(9 a.m. BST) -- The final episode of Channel 5's popular TV show "Cruising with Jane McDonald" airs this Friday (September 22), with Jane experiencing a Cuba cruise onboard Celestyal Cruises Celestyal Crystal.
The first series was a huge hit for the network -- receiving average viewing figures of 1.8 million per episode -- prompting Channel 5 to commission the second series, which was filmed during the summer.
The first episode of series two -- in which Jane experienced the Baltic on Viking Cruises Viking Sky -- received 1.4 million viewers, taking a 7.57 percent market share -- the network's top show of the night.
Friday's episode begins and ends in Havana, where Jane experiences Cuba’s spirit both on and off-shore with visits to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba as well as a stop in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Commenting on the cruise, Jane said: "Cuba was like being in the film La La Land. Everywhere we went people were singing and there were bands on every street corner. I was serenaded with guitars. Cubans are the happiest people I've ever met, and it was really enlightening to be with folk who love life. We blagged our way into a house party and it was like the set of Fame.”
Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises and CLIA Europe Chairman commented: “We are honored to be part of this series and to have had the opportunity to host Jane, who is of course synonymous with cruising in the UK. Cruising continues to grow in popularity in the UK and and we hope that this series will generate further interest in cruising and Celestyal Cruises.”
Avalon Waterways' U.K. Managing Director, Giles Hawke, commented: "We’re delighted Channel 5 chose to film such a beautiful area as Burgundy and Provence, sailing the River Rhone on board Avalon’s Suite Ship, Avalon Poetry II. The first series generated huge interest around the cruises it featured, and I’m sure the second series will have the same effect."
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director of MSC Cruises U.K. and Ireland, said: "It is an honour to show the British public another of our beautiful ships, this time the newest vessel in our ever expanding modern fleet. Jane was one of the first guests to experience MSC Meraviglia and we can’t wait to see what she thought.
"There is no better way to challenge stereotypes and demonstrate how fantastic cruising is for all ages, than to physically show people and this popular TV series does just that. The show is fantastic for the industry as a whole as it raises awareness of cruising as a holiday choice for everyone, and illustrates the accessibility and affordability of cruising as it is today."
--By Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.