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OK, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I’m happy to say that Cruising the World: From Gondolas to Megaships — has won Gold in the Coffee Table Book category of the 2021 Independent Press Award competition.

The book represents the finest images from prize-winning travel photographer Dennis Cox’s decades of documenting cruise ships — and a host of other passenger carrying vessels — from around the world (77 countries on seven continents!).

I enjoyed writing the text for the book because in the process I learned a lot about the history of cruising, as well as the sheer magnitude of what goes into running megaships (love ’em or hate ’em) and smaller ocean-going cruise ships — along with the incredible variety of riverboats, sailing ships, freighters, ferries, dhows, sampans, junks, paddle wheelers, barges, trajineras, expedition vessels, feluccas, gulets, and, of course, gondolas, that traverse the world’s waterways.

Cruise ship food? See pages 40-43. Hong Kong’s Star Ferry? Page 158. Freighter (cargo ship) travel? Page 39. The world’s cheapest ferry? Page 58. Diving cruises in Hawaii? Page 75. Caribbean tall ship cruises? Page 53. Danube river cruises? Pages 127-129.

And more: Nile riverboats and feluccas? Page 155. Holland tulip cruises? Pages 108-109. Kerala (India) rice boats? Page 183. Solomon Islands ferries? Page 192. Cruising around Cape Horn? Page 193.

And that’s just a small taste. Looking back over the book this morning, I was struck once again how Dennis’ images just pop off the page. His photos have graced my site for years now — and I can always count on quality work. See my recent post about Zanzibar for an excellent example.

You Do Remember Cruising, Right?

Our timing in publishing this book did, shall we say, leave a lot to be desired — just as the COVID pandemic broke out last year and cruising came to a worldwide halt.

But after an extremely stressful year for most of us — often cooped up in homes or apartments for months at a time, existing on a diet of “virtual” experiences, Zoom calls, Netflix, and way too many pizzas delivered by Uber and Postmates (OK, I admit, guilty as charged) — I know that many readers are ready to at least consider some type of cruising once again, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Cruising the World, I hope, can offer ideas and inspiration to get your cruising juices flowing again — even if you have to buy a coffee table to hold it.

To order Cruising the World, please visit We’re currently offering very attractive discounts as well!

From the Independent Press Award press release:

Cruising the World: From Gondolas to Megaships is an in-depth 208-page, 9.5” x 12” full-color hardcover coffee table book featuring 535 photos depicting 37 varieties of cruise vessels representing 77 countries on all seven continents.

“From modern-day megaships to such timeless vessels as Venetian gondolas, Arabian dhows, and Asian sampans, award-winning travel photographer Dennis Cox and veteran cruise writer Clark Norton have drawn on their decades of cruising experience to take readers on a memorable and fascinating journey aboard ocean-and sea-going, river, lake, and canal boats around the world.

“In 2021, the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD had entries worldwide. Participating authors and publishers reside in countries such as Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and others.

“In addition, books submitted included writers located in U.S. cities such as Atlanta to Santa Fe; Chicago to New York; from Boise to Honolulu, and others.

“The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence” — Gabrielle Olczak, for the Independent Press Award.

Once again, to order Cruising the World, please visit and claim your discount today!

Watch the video here.

Reader Comments:

Looks great Clark, will order right away. Miss you and hope you and Catherine are well. Wenda and I spent six weeks in Tanzania in February and March and my Lord it was great to get away. In the meantime, I look forward to reading the book. Pride of place will be on top of the toilet tank, where it is sure to be read by many. — James O’Reilly,

Reply: Thanks, James! Love the toilet tank idea!

The award is well deserved. It is a terrific book and opened my mind to many new possibilities for travel ahead. Congratulations. SteveA

Reply: Thanks, Steve! You were an early buyer and we appreciate it!

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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