Set Sail on a Themed Cruise

written by | Posted on February 5th, 2013

Crystal Symphony in Quebec City, Canada.
(Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

Cruise lines offer a variety of inventive themed cruises for every type of traveler, whether your client is looking for a music festival at sea or the ultimate wine tasting experience in a top wine region.

Jazz Cruise
On Crystal Cruises’ April 29 voyage, guests can enjoy a 7-day jazz-themed trip on Crystal Symphony from Vancouver to Los Angeles. The Experiences of Discovery itinerary will stop at ports in Victoria, BC; Seattle, WA; Astoria, OR; San Francisco and Santa Barbara. On board, guests can listen to nightly performances in the lounges and theaters by a dozen jazz artists performing with and paying tribute to Benny Golson, a saxophonist, composer and arranger. Some of the performers include pianist Kenny Barron and his trio; guitarist Henry Johnson; and the Don Braden Quartet.

“To hear some of the best-known jazz compositions from the man who made many of them famous, along with this collection of great modern musicians on one voyage, is not only an honor for us, but truly an exclusive, Crystal-caliber treat for our guests,” says Bret Bullock, v.p. of entertainment for Crystal Cruises.

In September, Crystal Cruises will lead another jazz cruise with about two dozen musicians on a French-Canadian trip departing from Montreal on Sept. 26, featuring musicians such as Eddie Metz and Antti Sarpila. The trip will feature stops in Sept-Iles, Magdalen Island, and Quebec City, Quebec.

Rates start at $2,830 pp. For more information, visit crystalcruises.com.

Festival Cruise
Country music fans can also rejoice with a cruise to a private island in the Bahamas to celebrate the band Alabama’s 40th anniversary of their first show at The Bowery in New York City. The 4-night cruise departs Oct. 24 on NCL’s Norwegian Pearl departing from Miami to Nassau and stopping at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.

The band will perform two outdoor concerts, and each member will have an individual performance. In addition, Alabama will be hosting a variety of other performances and activities on board. Guests will also receive an autographed cruise poster per stateroom, and can take a photo with the band.

“We have some exciting things in store for the fans and look forward to making this a lifetime memory for everyone on board,” says Teddy Gentry, founding member of Alabama. “This will be a one-of-a-kind experience where we truly get to share time together with our biggest supporters over the years.”

Staterooms go on sale March 20, and rates start at $750 pp. Rates include entertainment, meals, and access to the ship’s amenities, which include the fitness center, two pools, hot tubs and a rock climbing wall. For more information, visit alabamafestivalatsea.com. For more on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit ncl.com.

Wine Cruise
In 2014, Viking River Cruises is adding a new itinerary, Chateaux, Rivers & Wine, allowing guests to experience not only the history and culture of the Bordeaux region, but also to taste the wines of the region and learn how to make pastries, such as caneles.

“Our itineraries in France have always been very popular, and we are pleased to introduce this unique new experience in the Bordeaux region,” says Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises. “We have designed an itinerary that allows our guests to explore this historically fascinating region and enjoy some of the world’s most celebrated wines.”

The 8-day voyage includes six guided tours in the Bordeaux and Aquitaine region, such as a tour of the citadel of Blaye or the town of St. Emilion, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, or a visit to the sites in Bordeaux. Passengers can also learn more about the culture of the region from local experts, such as a master sommelier.

Rates start at $1,656 pp. For more information, call (877) 668-4546 or visit vikingrivercruises.com.