With cruise ships already commissioned for 2027, the latest planned innovations are showing us the future of travel. And with Plan a Cruise month underway, tour operator Cruise Nation has picked some of the changes to expect.
LED display technology will be creating more illusions throughout public spaces, as the virtual balconies already do on Royal Caribbean ships, while virtual reality gaming will start appearing more too alongside options to let you explore on board and see destinations in advance.
Technology will also be personalising your cruise — building on wearable tech such as the Ocean Medallion used by Princess Cruises, it will log everything from your favourite drink to activities.
Then there’ll be holographic staff answering questions plus your own voice-activated in-room assistants to act as personal butler, making dinner arrangements, booking excursions and letting you know the weather at your next port.
Most welcome of all, are initiatives to reduce environmental impact and the ship’s carbon footprint — from solar panels to hybrid engines and fuel cell technology to reduce gas emissions.
Florida's Keys are open
After being hit by Hurricane Irma last month, the Florida Keys have reopened to visitors from the beginning of October, although travellers are being advised that the worst affected Lower Keys and parts of Marathon are still in the middle of recovery efforts following the Category 4 storm.
With tourism playing a big part in the area’s economy, local officials are encouraging people to visit once more now water, power and phone signals are almost entirely restored — although expect still to see damage and debris.
Some hotels are providing accommodation for displaced residents, so always confirm in advance.
For more information visit www.keysrecovery.org
Weekend in paradise
After a decade, British Airways is restarting direct flights to the Seychelles from next March — making a (long) weekend break in the Indian Ocean a rather tempting possibility.
With a four-hour time difference, the 10-hour flights are starting on March 24, 2018, and will depart from Heathrow to the international airport on Mahe.
Then take your pick from the hotels here and the chain’s other 114 islands.
Copenhagen's new slice of hygge
Tempting design-lovers, foodies, families and those who fancy a taste of Danish hygge, there’s another reason to visit Copenhagen, with a new hotel opening.
The 77-room Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is set in the former home of the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, a building near the Tivoli Gardens dating back to 1903.
Some of the grand original features have been preserved, including the grand staircase, combined with contemporary design from award-winning architect Gert Wingårdh, such as a starkly modern concrete receiption desk plus warmer natural materials like copper and glass.
Decorated with Danish furniture plus some Swedish furnishings and toiletries, the area’s heritage is also reflected in the menu with ingredients from artisan producers and fishermen based in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, not to mention a cocktail list featuring Scandinavian spirits.
And if the world’s second oldest amusement park isn’t what tempts you, the hotel is around a five minute walk from the Danish Design Centre and National Museum, as well as the Tivoli Gardens.