Cruiseday Tuesday – Sphinx I know her

‘See the pyramids along the Nile’.

Herself has been holding out for the real Egypt, passing up on the chance to go to Sharm El Sheikh a few years ago.

And that’s exactly what Travel Department http://www.traveldepartment.ie will offer you with their Egyptian Adventure with Nile River Cruise.

You will begin your holiday in Cairo with a full-day city tour.

And there will also be the chance of half-day guided tour taking in the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

And before you know it, it’s time to rest back on your seven-day cruise.

Where you’ll enjoy all the luxury of the NS Radamis II meandering down the River Nile.

You’ll have a range of excursions along the way taking in the Temple of Horus, the Valley of Kings, the High Dam and the Temples of Karak and Luxor.

Of course while we all love a bit of Egyptology we also like the oil’ beach.

And to finish it all off you’ll get a three-night stay in Hurghada on the Red Sea coast.

Now because I’ll always find any old excuse to trot out this picture again, here’s snorkelling in the Red Sea in Jordan earlier this year,

While here’s a reminder of what else happened out there… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/

Prices start from €1799pp for 12 nights including return flights, transfers, full-board Nile river cruise B&B or half-board in hotels.

And there are excursions with expert local guides departing April-November,

My not so little Princesses

What’s better than a little Princess? Seven little Princesses. that’s what.

Princess Cruises has upped its deploymenent of ships to the UK and Europe for 2021 to seven.

The line has announced that its smallest ship, the 670-guest Pacific Princess will join six other vessels over here.

Pacific will set sail from June to October on a series of Med voyages departing from my favourite city Rome https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/ and Venice.

In the UK nearly 500 nights will be available across three ships – Grand Princess, Island Princess and Crown Priincess.

Princess Cruises’ three newest vessels, Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess will be based in Northern and Southern Europe.

They will have a series of cruises departing from Copenhagen, Barcelona and Athens.

And guess what? I know a thing or two about Copenhagen from catching up with my old mucker Tom on a stop-off on the way to the fjords… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/15/cruiseday-tuesday-trolls-and-the-fjords/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/

Rome I’ve told you about. But there’s also Barcelona… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/.

Athens is one of the world’s great cities, and you know it goes at a slower pace as is evidenced by its most famous site… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/acropolis-later/

While you all know by now… I am Medallion Man. And that serves me well on a Princess ship.

Princess Cruises has a 12-night Mediterranean Connoisseur cruise on Pacific Princess, departing August 15, 2021.

Sailing from Rome to Venice, calling at Portofino, Monte Carlo, Valletta, Giardini Naxos, Kotor, Split, Rijeka and Ljubljana (Koper).

Prices from €2529pp cruise only or from €2991pp inclusive of onboard savings package.



Cruiseday Tuesday – Celebs on the seas

What do you mean I didn’t update Cruiseday Tuesday last week? I was away on a fact-finding mission on Tobago if you don’t mind.

Gratitude, that’s all I ask.

I only saw a TUI cruise ship when I was away…

In the dock at Scarborough where my fellow travel companion Anthony’s cousin just happened to be on board.

We ate in the Blue Crab restaurant in the town where myself and ‘Uncle Kenneth’ rustled up a chicken curry as you do as ‘Auntie Alison’ shared advice on the secret of her 50-year marriage.

Tobago’s spoils

One of the pearls of wisdom she shared is to make your underwear drawer the bottom drawer.

Auntie Alison is the ideal mine host which the couple who came in blindly off the ship on Kenneth and Alison’s day off will testify to.

As will Ainsley Harriott who popped by during his Caribbean Kitchen series earlier this year… https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAinsleyHarriott/videos/383131069165446/

Testing out the waters in Tobago

Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie for cruise deals or call 1850 45 35 45 or visit a TUI Store/travel agent.

Here is a reminder of what I’ve been saying about Tobago this week… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/05/robinson-crusoes-tobago/,

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/03/i-should-cocoa-christmas-in-tobago/

Or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/07/ready-steady-goat-in-tobago/

Swell, Swellen

Talking of celebrities, Princess Cruises http://www.princess.com has released its cast of guest speakers for 2020/2021.

And the most eye-catching of them all might just be Linda Gray, who played the long-suffering wife of JR Ewing, none other than Sue Ellen.

