Stowaway October 2023

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November <strong>2023</strong><br />


Day out in<br />

Porto<br />





3<br />

Cruise is the most innovative sector of the travel industry, with something new<br />

always around the corner. No wonder dedicated cruisers keep coming back.<br />

We have lots for you to discover in this issue, including reports from Marella<br />

Voyager and a Nicko cruise on the Douro River. Plus what's new on Princess Cruises'<br />

superb Sun Princess and Star Princess. We also investigate what to see and do<br />

during a pre or post-cruise stay in Piraeus.<br />

Enjoy!<br />

Keith Ellis Publisher<br />

kmellis@btinternet.com<br />

31<br />

Offers page<br />


4 IN FOCUS<br />

Port and cruise news in pictures<br />


There’s plenty to enjoy in<br />

Portugal’s second city<br />

26<br />



Jane Archer discovers the joys of<br />

sailing Portugal’s Douro River with<br />

Nicko Cruises<br />

28 NEW KID IN TOWN<br />

Luxury clients are even more<br />

spoiled for choice with the launch<br />


The port town has cool hotels,<br />

20<br />

of Explora Journeys<br />

beautiful marinas, restaurants,<br />

beaches, shopping and the Greek<br />

capital on the doorstep<br />


Discover the secrets (or some of<br />

them at least) of Marella Cruises’<br />

Marella Voyager<br />


Memories of the Titanic and great<br />

explosion of 1917 in Halifax<br />



Discover a slice of France<br />

in Québec<br />

16<br />


With two spectacular new ships on<br />

the horizon, there are even more<br />

reasons for guests to fall in love with<br />

Princess Cruises<br />

Published by<br />

<strong>Stowaway</strong> Publications<br />

10 Tadorne Road, Tadworth<br />

KT20 5TD Surrey<br />

+44 (0)7802 256275<br />


Oceania Cruises’ new ship Vista hits<br />

all the right notes when it comes to<br />

décor, design and dining<br />

Written and Edited by:<br />

Jane Archer<br />

Janearc@aol.com<br />

Creative<br />

Oddsock Design<br />

Andrew@oddsockdesign.com<br />

Front cover image:<br />

The Douro River in Porto. Photo: Jane Archer<br />

24<br />


4 IN FOCUS<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

5<br />

Discover<br />

A river ship to Enjoy<br />

River cruise specialist Viva Cruises has joined Clia to help raise agents’ awareness of the<br />

brand. It has also announced it is launching a new ship, Viva Enjoy, in September 2024 to<br />

expand its presence on the Danube.<br />

The vessel, a sister to recent new builds Viva One and Viva Two (pictured), will be based<br />

in Vienna and sail four, five and seven-night cruises that visit towns and cities including<br />

Esztergom and Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia and Linz and Melk in Austria.<br />

Viva Cruises launched in 2018, is based in Dusseldorf, Germany, and has a fleet of eight<br />

river ships that cater for both German and English-speaking passengers. Fares include<br />

unlimited drinks, Wi-Fi and tips.<br />

The Gateway to Alaska<br />

Save time to explore Washington State<br />

www.portseattle.org | www.seattlecruisealaska.co.uk<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />


IN FOCUS<br />

7<br />

Design of the times<br />

Looks like a hip hotel rooftop in the South of France doesn’t it? Actually this is the sundeck on Silver<br />

Nova, the new Silversea ship that launched on the cruise scene in August with the world’s first<br />

asymmetrical design. In a nutshell, it means they have opened up one side of the ship, resulting, as seen<br />

here, with the pool being positioned to the side of the vessel instead of in the middle, as is traditional.<br />

Game-changing is an overused word in this industry, but in this instance it is spot on.<br />


8 IN FOCUS<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

9<br />

Cruise and stay<br />

with Riviera<br />

Riviera Travel has launched a selection of 10-night<br />

Athens and Greek Islands cruise-and-stay holidays<br />

that pair three nights in the Greek capital with seven<br />

nights island-hopping around the Aegean Sea on<br />

Celestyal Journey, the former Holland America Line<br />

ship joining Celestyal Cruises’ fleet in September<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. Five departures are on offer between April and<br />

September 2024. Optional tours to the Acropolis and<br />

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion (pictured) are<br />

on offer during the Athens stay.<br />

Down by the Riverside<br />

Fledgling river cruise line Riverside Luxury Cruises has brought its style of ultra-luxury sailing<br />

to the RhÔne and SaÔne Rivers in France with the launch of Riverside Ravel. The vessel holds<br />

110 passengers and has butlers for all. There are four places to eat, including a day-time bistro<br />

and roof-top barbecue, and an indoor swimming pool. Riverside Ravel is sailing three to 14-night<br />

cruises. Premium all-inclusive prices cover drinks, tips, excursions and room service.<br />

The Eagle<br />

has landed<br />

American Eagle, the first of a new<br />

class of coastal cats being built<br />

by American Cruise Lines, has<br />

entered service in New England.<br />

The 100-passenger vessel has been<br />

designed specially to be able to get<br />

into smaller ports and harbours<br />

along the US coast. It is currently<br />

sailing eight-day cruises along the<br />

coast of Maine round-trip from<br />

Portland. Three more coastal cats<br />

under construction are due to launch<br />

in the next 12 months.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />


10 IN FOCUS<br />

MSC Euribia is<br />

Southampton<br />

bound<br />

Kids of all ages are promised a<br />

splash-tastic time in the aquapark<br />

on MSC Cruises’ new flagship MSC<br />

Euribia. The vessel made history when<br />

it launched in June by sailing from<br />

France to Copenhagen on cow dung.<br />

The ship has a new Helios wine bar, grill<br />

restaurant and exclusive Yacht Club. It<br />

will be sailing mainly seven-night no-fly<br />

cruises for the British market from<br />

Southampton to Holland, Germany,<br />

Belgium and France this winter.<br />

Best of Jamaica. On Repeat.<br />

Best of Jamaica. On Repeat.<br />

Montego Bay | Falmouth | Ocho Rios | Port Antonio | Port Royal<br />

Montego Bay | Falmouth | Ocho Rios | Port Antonio | Port Royal<br />

@cruisejamaica<br />

@cruisejamaica<br />

Cruise Jamaica<br />

Cruise Jamaica<br />

Zadar sights and sounds<br />

The old town of Zadar, in Northern Croatia, pictured here from the cruise port, sits on a narrow peninsula, packs in Roman and Byzantine<br />

remains, a beautiful cathedral, museums of archaeology, illusions and religious art, and restaurants and cafés galore. It is also the only<br />

place in the world with a sea organ that’s played by the movement of the ocean. Next to it, the Greeting to the Sun is charged by 300 solar<br />

panels by day and lights up after dark. If cruise lines need an excuse to stay in port overnight, that is surely it.<br />

