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Virtually Cruising: How To Enjoy The Cruise Experience During Coronavirus LockDown

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From virtual ship tours to podcasts and amazing cruise TV shows, the world of cruising is at your fingertips…

Just because the world has put a collective pause on travel doesn’t mean to say you can’t continue cruising; all that’s needed is a touch of imagination and an internet connection. With that said, here are some ways you can enjoy the cruise experience all from the comfort of your home during coronavirus lockdown.

Virtually cruising

To combat the temporary travel ban, many cruise lines are starting to rise to the unique challenge of entertaining their loyal guests on land rather than at sea through introducing their own virtual cruise experiences, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Belmond recently launched an exciting series of virtual theatre programmes, live-streamed in from across the world. The series kicked off last week with renowned pianist Joe Stilgoe.

Meanwhile, Crystal Cruises has announced a complete, virtual cruise programme designed to bring entertainment and enrichment into our homes. Crystal@Home encompasses a weekly series of live streaming events, including conversations on Crystal’s social media channels, compelling blog posts and podcast guest lecture series. Highlights of the programme include Sunday cooking with chef Jon Ashton via Facebook Live; Wellness Wednesday, including fitness, wellbeing tips and home workouts; and Sail Away Saturday: inviting Crystal guests to share images and short videos from their Crystal voyages, utilising the hashtag #CrystalFamily. Make sure to mark your now-empty weekly planners.

On Friday I’ll be doing a special show in the shed for Belmond and all their followers on Instagram live. Bring your cocktail shaker… Posted @withregram • @belmond We are excited to launch 'Belmond Invitations'. A series of live-streamed performances to enrich and entertain the mind, body, and soul. . We can't travel at this time but we transport our minds with the power of music. Join us for our first live with @thejoestilgoe in honour of the Roaring 20s 'The Party' that was due to take place @belmondhotelcipriani and @vsoetrain this weekend.

A post shared by Joe Stilgoe (@thejoestilgoe) on Mar 25, 2020 at 11:32am PDT

Take a virtual ship tour

Are you one who likes to explore the ship before booking your cruise? Then now is the time to do some research and take a ship tour, cyber-style. Many cruise lines offer 360 virtual tours through their website. It’s a great way to get a feel for the ship and the style of cruise. For instance, Carnival Cruises provide virtual ship tours for several of their ships and even has an interactive Caribbean cruise on offer. If the cruise line doesn’t offer ship tours, then fear not: there are lots of brilliant ship tours also available on YouTube for you to enjoy during coronavirus lockdown.

Virtual port guides

Virtual port guides are a great way to experience what a port or destination has to offer before parting with your hard-earned cash. Many cruise lines provide destination-focused content on their website and often offer informative resources on YouTube, such as P&O Cruises’ Discover series. One of our recent favourites is the recent ‘5 of the Best Caribbean Shore Experience’.

Try your hand at cocktail-making

What’s your favourite tipple of choice when on a cruise holiday? A British classic like a G&T or something more complex? A perfect accompaniment to an evening enjoying virtual theatre, or watching the sea drift along on a live Norwegian coastal voyage with Hurtigruten, why not try your hand at cocktail-making and mix up your favourite cruise beverage. On that note, Silversea has launched ‘To the curious’ emails featuring cocktail-making classes with their barman Alex. They are also sending out cocktail recipes that will feature on the bar menu for new ship Silver Moon when she launches.

Gin cocktail recipe

Watch (or re-watch) great cruise TV

While there are plenty of movies to inspire your wanderlust, in recent years there has also been a whole host of great cruise-related TV programmes and documentaries. From Channel 5’s Cruising with Jane McDonald (soon to be replaced with new TV host Susan Calman) to Secrets of the World’s Most Expensive Cruise Ships, these award-winning shows provide a unique insight into how the ships of today operate.

Jane McDonald; Cruising with Jane McDonald

Wine and dine

It’s no secret that one of the best (if not, the best) things about cruising is the vast array of exquisite food on offer. Now that we aren’t able to cruise, one of the easiest ways to bring back those cruise ship food memories is by replicating some of the delicious meals we’ve had on board at home, and Viking is allowing us to do just that. Easing our at-home cooking rut, the cruise line has revealed to us a few of its most delicious signature recipes, served on board the outlets of its Scandi-chic ocean and river ships, and the best news is you can make them all at home.

Cooking recipes at home

Get social

Last, but by no means least, it is important to stay social through these difficult times. The cruise communities online are among the most active and many journalists (like yours truly), bloggers and influencers are producing brilliant and engaging content across social media to keep us entertained during these unprecedented times. From daily destination guides to virtual cruises, vlogs and more, you can even take part in a weekly dose of Cruise Trivia with one of our favourite bloggers, Emma Le Teace, or follow us on World of Cruising Facebook and Twitter, and sign up to our newsletter, for the latest cruise news and gossip.