SUZIE SEAWORTHY’S CRUISING PEOPLE’S VOTE
One of the first things you learn as a sailor is that you don’t get far with no wind in your sails trying to run head-on into a spring tide. Seems like that’s the last thing you learn as a Prime Minister. My cat Mrs. Nelson’s got more chance of purring into the ear of that Michel Barnstormer and talking him into doing the Hokey Cokey, turning around and changing course.
WE NEED CAPTAIN SENSIBLE STEERING THE SHIP
The fact is that our nation has a great nautical heritage and time and again it has been seafaring folk that have pulled her out of the doo-doo when it all seemed to be going down the heads. So my heads-up on the situation is this – let cruising folk, those most level headed of Brits, decide!’ A sensible idea I’m sure you’ll agree and what could be fairer?
YOUR VOTE COUNTS
So here’s my plan. Those good folk at Seafarer World HQ (strange that it’s just off the North Circular, but needs must I suppose) have agreed to put together a completely anonymous online poll. All you have to do is cast your vote, they’ll give me the results and I’ll pop down to Chequers and tell the PM what to do about it all over an elderflower G&T or two.
IN, OUT, OR SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT
IN – if you voted today you’d vote to remain.
OUT – if you voted today you’d vote for a hard and fast Brexit, let’s stop fannying around, bite the bullet, stop talking, cut to the chase, make no bones about it and get the deed done.
SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT – this is a fluffy sort of middle category for those who think we should get out but want the feeling that they’re still in. A sort of ‘Marie Antoinette vote’ of keep your hands off our Bath Buns but let us eat your cake too. Personally, I’m very partial to a nice slice of Battenburg.
There’s one more question and that’s asking you if, knowing what you know now about the mythical tales told from the NHS Battle Bus, or for any other reason, you have changed your mind since the original plebiscite. Hokey Cokey?
Will Brexit Affect My Holiday?
Many of our customers have already booked their yacht cruise holiday with Seafarer for 2019, but whether you have booked or are considering booking with us, we know that many of you have questions or concerns about the implications of Brexit for your travel plans from March 29th 2019 when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.
As we all know only too well from the daily bombardment with news on this topic from the media, negotiations and the parliamentary process are still on-going and the final outcome remains unclear.
However, there have been some very clear reassurances from both the European Commission and the UK government on crucial questions around whether flights will operate, whether visas will be required and a number of other issues of concern to holidaymakers.
This short guide aims to answer these questions for you.
Questions & Answers
What happens if flights have to be cancelled in a ‘no deal’ scenario ?
The European Commission and the UK government have made clear statements that flying will continue as normal even in a ‘no deal’ scenario, with current reciprocal rights simply being extended until a replacement deal is in place.
If you feel in any way insecure about this, we strongly recommend you book the full package with us, to enjoy ATOL protection for the full flight inclusive holiday package in the event of any disruption.
What happens if my Holiday has to be cancelled ?
The situation after the 29th March will be no different to what applies today, if your holiday has to be cancelled by us for whatever reason.
In the very rare instance that we have to cancel your holiday, you will have the choice of either accepting a comparable holiday from us or accepting the cancellation and receiving a full refund plus compensation as specified in our terms and conditions of booking.
Will I need a visa to travel to EU countries after 29th March ?
The information announced by both the EU and UK authorities is that no visas will be required at least up to the end of the planned transition period up to the end of 2020 for British citizens travelling to EU and Schengen area counties. This includes popular Seafarer destinations like Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Will I need a new passport to Travel to the EU after 29th March ?
For British citizens, you will need at least 6 months validity on your passport on the day your holiday ends. You can check passport validity requirements and additional information on the following government website link: EU Travel passport info.
Will the cost of my holiday increase if Sterling devalues against the Euro ?
For early bookers (before 29th March), thanks to Seafarer’s price guarantee, we will not impose any surcharges and we guarantee to honour the price confirmed to you at the time of booking. This guarantee is in addition to our best price guarantee, since on a like for like comparison, should you find the holiday cheaper elsewhere, we will beat that price. This guarantee applies to flotilla, beach club, cabin charter and learn to sail holidays operated by Seafarer. The no surcharge guarantee applies to the full package, whilst The price-match guarantee applies to the cruise only element of your booking excluding any flights or land arrangements.
Will my European Health Insurance Card still be valid in the EU after Brexit?
European Health Cards issued by the UK will no longer be valid in the event of a no-, deal Brexit and you may be refused treatment in public hospitals within the EU. However it has been specified that your card will be valid during the transition period should an agreement be ratified in time. Furthermore, it is most likely that countries like Greece, Croatia, France and Spain, will revert to the reciprocal arrangements with the UK that used to apply before EU membership.
