From country music to crafting: The best themed cruises for 2024


You come to hear the music, to pursue a hobby or to follow a celebrity. You return for the community of people sharing a common passion. Themed cruises offer the unique opportunity to find your people and explore the world with them — all while enjoying an incredible schedule of onboard activities and entertainment.

A themed cruise is a special-interest sailing based around interests and hobbies such as food and wine, sports, dancing, crafting, popular films and TV shows, lifestyles and music.

Sometimes, the themed event takes over the entire ship. Other times, the theme cruise organizer has its group join a regular itinerary but offers special events exclusive to participants.

First-time theme cruisers are lured by the chance to meet or listen to their favorite celebrities or to improve their skills in a favorite pastime. However, they often discover that the best part of a themed cruise is immersion in a community of like-minded individuals.

Themed cruises foster a warm, friendly atmosphere onboard where the conversation is easy because you begin with an established connection. Days and nights of shared interests and experiences on board can lead to meaningful connections that can last a lifetime.

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What’s better than being surrounded by your people, partying the night away and then retiring to your own private cabin that’s just an elevator ride away? Not much — except perhaps encountering your celebrity crush at the ship’s buffet, attending a no-holds-barred Q&A with your favorite actors or musicians, or taking a small-group class with a rising star.

From a country music cruise to a crafting masterclass, these are some of the best themed cruises coming up in the next year.

Note: As standard on all big-ship cruises, fares for themed cruises include several complimentary dining options. Alcohol and soda will cost extra, with package deals available depending on the cruise line and the charter company. Tours and excursions in port cost extra as well. Pricing is based on two people sharing a cabin.

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Music-themed cruises

’70s Rock and Romance Cruise 2024

Cruise ship: Celebrity Summit.
Date: March 14-21, 2024.


Billed as “the greatest feel-good party at sea,” the ’70s Rock and Romance Cruise returns in 2024 with a star-studded lineup of the grooviest acts at sea.

You’ll find performances by famed music icons, including Foreigner, Randy Bachman of the Guess Who and Dave Mason. They’ll also host events and attend special meet-and-greets. The top-tier music acts join a long lineup that will include War, Don McLean, Melissa Manchester and many more rock ‘n’ roll icons.

Pack your best leather jackets and disco sequins for the cruise’s Saturday Night Fever and ’70s costume parties.

Book soon because this cruise is selling out quickly. Find pricing and reservations on the Rock & Romance website.

Soul Train Cruise

Cruise ship: Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam.
Date: Jan. 27-Feb.3, 2024.


People all over the ship, join hands! The Soul Train Cruise returns for its 11th sailing this January with more than 50 live performances from soul music legends.

This is your chance to join more than 2,000 soul music fans for a week filled with all the joy of those timeless tunes. This year’s artist roster features soul music legends and tribute acts, including Boyz II Men, The Temptations, En Vogue, WAR, Stephanie Mills and Tower of Power.

When you’re not boogying down on the dance floor, sign up for celebrity-hosted wine tastings, game shows and other activities. The cruise cabins are already sold out, but you can join the waitlist for the chance to sail on this hopping cruise.

Find pricing and booking information on the Soul Train Cruise website.

The Outlaw Country Cruise 8

Cruise ship: Norwegian Pearl.
Date: Feb. 4-10, 2024.


Boot scoot your way to the middle of the ocean for the eighth Outlaw Country Cruise, along with some of country music’s greatest stars.

It’s a honky-tonk week at sea as Blackberry Smoke, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Nikki Lane, Shinyribs, Kaitlin Butts, Drivin’ N Cryin’ and more join the ranks of musicians set to perform.

Expect plenty of hootin’ and hollerin’ during themed costume nights, meet-and-greets, game shows, a belly-flop competition and bingo games. The cruise is sold out, so join the waitlist for your chance to sail, or you’ll be left two-stepping shoreside.

Reserve your spot on the Outlaw Country Cruise website.

Cayamo: A Journey Through Song

Cruise ship: Norwegian Pearl.
Date: March 1-8, 2024.


A listening experience at sea that offers remarkable proximity to some of the music industry’s most-respected acts, Cayamo returns for its 16th edition of a week-long music festival sailing the Caribbean.

