Courses and Cruises: Courses To Expand Your Knowledge On The Water 

— Learn something new while at sea!

Taking a trip on a cruise ship can be a memorable experience, but it’s even more remarkable when you can experience the world’s beauty while allowing your brain to grow. 

Many cruise lines offer unique courses such as history lectures, culinary classes, and scuba diving certification courses. It allows many travelers to explore what they are truly passionate about while having fun. 

Read on to learn more about how you can learn something new on your trip. 

History Classes 

History class| Photo: Jose Luis Rodriguez

Viking Cruises: 

Viking Cruises offers insightful, in-depth lectures on every destination visited through its Resident Historian program. Whether you are journeying through Scandinavia or on your way to discover everything Australia and New Zealand have to offer, these historians have you covered on everything you need to know about the past to connect you to the present. 

Historians will lecture on the history of the region you are traveling to and the niche historical aspects that make your destination all the more special. The historian may lead discussions on art and music associated with the destination or various points in the world history of that region.

With Viking’s Northern European excursion, for example, while sailing on the Viking’s Venus ship, travelers can attend lectures in a large or small group setting on the History of Scandinavia, the History of Germany, and the history of the Vikings. 

Princess Cruises:

On its many excursions, Princess Cruises offers many opportunities for travelers of all ages to engage in an educational experience. While traveling on the line’s seven vessels, passengers can participate in Brazil’s carnival, Germany’s Oktoberfest, or Sweden’s midsummer’s festival. 

Princess Cruises has destination-themed activities such as chatting it up with lumberjacks in Alaska, hula dancing lessons in Hawaii, or street pan drum lessons in the Caribbean. The line also has opportunities for travelers to partake in multimedia historical presentations by experts on the traveled destination.

Holland America Line:

Holland America Line offers a program called “ Explorations Central,” which allows passengers to learn more about their travel destination. While on either one of its 11 ships, passengers will engage with experts and local insiders to deepen their understanding of where they are traveling. 

Cooking Classes 

Cooking| Photo: Maarten Van Den Heuvel

Viking Cruises:

Viking Cruises has its signature cooking class, The Kitchen Table, available on every cruise ship. On the water, travelers will learn from world-class chefs about cooking dishes that tie into their destination. When the boat has pulled into port, travelers will pick out ingredients at local markets and prepare regional dishes.

Celebrity Cruises:

Celebrity Cruises Culinary-focused voyages allow travelers to expand their palate while sailing the world’s waters. The journey comes complete with dining festivities and exquisite menus crafted by Celebrity Cruises Global Culinary Brand Ambassador Daniel Boulud. 

Oceania Cruises:

Many cooking classes are available aboard Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina vessels. In the “Ancient Cuisines Course,” learn the craft of tagine cooking from the Arab world, or try cooking fish in the “If It Swims” course. Oceania offers seven courses for travelers from far and wide to come and learn the art of cooking.

Holland America Line:

Holland America Line’s Culinary voyages allow travelers to learn to slice and dice their way to cooking supremacy. Travelers can perfect their skills at live cooking demonstrations, attend coffee chats or attend chief-hosted dinners to taste one-of-a-kind dishes. 

Scuba Diving Certification Classes and Water Activities 

Scuba diving| Photo: Aviv Perets

Royal Caribbean:

Royal Caribbean Group is the first to offer scuba diving certification courses in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), to travelers aboard its 13 vessels. 

The scuba certification classes offered include: Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas.

Passengers can go on a guided scuba adventure with a certified scuba instructor on their cruise. On their dive, they will be exposed to beautiful coral forests and explore history’s most intriguing shipwrecks. 

PADI scuba certification courses offer a beginner class called “ PADI New to Dive Open Water Dive Course,” as well as small group classes for families and more advanced courses such as “Dive Experienced.” 

Travelers can earn their PADI scuba certification within the span of their cruise. Each of the two pool sessions will take three hours long. Wetsuits are available for $10 at the PADI Dive Shop with each session one chosen to do. Wetsuits can be rented or purchased to own. 

Royal Caribbean Group offers snorkeling adventures to passengers anxious to explore the world below the waves. Passengers can swim with sea turtles and manta rays and over breathtaking ocean plant life. 

Viking Cruises: 

On Viking Cruises’ “ Classic Panama Canal Passage” voyage, travelers have the opportunity to explore the mysteries and wonders of Belize’s Great Blue Hole. With Viking’s “ Grand Hawaii and Polynesia” voyage, passengers can embark on a snorkeling excursion in Bora Bora’s deep blue waters.

Taking a trip in one of Viking’s submarines will expose travelers to the depth and the beauty of the underwater world. The submarines accommodate a maximum of six passengers and have a  270 degree spherical windows so that the most stunning views of ocean life can be discovered.

Cruises are a time to relax and often reconnect with the people that matter most to you. But it can also be a time to discover something new about yourself and your passions, wherever you are in the world. 

By Nick Pallotto

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