Jools Holland will sail on a trio of cruises aboard new ship Spirit of Discovery next year, playing a mix of Boogie-Woogie, R&B, Jazz and Soul during two performances, accompanied by his band of musicians.
As part of a five-year partnership with Saga Cruises, Jools has also endorsed one of Spirit of Discovery’s three specialty restaurants, The Club by Jools, inspired by 1950s cabaret lounges.
The venue, with resident and guest musicians, offers steaks, live music and cocktails.
2020 cruises featuring Jools Holland's appearances are:
A Baltic Fable : Jools Holland and his band will perform on this cruise to six Baltic cities celebrating history and culture of the region from tales of the Russian Tsars to Hans Christian Andersen fairytales. There’s also more music including fun sounds from an Oompah Band to the iconic pop of ABBA. 16 nights from £3,647 per person, departing Dover on August 7, 2020.
Sounds of Spain: Music on this cruise continues with the enchanting sounds of the Spanish guitar and flamenco performances. Tours ashore feature a trail of Valencia’s street art and visiting UNESCO-listed old town of Ibiza. On the Spanish mainland, guests visit the ports Almeria and Cadiz, with their beautiful buildings and sun-dappled squares. 14 nights from £2,975 per person, departing Southampton on March 15, 2020.
Western France and the Costa Verde
Music and gastronomy are the two main themes on this cruise which features two new ports for Saga Cruises, San Sebastian and Marin. Spirit of Discovery will sail along the Garonne to Bordeaux for guests to join an exclusive dinner at a local château, while along the coast of northern Spain there are more treats including pintxos and Galician wine. 15 nights from £3,721 per person, departing Dover on July 23, 2020.
For details call free on 0800 656 9919 or visit saga.co.uk/ocean-cruises
Prices for the above cruises featuring Jools Holland on board include all meals and entertainment, choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, free wifi, all on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance.
The Gambia Experience has launched its new brochure marking 32 years of operation to West Africa. Offering the widest choice of UK flights, with a flying time of around 6 hours between London and Banjul, the operator presents an extensive collection of holidays and adventures enabling visitors to experience more than simply the country's sunshine and golden sands.
Catering for all tastes and budgets, accommodation ranges from value beach hotels, all-inclusive and spa resorts to indulgent luxury hideaways, floating river lodges, wildlife and nature reserves within Luxury, Unique and Classic collections. Boat trips, overland excursions and home cooking days in a typical Gambian household are among experiences available through the company for private parties and groups.
Key locations to observe species of exotic birds and wildlife are included – from hotel gardens, nature reserves, the riverside or in the African bush, guided tours can be tailored for a minimum of two people.
To further showcase the region's waterways, The Gambia Experience has added a Rivers of West Africa mega yacht cruise, with four and seven-night itineraries departing early 2020 from Banjul.
For a memorable safari experience observing game, the company presents Fathala Wildlife Reserve in neighbouring Senegal, offering day trips and overnight stays or longer.
Featured hotels in beach resorts of north and south Senegal are now integrated within Gambia hotel collections and can provide a perfect add-on to a Gambia holiday or, as a stand-alone holiday with flights in and out of Dakar.
The Gambia Experience's product manager Karen Durham commented: “Capturing this colourful country through our collection of holidays, excursions and tours we can provide our customers with the perfect introduction to unspoiled Africa. We are thrilled to present some great multi-centre options alongside holiday extensions and excursion opportunities, including a Rivers of West Africa Cruise which adds another dimension to our exciting range of experiences."
More information at www.gambia.co.uk
Princess Cruises has announced the activation of Ocean Medallion on six more of its ships in 2020:
· Ruby Princess on January 27
· Grand Princess on March 29
· Enchanted Princess on June 15, ship launch date
· Emerald Princess on August 16
· Coral Princess on October 16
· Island Princess on December 20
Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton and enter service with the enhanced guest experience. It will then sail a season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean. The multi-award winning Medallion is now available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess. It will be introduced on Crown Princess on July 24, making it the first ship with UK departures to have the benefit of Ocean Medallion, as Crown Princess is currently sailing a season around the British Isles.
Sky Princess, the line's next ship, will launch with the technology when it enters service on October 20, 2019. The ship will then spend a short season sailing the Mediterranean.
Ocean Medallion is intended to make every guest feel like a VIP and helps them relax and enjoy their cruise. The device is the same size as a 10 pence piece and replaces more traditional cruise cards.
The Medallion's technology makes it quicker and easier for guests to get on and off their ship. Once on board it opens doors when guests approach their cabin, ideal for anyone who has their hands full or is with small children. The Medallion's 'compass' feature means guests can find and stay connected on board, as well as navigate their way around the ship. It also allows guests to order drinks and snacks, plus holiday essentials such as suntan lotion and swimming goggles, directly to anywhere on board including their stateroom.
Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises' vice president UK and Europe, said: “The Ocean Medallion has proved a groundbreaking piece of travel technology and the feedback from guests, in terms of how it has helped enhance and improve their cruise, has been overwhelmingly positive. It's great news, both for our guests and crew, that we will be offering the Medallion on even more ships throughout next year. I've been fortunate enough to experience the Medallion first-hand and the simple, seamless service it provides means I'd thoroughly recommend it, whether people are already familiar with our ships or looking to dip their toe in the water for the first time.”
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website gillypickup.co.uk