UK Cruise Company Offers Discounts on Holiday Shopping is offering all its customers the chance to make some fantastic savings on all their holiday essentials.

The UK cruise company has scoured the web to find the best bargains on all travel necessities including sunglasses, MP3 players, toothpaste, swimwear and more.

Anyone struggling to decide what to pack for an upcoming cruise can check out the must-read holiday checklist, which shows all the vital items needed for the perfect holiday. And there are some great online discount codes available to save consumers hundreds of pounds!

Sunglasses are an absolute must when heading anywhere sunny, and holidaymakers can save up to 15% with the special voucher. Likewise, a hat/cap is essential to protect adults and kids from the sun during high temperatures, and consumers can get 7.5% off with the discount code.

Many cruise lines have a strict dress code for dining, which means that a smart tuxedo or suit must be packed. Get up to 10% off with the online voucher and a further 10% off shampoo- that’s massive savings, especially when money is tight.

Get discount codes off suncream, flat shoes, shorts, docking stations and much much more; so if you are planning to book a holiday soon, check out the incredible savings to be had on the travel checklist.

Are you sailing away on a cruise in the coming weeks? Make sure you remember to pack everything that you’ll need with help from the cruise experts. Visit the site today for unbeatable value cruise deals, as well as helpful guides.


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Red Bull flies in the 2013 Dakar Rally

The world of motor racing makes its annual pilgrimage to South America in January for the 2013 Dakar Rally, with Red Bull taking an early lead.

Between 5th-20th January, over 300 determined drivers will make the arduous 8,000km trek over sand dunes, rocky terrain and mud. Speeding through Chile, Argentina and Peru, the Dakar attracts the very best from around the world, including the Qatar Red Bull Rally Team.

Offering an amazing and diverse range of geographic challenges perfect for rally racing, this will be the fifth time Dakar has taken place in South America.

Starting in Lima, Peru, the competitors will take in some amazing sights, encompassing the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline, before visiting Argentina for some serious desert driving.  Finally, the teams will be squeezed between the ocean and the Andes Mountains for the final leg towards the chequered flag in Santiago, Chile.

Red Bull has already secured victory in the first four stages, with the buggy of Carlos Sainz making the win on days one and two. Teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed victory over stages three and four in the same category.

Al-Attiyah spoke positively about the Rally and South America itself, saying:  “We are all so happy to be here in the Dakar and the start from Lima this morning was really special. There were so many people there to give us support in the city and also all the way along the 250km liaison route to Pisco.”

For exciting daily updates via video, press releases, interviews, statements and images, visit

7 Wonders of Dubai

Dubai is one of the greatest cities in the world- it is named the City of Gold for a reason. Located in the United Arab Emirates, it has recently been rated as the best place to live in the Middle East by Mercer, and it is the fastest growing city in the world.

The hotspot has a wealth of modern shopping malls, exclusive restaurants and bars, and the hotels are renowned for being high quality. There is plenty to do and see whilst on holiday and here are the 7 best wonders of Dubai that are an absolute must-see.

The Wadi Adventure Wave Pool

This is one of the most unique waves in the world and is a brand new surf pool situated in the desert. It is the Middle East’s first man-made artificial wave park in Al Ain and its righteous waves can reach over 3.3 meters high every 90 seconds. If you fancy your own piece of Oasis, surf the desert with perfect waves and warm water.

Watch Sally Fitzgibbons surf The Wadi Adventure Wave Pool here.

Dubai Mall

Dubai is the shopping capital of the Middle East and it is home to the world’s largest shopping mall Dubai Mall. It was created as part of the $20 billion Burj Khalifa complex and it has a whopping 1,200 shops. The phenomenon attracts over 750,000 visitors every week, surpassing landmark leisure destinations from around the world including Times Square and Niagara Falls.

Burj Al Arab

Dubai is the home to the world’s first 7-star hotel. It is the fourth tallest hotel in the world and is connected to the mainland via a bridge as it rests on an artificial island constructed offshore. The accommodation has been designed to mimic the sail of a ship and it cost USD $650 million to construct.

The cost of such an extravagant stay? Room prices vary from $11,000 to $45,000 per night.

Burj Khalifa

This sky scraper is a world-class destination. It is renowned for being the tallest building in the world and it is estimated to cost around $4 billion. It is the magnificent centrepiece of Downtown Dubai standing over 828 metres and more than 160 stories. Not only does it have the tallest service elevator in the world but also the highest outdoor observation deck.

The Palm Islands

These are three man-made, palm shaped islands in Dubai and from above they look absolutely breath-taking. Constructed by a property developer called Nakheel Properties, they are named The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira. On the three islands alone there are over 100 hotels as well as water theme parks, health spas and exclusive beach side bungalows and apartments.


