Wacky Novelty Cruises
For some, cruises are all about stuffing yourself with hors d’oeuvres, conking out by the pool and gliding blissfully from one tropical island to another.
For others, they’re all about getting weird.
Poker cruises, golf cruises, ‘80s themed cruises and ethnic cooking cruises have been around for a long time. But thanks to the popularity of cruises and the abundance of people with obsessive niche interests, there are entirely new categories of themed cruises popping up on the waters — and they're decidedly more wacky (and delightful).
Whether you’re into heavy metal, are obsessed with cats, or are a card-carrying member of the KISS Army, there’s a boat full of people out there just waiting for you to sail away with them.
70,000 Tons of Metal
Heavy-metal music festivals like Wacken Open Air, Metaldays and Hellfest draw thousands of fans every year. But each winter, a less-well-known festival sails out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: 70,000 Tons of Metal, the self-branded "World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise."
Every year, metalheads unite to party with their favorite bands like In Flames, Children of Bodom and Alestorm (a pirate-themed metal band; what better place for them to perform than on a cruise ship?). Tickets start at $766 a pop for this five-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.
Fun fact: on the cruise’s inaugural sailing in 2011, the ship reportedly stocked 20 percent more beer than normal for a five-day cruise, and still ran out by the time it arrived in Mexico.
Walker Stalker Cruise
If sailing away with 2,500 other rabid “Walking Dead” fans on a four-day Caribbean cruise sounds like your cup of tea, then Walker Stalker cruise is for you.
This Comic-Con style event promises tons of shows, panels and activities, all centered around Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s creation that sprang to life and launched an (undead) empire. The cruise even features actors from the popular TV show, such as Noorman Reedus, who plays Daryl, and David Morrissey, who plays the Governor. And yes — there are photo ops and autograph signing sessions offered for fans!
This is one of the pricier cruises on this list, starting from $1,691 per person (although tickets are cheaper if you’re traveling with someone else or a group).
WOD On the Waves
Everyone knows that Crossfitters who Crossfit love to talk about Crossfit while Crossfitting (did we mention that they’re into Crossfit?). So, it seems natural that there’s an entire cruise devoted to Crossfitters as well, where they can come together and collectively nerd out about snatches and clean & jerks. Enter WOD On the Waves (workout of the day, for those not familiar with the lingo).
This cruise offers a place for Crossfitters to vacay without losing out on their conditioning. There’s even a whole crew of Crossfit fitness experts to guide seminars and skills clinics to help athletes take their training to the top level.
This is one cruise where passengers don’t have to worry about packing on extra weight (unless it’s muscle, that is).
Drag queens can get their RuPaul on during the annual Queens Overboard cruise. In February 2019, this cruise will feature popular drag queens like Jinkx Monsoon (the winner of the fifth season of ““RuPaul’s Drag Race”), Heklina and Peaches Christ. There’ll be fun activities like bingo, movie night and of course — drag shows.
Like many themed cruises, this one doesn't take up the entire ship. But lest you feel shy about donning your big wig and juicy lipstick in front of tight-laced strangers, know this: the Queens Overboard cruise is double-booked with the Bearracuda Heretic cruise, a big gay dance party at sea. Double the fun!
Star Trek: The Cruise
Trekkies don’t mess around when it comes to cruises. This annual convention-like cruise features endless activities, all centered around the landmark show “Star Trek.”
Guests can ogle at real show props at the onboard “Star Trek” cruise museum, or meet up for photo ops and autograph signing sessions with some of their favorite actors, like Wil Wheaton, Nana Visitor and Denise Crosby. You can also participate in scavenger hunts, excursions, game shows, VIP parties, and celebrity-led shows and events. There are even theme nights aboard the cruise, such as the Starfleet Pajama Jam and Risa’s Festival of the Moon party.
Star Trek: The Cruise leaves from Miami and spends seven days sailing around the Caribbean before returning to port. The next sail, on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, will be in March 2020.
On this cruise revolving around the iconic rock band, you can look forward to numerous shows put on by KISS themselves, as well as a supporting lineup of similar bands. Each KISS member hosts his own activities (cooking with the Starman, anyone?), and there’s a plethora of other options, such as lip sync competitions, air guitar competitions and battleshots (think Battleship, but with shots of tequila).
In 2019, the KISS Kruise will set sail on the Norwegian Pearl from Miami on October 30.
Ghost Hunter’s Cruise
If you believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night, book a ticket on the Ghost Hunter’s Cruise to experience real-life haunted locations via ship.
Each cruise features excursions to haunted locations, plus minor-celebrity paranormal experts (from medium psychics to supernatural investigators) to provide lectures on board.
These cruises are hosted periodically and travel to various destinations around the world. The October 2018 cruise, for example, visited locations around the Mediterranean over the course of an eight-day sail. Ticket prices start at a not-too-scary $1,399.
