*A new European River Cruise section highlighting four new holidays*
*Two new Scandinavian cruises covering winter in Norway and the Scandinavian archipelago*
*Two new France and Spain combined cruises taking in historic coastal cities frequented by the Conquistadors*
*Three new cruises through the Mediterranean*
*New long-haul ‘Fly-Cruise’ holidays from Cape Town to the Seychelles and Thailand to Indonesia*
*Prices all-inclusive of walks and excursions offering excellent value for money*
Offering the perfect blend of exploration and relaxation, Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 386767, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/cruise-and-walk) the original walking experts have launched their exciting new Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays brochure for 2019.
Combining the best of small cruise experiences - sailing aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s award-winning ships - with the opportunity to berth in the heart of some of the world’s most enchanting locations (not accessible by larger ships) with an included shore programme of carefully graded and guided small group walking itineraries, the new portfolio showcases a choice of 26 inspirational holidays across 64 different departures.
Stretching from the Arctic Circle to far-flung islands in the Indian Ocean, popular favourites, such as Roaming Around Scotland and Ireland, Baltic Discovery, Magic of the Canaries and Islands in the Caribbean, are complemented by a selection of new adventures, ranging from snowshoeing by day and northern light gazing by night in the Norwegian Winter to island hopping through the exotic Southeast Asian archipelago on an Indonesian Island Discovery. With stunning ports of call providing an enthralling backdrop to superb walks, other new adventures include exploring the Mediterranean on three different cruises, following in the wake of great conquistadors along the French and Spanish coasts, taking in the scenic river waterways of Europe on four new tours and venturing further afield on a fly-cruise holiday sailing from Cape Town to the Seychelles.
Kevin O’Regan, Managing Director commented: “Combining two great holiday concepts into one, Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays offers the best of both worlds. Complementing Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet of award-winning small cruise ships with carefully planned walking programmes that make the most of each destination, clients have the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of a cruise with the added adventure of stepping ashore, in a small group, to explore some truly remote and fascinating destinations on foot, included in the price. With exciting new additions taking clients to wonderfully remote and often difficult to access destinations, such as the tiny coastal villages off the Arctic Circle and small exotic islands in the Southeast Asian seas, they also offer exceptional value for money with walks, shore excursions, accommodation, full board meals, entertainment and restaurant tips all included.”
To help clients select the right holiday to suit their preferred walking pace, ability and/or fitness, there is a continuum of walking grades that range from ‘Leisurely’ to ‘Moderate’ (Grade 1 to Grade 4). Styles of holidays are also indicated using a simple icon system and include categories such as ‘Pioneer’ for the more adventurous traveller, ‘Sightseeing’ and ‘Overnights in Port’ where you can step out in the evening to explore. Ramblers Walking Holidays ‘Cruise and Walk’ tours are available from a choice of five UK ports or from a selection of overseas ports as part of a ‘Fly Cruise’ departure.
Highlights which are new to the brochure include:
Norwegian Winter (Moderate, Grade 4)
Cruising the Norwegian coast from the colourful Art Nouveau city of Alesund in the south to the Arctic Circle and beyond, experience the snowy wonderland of Norway’s fjords on foot and by snowshoe by day with the promise of magical starry skies and unpredictable appearances of aurora borealis from ship’s deck by night. Complementing impressive shoreline vistas with time ashore delving into these scenes, the itinerary includes city walks around Tromsø with its strikingly modern polar centre and iconic Arctic Cathedral, island straddled Kristiansund and Trondheim; snowshoeing on Kvaløya island and from the little visited port of Bodø, dog sledding near Alta; a panoramic cable car ride up Storsteinen; and seeing Norway’s largest predators such as bears, wolves and lynx in the world’s northern most animal park.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Norwegian Winter 11 or 14 night holiday includes full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Prices available on request. Departures on 31 January 2020, 18 March 2020.