@portauthorityja<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA


13<br />

To arrive at Cartagena is to enter Spain fully... to enjoy<br />

the best of an entire country, without ever leaving this<br />

region where the sun -and time itself- have mellowed<br />

each little corner into a unique treasure<br />

Vestiges of a thousand-year-old culture, gastronomy<br />

that prides itself on excellence in every dish, the best<br />

beaches for enjoying water sports all year round, a<br />

different form of leisure living, popular and religious<br />

festivals... No place offers more Spain than this<br />

unique port: the Port of Cartagena<br />

Brought to you by the Mediterranean<br />

Powered by Spain<br />

Cartagena’s cruise port<br />

offers more ashore.<br />

Over the centuries many of the Spanish port of Cartagena’s buildings of earlier<br />

years have been replaced or simply built over. The amphitheatre, built by the<br />

Romans in the first century, was finally buried beneath the nineteenth century<br />

bullring, although before that in the eighteenth century, what was called the<br />

Autopsy Room was added to the amphitheatre by the adjacent former military<br />

hospital for medical teaching and research. Reconstruction of a contemporary<br />

Autopsy Room as part of the restored amphitheatre forms part of a city plan to<br />

create the new Cartagena museum.<br />

A somewhat contrasting memory of Roman<br />

occupation is the liquer Licor 43, first created the<br />

Romans and still made by the Zamora Group in Spain.<br />

As part of Cartagena City’s ongoing programme to<br />

develop the port area as an historic and cultural<br />

centre for cruise passengers, Zamora Group are<br />

adding a new port building with a shop, a cafeteria,<br />

a show cooking area and a restaurant managed by<br />

two Michelin star chef Gonzalez Conegero. It will be<br />

possible also to take a guided tour to the Zamora<br />

Group factory and take part in Experience 43,<br />

including a visit the museum and to see how Licor 43<br />

is still lovingly created.<br />

Plug in power for cruise ships.<br />

Future plans for Cartagena will include the supply of electric power to run ships’<br />

engines while in port, to save fuel costs and more important, to result in cleaner air<br />

