day cruise holiday:


Cruises can take you quite literally around the world, stopping off at ports in every continent, or you can pick a specific destination – there are so many available that it really is up to you. To put all cruise holidays under one umbrella would be too simple; instead, consider the type of holiday you’re looking for, and find a cruise to fit. A trip to China or India is the ideal way to discover different cultures and enjoy a more educational trip, which sun-lovers might wish to sail down to the Bahamas or around the Mediterranean coast.


Nowhere other than on a cruise are you able to learn so much about your destinations without vast amounts of independent research! As more culture-lovers take to cruise exploration, you’ll find that while the ship is at sea you can enjoy language and history classes about the area of the world you’re visiting, giving you all the time you could need to learn about each port’s past and present achievements before you set foot on its shores. Other courses are also available for those who like to keep an active mind, from cooking lessons by local guest chefs to antiques seminars by regional experts.


Everything you could possibly need to keep you entertained is available on a cruise holiday. Lie back on a deckchair by the pool and enjoy a favourite book; attend dance recitals and performances in the ship’s theatres; enjoy a spa day and pampering session; or try your hand at a blackjack table. Most cruise operators offer fantastic kids’ facilities, too, to ensure that if you want an afternoon free to attend an art auction – or enjoy a quick mojito on the sun deck – you can do so safe in the knowledge that the kids are having as good a time as you are!


The food on cruise ships varies but is generally thought to be some of the best you’ll find on a holiday, and since it’s all covered by the price of your tour you really can tuck in throughout the day – and hit the on-board gym if you feel the need! With a huge range of restaurants aboard many ships, you can eat what you want, when you want – none of the “all-in-together” communal dining times that blighted the cruise ships of the old days! You may also find plenty of cooking classes, a great opportunity to try something totally different, or enjoy the expert cuisine of the professionals – anybody from Asian chefs to chocolatiers could be present, so look out for any chance to get involved!