This cruise features more than two dozen musical acts that span decades of genres and musical styles. The musical lineup for 2024 is set to include Lyle Lovett, The Mavericks, Billy Bragg, Shawn Colvin, Lucius, The Lone Bellow, KT Tunstall and many more.

Cayamo’s 2024 sailing is sold out. Join the waitlist for your chance to sail in 2024, along with your best chance at getting on the 2025 sailing. For pricing and waitlist information, visit the Cayamo website.

The Flower Power Cruise

Cruise ship: Celebrity Summit.
Date: March 21-28, 2024.


Hippies have it good on the Flower Power Cruise as some of the greatest music legends of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s bring their groovy vibes to the sea.

Relive the glory days of peace, love and flowers in your hair on board this weeklong sailing.

The 2024 lineup includes The Rascals, Tommy James & The Shondells, John Kay of Steppenwolf, The Moody Blues’ John Lodge, The Four Tops and others from that era.

Tribute bands will also play all the hits.

The cruise is currently sold out. However, there is a waitlist you can join.

Discover more themed cruises: Music cruises to set sail on the high seas

Film- and TV-themed cruises

Star Trek: The Cruise VII

Cruise ship: Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas.
Date: Feb. 22-29, 2024.


Sail long and prosper! Take the best of a sci-fi con, extend it for a week, add perfect tropical weather, and you have Star Trek: The Cruise VII.

Few franchises have fan bases as devoted as Star Trek’s, and all their love for the series floats this cruise. The voyage is an immersive getaway with an impressive roster of cast members and creatives who have been a part of Star Trek since its inception.

This year’s cruise welcomes fan favorites, including Levar Burton, Walter Koenig, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, Anthony Rapp and Nana Visitor.

Join in the merry mayhem as these sci-fi legends offer dramatic performances, comedy shows, Q&As, screenings, interactive games and other events and activities that will make your days at sea fly by.

The upcoming cruise is selling out quickly, with limited availability. Beam on over to the Star Trek: The Cruise VII website for the latest pricing, availability and waitlists.

Golden Fans at Sea: The Golden Girls


Cruise ship: Celebrity Ascent.
Date: Sept. 14-23, 2024.

Picture it: Sicily … 2024. That’s right! You’ll actually get to see Sophia Petrillo’s birthplace. Golden Fans at Sea is changing things up from its recurring Gulf of Mexico cruise with a new itinerary in 2024 that has a port stop in Sicily.

What can be better? You’ll cruise with hundreds of cheesecake-loving, caftan-draped Dorothys, Roses, Blanches and Sophias.

Not your grandmother’s cruise as much as it’s a cruise for those who love wise-cracking old broads, the Golden Fans at Sea is the ultimate getaway for the popular TV show’s dedicated fan base.

Highlights of the cruise aren’t released as of this writing. However, previous guests have included Stan Zimmerman, one of the creators and head writers of the series; Melinda McClanahan, Rue McClanahan’s sister; and Marsha Posner Williams, a producer of The Golden Girls, who has many stories to share about her time working on the show.

Pricing information and a booking form for the special September 2024 Sicily cruise are on the Golden Fans at Sea website.

Themed cruises for hobbies and special interests

2024 Gothic Cruise

Cruise ship: Norwegian Escape.
Date: March 2-9, 2024.


A vacation for goths by goths, the Gothic Cruise is the first and original gothic cruise with a history that dates back to its inaugural group sailing in 1989.

Delightfully macabre, the 2024 Gothic Cruise is not a full-ship charter but a specialty group on board. Seek out group members at special theme nights set for 2024, including a masquerade ball and a “Saints vs. Sinners” costume party.

Find pricing and book your cabin on the Gothic Cruise website.

Bridge Holidays

Cruise ship: Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager.
Date: March 9-19, 2024.


If there ever were a place for bridge lovers to converge, why not on the decks of a cruise ship?

Find your people and then challenge them to a game of bridge as you glide from port to port. The bridge program on board is hosted by bridge experts Roberta Salob and Silvana Morici, with a mix of pair duplicate and Swiss team games.

This is not a full-ship charter, so you’ll find your group at the many bridge events planned throughout the cruise.

Find pricing and reserve your cabin on the Bridge Holidays website.

JoCo Cruise

Cruise ship: Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam.
Date: March 9-16, 2024.


