Travel author Jo Kessel filmed on board Ambience, the primary cruise ship for brand spanking new British company Ambassador Cruise Line. The footage shows off the liner’s Britishness, from its SW19 bar to its Wimbledon Tennis Championship’s purple and green branding. Plus the within scoop on the liner’s reasonably priced drinks and its top-notch speciality restaurant, which serves seven mouth-watering courses.
The enjoyment of cruising has at all times been about its ease – it’s the captain (and ship) who take the strain as you’re whisked from one destination to the subsequent.
And if the port where you board happens to be within the UK near to where you reside, the holidaying starts even sooner. Enter Ambassador Cruise Line, a brand recent British liner whose voyages sail exclusively from the UK.
Jo Kessel movies her journey on board Ambience, the primary cruise ship within the fleet of the brand new British cruise line Ambassador
Ambassador is the primary British cruise line to launch in a decade and the 1,400-passenger Ambience is the primary ship in its fleet, with a second called Ambition because of start sailing in May 2023.
Ambience is recent to Ambassador, nevertheless it isn’t a recent ship. It was built for the American liner Princess in 1991 and christened by Margaret Thatcher in the identical yr! A decade or so later it became a part of P&O Australia’s fleet before Ambassador bought it in 2020.
For those who’re on the lookout for a gleaming recent vessel with fancy amenities and high-tech entertainment, this just isn’t it. For those who’re after a ship that harks back to the classic age of cruising, that is your vessel.
The ship is not brand-new – it was built for the American liner Princess in 1991 and christened by Margaret Thatcher in the identical yr
The video starts on top deck, next to the ship’s two central swimming pools (certainly one of which is pictured)
Jo says that this swimming pool ‘is more of a fountain splash pool’
The great thing about Ambience is each its age and size – I hoped to capture each on camera during a seven-day sailing to Norway from Tilbury Docks, Essex.
This ship’s sufficiently big to feel spacious, but not so big that it’s a marathon to walk from one end to the opposite. It’s a pleasure to navigate, with nothing too far or too difficult to seek out.
Mine was certainly one of the two-a-year multi-generational sailings, but the vast majority of Ambassador’s voyages are adult-only, aimed toward the over 50s.
The video starts on top deck, next to the ship’s two central swimming pools, certainly one of which is more of a fountain splash pool.
Sun beds are plush and deep with essentially the most scenic seating areas to be found on the 4 top decks at the strict, where there are also a few hot tubs. It’s a stunning spot to sit back and watch the ship’s wake.
Jo says that this hot tub is a stunning spot to ‘chill and watch the ship’s wake’
Jo unwinds on certainly one of the ship’s ‘plush and deep’ sunbeds
The ship is decorated in a Wimbledon-inspired color palette with an atrium (above) called ‘Centre Court’
Pictured above is the ship’s bar – SW19. The ship could almost be confused for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at times, says Jo
Ambience’s ‘Wimbledon’ purple-and-green color scheme (from its funnel to its panelling to its logo) gives the ship a genteel feel and, whenever you head indoors and find an atrium called ‘Centre Court’, it could almost be confused for the All England Lawn Tennis Club. There’s even a bar called SW19!
Talking of bars, Ambience possibly serves the most affordable beverages at sea.
I kept considering there was an error on the till: 50p for a sparkling water; £3.20 for a glass of Prosecco; £5 for a big cocktail.
It costs just £3.20 for a glass of Prosecco on the ship. ‘Ambience possibly serves the most affordable beverages at sea,’ she says
But no, these were the true prices. With fares starting at £500pppw for full board and drinks this reasonable, no wonder fellow passengers are smiling.
Next, the video moves to accommodation and my entry-level sea view cabin.
It wasn’t posh, however the beds had excellent firm mattresses (I slept thoroughly) and even when I’d had a balcony I’m unsure it might have been used.
Jo’s entry-level sea view cabin. ‘It wasn’t posh, however the beds had excellent firm mattresses,’ she says
More often than not was spent either off the ship exploring or outdoors lazing on the sun decks.
Norway and its fjords are spectacular. The footage shows hikes to waterfalls and highpoints, but you’ll be able to equally take in the panorama from the ship, including the new tub!
Unlike most cruise ships, Ambience’s thermal suite’s sauna, steam room and heated ceramic loungers are free to make use of.
But for an actual treat, it’s definitely price booking a Balinese massage. Masseuse Vi was so exceptional I didn’t want it to finish.
‘Norway and its fjords are spectacular,’ Jo writes. Above is the town of Flam
Jo says that passengers can easily admire Norway’s scenery from the comfort of the ship
Wake to go: Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, will start sailing in May 2023
‘For an actual treat, it’s definitely price booking a Balinese massage (above),’ says Jo
Cuisine’s up next within the film, with quality just as impressive as quantity.
The four-course dinners within the fundamental ‘Buckingham’ dining room were superb and for the voyage’s two formal gala nights – this can be a ship where passengers like dressing up – there have been five courses.
But for seven courses don’t miss Ambience’s speciality restaurant, Sea and Grass.
Based on Jo, every dish at Ambience’s speciality restaurant, Sea and Grass, is ‘mouth-wateringly delicious’
A staff member carves a face right into a watermelon during a fruit-carving demonstration
Above is the ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ show featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke on an LED screen behind the ship’s troupe
A seven-night cruise on Ambience to the Norwegian fjords from Tilbury Docks costs from £609pp, full board, departing June 13, 2023.
For more information, visit www.ambassadorcruiseline.com or call 0808 1028030.
Each dish – each captured on camera – was mouth-wateringly delicious, from scallops with salmon caviar to goats’ cheese mousse to duck breast with caramelised apple. The £25pp surcharge is a steal.
Ambience offers classic cruising at its finest, no gimmicks.
It is a ship where guests make their very own entertainment in the cardboard room (called Aces & Eights) in addition to having fun with organised activities equivalent to quizzes, fruit-carving demonstrations and tap-dancing lessons.
There are also shows in its Palladium Theatre, the preferred of which is ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke.
Well, okay, it’s a virtual Anton (he’s on an LED screen behind the ship’s troupe) nevertheless it’s still lots of fun. Bottom line, this can be a great-value cruise ship with a touch of classic magic.
Before the voyage ends there’s time for one last Pina Colada. Once they only cost a fiver, it might be silly to not!
For more from Jo visit her YouTube channel.
‘That is an ideal value cruise ship with a touch of classic magic,’ says Jo
Ambience has 11 decks and might accommodate 1,400 guests
AMBIENCE BY THE NUMBERS
- Ambience is Ambassador’s first ship.
- It measures 32m (105ft) wide and 247m (811ft) long – and weighs 70,285 gross tonnes.
- It has 11 decks and might accommodate 1,400 guests in its 798 cabins.
- There are 215 international crew members on board.
- Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, will start sailing in May 2023 from regional UK ports including Newcastle, Dundee, Bristol, Liverpool and Falmouth.