Experiencing a Different Culture While Cruising
Many people cruise because it’s such as relaxing vacation. You can get on board, unpack, find a deck chair, and not worry about finding places to sleep, eat or play – it’s all right there on the ship. But, while a cruise can wrap you in insulating comfort and ease, it can also offer an exciting opportunity to learn about cultures different from your own.
Sometimes, just stepping onto the ship provides an instant a cultural immersion. For example, MSC Cruises has received awards for the international ambiance on its ships, which is reflected in the cuisine, entertainment, crew and décor.
Almost anywhere you sail, shore excursions provide an opportunity to experience local culture with some or all of your senses. Moving to the rhythm of samba during a dance lesson in Brazil, listening to reggae in the Caribbean, learning to prepare fragrant paella in Spain, or walking the Chilkoot Trail toward the gold fields of the Klondike can give you the thrilling feeling of belonging to another place or time.
In addition to shore excursions, some cruise lines bring cultural immersion activities on board. Expert speakers, displays of artifacts, naturalist presentations and artisan demonstrations can all prepare you to more fully understand and enjoy what you experience on shore.
Sometimes, a more authentic cultural experience is possible when you visit a destination that’s a little bit off the usual path for cruise ships. For example, a cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean can take you to Turkey, Cyprus or Egypt, where development has not overtaken indigenous culture. Another option is a river cruise in Europe, South America or Asia. River cruise ships are able to reach inland cities and towns that are less known to tourists and fully rooted in their traditional cultures.
For more ideas about how to cruise to a cultural experience that you’ll treasure, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
You can read more about shore excursions for cultural experiences here.