A gamer’s paradise in paradise, JoCo Cruise began in 2011 when singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton’s songs about geek culture fostered a community of capital “N” Nerds.

Join more than 2,000 gamers on a vacation where nearly every tabletop game invented is available to play. You’ll have 24-hour access to a ton of games. Your daily planner will fill up quickly with the cruise’s many workshops, craft sessions, panel discussions and themed parties.

One of the most unique aspects of this themed sailing is the passenger-led “Shadow Cruise,” which allows the community to create and promote passenger-led workshops, training and special interest meet-ups.

You don’t need to roll dice or solve a puzzle to book your spot. Just head over to the JoCo Cruise website for pricing and availability.

Cruise & Crop crafting cruises

Cruise ship: Multiple ships and itineraries.
Dates: Multiple dates available.


Dream Vacations hosts the Cruise & Crop crafting cruises, with more than two dozen craft-themed cruises set to sail across various cruise lines and ships in the next few years.

These experiences offer the chance for people from around the world to meet, swap ideas, share art and inspire creativity. Many of the sailings are themed around scrapbooking. However, you’ll find many shared artistic interests, including card making, quilting, knitting, jewelry and photography.

Find the complete list of sailings, featured crafts, pricing and reservation details on the Cruise & Crop website.

Sports-themed cruises

Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea. @WILLBYINGTON/SIXTHMAN

Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea

Cruise ship: Norwegian Pearl.
Date: Jan. 26-30, 2024.

Are you ready to rumble?! Rock ‘n’ roll and wrestling engulf Norwegian Pearl for four high-octane days of All Elite Wrestling matches, music concerts and many special events with your host, wrestler and musician Chris Jericho.

The ship’s 2024 lineup hasn’t been announced beyond special guest of honor, Paul Wight. However, expect many opportunities to engage with your favorite wrestlers, meet Chris Jericho and attend live podcast recordings.

The 2024 cruise is already sold out, with a waitlist available. Make sure to join the waitlist for the chance to join this sailing and to be among the first to know of future sailings. All the cruise details, including the waitlist signup, are on the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea website.

Browns Fans Cruise, a Cleveland Browns cruise

Cruise ship: Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.
Date: March 11-16, 2024.

Independence of the Seas. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

It takes a special sports fanbase to inspire a cruise getaway, but Cleveland Browns fans have found their own.

The crowd at FirstEnergy Stadium takes to the open ocean for the first-ever, five-night Browns Fans Cruise. At least a dozen Browns legends will be on board, including Josh Cribbs, Ben Davis, Hanford Dixon, John Hughes, Reggie Langhorne, Kevin Mack, Eric Metcalf, Greg Pruitt, Frank Stams, Phil Taylor, Felix Wright and Dave Zastudil.

Revisit highlights from the team’s victories, prove your devotion to the team through trivia and games, and get autographs from your favorite players.

Find out how much it will cost to score a cabin on the Browns Fan Cruise website.

Related: Fumble! I accidentally booked an NFL cruise — for a team I don’t even like

Azamara’s PerryGolf cruises

Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand. PERRYGOLF AND AZAMARA

Cruise ship: Multiple ships and itineraries.
Dates: Multiple dates.

A few select itineraries on Azamara were made with the adventure golfer in mind. The cruise line has partnered with PerryGolf for its specialty golf cruises that visit more than 80 courses worldwide each year.

It’s all about the convenience when you cruise on a golf-specific itinerary. PerryGolf handles your golf equipment and sets it up in advance so you can show up and tee off. Your green fees, cart fees and gratuities are covered, along with an on-course lunch and a round of drinks at the clubhouse after.

Back on the ship, you can trade tips and find your next golfing group at social gatherings of the golf enthusiasts on the ship.

Find sail dates and pricing on Azamara’s website.

Bottom line

The list of specialty cruises goes far beyond the ones mentioned above.

In addition to one-off sailings hosted by travel agencies and themed-cruise companies, you can also find lifestyle-themed cruises offered by charter companies multiple times a year. These include LGBTQ charter cruises; religious cruises for Jewish, Christian and Mormon travelers; and sex, swingers and nude cruises for adults.

Ultimately, no matter what floats your boat, you can probably find a cruise for it. Even if you’re not an avid cruiser, an itinerary themed around your interests is worthwhile for both a fun getaway and a chance to connect with your people.

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