14 Best Themed Cruises for 2017-2018

Editor’s note: Some Caribbean islands were deeply impacted by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. As a result, some itineraries may have changed. Please check with the cruise line directly for updates.

What could veganism, zombies and crossword puzzles possibly have in common? Answer: there is a themed cruise to match each interest. Combine your passion (from Star Trek to golf) with a much-needed vacation on one of these themed cruises. Here are some of the best and most unique themed cruises for 2017/2018, in order of departure. Note: we didn’t include music-themed cruises, find our recommendations for those here.

The New York Times Transatlantic Crossing

The scoop: Are you such a big fan of the Times’ daily crossword that you’d never miss it for a week of cruising? No need to stay home and wait for the paper, because The New York Times seven-day Transatlantic cruise will not only deliver the puzzle under your door everyday, but also offer daily crossword-themed activities including private lectures by NYT editors, a crossword competition and a chance to submit a group puzzle that could be published.
Dates: December 7-15, 2017
Ship: Cunard Queen Mary 2
Port of Departure: New York, NY
Itinerary: Southampton, UK
Website: nytimes.com

Mekong River with Francisco Marin

The scoop: Spending five days exploring the Mekong River in Cambodia is exciting, but having the opportunity to do so with a professional photographer takes this cruise to the next level. Francisco Marin, a Leica Akademie instructor, will be on hand to offer tips and techniques to help you capture the Mekong at it’s best. On board, Marin will answer questions about the technical and artistic aspects of photography.
Dates: December 8-12, 2017
Ship: Aqua Mekong
Port of Departure: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Itinerary: Koh Chen, Udong, Preah Prosop, Cambodia
Website: aquaexpeditions.com

James Beard Culinary Cruise

The scoop: Foodies know that being affiliated with the James Beard Foundation indicates a top-notch culinary experience. Puerto Rico’s own chef Mario Pagan will be on board to offer a taste of the island, and offshore excursions like a visit to the Bacardi Rum Distillery in San Juan continue the theme of fine dining and drinking.
Dates: December 9-16, 2017
Ship: Windstar Star Pride
Port of Departure: San Juan, PR
Itinerary: Culebra, Puerto Rico; Gustavia, St. Barth; Little Bay, Anguilla; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Great Harbour, Prickly Pear Island, BVI
Website: windstarcruises.com

Be Well 2017 – Mind, Body, Spirit

The scoop: Vacation doesn’t always have to mean that it’s time to indulge: Be Well 2017 offers classes on nutrition, personal training and wellness, with a focus on yoga. Cruisers can attend daily classes and even visit the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in Nassau, for Warrior One poses with a view.
Dates: December 18-22, 2017
Ship: Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
Port of departure: Port Canaveral, FL
Itinerary: Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas
Website: voyageseeker.com/group/bewell

Star Trek: The Cruise II

The scoop: Trekkies can join host George Takei for a variety of theme nights including “Mirror-Mirror” (don’t forget your fake goatee to indicate an evil parallel universe), and a costume party where Trekkies can show off their most outrageous tributes. Of course, fans can also expect guests from Star Trek’s long history including Jonathan Frakes and Levar Burton.
Dates: January 5-11, 2018
Ship: Norwegian Jade
Port of Departure: Miami, FL
Itinerary: Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico
Website: startrekthecruise.com

The Walking Dead Walker Stalker Cruise

The scoop: The Walking Dead fans can rub shoulders with stars from the show like Norman Reedus (Daryl), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), as well as creator Robert Kirkman. Similar to a convention, fans can expect autograph sessions, panels, and meet-and-greets. No biting!
Dates: January 26-30, 2018
Ship: Norwegian Pearl
Port of Departure: New Orleans, LA
Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico
Website: walkerstalkercruise.com

Glory on the Glory

The scoop: If you prefer your cruises to be more on the divine side, Glory on the Glory offers a uniquely spiritual adventure. Guided meditations, astrology classes and tarot card readings are all part of the package, and guests will also have access to professional mediums and psychics.
Dates: January 27-February 3, 2018
Ship: Carnival Glory
Port of Departure: Miami, FL
Itinerary: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Belize; Cozumel, Mexico
Website: nomadictravelcompany.com

