For many, the joy of cruising is the opportunity it presents to visit a range of destinations in a single holiday while enjoying all the attractions of a modern cruise ship. However, did you know that you can dovetail your cruise holiday with the opportunity to indulge in your favourite pastime?
What is a themed cruise?
A themed cruise is a voyage, or series of voyages, whereby an element of the onboard experience is tailored towards a specific hobby or passion. While many theme cruises will still adhere to the standard cruise format, the daily programme will be enhanced with the addition of activities centered around a theme. This might have a bearing on the itinerary, the evening entertainment or the choice of shore excursions available.
In more extreme cases, some cruise lines may dedicate one itinerary in its entirety to the theme. These are known as full-ship theme cruises and are generally sold via a specialist agency.
What type of themed cruises are available?
You will find themed cruises available for all different types of interests and pastimes. From a traditional perspective, the most popular are Bridge theme cruises. These organised games and tournaments allow you to try your hand against fellow Bridge enthusiasts and after often moderated by a member of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League). Bridge theme cruises are offered by a variety of cruise lines, with some even giving you the chance to top up your ACBL Master Points as you cruise from port to port.
Themed cruises centered around food and drink are also frequent. If you are a wine aficionado, then you will have no trouble finding a themed itinerary that fits your requirements - after all, what could be better than cruising around the Mediterranean whilst enjoying private tasting sessions in some of the region’s most noted vineyards?
Dancing and musically-themed cruises are also in vogue, particularly since P&O Cruises introduced its now famous ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ collection. Combining performances inspired by the show, one-on-one tutoring and even the option to have dinner with a professional dancer, these voyages are extremely popular so booking in advance is highly advised.
Other themes include:
- Health, fitness and wellbeing
- Arts & Crafts
Which cruise lines offer themed cruises?
Nearly every cruise line offers a themed cruise of some description, whether it is a sole sailing set aside for a specific interest, or a schedule of voyages running throughout the year. Amongst the most prolific is Crystal Cruises who have a yearly programme of sailings dedicated to music, food and wine, golf, the natural world and film.
Some cruise lines will offer a run of voyages designed to elaborate an element of their own onboard experience. For example, Oceania Cruises is regarded as having “the finest cuisine at sea” and therefore run a comprehensive programme of themed enrichment classes centred around the culinary arts.
Other lines noted for theme cruises are Silversea, who are highly regarded for their comprehensive Bridge programme, while others like Regent Seven Seas, Azamara Club Cruises and Cunard all offer voyages featuring themes, covering everything from Genealogy to holistic wellbeing.
River cruise lines such as AmaWaterways and Tauck often have a schedule of itineraries dedicated to famous wine regions, particularly on Douro cruises, while Norwegian coastal operator Hurtigruten run a very successful Astronomy theme cruise which nicely compliments its popular Northern Lights itineraries.
If you would like to find out more about themed cruises and the options available, please give our Voyage Consultants a call on 0800 008 6677. Alternatively, you will find a selection of themed voyages below - simply find your preferred sailing and make an online enquiry.