If you have a milestone anniversary coming up and are in need of a special, unforgettable adventure to mark the occasion, consider taking to the open seas for the cruise of a lifetime.
The popularity of cruising continues to soar, with an estimated 30 million travellers hopping on board in 2019. This is a 6% increase from 2018, according to Cruise Lines International Association. And it’s no wonder. Cruise holidays remove you from the stresses of everyday life, transporting you to a world of luxury, relaxation and exotic, far-flung destinations – some only accessible by cruise ship.
What better way to celebrate an anniversary than taking in the northern lights, exploring remote Ecuadorean islands, sunbathing in the Bahamas or drinking gluhwein in Europe’s festive Christmas markets.
5 reasons why a cruise offers the ultimate anniversary celebration:
1. Planning makes perfect
Big anniversary celebrations can take a lot of time and careful preparation. Start now and look ahead to 2020/2021 cruise itineraries, whittling down your favourite routes and destinations. By planning ahead you can tailor the cruise to meet your needs. From booking shore excursions, dinner dates and on-board entertainment, you will be ready to go.
“Once you decide on your cruise, it’s easy to pre-book experiences and packages,” says Nick Wilkinson, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Regional Vice President Business Development Middle East & Africa.
In reality, cruise holidays need far less organising than other options. Once on board all that is left is to relax and enjoy!
But book early to take advantage of package deals or specials. Also consider off-peak travel and cruising in different seasons to get a different perspective on popular destinations.
You could even consider a fly-cruise package (sorting out return flights and pre-and post-hotel accommodation) for the ultimate in ease and convenience.
2. The ultimate combination of rest and adventure
Opposites attract, or so the saying goes! If there comes a time on your holiday when you want to spend the afternoon sunbathing next to the pool, your better half can continue exploring and immersing themselves in the local culture – or ticking off bucket-list adventures and onshore excursions.
Cruises are the perfect blend of downtime and activity. You can opt for total relaxation one day (pool, spa, sleep!) and unforgettable shore excursions the next. A cruise means that you get the best of both worlds, ensuring everyone’s happy.
3. Bring the family…
Big ship cruises have the unfortunate reputation of being an ‘oldies holiday’ and this is simply not true. It is also a fantastic family getaway, with plenty on board to keep family members of all ages happy and entertained.
Think pools with looping water slides, basketball courts, racetracks, fitness centres, theatres (with Broadway shows), libraries and so much more. Throw in kids clubs and teen clubs and you have the best of ‘land’ resorts on the open sea.
Most cruises also have a great selection of accommodation options, including studios, family suites, staterooms and butler-serviced penthouses. So, if you would like to bring the entire gang along to celebrate your anniversary, there will be accommodation to suit every need and budget.
Again, booking in advance is key – you can organise interleading rooms, or a selection of rooms on the same deck.
4. … Or rekindle the romance
Of course, you might decide that an anniversary cruise is for you and your partner alone. If so, there are plenty of ways to make it the unforgettable, romantic holiday of your dreams.
Consider wandering down memory lane by revisiting your honeymoon destination. If you honeymooned in the Med, Caribbean, Middle East or along the coast of Africa (pretty much anywhere really), there’s a good chance your honeymoon destination is now a ‘port of call’ on one of the many routes available.
Alternatively, choose the most picturesque, enchanting route you can find. Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation, whose Trafalgar ‘Pearls of the Adriatic’ itinerary cruises the soul-stirring Croatian coastline from Opatija to Dubrovnik, believes that the Croatian island of Rad is not known as the ‘island of love’ for nothing.
“Rad, with its ancient walls, historic bell towers, beautiful beaches and unforgettable views has to be one of the most romantic destinations on earth,” she says.
Or go all out and investigate vow renewal packages. Often officiated by the ship’s captain, these memorable ceremonies include bouquets, champagne, photographs and a vow renewal certificate.
If you are concerned that a busy ship might take away from the romance or privacy of your anniversary celebrations, you can personalise your journey with the help of the cruise director. Couples experiences are available on most cruises, including private shore excursions and romantic dinners to escape the holiday crowds.
5. The perfect anniversary gift
Struggling for inspiration when it comes to an anniversary gift? A cruise might offer the perfect (and most ‘out-of-the-box’) solution. Celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary? Consider a cruise on the Norwegian Pearl (pearl being the traditional gift for 30-year anniversaries). Or 35 years? What about a trip on the Norwegian Jade (the modern symbol for 35 years). Alternatively choose Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Bliss or Norwegian Encore. As NCL’s Wilkinson says, “We love the names of our fleet – and hope you will too.”
It doesn’t matter if you are celebrating five years or fifty – take to seas and rejoice in style!
By Linsey Schluter