When the Prinzessin Victoria Luise set sail on its maiden voyage on January 5, 1901, it heralded a new era in travel.
This journey from Hamburg to New York marked the first time a purpose-built cruise ship had welcomed passengers on board for a commercial trip.
Some 115 years on, the cruise holiday remains hugely popular among those with sea legs looking to view the world from a new angle. Until quite recently, this form of getaway was reserved purely for the wealthy, but thankfully it has become more affordable, allowing travellers from all walks of life to partake in it.
Dubai enjoys a prime position as far as cruises go, with a whole host of excursions departing from its shores. The majority of these will take you on a tour of the Middle East, using the Arabian Gulf as its watery thoroughfare.
But you can also travel further afield, especially if you have a few extra dirhams to burn. Here are four cruise options
both home and away…
Dubai to Sydney
If you have 41 days to spare – and plenty of savings – hop aboard the newly refurbished Seven Seas Voyager and head all the way to Oz. Stops on this amazing trip include Goa, Phuket, Yangon, Bali and Papua New Guinea. From Dhs77,000 per person. Dec 2-Jan 12. www.rssc.com.
Middle East Christmas Cruise
This is the ideal festive getaway for those looking to discover the GCC. Enjoy seven nights full board on the Costa NeoRiviera and see Muscat, Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi in a whole new way. From Dhs2,250. Dec 23-30. www.flightcentre.ae.
The Spice Route Voyage
Taste life on the Spice Route with this 14-night trip by Azamara Club Cruises. Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Colombo and the Maldives are among the stops. From Dhs7,300. Nov 3-17. www.azamaraclubcruises.com.
Suez Canal & The Med Cruise
Head up the Suez Canal on the Legend of the Seas, taking in Egypt’s Port Said before stopping off in the European cities of Athens, Valletta and Barcelona. From Dhs2,950. Mar 13-26. www.royalcaribbean.com.