The Artisan Blog

Amy Walkington-Gray

Top small-ship cruises for 2019

Written by Amy Walkington-Gray
Thursday, 07 February 2019

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Small-ship cruises are a brilliant way to reach destinations without the hassle of overland travel. You also get some incredible vantage points from out at sea, not to mention the marine life you could see along the way.

Mark McFaul

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Whether you want to make a grand gesture to treat your special someone, or you’re simply looking for an excuse to go travelling with your partner, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to experience some of Europe’s most romantic spots!

However, with less than a month to go until the big day we thought we would help you plan your dream romantic break by recommending a few of our favourite holidays to help inspire you.

No matter where you choose to go, we are sure that you and your partner will enjoy a Valentine’s Day holiday to remember!

Allan Cooper

Top holiday destinations for 2019

Written by Allan Cooper
Friday, 14 December 2018

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2019 is almost upon us and we think there’s no better way to help beat the post-Christmas blues than to start planning your next holiday abroad. You could even make a New Year’s resolution to start ticking off some travel experiences from your bucket list!

Mark McFaul

7 of our favourite winter escapes

Written by Mark McFaul
Thursday, 06 September 2018

Used Credit Antti Pietikainen 54

As the summer sun begins to fade and the dark nights start to return, some travellers might be tempted to pack their passport away for another year. However, we believe there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the arrival of the winter months.

Now don’t get us wrong we love sunny escapes to places such as Croatia, Madeira and the Azores and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of the last of the summer sun if you want. However, what these destinations can’t offer, as excellent as they may be, is the chance to enjoy some truly great bucket list, Arctic experiences.

Jono Archer

My experience - the Blue Lagoon

Written by Jono Archer
Friday, 09 February 2018

We recently caught up with Laura from our marketing team to find out about her experience of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Here’s what she had to say:

 Blue Lagoon 368 01

Ali Mclean

Hot Destinations For 2018

Written by Ali Mclean
Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Cold, dreary weather, post-festive season torpor, and back-to-work blues; welcome to the joys of January. How do we recommend you cure your mood?

Start planning your 2018 adventures of course!

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We have a vast variety of bucket list holidays all around the world, skilfully designed by our Travel Experts with you in mind. We'll take you from the wilds of Finland to the sun-drenched island of Gozo; the fjords of Iceland and Norway to the volcanic paradise of the Azores.

Ali Mclean

If you're anything like us, you’ll have been cancelling your Sunday night plans to spend it in the comfort of your own sofa watching David Attenborough’s latest masterpiece, Blue Planet II. Whether it is marvelling at the scenery, or wondering how anything can live in the depths of the ocean, we're sure you’ll have been on the edge of your seat and wanting to head out and explore the wonders of the ocean for yourself.

With that in mind, here are three holidays to help you experience the depths of the underwater world.

Amy Hope

Iceland - Swimming between Continents

Written by Amy Hope
Tuesday, 20 October 2015

My swim between the land masses of Europe and America was far less of a challenge than I initially anticipated, it required neither years of training and preparation nor support teams and record breaking feats of endurance. On the chilly February morning which had been chosen for my swim, I woke in my cosy double bed in Reykjavik (which was to be the starting point of my adventure), enjoyed a delicious continental breakfast and waited for my crew to collect me in reception, without any real sense of trepidation at all. 

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Credit: Dive. is
Ali Mclean

The Midnight Sun in Iceland

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 05 September 2014

"We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow."

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I've always wanted to incorporate Led Zeppelin into one of my blogs and the opening lines from their classic "Immigrant Song" presented the perfect opportunity.

Singer Robert Plant was inspired to write the lyrics when the band played in Iceland 1970 and this remarkable island has continued to inspire ever since.

Dawn Kitson

My very first memory of Iceland is seeing it on a travel programme as a child and being completely captivated. I couldn't quite tell you why – I think it planted itself in my 6 year old mind as this big frozen country – a mystical, otherworldly place in the middle of the sea that seemed so far from and so unlike anything else.

As strange as it sounds to most of my friends and family, I have never been a fan of hot places and whilst I appreciate a bit of sunshine every now and then it's the cold that I enjoy the most (I'm one of those people that enjoys when the English two week summer is done and I can get out my woolly jumpers again...) so Iceland, even by just its name, was a place that called out to me.

Since then I always wanted to visit and it was forever in the back of my mind as a sort of bucket list place that I knew I wanted to visit when I was a grown up (as far off as that seemed at the time).

Eyjafjallajokull

Dawn Kitson

When we arrived in Iceland, the first thing we did was drive to the Blue Lagoon. To get here you drive across unending black lava fields which many would find desolate, but to me had a sort of bleak beauty and it is really no exaggeration that I basically fell in love with the landscape at first sight - as overly dramatic as that sounds!

At the Blue Lagoon we changed into our swimwear and headed out to the water. I must admit the weather was pretty bad (I learned quickly that the best way to describe the weather in Iceland is 'wildly unpredictable...').

Blue Lagoon

However, the milky blue water was toasty warm and as we floated around I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the place, with its pitch black lava backdrop against the blue of the water. It is well known as a tourist hotspot and I've heard some people say it's too busy and too commercial so I was a bit dubious but, it was quite simply wonderful. Yes, there are a lot of people there, but the lagoon is large enough that it never feels overcrowded and, as my very first taste of Iceland, it was pretty great. Speaking to fellow travellers the best times to go are early in the morning or late in the evening as it is much quieter then – late evenings in particular during the Midnight Sun are said to be rather special.

Dawn Kitson

The final part of the week was a combination of the idyllic south shore and the island's northernmost city of Akureyri. First though, we went to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, on the west of the island, the self-proclaimed 'Iceland in miniature' which has a little bit of everything else you will see across the island - waterfalls, beaches, lagoons and glaciers.

We stayed in Stykkishólmur, which is one of those ridiculously quaint fishing villages which speak of an easy way of traditional laid-back life.

South Shore

On the south shore we drive past glaciers and more waterfalls and the site of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Here you can visit the tiny and informative museum which shows you the eruption in 2010 that not only impacted millions of air passengers across the globe but also completely covered the tiny community and farms here in vast quantities of ash.

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