for the city.<br />


Cruise lines calling into Cartagena<br />

in 2024 will include:<br />

Azamara<br />

Carnival Cruise Line<br />

Celebrity Cruises<br />

Crystal Cruises<br />

Cunard<br />

Disney<br />

Explora<br />

Fred Olsen<br />

Holland America Line<br />

Marella<br />

Norwegian Cruise Line<br />

P&O Cruises<br />

Ponant<br />

Princess Cruises<br />

Regent Seven Seas Cruises<br />

Ritz-Carlton<br />

Royal Caribbean International<br />

Sea Cloud<br />

Seabourn<br />

Silversea<br />

Windstar Cruises<br />




15<br />

love<br />

Come feel the<br />

What’s new on Sun<br />

and Star Princess<br />

With two spectacular new ships on the horizon, there are even more<br />

reasons for guests to fall in love with Princess Cruises.<br />

Clockwise from top: There’s a new exclusive<br />

sun deck for guests in cabana staterooms;<br />

the redesigned theatre has seating around<br />

the stage; Cirque Éloize will be performing<br />

in the dome.<br />

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic cruise line<br />

than Princess. Its ships are glamorous, the<br />

food and service are exemplary, the itineraries<br />

take guests to all seven continents on wellrehearsed<br />

itineraries and there’s something<br />

for everyone on board, whether aged seven or<br />

seventy. No wonder the line has so many UK<br />

cruise fans.<br />

But don’t get the impression this is a line to<br />

rest on its laurels. The company has always<br />

been a leader when it comes to innovation<br />

and right now it is innovating on speed. There<br />

are two revolutionary new ships launching<br />

with thrilling family activity zones, huge<br />

domes and a fresh take on entertainment.<br />

The line has also refreshed its dining options<br />

and introduced cruise holidays that will get<br />

every guest’s bucket-list bursting.<br />

Phew. Just trying to keep up with it all is<br />

a challenge.<br />

February 2024 is the first date to note<br />

in the diary. That’s when Sun Princess – the<br />

largest ship built for Princess Cruises –<br />

launches. And while you’re there, add August<br />

2025, as that’s when sister ship Star Princess<br />

makes its debut.<br />

Both are game-changers for Princess<br />

Cruises, holding 4,300 guests and with<br />

amazing new public spaces, dining options<br />

and new accommodation categories with<br />

exclusive deck access and restaurant perks<br />

(see box, right).<br />

Park 19 is an action-packed new family<br />

zone debuting on decks 19, 20 and 21 where<br />

guests can climb between decks, stand on<br />

an open-air lookout at the top of the ship, go<br />

jogging, join fitness classes or kick back in a<br />

hammock. Those with a head for heights can<br />

harness up and take on a ropes course or the<br />

first-ever roller-gliding ride at sea that ‘flies’<br />

them around a track high above the ship at up<br />

to 11mph.<br />

In a new multi-level glass dome, guests can<br />

relax by day and enjoy evening entertainment<br />

staged by Montréal-based Cirque Éloize. Three<br />

shows have been created for Sun Princess<br />

– Blue, Come Fly Away and Artbeat – all<br />

pairing breath-taking acrobatic and aerial<br />

performances with music, dance, technology<br />

and theatre. Take a seat (there’s no charge<br />

but it’s first come, first served) and prepare<br />

to be wowed.<br />

Both ships will also feature O’Malley’s, an<br />

Irish pub that debuted this year on Enchanted<br />

Princess, and have new sushi and teppanyaki<br />

restaurants. Enchanted was also the first<br />

vessel to get The Catch, a seafood eatery<br />

created by chef Rudi Sodamin, Princess’ head<br />

of culinary arts. It has since been rolled out<br />

to Majestic and Sky Princess, and opens on<br />

Discovery Princess in the autumn.<br />

Mediterranean anniversary<br />

Getting on board Sun and Star Princess could<br />

not be easier. Sun Princess will be based in<br />

the Mediterranean in summer 2024, and both<br />

ships will be there in summer 2025 – a very<br />

special year for Princess Cruises as it marks<br />

40 years since the line started sailing in the<br />

region (to celebrate, another four Princess<br />

ships will be in Europe that year - Majestic<br />

Princess also in the Mediterranean and Sky,<br />

Emerald and Regal Princess sailing from<br />

Southampton).<br />

For those who fancy venturing further<br />

afield, exciting new Ultimate Alaska voyages<br />

from San Francisco and Seattle in summer<br />

2025 take their place alongside Princess<br />

Cruises’ seven-night round-trip sailings from<br />

Vancouver and Seattle, and signature Voyage<br />

of the Glaciers sailings between Vancouver<br />

and Whittier that pair nicely with land tours<br />

deeper into the 49th state.<br />

In South America, four new 17-day Antarctic<br />

voyages round-trip from Buenos Aires take<br />

guests penguin-spotting in the icy waters of<br />

the White Continent (departures December<br />

1 and 18 2024 and January 4 and 20 2025),<br />

while a 51-day grand adventure departing<br />

December 1 2024 circles South America and<br />

includes overnight stays in Lima, Buenos Aires<br />

and Rio de Janeiro.<br />

✔ A top-of-the-ship glass dome<br />

(above) for relaxation by day and<br />

entertainment after dark.<br />

✔ Park 19 family entertainment zone.<br />

✔ Patio-style cabana staterooms<br />

with exclusive access to a private<br />

outside deck.<br />

✔ An Irish bar and sushi and teppanyaki<br />

restaurants.<br />

✔ New-look theatre where the audience<br />

sits around the stage.<br />

✔ A redesigned piazza to create an<br />

alternative entertainment venue.<br />

✔ Signature suites with exclusive access<br />

to a private restaurant, lounge and<br />

deck space.<br />

✔ An option for guests in mini-suites<br />

and cabanas to upgrade to Reserve<br />

Collection perks including access to<br />

a private restaurant.<br />

Love it, cruise it<br />

Romance has been in the air at<br />

Princess ever since it starred in the<br />

US TV show Love Boat back in the<br />

1960s. In a fresh take on the theme,<br />

the line invites travellers to Come<br />

Feel the Love, emphasising all that<br />

makes it such a classic brand – the<br />

service, the value, the choice of<br />

destinations. “There’s so much on<br />

offer with Princess, both onboard<br />

and ashore, no matter what you love,<br />

you’ll find it with us,” says Princess<br />

Cruises vice-president UK and Europe<br />

Eithne Williamson.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />



17<br />

Douro<br />

Focus on the<br />

Shining debut<br />

for Sun Princess and Star Princess<br />

Our sensational Sphere Class ships, Sun Princess and Star Princess make their debuts<br />

in the Mediterranean in February 2024 and August 2025, respectively. Powered by<br />

LNG technology and carrying 4,300 guests, these sisters will feel familiar, yet unique.<br />

They feature the new Dome, out-of-the-world views in the Piazza, Signature Collection<br />

Suites and exceptional new experiences including new food and beverage concepts,<br />

an expanded casino, and a two-storey Lotus Spa.<br />

The countdown is on to fi nd your next dream cruise!<br />




P18 - Day out in Porto<br />

P20 - Cruising the Douro<br />

Picturesque: The Douro River at Pinhão<br />


18 DAY OUT IN… PORTO<br />


19<br />

Day out in…<br />

Porto<br />

Take the kids<br />

If the interactive World of Discoveries museum with its stories of daring-do and boat ride<br />

through the history of Portuguese exploration doesn’t do it for the youngsters, a day out<br />

enjoying the miles of beach on Porto’s Atlantic coast surely will.<br />

Spend some time in Portugal's second largest city.<br />

PORTO<br />

•<br />

Don't miss<br />

•<br />


DE GAIA<br />


Vila Nova de Gaia is home to five<br />

companies that between them own 40<br />

brands of the famous fortified wine that<br />

took its name from the city of Porto. A tour<br />

and tasting in one of the port wine cellars<br />

is a must.<br />

Where is it?<br />

Stay for lunch<br />

Porto, in the north of Portugal, is doubly<br />

blessed when it comes to cruising. First it<br />

is the start and end city for river cruises<br />

on the Douro. Second, ocean-going ships<br />

tie up just six miles out of town, at Leixões.<br />

Passengers can take the 500 bus straight<br />

into the city. River ship dock in Vila Nova<br />

de Gaia and usually spend at least a day in<br />

the city. River cruisers can walk into Porto<br />

over the Dom Luis I bridge, crossing on<br />

either the lower or higher level (they need<br />

to take the cable car to get to the higher<br />

level). The city is built on hills but walkable;<br />

hop-on, hop-off buses are an easier way to<br />

get around.<br />

Rua das Flores has some fine street<br />

cafés selling pastéis de nata custard tarts<br />

and other Portuguese pastries. Porto’s<br />

historical Ribeira district has wall-to-wall<br />

restaurants with great views of the river<br />

but is rather touristy. Try Enche O Banduho<br />

in Rua de Vera Cruz for authentic tapas,<br />

friendly service and reasonable prices.<br />

GO WITH<br />

River cruise lines*<br />

AmaWaterways | APT<br />

Spend the morning<br />

Go back for<br />

Avalon Waterways (new in 2024)<br />

CroisiEurope | Emerald Cruises<br />

Nicko Cruises | Riviera Travel<br />

Saga Cruises | Scenic | Tauck<br />

Uniworld River Cruises<br />

CLIA members on sale in the UK only<br />

For a list of ocean cruise lines visiting Porto,<br />

see pxxx<br />

It’s not often a railway station is on the<br />

must-see list, but then you don’t usually<br />

find one as beautifully decorated as São<br />

Bento. Some 22,000 blue-and-white tiles<br />

(called azulejos) tell the city’s history.<br />

Climb 225 steps up the 75-metre-high<br />

Torre dos Ciérigos for views over the city. It<br />

starts with an easy route through Ciérigos<br />

Church before the final 147 winding steps<br />

to the top.<br />

Hop on a traditional rabelo boat for a<br />

scenic cruise on the Douro under the Six<br />

Bridges – including the iconic Dom Luis<br />

I crossing - that link Porto and Vila Nova<br />

de Gaia.<br />

Buy a ticket and join the queue of JK<br />

Rowlings fans waiting to enter the world<br />

of Hogwarts at the Livraria Lello & Irmão<br />

bookshop that’s said to have inspired the<br />

Harry Potter books.<br />

Get active<br />

Swop sightseeing on foot for a guided<br />

bike tour of the city. Given the steep<br />

hills, an e-bike is highly recommended.<br />

Alternatively, prepare to get wet, wet, wet<br />

on a jetboat ride along the Douro. Handbrake<br />

stops that shower passengers with<br />

water are de rigueur.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />




21<br />

Queen of the Douro<br />

The Douro Queen in Pinhão.<br />

Below: View over the rooftops of Salamanca<br />

from the cathedral tower.<br />

Below left: Salamanca market.<br />

Caption<br />

Spectacular cities, hill-top villages and plenty of wine. Jane Archer discovers<br />