Given this uncertainty and in line with ABTA advise, it is a requirement that you take out travel insurance at the time of booking. For more info on our recommended travel insurance click on the following link: TopSail Travel Insurance
If you already have an annual travel insurance policy, this is usually adequate though it is worth checking your cover once you have booked.
Will roaming charges increase once we leave the EU?
At present, mobile telephone call and messaging cost, as well as data usage costs whilst travelling in the EU are the same as the UK. In a ‘no deal’ scenario, these rules will no longer apply, though it will be at the discretion of your phone service provider to decide whether to continue to honour these tariffs. Your service provider is obliged to advise you of any tariff changes in advance.
For more information on the above and other topics like driving and car hire in the EU, you may also wish to consult the advice provided by ABTA on this link:
ABTA Brexit travel advice
Visit Iceland in the summer months, the perfect season to sight humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and indigenous species.
Panorama loves to seduce her select 49 guests with her classic lines and wood panelled lounges redefining what yachting was meant to be. An ample spacious lounge and dining areas decorated with warm colours, rich library and two decks for sunbathing, shaded areas and outdoor bar and loungers are just some of the elements that define her essence. Enjoy a moment to yourself in our ample deck space, or retreat to one of our 24 ocean view cabins all offering windows or portholes. Panorama’s experienced crew of 18 is trained with hospitality at heart to pamper her guests and guarantee the ultimate home away from home experience.
- Godafoss – the waterfall of the Gods
- The thermal springs at Geysir
- Iceland’s most picturesque harbour of Siglufjordur
- The striking geothermal field of Namaskard
- The tiny fishing village of Grundafjordur
- The Maritime & Heritage Museum in Isafjordur
- The Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik
- The Atlantic puffin birds with over 10 million individuals in Iceland
Did you know?
- Iceland was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans
- A majority of Icelanders believe in elves
- The tallest tree in Iceland, a sitka spruce planted in 1949, is over 27 meters (89 feet) high
Simos Bakas – Sales Manager
+44 (0) 208 324 3118 +44 (0) 7960204264
For two departures only and after popular demand we have extended our Cuba cruise to the south with a 7 night cruise from Cienfuegos to Santiago de Cuba and the reverse.
Combine each of these two itineraries, with our standard seven night from Havana to Cienfuegos or the reverse, to have a 14-night, full-blown Cuba cruise from Havana and the ports of west and south Cuba to Santiago de Cuba or the reverse. An exciting itinerary taking in the north and the length of western Cuba with its renowned colonial cities and off the beaten track treasures.
DAY 1: Friday | Santiago de Cuba
Embarkation in the afternoon at the Santiago de Cuba new harbour. Dinner on board and Optional show at a Santiago Venue with transfer.
DAY 2: Saturday | Santiago de Cuba
At the start of the optional excursion is a visit to the Bacardi Museum. It was inaugurated as a Municipal Museum, called the Emilio Bacardí Provincial Museum, established by Emilio Bacardi, the first mayor of Santiago de Cuba. In the museum there are treasures of pre-Columbian culture, national art and Cuban history. The museum is a very important source of historical and cultural exhibits including items of the National Hero of Cuba, José Martí, Father de la Patria Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and others. Also treasures from Peru, mummies and paintings.
DAY 3: Sunday | Santiago de Cuba
After breakfast there is an optional excursion to Calle Heredia, one of the city’s liveliest streets, Padre Pico Street, famous by the animated games of draughts played by the locals. A visit to the Museum ‘Lucha Clandestina,’ in the 17th Century Tivoli district. The Museum is a dedicated to the revolutionary underground movement headed by Fidel Castro. Sail to Manzanillo in the afternoon.
DAY 4: Monday | Manzanillo
Optional Excursion after breakfast to the city of Bayamo, capital of Cuba’s eastern province of Granma. Founded in 1513, the village’s original name was San Salvador de Bayamo. The city was the capital of the First Republic in Arms, during Cuba’s war of independence in the 19th century, and its people decided to burn the village down rather than surrender to the colonialists. Cuba’s National Anthem was composed here and is also the birthplace of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the ‘Father of Cuba’.
This excursion takes in the leafy square of Parque Cespedes, and a walking tour along the Bayamés Promenade. We will also be visiting the Wax Museum, Plaza de la Revolución and its surroundings, the Casa de Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Museum, Anthem Plaza, San Salvador Cathedral of Bayamo and the Altarpiece of the Heroes. There will be a cultural activity at Casa de la Trova, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch you can enjoy free time for exploring the town and maybe do some souvenir shopping. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: Tuesday | Manzanillo / At Sea
There will be a morning Optional walking tour of the city of Manzanillo. This little known destination is famous for its revolutionary spirit and the street organists who add a special feel to it to this day. You will be able to appreciate the contrasting architecture, a mixture of wooden buildings, Andalusian style homes, and intricate neo-Moorish motifs. Return to the ship in the afternoon and sail to Casilda. Overnight at sea.
