Today (4 April 2020) marks cruise star Jane McDonald’s 57th birthday and while she will sadly be having to spend the day in isolation along with the rest of the UK, we wanted her to know we would be thinking of her on this special day.

This has been quite a year for the cruise legend who, among other things, made the dramatic announcement that she would be abdicating her cruising crown to pursue new opportunities.

Here are just seven reasons why 2019 has been a monumental year for Jane McDonald.

  1. Jane announced that she would be chartering her first cruise.

 Last summer, Jane made the exciting announcement that she would be chartering her own ship for the first time in her 20-year cruise career. Taking place this September, Jane has chartered Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas for one week only and will be performing two exclusive headline shows, as well as partaking in a one-of-a-kind ‘Audience-With’ event, where the star will be interviewed live on stage about her life and career. For true Jane McDonald fans, this ‘Sail Away’ cruise is something not to be missed.

Jane McDonald cruise, Anthem of the Seas
Jane’s chartered cruise will take place aboard Anthem of the Seas


2. Her new autobiography, Riding the Waves, was released.

Jane’s autobiography Riding the Waves: My Story, charts the BAFTA-winning TV presenter’s incredible but sometimes turbulent career, which spans more than 20 years. With her famous down-to-earth Yorkshire charm, wit and warmth, she reveals how life hasn’t always been plain sailing, detailing her insecurities as a child battling with anxiety, failed marriages and the devastating deaths of her parents. Suffice it to say, the book made it onto the Sunday Times bestseller list.

Jane McDonald: autobiography
Jane’s autobiography made it onto the Sunday Times bestseller list


3. Jane returned to Loose Women.

Jane McDonald was a much-loved co-presenter on the popular daytime women’s show for an incredible 10 years, and fans were left bereft when she made the decision to leave Loose Women in 2014 to pursue her musical year. 2019 saw her return to discuss her new autobiography and how the show helped her through a dark period of her life when she ended her marriage to engineer Henrik Brixen, which she discusses in the book.

Jane McDonald cruise
Jane made a special appearance on Loose Women


4. The sixth series of Cruising With returned to our screens.

Cruising with Jane McDonald returned to our TV screens for a sixth series, giving us our much-needed fix of the Queen of Cruise’s latest adventures. Some of the highlights of the series included Jane’s travels to the Great Lakes with Victory Cruises; journeying around the sun-soaked shores of the Adriatic, aboard Silversea’s six-star 388-passenger ship, Silver Shadow; and a Christmas special cruise along the coast of Norway aboard The episode Hurtigruten’s MS Polarlys.

Cruising with Jane McDonald Victory Cruise Lines
Highlights from the show included Jane’s travels to the Great Lakes


5. She quit Cruising with Jane McDonald. 

Much to the shock of her fans, Jane announced that she was quitting Cruising with Jane McDonald, her Channel 5 hit programme, after more than four and a half years. Making the announcement on her blog, the 57-year-old cruise legend hinted that she had some “exciting new projects” in-store, along with focusing more on her music and tours.

Jane McDonald: Cruising with Jane McDonald
Jane has documented countless cruises in Cruising with Jane McDonald


6. Jane announced details of her new tour. 

After announcing that she had quit the world of cruising, Jane was quick to take to social media to reveal details of her new music tour this 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, she announced this week on her website that it has been necessary to change the dates for the first three shows at York, Edinburgh & Perth, but the tour is still due to go ahead.

7. Fans paid tribute to her in a birthday video. 

Helping to cheer her up in these uncertain times, Jane’s group of loyal fans on social media has gone above and beyond to help make her birthday special this year. Posting on their Twitter account, the fan group, ‘TeamJaneMcDonald’, revealed they were creating a special ‘extravaganza video’ for the star, for her to watch on her birthday. The video has now been revealed and it most certainly pays tribute to the cruise legend. Watch the full video via this link.