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10 Theme Cruises for Every Type of Traveler

Feb. 15, 2017
9 min read
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As fans of The Walking Dead are busy guessing at what new storylines the seventh season will bring, a travel-loving sector of the show’s devotees can’t stop talking about their recent encounter with some (not quite) real-life zombies aboard the Walker Stalker Cruise, which just completed its second voyage from Miami to the Bahamas — via the Norwegian Pearl — with executive producer Greg Nicotero and stars Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Chandler Riggs in tow.

Not a fan of the undead? Whether you're the ultimate cat lover or want to rock out on the high seas, there's a theme cruise out there with your name on it. Here's a look at 10 of the most interesting ones happening this year.

1. Star Trek: The Cruise

Theme: Star Trek

Dates: January 5–11, 2018; January 11–17, 2018

If you want to get a definitive consensus on whether Star Trek fans prefer to be called “Trekkies” or “Trekkers,” Star Trek: The Cruise is the place to be. But you’d also better be one of them; otherwise, the fact that this is the only “official” Star Trek cruise out there — and that George Takei will serve as your host and be joined by Jonathan Frakes, Levar Burton, Brent Spiner and key members of the USS Enterprise crew — will have you begging Scotty to beam you up.

Live long and prosper aboard Star Trek: The Cruise. Image courtesy of Star Trek: The Cruise's Facebook page.

2. Avalon River Cruises for Beer Enthusiasts

Theme: Beer

Dates: July 16–July 28, 2017

Like a floating pub crawl, Avalon’s beer-themed river cruises offer an ideal scenario for thirsty travelers: the chance to explore some of Europe’s most renowned beer cities through the suds that make them famous. From Hefeweizens to Dunkeles, the exact beers you’ll get to try depend on which region you choose to explore, so choose wisely. In addition to drinking what’s on offer, you’ll also get to visit some of the area’s most famous and historic breweries, partake in regular tastings and learn some cool beer-brewing (and pairing) techniques. In July, Avalon will take a trip along the Danube River, from Budapest to Prague. Cheers to that!

Let's hear it for beer! Image courtesy of Avalon Waterways' Facebook page.

3. The Great Alaskan Running Cruise

Theme: Running

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Dates: July 21–28, 2017

If your idea of “working out” on a cruise means lifting an umbrella drink to your lips or flipping over to make sure you get enough sun on your back, run far, far away from The Great Alaskan Running Cruise. For health-conscious travelers, the trip is a great way to see the world while keeping to your mind-body ethos, and you don’t have to be able to compete with Usain Bolt in order to enjoy yourself. Whether you prefer to walk or run, this seven-day cruise invites adventure-seekers to explore the 49th state on foot, giving you a unique perspective on the place and its history. You’ll get the chance to explore gorgeous nature trails and compete against your fellow travelers with a few organized 5Ks. If you’re not into an Alaska trip, the same group also organizes The Marathon di Tuscany in May, and has additional cruises to Hawaii and the Caribbean already scheduled for 2018.

Break a sweat against a breathtaking backdrop. Image courtesy of Marathon Expeditions.

4. Celtic Adventure Knitting Cruise

Theme: Knitting

Dates: July 30–August 11, 2017

We’re all for knitting as a relaxation-inducing pastime. But unless you're a yarn enthusiast, the appeal of perfecting your cross-stitch aboard a cruise ship might be confusing — until you realize that this 12-day adventure, which sets sail from Copenhagen, is full of charming ports of call, including Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Yes, you’ll shop for yarn in each city, but will also have the chance to take in the sights — and up your knitting game with the help of expert Beth Brown-Reinsel, who’ll teach some regional styles of the craft, like Fair Isle Tam and Norwegian Mittens. Who needs to buy an Aran Sweater in Ireland when you can make your own?

Craft Cruisers will make some four-legged friends along the way. Image courtesy of Craft Cruises via Facebook.

