Plan a Cruise Month is in full swing, and it’s difficult not to feel tempted by the wide array of cruise holidays on offer, whether you’re after a long-haul adventure or want to go sightseeing in Europe.
However, the sheer volume of itineraries on offer can be somewhat overwhelming – and if you’re looking to go away next year, there are even more choices as cruise lines unveil new programmes and ship features.
To help you narrow it down, the experts from the Cruise Lines International Association have highlighted their top picks for exciting and quirky new itineraries in 2018.
We take a look at some of our favourite ones, from Jedi training to sports-themed offerings…
Cruise ship holidays
1. Become a Jedi and face off against Darth Vader
Star Wars fans, get your lightsabers at the ready! Next year will see the launch of Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Star Wars Day at Sea’, where families will be taken on a journey to a galaxy far, far away.
Jedis, Wookies, Stormtroopers and Droids will be roaming onboard to join guests for a host of fun activities for all ages from ‘Jedi training’ for kids to themed arts and crafts and, to top it all off, a ‘Summon the Force’ dance party complete with stunts, special effects and fireworks.
Book it: Star Wars Day at Sea will be available on 15 Disney Fantasy seven-night Caribbean sailings. Visit disneycruise.disney.go.com for more information.
2. The ultimate cruise for golf fanatics
If you spend your weekends on the golf course honing your skills, then Amadeus River Cruises’ latest offering could be your dream holiday.
The cruise line is launching a host of new golf-themed sailings, accompanied by PGA teaching golf pro Frank Adamowicz.
Guests will be able to enjoy all the highlights of a cruise holiday – including fine dining, exciting excursions and sightseeing – but with the added bonus of visits to four prestigious golf courses for a day out unlike any other.
It’s a fuss-free experience; all green fees and golf carts are included, as well as a host of city and walking tours across the three itineraries on offer.
Visit amadeus-rivercruises.com for more information.
3. Discover Cuba’s hidden gems
Cuba has enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent months, but it’s not just capital city Havana which makes this island a holiday hotspot.
Luckily, Azamara Club Cruises is on hand to help holidaymakers explore the best of Cuban culture, with four new sailings to the Caribbean island.
Departing from Miami, the new itineraries feature two ports of call in Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Santiago de Cuba, home to the incredible salsa music the area is famed for.
There’s plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture too, with excursions ranging from nights out in the salsa clubs to sampling local rum, as well as open air cabarets and even a driving tour of Havana in a classic car.
Visit azamaraclubcruises.co.uk for more information.
4. Unwind on a relaxing river getaway
Tauck’s Rhine Enchanment Cruise from Milan to Amsterdam makes for the ultimate laidback holiday, offering a bit of everything across culture, shopping and food.
Kick off the trip with a three-night stay in Milan, included a guided tour of the city, then head for an exciting excursion on the waters of Lake Como, and enjoy a six-course lunch at a family owned trattoria.
From there, you’ll be whisked away by high-speed train through the breathtaking Alps to Basel, Switzerland which is renowned for its picturesque medieval centre.
Following that you’ll enjoy stops in Breisach, Germersheim, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Dusseldorf and Amsterdam on this seven-night journey, including an exclusive evening at a wine estate overlooking the Rhine.
Visit tauck.co.uk for more information.
5. Fun for the whole family on Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Cruise Line has seriously upped the stakes with its newest ship Norwegian Bliss, which will feature everything from an electric car race track – just like Norwegian Joy – to an open-air laser tag course.
Launching in 2018, the ship will also feature two multi-storey waterslides, with ocean loops and inner tubes allowing you to race side by side.
That’s just the entertainment. Fine dining has also been taken to new heights, especially with Coco’s, a completely new à la carte dessert venue with a chocolate fountain.
Visit ncl.com for more information on destinations and prices.
6. See the best of the Caribbean onboard MSC Cruises’ newest ships
MSC Cruises’ newest generation of Seaside ships are set to sail from Miami next year, heading to the Western caribbean.
The MSC Seaview will sail from June 2018 and will offer 2,066 cabins, 17 bars and lounges – and for adrenaline junkies, there will even be an interactive water park ad 120 metre zip line!
Oh, and make sure to check out the top deck solarium for a bit of RR, or take in the sea views from the terrace overlooking the promenade.
Visit msccruises.co.uk for more information.
7. Go on an adventure on Celebrity Cruises’ new ship
The highly-anticipated Celebrity Edge won’t be setting sail until December 2018, but it’s already causing a stir in the cruise industry thanks to its cutting edge features.
We’re talking revolutionary staterooms, infinite balconies from the room’s door all the way to the water edge, and the incredible Magic Carpet extension cantilevered from the side of the ship for a bar experience unlike any other.
The ship will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, and will sail on two seven-night itineraries spanning west and eastern Caribbean voyages.
Bookings are now open – visit celebritycruises.co.uk for more information.