When talking about a cruise vacation, there are many obvious options to consider, from the ports of call, the trip length, the size of the ship, the on-board inclusions and, of course, the levels of service you’ll experience on board. The one thing that always turns into a big point of discussion for us are the number of sea days during any given cruise itinerary.
Travelers either love them or hate them. But, we have figured out that sea days can be the highlights of your next cruise vacation, if you are traveling with the right cruise line for your interests.
While some lines are only focused on partying, gambling at the casino on board and visiting the shopping malls, other like to elevate your experience and challenge your knowledge.
Holland America does an excellent job of challenging their affluent cruisers. All ships offer a variety of programs to engage and stimulate their travelers’ minds and help them develop and fine-tune new skills. One of their most popular programs is America’s Test Kitchen, which offers live on-board cooking shows and hands-on workshops and the BBC Earth Experiences, which include exclusive lectures, concerts and documentaries.
For the wine connoisseur in you, join the Blend Program on board and learn how to create your own unique wine blend. Afterward, stroll through the on-board art gallery and get inspired by renowned artists before attending a digital workshop that will teach you how to edit, display and share your favorite vacation memories.
Enjoy cultural performances that capture the spirit of the region or join one of the many engaging presentations and interactive workshops on board that are led by expert guides and the top of their fields. What does that mean for you? You get to connect with marine biologists to learn about the underwater life in your destination. You can join a historian on your shore excursion and learn all about the history of ancient tribes in the region.
For Oprah Fans, schedule your day around the O-Inspired Programs, like morning meditation and yoga, the Oprah Book Club, and many others that guests can enjoy onboard and be inspired to live life to the fullest.
When inspiration strikes you, stop by the Rijksmuseum at Sea. Much more than a floating art museum, Rijksmuseum at Sea is a creative salon where guests can be inspired by the museum’s collection to create their own works of art – through drawing, photography or just doodling. Rijksmuseum at Sea includes a bright studio space featuring life-sized reproductions of artworks from Rijksmuseum, drawing tables, sketchbooks, pencils, friendly instructors and everything guests need to create their own masterpieces.
Choosing a longer voyage that offers more sea days can add an amazing value to your next cruise vacation. You will be able to enjoy many exclusive on-board activities like those mentioned above, most free of charge, and you won’t have to miss out on spending time in ports and exploring the destinations you’re visiting. No more feeling rushed and feeling anxiety over missing out on activities. Holland America Cruises Legendary Voyages are a great way to get the best of all worlds. These lengthier itineraries extend your journey, giving you longer stays and overnights in key ports – time to truly experience the heart and soul of the region you are visiting. Each carefully planned itinerary gives you time to discover and reflect, with a diverse assortment of excursions, including culinary-themed shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE. On board, make the most of each destination with Explorations Central, where you can engage in local language lessons, expert-led talks and more. In short, take advantage of amazing savings, cash in on added amenities, really get to know the crew on board as well as the expert guides and lecturers, acquire a new skill, discover a new destination and come back relaxed and rejuvenated.
To learn more about Holland America and the programs they offer on board, join us at our 6th Annual Northern Arizona Travel Expo on Oct. 10, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff. Meet with Megan from Holland America and many other cruise lines, tour operators and hoteliers, face to face between 5-8 p.m. Our Avenues of the World Travel Advisors will be on site to answer any questions, schedule appointments and assist with live bookings on site. Don’t miss your chance to secure amazing booking specials and enter our door raffle for vacation giveaways and much more! FBN
By Daniela Harrison
Daniela Harrison is a Travel Advisor and Director of Marketing at Avenues of the World Travel in Flagstaff. For questions, please reach out via 928-556-0853 or Daniela@avenuesoftheworld.com.