Virtual Cruise Experiences you Need to Try

Best virtual cruise travel experiences Cruise and Maritime Voyages

Hey Owlets,

I know we're all getting fed up of being on lockdown, and everyday I'm getting a tweet from one of you saying that you should've been on a cruise today or you've had to cancel your holiday. While I can give you all the tips on working from home and looking after yourself during lockdown, I think we could all do with a bit of a break - enter virtual cruises. I've seen some amazing options - and some not so great ones - so here's a run down of my favourites.

Best virtual cruise travel experiences P&O Azura

Virtual Cruise Activities

As I write this few companies have gone quite as far as to make an entire virtual cruise, but a lot of cruise lines have taken to sharing activities that a lot of frequent cruisers are missing. Rather than write a huge paragraph about each I thought it would be easier to link what I've found & you can pick your favourite (daily planner style). If you should be sipping a cocktail somewhere in the Mediterranean right now, or trying not to be sick in the Bay of Biscay, here's a few options for you to keep the cruise magic alive:

Viking.TV - Online talks about all things history & culture, in case you're missing lectures at-sea

Crystal@Home - Offering cooking demonstrations, podcasts & exercise videos so you can do all of those things that you resolve to do on board & inevitably miss by having one too many cocktails

Lindblad Expeditions 
- An expedition cruise line offering everything you'd expect from an adventure cruise, without venturing from the sofa. Expect wildlife videos & talks about what you could expect on a cruise with Lindblad

Fred Olsen - Offering just about everything. There's talks, exercise videos, puzzles, and even a video of Fred Olsen crew singing to brighten your day.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages - My favourite offering of everything I've found so far, just because it's the ultimate in cruise ship novelty - towel animal folding!! Follow their guide to make your own fluffy creatures that you refuse to take apart (or is that just me?)

Virtual of The Seas

Best virtual cruise travel experiences Virtual of the Seas

This isn't the most sophisticated of virtual cruise experiences, purely because it doesn't have the giant corporation throwing money at the project behind the scenes, but while Virtual of the Seas doesn't have all the latest technology and novelty experiences like 360 cameras and virtual reality, this is probably my favourite internet cruise. It's pretty standard for cruise directors to have Facebook pages, but while most of these fan pages have fallen as silent as the engines of the cruise ships they worked on, Royal Caribbean Cruise Director Abe Hughes has used his corner of the internet to bring a smile to cruise addicts' faces in the midst of lockdown, in the form of "Virtual of the Seas". Cabins are free, the drinks package is included and each sailing lasts a week. Throughout the week Abe shares a daily Cruise Compass, with the typical cruise TV show live-streamed on his Facebook page, and trivia and quizzes posted on the main Royal Caribbean Facebook page. There's something incredibly heart warming about someone taking the time to do this, and I'm really pleased that Royal Caribbean have gotten on board (pun intended) & joined in with the cruise. The only frustration is that you're based in the UK, Royal Caribbean have a redirect on Facebook to take you to the UK page that isn't sharing the virtual cruise. The only way you can get round this is to log out of Facebook then type the link in (or click below), or use incognito/private mode in your browser if you know how, but the posts are frequently shared on the Abe Hughes page too. 

Virtual Ship Tours

Best virtual cruise travel experiences P&O Azura

Since 360º cameras were invented virtual tours have become commonplace, although for some reason cruise lines took a little longer to catch on. These days virtual tours of cruise ships are almost expected - in normal times it either helps you decide if you want to book or gets you excited to sail when your cruise is still a year away. At the moment, however, it provides the perfect escape from reality so you can pretend you're wandering round your favourite ship on a sea day, instead of sat at home making your own dinner & getting more pale by the day. Here's a few of my favourites:

Fred Olsen - I love Fred Olsen because they have gorgeous classic ships (even though they're not catered towards my age group), so it's nice to take a look around a different style of ship

P&O Cruises - There's nothing remarkable about P&O's virtual tours, but as I write this I should be on board Britannia, so please allow me a bit of self indulgence!

Cunard - Not a cruise line I'm particularly drawn to going on, but I can't quite get over how beautiful the surroundings are, so it's worth a look just to experience something new

Hapag Lloyd - I love being able to go aboard a cruise ship that isn't from the major cruise lines & see what's done differently. The ship looks incredible and so unique

MSC Seaside - This ship had so much hype around the launch, and I still haven't had a chance to get on board so I'm taking the opportunity for a tour in my pyjamas instead

Avalon Waterways - If, like me, you've never had the opportunity to go on a river cruise then now's your chance to snoop around and see what river cruise lines do differently

Carnival Vista

Best virtual cruise travel experiences Carnival Vista

I've absolutely saved the best until last, in my incredibly biased opinion. While researching virtual travel experiences to write about, we came across this video on Carnival's YouTube channel, and after watching this everything else suddenly seemed incredibly dull by comparison. It's a 360º video with a tour guide talking you through the ship's features, but it's done in such a clever way that you can't help but love it, no matter what your age. There's things to find in each clip & the animation is incredible; while watching this we regressed to children at the same time as wondering how on Earth anyone is clever enough to make a video like this. Even at 4 years old this video is still amazing, and no matter what your age you can't help but smile when you watch it. If you're stuck at home and feeling a bit low, this is without a doubt the one video you need to watch.
Best virtual cruise travel experiences P&O Azura

I hope this article helps to put a smile on your face if you've had to cancel a cruise - I know it's not as good as the real thing but it still cheered me up! I could've made this article much longer as just about every cruise line is offering something to keep their passengers engaged at the moment, so I tried to just choose a few of my personal favourites. If I haven't mentioned your favourite cruise line, then take a look at their website or social media and you'll probably find something. If there's something amazing that I need to see then please do tell me - we're all in the same boat (sorry, I mean ship) of needing a distraction from life!

Best virtual cruise travel experiences Royal Caribbean

Before I leave you to cruise around the internet, I do just have to give an honourable mention to Royal Caribbean's Twitter page - someone has to tell us what day it is!!

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

1 comment:

  1. This is great. I have seen a lot of chatter about virtual vacations but it never crossed my mind to search for a virtual cruise experience. I'm definitely going to sit back and check out the sites that you shared!


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