Rough it or smooth it?

Rough it or smooth it?

16 Oct 2008

The rough and the smooth crusing

Rough it: barging in Holland

If the idea of being trapped on a floating hotel fills you with dread, there are cruising holidays that don’t have to be so painful on the wallet or the will to live.

With miles and miles of peaceful canals and waterways that are occasionally broken up by the gentle creaking of a windmill or a scarlet blanket of tulips, a boating holiday in Holland is the perfect outdoorsy adventure for those who are looking for a watery getaway.

With a seemingly endless canal system to explore, it’s up to you where you want to start your journey. Simply pick up a cruiser (or a more traditional Penichette) in Amsterdam and choose the direction you want your holiday to take… literally! Head south west to the Friesian region and the hundreds of lakes or stay north around the capital.

The boats can fit up to 10 people onboard and come with all the fittings, however with so many canal-side bars and cafés to explore, you don’t want to be trapped by the oven. Don’t be alarmed about captaining your own holiday either as Holland is such a boating nation there are many cruise companies and river-side marinas to help you on your way.

From Dhs3,500 for seven nights (includes a boat for two people, a refundable security charge and fuel is charged according to useage). Visit www.cruiseholland.comfor more info on steering your own holiday.

Smooth it: sailing the atlantic in style

If you’re looking for a cruise to satisfy your sense of adventure but that still offers the lap luxury and exclusivity, follow in the footsteps of the most intrepid explorers with a Classic Antarctic journey on the Minerva, which sails her passengers to the end of the earth in all the luxury of a five-star liner. That means some of the largest suites sailing the high seas, a personalised service of 146 staff for just 199 passengers, and one of the finest floating restaurants in the southern hemisphere.

Having landed in Buenos Aires and then transferred to Ushuaia in Argentina where the 437ft Minerva – which was voted “the world’s best expedition ship by Conde Nast Traveller” – is moored, the next nine days are spent sailing around the Antarctic. Guests have the opportunity to explore the natural habitats of penguins and seals with visits to their snow-covered islands, bird and whale watching with the experts and onboard lecturers, or simply spend time soaking up the awe-inspiring scenery from one of the Minerva’s private balconies as the ship weaves through the icebergs of the Lemaire Channel (otherwise known as ‘Kodak Gap’ for its incredible photo opportunities), before travelling up towards Cape Horn and back to port.

From Dhs36,000 for 16 days (including flights from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires and internal transfers, all meals and drinks aboard the Minerva). Visit further information and more luxury cruising holidays.