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38 Best Themed Cruises You’ll Want to Book ASAP

Themed cruises combine hobbies, the high seas and hobnobbing with like-minded vacationers

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

fireworks the cruiser 'AIDAstella' is baptized in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germanypicture alliance/Getty Images

Staying on theme

Whether you want to learn more about playing bridge or your lineage, exchange cat tales with other feline fanatics, hang with your favorite celebrities or knit a bathing suit alongside fellow needlers, you’ll find themed cruises from some of the best cruise lines to float your boat. Themed cruises have all the things travelers have come to expect from an organized, almost all-inclusive adventure on the open ocean—desirable destinations, sunset views, plush cabins, onboard entertainment, decadent amenities, buffets for days, these hidden cruise features and more.

The bonus of setting sail on a craft with a concept is that your fellow passengers will share your undying passion for the concept. And the motif will inspire many of the activities, from concerts and workshops to costume parties and craft sessions. You may even get on-theme, limited-edition collectibles. Some themed sails are full-ship cruises, meaning like-minded folks will fill the whole passenger manifest; for other voyages, a group may only book some of the cabins, plan events on a few days of the journey or take over certain areas of the vessel. On partial-ship cruises, hobbyists should expect to share the pool with people who might not speak Klingon or stop scrapbooking when the clock strikes happy hour.

While some themed cruises are strictly adults-only, a few make for fun family vacation ideas. After all, at their heart, all Disney cruises, aka some of the best cruises for families, have a theme. (And should you and your brood find yourselves challenging Anna and Elsa to a shuffleboard match, don’t forget to pack these helpful Disney Cruise tips.)

How we chose the best themed cruises

Truth be told, some voyages just sounded awesome or kooky or both. To find others, we went a little overboard comparing cruise catalogs, expert picks, ratings, media coverage and user reviews to compile the ultimate list of themed cruises for 2022 and 2023. So grab the Dramamine, the sunscreen and a Sharpie for autographs, find something that interests you and don’t miss the boat.

Shitts Creek Cruise Via Moiraspartyboat.com

Best for anyone who is a little bit Alexis

Schitt’s Creek Cruise

Attention, bébés: Next spring, you can stop and sail The Roses. That’s right, Moira’s Party Boat: Ew, Cruising is happening, so die-hard Schitt’s Creek fans should hop on the “breeding ground for freaks” (Davidspeak for the internet), book passage on Celebrity Cruises and send loved ones best wishes and warmest regards. Departing from Miami, the four-night, five-day themed cruise will feature highlights such as the Fold in the Cheese Dinner, Jocelyn’s Bingo, the Night of a 1,000 Moiras, drag performances, an “I like wine, not the label” tasting, Alexis’ Bar Crawl, costume contests and Cabaret karaoke as it makes its way to Key West, Florida, and the Bahamas. Even the cheapest rooms are nicer than those at the Rosebud Motel, and you won’t have to ask thrice for towels as you celebrate one of the best sitcoms of all time.

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halloween mickey cruisecourtesy Carey Reilly

Best for Trick or treating with Mickey

Disney’s “Halloween on the High Seas”  

Pack your best ghoulish getup and dance along with Mickey and friends at Mickey’s Mouse-querade dance party aboard Disney Cruise Lines’ “Halloween on the High Seas” themed cruises now through October 31st. Cruisers can expect the typical cruise lineup but will love the added themed activities and shows including the tale of the enchanted pumpkin tree named Boo towering over the Atrium’s lobby. Disney knows how to keep the celebration frightfully fun with the pumpkin and spider web decor at every turn. Celebrate with trick-or-treating, pirate night, creepy craft activities, and ghoulish themed desserts and beverages. Expect to take pictures with your favorite costumed characters and a spook-tacular meet and greet with Daisy Duck, Clarabelle Cow and Minnie Mouse dressed up as the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus!

waterslides on the top deck of a carnival paradise cruise in CubaIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

Best for cat ladies (and gentlemen)

Meow Meow Cruise

Headed from Tampa, Florida, to Cozumel, Mexico, this four-night themed cruise on the Carnival Paradise is purr-fect for fans of furballs of the feline variety. Pets are sadly not allowed to come with (at least you won’t have to figure out how to fly with a cat), but sharing stories and showing photos of them is heavily encouraged at the Meow Meow meet-and-greet, group dinners, mixer, cat trivia tournaments and kitty scavenger hunt. The official, sold-separately cat cruise tees are back in 2022, customizable with a picture of your prized pet.

