Sebastian Vettel reduced Lewis Hamilton's championship lead to 17 points after sealing a commanding victory in Belgium. Ferrari's Vettel passed pole-sitter Hamilton on the opening lap of the Spa-Francorchamps race before taking the chequered flag 11 seconds clear of his rival. Unlike in the wet of qualifying 24 hours earlier, Hamilton's Mercedes was no match for Vettel, with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen completing the podium places. Fernando Alonso was sent airborne over the Sauber of Charles Leclerc after Nico Hulkenberg crashed into the back of the Spaniard's McLaren at the opening bend. But all three drivers walked away from the terrifying crash with Alonso suggesting the halo, the cockpit protection device controversially introduced this season, may have avoided serious injury to Leclerc. Following back-to-back victories for Hamilton before the summer break, Vettel needed to stop the rot on Formula One's return to action here in the … [Read more...] about Sebastian Vettel cruises to Belgian GP victory and reduces Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead
Good time 3 dance cruise
'Welcome to paradise!' Doc, our designated guide, declared as my wife and I arrived at the Mombo safari camp in northern Botswana. We saw little reason to challenge his description. Our helicopter had scattered baboons and warthogs as we landed. Minutes later, we walked into the camp itself and gasped at its spectacular view of a lush green floodplain teeming with elephants, zebra and buffalo. As we sat on the broad wooden deck, lunching on cold avocado soup, bulgar-wheat salad and pan-fried bream with cherry tomatoes and grilled corn, we watched the elephants languidly approach, trailing egrets, munching grass and spraying themselves with dirt for protection from the sun. One great bull failed to stop. He lumbered right into the heart of the camp, stepping across the raised board walk that links the main building to the tented suites. The staff seemed unperturbed. The previous day, one told us, a couple of guests had been unable to reach their suite because a spotted hyena was lying … [Read more...] about Delta Bravo! As Botswana’s seminal Mombo Camp reopens, now’s the time for an Okavango Delta safari
A Greek island and Turkey escape is the best option for seafaring first timers, says Laura Hannam.Up until now, I’d never been on a cruise before. As a frequent sufferer of sea sickness and loather of organised fun, the idea of being stuck on a floating city never quite appealed.So, a three-day cruise, travelling to two countries and stopping at a whopping four Greek Islands, seemed like the perfect opportunity to challenge my preconceptions.As I arrive in Athens to board the 1,664-passenger Celestyal Olympia liner, I feel anxious. What if I get claustrophobic? What if I get the nasty norovirus bug that always seems to be popping up in the press?Luckily, as soon as I’m shown my cabin, I feel at ease. While my room, equipped with two single beds and a shower, is little more than a cubby, it’s cosy and I feel safe.Exploring the ship, I quickly discover boredom is not going to be an option – there are multiple restaurants, bars, shops, performance rooms (this … [Read more...] about 2 countries, 4 islands, 3 days: This is what happened on my minibreak in the Aegean sea
Next up? A kick-around on the soccer and basketball court. As we play, Selena Gomez comes blasting from the PA. Dammit, is there anything this ship can't do? "It can't fly," Rosa (12) deadpans. Touché. Maybe next year, Royal Caribbean will crack that. But for now, we'll have to content ourselves with the the floating theme park that is Symphony of the Seas - a spanking, Oasis-class behemoth fresh from the shipyard. At 362m, Symphony is the largest cruise ship on the planet, and she's spending her first summer on the Med before setting sail for the Caribbean. It's the perfect opportunity to try out a cutting-edge family cruise... without long-haul flights. The kids are first-timers, so I'm letting them lead the discovery. Beforehand, questions ranged from 'How much taller is it than our house?' to 'What if we hit an iceberg?' It's only when we catch sight of the beast outside Barcelona, however, that its scale fully hits home. 18 decks tower above us. The ship is over twice … [Read more...] about Symphony of the Seas: What’s it really like on the world’s biggest cruise ship?
“HAVE you ever been in a sidecar before?” asked the Saga Excursion Manager. “Oh yes,” I replied, “Just 70 years ago when I was three, so I’ll be fine.” Back then, my little sister and I fitted perfectly. These days she would definitely have to go pillion. Exploring with Madeira Sidecar Tours was such a fun way to discover the lovely island on our brief stop on a gloriously warm cruise to the Canary Islands on board the Saga Sapphire. We left the capital, Funchal, passing the pink confection that is Reid’s Hotel, where we planned to have afternoon tea later. Our driver and guide explained a little history of the island via our helmet sound system as we whizzed along. Winding old roads climbed up past the terraced vines producing the sweet Madeira wine until we reached Europe’s highest cliff and skywalk, Cabo Girao. The glass floor revealed a spectacular view of the volcanic beach beneath our toes, almost 2,000ft (609m) below. The … [Read more...] about Volcanic beaches, side-car tours and Madeira wine – there’s so much to see and do on the Saga Sapphire cruise