Why binge watch your favorite shows when you can sail the high seas with them? Cruise lines, which for years have offered trips featuring big-time musical acts, are now offering cruises featuring popular TV shows come to life (Note: some of the excursions and programs will cost extra). Here are some of our favorites:
“Game of Thrones”
Holland America takes you to Ned Stark’s home (Photo: AP)
Two cruise lines have eagerly jumped onto the “Game of Thrones” craze, using their stops in Northern Ireland as a “GoT” mecca. Two Holland America ships (Prinsendam and Rotterdam) and one from Crystal Cruises (Serenity) offer visits to two locales that fans of the show may recognize.
Crystal Cruises’ Serenity will take passengers on a “Game of Thrones” tour. Don’t worry; they’ll bypass Blackwater Bay (Photo: Crystal Cruises)
The highlight is Castle Ward, the 18th-century property known to “Game of Thrones” fans as Winterfell, the home of the Stark Family (fortunately, the castle is in much better shape these days than Winterfell). The tour also takes fans to nearby Audley’s Castle, which was used on the show as the site of Robb Stark’s military camp. Both tours offer photo ops and archery. Beheadings are prohibited.
Regent’s Seven Seas offers Downton Abbey fans the ultimate pre-cruise activity (Photo: PBS/RSS)
Before you board the 12-night Aug. 27 cruise from London to Stockholm on board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager, the cruise line is offering a pre-embarkation tour for “Downton Abbey” fans. A luxury coach whisks the passengers to Basildon Park — the country house whose interior doubles as the London townhouse of the show’s Crawley family. The “Downton” tour continues with a three-course lunch with Lady Fiona Carnarvon, who lives in and manages Highclere Castle — the primary set of “Downton Abbey.” Such a “Downton”-licious pre-cruise day is guaranteed to make your journey far more pleasant than the cruise those Crawley family members took.
Former “Top Chef” contestants Kristen Kish, left, and Brooke Williamson will set sail with fans on Celebrity Cruises this summer (Photo: AP)
Celebrity Cruises has teamed up with Bravo to give fans of the reality show “Top Chef” — and fans of eating — a special treat. “Top Chef at Sea” features the show’s “chef’testants”; former “Top Chef” champs Hosea Rosenberg, Paul Qui and Kristen Kish are scheduled to attend upcoming cruises. Passengers can sample some of the chefs’ creations, attend demonstrations, have private cooking classes, and even participate in a Quickfire Challenge.
Celebrity Solstice will host a “Top Chef at Sea” cruise in August (Photo: Celebrity Cruises/Facebook)
The remaining journeys of “Top Chef at Sea” include a seven-night Alaska cruise from Seattle aboard the Celebrity Solstice on Aug.15; a 12-night European cruise from England aboard the Celebrity Infinity on Sept. 19; and a seven-night eastern Caribbean cruise from Miami aboard the Celebrity Reflection on Nov. 15.
Fans of “Star Trek” (and his hilarious social media posts) will see George “Mr. Sulu” Takei live on a transatlantic cruise this summer (Photo: AP)
He’s known for piloting the Starship Enterprise, but George “Mr. Sulu” Takei will (presumably) leave the driving to others when he boards the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic New York-to-England crossing on July 28. Freed from his ship-driving duties for once, Takei will host two presentations geared toward both his “Star Trek” fans and the new fans he’s won from his massive social media following.
Here’s one ship Mr. Sulu won’t be steering (does the Queen Mary 2 even have warp drive?) (Photo: AP)
One presentation — titled “George Takei: Embracing Change” — will touch on his “Star Trek” years, plus his experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II and his work as a gay rights activist. The second presentation — “George Takei in Hollywood” — will highlight his 50-year show business career, including “Star Trek” and his upcoming debut on Broadway.
“Dancing With the Stars”’
Holland America passengers have the chance to go for their own Mirrorball trophy (Photo: Holland America/Facebook)
Hope you like to dance. All 15 of Holland America’s ships are offering “Dancing With the Stars: At Sea,” where passengers can find out what it’s like to compete for the Mirrorball trophy. Passengers can take free dance classes where they can learn the routines seen on the show. Also, as on the show, passengers will have their own dance-off to crown a Cruise Champion — the dancers who get the highest scores from the on-board panels of three judges.
Holland America’s Westerdam could be your “Dancing With the Stars” dance floor (Photo: Holland America)
Some of the journeys will even feature celebrities from the show. (The Aug. 2 seven-day cruise from Seattle is sold out, but cabins are still available for the ms Westerdam’s seven-day eastern Caribbean journey from Fort Lauderdale.) Winners from each cruise through October 2014 will be invited on a free December “Champions Cruise” to compete for the “Dancing With the Stars: At Sea Grand Champion” title — and their own Mirrorball trophy.