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Broadway CruiseVia Thebroadwaycruise.com

Best for theater people

The Broadway Cruise

Call it the Great Wet Way. Norwegian Cruise Line has set the stage for the ultimate vacation for Broadway boosters, and it’s sure to become your favorite cruise. Tony winners Kristen Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Laura Benanti and more of your favorite Broadway stars will tread the boards on the New York-to-Bermuda jaunt, taking on beloved classics, solo shows and new material. Randy Rainbow will deliver his sarcastic, poppy parodies. You can even view some performances from pool deck chaises or hot tubs. The stars, as well as key behind-the-scenes talents like choreographer Kelly Devine and makeup designer Joe Dulude II, will also participate in panel discussions, interactive activities and solo interviews. They may even show up to hit the high notes at karaoke.

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cruise ship in Juneau, Alaska, USA.VW Pics/Getty Images

Best for a stitch fix

Knitting Cruises

Craft Cruises organizes a wide range of partial-ship themed cruises around popular handicraft hobbies such as beading, handspinning, crocheting and needlepoint. One such pastime is knitting, and given the meditative, stress-reducing nature of both needling yarn and cruising, nautical knitting is a natural pairing. The program includes an ice-breaking mixer to loop everyone together, daily classes for all skill levels and post-dinner show-and-tells. You’re sure to return home with a good yarn to tell, but before you ship off, be sure you understand how cruise ships are handling COVID-19.

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A scenic view of Fort Lovrijenac and the town of Dubrovnik in Croatia. The fortress sits above the coastline and water, and is well known as a filming location for the TV show Game of Thrones.Kat Clay/Getty Images

Best for mothers of dragons

Game of Thrones Cruises

Multiple outfits, including Cruise Croatia and Sail Croatia, continue to capitalize on one of the biggest TV shows of all time, which was filmed in their backyard. With fewer than 50 passengers, the small boats bop around locations used in the HBO show, like the Red Keep or the “walk of shame, shame” corridor, with a combination of walking, sailing and biking tours. Cruise Croatia gives out Game of Thrones goodie bags at the beginning and throws an epic sendoff in “King’s Landing” at the end. And even if you know nothing about Jon Snow or any of the feuding houses, real-life Westeros—the stunning Dalmatian Coast between Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik—is worth exploring for the medieval architecture, landscapes and fresh seafood.

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F1 Grand Prix of HungaryBryn Lennon/Getty Images

Best for those with a need for speed

Grand Prix of Monaco Package

Back in the 1980s, themed cruises weren’t really a thing until Windstar Cruises introduced (or so it claims) the OG topic-oriented trip with the Grand Prix Package, an experience so coveted that it still exists to this day. Hop around the Mediterranean for seven days with a pit stop in Monte Carlo. A Formula One racing expert hosts the trip and is happy to field questions or talk (auto) shop, especially during the Grand Prix–themed cocktail reception and dinner. The package comes with a swag bag stuffed with an official Grand Prix program, ear plugs, poncho, cap, high-definition binoculars and seat cushion. Racing nuts will brake for Section K seats for the time trials of Monaco’s Grand Prix, tickets to Sunday’s final and a visit to the pits. Bonus: The 2023 cruise will take place on the Wind Surf, the largest commercial sailing ship in the world.

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book lovers Cruise ship on the waterVia Cunard.com

Best for bookworms

Literature Festival at Sea

The return of Cunard’s book festival featuring scribes Bernardine Evaristo, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Beard and Richard Osman is going to be lit. The programming team from The Times Cheltenham Literature Festivals curates this seven-night transatlantic crossing on the flagship Queen Mary 2. As the iconic ocean liner makes its way from New York to Southampton, England, passengers can join writing workshops, talks and readings. They’ll even get a chance to read beyond the headline with Times journalists. Give yourself something to discuss by picking up a book at an airport bookstore on your way to your New York send-off.

