Above: Dumbarnie Golf Links at St. Andrews, Scotland, a stop on Azamara's golf cruise itinerary

The Good Kind of Theme Cruise

We tend to recoil from the idea of theme cruises, picturing corny costume nights and coordinating menu items at dinner. But luxury lines have been forging new collaborations to create sophisticated, intellectually stimulating special-interest itineraries. Consider, for example, the latest from the four companies, whose themed journeys span the culinary, cultural and sporting worlds.


AmaBella on the Danube

For years, this high-end river-cruising company has supported the Los Angeles Master Chorale, one of the best professional choruses in the country, and it is now expanding its partnership to include a classical-music-minded itinerary. Departing July 24, 2024, on the 160-passenger AmaBella, this seven-night “Romantic Danube” journey (a scenic route from Vilshofen, Germany, to Budapest) will feature intimate onboard performances by eight members of the chorale, accompanied by the group’s pianist. For those who book before June 30, 2023, AmaWaterways is offering a complimentary two-day pre-cruise itinerary in Munich, where the annual opera festival will be in full swing and the grand opera house will be open for tours. An especially thematic stop in Salzburg allows one to walk in the footsteps of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the city’s most famous native son.


Spa Suite, Azamara Onward

Thanks to its long-standing partnership with the ground operator PerryGolf, Azamara recently announced an epic new 41-day, 34-port European cruise that will give guests the opportunity to play some 15 rounds, eight of them on courses included in Golf Digest’s list of the top 100 in the world. The 2024 voyage will travel from Southampton, England, to Copenhagen, stopping in five countries, including Ireland (to play Old Head), Scotland (Dumbarnie Links) and Norway (Lofoten Links). A shorter Azamara golf-themed voyage this summer, the 12-night “British Isles Golf Cruise,” takes guests to view the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool, in western England, before continuing on to upward of six rounds of golf at such A-list courses as Northern Ireland’s Royal County Down and Scotland’s Royal Dornoch.

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Above: Dumbarnie Golf Links at St. Andrews, Scotland, a stop on Azamara's golf cruise itinerary