Find Inspiration at Destinations
The internet is a great place to research destinations for your next holiday. You have everything at your fingertips. Sometimes however, it is nice to just be able to chat to an expert and pick up a few brochures.
At the Destinations Show, held annually in London and Manchester, you can spend a leisurely day walking around the exhibits and getting your questions answered by the experts. This year’s expert speakers included Michael Palin, Simon Reeve and Blowfish, the world’s only heavy metal marine biologist. There are plenty of other things to do such as entertainment, food samplings, experiences, competitions and more.
Don’t forget to enter my competition at the bottom of the page.
First stop for me was Czech Tourism. Ok so the lure of cold beer was part of the reason I stopped, but I was also interested to know what the Czech Republic had to offer visitors apart from a city steeped in history and stunning architecture. Well, there are 12 stunning countryside wine trails to start with, as well as cheap local beer which attracts party groups. Another popular activity is cosmetic surgery. Apparently the procedures are much cheaper in the Czech Republic, and as they have an amazing selection of luxury spas, it seems you get much more value for money than in the UK.
Un-interesting Fact: In 1994 I was working as a Production Runner on a film called Good King Wenceslas. It was filmed just outside of Prague in a place called Brno. Stephanie Powers was in the movie and needed a costume within 24 hours. The cheapest way to deliver it was in person. So off I went for a couple of days to Brno. I was extremely fortunate in being able to have dinner with Charlotte Chatton (Titanic) and the legendary, late Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey). It was just the three of us and it is an evening that I will never forget.
Next stop, Amazing Thailand. I attended one of the Thailand Roadshows last year. It was held at an amazing restaurant in Guildford, Surrey called Thai Khun. If you get a chance to eat there, you must.
The fruit carvings at the show were impressive to say the least. They were offering Thai massages on the stand as well as a lady playing traditional Persian music on a Khim.
Nordic But Nice
Now that Viking have made their mark in ocean cruising, I felt it necessary to go and get more of an insight into what they are all about. I know they have three amazing ultra luxury ships, but that was it. So what did I find out? Firstly, and most importantly, they are all inclusive. I know we have to use that phrase carefully in the cruise industry so I will elaborate.
- Return scheduled economy class flights from London and selected local airports
- A guided tour in each port
- All on board meals including speciality restaurants
- House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
- Music, art, cooking, dance and history classes
- Tea and coffee anytime
- 24-hour room service
- Free Wi-Fi onboard (restrictions apply)
An Alternative Way to Cruise America
Despite being a lady of luxury, the idea of travelling from town to town in an RV, really appeals to me. I guess it’s my beach bum / hippy alter ego. It seems I wasn’t the only one finding this type of holiday appealing. After a bit of lurking and two return visits, I was finally able to talk to the representative. Once in conversation, he explained he was out of brochures and business cards. So clearly this has been a successful event for them. If you are interested in finding out more simply go to their website Cruise America.
The World Stages
The Destinations Show has four world stages split into Africa, Europe, The Americas and Asia. With experiences ranging from rum tasting, Eccles cakes sampling to pan pipes and traditional Chinese dancing, you could really get a sense of the destinations.
I stopped to listen to a drummer and was so pleased I did, as a belly dancer appeared a few minutes later and she was incredible.
When my two favourite things go hand in hand, I know I am in the right place. Silversea most definitely tick the ships and champagne box. It was great to finally see a familiar face, as I heard Silversea’s Luke Clarke call my name.
Although I have not stepped onboard a Silversea cruise ship, I couldn’t have acquired CLIA Master status, without being aware of these ultra luxurious cruise ships. In April this year, Silversea will be welcoming their new ship Silver Muse to the fleet. Spending her first summer in the Mediterranean, some of the incredible ports appearing in her itineraries include Portofino, Venice, Monte Carlo, Saint Tropez and Bordeaux. Silversea have created a ground-breaking 360˚ virtual tour for you to Discover Silver Muse for yourself here.
The Best of the Rest
Other exhibits I visited on the day were Hurtigruten, WWF, Beaches and Sandals, Palm Springs – California, Rocky Mountaineer and Via Rail.
The Destinations Show really does offer something for everyone. Even if you are not looking to book a holiday, it is certainly a great day out.
If you found the picture at the top of this page interesting, I have some coffee table Baroque themed magazines to give away. Simply make a comment below and I will contact the lucky winners. I will let you know when the competition is closed.