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Star Trek Cruise Via @startrekthecruise/Instagram

Best for Trekkies

Star Trek: The Cruise

Boldly go where thousands of men (and women) have gone before on Star Trek: The Cruise VI. In early 2023, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas will beam fans and Starfleet alumni—including Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and Kate Mulgrew—up from Los Angeles to several Mexican ports. Resistance is futile when it comes to having fun during seven days of game shows, scavenger hunts, screenings, costume parties, cast comedy shows and concerts, Tribble tosses and celebrity-guided excursions. You might even learn something about the final frontier during expert talks. Better brush up on your Klingon now so you can recommend the best sci-books and movies while standing in line for the bar.

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rock n roll wrestlemaniavia chrisjerichocruise.com

Best for WrestleManiacs

Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea

Former WWE superstar Chris Jericho liked it, so he put a (wrestling) ring on it. It, of course, is a cruise ship. He and muscular pals like Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Mickie James, Mark Henry and more will set sail on the Norwegian Pearl in 2023 for the four-day Four Leaf Clover trip, which, like the three previous installments of Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, centers around poolside matches. But the testosterone-filled trip from Miami to the Bahamas and back goes beyond the mat with musical performances (Fozzy, Quiet Riot and a Kiss cover band), live tapings of podcasts, autograph sessions, trivia tournaments, gambling in a casino and comedy sets.

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DISNEY DREAM AT SEACourtesy Disney Cruise Line

Best for family friends of Mickey

Disney Cruises

In our opinion, all Disney Cruise Lines count as themed cruises that will appeal to families who enjoy the beloved entertainment empire’s movies, characters, TV shows, music and theme parks as well as cruising as a mode of vacation transportation. All Disney cruises include character experiences, themed dining, screenings, live shows, fireworks, kid and tween clubs, pools and plenty of exclusive merch. Some ships have waterslides, mini golf courses, lounges and clubs for adults, which you’ll need after all this concentrated family time. Select voyages cater to Avengers and Star Wars lovers big and small, with action-packed deck shows and out-of-this-world character interactions. And they especially go all out for holidays like Halloween on the High Seas and New Year’s Eve.

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Ripe red Merlot grapes on rows of vines in a vienyard before the wine harvest in Saint Emilion region. Francewjarek/Getty Images

Best for wine enthusiasts

Various Wine Cruises

Whether you’re a casual imbiber or schooled sipper, you won’t get bore-deauxed on wine-centric cruises offered by a handful of companies in some of the best grape-growing and wine-blending regions around the world. All involve winery tours and tastings. Most put on pairing dinners or invite a winery owner, winemaker, certified sommelier or expert aboard to put everything you’ve seen and swirled into perspective. Some even have vino-themed excursions, like blending your own vintage, biking through vineyards or visiting the decanter-shaped wine museum La Cité du Vin.

Known for its fairly all-inclusive cruises in North and Central America, American Queen Voyages takes oenophiles to the Pacific Northwest to taste the terroir along the Snake and Columbia rivers. Viking cuts a wide swath through several of France’s famed appellations (Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, Sauternes and Médoc) in one classy sweep. And AmaWaterways has routes that explore the liquid gold from the Rhine River (where you also get to taste beer in Germany!) or Austria’s Wachau Valley.

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Romantic Cruise on the water with a rainbow in the backgroundVia Princess.com

Best for romantics

Love Boat Reunion

Love is in the sea air … again. Princess Cruises, the OG Love Boat, is back at the matchmaking game this October, and it’s the ideal cruise for couples. The seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise will host a classic cast reunion in memory of beloved Gavin “Captain Stubing” MacLeod, who also served as a Princess ambassador for years. Surrounded by never-before-seen memorabilia, the actors will play a part in Q&As, quiz bowls, meet-and-greets and other activities. Couples and singles can also take part in romantic encounters onboard for possible inclusion on a reality show inspired by the classic TV series. The Real Love Boat launches on CBS this fall.

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Cunard Cruise LineCourtesy Cunard

Best for those curious about the family tree

Personalized Ancestry Experience

While tooling around Europe’s rivers, families can do a deep dive into their lineage with the help of AmaWaterways and Ancestry. Add-on packages allow passengers to consult with Ancestry’s pro genealogists prior to or during the cruise to fill out their family trees or enhance their sail with a visit to their ancestral hometown. With the right lineage, you might even visit places where ancestors attended school, worked, worshipped, lived or were buried. The first cruise in the series, Heritage on the River: Your Personalized Ancestry Experience, happened in July 2022, and the heritage hunts were so meaningful and successful that the cruise line has already announced two departures in 2023.

