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The fun of learning – Enrichment Programs

Wooden art palette with a brush on white background

This week’s article continues my insights from the Luxury travel summit that I attended weekend before last, and one of my favorite parts of cruising…

Enrichment on Luxury Cruises

Continuing the theme of luxury from my attendance at the Luxury Travel Summit the weekend before last, one of the things that I really love about the luxury cruise lines is their high level of enrichment activities.

I will confess right now that as a little kid I did like to play school on the weekends, so I guess maybe that’s one reason the various options for enrichment attract me. But the offerings from the high-end cruise lines feature fascinating speakers, cooking lessons, art classes, and computer instruction.

The speakers, who typically offer a number of discussions during the course of the cruise, range from well-known names to folks you’ve never heard off with intriguing backgrounds. Next year, Seaborne has cruises featuring such personalities as astronaut Captain Scott Kelly, and Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs. Silversea speakers include Saroo Brierley, the subject of the movie Lion released in 2016 with Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, and Steve McCurry, iconic contemporary photographer.

The speakers that come on board these cruises provide interesting and engaging talks and offer a different perspective while you are traveling the world and seeing amazing places.

Beyond speakers, there are a variety of other classes to appeal across the cruising passengers. A few years ago, when I sailed on a Crystal cruise, they had a program in conjunction with USC Filmmaking School where you could learn how to make movies on your iPad. Now fact that I didn’t have an iPad at the time really didn’t matter. I got so jazzed about the opportunity to learn about using my pictures to make movies, I went out and bought an iPad before the cruise so I could take the course.

The filmmaking course really has to be on a cruise with a number of sea days because it’s actually four sessions over the course of the cruise, but they were so much fun and so informative. The instructors had impressive filmmaking backgrounds even though they were teaching us just a fun and easy way to make movies. On a previous cruise on Oceania, I took a course on Adobe Photoshop – the plain fact is that in regular life I don’t have time to do things like that, and for a nerd like me, getting to take some of these creative software courses really is a treat. My husband also enjoyed the Crystal Cruise, as we had a speaker who was a key member of the Apollo engineering team and he spoke at a very deep level in regard to the activities at NASA at the time and provided great insights during his talks.

There are so many rich opportunities to learn while traveling. Besides speakers, there are sessions focused on culinary endeavors, like the cruise on Oceania featuring Sara Moulton, famous on the Food Network and Julia Child’s protegee. Crystal has a program called Odyssey Art at Sea, offering art instruction during some cruises; Crystal also provides a PGA professional on each of their sailings, so the golfers get their share of enrichment.

Whether there’s a particular personality that you follow and you’d like to sail with, or if you just happen to be on a cruise and notice the schedule of speakers, taking advantage of the enrichment opportunities offered is another way to enhance the value of your trip and enjoy your travels more fully.