the ups and ups of cruising the Douro River in Portugal.<br />

Luis Barros, the owner of Quinta da<br />

Avessada, is telling us in his own<br />

inimitable Mr Bean way how the vineyards<br />

in the Douro Valley were wiped out in the<br />

late 1800s by a flying beasty called grape<br />

phylloxera. Livelihoods were ruined and it<br />

could have been the end of the grapegrowing<br />

industry in Northern Portugal.<br />

The Mateus Palace features on the label<br />

of Mateus Rosé<br />

Cue tears. But not for long because the<br />

story has a happy ending. Vine root stocks<br />

brought from the US and resistant to the<br />

bug were transplanted into the Douro<br />

Valley and once again the rolling hills<br />

were alive with green gold mines.<br />

I’m lunching at the quinta, a Portuguese<br />

winery high above the Douro Valley, on day<br />

three of a voyage along the Douro River<br />

with Nicko Cruises. We’re sailing from the<br />

city of Porto to Barca d’Alva, a small town<br />

on the border between Portugal and Spain<br />

that is as far as river ships can navigate<br />

so after an overnight and day trip to the<br />

beautiful Spanish city of Salamanca, we’ll<br />

turn round and cruise back to Porto.<br />

It’s a relaxing journey that over the<br />

course of a week delves into the region’s<br />

history, culture and wine (a tasting in a<br />

port wine cellar? Oh OK, if you insist) on a<br />

variety of complimentary tours, delivers<br />

on spectacular scenery as we sail past<br />

lush green vineyards, rolling hills and<br />

sheer cliffs, and spends time in Porto at<br />

both the start and end of the cruise so<br />

we can ride the old trams, visit the beach,<br />

check out the museums or grab a table in<br />

a riverside restaurant and try some local<br />

dishes (A day out in Porto, p20).<br />

We’re sailing on the Douro Queen, a<br />

river ship small enough to squeeze into<br />

the five deep locks that allow vessels to<br />

pass dams built last century to calm the<br />

Douro’s wild rapids and make life easier<br />

for the wine-growers, who risked life and<br />

limb transporting their grapes by boat to<br />

Porto. Thing is, along with the locks came<br />

roads and railways so they didn’t need to<br />

ship goods on the river anymore. It could<br />

have been an unholy waste of money but<br />

for a smart entrepreneur with an eye for<br />

an opportunity. And thus river cruising on<br />

the Douro was born.<br />

First stop after leaving Porto is Pinhão,<br />

a useful jumping off point for Quinta da<br />

Avessada, where the Barros family has<br />

been growing grapes for more than 100<br />

years, and, once suitably wined, dined and<br />

entertained by Luis, an excursion to the<br />

Mateus Palace.<br />

You’ll recognise it as the place on the<br />

label of Portugal’s Mateus Rosé wine. Not<br />

that Mateus wine is grown here. Selling<br />

rights to use the image was a shrewd<br />

commercial deal the palace’s owner<br />

struck with the wine company, making<br />

both Mateus and the mansion famous in<br />

the process.<br />

The Portuguese say weather in the<br />

Douro Valley is three months of winter<br />

and nine months of hell. I’ve come in hell,<br />

which is my idea of heaven, with hot,<br />

sunny days, warm nights and blue skies<br />

all the way. Just perfect for our morning<br />

of cruising next day as we head upstream<br />

to Barca d’Alva and for an afternoon tour<br />

to Castelo Rodrigo, a tiny medieval village<br />

perched high on a hill with a ruined castle<br />

and just 40 inhabitants.<br />

“Most people moved to newer towns<br />

down below for an easier life,” our guide<br />

Joana tells us. As everywhere you want<br />

to go in the village is either a steep up or<br />

steep down, I get their logic.<br />

Joana is one of two guides sailing with<br />

us on the Douro Queen and is in charge<br />

of the dual language bus, explaining<br />

everything in German and English (there<br />

are two Brits, two Americans and two<br />

Poles on this cruise), which does make the<br />

explanations rather long.<br />

Next day we’re up early for the twohour<br />

drive to Salamanca, known as<br />

the Golden City because its sandstone<br />

buildings glint in the sun. We’ve got<br />

a free couple of hours – just time to<br />

climb the cathedral tower – before a<br />

tapas lunch, flamenco show and a quick<br />

guided tour taking in the baroque Plaza<br />

Mayor and a peek inside the old and new<br />

cathedrals (actually climbing the tower<br />

that morning gave us the best views<br />

inside). The two buildings are connected<br />

inside and although the new one is bigger<br />

and more impressive, the locals decamp<br />

to the old cathedral in winter because it<br />

is small and cosy.<br />

Once everyone is back on board,<br />

Douro Queen heads back towards Porto,<br />

renegotiating the locks and stopping at<br />

Regua for a tour to Lamego and a pilgrim<br />

church perched high on top of a long<br />

staircase leading out of town. It’s more<br />

than 686 steps to the top. Strangely no<br />

one takes up Joana’s offer of doing as the<br />

pilgrims and walking up but we opt for a<br />

stroll down.<br />

The Douro Queen<br />

Built in 2005 and refurbished in 2022,<br />

the Douro Queen is operated by Nicko<br />

Cruises, a German river cruise line sold<br />

in the UK by Cambridge-based Light<br />

Blue Travel (01223 568907; nickocruises.co.uk).<br />

It accommodates 130<br />

passengers over two decks. Rooms<br />

are small but comfortable. Cabins on<br />

the top accommodation deck have<br />

balconies; those below have picture<br />

windows. The vessel has a top-deck<br />

pool, lounge bar and one restaurant.<br />

Menus are heavy on German favourites<br />

with a sprinkling of Portuguese<br />

specialties most days.<br />

✔ An eight-day Iberian Experience cruise<br />

round-trip from Porto costs from £1,695<br />

per person departing March 31-April 4 and<br />

<strong>October</strong> 31-November 14. Price includes<br />

flights, transfers, unlimited drinks, tips,<br />

Wi-Fi and most excursions in the price<br />

(Salamanca is an extra).<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />


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C Allura_Advert_DPS_230821_v02.indd 1 23/08/<strong>2023</strong> 09:26:30