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Goth Cruise spiral staircaseVia Gothiccruise.com

Best for subculture vultures

The Gothic Cruise

Founded in 1989 by Goth girl Zaida Browne, who still personally leads each installment, the Gothic Cruise is a cure for the standard cruise geared toward the black-clad people who love Goth music, pancake makeup, heavy eyeliner, stompy boots and a lifestyle that proclaims carpe noctem. Each voyage centers on a theme and features a series of concerts and other exclusive events, like Club Goth at Sea, a nightly dance party held in the wee hours of the morning. Currently in the works are themed cruises headed for the southern Caribbean, Alaska, the British Isles and the Egyptian pyramids. Be sure to pack these cruise items—in all black, naturally.

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Artist Cruise on the waterways in FranceVia Europeanwaterways.com

Best for aspiring artists

Art Cruise

This charter-only option on European Waterways’s 10-person barge Athos navigates the Canal de Midi in southwest France for passengers who want fresh air and plein-air painting sessions. The sleepy route from Marseillan to Argeliers provides plenty of inspiration, from fishing ports and the four bridges of Beziers to hilltop cathedrals, farmers markets and medieval villages. When you aren’t concentrating on your canvas, you can visit distilleries and food halls, take part in fresh olive tastings, play pétanque and tour museums.

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Washington DC; USA at the tidal basin with Washington Monument in spring season.Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Best for petal pushers

Cherry Blossom Cruise

When spring awakens and the nation’s capital is pretty in pink, American Cruise Lines turns some of its Chesapeake Bay itineraries out of Baltimore into flower-powered floats. You’ll get ample time to stroll around West Potomac Park and the Washington Monument grounds to admire the breathtaking spray of the annual cherry blossom bloom. Fun Washington, D.C., fact: The 3,000 trees lining the tidal basin were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912.

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Country CruiseVia Outlawcountrycruise.com

Best for country fans with an edge

Outlaw Country Cruise

For those who are a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll—or those who simply never tire of twang—there’s the raucous Outlaw Country Cruise based on the same-named SiriusXM radio channel. The seventh sailing heads from Miami to Mexico and features performances by The Mavericks, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, John Anderson, Kathleen Edwards, Supersuckers, Mojo Nixon and at least a dozen more. The best part? Artists often team up onstage for special tributes, covers and collaborations you won’t have a chance to see anywhere else. They also often pop into pool parties, join karaoke nights, host trivia and partake in industry panels.

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preparing food for James Beard House in New York CityBennett Raglin/Getty Images

Best for foodies

James Beard Foundation Cruises

Windstar has cooked up themed cruises with the James Beard Foundation, geared toward folks who believe a good dinner is the most important part of a cruise. Though the ports of call and featured chefs vary widely­ on each of the three annual culinary cruises—2023’s tasty trips include spins around the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Japan—passengers are always treated to a guest chef–hosted dinner with wine pairing, two cooking demonstrations onboard with recipes to take home and a market tour led by the chef. The price tag on these can ratchet up quickly. If you can afford it, the world-class cuisine and tour of the world are worth it. But those on a budget should look into mini vacations that won’t break the bank.

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Cruise ship in the waterVia Cunard.com

Best for patriots

Greatest Generations Tribute

It’s often said that we live in the home of the free because of the brave, and Cunard believes in paying respects to the soldiers who sacrificed so much as well as learning from their experiences in hopes that history doesn’t repeat itself. The Greatest Generations Foundation and the cruise line gather surviving WWII veterans on select transatlantic crossings of the Queen Mary 2 (the next sets sail on Nov. 13) to share their firsthand accounts of heartbreaking loss, infinite courage and a belief in fighting for democracy. New installments now include heroes from the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Beach Boy Cruise concert Via The Beach Boys Cruise/Facebook

Best for those in search of fun, fun, fun

Beach Boys: Good Vibrations Cruise

While it doesn’t take you “way down to Kokomo,” primarily because the paradise mentioned in the Beach Boys’ chart-topping 1988 hit doesn’t really exist, the second official Beach Boys cruise promises to catch a wave to equally tubular and tropical places—Belize and Mexico, to be exact. You’ll pick up good vibrations at the concerts and other music-centered activities held from sun up to sundown, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with the musicians. God only knows you can use five days of surf rock and sunshine.

