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Grand designs from around the globe


We celebrate amazing destinations around the world and discover a colourful kaleidoscope of wonders that are easy on the eye

Church of the Holy Sepulchre


Widely considered the holiest place in Christianity, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – said to be where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected – is one of the most visited sites in Jerusalem and is a major pilgrimage destination for Christians. Extensive renovation work was completed on the site earlier this year by a team of Greek conservationists – the first time the church has been renovated in over 200 years. A large dome decorated with a 12-point star sits over the edicule, which enshrines the tomb itself.


Shore excursion: Jerusalem and Bethlehem (from Haifa).

Cruises: J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; JDA Arcadia, 23 Feb 19, 52 nights; JGA Arcadia, 29 Mar 19, 18 nights.


Plaza de Espana

Seville, Spain

Plaza de España was created for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and its magnificent architecture has drawn visitors ever since. Small pavilions surround the plaza, each dedicated to a different Spanish province and decorated with colourful azulejos (ceramic tiles), which can also be found throughout the plaza’s walls, alcoves and bridges.


Shore excursion: Sights of Seville

Cruises (tours from Cádiz): J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; X904 Oriana, 22 Mar 19, 16 nights; B927 Britannia, 23 Sep 19, 14 nights.


The Dubai Fountain

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The 30-acre Burj Lake at the base of the Burj Khalifa is home to one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions. The Dubai Fountain puts on a spectacular display of water, music and light, delighting the thousands of visitors that gather to see it each day. Looking down from the top of the Burj Khalifa gives a bird’s-eye view of the fountain’s unique design – 274m in length with five circles and two arcs – from which more than 100,000 litres of water is blasted into the air by powerful pumps.


Shore excursion: Sundowners and Burj Khalifa Fountains.

Cruises: J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; E902A Oceana, 10 Jan 19, 21 nights; E907 Oceana, 11 Mar 19, 10 nights.


Botanical Garden

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is known as the Garden Island, and the beautifully cultivated botanical gardens in its capital, Funchal, prove why. The gardens were previously part of a private estate that belonged to hotelier William Reid and opened to the public in 1960. Today, they’re home to exotic plants and flowers from all over the world. Winding paths meander through ornamental trees and shrubs, orchids, roses, greenhouses, ponds and lawns, while the gardens’ hillside location affords visitors sweeping views across Funchal.


Shore excursion: Farmer’s Market and Botanical Gardens.

Cruises: J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; R913 Aurora, 21 Jul 19, 12 nights; B909 Britannia, 7 Apr 19, 13 nights.


The Colosseum

Rome, Italy

Built between 72AD and 80AD under Emperor Vespasian, the Colosseum is the world’s largest amphitheatre. With 80 entrances, it seated about 50,000 spectators who relished watching the free sporting events, brutal gladiatorial combats and bloodthirsty wild animal hunts. Luckily, today’s visitors can marvel at the design wonder of the ancient world and learn about the life of gladiators in a more peaceful fashion.


Shore excursion: Glories of the Gladiators.

Cruises (tours from Civitavecchia): X905 Oriana, 7 Apr 19, 18 nights; E910 Oceana, 18 Apr 19, 14 nights.


French patisseries

Nice, France

No trip to Nice, the grande dame of the French Riviera, is complete without a good potter around the old town. In contrast to the bright and breezy beachscapes of the Promenade des Anglais, this compact quartier is an atmospheric warren with treasures aplenty (from Baroque churches to chic boutiques). The Flower Market along Cours Saleya is the perfect spot to soak up the Niçois vibe. Go like a local and enjoy coffee at one of the many cafés, then buy treats from pâtisseries such as Pâtisserie LAC on the old town’s Rue de la Préfecture.


Shore excursion: Easy Nice and Free Time.

Cruises (tours from Villefranche-sur-Mer): A913 Azura, 18 May 19, 14 nights; E912 Oceana, 16 May 19, 14 nights.


Tea plantation

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Tea production is one of the main industries in Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), and the country is renowned for its top-quality tea. The distinctive patterns on the tea fields occur as a result of the ‘contour method’ of planting, which follows the natural slopes and hillsides of the earth’s terrain.


Shore excursion: Ceylon Tea Experience (tours from Colombo).

Cruises: J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; JEA Arcadia, 12 Mar 19, 35 nights; JEG Arcadia, 12 Mar 19, 17 nights.


Gardens by the Bay


Built on reclaimed land, Singapore’s 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay opened in 2012 with the purpose of raising the quality of life in the city. Five years later, it’s done just that – the park has created a horticultural haven for Singaporeans and visitors alike. Standout features include 24-49m-tall solar-powered ‘supertrees’, which provide shade during the day; at night, they come alive with a dazzling sound and light display. An aerial walkway between the supertrees offers sensational views of the city skyline.


Shore excursion: Gardens by the Bay with Afternoon Tea.

Cruises: J901 Arcadia, 6 Jan 19, 99 nights; JEG Arcadia, 12 Mar 19, 17 nights; JFA Arcadia, 18 Mar 19, 29 nights.