Giving Back In Port

A big blue tour bus with a capacity for some 60 people waited outside the pier for us — all five of us. We were three passengers, one crew member and one host. We were all volunteers for Crystal Cruises‘ You Care, We Care voluntourism excursion to the Feed Nova Scotia food bank in Halifax. […]

River Cruising, African-Style?

Deepest Africa isn’t a place normally associated with cruising. But on a small stretch of the Chobe River, a sometimes mile-wide waterway forming part of the border between Namibia and Botswana, there’s an unexpected and thriving boutique riverboat operation, the elegant, 28-passenger Zambezi Queen.

Dubious Newbie? A Theme Cruise Could Change His Mind

You’ve probably got that skeptic in your life. You know, the guy who rolls his eyes when you mention your upcoming cruise vacation, or your pal who says she just “couldn’t imagine” spending all that time “trapped on a boat.” Mention that the cruise offers the opportunity to hang out with a legend of rock […]

The Best Cruise Tradition We’d Never Heard of

Next time, I’ll use the Pony Express. A letter dropped off July 13 at the Galapagos’ famous barrel-cum-mailbox in Post Office Bay still hadn’t arrived after almost a month. Tradition is to blame. For centuries, mariners visiting the famous Ecuadorian isles have relied on the unspoken duty of fellow pirates, whalers and now cruisers to […]

Photo: Anatomy of a Galapagos Cruise Ship

Sand is highly corrosive. Excursions in the Galapagos often begin or end on a beach head scattered with sea lions (and their scat). So the stern platform on the 48-passenger La Pinta it outfitted with handheld showerheads. Just up the stairs, wetsuits and mesh snorkel bags hang to dry. In the small lobby, a goodie […]

Cruise of a Lifetime: When Planning Is Almost as Fun as the Voyage

Be you bucket lister or wildlife buff, the idea of a Galapagos cruise pulses with animal magnetism. It’s a science fiction adventure — ship as time machine visiting a prehistoric land of black lava, alien cactus trees, swimming iguanas and giant tortoises. It turns out that pre-voyage planning, which includes ticking off items like “underwater […]

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