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Disco CruiseCourtesy StarVista LIVE

For those with a case of Saturday night fever

Ultimate Disco Cruise

Pull on your bell-bottoms, slide on some dancing shoes, expose your chest hair and sail back in time to the 1970s with this disco-powered six-day floating fiesta of feathered hair and flared collars. On the way from Miami to Key West, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico, disco diehards will dig rubbing elbows with genre legends like Kool & the Gang, Sister Sledge, Evelyn Champagne King, Billy Ocean and members of Chic at more than 40 live performances, dance contests, costume parties, karaoke nights, game shows and artist Q&As. Several tribute bands will also pump out the jams by acts like the Bee Gees and Queen. As you consider a trip on the high seas, know that there are certain things you won’t be able to do on a cruise because of the ongoing pandemic.

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Saarburg at the borders of river Saar in Germany. Historic castleMurzikNata/Getty Images

Best for a religious experience

Jewish Heritage Program

As the only river cruise line owned by a Jewish family, Uniworld wants to create cruises that are cross-cultural “bridges of understanding” and thus took great care in developing Central European itineraries that explore both the past and present Jewish experience there. To do that, the Jewish Heritage Program meanders from ports on the Danube and Rhine rivers and features visits of historical and cultural significance, such as Jewish museums, Holocaust memorials, synagogues, businesses and World War II sites. But cruises are also a survey of today’s thriving Jewish communities, especially in Germany, home to the world’s fastest-growing Jewish population.

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the front of a cruise ship close upVia Bridgeholidays.com

Best for those who know when to fold ’em

Bridge Holidays

Look out for sharks (card sharks, that is) at these bridge programs at sea hosted by renowned teachers Roberta Salob and Silvana Morici. Bet on picking up card tricks and tips that will perfect your game during onboard lectures and lessons, which you can then use in the daily American Contract Bridge League–sanctioned duplicate, where you can earn silver “masterpoints” toward becoming a life master, or during the more casual social play. The program is held on luxe members of fleets run by Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and Silversea. Players can choose from itineraries that take them to the Caribbean, Asia, Alaska, Greece and Turkey, Norway and more. Cruising solo? No problem. Professors can pair up single travelers for card games.

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Budapest, Hungary - Beautiful aerial skyline view of Budapest at sunrise with Szechenyi Chain Bridge over River Danube, Matthias Church and Parliament of HungaryZoltanGabor/Getty Images

Best for armchair detectives

Storyteller Series: Gone Girl

Avalon Waterways has put together a themed cruise worth killing for, especially if exploring the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary, to Deggendorf, Germany, and meeting a bestselling author/Golden Globe–nominated screenwriter are on your bucket list. Gillian Flynn, the devious mind behind the twisty mystery books Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Dark Places, plays host to 150 admirers in honor of Gone Girl‘s 10th anniversary at an exclusive onboard book signing and a Q&A. Plus, you can brag to your friends that you went to Count Dracula’s prison tower and Vienna with someone who is one degree of Kevin Bacon away from the new Mr. J.Lo, Ben Affleck.

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Nieuw Statendam cruise on the waterHoracio Villalobos/Getty Images

Best for people who travel with googly eyes

Scrapbooking Cruises

Get a head start on preserving your memories from your voyage by creating a family photo album before you walk back through your front door. The Cruise & Crop lineup of trips may feature a variety of crafting-themed cruises (including quilting and stamping), but hardcore scrapbookers will probably get more out of the cruises created just for them, like Scrapbooking Depot, Scrap with Friends or the Whole Kit N Kaboodle. The schedule usually includes classes, crafting, prizes, giveaways, goodie bags and more. Looking for a kid-free vacation instead? Check out these adult-only cruises.