Scandinavian Islands (Leisurely, Grade 2)
Sailing the pristine waterways of Sweden, Finland and Denmark to a backdrop of exquisite island scenery, this late summer cruise takes in the wooded islands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches of Stockholm’s archipelago, some of Finland’s 6,000 plus Åland Islands and Denmark’s small rocky island Bornholm. Combining both city and countryside walks, highlights include wandering through historic cobblestoned streets with cross-timbered houses on Bornholm; visiting Gotland’s impressive medieval ruins; exploring the fourteen islands which band together the city of Stockholm; uncovering Finland’s seafaring history in the Swedish speaking port of Mariehamn; and getting an overview of Danish culture, taking in Copenhagen’s royal palaces and castles and the city’s contrastingly different, self proclaimed, autonomous neighbourhood of Christiania.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Scandinavian Islands 11 night holiday starts from £1,875 per person including full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 15 September 2019.
Seville & Bordeaux (Leisurely, Grade 3)
Visiting the great seafaring cities of Spain and France, follow in the wake of Conquistadors, Atlantic fishing fleets and pirate ships sailing along stretches of spectacular coast from Southampton to Cadiz. Combining time at sea with additional river cruising on the Gironde, Garonne and Guadalquivir (following its serpentine loops all the way to Seville’s Golden Tower), explore fascinating sights captured from the water in more detail on foot. Meander through the old seafaring city of Avilés with its colonnades, wrought iron balconies and oriel windows; take refreshing coastal walks along the coastal cliffs and from Vigo with expansive views out to sea; soak up Seville’s rich Andalucian atmosphere strolling through its orange blossom scented streets, shady patios and the ramparts of its famous Moorish Alcázar; explore the narrow streets of Cadiz - the once grand city of the Spanish Armada; and venture deep into Médoc wine country for a walk through the vines and wine tasting on ancient grounds at Chateau Lamothe-Cissac.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Seville & Bordeaux 13 night holiday starts from £1,885 per person including full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 8 June 2019, 14 September 2019.
The Mediterranean and her Islands (Leisurely, Grade 3)
Spring in the Mediterranean is a magical time with the countryside bursting with lushness after the winter rains. Following in the wake of Phoenician and Greek traders, Roman galleons and Viking marauders, sail along the Atlantic coast, island hopping into the Med to explore a wealth of historic sights that showcase the regions rich cultural heritage and span the centuries. Combining fascinating city explorations with hikes into the surrounding countryside, highlights include Ronda, one of the gems of Andalucia, and its dramatic deeply cut El Tajo Gorge; Minorca’s capital, Mahon and the relatively isolated east coast Cami de Cavalls path from Cap de Favaritx lighthouse to the pretty fishing village of Es Grau; the Corsican capital of Ajaccio with its coastal trail through flowering maquis of cistus and aromatic thyme to the 16th century Genoese tower of La Parata; and Sardinia’s main northern town Olbia where a walk from the neighbouring authentic enclave of San Pantaleo towards the famed ‘Costa Smeralda’ offers more impressive vistas of sparkling turquoise water and sun-kissed coast.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) The Mediterranean and her Islands 17 night holiday starts from £2,450 per person including full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 2 April 2019.
River Cruising - Cities of the Beautiful Danube (Leisurely, Grade 1)
Cruising the River Danube, immersed in the heart of Old Europe, explore some of this majestic stretch of water’s most imposing cities on a series of walks that take in a rich wealth of its castles, royal palaces and medieval towns, riverside ambles and hikes into the terraced vineyard clad hills. Incorporating the much revered capitals of Vienna and Budapest with visits to the magnificent Hofburg Palace, Buda's castle district and its Royal Palace, other highlights include an afternoon exploring Regensburg’s maze of historic streets, squares and monuments; the old town of Linz with its impressive Baroque architecture; wine tasting in Dürnstein with an optional steep walk to the medieval ruins of Burgruinne Dürnstein castle; and a tour of Bratislava and its imposing castle, with a short 20 minutes cycle ride to Devin Castle Ruine.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Cities of the Beautiful Danube 7 night holiday starts from £2,095 per person including flights, full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 26 April 2019.
