Cruising is just as much about enjoying life on-board as it is about exploring the destinations. A ship with plenty for you to see and do on-board is ideal when you’re travelling from one port to another or have many days at sea. Whether you’re a solo traveller, couple or family, a luxury cruise offers the perfect respite for you to indulge, relax or stay active during your time at sea.

Solo traveller

Woman looking out to the horizon on a Seabourn ship balcony

Solo travel is a growing trend, particularly with cruising. According to ABTA’s latest Holiday Habits survey, one in nine holidaymakers reported that they took a holiday on their own in the previous 12 months – double the number when compared to six years previously.

This trend has seen a rise in the number of single cabins on-board cruise ships. But it’s not just accommodation that’s shifted focus, many cruise ships activities now cater to solo travellers. Crystal Cruises take pride in pairing solo travellers who want to sit with other together while dining, so that they can meet and swap stories. Even during the evening, when the cruise line offers dancing classes, there are dance hosts to twirl you round the dance floor!

With Silversea, as many as 10 percent of passengers are solo travellers. With the fleet being on the smaller side, social gatherings are arranged to get to know fellow single travellers – it won’t be long before you’re catching up about your experiences ashore.

Seabourn are another great cruise line for single cruisers. The cruise line stands out for offering daytime activities such as enrichment talks and guest speakers who offer expert talks on ecology, wildlife and more. These are fantastic to visit, more so on your own so you can really give them your undivided attention.

Couples

Couple dancing on-board Celebrity Cruises

A luxury cruise is ideal for a couple’s getaway. Offering indulgent spa treatments, room service and entertainment that will offer memories to last a lifetime.

Head to one of the daily yoga classes on offer with Crystal Cruises to keep you and your partner’s wellness at optimum levels while on-board, while you can make a whole day of relaxing with Oceania Cruises’ spa experience. This comprises an aromatic steam room, thalassotherapy pool, body treatments and signature massages, all of which make you feel utterly relaxed on-board.

As for destination-focused activities, Regent Seven Seas offers an unconventional date night. The Seven Seas Explorer Gourmet Explore Tours take you off the ship to gather ingredients at local food scenes, which are then used on-board in a hands-on cooking class. Viking Ocean cruises also specialise in Northern Lights itineraries, sailing on quest to witness the iconic spectrum of colour dance across the sky. What better memory to share with the one you love?

Families

Hapag Lloyd Family Cruise

Though a luxury cruise might not be your first pick for a family holiday, some cruise lines offer just as many exciting activities for you as mainstream lines.

Hapag-Lloyd are one of the best choices for a luxury family cruise, with their two ships – MS Europa and MS Europa 2 – ideally equipped for families. With an onshore programme and kids’ clubs are curated to keep children happy and offer the perfect place to make new friends. With treasure hunts, meeting the captain and learning how to make a genuine sailor’s knot, the programme is varied for your young seafarers.

Crystal Cruises also offer fun daytime activities with the Junior Activities Programme. These include pyjama parties, teen karaoke, mini Olympics and baking, with the main venue for children boasting large-screen TVs, personal computers and board games.

Older children are also catered for with Hapag-Lloyd, offering their own club complete with games consoles and access to their own teens’ SPA offers to help them relax on-board.

Regent Seven Seas also offers their Club Mariner Youth Program, where children aged 5-17 can participate in a range of specialised activities, from min-putt tournaments and dance parties, to movie nights. The programme is tailored to the destinations featured on your itinerary, if you’re cruising to Alaska you can expect your children to enjoy learning about local Alaskan tribes.

For something different, Seabourn offers their unique Marina Days. These are held, weather permitting, while tendered and visiting a port, but offer alternative activities to enjoy while ‘at sea’. The back of the ship opens into a small jetty where guests can enjoy complimentary water sports such as swimming, kayaking, pedal-boating, water-skiing and banana boat rides – it gives ‘day at sea’ a whole new meaning!

What’s your favourite way to spend a day at sea? Let us know in the comments below!

Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over two years. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises and is looking to get something in diary for 2021! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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