Re­lax on a cruise

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much more to ex­pe­ri­ence, from the Ernest Hem­ing­way Mu­seum to a tour in a clas­sic Amer­i­can car.

Fred. Olsen pas­sen­gers have voted Ha­vana one of their top 20 ports. Whether you walk the streets with their pas­tel-painted build­ings or take an op­tional tour, per­haps to the scenery and wild coast­line away from the city, it’s all so mem­o­rable.

The his­toric days when the likes of Hem­ing­way, Gra­ham Greene and other au­thors, all pale linen suits and Panama hats, sailed th­ese parts, feel even closer on Bal­moral.

The ship, car­ry­ing only 1,300 guests, is mod­ern yet has a Scot­tish coun­try house feel. The main restau­rant is Ballindal­loch while the for­mal restau­rants are Avon and Spey. An­other stand-out stop is the At­lantic isle of Ber­muda, with its old-school Bri­tish feel and po­lice­men in shorts. The cap­i­tal Hamil­ton has pretty streets and a charm­ing seafront.

Head­ing home across the At­lantic, Bal­moral calls at Fun­chal on Madeira and Ponta Del­gada in the Azores, a fi­nal blast of sub-trop­i­cal warmth be­fore you im­merse your­self to­tally in the Christ­mas spirit.

Yet first you have the Caribbean to ex­plore as Bal­moral vis­its a num­ber of beau­ti­ful des­ti­na­tions that could be holidays in their own right.

There’s won­der­ful Bar­ba­dos – don’t miss the tour to Har­ri­son’s Cave, so big that you drive through an ex­trav­a­gant dis­play of rock for­ma­tions – and splen­did Gre­nada, where you can take in cricket, gar­dens and even snorkelling.

St Lu­cia is per­haps the most strik­ing is­land with the twin peaks of the Pi­tons, then there’s An­tigua, Grand Turk, cap­i­tal of the Turks and Caicos Is­lands, and Nas­sau in the Ba­hamas.

Af­ter a busy day sight­see­ing or sun­bathing, re­lax on board with a five-course din­ner and a show.

Bal­moral has two heated out­door pools, a gym, spa and sun­decks room so grab your­self a place and escape the chill this Novem­ber.

De­part Southamp­ton on Novem­ber 3 on the 34-night Caribbean With Cuba cruise, cost­ing from £1,999pp (two sharing), to in­clude meals

and en­ter­tain­ment.

0800 0355 124/fredolsen­cruises.

com

HIS­TORIC HAP­PI­NESS: Ha­vana and, left, Ber­muda

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