Cape Town to the Seychelles (Leisurely, Grade 3)
Characterised by iconic wildlife and enthralling natural landscapes, Cape Town to the Seychelles 17 night cruise charts South Africa’s stunningly beautiful coast, calling in at Port Elizabeth to spot elephants and other endangered species in the Addo National Elephant Park and Richards Bay to explore the ‘home to the big five’ in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, before heading out to the exotic islands of Mayotte, Madagascar and Mahe in the crystal clear waters of the Seychelles. Here, highlights include a boat trip on the largest lagoon in the Indian Ocean which boasts over 250 different species of hard coral; an exploration of the Grand-Terre on Mayotte featuring stunning volcanic landscapes, marked by deep ravines and soaring peaks; the delights of Madagascan wildlife - lemurs, chameleons, geckos and snakes; and hiking with a local guide to the summit of Morne Seychellois National Park for breath-taking views of Maher’s western coast.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Cape Town to the Seychelles 17 night holiday includes flights, full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Prices available on request. Departures on 29 October 2019.
Indonesian Island Discovery (Leisurely, Grade 3)
Sailing the Southeast Asian archipelago, from Phuket in Thailand to Bali in Indonesia, explore a fascinatingly diverse string of idyllic islands, touching on differing cultures and discovering a region of contrasting beauty with lush plantations, active volcanoes and pockets of pristine beach. Taking in some of the World’s largest with a visit to the enormous Buddhist temple and a panoramic ride on Singapore’s giant observation wheel, also see the largest living lizard on earth, the formidable Komodo dragon, in its namesake natural paradise surrounded by crystal clear water and colourful reef. Calling at Sumatra, Java and Singapore along the way, walking highlights include a tour through the Tigro Agro Plantation to view rubber, coffee, cinnamon and Kapuk; a hike on Lombok from Kerandangan to Senggigi beach and on to Baun Pusek to spot the endemic wildlife and meet with local hill people; and a hidden trail through Balinese rice paddies, past rivers and coconut plantations before visiting the famous Royal water temple Pura Taman Ayun.
Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Indonesian Island Discovery 17 night holiday includes flights, full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Prices available on request. Departures on 26 November 2019.
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Notes to Editors:
Ramblers Walking Holidays is the core brand for RWH Travel, the experts in guided walking adventures. Having celebrated its 70th Anniversary of holiday operating in 2016, other brands within the group include Adagio holidays – leisurely walking and cultural holidays at a gentle pace and Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays – in association with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. In total, the company operates over 250 holidays across over 60 countries worldwide.
Each of the Ramblers Walking Holidays has been graded to help clients choose their preferred pace, with categories ranging from Grade 1-3/Leisurely (usually two hours walking); to Grade 4-6/Moderate (a combination of full and half day walks); and Grade 7-9/Challenging (full day walks where stamina is key). On some holidays, there is the chance to experience more than one walking grade with two leaders. Perfect for couples and friends who prefer to walk at a different pace or have different walking abilities.
Adagio holidays, due to their leisurely nature, are generally not allocated a walking grade.
To help clients choose the type of walking holiday that will appeal to their interest, Ramblers Walking Holidays also uses symbols that depict the main interest, style or theme of the walks. Categories include: Pioneer; Continuous Walks; Flora & Walking Holidays; Bird Watching & Walking; Lifestyle, Culture & Natural History; Hutting; Rail & Walk; Sightseeing.
The company’s mission is to generate funds for walking charities by the provision of outstanding outdoor activity holidays worldwide.
With its not-for-profit philosophy, the company contributes monies to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust which supports walking related and environmental projects in the UK. The company also funds Heart & Sole - an initiative managed by company staff, with the aim of reaching into the heart of the communities visited both in the UK and overseas.
RWH Travel also runs The Walking Partnership - an initiative which champions walking at the 'grass roots' level by providing funding and support to walking groups and clubs throughout the UK.
Ramblers Walking Holidays is the Walking Holiday Partner of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity which has been pioneering and championing walking and ‘rights of way’ for over 70 years across England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers travelling on all holidays operated by RWH Travel are fully protected via the company’s membership of ABTA (No V5094) and as holders of an ATOL licence (No 990). RWH Travel is also a member of IATA, AITO and ETOA.