Themed Cruises on the High Seas

 

Pick a theme…any theme

ON THE HIGH SEAS

David Rentsch

President, Cruise Holidays

There’s a cruise for beer lovers. A cruise for fans of the hit TV show, “Dancing With The Stars.” A cruise for foodies, music lovers, and wine enthusiasts. In a nutshell: Experiential travel has taken off on the high seas.

cruise along the Danube from Budapest to Vienna, Durnstein-Melk, Linz-Passau, and Regensburg before reaching Nuremburg. Departing Aug. 15, 2015, on the Avalaon Expression, Schultz will sign books for passengers and provide lectures on the must-see destinations around the world. Schultz is the godmother of the Expression, which was christened in May 2013. Adding to its list of music-themed cruises, Avalon is introducing a new 13-day Opera Cruise in 2015 where passengers will enjoy live opera performances as they sail from Budapest to Prague – departure date is set for July 15. Returning after popular demand are a 9-day Golf Cruise from Vienna to Munich; and a 13-day Jewish Heritage Cruise and Wellness Cruise – both sailing from Budapest to Prague.

experience, which kicked off aboard the Celebrity Summit with three chefs from the show, gives passengers the chance to vacation with their favorite “Top Chef” competitors, savor their dishes, take part in culinary cooking demonstrations and courses, enjoy a private cooking class, and other onboard activities. The second Top Chef At Sea itinerary sails Aug. 15 on the Celebrity Solstice for a 7-night trip to Alaska with chefs who were runners-up as well as TV show winner of “Top Chefs Texas,” Paul Qui. For fans of the show who are looking for warmer climates, the Celebrity Reflection is sailing to the Caribbean with four chefs on Nov. 15.

Flora and … spirits?

It’s a river cruise for beer aficionados and tulip lovers, too. AmaWaterways’ newest themed cruise, Tulips & Beer, is a 7-night cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium during spring (perfect time to see tulips in bloom) – sail date is March 7,

2015. The cruise takes passengers through Dutch and Belgian waterways aboard the AmaLyra and showcases regional beers via tours of world-famous breweries and beer tastings – there is even a tour of a Dutch windmill brewery. The onboard host is “Joe Sixpack,” a pseudonym for Philadelphia Daily News beer columnist, Don Russell. Russell, the executive director of Philly Beer Week, a 1—day festival held in the city every June, will lead the onboard lectures, discussions and tastings. The 7-night cruise, starting at $2,599 pp, also offers unlimited beer and wine with every lunch and dinner, and a canal cruise in Amsterdam.

Books, music and more...

Avalon Waterways introducing a new themed cruise to its already long list of popular returns for 2015. The cruise lines’ new Author Cruise welcomes well-known author Patricia Schultz, “100 Places to See Before You Die,” for an 8-day

Bon appetite

Fans of the hit Bravo TV series, “Top Chef,” will be pleased to know that Celebrity Cruises is hosting 13 of the show’s chef contestants on four cruises sailing to Bermuda, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean. The Top Chef At Sea

create a new micro-themed cruise. On the 14-day trip aboard the Crystal Serenity, passengers will visit micro- and nano-breweries; sample seasonal and limited edition beers; take part in cooking and cocktail courses on board; and hear from beer and microbrew experts on topics that range from production of beers to ways on how beer can be used as an ingredient for cooking. Passengers will also take part in beer-themed dinners. The itinerary begins in New York City before sailing to Baltimore, Norfolk and Charleston to then head to the Turks & Caicos, Curacao and Aruba and docking in Miami. The all-inclusive rates start at $4,710 pp; a shorter 11-day trip is available at $3,700 pp.

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Microbrews on board

Change is good, and Crystal Cruises, taking advantage of the growing trend of microbrew across America, is adding a twist to its popular Wine & Food: Experience Of Discovery cruise by switching wine with lagers, stouts and craft brews to