Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Water Great Way to See the Sights

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Water Great Way to See the Sights

Article excerpt

The medieval splendour of Abbaye de Jumieges Colourful tulips from Amsterdam IT HAS never been easier to travel from the UK to some of the most glorious medieval cities of Europe - and you don't have to go anywhere near a plane.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages now offers a fantastic journey by sea to places like Amsterdam and Antwerp ... and it probably leaves from your doorstep.

For the cruises operate from 11 ports in the UK, which certainly takes the stresses out of travelling.

My hubby and I signed up for a six-night medieval cities and River Seine cruise from London's Tilbury.

We were greeted onboard the MS Magellan by a neat line of stewards keen to help and show us to our cabin. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but a double room with plenty of storage, a more than adequately-sized bathroom, tea and coffee facilities and a view was the perfect start to our adventure.

There were 1,700 on board (550 of them staff) and the ship - one of five operated by CMV - is seen by many as a home from home.

Many of our fellow passengers spoke of previous trips with great affection, and we soon understood why they were keen to return.

The ship has a wide range of comfortable lounges, together with two formal and one cafe-style restaurants - and they are all accessible by lift.

Panoramic seating and uninterrupted views on the many outside decks could still easily be enjoyed in late October.

The benefit of this type of holiday is that you only unpack once, even though we visited four cities.

And the food? Well, that was in another league. The five-course evening meal was of a very high standard. Always hot, beautifully presented, and delivered by staff who appeared to be very proud of their role on your holiday.

Amsterdam was our first port of call. We took in the stunning views of the city from the observation deck of the A'DAM Tower where we watched boats and ferries transporting passengers to all parts of the bustling city.

If you visit, a trip on the picturesque canal ring is a must - and if you can combine it with a meal onboard then that's the icing on the cake. We hopped off at the Hermitage museum and took a look at the latest exhibition of Dutch Masters.

The next city we woke up in was Antwerp, the ship arriving almost in the main square (Grote Markt), where the statue of Brabo told us the story of how Antwerp was named. A visit, by tram, to the De Koninck brewery, and naturally a few tasters, was ideal before we enjoyed an appetising Antwerp stew. There was so much to see that one trip is certainly not enough Our one and only sea day followed, but there was so plenty to do on board. We enjoyed a quiz presented by none other than They Think It's All Over host Nick Hancock, with guests including David Gower, Chris Cowdrey and Don Topley - with humour, stories and entertainment for all. …

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