5. The Desire Cruise

Theme: A sexy adventure on the high seas

Dates: September 26–October 3, 2017

If the name didn’t give it away, it only takes a quick click on The Desire Cruise’s website to realize that this is definitely for the NSFW crowd. Billing itself as "the first-ever couples-only, clothing-optional cruise," the “Venice Foreplay” will cruise along the Adriatic this fall, with several stops in Croatia and Slovenia. But the real action (pun intended) is onboard, where uninhibited cruisers will find adult-only playrooms, erotic theme nights and special clothing-optional areas. This isn’t your grandma’s cruise (or, who knows… maybe it is).

Seduction on the high seas. Image courtesy of Desire via Facebook page.

6. World Space Week

Theme: Astronomy

Dates: October 6–13, 2017

Proving that even the world’s most legendary ships aren’t immune to the charms of a theme cruise, Cunard hosts a wonderful eastbound transatlantic crossing aboard the Queen Mary 2 in honor of World Space Week. Experts in the field — including NASA historian Dr. Ken MacTaggart, former NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman and Virgin Galactic director Stephen Attenborough — host a jam-packed schedule of events that teach guests everything they ever wanted to know about space and space tourism but were afraid to ask.

Look up! Image courtesy of Cunard.

7. Meow Meow Cruise

Theme: Cats

Dates: October 23–27, 2017

Cats and water aren’t known to be the best of friends, so a cruise ship full of kitties probably isn’t the wisest idea. But if four days at sea with a group of fellow feline lovers is your idea of a vacation, you may want to consider the Meow Meow Cruise. This year’s trip will depart from Miami with stops in Key West and Cozumel, with plenty of time to talk about and share pictures of your furry friends along the way. Just make sure the claws don’t come out when it comes to competitive activities like Meow Meow Trivia and Scavenger Hunts. Cats ahoy!

Cruisers got a chance to visit Hemingway's six-toed cats in Key West, Florida. Image courtesy of Karen Bleier via Getty Images.

8. The KISS Kruise

Theme: KISS

Dates: November 5–10, 2017

A deep appreciation for the hard-rocking, make-up wearing 1970s band that keeps on ticking — and the ability to Rock and Roll All Nite — are just about the only requirements needed to hop aboard the seventh annual KISS Kruise. More akin to a roving concert than a traditional cruise, the five-day journey takes more than 2,000 KISS fans from New Orleans to Costa Maya and Cozumel, where a total of six music venues and dozens of live performances will ensure that your ears are always ringing.

Rock and Roll All Nite — on the high seas. Image courtesy of the Kiss Kruise's Facebook page.

9. The 80s Cruise

Theme: The Decade of Excess

Dates: February 11–18, 2017 (and March 17–24, 2018)

Josie’s on a vacation far away… and you could be, too. (If you don’t get that reference, though, this is not the trip for you.) If you’ve been looking for a reason to rock your Jordache jeans and pull your Reebok Pumps out of the closet, The 80s Cruise is it. Though it’s often referred to as “the decade of excess,” it’s also one full of wonderful memories, bad fashion, big hair and questionable music included. Though the 2017 event has already set sail, there's also a totally tubular plan for helping you party like it’s 1989 in 2018, with Rick Springfield hosting the seven-night event along with Mike and the Mechanics, Loverboy, The Tubes and Tommy Tutone already on the schedule.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. (But Let's Hear it for the Boy.) Image courtesy of The 80s Cruise's Facebook page.

10. Ghost Hunter Cruise

Theme: Paranormal Activity

Dates: April 2–9, 2017

Haunted hotels are nothing new, but haunted cruise ships? Hey, it could happen. But that’s not what the Ghost Hunter Cruise is all about. At each port of call, passengers will get the chance to explore some of the world’s most haunted locales — past voyages have made stops at Alcatraz in San Francisco and the Merchant’s House Museum in New York City. In April, guests will bid bon voyage from New Orleans aboard the Norwegian Dawn for a seven-day exploration of the Western Caribbean — with stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico — where guests will learn and be led by a roster of professional paranormal experts, including Ghost Hunters International star Barry Fitzgerald. What are you worried about? You ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Have you ever been on a theme cruise before? Tell us about your experience, below.

Featured image by Image courtesy of Star Trek: The Cruise's Facebook page.