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Game, Set and Cruise!

Thurs 5 Jul 2018

With Wimbledon well underway, our thoughts turn to strawberries and cream, and exciting tennis players from around the world. We’ve picked some of our favourite former Wimbledon champions and how you can explore their homelands by cruise.


Martina Navratilova is the only tennis player to have maintained the world number one spot in both singles and doubles tennis for over 200 weeks.

The Czech Republic has a proud history and its capital, Prague, is bursting with architectural treasures, including a majestic 9th-century castle, well-preserved medieval old town and the stunning Charles Bridge, lined with an incredible 30 statues. Although Prague is located on the Vltava River, a hotel stay in this fascinating capital city is often included on holidays along the legendary River Danube. An excursion to the pretty UNESCO-listed town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is also a highlight on many Danube river cruises.

Cruise and stay in Prague

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offer a 9-night all-inclusive luxury Danube river cruise


Steffi Graf is the only tennis player to have won all four Grand Slam titles at least four times. During her career she achieved an incredible 22 titles, including seven Wimbledon titles.

Germany is renowned for its traditional beer taverns, lederhosen and luxury cars, including Mercedes-Benz and Audi, but it also offers diverse cities and wine-producing villages dotted along the picturesque River Rhine. Cologne is the largest city on the river and often the starting point for many River Rhine cruises. It is dominated by the soaring spires of its Gothic cathedral and offers a host of museums, including the famous Museum Ludwig. Rhine cruises through Germany may also visit the colourful city of Koblenz in the shadow of three mountain ranges, and the beautiful wine-producing town of Rudesheim, home to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.

Cruise through Germany

Join Amadeus River Cruises on a 7-night Classical Rhine river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel departing March to October 2019 from £1229pp


Despite being family, the Williams sisters are rivals when they step on court, with both having achieved world number one status during their careers. However, Venus Williams has another string to her bow as she has degrees in fashion design and business administration.

From the grandeur and autumnal colours of New England, to the mighty St Lawrence River and the five Great Lakes - Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan – it goes without saying that North America has a lot to offer. A Great Lakes small ship cruise includes a visit to Niagara Falls, a breathtaking natural wonder, while other voyages take in the diverse Canadian cities of Quebec and Montreal. It is also possible to explore this intriguing country by river along the mighty Mississippi, on an authentic paddle wheeler, taking you back to the grand era of steamboating.

Cruise the United States

Victory Cruise Lines have a unique 9-night all-inclusive cruise exploring America’s Great Lakes departing July to October 2018 and May to October 2019 from £4999pp


Maria Sharapova is without question a tennis sensation and won her first Wimbledon title at just 17 years old. She was also the first Russian woman to be crowned number one in the world tennis rankings.

Russia is currently at the forefront of peoples’ minds as the country is hosting the 2018 World Cup. However, there is so much more to this country. Take to the water and cruise the beautiful waterways of the Tsars, a series of rivers, canals and vast lakes which connect the historic capitals of Moscow and St Petersburg. The opulent city of St Petersburg can also be explored on a voyage to the Baltic. Many cruise lines include overnight stops to allow ample time to see the iconic sights, from the famous Hermitage to the ornate Peterhof Palace with its cascading fountains.

Cruise through Russia

Enjoy a 12-night Treasures of Russia river cruise including hotel stays in Moscow to St Petersburg with Volga Dream departing May to September 2019 from £3245pp


When Fred Perry won Wimbledon in the 1930s, he was given a shopping voucher and replica trophy, a stark contrast to the champions of today. He is also known for his iconic clothing brand which continues to go from strength to strength.

Cruises showcasing the remote islands, fascinating capital cities and stunning coastal towns of the British Isles are very popular. With over 6,000 islands, and a wealth of culture and age-old traditions to discover, it is easy to see why. Highlights include picture-postcard Tobermory with its colourful waterfront, the lively capital of Dublin laced in literacy tradition, and St Mary’s in the tranquil Isles of Scilly, gateway to Tresco’s colourful Abbey Gardens. Some itineraries also include a visit to enchanting Honfleur in France, which has inspired painters and writers for centuries.

Cruise the British Isles

Cruise and Maritime Voyages have a fantastic choice of cruises around the British Isles from regional ports departing August to December 2018, and March to October 2019 from £724pp


Not many people can say that they have an asteroid named after them, but Rafael Nadal can. Following his Wimbledon victory in July 2008, the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca put in a request to name an asteroid, located between Mars and Jupiter, after the world champion.

Spain is a cruising hotspot with cruise lines calling along the coastline on their Mediterranean voyages. Discover La Coruna, known as the “Crystal City” due to its glass-fronted buildings along the promenade, or explore the historic city of Cadiz, gateway to Seville with its stunning Moorish architecture. Although in the same archipelago, the idyllic Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca couldn’t be more different. Ibiza is an island of contrasts as lively nightlife sits alongside secluded coves, while Mallorca has a beautiful old town bursting with traditional restaurants, and Mahon, Menorca’s capital, is renowned for its Georgian architecture.

Cruise Spanish islands

Join Royal Clipper on a 7-night Star Clippers cruise from Malaga to the Balearic Islands and Corsica departing 27 April 2019 from £1266pp


Lleyton Hewitt has played tennis in nearly every continent, taking on matches in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and North America during his incredible career.

With awe-inspiring natural wonders including Ayers Rock, the exciting cities of Melbourne and Sydney, and a deep-rooted aboriginal culture, Australia has something to suit everyone. There are so many ways to explore, from a luxury cruise along the Kimberley coast, to a paddlesteamer voyage along the Murray River, and small ship holiday showcasing the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. Many voyages to Australia also take in New Zealand, known as the “Land of the Long White Cloud”, home to the majestic Milford Sound fjord, thermal springs of Rotorua, and the Art-Deco city of Auckland.

Cruise Australia's Coast

Take a once-in-a-lifetime cruise around Australia and New Zealand with Viking Ocean Cruises with several dates in Winter 2019/20 from £6099pp


Rene Lacoste was nicknamed “The Crocodile” after a bet. Rene saw a crocodile skin suitcase in a window display in Boston, and his tennis captain agreed to buy him the suitcase if he won his next match. Although he didn’t win, he chose to use the animal as the logo for his iconic clothing brand.

France has a myriad of rivers, including the Rhone which meanders through Burgundy and Provence, and the Seine which takes in picturesque villages which have inspired artists for centuries. The captivating UNESCO-listed Loire Valley is a new cruise destination which can be explored on an environmentally-friendly paddlewheeler, the first of its kind on the River Loire. Aside from the beautiful rivers, France is also renowned for the glamorous French Riviera, where you’ll find the glitz and glamour of St Tropez, Monaco and Cannes.

Cruise the South of France

Join new ship Emerald Liberte on a 7-night River Rhone cruise from Lyon to Arles with Emerald Waterways departing April to October 2019 from £1695pp


Goran Ivanisevic is the only tennis player to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon as a wild card. He is the lower-ranked player in history to win the prestigious tournament.

After years under different rule, it is no wonder that Croatia has a fascinating fusion of eastern and western influences. Uncover the country's intriguing past though its incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites and discover breathtaking natural wonders including the idyllic Krka Valley. Let’s not forget the country’s diverse cities, including Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, and historic Split, built around the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace. Croatia also boasts picture-postcard islands, from enchanting Korcula, the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo, to lavender-scented Hvar.

Cruise the Croatian coast

Explore the highlights of Croatia on a 7-night Riviera Travel cruise from Dubrovnik departing May to October 2019 from £1499pp

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