Another James: Duncan James

They’ve also got Charlie Dimmock for all you keen gardeners, singer Duncan James and ski jumper ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards.

English flower: Charlie Dimmock

And animals expert Michaela Strachan and TV therapists Nik and Eva Speakman, the latter on a 7-night Norwegian Fjords cruise departing August 15.

You all know what I think of the Norwegian fjords of course and yes, we really should try out all the cruise companies… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/ 


So you want to get the skinny on Dallas?

Princess has a 14-night Baltic Heritage sailing on Crown Princess, departing May 30, with Linda on board.

The round trip from Southampton, calls at Kristiansand, Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg (overnight), Helsinki, Stockholm, Visby and Gdansk (Gdynia).

Prices from €1649pp with up to $250pp onboard spending money. 

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com or speak to your local travel agent. 

There will be more guest speakers announced soon and, of course, Princess has my details and you know how much I love my fans.

So a 45-minute talk with questions and answers, as well as a meet and greet session including photographs and books signings is something I’m only too happy to share with you Bandanafans. 


Black Friday feeling

Everyday I write the book. as Elvis Costello once wrote, but his was all about love, ours is about what we love… holidays.

Every day I bring you something special… Give us this Day on Sunday, Cruiseday Tuesday, Hungry and Thursday.

And usually Flyday Friday, but this week I can’t and wouldn’t want to ignore Black Friday.

So here are a few offers doing the rounds:

In the air

America is where it all started so this will probably put you in the mood to go Stateside.

And luckily for us Ireland’s national airline carrier Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com are offering €100 off return flights to North America.

To any of their 12 destinations. Offer ends midnight, December 3.

But it’s sun you’re after… and Emirates www.emirates.com has plenty of that to offer with return flights from Dublin.

With my old favourite the Maldives https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/ just one of the destinations with mouthwatering discounts.

They have seven nights all-inclusive at the 5* You & Me Cocoon Maldives from €2149pp.

You’ll get a saving of up to €875 on your stay.

And a complimentary room upgrade from Manta Villa to Dolphin Villa.

Valid for Travel on 2-4 and 9-11 June. Book by 4 December.

Hit the beaches

Photo by Suraphat Nuea-on on Pexels.com

Our friends at TUI www.tuihoilidays.ie have all our bases covered

They have a range of holidays from long to short and family.

Fancy Thailand? Seven nights B&B at the 3*+ Chanalai Garden Resort, Kata Beach from €1309pps for March 30.

Or our old faithful Lanzarote, seven nights S/C at the 3*+ Cinco Plaza, Puerto del Carmen, for a family 2+1 from €1469. For mid-term, February 17.

Photo by Emils Plinte on Pexels.com

For a taste of the Canaries visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/.

TUI also has savings with its Black Friday codes: €100 off when you spend €1000 code name BF100.

Or €125 off when you spend €2000 with code name BF125. And €150 when you spend €3000 with code name BF150.

Hit the seas

Look after your princess with Princess Cruises www.princess.com.

Which comes with the magic key, the OceanMedallion https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/ on either Crown Princess or Regal Princess.

Try the bumper 17-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruise on Crown.

It calls at Seville (Cadiz), Valletta (and you know what I think about Malta…), Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini and Cartagena.

Photo by ines bahr on Pexels.com

Prices from €1399 for two sharing an inside stateroom and €219pp for third and fourth guests. Departs November 6.

Among nine round-trip voyages, out of Southampton, across Northern Europe and the Med.

There are six Regal cruises, 12-night round-Britain sailings, out of Southampton, Fares start at €1209pp.

Hit the slopes

From Austria to Andorra and other letters in the alphabet too with Crystal Ski www.crystalski.ie.

They are offering €50pp off if you book before December 3.

And seeing we mentioned Austria: a wee Christmas trip, seven nights in the 2* Manzano Apartments, Pas de la Casa s/c, €279pp (four sharing).

Austria is a treat… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/soll-mates/

And Andorra, January 26, B&B stay in the 3* Haus Edelweiss, Zell Am See for seven nights from €685pp.

The offer runs until Tuesday, December 3.

I’ll catch breath and bring you more offers but it’s Thanksgiving tonight with the Americans at www.visitusa.ie in Dublin.



