top of page


Gently chugging along the water, impromptu pub lunches and quiet villages – messing about on the canal sounds like the perfect getaway for 2020 and beyond. But does it work with teenagers?...Continue Reading

It’s rare to go on holiday and be the first person to stay in your accommodation. But as I board Hurtigruten’s newest expedition ship Fridtjof Nansen...Continue Reading

Isn't it fascinating how we can interpret the same things so differently? When a crew member on our expedition cruise describes the first possible excursion – a steep hike through a Patagonian forest – the words that leap out at me are ‘muddy’, ‘challenging’ and... Continue Reading  

On a memorable cruise in Patagonia, Jo Kessel discovers virgin fjords and mighty glaciers, graceful condors and comical penguins...Continue Reading

The one-to-one lesson: And the class began…with us (not Trent) giggling nervously. Footwork slowly finessed; Trent's clasp became tighter; we looked into each other's eyes (harder than you'd imagine) and within minutes were...Continue Reading 

P&O’s Strictly Come Dancing-themed cruise now allows clients to book a private lesson with a pro. Jo Kessel puts on her dancing shoes to try it out...Continue Reading 

When Stacey Dooley raised the glitterball trophy at the end of the last series of Strictly Come Dancing it was particularly inspiring. Not just because her Charleston was brilliant...Continue Reading 

Antarctica is the ultimate destination for adventurous travelers. This vast, White Continent is the highest, driest and coldest territory on earth, owned by no one and uninhabited by people...Continue Reading 

It’s a bucket-list destination but, as Jo Kessel finds on a cruise with Hurtigruten, visiting Antarctica is now accessible to most travellers with a sense of adventure...Continue Reading 

‘Iceberg on the left,” warned our guide, Jesse. There were nine of us paddling a native Indian canoe, including my husband and three children: twins Nathalie and Gabriel, 13, and Hannah, 12. We were on the outskirts of Alaska’s capital, Juneau, and this berg...CONTINUE READING 

MID-AFTERNOON and I'm standing outside Kehoes Pub on a narrow cobbled street in Dublin. I'm holding two drinks which look identical but one's a Guinness and the other's an Irish coffee. As I tentatively sip the Guinness (it's my first ever taste), an Irishman watches me screw up my face...CONTINUE READING

June 27, 2018

For decades the Americans, Canadians, Australians and many other nationalities have flocked to the British Isles to take a cruise. However, Brits make up a very small percentage of passengers sailing on these voyages, which is a shame as...Continue Reading

Princess Cruises' flagship Royal Princess is back in in the U.K. for the first time in two years and we've just returned from spending five days onboard. It was Princess Cruises' first British Isles cruise of 2018 and...Continue reading

Conscious that costs ratchet up fast on holidays with the children, I’m usually a tap water by day and glass of wine or two with dinner sort of person. Yet, within only six hours of boarding Norwegian Breakaway in New York...Continue Reading

April 30, 2018

If you've never been to Southampton before, there's plenty to see and do in the country's busiest cruise port. However, if you have already visited the city, you may wish to take a day trip to one of a number of outstanding sights and places -- most of which lie just under an hour away...Continue reading

April 30, 2018

Southampton is known as the cruise capital of Northern Europe, and has played a key role in British seafaring history for hundreds of years. But it's more than just a port...continue reading

November 01, 2017

It's been forty years since Norwegian Cruise Lines acquired this popular private island in the Bahamas, and it's no surprise that they recently decided to give it a major makeover. Read on for our hits, our misses and a few areas where we're reserving judgment either because...continue reading

August 23, 2017

Japan's unique blend of beaches, mountains and temples -- served with lashings of sushi and shopping -- has made it one of the world's hottest holiday destinations. And the good news is that cruise lines are catching on. There's more on offer to this high-tech country than ever before...continue reading

June 14, 2017

Princess Cruises' 3,080-passenger Crown Princess is currently sailing out of Southampton until September, visiting both the Med and northern Europe. Here are eight reasons why you'll fall in love with this knockout ship...continue reading

August 16, 2017

Combining an action-packed stay in Tokyo with a more leisurely Princess Cruises voyage makes for a hassle-free way to explore Japan. Jo Kessel embarks on an adventure laced with castles, geisha and an unusual take on bathing...continue reading

May 06, 2017

Scooters, Saris and Plain Sailing - The Mail on Sunday

Not many people arrive in India by boat, but that's how my family and I met Mumbai, stepping from our floating palace into a frenetic, horn-honking...Continue Reading 

June 03, 2017

There's something about the word "expedition". It appeals to our inner thrill-seeker. It certainly sends a frisson of excitement through my three children...Continue reading

January 22, 2017

Allure of the Seas is one of the best-equipped vessels afloat. But would there be enough to keep our writer and her daughter entertained for a full, breathless week...Continue reading

January 03, 2016

My ten-year-old daughter Hannah has a vision for our first mother-and-daughter holiday together – a seven-day Mediterranean cruise. ‘There’ll be lots of swimming, shopping and spas, and absolutely NO sightseeing,’ she says defiantly. Hmmm...Continue reading


October 13, 2013

My three children first spotted a Disney ship two years ago while on holiday in Oman. Exploring the capital Muscat’s harbour, they were seduced by the gargantuan vessel towering over them, complete with twin red, black and yellow funnels bearing an image of Mickey Mouse’s face. They pointed emphatically. “We want to go on that.”

Continue reading

October 05, 2013

As far as cookery classes go, this takes some beating. For starters it's not me donning chef's hat and apron, it's my three children. Better still, they're making something...Continue reading

January 01, 2020

Hit the rides and the high tides on a Caribbean Cruise - The Independent

For my children, going to the US in order to immerse themselves in a world of theme parks and fantasy film characters is the definition of the American Dream. For parents, of course, that dream can quickly sour when costs start to spiral...

February 20, 2013

We're in a 4 by 4, precariously perched on the crest of a Dubai desert dune. My husband and three children are buckled into the rear. I'm the front passenger, torso tilted ominously over the precipice...Continue reading

August 24, 2012

I'm playing tennis with my children and it's panning out as usual. I'm missing easy shots, as is partner Hannah, 7, leaving nine-year old twins Nathalie and Gabriel victorious...Continue reading

August 14, 2012

I now think I've seen it all. I've seen my three children spontaneously wake at 3.45am to travel to Barcelona to meet our cruise-ship. I've road-tested my first Aqua Park at sea...Continue reading

Please reload

bottom of page