“Cruises are just more fun in groups than when traveling alone,” says the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). We couldn’t agree more, and in response have picked out some exciting activities for groups to enjoy at sea.
In its most recent report, CLIA surveyed a number of groups who cruise regularly, and a satisfaction level of 8.7 out 10 was the average score from those who took part.
The survey also indicated that numbers of social groups and parties of friends are on the rise and summarised by saying that cruisers love to travel in groups… and that the main focus of their trips to have fun.
There is so much for groups to experience on sea days while cruising, so we’ve picked out some of the top activities to enjoy, from winemaking sessions to onboard stargazing.
1. Car racing
Norwegian Bliss will feature what is thought to be the largest race track at sea at nearly 1,000 feet, when the ship begins sailing this June. Norwegian Cruise Line asserts that the two-level electric car race track will accommodate novice, intermediate and advanced drivers with four speed settings, reaching up to 30 miles per hour.
Pictured: Race track on the Norwegian Bliss.
Wine connoisseurs and novices alike can experience the art of winemaking at Blend onboard Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam. In collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, said to be Washington State’s oldest winery, the intimate venue enables up to ten guests at a time to blend their own wine and enjoy it at dinner or in the privacy of their stateroom.
3. Cultural workshops
Cunard’s culture programme offers a variety of culture and learning opportunities, with an enrichment programme spanning everything from watercolour painting and ballroom dancing, to drama classes and even stargazing in Illuminations, reportedly the only planetarium at sea.
Pictured: Ballroom dancing on a Cunard ship.
Ice-skating is another thrilling activity for groups to enjoy at sea together, this time with Royal Caribbean International. Studio B is available on all Oasis, Freedom and Voyager class ships, and open to all age groups and abilities.
5. Afternoon tea
Afternoon tea, anyone? Onboard the Crystal Serenity, one of Crystal Cruises’ ships, groups can enjoy this form of light dining in Palm Court, complete with scones and finger sandwiches, accompanied by music with waiter service. Be sure to take advantage of the ship’s themed afternoon teas – examples in the past have included a Mozart Tea, when waiters served Austrian specialties.
6. Health and Fitness
All four Fred. Olsen Cruise Line ships have facilities that enable groups to enjoy a fully equipped fitness centre with treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and a variety of free weights. A choice of fitness classes, to suit most levels, are available throughout the duration of your cruise holiday, including yoga, aerobics, stretch and tone and pilates; all conducted by fully-qualified fitness instructors. Or try a dance lesson instead (lead image) for something less strenuous.