2014 is an amazing year for sport. In Britain we loved 2012, mainly because of the success of the London Olympics and the winning mentality that was maintained throughout the year by Brits, including Chelsea’s victory in the Champions League and the stunning comeback by the European Ryder Cup team to grab victory from the jaws of defeat.
However 2014 looks like it may even eclipse that, with many non-annual events occurring to give a packed calendar that could create one of the best years of sport we’ve ever seen. And what better way to see them all then by booking yourself on the ultimate sporting cruise? Here we’ve detailed the best and biggest sporting events of 2014 that are accessible either directly via a cruise ship or within easy enough reach for an excursion, so that you can plan the dream holiday to take as much (or as little) of it in.
You have to start in the southern hemisphere in January with a trip to Australia. Not only can you enjoy the first tennis major of the season with the Australian Open, but it’s the final test of the Ashes in cricket, taking place in Sydney, so you can see the juggernauts of England and Australia battling to get their hands on the famous Ashes urn trophy. Sail to Sydney for the test before moving onto Melbourne for the tennis, with many cruises around Christmas 2013 and into January that include either or both ports.
February normally revolves around one event in world sport, and that’s the Super Bowl. Cruise to New York and travel to New Jersey’s Met Life Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII. However in 2014 you have a choice – it’s Super Bowl or both the Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics. If you fancy this snowy spectacle instead of American Football then get yourself on a cruise either to Russia, where the games are held, or to Istanbul which is the nearest major port to Sochi itself.
However you’ll want to sail back across the Atlantic for May, with the French Open tennis in Paris and the (proper) football Champions League final in Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz.
And if you like football then there’s only one place to be in June. Get back to the western side of the Atlantic and cruise up to Rio de Janeiro for the biggest football party around, the World Cup. It’s not just Rio but you can visit Sao Paulo, head up the Amazon to Manaus, or travel inland from the coast to Brasilia.
July is all about Britain, with three major events taking place – Wimbledon Tennis, the British Open in Golf at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which will no doubt, following the feel-good factor of London 2012, be one of the most popular Commonwealth Games ever held.
Hang around in Britain for the start of the next football season in August, and then it’s Ryder Cup time. After the most incredible comeback in Ryder Cup history in 2012, the 2014 Ryder Cup is sure to be an epic. A British Isles cruise will get you close to Auchterarder in Scotland, where the event is being held.
In terms of mainstream sports, that’s pretty much it for big events for the year. Come December however and you’ve the chance to wind down with a nice genteel, relaxed affair. Something like the World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, where you can take it easy after an incredible year of sport surrounded by upmarket, refined gentlemen and ladies.
If you aren’t a fan of the darts, you won’t get the sarcasm there, but get yourself along – it’s wild but it’s one of the most fun events on the entire sporting calendar.
Every single one of these events is reachable by a cruise ship, and would make the perfect present for a sports fan (even if you’re that fan and you want to treat yourself). You can combine itineraries to create the ultimate sporting cruise, taking your pick from these amazing events.
By Ian Lewis
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