Our cruise expert, Jo Hall, explains the types of themed cruises on offer.
A themed cruise is a voyage that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a cruise with a focus on a specific interest or topic, from a favourite TV show, movie, or music genre or band, to food and wine, dancing, and keeping fit. Just think of a hobby, pastime or passion, and there is likely to be a cruise somewhere in the world where you can play out your passions, mingle with favourite rock stars, or even attend a famous sporting event with a celebrity.
To pick the right themed cruise it’s important to understand the different types of cruises on offer, so do your research thoroughly to find the right one, and check all the details carefully to make sure there’s enough of a theme, or not – and remember to include river cruises in your search.
Chartered full-ship theme cruise
These themed cruises essentially take over the entire ship, and are organised by a group or travel agency, where everyone on board is there purposely to be part of the action and enjoy the same interest.
Depending on the size of the ship, this can involve anything from a few hundred guests to several thousand. A drawback is that if you are not into total theme immersion, you may find it hard to escape, as the theme will dominate everything. A good example of a chartered full ship theme cruise is Rock The Boat 6, a seven-night cruise of the South Pacific on Legend of the Seas departing from Brisbane on 6 November 2016, with a line-up of popular ‘swinging sixties’ rock‘n’roll acts from the UK.
Cruise line full-ship theme cruise
More cruise lines are also offering their own themed cruises, and they usually follow a similar style to full charters, except that you may also find non-theme guests on board. An example of this would be P&O’s new music theme Sea Breaks starting in 2016, which has live music day and night, jam sessions with musicians, live concerts, music quizzes, and Q&A sessions with the musicians. Although many activities on board are geared towards a particular theme, there is usually an option to participate or not.
Partial-ship theme cruise
Special interest groups may organise a block-booking of staterooms on a regular cruise itinerary, so that like-minded people can travel together to participate in privately organised activities surrounding a hobby or activity. This can be anything from knitting and stamp collecting to wine appreciation. As these groups organise their own activities, they exclude non-group guests, and most of the time they have little affect on anyone who’s not involved, although sometimes they can take over public spaces, such as bars and theatres for activities and functions.
Theme-inspired cruises are usually a regular itinerary with the addition of special guest speakers and special-interest activities. Examples include nature photographers hosting workshops, authors giving lectures and taking Q&A sessions about a book or theme, a celebrity chef holding cooking demonstrations, or a wine expert hosting tasting events. Other examples of theme-inspired cruises include ones that attend a special event or festival, such as the Monaco Grand Prix, or have an ongoing activity such as Holland America’s Dancing with the Stars at Sea cruises. Some cruises can also be destination focused to create a theme, visiting a specific country or region, such as Canada and New England to see the autumn colours.
To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au
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