I'm joining 10 fellow Azamara guests for a brisk hike to the summit of Mauao, an incongruous lava dome that rises 232 metres above Tauranga on New Zealand's North Island.
Uniworld's latest river-cruise ship Bon Voyage has just set sail in France's Bordeaux wine region. Brian Johnston is there to see whether it lives up to its name.
Ensure the smoothest of sailings with these useful tips and insights into cruising etiquette for the virgin or even veteran cruiser.
River cruising is rife with spine-tingling moments and this, it's safe to say, is definitely one of them.
Under the darkened small top, just as the latest performance of Phare, the Cambodian circus, is about to begin, there's a minor commotion in the packed audience.
Chanting ''hee'' and then ''haa'' helps us paddle in unison.
Whether it's a soothing massage in the Lotus spa or dining on dining in fine style, you'll find your niche aboard the Majestic Princess.
Return customers love this cruise line that makes them feel like part of a family, and there is even a "secret handshake".
Proud modern-day Vikings, the Lofoten Islanders make millions from cod and their cows give so much milk they have to wear bras.
I spy my first giant clam, sitting on the sea bed not far below, looking like a big clutch purse with fuzzy iridescent blue lips.
"This is going to be your best cruise ever," says our guide. "Because you're in West Africa, the happy place."
Wurzburg's baroque palace and history is only topped by a cold glass of the Franconia region's favourite drop, silvaner.