Dubai is home to the world’s biggest amusement park and it is definitely a dream come true for both adults and children. Owned by Tatweer, it features six different theme worlds and is the epitome of an entertainment complex. It cost a massive $64.3 million to build.

(Image used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence)


Brits delay holidays until after Olympics

A survey has revealed that many British holidaymakers managed to hold off booking a holiday until the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony.

The study, conducted by Amadeus and ForwardKeys has revealed that departures to any destination from London before the opening ceremony were 5% lower than the recorded figure in 2011.

These findings highlight that holidaymakers have made a conscious decision to stay at home to support the many athletes involved with team GB, whilst showing their patriotic spirit towards Britain.

After coming third in the medal table with 29 gold medals, 17 silver and 16 bronze, people have clearly been engrossed in the Games, watching our professional athletes perform for Great Britain.

As London was expected to be even busier than usual, it was predicted that many people would escape overseas or visit the countryside for peace and quiet. But it appears that the British spectators have revelled in the sporting spirit and have cheered team GB along the way.

As summer is usually the most popular time to book a holiday, it comes as a surprise that many holidaymakers have booked in the three weeks after London 2012. Figures have revealed that bookings figures are up 10% during these three weeks in comparison to last year, highlighting that people are looking to treat themselves to a break after the Games.

The figures, based on international air reservations has also revealed that 13% of tourists will be planning a trip to areas of London after the Olympics has subsided. However, many people will also be looking to escape the hustle and bustle by visiting the surrounding countryside locations.

This also brings positive news to UK tourism and the accommodation industry as many more people have chosen to take a staycation this year, to holiday near to home and be close to the games.

Independent Cottages has a fantastic range of self-catering holiday cottages that are perfect for those in need of a break after the Olympic Games.

European River Cruises on the Rise

The number of us deciding to take our holidays in the slow lane is on the rise, according to The Passenger Shipping Association.

Over the last three years there has been a marked increase in the number of Britons trading holidays on the beach for the more luxurious, and altogether more relaxed and refined, option of a European river cruise; despite recession-busting price increases.

The figures for 2011 show that there were an extra 5,000 British passengers sailing the continent’s waterways, compared to the previous year. The rise, of approximately 7%, brings the total number of passengers from the UK to 80,300; a stark increase on both 2010 (74,900) and 2009 (69,000).

The PSA’s data shows that combined cruises along the Rhine and Danube showed the largest rise as, in fact, they doubled in the year-on-year figures from 4,300 (2010) to 8,300 (2011). The other significant increases were in France (Rhône and Seine; a combined increase of 28%) and Russia (up 11% Y-O-Y).

The number of passengers going further afield than Europe also increased during 2011(according to the PSA). These increases were largely due to the rising number of visitors to China and other Asian countries where cruises on the likes of the Yangtze and Mekong saw increases of 6%.

However, political troubles in Egypt have hit the traditional Nile River cruises hard. Nile cruises saw a drop of 57% as 25,000 passengers opted to stay at home or go on other types of holidays in order to avoid the political unrest.

The overall trend, however, is definitely on an upward trajectory with similar increases expected to be seen in the 2012 figures. Bill Gibbons, the director of the PSA, explained the increase in popularity: “As European river cruises in particular continue to grow in popularity, the appeal of a river journey has never been stronger. Passengers enjoy panoramic landscapes together with easy access to explore the heart of great cities and towns, and all while just unpacking once. 2012 will see the launch of 12 new river cruise vessels, a number which feature suites and balconies, together with some wonderful new itineraries.”

With an ever growing number of vessels and passengers it is unsurprising that travel companies are grappling for a piece of the action. Possibly even more telling is the price of such a holiday, which has increased by an average of £225 per person in the last eighteen months. This increase means that 2012 is set to be by far the most profitable year for the river cruise industry – so much so that the UK river cruise industry was recently valued at a staggering £179 million.

Airline ‘Storm’ Means Cheaper Flights and Airport Transfers

Cheaper flights and bargain airport transfers sounds like a great thing for holiday makers. But what is actually going on in the airline industry at the moment, and how will it affect passengers in the long term?

Many airlines are currently revealing low profit figures for the past twelve months, with a number of the larger airlines, including Quantas Airways, reporting a loss.

At a national level, there are also signs of the current industry struggle. Low cost airlines such as Flybe are experiencing difficulties; the Exeter-based company have reported a 6.2 million pre-tax loss. Another low cost carrier, BMI Baby, will undergo closure this year.

In an overall view of the current European situation, the continent’s airlines have been predicted to deliver a record loss of over one billion dollars. For an industry that was flying high only a few years ago, many are asking how these dramatic changes have come about.

