Cruise holidays aren’t about lounging on a cruise ship, waiting for the next port of call.
Nowadays cruise lines are seriously upping the ante with on-board entertainment including a host of themed itineraries to cater to a whole range of interests, and this year there are some pretty quirky offerings.
We’re talking Strictly Come Dancing cruises including classes with the show’s professionals, 90s themed parties, Jon Bon Jovi concerts, food and literature festivals, and even a fashion week offering!
We’ve picked out our top themed cruises for 2019/2020 sailings you won’t want to miss, for both ocean and river cruises.
Check out the list below…
1. Strictly Come Dancing
If you’re missing your weekly Strictly Come Dancing fix, then this could be the next best thing!
P&O Cruises has teamed up with BBC Studios on a host of themed itineraries – and the show’s professionals will be on board to teach dance classes and mingle with guests, from Giovanni Pernice to Karen Clifton, and even an appearance from Craig Revel Horwood !
Expect dazzling dance shows, one-on-one lessons with the Strictly pros, autograph sessions, Q&A events, and even a glamorous dinner hosted by them for an unforgettable night.
You can find out more here .
BOOK IT: Prices start from £999pp. There are a host of itineraries including the Canary Islands & Portugal , one to Spain, France and Monaco , Spain and Italy , and finally Spain, Monaco & Italy . You can see the full list here .
2. 90s’ music
S Club, 5ive and B*Witched are just some of the acts in the line-up for Marella Cruises’ epic Electric Sunsets cruise on board Marella Explorer in 2019.
Expect a serious dose of nostalgia thanks to the performances, DJ sets, tribute acts, and of course a 90s fancy dress competition.
The perfect excuse to dig out your scrunchies, chokers, baby doll dresses, flannel shirts and double denim ensembles, and take a step back in time to the iconic decade.
BOOK IT: The three-night sailing will depart from Newcastle on Sunday 1st September 2019. Bookings are already open on the Marella Cruises website .
3. French food and wine
French cuisine is hailed as some of the best food in the world, and Emerald Waterways is offering foodies the chance to discover it for themselves on a new eight-day gastronomical adventure.
You can get the full details here , but you can expect the likes of a trip to Provençale for a dinner hosted by the renowned local Chef Fabien Morreale, a visit to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine cellars, a dessert wine tasting masterclass, and a guided tour of Burgundy complete with cheese and olive tasting.
BOOK IT: The Flavours of Burgundy and Provence River Cruise starts from £1,945 per person, for a sailing from Saturday 27th July to Saturday 3rd August 2019.
4. Northern Lights
Whether you want to go on a dedicated trip in search of the Northern Lights, or just want it included as part of a wider dreamy winter itinerary, this year cruise lines are pulling out all the stops for winter 2019/2020.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up the best Northern Lights cruises that need to be on your radar.
5. Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi will be hosting a series of concerts – at sea!
Norwegian Cruise Line, in partnership with Runaway Tours, is hosting the rock star who will not only be performing, but will also host acoustic sessions with a Q&A session.
There’ll be plenty of fun pop-ups too including the Hart n Dagger clothes shop, food outlet JBJ Soul Kitchen, and an exhibition packed with memorabilia.
BOOK IT: Norwegian Jade will be hosting Runaway To Paradise’s Caribbean cruise, which will be sailing from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas from 12th-16th April 2019. Prices from £1,065pp. Book your tickets here .
Norwegian Pearl will host the Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Palma, Majorca from the 26th-30th August 2019. Prices from £1,302pp. Book your tickets here .
6. Food and cooking
Get ready for plenty of gourmet dining, cookery tips and a foodie experience unlike any other thanks to P&O Cruises’ Food Heroes sailings.
Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, wine expert Olly Smith and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard will be on board special sailings where you can be inspired by their skills at interactive cookery shows, learn for yourself in masterclasses, or just indulge in the private hosted dinners.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £899pp. You can check out the full list of cruises here .
7. Fashion Week
If you’re always picking up the latest issue of Vogue, can’t get enough of Fashion Week runway photos and like to be on top of the trends, then this might just be the cruise for you.
Cunard’s luxurious Fashion Week themed sailing is back, making the transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York with a host of famous faces on board.
Think the likes of Stephen Jones OBE, Colin McDowell MBE, and Stuart Weitzman, all of whom will be hosting special talks for the fashion-obsessed.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £1,372p. Book your place here .
8. Norway’s Sami National Day
Norway’s Sami National Day celebrations can make for a pretty unforgettable experience, and you’ll get to join in on all the excitement on Fred Olsen’s themed Northern Norway cruise in January 2020.
Of course there’ll be plenty of enchanting destinations on offer too on the extended call in Tromsø, where the celebrations take place, from the iconic cathedral to dog-sledding trails, as well as an overnight stay in Alta so you can go in search of the Northern Lights.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £1,899pp. Book your place here .
9. Arts & Literature Festival
If you’ve always got your nose in a book, or are heading straight to the newest exhibitions at your local museum, then you may want to bookmark this cultural offering.
Cunard is hosting its very own Arts and Literary Festival at sea, on board Queen Mary 2, with special guests including Sebastian Faulks, Louis de Bernières, Robert Harris, P.J. O’Rourke and Elizabeth Strout.
There’ll be literary afternoon teas, plenty of events on in the ship’s awe-inspiring library, and even writing workshops.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £1,798pp. Book your place here .
Cruises aren’t usually synonymous with heavy metal, but this epic sailing hosted by Megadeth is sure to change that.
The band will be performing alongside an awesome line-up including Anthrax, Testament, Dragonforce, Overkill, Corrosion of Conformity, DevilDriver, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, Doro, Armored Saint, John 5, Metal Church, Danko Jones, Beasto Blanco and Metalachi.
BOOK IT: The five-day inaugural Megacruise will be taking place aboard the Norwegian Jewel , sailing between the 13th-18th October 2019 from Los Angeles and visiting two ports of call in Ensenada, Mexico, and San Diego, California.
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