What drives your passion for cruising?
Rebecca: I've always been attracted to water and travelling, so cruising was an obvious choice. Also, and it's been said a million times before, but you simply cannot beat gliding into a new port every day, decadent drinking and dining on board, champagne sailaways and not having to book a cab home!
Karen: I’m also obsessed with water – I’ve lived in two harbours, on the River Thames and now have a house by the beach on the south coast – and so cruising was the ultimate holiday choice for me and my family. Where else can you have a sundowner on deck, Michelin-star level dinner, watch a theatre show and then be rocked to sleep by the waves. I also love the ever-changing view from my stateroom window without having to unpack more than once.
What's your most memorable cruise and why?
Rebecca: That's a tricky one, as in my opinion every cruise is unforgettable, but I'll go with my Indian Ocean sailing on Azamara Quest in early 2020 - not only was the itinerary a dream, but I also met some lovely people from Australia and the US who I'm still in touch with today.
Karen: Can I have more than one? I can’t choose between a cruise around the Middle East on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2, one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships with a limited-edition Damien Hirst piece of art in the penthouse suite, where I was pampered from dawn to dusk, or interviewing the legendary war photographer Steve McCurry onboard Silversea’s Silver Spirit cruising to Norway. He’s famous for Afghan Girl but ended up taking photographs of my daughter. Surreal!
Where are you planning to cruise next when cruising restarts?
Rebecca: I'm doing two nights in UK waters on the new Tradewind Voyages' ship Golden Horizon in July; as for overseas, I'm hoping to get to Greece for a small ship sailing with Variety Cruises later this year, and possibly a Caribbean cruise with SeaDream early next year.
Karen: I’d be happy to go anywhere as I’ve missed cruising so much but a trip along the Mississippi on an American Steamboat Cruise would be a dream. I’ve always loved those Paddlewheeler ships and could ‘pop in’ to see Elvis Presley’s Graceland home. I’ve been saving up during lockdown.
What itineraries/areas of cruise do you think will be the most popular over the coming years?
Rebecca: The ever-popular Mediterranean and Caribbean will continue to be in demand, but also further-flung destinations such as Asia and Australia. I think that bucket-list voyages, luxury expedition and yacht style sailings will see an increase in enquiries, possibly as people seek out smaller ships with more space on board.
Karen: Everyone’s missed travelling so much during the pandemic that they’re now prepared to splash out on their dream cruises. Adventure and expedition cruises as well as exotic locations will all be popular, along with World Cruises once the vaccination programmes kick in globally, but I think we’ll see the rise of the mini-cruise, too. We’ll all be taking as many holidays at sea as we can to make up for lost time.