DAY 6: Wednesday | Casilda / Trinidad
The Optional excursion today will take us to Trinidad, a well-preserved Spanish colonial city. With varied architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas, Trinidad is often referred to as the “Museum City of Cuba.” We walk through the town and have lunch at a local restaurant. Later we will visit the Romantic Museum located in Palacio Cantero, the Trinidad General Municipal Museum, visit the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a unique woodcarver and return to the ship for an afternoon sailing to Cienfuegos. Overnight in port.
DAY 7: Thursday| Cienfuegos
An Optional Excursion in Cienfuegos after breakfast, a city founded by French settlers and thus with a unique architecture. Cienfuegos, the Pearl of the South, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit the Benny More School of Art, walk around the city center and marvel at examples of 19th century French neo-classical architecture and stop at a farmer’s market before having lunch. As a special treat there will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. Overnight in port.
DAY 8: Friday | Cienfuegos
Disembark and 9.30 am group transfer to Havana – Melia Cohiba hotel organized by Variety Cruises
Your vessel: the M/Y Variety Voyager
The new build 68m/223ft state of the art Mega Yacht accommodates just 72 passengers in 36 cabins. Built in 2012 under the latest International “Safety of Life At Sea” (SOLAS 2010) regulations and classified by RINA, the Variety Voyager guarantees guests safety with incomparable comfort and elegance. The Variety Voyager seduces her passengers with her sleek lines and ample deck space, very much what one expects from a millionaire’s super yacht.
Inside, cabins and public areas are finished with warm fabrics, rich marbles, axminster carpeting and soft tones wood panelling.Everywhere, unobstructed views of the ocean and of the ports visited. And above all, the professional service of a crew of 32-33, always with a smile and a true desire to satisfy
Santiago de Cuba to Cienfuegos 7 DAY CRUISE2019 prices (£) per person
Vessel: M/Y Variety Voyager
|Departure Dates||Category C||Category B||Category A||Category P||Owner's Suite||Special offer|
Cuba cruise - port charges, flights and supplements
|Category C||Category B||Category A||Category P||Owner's Suite|
|Port charges 7night||£386||£386||£386||£386||£386|
|Flights inc luggage from||£700|
|3rd person reduction||N/A||30/%||N/A||30%||N/A|
Santiago de Cuba to Havana14 DAY CRUISE2019 prices (£) per person
Vessel: M/Y Variety Voyager
|Departure Dates||Category C||Category B||Category A||Category P||Owner's Suite||Special offer|
More Cuba Cruises
With that nice Carol Kirkwood forecasting temperatures in the mid-20s later this week there’s every chance that the sunshine has been switched on at the end of the inexorable tunnel called winter. Clement weather is the order of the day, you’ll be dusting the cobwebs off your sunscreen and this weekend might even be time to get your legs out into the sun.
Talk of sun worshippers and the mind immediately flips to Ra – great Sun God of the Egyptians. Once there it’s only a short cognitive leap to dial the mind back to 3,000BC or so and start imagining Luxor, Cairo, the Sphinx and all things Pharaohic. And, just in case you think we’re Pyramid selling – you’re absolutely right because this coming winter we’re back cruising the Red Sea and Suez area, gateway to wonders so indescribable that we simply can’t describe them. You need to come and see them for yourself.
The itinerary takes in all the best bits of Egyptian legends but perhaps the most mind-boggling place of all is Petra, Jordan. Also known as the ‘Rose City’ this absolutely world class delight is not to be confused by the eponymous Blue Peter dog – who was actually a ringer drafted into the show after the original mutt shuffled off to doggy heaven from distemper after only 2 days on set. However, in typical Fertile Crescent dynastic fashion, Petra begat Shep and the rest is history.
- Gubal Islands
- Jordan [for Petra, Wadi Rum & Amman]
- Ashdod, Israel
- Port Said [for Cairo]
- Suez Canal
- St Anthony’s Monastery
- Aqaba, Jordan [for Petra, Wadi Rum & Amman]
There is so much culture in this area that we’ve actually put together 2 slightly different itineraries (one includes the Suez Canal), so you get to choose. We can’t possibly put it all into one email so if you want the full sarcophagus you’ll need to click here.