Trailer Park Boys Cruise
Canada’s cult show characters proclaim to be “out of jail and setting sail” aboard this five-day Bahamas cruise. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot with one of 2,200 Trailer Park Boys fans for the March 2019 sail on the Norwegian Pearl, you can look forward to two live shows put on by Ricky, Bubbles and Julian, as well as a live podcast taping.
There’ll also be performances from other comedians, as well as Bubbles and his own band, The S**tRockers. Brave souls can participate in the Gong Show, a talent competition judged by the Trailer Park Boys.
Meow Meow Cruise
If you thought your crazy cat lady neighbor liked cats, just wait until you hear about this cruise. The Meow Meow Cruise is an entire cruise for cat lovers. It’s also one of the more affordable cruises, with prices starting from just $330 per person.
Strangely enough, cats themselves aren’t allowed on board. You’d think cat lovers wouldn’t want to tear themselves away from their beloved feline pals for a five-day cruise, but the allure of meeting other fellow catophiles seems to be enough to sway them.
The activities offered on board don’t seem to be too outlandish compared to some of the other wacky cruises. There’s a kitty-themed scavenger hunt, cat trivia and the opportunity to buy a T-shirt with your cat’s face on it.
Aside from the activities themselves, most people probably spend their time trading photos of each other’s kitties.
High Seas Rally
Dubbed “The World’s Only Biker Rally on a Cruise Ship,” the High Seas Rally offers a space for motorcycle enthusiasts to come together in a unique environment. Since motorcycles can’t travel over water (at least yet), it allows bikers to travel to locations they otherwise might not normally visit.
The cruise was launched by an intrepid couple, Dean and Debbie Anderson, 20 years ago. Dean and Susan (Dean’s new wife) have recently decided to throw in the towel (or, er...keys), so the 2019 sail from November 30-December 7 will be the last.
While the idea of driving your bike in circles around the ship probably sounds thrilling, you unfortunately can’t bring your own bike on board. (Bikes are instead rented at ports of call.) Womp-womp.
Believe it or not, there are a surprising number of psychic cruises that you can choose to go on. Even more surprisingly, most of them feature specific popular psychics like Matt Fraser and Charmaine Wilson. If you’ve got a celebrity psychic crush and an itch to travel, it’s worth checking on their websites to look into upcoming sails.
Each cruise is different, but to give you a flavor of what to expect, you may be able to book private readings with your psychic of choice, participate in beachside meditations, listen in on workshops and group readings, or head out on a shore excursion led by spiritual experts.
Worrying about packing on a few extra calories on your cruise vacation? Take one of the popular running cruises offered by Marathon Expeditions, complete with the clever tagline “We Run the World.”
Recently, they’ve offered cruises to Hawaii; in 2019, they’ll be going to the Caribbean and Alaska. Along the way at each destination (or even aboard the ship, in some cases), runners can get out and stretch their legs at pre-scheduled 5ks, 10ks or half marathons.
Runners can also take advantage of on-ship running clinics put on by big names in the running industry. And if you’re worried that you’re not fast enough, these cruises are open to walkers as well.
Knitting cruises offer a little bit for everyone (as long as you’re interested in knitting, that is). If you’re a beginner, you can take intro classes to learn how to knit scarves with the best of them. If you’re a more seasoned knitter, you can find workshops teaching advanced techniques like brioche knitting or double-sided knitting.
Then, of course, there are cruises that explore the regional variations throughout the knitting world, such as the famous Fair Isle, Norwegian and Irish sweaters. Or maybe you’d rather learn about Latvian mittens.
Finally, any good knitter knows that no trip is complete without a visit to beloved LYSs (Local Yarn Shops), so cruise organizers make sure to hit up these hotspots as well.
You can find knitting cruises offered by several different companies, although Craft Cruises seems to be the most popular option.
Cruise to Totality
A lot of people like chasing the solar eclipse. But one avenue that many would-be eclipse chasers ignore is the ocean.
Since the earth is over 70 percent water, you can boost your odds of seeing this once-in-a-lifetime event dramatically by getting on a ship and cruising over to wherever the eclipse is going to be. That’s what the Cruise to Totality is all about.
The South Pacific cruise, setting sail June 26-July 10, 2019, will head to remote Pitcairn Island, an ideal viewing point to see the total eclipse of the sun. It doesn’t promise that passengers will be able to set foot on the island (logistics and all), but if they’re able to swing it, they’ll drop them ashore. Revelers will get a full three minutes and 16 seconds to bask in the glory of the moon’s shadow.
One of the unique things about this cruise is that it’s aboard the M/S Paul Gauguin, the only French Polynesian ship that offers scuba diving lessons from its very own on-ship marina. So after glimpsing the solar eclipse, passengers can explore coral reefs as well, as the ship travels to almost half a dozen additional tropical destinations.