The Best Themed Cruises You’ll Want to Book ASAP
Whether you want to learn more about art, wine, or history, hang with pro wrestlers, or are simply crazy for country crooners, there’s a themed cruise out there that will float your boat and allow you to set sail with like-minded vacationers.
For serious foodies
Courtesy Windstar Cruises
Culinary-centric programming shows up on almost every major carrier, but a few go above and beyond when it comes to gourmet getaways. Windstar serves up eight food-filled voyages in a variety of regions yearly, in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation, that include market tours with a guest chef and beverage expert, wine-paired meals, cooking demos, menus that highlight local delicacies, and shore excursions that are cuisine-oriented. Holland America teamed up with America’s Test Kitchen to provide caloric content on cruises for foodies. Cast members from the beloved cooking series put on live shows, host hands-on lessons and Q&As, sign their books, give a multi-media presentation on recipe development, and test their kitchen knowledge at trivia.
For aspiring painters
Ever wanted to travel to beautiful landscapes and paint your own watercolors? Then try Uniworld’s Floating Art Workshops in Europe. While you travel around the Rhine (Frankfurt to Cologne), or Paris, artist Larry Aaron, whose work has been shown in galleries in New York and at Art Basel, will teach you how to draw a charcoal portrait and paint a watercolor in a small class setting.
For dance floor divas and dudes
Courtesy StarVista LIVE
Next January, get your life back on track with the Soul Train Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. The Jacksons, the Isley Brothers, Peabo Bryson, Regina Belle, and other R&B favorites will make passengers feel the rhythm of the tropical nights. Dust off your moves and boogie down alongside original Soul Train dancers. Go behind the music at Q&As and cocktail receptions. Raise the roof during Gospel Hour, snicker satisfyingly at the comedy club, and pay respects at the Barry White tribute. You might experience some positive side effects by choosing a music-themed cruise. Learn the secrets cruise lines won’t tell you.
Always wanted a front-row seat at Fashion Week? You can check out the latest designs during Transatlantic Fashion Week 2020. Going into its fifth year, the transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 will host American designers James Badgley and James Mischka, who have dressed celebs from Oprah to Taylor Swift. In a first, their line Badgley Mischka will launch the latest collection onboard the ship. This themed cruise will also include hosted dinners and catwalk shows featuring work from emerging designers. You’ll sail from Southampton in England to New York City. Be sure to pack your fanciest outfits, as there will be plenty of opportunities to dress up.
For the art smart
Courtesy Coral Expeditions
Learn about the Land Down Under and its Indigenous art scene through a small-ship expedition to Australia’s remote northern coast with Coral Expeditions. Departing from Cairns next September, the voyage visits Cape York and Arnhem Land art communities like Yirrkala, Maningrida, Elcho Island, and Badu Island with artist-in-residence Brian Robinson. The Torres Strait artist will educate guests about the communities, art techniques, songlines, and stories that shaped the country and will host workshops on traditional carving, printmaking, sketching, and weaving. He will be joined by a naturalist who will provide more context on how the region’s flora, fauna, geology, and management issues have affected Aboriginal art, culture, and history. The company also offers a trip that explores Australian cuisine on the same route, as well as itineraries that center around bushwalking in Tasmania and the Sydney to Hobart Race for sailing hobbyists.
For hero worshippers and friends of Mickey
Courtesy Disney Cruise Line
Given what they do with movies and theme parks, you can trust the Disney Cruise Line to deliver fun for the whole family (if you dare celebrate a holiday while on holiday) with Halloween on the High Seas. Costume up for the Mouse-querade party. Brave hearts can join a mysterious sea captain for scary stories under the stars or groove along with a ghost band. Jack Skellington and Sally visit the Nightmare Before Christmas scream-along screening and the rest of your favorite characters will join you for servings of spooky juice and spider cakes. Select 2019 voyages will also cater to superhero and Star Wars lovers big and small. The Avengers, from Black Panther to the Winter Soldier, reign supreme during Disney Magic‘s Marvel Day, which leaves from Miami, while new Jedis are trained during Star Wars Day on certain Disney Fantasy sailings from Port Canaveral. Both have action-packed deck shows and out-of-this-world character interactions. These are things that are worth a splurge on a Disney cruise.
For outer space enthusiasts
For the inside scoop on what’s going on in distant galaxies, you’ll appreciate World Space Week cruises. You’ll set sail on the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton, England, to New York City. Trips are scheduled for September 2019 and October 2020. The transatlantic voyages will feature talks by Dr. Dan Wilkins, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and German astronaut and physicist Ulrich Walter. They’ll explain what you’re seeing in the night sky. You’ll also get to partake in space-themed experiences in the ship’s planetarium.
Finally, if clothing-optional vacationing is more your thing, we’ve got a cruise for you. As of next year, the Big Nude Boat will have been “bare cruising” for three decades. You can help celebrate on a cruise in February 2020. The Carnival Freedom leaves from Tampa, stops in Key West, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, which is known for its spectacular coral reefs, the still wild island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras, and Cozumel before returning to Tampa, where, presumably, you’ll have to put some clothes on. Now that you know all about themed cruises, check out some more cruises with crazy cool amenities you’ll want to book right now.