Whose cruise? Francis gets on board

Francis Brennan knows a thing or two about plush surroundings, and here’s a manor with a difference….

Ireland’s favourite hotelier has hit the high seas for a three-part series on a Baltic cruise with Princess Cruises http://www.princess.com.

Francis will board Regal Princess.

Where we will get an insight into what life is like for the ship’s 1400 crew members.

Francis will step into the shoes of three of the most senior onboard roles:

Entertainment Director, Hotel General Manager and Maitre’ D.

Seems like a lot of hard work to me and I’ve seen first hand on ship visits just how much these guys have to do…

All we have to worry about is keeping hold of our OceanMedallion key… I clip mine onto my beardie.

The staff (or new friends as I call them) ensure we get to relax by the pool..

Look out in the morning onto beautiful views from exotic balcony suites, and enjoy the entertainment on these hotels on the sea.

Francis gives us a teaser as to what’s in store for the series, the first episode of which airs on Sunday, October 20 at 9.30pm on RTE One.

”Of course I had a few obstacles to overcome and at one point, for the first time in my life, I was actually speechless.”

Francis will host a number of guided shore excursions.

Exploring all that the Baltics have to offer.

The ship will sail from Copenhagen… and here’s a glimpse of that wonderful city and Scandinavia. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/

Guests will take in Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Berlin and Oslo.


Cruiseday Tuesday – It’s a Boston Sea Party

Boston Harbor (without the u) was my backyard for a summer.

And I’d look longingly out to sea as I cleaned out the ice cream vats in Quincy Market in the humid heat.

I’d be daydreaming of those revolutionaries chucking tea into the water and blaming the Red Indians.

Back then I took one day off in 40 days and headed to Manchester, New Hampshire.

Instead of Cape Cod… I’d put it on the long finger and, like all things on that digit, I never got round to it.

So let me flag up American Holidays www.americanholidays.com to get you there.

And I reckon that if Cape Cod was good enough for the Kennedys!

AH’s Boston Cape Cod Stay and Bermuda Cruise is from €2,085pps.

You’ll spend three nights at the Midtown Hotel, Boston, with a seven-night cruise on Norwegian Gem.

Three nights Cape Codder Resort & Spa Hyannis with three days car hire.

Travelling April 2020.

Like Cape Cod I was on my way to the Bahamas but we didn’t get there… you will though.

Still it did give me more time on board Celebrity Cruises’ Edge, above… I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here. www.celebritycruises.ie.

My little Princess

It’s an occasion, the naming of a new ship.

And you have my permission to name the latest Leviathan Bandanaman after my ashes are one day scattered on the Seven Seas.

Princess has named its new ship Discovery which being of the Scottish variety gets the thumbs-up from me.

Discovery was the ship Captain Scott took to the Antarctic and can now be found in Dundee which titles itself City of Discovery.

Princess Discovery’s inaugural voyage is a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean cruise from Rome to Athens next November 3.

It can be combined with the subsequent seven-day Athens to Barcelona voyage to form a 14-day Adriatic & Aegean Medley sailing.

Of course Rome, Athens and Barcelona are among the world’s great cities.

Here are some thoughts… Small roads lead to Rome, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/10/cruiseday-tuesday-11/.

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/.

And here’s a video on the naming of Discovery…. https://we.tl/t-iwpoCxuCYU. Also visit http://www.princess.com.



Holiday Snaps – Leo’s LA story

Have we had our fill of our leader, Leo Varadkar, our Taoiseach, here in Ireland?

Here he is in Los Angeles with Tourism Ireland obscuring the word ‘fill’ in the slogan ‘fill your heart with Ireland.’

Like Leo, I’m an LA fan, and a Tourism Ireland one too.

So, of course, I was there at the launch of ‘fill your heart’ where they showcased a Dutch guy in their video with a heart monitor going around Ireland.

And I happily tell the Americans when I visit their Travel fair www.ipw.com every year.

Leo Varadkar with Michael Kennedy, Aer Lingus; Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland; and Mike Hawe, Isle Inn Tours,

This year, of course, the fair was in Anaheim and I brought you all that was happening… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/. And http://Stair Wars.

LA and a cruise

Now you might think looking from afar that America and Mexico were squabbling neighbours.

