LIKE the rest of the travel world, the cruise sector has been quick to recognise the value of niche holiday experiences, with many cruise lines now offering a variety of themed cruises to meet the esoteric appetites of a multitude of potential guests.

There are seemingly no constraints on what type of theme passengers can select either, as the global cruise sector continues to churn out an ever-increasing weird and wonderful assortment of voyages based on interests such as retro musicians, cult sitcoms, celebrity obsessions, and sporting adventures, to name just a few.

Cruiseco CEO Amanda McClelland told travelBulletin one major driver of this growth has been powered by a demand for holidays with a shared interest aspect.

“Themed cruise experiences allow guests to combine their passions,” she said.

“The magic is made when you meet a fellow traveller whom you otherwise may not have met and are able to share experiences, create a bond and form lasting friendships,” McClelland added.

Cruiseco has been quick in recognising this trend, partnering with Choose Your Cruise, Artist Network and Royal Caribbean to craft a selection of speciality music cruises.

To date, Cruiseco has hosted 25 music cruises in Australia and four in the United Kingdom, with a further six scheduled over the 2019/2020 season.

One of the sailings will see country music tragics stomping their big leather boots at the chance to jump aboard, with The Cruisin’ Country due to depart in October this year. The musical talent list is headlined by Aussie country icon Lee Kernaghan, and supported by big names in the genre such as Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Travis Collins.

All of the honky-tonk frivolity will take place on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and features dance nights, cocktails and duets performed by some of the country’s most adored country artists.

For aficionados of more upmarket music, the same Cruiseco collaboration is also presenting the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts 2019 sailing in November.

The voyage features a program of musical theatre, jazz and cabaret, and includes a wealth of talent such as Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, Aussie singer-songwriter Lucy Durack, tenor and composer David Hobson, and iconic jazz musician James Morrison.

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas will be the setting for the seven-night cruise, with prices leading in at $2,809 per person.

P&O Cruises is another brand not shying away from this growing space, recently revealing it will be bringing back its popular Big Laugh Comedy Festival at Sea cruise in 2020.

Comedy is considered by many to be intrinsic to an enjoyable cruise, with the services of a stand-up comedian to entertain guests each night a staple of the cruise entertainment program. However, P&O has taken this comedic appeal one step further in Australia, launching a series of comedy-themed cruises which this year featured the stylings of Gold Logie winner and inadvertent iconoclast Tom Gleeson, as well as Network Ten personality Dave Hughes, and comedy writer Mel Buttle.

“P&O’s comedy cruises are unique in that they offer a wide variety of acts under one roof,” said P&O Cruises Head of Entertainment Brett Annable.

“There’s a choice of larger-than-life performances in The Marquee, to more intimate gigs in the ship’s many stylish bars and lounges with something for every type of comedy fan,” he added.

Testament to the value proposition for P&O comedy cruises is that in 2019, thirteen prominent comedians performed an impressive 32 shows to more than 2,000 passengers on board its flagship Pacific Explorer.


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