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Soul Train CruiseCourtesy StarVista LIVE

Best for dancing divas and dudes

Soul Train Cruise

The 10th-anniversary Soul Train Cruise is leaving the Fort Lauderdale station—err, port—in early 2023, and it promises to be a real boogie-down production. Catch live performances, celebrity-led interactive events like wine tastings and game shows, artist panels and meet-and-greets featuring superstars of soul, funk and R&B, including The Spinners, George Benson, Babyface, The Commodores, Peabo Bryson and Zapp Band. While on the way to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico with host Tony Cornelius, learn moves from the original Soul Train dancers and test them out on the line, just as they did on the TV series.

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Downton Abbey CruiseVia Europeanwaterways.com

Best for Anglophiles

Downton Abbey Cruises

What started primarily as a Downton Abbey fan appreciation float down the River Thames with European Waterways has morphed into a chance to visit real-life filming locations of numerous British period dramas: Downton Abbey, of course, but also The Crown and Bridgerton. Sit on the sundeck sipping sherry while palaces, aristocratic estates, sprawling countrysides and charming villages pass by. Pop in for an in-demand, often sold-out tour of Highclere Castle, home of the fictional Crawley family, then check out parkland that served as a backdrop for Shonda Rimes’s hit series. Ask nicely and you’ll be able to see other Bridgerton filming locations too. And don’t miss seeing where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lays her royal head IRL (aka Windsor Castle). By the time you’re ready for your return trip, you’ll be traveling like a royal.

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Gwyneth Paltrow speaks onstage In goop Health Summit Los Angeles 2019Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Best for Gwyneth groupies

Goop at Sea

Vitamins D and sea, both plentiful on boat trips, do a body good, but actress/entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, who has already upped the wellness factor on Celebrity Cruises with exclusive goop smoothies, on-demand video content and other holistic programming through her role as the brand’s well-being advisor, wants to make your next cruise even more restorative. That’s why she’s coming aboard the Celebrity Beyond with a small army of goop-approved practitioners to lead a sailing dedicated to self-optimization. She’ll answer audience questions live while participants take part in interactive mini sessions aimed at enriching the mind, body and soul. Passengers will also receive gifts curated by Paltrow and company, taste-test healthy snacks and recipes, try new products and get massages in pop-ups around the boat. Your sea legs (and the rest of your body) will thank you.

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Antique Cruise Via Europeanwaterways.com

Best for consummate collectors

Antiques Cruise

Create your own Antique Roadshow in jolly ol’ England through European Waterways. Antique hunters will travel the Thames to well-known antique centers near London before making their way upstream to comb through smaller specialty boutiques in hamlets like Windsor and Eton. To get this itinerary, you must charter the whole eight-person hotel barge. Just be sure to avoid these packing mistakes so you’ll have enough room to bring home any treasures you find.

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dancer on a dance cruisevia cunard.com

Best for twinkle toes

Dance the Atlantic

This itinerary will make you feel like dancing. In August 2023, the English National Ballet will have a weeklong residency onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. While motoring across the pond, the graceful group will offer workshops and classes to anyone with prima ballerina dreams. Those with two left feet may opt to check out the company’s rehearsals and the stunning finale performance in the Royal Court Theater. Soothe inevitable sore muscles with a hot drink and finger sandwiches at the signature high tea.

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American Constitution - American Cruise LinesCourtesy American Cruise Lines

Best for history buffs

American Revolution, Civil War and Lewis & Clark Cruises

Turn back time with an educational, history-themed American river cruise trip put together by American Cruise Lines. Book the historic American Revolution Cruise to travel around Virginia and Maryland via the Chesapeake Bay, exploring Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, Norfolk, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. While you’re sailing between sites, subject experts hold talks, reenactors add an extra layer of theme and passengers chow down on the region’s famous crab cakes.

The company also puts on similar journeys spotlighting Lewis & Clark’s explorations along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest and Civil War sites along the mighty Mississippi. Looking for something special to do during the holidays? You can book a Colonial Christmas cruise along the East Coast.

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country music cruiseCourtesy StarVista LIVE

Best for hoedowns on the high seas

The Country Music Cruise

Put country before the party (and during and after the party) on a Western music–themed odyssey. The Country Music Cruise launches from Fort Lauderdale and swings by St. Martin and Puerto Rico before returning to the States and features nonstop live music by The Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Owen, Clay Walker, Mark Chesnutt, Pam Tillis, Asleep at the Wheel and Neal McCoy. The organizers promise plenty of celebrity-studded activities, including Q&As, gospel hours, vow renewals, country karaoke, line dancing lessons and a special edition of the Grand Ole Opry.