But not all traffic between the two countries is of the illegal sort. In fact it is a well-trodden route for tourists going both ways.

You want to get on the road too. And American Holidays will help http://www.americanholidays.com.

Star of Hollywood: With Donald Duck

They have a Los Angeles Stay and 5-nights Mexican Riviera Cruise from €1,119pp.

All flights are included from Dublin to Los Angeles. You’ll get two nights say in the Garland, Los Angeles, and five nights on Royal Princess cruse ship… http://www.princess.com.

You’ll be travelling in February of next year.

And here’s what I think of Princess from their recent stop-off in port… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/.

Now back to ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland’.

I’m an Angel: In LA

It was rolled out on major American television networks – including NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC – in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle, during the summer.

The campaign was specially timed to better align with when American travellers start searching for fall and winter vacation ideas.

Keep up the good work Tourism Ireland.

And with Holiday Snaps getting even snappier, watch out for more Holiday Snaps through the weekend.



Cruiseday Tuesday – the Greek islands

There are 6,000 to pick from… so there’s no disgrace if someone mentions their Greek island which, of course, you’ve never heard of.

We all know the well-known ones, Corfu, where 25 years ago next week Mrs M embarked on her life of joy (or marriage), Crete, Rhodes…

I’ll throw in Kythera (keith-erra) which is the birthplace of Aprhrodite and where I’m off to next week and will tell you about.

Not on a ship, though. But you can enjoy your own Greek islands on a 14-night Mediterranean Greek Isles trip with Royal Caribbean.

Acropolis now. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Vision of the Seas sets sail from Barcelona on August 24 next year for Greece.

And remember next year is the 200th anniversary of modern Hellas.

So where will you go?

Cannes/Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia), Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Epheseus), Istanbul and Santorini.

From €1981pp based on two people sharing which comes to €3962. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.

And you want to see what a Royal Caribbean ship looks like, here’s my latest time on board https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/23/surfing-the-seas-in-barcelona/.

Princess ‘road’ test

Everything works perfectly

Only a fool would drive out on the road without first putting it through its paces in a road test.

And the same is the case with cruise ships.

It’s just that a ship is a bit bigger and there are more tests to do.

Hence Princess Cruises spending six days of tests out on the water.

Setting out from Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy the experts tested out a series of manoeuvres to challenge the propulsion, steering and navigational equipment.

The ship will sail a short season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean. 

You will get to enjoy the  Princess MedallionClass experience. featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device, modelled below by this model.

And this is my latest experience of the Royal brand… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/.

Ahoy, there

Now you want an offer…. Princess Cruises has a seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyage on Sky Princess, departing February 22.

It will sail from Fort Lauderdale with ports of call in Princess Cays (Bahamas), St Thomas and St Maarten.

There is a special offer available with prices from £1,099pp for a mini-suite. Visit http://www.princess.com

Majorca corker

Crystal blue seas: Majorca. Photo by Zach Besley on Pexels.com

My first cruise voyage took me from Nice to Barcelona and stopping off in Majorca, one of the jewels of the Med.

And far, far more than Magaluf…

TUI know it. And they are tempting us further with €150 off per booking on sailings from November 1 – October 31.

Dublin to Majorca, May 19. On board Marella Dream – Spanish Delights, inside cabin, AI, seven nights from €1,039pps.

Or June 16, Cork to Majorca on Marella Dream, inside cabin, AI, seven nights from €1149pps.

Or June 6, Shannon to Majorca on Marella Discovery – Highlights of the Mediterranean, inside cabin, AI, seven nights from €1,389pps.

Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie. Or call 1850 45 35 45.


Holidos and don’ts: kids on holiday

You can’t live with them… you can’t leave them behind on holiday. Your kids.

One of the biggest stress points on holiday is the need to entertain your children.

Which does not come cheap.

I mean you have to feed and water them, and they’re not like plants, these guys are always grazing.

Big kids too

I’ve no evidence for this but I think boys are worse.

I remember well one city break in Rome when we were on a tight schedule.

And had to be at the Vatican for a tour of the Raphael Rooms by a certain time.

When the Son And Heir decided, nay demanded, that he get fed.

Chess, who’d have thought it? In New York

Not just a pezzo either (a small piece of pizza) on the go, but a sit-down two-course meat dinner and dessert at a trattoria,

And don’t think you can turn to Herself. She’ll always support Him.

