Out and about at The Cruise Show: Birmingham NEC


Firstly, the answer is no.

Right now, I am not making any serious plans to go on a cruise, I merely went along last weekend out of curiosity and I must say, I came away rather inspired.

River cruises are all the rage, the ‘new black’ if you like!

River Cruising

Honestly, river cruises are appealing to me much much much…… more than ocean cruises at the moment, why?

  • River cruises spend all their time in an actual country (as opposed to being out at sea for several days with no land in sight) so you see and experience a great deal more, at a pace you can savour and enjoy, you get to immerse yourself in local areas with local people in locations that big cruise ships cannot access – hence a more ‘real’ cultured experience, less touristy and better value for money in my opinion. I have yet to try it though!
  • River cruises are smaller boats as you can imagine, so less hustle and bustle, more relaxing!
  • River views have got to be a photography addicts dream!

To be honest, it should have been called The River Cruise Show, because this aspect seemed to dominate the exhibition.

Vietnam seems to be the hip cool ‘on trend’ vacation spot for 2016, all the reps, travel journalists and agents were either exercising their bragging rights about having been there or certainly planning to go there soon.

Arctic/Antarctica cruises the Galapagos, and Alaska are also all the rage right now.

Arctic cruises tend to appeal to those who are very well travelled (been everywhere, done everything) and looking for something unique. Arctic cruises usually include the opportunity to camp on Arctic land/ice and have penguin encounters ( I do love penguins, so cute).

You could also tick off the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles during an Indian Ocean Cruise (sounds tempting).

Again and again during presentations, the Norwegian Fjords kept getting a lot of attention; I know someone at work who went there a year ago, she showed us some beautiful photographs – now I think I’m sold, I want go, and it is now firmly on my bucket list.


I was particulalry smitten with the South Pacific cruises that set off from Australia and then weave through places like Fiji, Tahiti and Bora Bora – you are advised to spend a few days/week in Aussie first before boarding your ship:

  1. To take advantage of a holiday in Australia (considering how far you’ve flown)
  2. To give yourself time to adjust to the time zones so that you can enjoy each day of your cruise to the fullest

Also, the far eastern and Asian river cruises (Hong Kong, Indian Ganges and Korea in particular) sounded absolutely fabulous; imagine the views, the food and you don’t have to think about anything once you board – its all taken care of – all your stops, excursions, entertainment throughout is usually all included in the price, (very good value for money, considering that there will never be a moment where there is nothing to see).

Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at an ocean cruise, in fact I’m sure I’d enjoy it (some of those ships look stunning) but at present, I’d rather spend all my holiday days in a country and not out at sea killing time on a ship – unless of course someone else is paying (daydreams).

A world cruise does sound amazing though, and certainly something worthwhile saving towards for retirement when time is in abundance (or upon winning the lottery – when time might also be in abundance lol).

All the serious cruise buffs were busy booking and snapping up generous ‘cruise show’ discounts.

Surprisingly, Virgin were not in attendance.

I would strongly recommend sitting through as many of the presentations as possible, you will learn so much, pick up hints and tips and get answers to questions from industry experts.

Free Presentations

Of course I picked up all sorts of brochures and magazines while I was there:

A bit of holiday shopping!!

Cheese tasting


If ever you are travelling to the Birmingham NEC for events in the future it is worth noting that the Airport, Birmingham International Rail Station and the NEC arena are all interconnected and part of the same building.

Happy travels!!

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