Plan the Perfect Cruise
Your next cruise could be a variation on a travel theme: plan it to suit your interests. Who knows? You just may learn something new along the way
Themed cruises stimulate passengers to immerse themselves in their passions. On any itinerary – whether you’re a novice cruiser or a seasoned traveller who has sailed there, seen that – a niche theme enriches your pleasure while linking you to like-minded people. On seas brimming with cruise lines, here are some of the best themes afloat.
Sports Golfers craving to test their mettle on British Isles fairways can do so with a PGA teaching pro on Crystal’s July Bonny Isles cruise. The 14-day round trip from London – calling at ports in England, Ireland and Scotland – includes famed golf courses: Faithlegg in Ireland, Carden Park in England, Gleneagles and Kildare in Scotland, and Royal Belfast in Northern Ireland. For 2016, Crystal offers golf-themed cruises on Mediterranean, Canada/New England, and Gulf Coast itineraries. For avid joggers, Crystal’s Site Running Tours are escorted jaunts on five- to 10-kilometre stretches through European cities, including Amsterdam.
Gastronomy and Wine
Gastronomy and worthy wines are de rigueur on all itineraries of the luxurious Seabourn and Silversea ships as well as the mid-size Crystal vessels; each offers shopping jaunts with the chef in conducive ports. These lines and others also promote themed cruises featuring celebrity chefs and sommeliers. Crystal’s Canary Island Classic November cruise features Kevin Zraly, founder of Windows on the World Wine School. Seabourn’s Taste of the Mediterranean April cruise presents flavours and méthodes de cuisine of Greece, Italy, France and Monaco. Guests craving hands-on experience may gain skills at Silversea’s Relais & Châteaux L’École des Chefs interactive cooking school offered on three itineraries: Portugal to U.K.; Australia-South Pacific; and transoceanic voyages. Oceania’s July Iberian Inspiration cruise from Lisbon to Rome features Jacques Pépin and daughter Claudine (host of TV show Cooking with Claudine). Crystal’s November 2016 cruise looping from New Orleans focuses on microbrews and craft beers with certified cicerones.
Music and Dancing
Swing your way across the ocean on Crystal’s Trans-Atlantic Ballroom at Sea in June or December. Or tap your toes on Crystal’s Jazz cruise down the Pacific Coast in May. Carnival is running a series of short, band-themed Carnival Live Concerts: the Eastern Caribbean June itinerary features Styx. For boatloads of fun, music and dazzling dancing, join the fans on one of Holland America’s six Dancing with the Stars at Sea cruises that feature dance celebrities from the ABC show and invite guests to compete on stage. These themed cruises sail from June to January on seven-day itineraries that run between Boston and Bermuda, Boston to Montreal and loop from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern or Western Caribbean.
IF YOU GO
Go to the cruise line links for alternate dates in 2015 and 2016.
Book via the companies’ websites (many also have toll-free phone numbers), or see your travel agent.
Avalon Waterways www.avalonwaterways.ca/art-river-cruises/
Adventure Canada www.adventure canada.com
Carnival Cruise Lines www.carnival.com
Cruceros Australis www.australis.com