6 of the best unusual cruises

6 of the best unusual cruises

Cruise expert Lina Molloholli highlights eclectic voyages with a twist, tailor-made for an array of interests

Demand for experiential travel is soaring and cruise lines are pulling out all the stops to catch passengers' attentions, promising adventures at sea that transcend the ordinary. Here are sic of the best unusal cruise itineraries to tempt your travel clients with. 

1. Pyjama Party on Virgin Voyages (pictured above)
For clients seeking a departure (pardon the pun) from traditional sailings, suggest a Virgin Voyages itinerary. As guests step on board, they are invited to slip into their favourite pyjamas pyjamas and head to the nightclub to embrace the line’s laid-back atmosphere and dance their first night at sea away. For those after a permanent souvenir, each of the line's four ships – Brilliant Lady, Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady – has a branch of Squid Ink, the only tattoo parlour at sea, which are in such high demand that passengers need to book appointments well in advance. A seven-night Irresistible Med & Rome departs Barcelona on 8 September 2024.

2. Literature Festival at Sea with Cunard
Bookworms craving an intellectual escape can embark on Cunard’s Literature Festival at Sea, where they’ll meet esteemed authors, historians, poets and journalists on a transatlantic voyage to New York onboard the classy Queen Mary II.

The programme of guest speakers is curated by The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, and this year’s line-up includes crime writer Mark Billingham and acclaimed Gavin & Stacey star, script writer and author Ruth Jones MBE. Passengers can engage in Q&A sessions and meet the writers at book signings. The seven-night Literature Festival at Sea starts departs Southampton on 13 November 2024.

Literary festival

3. Murder Mystery with Cruise Croatia
Cruise Croatia has teamed up with Wilfred Webster, a contestant on the first series of The Traitors, for a murder-mystery sailing. Passengers onboard MS Adris will engage in a week-long Croatian caper, guided by the charismatic Wilf. The ultimate survivor will win an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise to Greece in 2025. 

When they’re not solving gruesome crimes, passengers can disembark at Hvar, Korcula, Vis, Slano and Split to enjoy activities such as visits to national parks, wine tastings, oyster harvesting and daily swims. Onboard amenities include an outdoor lounge area, a splash pool and complimentary access to paddle boards, sea kayaks and snorkelling equipment. The seven-night Croatia Murder Mystery Cruise departs 10 August 2024.

Murder mystery cruise


4. A surprise sailing with Windstar
For clients who love a surprise – or simply can’t decide which glorious Greek island to visit – this cruise offers an itinerary unlike any other. Departing from Piraeus, Windstar Cruises’ first President’s Mystery Cruise promises a week-long exploration of hidden gems and secret treasures. The twist? Each day, the captain will announce the next port of call just 24 hours before arrival.

On board this souped-up sailing ship are 44 outside double cabins, a whirlpool bath, a fitness centre and kayaking and paddleboarding equipment. The seven-night all-inclusive surprise cruise departs 19 April 2025.

Windstar surprise sailing

5. Disney Cruises in Alaska
The icy Alaskan wonderland is spectacular – and now, it comes sprinkled with a little Disney magic. This new sailing from Disney Cruise Lines sets off from Vancouver and will transport guests to a world of wonder, from character meet-and-greets with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop to Broadway-style shows inspired by Disney classics.

Passengers will glimpse the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Alaskan wilderness while enjoying the world-class entertainment for which the Disney brand is renowned. The itinerary includes visits to sleepy ports of call such as Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Stikine Icecap, where passengers can marvel at glaciers, as well as brown bears and whales in their natural habitat. The eight-night Alaskan Cruise onboard Disney Wonder departs 15 September 2025.

Disney Alaska

6. The Love Boat with Princess Cruises
A Princess Cruises ship served as the filming location for US hit series The Love Boat back in the 1970s. Then, in 2022, an inaugural Love Boat-themed voyage brought the cast back together on board another Princess ship – and this year sees the return of this popular sailing. 

Princess Cruises’ celebrations ambassador, The Love Boat actor Jill Whelan will join fellow original cast members on a cheerful cruise sailing from New York and stopping at Newport, Boston, Rockland, Saint John and Halifax. The Love Boat-related activities will include meet-and-greet photo and signing opportunities at the sailaway party, cocktail masterclasses hosted by The Love Boat’s bartender Ted Lange, a cast Q&A, special screenings and themed menus. The seven-night cruise onboard Enchanted Princess departs 31 August 2024.

Love Boat

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