Where to find Vista<br />

in 2024<br />

Vista will be cruising the Caribbean<br />

round-trip from Miami between<br />

January and March 2024, then<br />

relocates to the Mediterranean for<br />

the summer season. Point to point<br />

voyages of from nine to 21 days<br />

visit numerous countries including<br />

Italy, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Croatia,<br />

Montenegro, Spain, France and<br />

Portugal. Vista returns to the US in<br />

November and resumes its Caribbean<br />

cruises round-trip from Miami.<br />

The Yacht Cruise Experience<br />

Home at Sea<br />

An art deco design has made the Grand Dining Room more intimate.<br />

For your dining pleasure<br />


Oceania Cruises’ new ship Vista hits all the right notes when it comes<br />

to décor, design and dining.<br />

What a difference a decade makes.<br />

Oceania Cruises’ guests have been waiting<br />

10 years for the line to launch a new ship<br />

and finally it is here.<br />

They won’t be disappointed. Vista was<br />

christened at a gala ceremony in the<br />

Maltese capital of Valletta in May, and<br />

is a real beauty, with a new, softer look<br />

than on the line’s earlier ships, upgraded<br />

public areas and staterooms, and dining<br />

that lives up to the ‘finest cuisine at sea’<br />

mantra the line has stayed true to ever<br />

since it launched 20 years ago.<br />

The ship holds just 1,200 guests, which<br />

is small by today’s standards, but has<br />

so many places to eat they can try a<br />

different one every day of a seven-night<br />

cruise. Past guests will recognise the<br />

Grand Dining Room, although this has<br />

a new art deco look that has made the<br />

space more intimate, the Terrace Café<br />

buffet restaurant and Waves for burgers<br />

and pizzas by the pool.<br />

Speciality restaurants Red Ginger, Polo<br />

Grill and Toscana, respectively for Asian,<br />

steaks and Mediterranean cuisine, are<br />

also back, and joined by two new venues<br />

- Aquamar Kitchen, which is open in the<br />

day for healthy salads, wraps and soups,<br />

and Ember, an evening eatery heavy on<br />

comfort foods such as burgers, steaks<br />

and mac and cheese.<br />

Dining is mostly free, even in the<br />

speciality restaurants, on the grounds<br />

that you can’t promise the finest cuisine<br />

at sea and then charge guests for it, but<br />

there are exceptions. A six-course Dom<br />

Pérignon tasting experience in Privée, a<br />

private dining room for eight people costs<br />

$395 per person.<br />

Food tends to rule the roost on Vista<br />

– as well as eating, guests can also roll<br />

up their sleeves and learn to cook dishes<br />

local to the places they are visiting in a<br />

Culinary Center – but there is plenty more<br />

to love on this ship.<br />

The sundeck has been given a resort-atsea<br />

look and ‘lilypad’ loungers that appear<br />

to ‘float’ in the pool, there are plenty of<br />

quiet nooks and crannies to curl up with<br />

a favourite book and huge Owners’ Suites<br />

span the width of the ship and are styled<br />

by Ralph Lauren Home.<br />

Best of all, inside cabins have been<br />

scrapped so everyone gets a room<br />

with a view and most get a balcony (20<br />

staterooms have floor-to-ceiling French<br />

windows instead). Staterooms also have<br />

larger bathrooms with big glass-enclosed<br />

showers that would look right at home<br />

in a suite. “Staterooms are a home away<br />

from home for our guests but we wanted<br />

them to be even better than home,” says<br />

Greg Walton, a founding partner of Miamibased<br />

design company Studio Dado. They<br />

certainly achieved their aim.<br />

simplyMORE<br />

In June, the line announced a new<br />

simplyMORE fare structure. Prices<br />

now include flights, transfers, up<br />

to $1,600 shore excursion credit<br />

per stateroom and complimentary<br />

wines, beers or champagne with<br />

lunch and dinner. Soft drinks,<br />

speciality restaurants, Wi-Fi and<br />

fitness classes are also included in<br />

the price.<br />



varietycruises.co.uk<br />


NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA



27<br />

Press pause in…<br />

Photo: Joe Snowdon<br />

Piraeus<br />

Just 20 minutes outside Athens, Piraeus is one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean, the jumping-off point for cruises to<br />

Turkey, around the Greek Isles, into the Aegean and more. Most cruisers stay in the Greek capital and only ever see the area<br />

around the port, but chic Piraeus (and Marina Zea, where Variety Cruises sails from) is just a stone’s throw away and ideal for a<br />

two or three-night pre or post-cruise stay.<br />

Don't miss<br />

No one can stay this close to Athens and<br />

skip visiting the Acropolis, the ancient<br />

Greek citadel sitting on a rocky outcrop<br />

above the city that houses the Parthenon,<br />

a 5th-century temple dedicated to the<br />

goddess Athena. Back at base, learn<br />

about the port’s history and the life and<br />

times of the ancient Greeks and Romans<br />

in Piraeus’ archaeological museum.<br />

Eat out<br />

What to see and do during a pre or post-cruise<br />

stay in the port for Athens.<br />

Diners can go Greek or stick with<br />

pizza, pasta and seafood favourites in<br />

the many restaurants around Marina<br />

Zea and Microlimano Harbour. Nest<br />

is an upscale restaurant in The Alex<br />

Hotel with indoor and outdoor seating,<br />

views of the Athens Riviera, and sea<br />

bass, Santorini salad and risotto on<br />

the menu.<br />

Venture out<br />

Delve into the myths<br />

and legends of classical<br />

Greece on a tour to<br />

Delphi, an ancient city on<br />

the Peloponnese where,<br />

hundreds of years<br />

before Christ, generals<br />

and politicians would<br />

come to consult the<br />

oracle – a Mystic Meg of<br />

old, if you will - who they<br />

believed had a direct line<br />

to the gods. Tours depart<br />

from Athens and Piraeus<br />

cruise port.<br />

Something for the kids<br />

Votsalakia Beach is a good place for kids<br />

to cool off, either in the sea or swimming<br />

pool. Tram T7 goes out to the beaches<br />

along the Athenian Riviera. Hop-on, hop-off<br />

buses have a Riviera route that stops at<br />

various beaches.<br />

A day off<br />

For a change of scene, take the Blue<br />

Star ferry from Piraeus to the island<br />

of Poros (about an hour). There are<br />

beaches and restaurants. Walk to the<br />

clock tower high above the town for<br />

views over the island.<br />

Top tours<br />

Athens Sightseeing (red) and Open Tour<br />

(yellow) hop-on, hop-off buses circle<br />

around Piraeus, have audio commentary<br />

and include stops at Marina Zea, the<br />

archaeological museum, a planetarium<br />

and Microlimano Harbour. Both buses have<br />

a route around Athens, where alternatively<br />

there are guided coach and walking tours<br />

around the city.<br />


Azamara<br />

Celebrity Cruises<br />

Celestyal Cruises<br />

Crystal Cruises<br />

Holland America Line<br />

MSC Cruises<br />

Norwegian Cruise Line<br />

Oceania Cruises<br />

Ponant<br />

Shop in<br />

Shoppers will find favourite brands in<br />

Piraeus, including Zara, Mango, Bershka,<br />

even a Marks & Spencer. For something<br />

different, join the crowds in the narrow<br />

streets of the Plaka in Athens shopping for<br />

souvenirs, t-shirts, bags, belts and more.<br />

Where to stay<br />

Piraeus has hotels and<br />

apartments to suit all<br />

budgets. For modern<br />

luxury, check out The Alex, a<br />

stylish hotel on a hill above<br />

Microlimano harbour. It has<br />

34 rooms and suites, the<br />

latter with balconies and sea<br />

views. The Botanist café on<br />

the ground floor is a great<br />

hang-out by day; come<br />

evening head to Nest rooftop<br />

restaurant.<br />

Getting around<br />

Trains, buses and taxis<br />

connect Athens Airport to<br />

Piraeus. Get off at either<br />

Neo Faliro (for the centre<br />

of Piraeus) or Piraeus<br />

station (for the port).<br />

Piraeus is very walkable,<br />

but the number 20 bus<br />

circles around the marina<br />

and harbour. Express bus<br />

X80 connects Piraeus to<br />

Athens Syntagma Square.<br />

Princess Cruises<br />

Regent Seven Seas Cruises<br />

Royal Caribbean International<br />

Seabourn<br />

SeaDream Yacht Club<br />

Silversea<br />

Variety Cruises (sails from Marina Zea)<br />

Virgin Voyages<br />

Windstar Cruises<br />

* CLIA cruise lines on sale in the UK<br />

only embarking and disembarking in<br />

Piraeus in 2024<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />



There’s no mistaking the Asian Sakura restaurant. Explora I made its debut in Portsmouth.<br />

