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History Buff Cruises – guest post from Cruise Web

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3 Cruise Destinations for History Buffs

By Austin Gambino, The Cruise Web Team

As vacations go, cruising offers a lot of diversity. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in kicking back on the beach, ready to go on a culinary adventure, or intrigued by the depths of a destination’s history. Let’s take a look at three cruise destinations that are just perfect for history buffs.

Asia/Southeast Asia

Whether you are cruising to China, Japan, or Southeast Asia, there are some unbelievable sites and attractions for those who love to learn about a region’s history. Beyond the classic trips such as the Great Wall, Angkor Wat, and The Forbidden City, there are plenty of options to explore for even the most jaded travelers of Asia, such as the Sultan Mosque (Singapore), Celuk (Bali), or the Usuki Stone Buddha Statues (Beppu, Japan).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Ayutthaya (Thailand), Tianjin (China), Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Busan (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Port Kelang (Malaysia), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Trek into the Batu Caves while at port in Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang) in Malaysia. This location is a sacred Hindu temple with incredible statues and vibrant wildlife (such as the macaque monkeys) with some equally amazing history. Keep in mind there is a 272-step climb to reach the cave complex, so you’re sure to work out your body and your mind on this excursion.

Northern Europe

Cruising to Northern Europe is well-known to be a history buff’s dream. Castles, museums, and churches can be found all over Ireland, Germany, Northern France, Norway, and other countries you will encounter on a cruise to Northern Europe. In addition to the traditional options, river cruises are a superb option to get acquainted with the historic wonders of the Danube, Main, Rhine, and other European rivers.

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Copenhagen (Denmark), Bergen (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Southampton (England), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Hamburg (Germany), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Certain cruise lines offer a unique excursion while cruising through Russia that allows passengers to become a ‘Cosmonaut for a Day’ at Moscow’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. This is a special excursion for history buffs because this base was used as a secret training base for Soviet Cosmonaut candidates and had a direct connection with the ‘space race’ between the USSR and the United States during the cold war.

Canada and New England

Cruises to Canada and New England are an intriguing vacation option for history buffs because of the diversity of history you can experience. In New England, there are attractions and deep rooted cultural and historical influences from the United States’ early years (pilgrims/indians, Yankees, and Industrial Revolution). In Canada, you can find French and British influences dating from the 15th century, Post-Confederation Canada, and more (quaint villages, landmarks, and historic forests).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

New York City (New York), Newport (Rhode Island), Boston (Massachusetts), Bar Harbor (Maine), Halifax, Novia Scotia (Canada), Quebec City (Canada), Montreal (Canada),  and more.

Extraordinary Excursion(s)

If you want to try something different than the classic ‘Lexington & Concord’ in Boston or Quebec City walking tour, you may want to check out the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, which was once the headquarters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Or, visit the picturesque ‘Peggy’s Cove’ tucked into the eastern shore of Halifax, which boasts a pedigree of fishing excellence since 1811, and has a wonderful lighthouse to explore (Peggy’s Point Lighthouse). Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque fishing village. You can charter a boat to go fishing or simply drop a copolymer fishing line from one of the four wharfs to fish for mackeral.

As you can see, history buffs can enjoy history and cultural influence while cruising to the myriad of destinations served by cruises, such as Canada and New England, Northern Europe, and Asia. Remember, this only scratches the surface of history while traveling by sea.   Many other cruise destinations are ideal for historical vacationing, such as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Africa. Which history buff cruise destination seems like the most intriguing? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us about your historical cruise vacationing experience!

Mexico Cruise Prices Plunge Despite Low Risks

cruises, mexico, mexico cruises., swine flu, Travel

The Swine Flu has yet to claim many victims – in fact it now appears likely that the casualties from regular flu will be *hundreds of times greater* than from Swine Flu. Yet the outbreak appears to be having a chilling effect on travel, especially to Mexico.

Obviously individuals perceptions and tolerances for risk vary, but this is probably one of the best times *in your lifetime* to take Cruise trip to Mexico if you can overcome the anxiety you might have worrying about the small chance you’d pick up the flu during your trip. Keep in mind that precautions are so high now my personal guess is that people are actually *less likely* to get sick on a cruise now than before the Swine Flu outbreak.

As with lightning strikes on a golf course we tend to exaggerate the likelihood of dramatica or catastrophic risks and underestimate the likelihood of minor or mundane risks.

Although the Centers for Disease Control caution that this outbreak could become worse, I think most scientists would agree that people should not avoid travel as a result of the Swine Flu and perhaps more importantly would agree that you can reduce your death risk much more substantially by avoiding or cutting back on other “more risky than flu” behaviors such as driving, bicycling, drinking, smoking, etc, etc.

Here’s the AA Cruise link that got me thinking about this. This is NOT an subsidized endorsement and there may be other great deals out there.

Choosing a Cruise Cabin

cruise ships, cruises, Travel has a great article on the relative merits of different cabin locations on a luxury cruise.

You can read the article here, or to summarize in a few sentences they note that you’ll save a lot with an inside cabin and for many that usually-very-tight-space will be just fine since they’ll be using it mostly just for sleeping. However they also say a window and balcony cabin is much nicer and a thus a fine place to relax on the ship.

Thanks to the economic difficulties this may be an exceptional time to plan a short cruise, especially if you take advantage of the “last minute” specials that all cruise lines offer. The cruise travel economy is *huge* and very complicated, so the best first start is to surf online to the various company websites to get a basic feel for places, amenities, and costs. I’ve listed a few of these sites below. After you have a sense of costs and what you might want, dig deeper online searching for “discount cruises” and view several major travel sites for specials and deals. My understanding is that generally your lowest costs will come from specials as they seek to fill a boat in the month or week before the cruise sets sail, so as with almost all travel try to be as flexible as possible for the best bargains.

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