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18th June, 2019

Cruise expert recommendations

When booking a holiday, recommendations really do help us to make decisions on where to go. Researching information about a destination is great, but you can’t beat real reviews from people who have real experience.

So, if you’re torn between cruising the sunny climes of the Mediterranean and exploring the Arctic Circle by sea, have a read of recommendations from our cruise experts, talking about what they're looking forward to for 2019 cruises. Experts include Captains, the Shore Excursion Planning Team and a member of the marine charity ORCA.

Neil Cron – Shore Excursion Planning Team

The Canary Islands

A starry night over Tenerife

The possibilities for exploring the Canaries are just as varied as the islands themselves. There’s the volcanic ‘moonscapes’ of Fire Mountain on Lanzarote, so unique and well worth a visit. Then there’s La Gomera, a real hidden gem carpeted with prehistoric forests and great hiking trails. But one of the most popular, and unusual, experiences we offer are the mountain stargazing tours on Tenerife and La Palma. The unpolluted skies here mean you’ll get truly breathtaking views up into the galaxy, while an astronomy expert points out all the wonders of the Milky Way. Incredible!

Captain Kim Tanner


The stunning Cathedral in the city of Palma

Palma, Majorca is an old favourite, and not just because I live there! It’s the mountains rising thousands of feet creating stunning cliffs with coves in between, dozens of beaches rivalling any in the Caribbean, countryside dotted with rustic pueblos (villages) and farmland stretching for miles with vineyards in the north, and of course the wonderful old city of Palma and its famous cathedral. Blessed with a great climate year-round and blend of international culture in Palma, this classic Mediterranean port never fails to amaze people who tend to associate this island with that of only package beach holidays.

Captain Julian Burgess


Greet the Seven Sisters waterfall in Geirangerfjord

This part of the world is always such a highlight for me. The people of Norway and their laid-back lifestyle make every visit so charming. A personal favourite of mine is Bergen, a beautiful place to visit. But of course the real pleasure lies in simply gliding through the fjords. At times we have asked the local Pilots for tips, which led us to a waterfall, where we anchored so guests could enjoy breakfast beside the rushing waters just aside the ship. An unforgettable experience for all, I’m sure.

Simon Giles – Shore Excursion Planning Team

The Baltic

Stockholm Royal Opera House

Think St Petersburg and you’ll picture grand palaces and wonderful museums. Although you may find that having a taste of how the locals live is equally as fascinating. Take a ride on the Metro and admire the beautifully decorated stations which are full of neoclassical splendour fit for the tsars themselves. Continue to the bustling Kuznechny Market to sample some local produce and then go souvenir hunting along Nevsky Prospect, providing the perfect contrast to the opulent sites that the city has to offer.
For something a little different, I can recommend a visit to Stockholm’s Royal Opera House for a behind the scenes experience into a theatrical world of wonder and intrigue. Your backstage tour will take you to the King and Queen’s Royal Suite, and many of the Opera’s hidden rooms. Learn about the infamous assassination of King Gustav III at a masked ball here: an event explored in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, A Masked Ball. The experience ends with a glass of sparkling wine whilst you reflect on the heritage and international fame of this wonderful theatre.

Sam Kelly – Marine Operations Manager

North Africa

The Spanish city of Melilla

I would recommend visiting Melilla on one of our cruises, a small Spanish city located on the Northern tip of Africa, bordering Morocco. At only 5 square miles this city is bustling with history and culture. Just a short trip over the border is Nador, a Moroccan coastal city just 10km away. North Africa is a great destination, allowing you to visit two continents in one trip.

Lucy Babey – Head of Science and Conservation at ORCA

Northern Europe

Whale watching in Grundarfjordur, Iceland

Sailing north to Iceland aboard Saga Sapphire is always filled with excitement for the ORCA team. This part of the world is home to some of the most stunning species on the planet. Passengers on board previous trips with the ORCA team have encountered acrobatic humpback whales, plentiful dolphins and even the magnificent blue whale – the largest animal that has ever lived on the planet! We cannot wait to set sail in July on the Wild About Iceland cruise, to discover the wonderful marine life that can be found in these waters.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.