So when I anxiously looked at my watch and opined that if he didn’t hurry up I’d gladly throw him in the Tiber…

She told me to stop making a scene and that people were watching.

Now we could be in Outer Mongolia and She would still be worried that people’s first concern was our business.

Swings and roundabouts

And so when we arrived at the Vatican She decided that she was no longer in the mood.

And I had to plead to every one of those saints to intercede and get her to change her mind.

Hence the forced smiles here in the photos.

So, what to do with kids?

Leave them behind with their grandparents. Yes, if you’ve enough capital good will.

But if you HAVE to bring them with you then don’t think the Kids’ Club will save you.

Animals are magic

The idea of kids as fun-loving, gregarious and societal is for the movies.

Mostly they are sullen, complaining and suspicious of little Johnny or Mary, or, these days, Jaydon and Meghan.

But don’t despair, there are solutions at hand.

One I’ve written about recently and make no apologies in returning to is Hotel Magnolia http://www.themagnoliahotelqdl.com and The Campus in Quinta do Lagohttp://www.quintadolago.com in Portugal.

And I’d bet the kids will take to the sport of paddle, a cross between squash and tennis.

There are an abundance of sports camps out there.

They will tire out your kids and you might just get time to yourselves at the bar at night.

Alternatively why not try a cruise?

We’d made up by then. In the Vatican

Anybody who is new to cruising is always taken aback by their size.

Which means kids get a chance to run around aimlessly which is one of their favourite things to do.

And being limited by where they can go because there’s an ocean out there then they won’t get lost.

And there is helpful staff to tell you where everything is on the ship.

The permanent access to food takes away that headache.

While they’ll be in and out of the pools all day, they’ll love things like the Royal Caribbean FlowRider on Oasis of the Seas.

And the water chutes and ziplines.

Choose from Royal Caribbean http://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk, Celebrity Cruises http://www.celebritycruises.ie and MSC http://www.msccruises.ie for good clean family fun while I’ve roadtested the Princess Cruises’ OceanMedallion http://www.princess.com magic key.

And I reckon it would open up a magic kingdom for me.

And here’s a few trips to get you in the mood https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/im-a-celebrity-get-me-out-to-here/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-call-of-the-fjords/http://A Royal Party

While of course every Tuesday is Cruiseday Tuesday. Here’s the latest offering https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/20/cruiseday-tuesday-transatlantic/ and me as Medallion Man https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/

So that’s the kids sorted out… now for an even bigger challenge.



Cruiseday Tuesday – Transatlantic

My three Irish uncles had tried Glasgow but swapped it for New York (each to their own).

Glasgow had, in fact, rivalled New York as a shelter for immigrants in the 19th Century.

And especially Italians who had mistaken it for America’s biggest city when the ship stopped for refuelling on it’s way there.

No, not Glasgow: Photo by Nout Gons on Pexels.com

It might have helped had the Statue of Liberty been around then.

The Italians stayed in Glasgow.

And opened chippers and ice cream parlours and generally enlivened and enriched Scottish society.

A transatlantic cruise was fantasy for Uncle Danny, Petie and Eddie back in 1959 but they realised their American dream.

And their children, my cousins, have taken up the baton simce.

Sunway www.sunway.ie has a seven-night full board Transatlantic deal on board the Queen Mary Southampton to NY from €650.

Which reminds me, I must dig out my Old New York review, my old new take on the world of Hamilton.https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel/.

But for now start spreading the news about Glasgow in my I belong to Glasgow review.

Rock opera

What a riff: We all love to rock it

The advantage of having an elder brother is that I got an early grounding in the right musical influences.

Back in the days of musical LPs (long-playing records… ask your parents) one stood out for its look.

The rock opera Tommy.

It is 50 years this month since The Who performed the bulk of it at Woodstock.

And I will return to that seminal moment in modern popular culture elsewhere on this site.

Book me up: Princess Cruises’ live entertainment

Musical shows are at the heart of a cruise experience.

As important as swimming pools, spas, food and drink, your cabin and on-shore itineraries.

Which is why I’m taken by Rock Opera which is to be showcased on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.