VIP Deluxe Southern Caribbean Golf Cruise

The scoop: Test your skills at some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, including the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club and Four Seasons Nevis (designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.), which is built around the Mount Nevis volcano. (It’s dormant, so no excuses if you hook or slice it.)
Dates: February 10-17, 2018
Ship: SeaDream I
Port of Departure: San Juan, PR
Itinerary: Cruz Bay, St. John; Sandy Ground, Anguilla; St. Barts; Charlestown, Nevis; South Friars Bay, St. Kitts; Virgin Gorda, BVI; St. Thomas, USVI
Website: golfahoy.com

Country Cooking Cruise 2018

The scoop: It’s appropriate that a cruise departing from Charleston would offer a true taste of the south. Hosted by Francine Bryson, author of Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen, the southern-themed culinary cruise offers interactive seminars with Bryson and other celebrity chefs.
Dates: February 21-26, 2018
Ship: Carnival Ecstasy
Port of Departure: Charleston, SC
Itinerary: Princess Cays, Nassau, Bahamas
Website: southernsailings.com

Holistic Holiday at Sea XV

The scoop: Vegans, rejoice: With chefs Mark Hanna and Mark Reinfeld on board, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. Both have extensive experience providing vegan meals, as well as accommodating special diets such as macrobiotic, raw and gluten-free. Want to continue your healthy habits at home? Cooking classes taught by internationally known chefs are offered throughout the cruise.
Dates: February 15-25, 2018
Ship: MSC Divina
Port of Departure: Miami, FL
Itinerary: Martinique; St. Kitts and Nevis; Tortola, BVI; St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Freeport, Bahamas
Website: atasteofhealth.org

Packers Legends Cruise

The scoop: You don’t have to be a Packers fan to enjoy the Packers Legends Cruise — the opportunity to meet NFL legends like James Lofton, LeRoy Butler and Lynn Dickey would excite any football fan. If you’re a diehard Cheesehead, you can attend one of the many autograph sessions, or even pay extra to dine with one of your favorite players.
Dates: March 10-15, 2018
Ship: Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas
Port of Departure: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Itinerary: Costa Maya, Cozumel, Mexico
Website: packerslegendscruise.com

Ante Up Poker Cruise

The scoop: The highs (and lows) of playing slots on a cruise is always fun, but if you’re a little more serious about gambling, this is the themed cruise for you. With multiple tournaments, you can easily find a level of play that you’re comfortable with. Not ready to take on the pros? Free poker classes can help you get ready for the big leagues.
Dates: March 12-18, 2018
Ship: Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas
Port of Departure: Tampa, FL
Itinerary: Cozumel, Mexico
Website: anteupmagazine.com

Grand Prix & Cannes Voyage

The scoop: Some of us are content to watch NASCAR and the Oscars at home. This themed cruise — overnighting first at the Cannes Film Festival, and then at the Monaco Grand Prix — is more for those who would rather experience the action in person. Florence and Barcelona round out the culture-packed itinerary.
Dates: May 21-29, 2018
Ship: Azamara Journey
Port of Departure: Rome, Italy
Itinerary: Livorno, Italy; Cannes, Ajaccio, France; Monte-Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona, Spain
Website: azamaraclubcruises.com

2018 Hawaiian Running Cruise

The scoop: If you’re going to run on vacation, you might as well do it with a view of Hawaii. Explore the Hawaiian Islands by running (walking is okay too) a 5K or a half marathon in Maui, and a 5K or 10K in Kona on the Big Island. For a change of pace, explore trails in Kauai or hike to the Kilauea Iki crater in Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dates: September 15-22, 2018
Ship: Norwegian Pride of America
Port of Departure: Honolulu, HI
Itinerary: Maui; Hilo, Kona, Big Islands; Kauai
Website: runningcruise.com