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For Tiana Templeman, travel has always meant hiking boots and hostels, so when she wins a trip for two to stay at thirteen of the world’s most exclusive five star hotels, it sounds like the chance of a lifetime, an opportunity to see how the other half lives. But with a travel budget stretched tighter than the straps on their bulging backpacks, Tiana and her husband Trevor have no room for diamonds and designer clothing (if they actually owned any in the first place).

From the Ritz Paris to the Dorchester in London and the Peninsula in Hong Kong, Tiana is faced with questions of etiquette she never thought she’d have to answer: is it all right to cook instant noodles beside the Chanel toiletries in the bathroom?  How do you deal with tipping when you can’t even afford a bottle of water from the mini-bar?  And what on earth are you meant to do with a private butler?

Through fourteen countries, over five months, and with countless hilarious and mortifying adventures, Tiana learns that in establishments catering for those with champagne tastes, when you’re on a beer budget life can be harder than it looks.

Exploring the frozen Alaskan wilderness; spotting elephants and lions on a Botswana river safari; sailing through the mighty fjords in Scandinavia and New Zealand; island-hopping the Caribbean, rich in colonial plazas and white sand beaches. Cruising has never been more diverse.

This practical and inspiring guide gives you the lowdown on the wide world of cruises. Get essential advice and expert tips on everything from the types of cruises available, where to go and how to book a great deal, to packing and travelling with the family. This ultimate trip-planning tool also features the best destinations for beaches, adventure, culture, chartering and more.

Designed for both first-time cruisers and those looking for inspiration, The Cruise Handbook will help you discover the enormous range of boat trips around the world, and find and book your perfect cruise. You’ll also discover how to get the most out of each port of call. A fun and interesting read, it’s packed with photos and top tips throughout.

Experience 60 of the world’s greatest adventures on water – from sailing the Nile by felucca and cruising the Canadian Arctic, to exploring Pitcairn Island by cargo ship. With detailed accounts of each route, beautiful photos and practical tips on how to plan your own voyage, Amazing Boat Journeys will help you discover a more rewarding way of travelling.

From the seafaring Polynesians to the Chinese Age of Discovery, travel by water shaped the world. That same spirit of exploration compels Lonely Planet writers today to travel by cargo freighter and fishing vessel to the world’s most remote islands; to hop onto mailboats in the Bahamas; or to experience life on a historic sail-powered windjammer.

These journeys are eclectic and wide-ranging, from the wonder of a glass-bottomed boat ride through Florida springs to the ease of a thatch-roofed kettuvallam exploring Kerala’s famed backwaters. Old-fashioned paddlesteamers ply the length of the Mississippi in the style of the 1800s, and cruise ships on the Yangtze feature enthusiastic karaoke in Mandarin. Off-the-beaten-path cruises include Antarctica and Papua New Guinea.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from a weeks-long journey over open seas is the charm of seeing a city from the water, whether crossing Victoria Harbour via Hong Kong’s classic Star Ferry, viewing the banks of London from the Thames, or traversing Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River.

Each trip includes authoritative commentary, awe-inspiring photography, and details of life on board the vessel, similar routes, and how to make the trip happen.