The causes for these losses are both obvious and discreet, with several factors contributing. Rises in oil prices last year hit the industry hard and, although prices have dropped by eight percent this year, the combination of oil prices and other strenuous influences have left many airlines struggling to recover.

The economic crisis has played a large part in the lead up to what has been described as an airline ‘storm’, and many fear that a global economic slump could be on the cards. Director General of the International Air Transport Association, Tony Tyler, stated that ‘If the world enters an economic slump, that will be even worse for the industry than the higher fuel price was on its own’.

As airlines struggle to accommodate the drop in passenger numbers caused by the economic crisis and rise in oil prices, downsizing and staff cuts are being considered and implemented. In fact, the rise in staff and airport costs have also contributed to the current ‘storm’ taking place in the airline industry.

The question many people are asking is, what does this mean for passengers? The good news is that the situation may in fact benefit many passengers flying in the coming year rather than have a negative effect. The drop in fuel prices has led to cheaper flights in the first half of this year.

Although passenger traffic is still comparatively low on some airlines, bargain prices are enticing more people to fly and ensuring that great deals are available.

Competition amongst companies supplying airport transfers is also ensuring that prices are kept low, and there are now a number of low cost alternatives offering great value transfers to all the major UK airports.

As Rob Gill, founder of says “Airport transfers have typically been the domain of the well healed business traveller. However through mirroring the “no frills” approach of the low cost airlines, services like ours are able to offer all the benefits of being picked up at the airport and reaching your destination in the fastest practical time.  You’ll still get the air conditioning, the only difference is the lack of chauffeur’s hat and a much, much reduced fare”.

Although a large proportion of the general public may be struggling financially at the moment, in many ways, there has never been a better time to travel. As airline economy wavers, now is an opportune time to take advantage of lower flight prices and cheaper transfers.

Written by Sophie McGovern

Sea Air is Good for Health – The Proof

A recent study has explored the links between the seaside, health and happiness. Researchers concluded that being by the sea can boost well being – highlighting some truth in the lyrics of the famous song “Oh we do like to be beside the seaside”.

In the 2 year study by the British Psychological Society, 2750 people were asked about their experiences of different environments including the seaside, the countryside and urban parks. Researchers noted that people found seaside environments to be the most pleasurable. Participants told researchers that being by the seaside made them feel ‘relaxed’, ‘refreshed’ and ‘invigorated’.

Recently, much has been said about the impact of happiness, relaxation and stress-avoidance on health. It is thought that the positive effects on wellbeing caused by going on regular seaside holidays can boost the immune system, prevent disease and possibly even help us to live longer.

The study doesn’t pinpoint exactly why being by the seaside makes us happier than any other place, but the researchers are now looking into possible explanations. It could be that we have an innate pleasure response to the sound of the sea or the way that light shines on water. Alternatively, the seaside may encourage us to recall happy memories from childhood holidays.

Some holidays are more relaxing than others and avoiding stress on holiday is bound to have positive effects on health. Many people travelling within Britain opt for coach holidays so they can avoid the pressure of driving long distances and the stress of finding a parking space in an unfamiliar town. Travelling by coach also allows people to interact more with others during the journey, which can be very pleasurable for some.

There are many ways that we can improve our general health wellbeing. And now it appears that we have an excuse to add a seaside holiday on to our diet and fitness plan!

Verdict on Blackpool Tramway’s £100m Upgrade

Blackpool’s new trams have been opened to the public after a £100million revamp. 16 brand new computerised trams have replaced some of the old heritage vehicles, although plenty of these continue to run for tourists to the resort. In addition to this, 6 miles of track has been replaced and a new tram depot has been built.

Since the new trams opened last week, passengers have said that they love the new look vehicles. However, the launch has not been without teething problems. The first tram to carry paying passengers was derailed by sand in Fleetwood soon after the launch. Also, some stop request buttons have not been working, meaning that people have had to ask the conductor to stop the tram when they want to get off.

Despite these initial problems, the new trams have been very busy, with tourists flocking to ride on them. Whilst some are unhappy that the trams resemble ‘the London Underground in Rush Hour’, the chaos is expected to die down as the novelty of the new trams wears off.

Blackpool remains the UK’s most popular holiday destination, with millions of tourists travelling to the seaside resort to enjoy Blackpool holidays by coach, train, car and even by plane into Blackpool Airport.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Blackpool has a long and proud history of tram use, indeed its tramway is among the oldest in the world. We want to ensure that the future of tram use in the town is even brighter and that is why I was happy to give £68m towards this fantastic project. Blackpool’s trams are absolutely on the right track.”