Themed Cruises

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(AmaWaterways' Art Illumination Cruise sailing on the Seine River.)
AmaWaterways’ Art Illumination Cruise sailing on the Seine River. (Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways.)

Beyond offering the traditional mass cruise experience, cruise lines are focusing on themed cruising with itineraries that fit all types of tastes—from art and music, to culture and cuisine.

Art aficionados are the ideal clients for AmaWaterways’ Art Illumination Cruise, which sets sail Aug. 14-21 aboard the AmaLegro on the Seine River through northwestern France.

Sailing from Paris, guests will cruise through Normandy and visit sites well-known in paintings such as Rouen’s Gothic cathedral, Monet’s famous gardens in Giverny, the picturesque seaside village of Honfleur, and Van Gogh’s former home in Auvers-sur-Oise. After seeing the real-life inspirations to some of the world’s most famous paintings, guests can participate in complimentary painting sessions on the ship’s sun deck. AmaWaterways will provide easels, canvases, brushes and paint to help guests unleash their inner artist under the guidance of an expert art teacher. However, guests who don’t have art experience, but still want to have fun, can participate as no painting experience is necessary.

“Guests on our popular Paris & Normandy cruises often comment on how much they enjoy learning about art history as they travel through this beautiful region,” says Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner.

Guests will enjoy onboard art discussions, scenic cruising through Normandy’s countryside, private guided tours, and a full-day excursion to the D-Day beaches of WWII, plus a visit to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. A 2-night extension post-cruise in Paris is available.

For more information, call (800) 626-0126 or visit

american cruise lines
(American Cruise Lines’ Lobster themed cruise.) Photo courtesy of American Cruise Lines.

American Cruise Lines has extended its lobster theme on all 2014 Maine Coast cruises—the American Glory and the Independence. The 8-day cruise features lobster cuisine, a lobster boat excursion and a traditional lobster bake in Rockland. Cruises begin in early June and sail through September.

“We decided to extend this theme to all of our Maine Coast sailings due to its popularity among guests,” says Timothy Beebe, vice president, American Cruise Lines. “Lobster is Maine’s specialty and people travel from all over the country to experience it. We look forward to allowing even more guests to enjoy the New England tradition and delicacy aboard this theme cruise.”

Highlights include a unique menu featuring lobster, a lobster boat excursion in which guests have the chance to participate in catching lobster, and the opportunity to learn Maine’s unique lifestyle. A New England lobster bake will take place on the shore of Penobscot Bay with live music and views of Rockland Harbor.

Guests will visit the village of Belfast, famous for its Greek revival architecture; the Granite Mountains of Arcadia National Park; and view classic schooners in Camden harbor.

Rates begin at $3,750 pp dbl (no balcony); private staterooms with balcony begin at $4,470 pp dbl.

For more information, call (800) 814-6880 or visit

Cunard Beatles Cruise.
(Rock out with The Beatles Experience aboard Cunard Line’s Beatles cruises.) Photo courtesy of Cunard Line.

Music lovers and Beatles’ fans can rock out with Cunard Line’s 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ American debut celebration with a tribute by The Beatles Experience, who have been entertaining audiences for more than a decade.

The Beatles Experience has performed on the grounds of Buckingham Palace in 2013 and are regular guests at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles first gained fame in Britain.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Beatles Experience on board our flagship, Queen Mary 2,” says David Dingle, CEO for Cunard Line. “The Beatles are the most iconic and popular rock band in history, as well as one of the U.K.’s most famous exports. So it is only fitting that we would bring a taste of Beatlemania to travelers enjoying one of our most iconic and popular voyages—a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing.”

The party will set sail on Queen Mary 2’s Oct. 28 Transatlantic Crossings trip from New York. Passengers will jam at a concert by The Beatles Experience in the Royal Court Theatre. For more information, call (800) 728-6273, or visit 

Louis Cruises presents the best of “real Greece” with 61 themed cruises. which allow passengers to immerse themselves in Greek culture.

“It’s all about enriching each traveler’s experience. We know our travelers want to do more than just visit unique destinations. They want a real, authentic Greek experience. They want to hear the incredible behind-the-scenes stories of medieval castles, ancient cities, and the mythology that dovetails with astonishing archaeological sites like the Minoan Palace at Knossos. They want to taste singular Greek wines and learn how to cook traditional Greek dishes with fresh, local ingredients. They want to put their fingertips to the embroidery upon the centuries-old fabric of our customs and heritage. And, of course, they want to sing and dance until dawn. That is what our themed cruises offer.  There is simply no other program like it on the high seas,” says Nicholas Filippidis, director of product development in North America for Louis Cruises.

Louis Cruises sails to Aegean destinations, nine of which are new for 2014—the Greek  islands of Chios, Ios, Kos, Milos, Samos, Symi and Syros, and the “Turkish Riviera” towns of Bodrum and Cesme. These Aegean destinations are not accessible to the megaships of other cruise lines, according to Filippidis.

For more information and fares, call (877) 568-4787 or visit