New<br />

in<br />

kid<br />

town<br />

PORT OF<br />



Luxury clients are even more spoiled for choice<br />

with the launch of Explora Journeys.<br />

The lobby bar takes passengers back to the<br />

art-deco style of 1920s and 30s US hotels.<br />

The conservatory pool. Below: The Med<br />

Yacht Club is one of six restaurants on the<br />

ship. Below Right: Ocean Residences have<br />

24-hour butler service.<br />

“It’s even better than I expected.” Antonio<br />

Paradiso, managing director UK & Ireland of<br />

MSC Group’s new Explora Journeys luxury<br />

brand, has just had his first glimpse of<br />

Explora l, the line’s first ship, and it’s fair to<br />

say he is impressed.<br />

The vessel is on the larger side of small,<br />

with room for 922 passengers, who have<br />

the run of 11 bars and lounges and nine<br />

places to eat covering the taste spectrum<br />

from French and Asian to steaks and tapas.<br />

The Emporium Market Place buffet has 18<br />

cooking stations.<br />

All dining is complimentary bar in<br />

Anthology, an upmarket restaurant where<br />

guest chefs are invited to showcase their<br />

cuisine. “I want chefs who cook, not who<br />

sign books,” was the instruction from MSC<br />

Group cruise division executive chairman<br />

Pierfrancesco Vago.<br />

In looks, Explora echoes the clean art-deco<br />

style popular in New York and Chicago hotels<br />

from the 1920s and ‘30s. The colour palette<br />

majors on calming browns and creams, with<br />

snatches of colour here and there and eyecatching<br />

lighting all around.<br />

All suites face the ocean and have private<br />

balconies or terraces. Passengers splashing<br />

out on Ocean Residences enjoy 24-hour butler<br />

service. In Explora speak, suites are Homes<br />

at Sea, crew are hosts and the aim is to<br />

encourage the inner and outer self-discovery<br />

that comes with an ‘ocean state of mind’.<br />

Paradiso, who also heads up MSC Cruises<br />

in the UK, says some 800 agents will<br />

have experienced Explora I by the time it<br />

relocates to the US for winter and is already<br />

talking about expanding the UK sales team.<br />

“Advance bookings are very good, with the<br />

US and UK driving demand,” he says.<br />

“Agents should be selling this to their<br />

luxury clients as an alternative to a hotel.<br />

They will enjoy different views every day and<br />

it’s all-inclusive.” As well as dining, drinks,<br />

tips, fitness classes, the spa’s thermal suite<br />

and Wi-Fi are included in the cruise price.<br />



PORT OF<br />

CALL<br />

• Established, quality cruise facilities<br />

• A wide choice of shore excursions<br />

• Competitively priced bunkers delivered by quality operators<br />

• Excellent international communications<br />

• Broad spectrum of marine services<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />

Gibraltar Port Authority<br />

North Mole, Gibraltar, Tel: +350 20046254, Fax: +350 20051513<br />

gpaenquiries@port.gov.gi<br />



31<br />

Playing a blinder<br />

Dining favourites from around the world,<br />

hammocks on the balcony and a secret hiding<br />

behind two red telephone boxes. Welcome to the<br />

latest best-of-British ship from Marella Cruises.<br />

Photo: Jane Archer<br />

“So where is the door?” I ask. It sounds a<br />

daft question, I know, but I’m looking at the<br />

entrance to the Exchange on Marella Voyager<br />

and there are three possibles. I am genuinely<br />

not sure. Ah, that’s a secret, was the reply. So<br />

there you are. I can’t reveal how you get in or<br />

indeed what goes on once inside. Well OK,<br />

you’ve twisted my arm, but I had to wait to<br />

find out and so will you.<br />

Marella Voyager, Marella Cruises’ newest<br />

ship, set sail in the company’s colours in June<br />

after a 36-day makeover that spruced up all<br />

areas and turned the vessel into a floating<br />

shrine to all things British.<br />

Continued on p34 ›<br />


32 SHIP REVIEW<br />


33<br />

Where to find Marella Voyager<br />

Previous page: Marella Voyager is cruising the Caribbean from Barbados this winter. Above: Marella Voyager will be calling into Calvi in Corsica<br />

on its Mediterranean cruises from Palma in 2024. Below right from top: The mystery of The Exchange; new Mexican eatery Abuel’s serves tacos<br />

and nachos; head to the Gravy Boat for roast beef and Yorkshire pud.<br />

After an inaugural season in the Mediterranean, Marella<br />

Voyager is relocating to the Caribbean for winter. It will be<br />

based in Bridgetown, Barbados, and sail three seven-night<br />

cruises in rotation – Paradise Islands, Taste of the Tropics<br />

and Tropical Delights.<br />

Between them they call into 12 islands including the<br />

British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, Tobago,<br />

Grenada, St Lucia, Aruba and Curaçao.<br />

Passengers can explore ashore alone or choose from a<br />

range of excursions that include hiking, biking, sailing and<br />

snorkelling. They can ride the only train in the Caribbean<br />

in St Kitts, zip through the tree canopies in Antigua, get<br />

wet, wet, wet on a river tubing adventure in Dominica and<br />

visit an ostrich farm in Curaçao.<br />

Marella Voyages returns to the Mediterranean in May<br />

2024 and will be sailing three seven-night itineraries<br />

round-trip from Palma that call into ports in France, Italy,<br />

Spain and Corsica.<br />

Head to Kitchens, a food court with eight<br />

eateries that has replaced the usual selfservice<br />

buffet, and you can tuck into roast<br />

beef and Yorkshire pud in the Gravy Boat<br />

and Cornish pasties in Pastry Crust. In the<br />

Squid & Anchor, an authentic British pub that<br />

comes alive in the evenings with live music,<br />

interactive game shows and quizzes, there are<br />

beers and ales galore.<br />

Out by the pool, colourful shacks echo<br />

days gone by at the beach in Cornwall. And<br />

check out the menu in Silver Fork, an upscale<br />

British-style restaurant serving everything<br />

from Scotch egg starters to a main course<br />

of pork wrapped in Parma Ham with egg and<br />

fries. A posh ham, eggs and chips!<br />

A couple of venues new and exclusive to<br />

Marella Voyager veer away from the British<br />

motif – a French-style eatery called Platters<br />

where you can nibble on cold meats, cheese<br />

and olives and Mexican Abuela’s for tacos and<br />

nachos – but plenty of fan favourites return<br />

for another outing.<br />

They include steak and seafood emporium<br />

Surf and Turf, Kora La, which serves some of<br />

the best curries on the high seas, and Nonna’s,<br />

a casual Italian diner where you choose your<br />

pasta, sauce and toppings (extra chilli please!)<br />

and the food is cooked then and there. It’s hot,<br />

tasty and wonderfully casual.<br />

In all, Voyager has 17 places to eat (there<br />

are also Greek, Japanese and Indian outlets in<br />

Kitchens), which is almost twice as many as<br />

most of its other ships, and 10 bars. The Art’s<br />

House is a riot of colour, Aperitif is a cosy spot<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />

