Bath – and from sea water to fresh water…!


Hello Again Everyone,

Well the festive holiday season is fast approaching once again and here in the UK the weather has already turned decidedly wet and wintery, although we have had no sign of any snow – yet…!!

However with the shops and streets decorated for Christmas and our minds turning towards shopping for those hard to get gifts, where better to head off than to one of the many Christmas Markets which spring up annually at this time of year in so many European cities?!

I am very fortunate to have plans to go to two of these Markets this year, the first being quite close to my home in the Cotswolds in south west England – the city in question being Bath, which is one of my favourite cities. The Christmas Market in Bath has over 150 chalets spread across Bath’s picturesque Georgian streets close to the world famous Bath Abbey and it’s the perfect place to do a spot of Christmas shopping!

If any of you happen to be in England between November 28th and December 15th this year, I would fully recommend a trip to Bath to visit the Market and of course to take in the famous Royal Crescent, a row of 30 Georgian terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent, completed in 1774 and forming one of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture in the United Kingdom.

As well as the Abbey, there are also of course the Roman Baths, from which the city takes it name and which is one of the finest historic sites in all of Northern Europe. The unique thermal springs rise at the site and visitors can walk on the original Roman pavements and see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva. The Roman Baths attract over one million visitors a year – making it one of the most visited heritage attractions in the UK. I feel lucky to live so close to Bath – do come and visit!

The second Christmas Market I will be visiting and writing about will be in the beautiful city of Lyon in France from where I will be embarking on my first ever river cruise with Viva Cruises, who have a modern fleet of river cruisers and who can take you on scenic journeys throughout the heart of Europe!

Viva’s cruises are all-inclusive 5 star voyages and have everything a traveler could ask for: castles and monasteries, vineyards and villages, cathedrals and a wealth of epicurean delights to be savored at every bend.

Viva’s fleet of ships have a relaxed, yet refined ambience and they can take you on voyages on all the major rivers of Europe – be it the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Moselle, Rhone or the Seine and even into the Baltic Sea and beyond!

Viva have just launched their US sales office and website, so now you can head over to their site and book your all-inclusive European river cruise including your return flights, so what could be better?!

Having spent my entire career sailing on the salty waters of the world’s oceans, this will truly be a “first” for me and indeed for my wife too, as we set sail on the fresh river waters of the Rhone for four nights scenic cruising. We are very much looking forward to it and I look forward to telling you all about it!

Happy shopping!

Peter Philpott
Captain (recently retired)
Queen Mary 2.