CRUISE ALL THE WAY TO THE FOOTY FINALS WITHOUT SEEING A SINGLE GAME!
It’s all kicking-off in June
Surreptitious sort of thing the FIFA World Cup. Lots of fuss last year when the qualifiers were being played – then the sort of silence that can induce a very dodgy false sense of security, as if it was all a dream. Do not be fooled, from the start of June when England assemble in Primark or Next to don their three-piece suits, until the final-final whistle goes on July 15th, the bits of the UK that don’t include Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland will be in a media-driven football frenzy.
Football frenzy for the fans, football fatigue for the rest of us
By the time England take the field somewhere in the back-woods of Russia at 7.00 pm on Monday 18th June we will already have had 13 matches played and over-analysed. Football fatigue will be in full force and you know what, you won’t even be able to escape down the wine bar for a refreshing Pinot Grigio (hold-up Italian target man) because sure as referees are blind some pundit will be waxing more lyrical than a team of full Brazilians – who have never been the same since Socrates died – on a specially imported TV.
The Socratic wisdom of football-free Greek island cruising
Socrates claimed he could only know that which he knew – and he knew damn fine well there was no satellite TV on any of Variety’s Mega Yachts, ergo a Greek island cruise, or any Variety cruise for that matter, was a football free zone.
Seriously, we wish England the very best of luck in Russia, and hope they at least get to cruise through the group stages.
Of course, if you live in Cardiff, Glasgow or Belfast you might not share the sentiment. Fancy a cruise in June?
Would you rather disagree with the fourth official or have a cocktail with the Captain?
On Friday 15th June you could be watching what is sure to be a feisty match between Morocco and Iran – or you could be boarding ship in Athens for a cocktail with the Captain prior to embarking on a cruise to see Classical Greece.
Teatime with Peru and the Socceroos or a swim off Antiparos?
So it’s the 26th of June – how would you rather spend the afternoon? If you fancy a swim, join our Jewels of the Cyclades team.
See England surrender or visit Saranda?
Being brutally honest the day is almost certainly going to come when the English flag is lowered. Love football or hate it that day of surrender will be tearful and torrid. Yet there’s a big BUT and it starts the name of beautiful Butrint – a sight more remarkable than a Harry Kane hat-trick. You can see it on our Adriatic Odyssey cruise.
You can’t watch Wales, but you could watch whales
Sadly, Wales might not have scored highly enough to get into the final fixtures but something that will score in spades with your bridge club buddies will be a little whale watching off the Atlantic coast of Iceland. Iceland itself will be quiet at this time because most of the 334,250 inhabitants will be in Russia watching their team play.
ADRIATIC ODYSSEY – THE PRELUDE
We’ve sent our favourite travel blogger to cruise the Adriatic and all this week we’ll be sharing his journal with you.
We decided not to rush things so we flew out a day early and landed in Dubrovnik just before 9.00 on Saturday evening. Disembarking the aircraft we walked into a wall of heat – wonderful after the overcast of Gatwick. We’d booked a room for the night and they had arranged a driver to pick us up and drive us back up the coastline, all lit up like a Christmas tree, to the city.
The apartment was charming and just a few hundred metres from the famous Pile Gate – the entry to the old town. We had dinner overlooking the water and imposing city walls just outside the gates, then walked in through the gate to the Stradum – the main drag – to people watch over a nightcap.
Not too much about Dubrovnik now as we’ll be spending two days there when we return and I’ll file a full report. Suffice, for now, to say its super-lively after dark and as we walked back the young and beautiful were queuing at the nightclub doors.
Sunday morning breakfast was back overlooking the water at the same restaurant who had kindly given us a 10% discount card for all future visits! A stroll around town and a couple of cold ones in one of the myriad of side-street bars. Then a taxi to the port – we were early but there’s a small restaurant across the road serving silver-skin anchovies, salted sardines and cold white wine.
The crew were so welcoming when we boarded Panorama – our home for the next 7 days and nights. There are 20 crew and 39 guests on board, good ratio for attentive service. Very happy with the four-course dinner, in particular the traditional Greek Avgolemono soup. Choice of prawns so big you wouldn’t want to meet them in open water, or lamb. Drinking red so the lamb edged it.
Only been on board a few hours but already know 12 people by name. It’s just like a big family party. First impressions? Ship and ship’s company smallish but perfectly formed. It’s going to be a blast…
FULL DETAILS ON THE CRUISE CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Jewels of the Cyclades
Ports of call: Athens – Poros – Poliegos/Kimolos – Folegandros – Santorini – Antiparos – Paros – Delos – Mykonos – Syros – Kythnos – Marina Zea (Athens)