Okay, I might as well admit straight away that I am not a dedicated cruise person. Yet I am utterly intrigued by the popularity cruises enjoy around the globe. I love the idea of waking up somewhere new every morning, going out for the day, and then moving on at night. Maybe with the odd day to enjoy whatever is happening onboard.
So, here I have collected a few cruises that not only scratch that itch of going somewhere new and spectacular nearly every day, but also allows for having a lot of fun on the ship itself, surrounded by like-minded people.
Some of these cruises sound so good that I want to book myself in right now, while others, maybe not so much. We all get a buzz out of something different, and I wanted to celebrate exactly that with this eclectic roundup.
Which one sparks your interest?
1. Pole To Pole, Arctic To Antarctic, Viking Cruises
Let’s start with one spectacular cruise that is definitely on my bucket list. Setting off in September for 44 days traveling from northern Norway, the Gateway to the Arctic, down along Scotland and Ireland, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Rio de Janeiro. Then on to Argentina, Uruguay, the Falkland Islands, and the islands of Antarctica before sailing back to Ushuaia. With luxurious cabins with balconies, and scientists on hand to explain what you see along the way, this is just spectacular. Not just one for the bucket list, but also to be earmarked for when you win the lottery, as you only get the price on request. And you know what they say: If you have to ask ….
Pro Tip: Most Antarctic cruises are expensive and long simply because of the distance covered, but there are some shorter and less eye-opening-priced options.
2. One For Cat Lovers, Florida And Mexico, Meow Meow Cruises
From penguins to pussycats. This Meow Cruise is a bit of an odd one. It is a week-long cruise in October from Florida to the Mexican coast, taking in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan, and it is themed for cat lovers — but minus actual cats. Cat lovers come together, enjoy meetups, quizzes on cats, kitty scavenger hunts, and get a kitty goodie bag, but can only cuddle the odd kitty when on land. Still, the cruise certainly brings together like-minded people, and is affordable, with nice cabins and plenty of activities.
Pro Tip: More of a dog person? Try the Corgi Cruise.
3. Christmas Market Cruise, Europe, Scenic Luxury Cruises And Tours
Europe in winter is simply lovely and a visit around Christmas time is fun when the atmospheric markets are in full swing. This 12-day cruise, on a river cruise ship accommodating around 160 passengers, takes you from Zurich, Switzerland, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, via famous Christmas market cities such as Strasbourg, France, and Cologne, Germany. Four countries, 5-star service (including your own butler), plenty of Christmas Markets and cheer, including regular helpings of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. Sounds like a perfect Christmas getaway to me.
Pro Tip: Slightly pushed for time? There is an 8-day itinerary of the same cruise available, cutting out Strasbourg, though.
4. Culinary Cruises, Worldwide, Holland America Line
I love the idea of not only stepping off a cruise brimming with impressions of an exciting destination but also fitted out with some new useful skills. Holland America Line cruises offer a selection of shore excursions curated by Food & Wine, that offer anything from market visits to cooking lessons and wine tastings. From learning how to prepare ceviche in Curacao, or making a traditional pizza in Naples, to shopping for and then cooking up a perfect Pad Thai in Bangkok, you’ll bring home a skill that will keep reminding you of your destination.
Pro Tip: Not all of the cruises are available right now, but there are still plenty of closer-to-home itineraries available.
5. Bare Necessities Cruises, Various, Cruise Bare
You have probably heard of bareboating, i.e., chartering a boat without a crew, but this is another kind of bare cruising. Bare everything, in this case. If you like skinny dipping and then some, this might just be for you. Sailing for two weeks on a 5-mast Clipper along the Italian coast, taking in sights such as Cinque Terre, Amalfi, Stromboli, Sardinia, and Corsica, sounds pretty good. And all with some 200 like-minded, and just as naked guests, plus 106 (hopefully dressed) crew. I am guessing you’ll have to bring some clothes for shore excursions.
Pro Tip: If this floats your boat, why not try a larger cruise ship, a longer trip, and one closer to home? The Big Nude Boat 2022 takes in the Caribbean Islands.
6. Experiencing The Nile In Style, Egypt, SS Sudan
Want to see the wonders of Egypt, cruise the Nile, but also want a bit of something special? Try the SS Sudan, the very steamship Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Nile on, and on which the various film versions, with Peter Ustinov, Kenneth Branagh, and the TV Poirot David Suchet, were filmed. Over six days, you’ll sail from Luxor to Aswan, seeing the Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Philae, and many more ancient sites along the way, and all in utter luxury with only a few other passengers staying in the ship’s plush 23 cabins and suites. You can sail down the Nile, or up the Nile, and there are 5-day and 6-day itineraries.
Pro Tip: To round off the experience, book yourself into the historic Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, which was also a favorite of Agatha Christie’s.
7. Knitting Cruise, Northern European Islands, Holland America
Pack your knitting needles and sail off for two weeks around the beautiful islands in the north of Europe on a knitting cruise. Setting off from Amsterdam, you will sail up to Scotland, through the Scottish Isles, to Norway and Iceland, all the while stopping off to buy local wool, learn about regional techniques and patterns. Accompanied by knitting experts, you’ll enjoy lectures and hands-on practice, in the company of other enthusiasts, and come home not with a store-bought local woolen jumper but one you’ve worked on yourself.
Pro Tip: Not a knitter but like to crochet, bead, or needlepoint? There are plenty of so-called Craft Cruises which offer many itineraries around the globe, whichever route or hobby takes your fancy.
8. Sailing Ship Enterprise, Caribbean, Star Trek The Cruise V
Not quite the Starship Enterprise, but the closest thing to it down here on earth is the Star Trek Cruise from Florida to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten. Many of the cast members of the various Star Trek reincarnations, such as George Takei and Johnathan Frakes, will be on board, while the dedicated Trekkie passengers don their favorite costumes and have a (laser) blast for an entire week. From nightly screenings to celebrity interactions, scavenger hunts to trivia quizzes, everything is Star Trek themed on this cruise.
Pro Tip: If you are more Star Wars than Star Trek, and a week is too long for you to be in costume, then try the day-long Star Wars event that is now a firm part of various Disney Cruises.
9. Treading The Boards, Bermuda, Norwegian Gem
Are you a dedicated theater lover, enjoy seeing stage shows, or even treading the boards yourself? Then Broadway Cruise is for you. Setting off from New York, with only one stop in Norfolk and then heading to Bermuda, this is not so much a destination-filled cruise rather than a floating workshop. There are countless famous names from stage and screen, such as Laura Benanti and Alan Cummings, on board to participate in shows, solo performances, workshops, and other stage-related events, while there are also fun activities such as karaoke, theme nights, and yoga, should you have over-performed. You finish off with a rest on the Bermudan beaches.
Pro Tip: As you are setting off from New York City, the home of Broadway, why not try and catch a show?
10. Exploring Southern Australia, Coral Expeditions
There are countless cruises that sail into Sydney, Melbourne, up to Cairns along the Great Barrier Reef, or the Kimberley Coast, but very few allow you to explore the delights of the Australian south coast. On this 10-night luxury cruise, you will set off and return to Adelaide, sail around exclusive locations such as Kangaroo Island and Flinders Island, and see unique wildlife along the way. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy the Australian summer, when it is winter in the northern hemisphere.
Pro Tip: Make sure you invest in decent binoculars and a good lens for your camera, as you will get up close and personal with kangaroos, seals, penguins, and a plethora of other Australian critters.