for pre-dinner drinks and Flutes, my favourite,<br />

is a piano and Champagne bar tucked away<br />

near the main restaurant.<br />

Cabins and suites on Marella Voyager are<br />

equipped with tea and coffee-making facilities<br />

and come in various sizes to suit families,<br />

couples and solo travellers. Passengers with<br />

a balcony get a hammock, those in suites are<br />

treated to Premier Service perks including free<br />

pressing and breakfast in bed one morning.<br />

For the best room in the house, be quick<br />

and bag one of the two Voyager suites, one<br />

themed around St Lucia in the Caribbean, the<br />

other with a Greek Santorini vibe. They are<br />

twice the size of a balcony cabin, hold up to<br />

four people and look absolutely fabulous.<br />

But back to that secret room. On the<br />

penultimate day of my cruise, an envelope<br />

appears under the cabin door inviting me to<br />

enter the phone box at the entrance (so that<br />

is the way in!) at 8pm, lift the receiver, give<br />

the password Mr Giggle Juice and all would<br />

be revealed. And readers, it was. But I am not<br />

going to spoil the surprise. Let’s just say that<br />

inside there are barmen in garb straight off<br />

Peaky Blinders and you’ll either be gatecrashing<br />

a birthday party for a Noel Coward<br />

wannabee or part of an art heist. Have fun!<br />

✔ Marella Cruises has a seven-night Paradise<br />

Islands cruise round-trip from Bridgetown,<br />

Barbados departing January 7 2024 from<br />

£1,463 per person including flights from<br />

Gatwick, tips and selected beers, wines,<br />

cocktails and spirits.<br />

Flutes piano and<br />

Champagne bar is<br />

tucked away near the<br />

main restaurant.<br />




35<br />


Cruise lines calling into Halifax, 2024<br />

(CLIA members on sale in the UK only)<br />

Carnival Cruise Line<br />

Celebrity Cruises<br />

Crystal Cruises<br />

Cunard<br />

Explora Journeys<br />

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines<br />

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises<br />

Holland America Line<br />

MSC Cruises<br />

Norwegian Cruise Line<br />

Oceania Cruises<br />

P&O Cruises<br />

Ponant<br />

Princess Cruises<br />

Regent Seven Seas Cruises<br />

Royal Caribbean International<br />

Halifax<br />

Saga Cruises<br />

Seabourn<br />

Silversea<br />

Windstar Cruises<br />

WHY NOT?<br />

Take the Alderney Ferry across the harbour to<br />

downtown Dartmouth.<br />

Head out of town to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery,<br />

the final resting place of more than 100 of those<br />

who died when the Titanic sank in April 1912.<br />

Take a tour to pretty Peggy’s Cove, home of the<br />

most photographed lighthouse in Canada.<br />

Try a donair. It’s the official food of Halifax,<br />

exceedingly messy and very popular.<br />

Mention Halifax, a city on Canada’s Eastern Seaboard and most people<br />

think of the Titanic. It was from here that boats were sent to rescue<br />

passengers on the stricken liner and where the dead were buried.<br />

But there is a lot more to enjoy in this city, which has history, culture,<br />

fun attractions and beautiful natural surroundings.<br />

A steady trickle of cruise ships arrives between April and August, but<br />

the big numbers come in autumn, when vessels are on the Canada/<br />

New England fall foliage trail. In 2022 the city clocked up 148 ships and<br />

239,493 passengers.<br />

Most ships dock at Piers 22 and 20, at one end of a harbour boardwalk<br />

that is lined with restaurants, bars and museums, and within easy reach<br />

of shops. Passengers are generally greeted with bagpipes played by the<br />

78th Highlanders – a nod to the city’s Scottish heritage.<br />

WHAT TO DO<br />

Enjoy the sights, sounds, beer gardens, restaurants and<br />

public art along the 2.5-mile waterfront boardwalk.<br />

Call into the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to visit the<br />

Titanic Experience and learn of a devastating explosion that<br />

rocked Halifax in 1917 and killed thousands.<br />

See the city sights from land and sea on a Harbour<br />

Hopper tour.<br />

Climb up to the citadel to watch as they fire the<br />

midday cannon.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />




37<br />


Cruise lines calling into Québec City, 2024<br />

Québec City<br />

(CLIA members on sale in the UK only)<br />

Celebrity Cruises<br />

Crystal Cruises *<br />

Cunard *<br />

Explora Journeys *<br />

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines<br />

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises<br />

Holland America Line *<br />

MSC Cruises<br />

Norwegian Cruise Line *<br />

Oceania Cruises<br />

P&O Cruises<br />

Ponant<br />

Princess Cruises *<br />

Regent Seven Seas Cruises<br />

Seabourn<br />

Silversea *<br />

Windstar Cruises<br />

* Indicates cruise lines both visiting and offering<br />

turnarounds in Québec City.<br />

WHY NOT?<br />

Take a tour to Montmorency Falls Park. The<br />

waterfall is 30 metres higher than Niagara<br />

Falls and just minutes from the city.<br />

Join a food tour in the old city. You not<br />

only taste local food but learn a bit of<br />

history too.<br />

Take a ride to the 31st floor of the Capital<br />

Observatory for views over the old town.<br />

Enjoy the views of the city and St Lawrence<br />

River on a 2.8-mile walk around the fortified<br />

walls of Old Québec.<br />

You’ll know you have arrived in Québec City when out of the window,<br />

high above the harbour, looms the fairytale-like Chateau Frontenac.<br />

Opened in 1893 as a railway hotel, it is the undisputed landmark of the<br />

Canadian city.<br />

This city is fabulous - a slice of France in North America, with its<br />

cobbled streets, French chic and Gallic restaurants serving onion soup<br />

and moules frites (mussels and fries).<br />

Vessels dock at the confluence of the St Lawrence and Charles<br />

Rivers, from where it’s an easy walk to the old town. Basse Ville (lower<br />

town) is the first stop, with Haut Ville (upper town) high above and<br />

accessed either by a funicular or the colourfully-named escalier<br />

casse-cou (breakneck steps).<br />

The city is expecting to end <strong>2023</strong> with 124 cruise calls, of which 30<br />

will be ships turning around in the port, and 168,000 passengers. The<br />

season runs from April to the end of <strong>October</strong>, with most lines calling in<br />

autumn on fall foliage cruises.<br />

WHAT TO DO<br />

Treat yourself to afternoon tea at the spectacular Chateau<br />

Frontenac, said to be the world’s most photographed hotel.<br />

Take the funicular to Haut Ville to enjoy the view from the<br />

Plains of Abraham, where the British beat the French for<br />

control of North America in 1759.<br />

Get into the French vibe on a stroll around the cobblestone<br />

streets of the Petit-Champlain district, one of the oldest<br />

neighbourhoods in North America.<br />

See the oldest stone church in North America in Place Royale,<br />

where Samuel de Champlain founded Québec City in 1608.<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong> | STOWAWAY MEDIA<br />


