Thought you knew cruises? Think again. Independent cruise agencies are creating new ways to discover the world’s most far-flung, sought-after destinations.

The way we travel is changing. People no longer want typical tourist holidays. Today’s travellers are curious and adventurous, looking to immerse themselves in local experience rather than simply check a few landmarks off their bucket list. That’s why more and more people are turning to the original way of exploring unknown, foreign frontiers—by sea.

Our travel partner Fusion Cruises fills us in on how independent cruise agencies are rising to the challenge, creating new ways for us to discover the world and transforming the way we think of cruises.

 

1. Worldly eyes

caribbean

We all have a different part of the world we’re drawn to, without really knowing why. For some of us it can be found in East Asia’s ancient temples or perhaps in Europe’s opulent, cultural treasures. We might long to be at one with nature in Canada or simply float away on the Caribbean way of life.

A cruise gives you the unique opportunity to see all the different cultures and meet all the different people that make up your chosen corner of the world. And you only ever have to unpack once, without the hurried hassle and tiresome treks. In fact, the local comes straight to your doorstep.

 

2. Where to, Captain?

cruising

Most major cruise liners and agencies dictate the routeing and schedule for flights, with little to no flexibility around your own conveniences. It’s usually only once you’ve found the perfect cruise, after hours of searching, that you realise the only flight offered connects through three different cities. That’s a whole lot of travelling to do before your holiday even begins.

What’s more, if you’re venturing all that way across the world, what happens when you decide you want to linger a bit longer? Pre and post-cruise packages are few and far between in the travel world. But with an independent agency, you can decide how, when and where you’d like to extend your trip.

You can arrange to check into a hotel and unwind at the spa pre-cruise, or plan an adventure further inland once you arrive back on shore. It is your holiday after all, isn’t it?

 

3. Personalised expert advice

personalised expert advice

Tired of all the generic, brochure-holidays out there, some people do try to venture out into the world alone. But most of us just don’t want to risk the costly mistakes and muddled itineraries of arranging a trip to a distant, unknown region all by ourselves.  

With an independent agency, you get the best of both worlds. Like it or not, these expert travel consultants know more than you do.

They are well connected with local tour companies out there and can arrange all the trips, the special passes, upgrades and little touches that are not available to the general public.

 

4. Venture away from the crowds

cruising

You might be sharing a ship with other travellers, but an independent agency can help you go against the grain and venture away from the crowds once you arrive on shore.

Using their extensive black book of local connections, they can arrange group or private excursions to hidden gems that most travellers would never find.

Imagine secluded coves and exclusive wine tasting in the region’s finest vintages. How about partying with local folk dancers and musicians, or sampling traditional dishes in restaurants known only to local villagers?

 

5. Get to the heart of local experience

local experience chinese new year

By aligning your trip with the annual events, traditions and celebrations of a destination, you can go one step further and truly immerse yourself in local culture.

An independent cruise agency can make sure that you welcome the Chinese New Year in beneath the soaring skyscrapers and fireworks of Hong Kong. Or that you’re in the right place at the right time during the whale watching season in Alaska.

They can help you take part in local traditions as carpets of petals line the streets of Funchal or marvel at the Pre-Colombian religious ceremonies in Peru’s historic capital of Cusco.

 

Fusion Cruises are the official partners of Reader’s Digest Cruise Club

Become a member for free and get personalised advice on planning your next cruise, as well as exclusive access to deals, offers and free giveaways

Sign up below or call us on 01903 389066

 

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