Life is one long holiday… Or, at least it seems that way for the Queen! Although Queen Elizabeth II is well known for her strong work ethic, and has carried out tens of thousands of official duties during her 60 year reign, she is also known to enjoy a good cruise.
In fact, the Queen is such a fan of globetrotting, that she has visited over 129 countries during her time on the throne. This includes a six-month tour of the globe, during which she visited Commonwealth Nations, soon after her coronation in 1953.
Her love of sailing will take centre stage over the Jubilee weekend, when the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will gather together a flotilla of over one thousand boats, dressed in Union Jack finery. The procession will travel down the Thames from Hammersmith to Tower Bridge. The Queen herself will sail on the royal barge, with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla.
If all the excitement of the Jubilee celebrations has you yearning to live the privileged life of royalty, there’s some good news in store. But a little bad news, too.
The bad news first. Although Kate Middleton has managed the admirable leap from normal girl to Duchess of Cambridge, and can travel on any yacht she fancies, there’s little hope for the rest of us when it comes to marrying into the royal family.
The good news is, that thanks to Thomas Cook’s wide range of cruise holidays, non-royalty can sail the high seas in affordable luxury. Float away across the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, or to Dubai and the Middle East. Or, take a trip down the Nile or around Norway’s fabulous fjords.
A Royal Caribbean cruise is a great place to start if you want to keep it regal on a budget. The 14-night Independence of the Seas itinerary visits a host of sought-after Mediterranean destinations. It sails from Southampton to Gibraltar, before heading on to Provence, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga, Lisbon and Vigo. And prices start from just £699 per person.
If you’re itching to travel further afield – the Queen is known for her love of hot places, and has visited Fiji, Barbados and the Bahamas no less than six times each – a Caribbean cruise with stops in Florida, the Bahamas, and the exclusive island of St Maarten could be just the ticket.
To be in with a chance of becoming as well-travelled as the Queen, you’ll need to get cracking right away. Her first official trip as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II covered 43,618 miles. She has since visited the Caribbean over fifty times, Africa 21 times, the South Pacific 48 times, and the Indian Ocean 20 times.