It could well be that your cruise is your ‘big event’ of the year. After all, it’s a time to forget about everything, eat (and drink) what you want and perhaps cross off some of your bucket-list must-sees. However, with cruises becoming ever more popular and the range of themed cruises increasing year-on-year, it’s possible to combine your special interest, or indeed a major world event with your cruise to truly create a holiday of a lifetime. Here’s a look at some of the biggest annual events to see on a cruise.
The Rio Carnival
The biggest party in the world and one of the biggest annual events to see on a cruise has naturally got to be considered as one of the biggest annual events to see on a cruise. Lasting for an endurance-testing five days, it’s the most famous carnival in the world and dates all the way back to 1823. Around 90,000 people typically attend this riot of colour which takes place in February. The dates differ depending on when Easter falls, but before Lent begins, this is a chance for everyone to really let go. And they do. A number of cruise lines have a history of offering voyages which visit Brazil’s party capital during the time of the carnival, including Holland America Line and Carnival Cruises.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup
There is of course, another little event taking place this year in Brazil. Certainly, the World Cup is one of the biggest annual events to see on a cruise of the sporting kind. Now, it’s not typical for cruise lines to offer cruises to South America in the height of summer. The season doesn’t work that way. However, football fans will be delighted to know that MSC Cruises is offering a brace of special World Cup cruises this year. The first departs from Miami on May 24, exploring the Caribbean and Brazilian coast before arriving in Rio in time for the World Cup. The second one departs on July 14 from Rio and is ideal if you’ve decided you want to watch the World Cup in Brazil the head of on a celebratory (or, let’s face it commiseration) cruise afterwards.
The Monaco Grand Prix
The world’s most star-studded and glamorous motor racing event takes place in the streets of Monaco itself, making it one of the most exciting and distinctive events in Formula One. Since it began in 1929, it’s continued to attract both motor racing’s finest talent and all manner of VIPs, celebrities eager to be on camera and part of the atmosphere. It’s the done thing to arrive by luxury yacht and whenever you visit capital Monte Carlo, the array of multi-million dollar yachts in the harbour is a vital part of the experience. As you may have guessed, it’s mainly the luxury cruise lines which include a stop at Monaco on their itineraries. Crystal Cruises, Silversea and Windstar Cruises all offer opulent voyages during the time of the race.
The Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games come to British shores this year, with Glasgow as the host city. After team GB’s success in the 2012 Olympics, there’s sure to be great interest in the games with lots of support for our home teams. (The Commonwealth is different, in that there are teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland taking part). There are a number of companies, including Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, who offer cruises from the port of Greenock, which serves the city of Glasgow and a number of others which include it as a port of call, too. Princess Cruises’ British Isles cruise is one such voyage which docks in Greenock during the Commonwealth Games.
The US Open
One of tennis’ most important events, this iconic Grand Slam is one of the four majors and one of the world’s oldest tennis events. Its early incarnation, the US National Championship, was first held in 1881 and it’s traditionally always held in the classic transatlantic cruise destination of New York, in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. A cruise and stay in New York before your cruise, when you’ll have the chance to enjoy some of the open before setting sail or indeed a cruise which gets you there in time for the start would be just the thing to make one of the world’s most exciting sporting events even more enjoyable.
By Simon Brotherton