Stay at Home, Holiday at Home
The suspension of cruises around the world, a necessary step to aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19, left many to-be-passengers with a cruise-shaped hole in their years’ itinerary. In response to this, and as light relief in a time filled with hard-to-ingest news, many cruise lines are utilizing new technologies in an attempt to provide the cruise experience while the world is required to stay at home. Take a look at what some cruise lines are doing to keep the cruise community entertained below…
Lindblad Expeditions virtual cruises
While we can’t be out exploring the world, experienced expedition cruise line Lindblad has replaced the real thing with Virtual Expeditions. The Daily Program for these ‘expeditions’ includes live concerts from world musicians; a virtual slideshow, with submissions from guests; videos from the Lindblad archives as the day’s ‘activity’; an ‘Ahhhhh Moment’ with more video content; photography tips from National Geographic photographers; and recipes for expedition-themed cocktails. These feature the ‘Darwin Caipirinha’, a Galapagos twist on the famous Brazilian drink; and the ‘Arctic Chill’, a vodka cocktail on ice.
Get involved in a virtual expedition here
Crystal Cruises virtual cruise experience Crystal@Home
Crystal Cruises are bringing the cruise to the cruiser at home with a weekly virtual voyage ‘into the World of Crystal’. Using social media to keep Crystal fans connected with the #CrystalFamily hashtag, the weekly itineraries include destination immersion, culinary treats, entertainment, and wellbeing engagements, with the highlight changing every day:
- Sunday Cooking with Jon Ashton: Crystal culinary partner Jon Ashton livestreams cooking demos of meals inspired by Crystal guests’ favourite dishes, on the Crystal Facebook page, every Sunday at 3pm EST
- Storyteller Monday: every Monday, a podcast is released of interviews with celebrities, authors, and world affairs experts who have travelled aboard a Crystal cruise
- Tuesday Pantry Prep: on Tuesdays, the ingredient list and recipe needed for Sunday Cooking with Jon Ashton is sent via email, allowing participants ample time to source the food needed – whilst encouraging shoppers to order online or practice social distancing
- Wellness Wednesday: Workouts, fitness and wellbeing tips are shared every Wednesday via Crystal’s Facebook page
- Thirsty Thursday: on Thursdays, the Crystal Insider blog posts cocktails recipes, straight from the onboard bartenders
- Friday Nights at The Galaxy: every Friday at 6pm EST, a past performance from entertainers across the Crystal fleet is posted on the Crystal Facebook page
- Sail Away Saturday: on Saturdays, cruisers are encouraged to share images and videos from their time on board a Crystal Cruise using the hashtag #CrystalFamily
As well as this, Crystal change the Destination of the Week every week, highlighting destinations around the world visited by their fleet, with details about the ports and imagery to ‘take [travellers] on a digital journey’.
Check out Crystal@Home here
Royal Caribbean Virtual of the Seas
Currently on its second voyage, Royal Caribbean’s Virtual of the Seas is a digitally powered virtual cruise set up by Royal Caribbean Cruise Director Abe Hughes. Each day on board the ‘ship’, an itinerary is released on Facebook named ‘Cruise Compass’. On Day 2 (31st March) of the current cruise, Cruise Compass featured a four part itinerary, including a morning puzzle; a ‘phone a friend’ challenge; a Happy Hour Trivia, streamed live on Facebook; and the livestreamed Late Night/Early Morning Show with Abe Hughes. Cruise Compass on Day 2 also featured a ‘did you know?’ section, and a Family Corner, with drawings completed from the previous days’ itinerary.
To keep cruisers entertained online, Cruise Compass changes every day – Day 3 (1st April) included a beach day photo challenge, where participants would send in their best beach pictures with the hashtag #VirtualoftheSeas; and a souvenir scavenger hunt, where past cruisers would send in photos of their best vacation souvenirs – these included a collection of purple t-shirts, model ships, and large assortments of fridge magnets.
Take part in the fun here
While no match for the real thing, these virtual cruises are exploring almost untrodden ground in hospitality – utilising social media, technology, and the empty schedules of regular cruisers to test new methods of engaging audiences. Post-outbreak, it is possible that we will see some of these innovations finding their way into the itineraries of real cruises – we’ll have to wait and see!
Have you been on any virtual cruises? Get in touch and tell us about it!