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Setting sail from Bridgetown
The tiny eastern Caribbean island of Barbados has long been a favourite for British holiday makers, thanks in no small part to the platinum sands and warm, crystal clear waters of the west coast. But there's more to Barbados than just beaches; the delightful architecture of the old garrison in Bridgetown, the capital, is fully deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, and the island interior is littered with old sugar plantations and natural wonders such as Harrison's Cave. Perhaps the island's biggest asset, however, is the Bajans themselves, who are some of the friendliest people you're ever likely to meet.
Barbados is packed with historic houses, signal stations and sugar mills – one of our favourites is Sunbury Plantation House.
Cape Verde: Praia
Praia is the capital of Cape Verde, set on the south coast of Santiago island. Highlights include a scattering of attractive Portuguese colonial architecture around the Praca Alexandre Albuquerque, while the lively fruit and vegetable market will give you a taste of local life at street level.
Cape Verde: Porto Novo (Santo Antão)
Santo Antão is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Cape Verde islands, a landscape of spectacular peaks and ridges where houses cling precariously to the steep valley sides. The winding mountain roads, which take you up past banana and sugarcane plantations, are not for the faint of heart, but worth it for the stunning views from the top.
Canary Islands: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Said to have the world's most perfect climate, cosmopolitan Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and the largest city in the Canary Islands. The charming old quarter, La Vegueta, is where you'll find the city's most interesting colonial architecture, while beach fans should head for lovely Playa de las Canteras.
Canary Islands: Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura)
Fuerteventura is the closest of the Canary Islands to Africa, and this is reflected in the sun-baked landscape. Ships dock at Puerto del Rosario, which has little of interest; instead, take a trip into the mountainous interior, hit the beach or try your hand at windsurfing.
Canary Islands: La Gomera
Little La Gomera is the quietest of all the Canary Islands, still barely touched by tourism. The dramatic landscape of craggy volcanic peaks and misty laurel forest is staggeringly beautiful, and the diminutive capital, San Sebastián, is low key and laid back.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de La Palma
The lush volcanic island of La Palma is one of the Canary Islands’ best kept secrets, a place where tourism is still low key and the beautiful scenery is unspoilt by high rise developments. Don’t miss the colourful colonial architecture of the capital, Santa Cruz, reminiscent of the Spanish Caribbean.
Arriving in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife's north eastern shore, the island's capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island's interior. There are a few attractions in the town itself, including the tree-lined Ramblas and the strikingly modern Auditorium, designed by Santiago Calatrava, but we wouldn't advise spending too much time in Santa Cruz, particularly in summer when it can get rather crowded. Head instead for the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife's former capital and the prettiest town on the island.
Tenerife is a very developed tourist destination, but you can escape into the mountains for extraordinary scenery, and great hikes if that is your thing.
Your home from home
Crystal have repeatedly been voted the World’s Best and Serenity is arguably one of the finest ships at sea.
What we love
Crystal Serenity is Symphony's big sister and, like her, is not a new ship; but you wouldn't know it since she is subject to an ongoing refurbishment programme, which ensures that the environment is always perfect and the style contemporary. This is, in short, a ship constantly honed to perfection. But ultimately it's all about the unmatchable food and service.
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Luxury with a difference: the resort style - with excellent entertainment and facilities, wide range of dining and highly developed onboard programme - distinguishes glamorous Crystal from its competitors in the sector.
Tailor-make your trip
The best place to stay in Barbados
There are so many fantastic hotels to choose from, but the Mundy favourite is Cobblers Cove.
See more of Barbados
This is a lovely island to explore with amazing views, particularly on the East (Atlantic) coast, so get a driver to take you on a circuit.
Where to stay in Tenerife
If you are just here for a couple of nights, go for the Laguna Nivaria Hotel and Spa.
What to see in Tenerife
Visit the largest volcanic tube in Europe, the Cueva del Viento, 11 miles in a three-tiered labyrinth of tunnels.