The show which will feature on the 3,600 guest Sky Princess in December as it sails the Caribbean will feature tenor Brian Justin Crum from America’s Got Talent: The Champions.

We’ve been promised a musical journey featuring an eight-piece live orchestra playing iconic rock songs.

Enchanted Princess gets the show in June for its inaugural season in the Med. www.princess.com.

Oh man, it’s Oman

Market time: With a difference in Oman

Andy, Sarah, Ian and Jane were (and I dare say still are) the kings and queens of the table quiz in Aberdeen.

And how I could have done with them at the Oman night earlier this year.

I think the only questions I got right were the ones on frankincense and myrrh and Sinbad the Sailor.

Of course there is a great deal more to learn about this exotic land.

And you can on Royal Caribbean’s seven-night Oman & United Arab Emirates cruise on Jewel of the Seas.

Departing on December 16, and returning from Dubai, it will visit Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat and Oman.

Book by September 30. All-inclusive drinks too. From €519pps. Visit www.royalcaribbean.ie.



Cruiseday Tuesday – rivers of dreams

There’s an old Irish ballad which proffers that only the rivers run free.

Not getting into that just now, but the gentle rippling of rivers do make us feel free.

Life has stopped me from taking up the many invites to go on a river cruise but I shared my invitations by commissioning others.

And it didn’t help that they returned raving about their trips… and Uinworld.

Life on the river: Portugal

Uniworld is doing the work for us by flagging up five for 2020… and I’m flagging up Portugal for starters.

While most of us look towards the Algarve, and there’s no harm in that, I was introduced to the Portugal between Lisbon and Porto.

Uniworld offers 11 days from Lisbon to Porto on the new ship SS SAO Gabriel as part of its Portugal, Spain & The Douro River Valley.

From €3,999pps. Visit http://www.uniworld.com.

Let’s do this one bite at a time, so I’ll tell you about the charms of other featured properties Germany, France, Vietnam and Egypt soon.

And let me share my love for Portugal and the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro, in https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal/ And http://www.visitportugal.com.

Your own Venice boat trip

Grand: The Grand Canal

So your large cruise ships aren’t going up into the historic centre of Venice (and for good reasons).

Go with Le Boat instead, self-drive cruising on craft that can sleep between four and ten people.

You’ll be able to visit Venice and its hinterland at your leisure.

And also head towards Trieste, beloved of James Joyce, and south of the Venetian lagoon to nature reserve of the Po Delta.

The seven-night self-catered cruise starts and finishes at Le Boat’s base art Casale on the Caprice.

It sleeps p to six. Arrive September 21. From £783 per boat/£131pp (was £967 per boat, saving 19%).

Transport to and from base not included. Visit www.leboat.co.uk.

Cruising Down Under

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

The farter-in-law took his brood out to Australia in the Seventies.

And being the adventurous type he went off to see the Murray River… the traditional way.

These days he could have gone in luxury with Captain Cook Cruises.

They are offering a seven-night New Year’s Eve cruse on the Murray Princess, departing Mannum on December 27.

And it will follow in the footsteps of the 19th Century pioneers.

You’ll explore 420kms of the Murray River and learn all about Aboriginal history.

You will enjoy a New Year’s Eve a la carte dinner, festivities and dancing.

Early booking saver fares for the Mannum to Renmark New Year’s Ever cruise starts from A$2352pp twin share.

The cruise departs Mannum on December 27 at 4.30pm and arrives at Renmark on January 3 at 9.30am.

Your entry point to Australia is Adelaide. Check out your global airlines. And http://www.murrayprincess.com.au.

Medallion man

And now for a dip: On the Crown Princess

I like to share… and so do Princess Cruises.

Having enjoyed the luxuries of that ship recently on a day’s docking in Dublin Port and its new all-purpose MedallionNet WiFI I bring further good news.

The MedallionNet is currently available on eight ships including Crown Princess and Island Princess which will both be baed in the UK next year.

And now Princess tell us that it will be available on all of its ships by the end of 2020.

And now for the deal offer:

Princess Cruises has a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean voyage on Enchanted Princess, departing September.

Sail from Rome (Civitaveccha) to Athens, calling at Naples, Kotor, Corfu, Charia and Mykonos. From €1,231pp,

With up to $250 on board spending money per person. http://www.princess.com.