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Snorkelling, sightseeing and a road trip - enjoy the ultimate Florida cruise with Virgin Voyages

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Virgin Voyages gives you everything you need for the ultimate cruising experience with the handy included additions of a hotel stay and car hire.

Virgin Voyages gives cruising the ultimate makeover with a new package up for grabs.

Explore countless destinations even further with the combination of a cruise, a hotel stay and car hire.

This all comes courtesy of Paramount Cruises - independent cruise specialists offering a range of stunning cruises and exciting holiday packages across multiple major cruise lines.

And can you think of a better range of locations to combine these three elements in than Miami, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas?

So, if you can’t decide between a cruise, hotel stay or scenic driving adventure, jump at the opportunity to do all three.

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Relax at Miami Beach and stroll along the boardwalk. Credit: Paramount Cruises

Miami Beach stay

Enjoy the luxury of staying right in the middle of the action in Miami Beach before you even step foot onboard Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady - courtesy of Paramount Cruises.

With a two-night hotel stay in Miami, you can be sure to hit all the hotspots such as the Miami Beach boardwalk, the art deco district and shopping at Lincoln Road.

- READ MORE: What is accommodation really like onboard Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady? -

Sun, sea and sand are exactly what you can expect from this gorgeous hotspot but you can also explore a different side of Miami by visiting the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, where you can marvel at the aquarium and planetarium.

Alternatively explore the abundance of greenery at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which measures an impressive 84 acres/

Of course, you must snap a picture in front of one of the many graffiti artworks, known as Wynwood Walls. Look out for murals by Shepard Fairey, the artist behind Barack Obama’s ‘Hope’ poster.

World of Cruising offers the ability to book popular cruise lines such as Virgin Voyages. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages cruise

Departing from Miami, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady sails for five nights on a full-board cruise visiting a range of gorgeous locations such as Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and the Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas.

Miami is the perfect starting point to absorb the eclectic art scene and relax among the palm trees.

As you sail into this sunny paradise you will be welcomed by an array of pastel-washed houses and a bustling seaside boulevard.

Make the most of the clear waters and go snorkelling to say hello to the colourful sea life below or, for the adrenaline junkies, why not try windsurfing?

Relax at the exclusive Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas with a cocktail in hand. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Puerto Plata also features a replica of Christ the Redeemer, the famed statue in Rio de Janeiro, as well as other historic must-sees such as the Taino Art Museum, which features an interesting pre-Columbus collection.

Your last port of call onboard Scarlet Lady is the ultra-exclusive Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas. The private resort prioritises wellness and relaxation - perfect after exploring fast-paced ports of call.

- READ MORE: From Hawaii to Memphis, America’s top cruise destinations -

Step off the ship and partake in a slow-paced yoga class to really stretch those muscles before wandering down to the poolside to relax with a rum-infused cocktail in hand – it can’t get any better than that!

If you fancy exploring Bimini in more depth, take part in a scuba dive to explore the extremely diverse waters among these stunning shallow reefs.

After your relaxing day at Bimini, accompanied by a late evening (8pm) departure, you will sail back to Miami where you will continue your adventure.

Admire the scenic drive from Miami to Key West along the overseas highway. Credit: Shutterstock

Key West car hire

The drive from Miami to Key West is iconic for a very good reason. The scenery you will admire passing by is unmatched and best experienced by car - which is exactly why Paramount Cruises includes car hire in this holiday extravaganza.

One of the most picturesque drives in Florida, this roughly four-hour road trip has countless stop off points to explore.

Racing fans will jump at the opportunity to stop at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, which hosts famous races such as the NASCAR Cup Series. Even if no one is racing that day, you can still take a tour of the track.

The Everglades National Park is a stunning stop on your route. It’s home to beautiful greenery as well as some of Florida’s more famous animals such as alligators and dolphins.

Make the most of the warm weather and stop off in Key Largo, where you can paddleboard or even visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which is the first undersea park in the country boasting magnificent coral reefs.

And these are only a small selection of things you can see on your Miami to Key West drive - certainly beats your local seaside holiday!

Ensure you snap a picture in front of the Southernmost Point of the USA. Credit: Shutterstock

Key West stay

Once you have made it to Key West, Florida, you can enjoy a two-night stay in this cultural paradise.

This eclectic destination can be best seen by the Old Town Trolley Tour, on which you can spot the key sights via an open-topped trolley ride.

History buffs will love the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum which boasts countless artefacts recovered from Florida Keys shipwrecks.

- READ MORE: Discover how to sail to the Grand Prix with Paramount Cruises -

Don’t miss the picture-perfect opportunity to visit the Southernmost Point of the USA, where a massive red buoy awaits.

A visit to Hemingway House is a must-do for literary fans. You can learn everything there is to know about both Ernest Hemingway and his wife when they were residents.

If you can bear to drag yourself away from the stunning Key West, it will then be time to fly home - presumably spending the whole flight already reminiscing about this trip of a lifetime.

Click here to discover this exciting cruise package with Paramount Cruises.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.