Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ October

For those of you who are new to this monthly sign-up, welcome! And for those who have been loyal readers for some time, welcome back to your favourite read of the month!  

Gifts Unwrapped…

Originally an ancient Roman tradition, the notion of gift-giving at Christmastime is one of many Christmas traditions which has existed for many, many years. Tastes and trends in gifts may change but the ritual of choosing, acquiring, wrapping and giving a gift to someone you love is something that is celebrated by thousands of people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds, all over the world. 

Post-World War II economic prosperity and the boom of the American dream in the 20th century has fuelled an ever-growing and ever-embellishing industry – an ever-evolving phenomenon whereby many people now tirelessly seek to present something more spectacular and even more out of this world than last year (and dare I say, more magnificent than what the recipient may have received from someone else). 

But we must ask ourselves whether this focus on material ‘things’ holds true meaning – perhaps many of us find the experience of gift-giving anxiety-inducing and entirely stressful? What if they don’t like it? What if they already have it? How much should I spend? Is it really enough for this very special person? 

Now, call me old-fashioned (and please don’t get me wrong, there are few things that fill me with more delight than unwrapping something which someone special to me has seen, causing them to think of me and leading them to purchase, wrap and bestow a gift to me) but in the midst of the commercialisation of Christmas, I do feel it is all too easy to lose sight of what Christmas should really be all about. Of course, this may be different for everyone but for me, Christmastime represents something very clear and profound.


Personally, I adore Christmas – the food, the smells, the music, the lights, the traditions and being reunited with family. I have incredibly fond memories of Christmas as a child; I used to be a Cathedral Chorister and Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day – although incredibly busy with a lot of singing commitments – were undoubtedly my favourite days of the year. My family was relatively small with just four of us most years but it was always wonderfully cheerful and care-free – I felt like Christmas could not get any better than how we did it. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world and would almost burst with excitement in the week leading up to it. 

I am now, regretfully, an adult and although Christmas is a little different these days, I still adore it and have relatively recently come to realise what made Christmas so incredibly special for all of those years. Sure, my big sister and I had stockings by the fire from Father Christmas and some other exciting surprises under the Christmas Tree but if you asked me now what I got from Father Christmas or what gifts my mum and dad bought for me when I was say, 10 years old, quite honestly, I wouldn’t remember. Not a clue. 

So, what I now know is that the reason I have such fond memories is due to the time that we spent together. It wasn’t about the presents and the ‘stuff’ (though I know that did used to thrill me at the time). It was the rituals, the smells, the music and ultimately, the time that we spent together. That was where the real magic lay – the memories that never break, go out of fashion. The ones that you cannot put a price on and that never die. 

This year will be my first Christmas as a Mother and from the bottom of my heart, I hope that I never lose sight of my memories of Christmas as a child and what makes them so special to me now. I hope that I don’t get caught up in the madness, being lured into Black Friday can’t-do-without ‘bargains’ and pressured into subsequent blood pressure-raising frantic dashes to the shops to get that thing that will made Christmas feel like Christmas. I hope I teach my child to value what really mattered to me in the hope that he will feel this too. 

And now that I have let you into that little realisation of mine, I ought to get to the crux of the matter and the point which I would like to make. 

The gift of time is, in my humble opinion, the greatest gift of all – especially following the past two years that we have all endured and during which we have been separated from family and friends.

So, perhaps you’ll join me in considering the idea of gifting an experience to someone and opening up the opportunity to make wonderful memories. 


Yule not want to miss out on this…

Our Festive Special Cruises offer something a little different to do with family and friends over the Christmas period and with cruises running every day over Christmas and New Year (and all the days in between), I hope you will find a suitable date and time! 

Many of these cruises are already fully booked – hardly surprising when you know how delicious our homemade mulled wine and warm locally baked mince pies are – but we do still have some availability on some sailings. 

The schedule is as follows:

Monday 20th December – 11am
Christmas Eve – 11am, 12:30pm and 2:15pm
Christmas Day – 10:45am
Boxing Day – 2:15pm
Monday 27th December – 2:15pm
Tuesday 28th December – 12:30pm and 2:15pm
Wednesday 29th December – 2:15pm
Thursday 30th December – 11am
New Years’ Eve – 12pm and 2pm 
New Years’ Day – 12:30pm and 2:15pm

We hope to welcome you aboard and share a little festive cheer!


Guided Bird Watching

Our Guided Bird Watching Cruises run throughout the migratory season, from November to March and we have so far enjoyed a fantastic season with some fantastic sightings during our cruises, enjoyed by many. 

Our Guided Bird Watching Cruises are hugely popular and are generally oversubscribed, so if you would like to join us in the New Year then I would urge you to book your space sooner rather than later (we usually get an influx of bookings immediately after Christmas due to people using their Gift Vouchers which they have just received – just a friendly tip for you)! 

View Dates Here

Merry Christmas! 

Well, that’s it from me for now folks. Thank you so much for your love and support and indeed for taking a few moments out of your day to humour my ramblings – it means the world to us to be able to connect with you in this way and I hope that this write-up brings an element of joy, fun or distraction to your day, as it certainly does mine.

We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from our family to yours. I hope that whatever your traditions and however you plan to spend it this year, you have a lovely time. 

With all my festive love,
Lauren X

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