71<br />

70<br />

WINTER 2022<br />

Expect the wonderful<br />


siness.<br />

savvy.<br />


The new home of luxury shopping in Qatar,<br />

Place Vendôme (pictured left and above), is<br />

vast in size and big on Parisian style. Over four<br />

floors, discover more than 580 high-end and<br />

mid-range stores, from Gucci and Valentino to<br />

Zara and H&M. There’s also the largest Louis<br />

Vuitton and Sephora stores in the Middle East.<br />

Outside every night from 19:00-23:00 on the<br />

hour, enjoy the whimsical Dancing Fountains<br />

show in the courtyard.<br />


Luxury lovers from across the globe are<br />

captivated by the array of designer goods at<br />

21 High Street in Katara – home to prestigious<br />

Parisian department store, Galeries Lafayette.<br />

There’s also a curated collection of worldrenowned<br />

fashion, watches and jewellery<br />

boutiques, from Cartier to Joseph. Expect a<br />

first-of-its-kind outdoor shopping experience<br />

in a cool, regulated environment, then head to<br />

Katara Hills for sunset.<br />


This man-made island just a 15-minute drive<br />

from the city centre, is a mix of luxurious<br />

residential villas overlooking the Arabian<br />

Gulf, with prestigious shops and supercar<br />

dealerships. A fun precinct where super yachts<br />

are moored in view of boutiques such as<br />

Alexander McQueen, you’ll see homegrown<br />

designers thriving alongside global brands,<br />

and the young Qatari style set hanging out.<br />

Find chic sneakers at Loft, delicate threads<br />

from Elie Saab or a luxury car from Ferrari.<br />

AL HAZM<br />

Step back in time to the grandeur of<br />

Europe with the added bonus of outdoor<br />

air-conditioning. This mall is a feast for the<br />

Breathtaking new hotels, art galleries, museums, sports arenas, world<br />

senses with gleaming marble walkways,<br />

lush 600-year-old olive trees imported from<br />

class restaurants Italy and Spain, and along glamorous with heat-absorbing boutiques, coupled with timeless<br />

floors and a state-of-the-art ventilation<br />

system to keep shoppers cool. There’s a<br />

souks, inspiring mosques and countless, centuries old traditions.<br />

sophisticated line-up of retail outlets – Glam<br />

District, Kashperia, Arabian Notes, De Beers<br />

And now a cruise port and community setting new standards in the<br />

and Palazzo Nero selling stunning abayas.<br />

Shop until you drop, then get a mani at Aldo<br />

5OF THE BEST...<br />





Make a splash at one of the<br />

largest theme parks in the<br />

Middle East. With sprawling<br />

cave-like structures housing<br />

more than 56 attractions, it’s<br />

made for aquatic adventures.<br />

+974 4423 6416<br />



London’s favourite Christmasthemed<br />

amusement park<br />

comes to Doha with festive<br />

attractions, activities, music,<br />

entertainment and delicacies<br />

at Al Maha Island in Lusail.<br />

Al Maha Island, Lusail City<br />

104<br />

world of travel Coppola by before sea coffee and at Rosemary by Café. land for you, your friends and family.<br />


2. SNOW DUNES<br />

Skiing in the desert? Yes!<br />

Nestled inside the Doha<br />

Festival City entertainment<br />

precinct is the first snow<br />

experience in Qatar, with<br />

snowy slopes that wrap<br />

around an imaginary city.<br />

+974 4042 0444<br />

5. DOHA QUEST<br />

One of Doha’s newest theme<br />

parks, Quest takes you on a<br />

journey through time and is<br />

divided into three dimensions<br />

– past, present and future.<br />

The best bit? It’s indoors and<br />

fully air-conditioned.<br />

+974 4410 3444<br />



This adventure park themed<br />

around the iconic gaming<br />

sensation of Angry Birds is<br />

a fun fantasy land brimming<br />

with 35 rides and colourful<br />

play zones inside Doha<br />

Festival City.<br />

+974 4042 0444<br />

Cool off at Desert<br />

Falls, one of the<br />

largest theme parks<br />

in the Middle East.<br />

Right:<br />

Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park.<br />

Qatar’s most coveted dining destinations<br />

take global flavours to new heights.<br />

Qatar’s food culture is steeped in humble dishes and generous hospitality, and now<br />

contemporary fine-dining adds to the rich tapestry of flavour. You’ll find global<br />

outposts of world-renowned fine-dining restaurants serving everything from modern<br />

Japanese to Peruvian, Cantonese, Mediterranean and beyond.<br />

NOBU, DOHA<br />


Dani Garcia’s breezy<br />

new seafood restaurant<br />

and tapas bar at The<br />

Pearl-Qatar is inspired by<br />

Spain’s chiringuitos (casual<br />

beachfront seafood eateries).<br />

Be transported to the<br />

Mediterranean as you dine<br />

on tuna carpaccio, squid ink<br />

croquettes, perfectly grilled<br />

fish and seafood paella in the<br />

lush gardens at the elegant<br />

Marsa Malaz Kempinski.<br />

+974 3100 0373<br />



Michelin-starred Italian chef<br />

Enrico Crippa has opened his<br />

first restaurant outside of Italy<br />

and it’s here in Doha. Head<br />

to Raffles Doha at the iconic<br />

Katara Towers in Lusail to<br />

dine on typical Italian dishes<br />

with a contemporary twist.<br />

The menu will feature all the<br />

flavours of Italy, including<br />

truffles from Alba in the<br />

northern Piedmont region.<br />

raffles.com<br />

NOBU, DOHA<br />

The Doha outpost of the<br />

world’s most exclusive dining<br />

destination is a curved oystershaped<br />

restaurant that sits<br />

on its own private beach.<br />

The design is a celebration<br />

of Qatar’s pearl diving past<br />

and the menu pays homage<br />

to Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.<br />

Must-try dish: miso marinated<br />

black cod. Nobu’s Friday<br />

brunch is also one of the<br />

hottest in town.<br />

+974 4494 8500<br />


105<br />

135<br />

Explore Qatar for the first time and we know you will return.<br />



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