Whether you’re into rock ‘n’ roll or Rossini, there’s a theme cruise to cater for your style of music. Classical music cruises often include top-class orchestras performing on-board concerts.
Opera cruises are also a favourite – employing professional singers to perform the great pieces while experts offer explanations. Jazz, blues and big band are also high on the list.
Sports cruises feature football, basketball, tennis, diving and many other sports but golf is probably the best seller in this field. Golf professionals will help perfect that swing and get you ready for a round at some of the world’s finest courses.
The beauty of this type of cruise is that all the arrangements are made for you. Transfers to the course, green fees, caddies, tips and so on are all included in your holiday.
Food and Wine
A theme cruise is a great opportunity to taste some gourmet cooking and learn how to do it yourself. You can watch demonstrations by top chefs and learn from their expert hands.
Some cruises feature shopping trips to food markets at ports of call around the world so you can get to know foreign foods and how to choose the best produce.
Back to Nature
Cruising can bring you face to face with some of nature’s great natural wonders and its wildlife. Whale watching must rate as one of the most popular theme cruises in this category – Alaska, Hawaii and New Zealand seeing the most action.
For those who enjoy the wilderness experience there are expedition cruises to places like the Amazon or Antarctica, both of which have stunning scenery and wildlife.
On-board experts will fill you in on the background to places of historic interest visited on the cruise. Some concentrate on the ancient world, calling at Egypt, Turkey and Greece, and may also feature archaeology. Others look at more recent history including WW2 and Vietnam.
There are some cruises specialising in military history, with an on-board expert to help explain ancient and modern campaigns and show you the sites.
Gardens and Gardening
Some cruises feature advice from the experts.Lectures and question and answer sessions on board are supplemented with visits to beautiful and often famous gardens en route.
Popular cruising areas on this theme include Holland, especially during tulip festival time, Madeira, Tenerife, Lisbon, and the southern plantations of the US.
Art and Literature
During your cruise you can learn from a resident on-board artist, as well as enjoying on-shore sketching excursions. Learn to get more out of viewing great art via an on-board art appreciation course.
Bookworms can meet famous authors and learn more about their lives and work. The QE2 has featured such literary luminaries as PD James, Frank McCourt and Beryl Bainbridge.
TV, Film and Theatre
Some cruise lines hold mini film festivals, showing a variety of films and having interviews with actors, directors and film technicians.
You can focus on your favourite soap – stars from top TV series regularly travel on these cruises, and you get a chance to meet and chat to them. Theatre buffs can brush up on their knowledge as well as talk to actors and directors.
The gay cruise market has really taken off and there is a wide variety of cruise and destinations to choose from. You can choose to cruise along with straight passengers as an individual or in a group. Many cruise lines are labelled “gay friendly” by gay and lesbian organisations, so you know you can relax and be yourself.
You can also go on an exclusively gay and lesbian cruise, one for women only or for men only.
You can still get all the benefits of a cruise – on-board activities, entertainment and exotic ports of call but without the booze. At least one company runs cruises which cater specifically for recovering alcoholics.
American-based Sober Vacations International runs regular trips, hiring space on normal cruises for AA meetings, special dining facilities and an entertaining area with soft drinks and coffee.