LEARNING LATEST TREND IN CRUISE VACATIONS
There was a time not long ago when the words ‘education’ and ‘vacation’ were rarely used in the same sentence. But, with the graying of the baby boomer generation, more travelers are seeking intellectual fulfillment while on vacation, and the member companies of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) are responding with enlightening onboard enrichment programs that provide guests with a variety of learning experiences while at sea.
Today’s cruise lines offer enrichment programs to sate mind, body and spirit. Depending on the cruise line, vacationers can attend a workshop in Shakespearian acting taught by alumni of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, or study French with a Berlitz instructor or discover undersea wonders with oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau .
Guest lecturers also include noted astronomers who shed light on the galaxies; celebrated authors who discuss their best-selling books; celebrated diplomats, politicians and professors that help bring foreign peoples and cultures to life; and scientists, naturalists and explorers who explain little-known destinations, flora and species.
“Guests who choose to learn on a cruise are seeking an entertaining educational experience,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA. “Guests aboard CLIA member-line ships give consistently high scores to the cruise lines’ innovative enrichment programs.”
The following is a listing of CLIA-member cruise lines offering onboard enrichment programs:
AMERICAN CRUISE LINESAmerican Cruise Lines’ “enlighteners” include naturalists, historians and academics who enhance each voyage. During informal lectures, open discussions and workshops, these experts bring local history, nature and culture alive with their knowledge and passion for American heritage. They also lead sightseeing excursions, providing guests with insights and behind-the-scenes visits to a wide sampling of America’s most intriguing destinations.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES During Carnival Cruise Lines' Alaska voyages aboard Carnival Spirit, marine biologists and wildlife specialists describe the passing scenery and sea and animal life from the ship’s bridge. The third annual Mind/Body cruise on Carnival Glory in December features comprehensive nutrition, fitness and wellness workshops by leading experts.
CELEBRITY CRUISES Celebrity Cruises invites two to five special guest lecturers on board to participate in its Discovery Enrichment Series program. Topics range from finance and astronomy, to wine education and politics, to history and culture. Upcoming 2006 enrichment lecturers include Olympian Brian Goodell, astronaut Col. R. Walter Cunningham, former news correspondent Irving R. Levine and former Southwest Airlines CEO Howard Putnam.
COSTA CRUISESGuests can experience a true mind and body overhaul with the “Holistic Holiday at Sea” cruise, which sets sail in March 2007 aboard Costa Cruises’ Costa Magica. The Caribbean itinerary will feature noted practioners and authors who will enlighten travelers on how to enhance their lives with practical tools and workshops about vegan and macrobiotic cooking, meditation and heart disease.
CRYSTAL CRUISES From destination experts, scientists, authors, politicians and actors Crystal Cruises offers a diverse spectrum of enrichment lecturers for its well-educated and discerning clientele. Under the umbrella of its Creative Learning Institute, Crystal offers wellness seminars conducted by The Cleveland Clinic and The Tai Chi Cultural Center, Berlitz language immersion, Yamaha keyboard instruction, and destination specific lecturers from the Smithsonian Institution.
CUNARD LINECunard Line ships have a long tradition of onboard enrichment. Queen Mary 2 offers “Oxford Discovery,” in conjunction with London’s prestigious University of Oxford, which features guest lecturers who speak on such topics as entomology, creative writing, political science and art. Passengers can also learn Shakespearian acting at workshops taught by alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
DISNEY CRUISE LINESGuests sailing on Disney Cruise Lines’ eastern and alternate western Caribbean itineraries can learn what goes into making the magic throughout the Walt Disney Company with the “Disney Behind the Scenes” presenter program. On longer itineraries, Disney also offers presentations by guest lecturers. Additionally, once per month, the line brings on a guest chef from the Walt Disney World Resort.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE Holland America Line enhances the destination experience with region-specific enrichment opportunities such as the Explorations Speaker Series and demonstrations and classes presented by noted chefs in cooperation with Food and Wine magazine. Featured lecturers include archeologist Dr. Mark Aldenofer, astronomer Dr. Normal Caisse, Emmy-winning ABC News Producer Lynn Friedman of San Francisco and Ethel Merman and Lucille Ball scholar/author Geoffrey Mark.
MSC CRUISESMSC Cruises enrichment program features experts in a variety of fields including golf, art and bridge. Instructors also conduct arts and crafts, photography and wine tasting workshops. On astral theme cruises guests learn about constellations, celestial navigation and the astrological and astronomical concept of the zodiac. Former Major League baseball players provide insight into the game on two Caribbean sailings.
NORWEGIAN COASTAL VOYAGESNorwegian Coastal Voyages features an expedition team of esteemed lecturers on all sailings to Antarctica under the direction of Tomas Holik, who first visited Antarctica in 1991 as a researcher at the Polish base. He is joined by Dr. John Chardine, with the Canadian Wildlife Service, and explorer Alan Parker, awarded the Polar Medal for outstanding Antarctic service, among others.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINENorwegian Cruise Line vessels operating intra-Hawaiian island itineraries feature Hawaiian arts and crafts classes that include lei making. Representatives from the Pacific Whale Foundation, one of Maui's most significant conservation and research organizations, provide illustrated lectures on marine conservation. Destination, lifestyle, wellness, computer, bridge, and arts and crafts lecturers are featured on variety of sailings, depending on the itinerary.
PRINCESS CRUISES Through Princess Cruises’ ScholarShip@Sea program, passengers take home more than happy memories and souvenirs. They also bring home new skills and knowledge – and perhaps their own ceramic artwork. The program offers a robust portfolio of “edu-tainment” courses in which experts edify travelers on such topics as the culinary arts, visual arts, computer skills, digital photography, finance, web page design and pottery.
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ “ Circles of Interest” program is designed to enhance the destination experience for guests with onboard lectures, workshops and specially crafted shore excursions whose themes include art, design and museums, history, archaeology and literature. Through an exclusive partnership, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society colleagues share their broad knowledge about the sea with guests.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONALRoyal Caribbean International itineraries offer programs that delve into an eclectic range of topics. Programs run the gamut, from home improvement and gardening to the performing arts and entertainment. A “New Discoveries” program includes astronomy, space exploration and genealogy. “The Write Stuff” series features meetings with authors and publishers, while the “Fine Living” program offers classes in wellness, fashion and architectural design.
SEABOURN CRUISE LINE The Yachts of Seabourn’s three all-suite ships offer programs in an eclectic array of areas, including history, geography, politics, television, journalism, music, theater, film, literature, and food and wine. The program, called “Dress Circle,” offers an intimate association with the enrichment personnel who share the voyage with guests and are carefully selected to ensure compatibility with the intimate, sociable atmosphere onboard.
SILVERSEA CRUISESSilversea Cruises features a portfolio of enrichment programs and lecturers that includes a roster of celebrities from a wide range of fields. For instance, on Silver Shadow's world cruise departing in January , guests will be joined by, among others, newsman Walter Cronkite and political commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., author Richard Reeves, film critic Rex Reed and champion yachtsman John Bertrand.
WINDSTAR CRUISES Windstar Cruises’ Costa Rica itineraries feature a naturalist who is an expert in the flora and fauna, geography and culture of the destinations visited. The naturalist provides special presentations in the lounge that focus on the region’s biodiversity. The lecturer socializes with guests in the evenings and is available to answer any questions.
To learn more about these exciting itineraries and ports visit www.cruisetravelermagazine.com