From creating napkin art to flipping the perfect crepe to mastering the basics of a new dance step – or a new language – it’s simply amazing what you can learn while on a cruise. Of course, a cruise is also a wonderful time to do nothing at all, but most offer some terrific onboard learning opportunities.
Cunard Line’s ships are known for an abundance of interesting activities (fencing, anyone?). On the Queen Mary 2, these include stargazing courses taught in the ship’s incredible planetarium. The cruise line brings astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society on board to guide you through the universe. Viking Ocean Cruises’ Orion and Jupiter also have planetariums, with resident astronomers ready to show and tell you all about space and its exploration.
If you admire the beauty of blown glass, another unique course at sea is Celebrity Cruises’ Hot Glass Class. The Equinox, Eclipse, and Solstice have glass blowing studios with skilled instructors who will help you create a gorgeous piece of glass art. After your creation cools, the staff will carefully wrap it so you can take it home.
Lots of people have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of cooking, and several cruise lines offer cooking demonstrations and hands-on courses. One is Holland America Line, which equips each of its ships with a fantastic Culinary Arts Center. On Holland America’s Koningsdam, the Culinary Arts Center actually transforms into a dining venue in the evening. A three-course dinner will be prepared right before your eyes by the ship’s culinary staff, who will happily answer your questions.
Many cruises offer scuba-diving excursions, but some Royal Caribbean itineraries go a step farther by giving you the opportunity to become a certified scuba diver during the course of the cruise. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) provides scuba training, a mix of online learning, practice in the ship’s pool, and open-water diving.
Some of these (and many other) onboard learning opportunities are included in your cruise fare, while some require extra fees. To learn more, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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