The Contemporary Cruise by Iwein Maassen is a perfect coffee table book that not only captivates you with it’s stunning photographs but also provides you with plenty of information about the various forms of cruise travel, past and present.

The first few pages provide a detailed overview of the history of cruising, starting back in the days when P& O was known as the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company and only the well-to-do could even consider ocean journeys as a leisure activity. The poor, on the other hand, saw ocean journeys in a much more practical light – as a means of immigrating to a new country.

The author continues to hook you into the fascinating world of cruise travel with an intimate look inside legendary ships such as the Sea Cloud and the Queen Elizabeth 2 before tackling alternative ships such as the Norwegian Hurtigruten and tall ships such as the Star Clipper.

No type of cruise travel is missed. Thereís a chapter on nature and expedition cruises around the Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and South Pantagonia. Another chapter looks at river cruises along the Nile, the Rhine, and the Yangtze. Plus thereís a chapter on interesting ports of call – Barcelona, Miami, and St Petersburg – and one on the  worldís most fascinating sea routes.

But it’s not all stunning photos and fascinating narrative. The final chapter provides plenty of practical information of use to anyone dreaming about or planning their own cruise travel.

This is definitely one of those coffee table books guaranteed to start you dreaming about cruise travel.

 

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