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Mark Twain CruiseVia American Cruise Lines/Facebook

Best for getting lit

Mark Twain Cruise

Just as it did for many of Mark Twain’s most famous works, the mighty Mississippi, with its scenic bluffs, historic towns and lush foliage, provides the perfect setting for your vacation. Starting at his boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri, and continuing down the river where Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer lived, American Cruise Lines’s Mark Twain Cruise is an immersion into the life and times of one of America’s most beloved wordsmiths. It also offers a chance to get closer to nature, tour grand estates of yore and visit Indigenous history sites. Twain experts, historians and costumed impersonators join the journey.

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The 174m Par 3, fifthteenth holeAndrew Redington/Getty Images

Best for those who want to stay on course

British Isles Golf Cruise

Link your love of golf with your need for a vacation on this sailing from Azamara and PerryGolf. Set sail from Dublin, Ireland, for a 12-night cruise that’ll have you playing three to six rounds of golf at legendary courses like Royal County Down, Royal Dornoch, Royal Portrush and Castle Stuart as you cruise to Edinburgh, Scotland. Program participants will attend the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool, where hopefully some of the pro golfers’ skills will be absorbed by osmosis. When you’re not attempting to score hole-in-ones, wander from pub to castle to museum in Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Given the length of the trip, you should brush up on how to avoid getting sick on cruises.

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Garden Cruisevia europeanwaterways.com

Best for green thumbs

Garden Cruises

Plant moms and dads will want to take advantage of European Waterways’s horticulture-heavy itineraries on a charter-only barge cruise. Live la dolce veggie on the Italian jaunt as it motors around the Venetian Lagoon and the Po Valley. You’ll explore amazing green spaces, like the 16th-century Botanical Gardens of Padua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest academic botanical gardens in the world; a 400-year-old box labyrinth; a one-kilometer rose walk with more than 30,000 specimens; and a park with 1 million tulip bulbs in the spring. The Scotland version, which sails the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness, incorporates woodland and garden stops like Arisaig, Larachmhor (famed for 200 varieties of rhododendrons), Abriachan Nurseries and Attadale Gardens. Before you board, familiarize yourself with these cruise ship code words so you’re in the know when something goes down on the ship.

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Emos Not Dead Cruise on the watervia emosnotdeadcruise.com

Best for those who like sad songs

Emo’s Not Dead Cruise

Sailing on a self-proclaimed “sea of tears” (aka the Pacific Ocean) from Los Angeles to Baja, California, this sadcore and screamo sojourn on the Norwegian Jewel features headliners like Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory, Underoath, Plain White T’s, Hawthorne Heights and Thursday and is hosted by The Tonight Tonight Show‘s Matt Cutshall. Misunderstood black hearts with painted nails and a long list of teenage traumas can play I Hate My Family Feud or bomb in the belly-flop contest.

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Kiss Cruise balloons and confettivia thekisskruise.com

Best for creatures of the night

KISS Kruise XI

Rock and roll all night and party every day of the five-day themed Kiss Kruise sailing from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. This travel package is dedicated to Starchild, Demon, Catman and Spaceman, collectively known as KISS, as they play some of their final at-sea shows. More live music comes courtesy of metal and hair-band biggies like Lita Ford, Warrant, Dokken, Buckcherry and L.A. Guns. If that isn’t enough reason to book, consider this: The cruise usually has tattoo artists, unique merch, displayed memorabilia and autograph sessions on board. The organizers encourage the KISS Navy to bring little ones that love it loud—there will be a Hotter Than Hell Halloween party and candy swap on the 2022 trip.

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Carrie Bell
Carrie brings more than 20 years of experience writing about entertainment, pop culture, travel, and lifestyle topics for national magazines, newspapers and websites to RD.com where her coverage runs the gamut between road trip guides, Star Wars locations you can visit in real life, best crime shows and infamous awards show scandals. She has a journalism degree, two spoiled cats, a wicked snow globe collection and a desire to visit all 50 U.S. states by 50 (She just hit no. 41.).