With all of the high-quality theater and live entertainment on cruises these days, it's no surprise that a cruise ship makes for an ideal destination for a Broadway-centric vacation. What could be more fun than being surrounded by other Broadway fans on a cruise to an exotic destination with some of the stars themselves?
From famous hosts, such as Alan Cumming, to intimate private theater shows and onboard acting lessons, a Broadway theme cruise lets musical fans geek out on their favorite style of entertainment. Here are the Broadway cruises you can book in 2021 and beyond.
Seth's Big Fat Broadway Vacations organizes a number of Broadway-themed cruises sailing to destinations all over the world each year. Every cruise is hosted by Seth Rudetsky, a Broadway performer himself, and features onboard performances by Broadway stars, group shore excursions, autograph sessions, group dinners, master classes, quiz and radio shows, and even opportunities to perform yourself. Sailings may include shore excursions, prepaid gratuities, beverage packages, unlimited internet, specialty dining and/or onboard credit, depending on ship and sail date.
On the schedule for 2022 is the Transatlantic Broadway cruise on board Cunard's Queen Mary 2, connecting the theatrical capitals of New York City and London. Throughout 2023, Seth's offerings include the Caribbean-flavored Isles of Joy on board Regent's Seven Seas Splendor, Alaska's Dawes Glacier on Celebrity Solstice and Spanish Magic on Seabourn Ovation.
Organized by theme cruise expert Sixthman, The Broadway Cruise was set to debut in 2020, but has been moved to 2023 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It is set to feature Tony Award-winning hosts Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming and Laura Benanti, as well as exclusive performances by various Broadway performers, including Lena Hall, Joshua Henry and Sierra Boggess.
Passengers can attend both intimate shows and main stage events throughout the cruise and join activities, such as acting workshops and classes, meet and greets, sing-alongs, karaoke and panel discussions. Plus, the cruise sails from New York on board Norwegian Gem, so you can make plans to see an actual Broadway show before or after your cruise.
Each year, Playbill Travel organizes a collection of intimate weeklong Broadway theme cruises featuring appearances by Broadway stars themselves. The sailings focus on providing fans with opportunities to get up close and personal with stars, such as Audra McDonald, Santino Fontana, Christopher Fitzgerald and Nikki M. James. In addition to exclusive meet and greets, Q&As and nightly performances, passengers will also get to attend private parties and shore excursions with the Broadway performers.
Upcoming cruises include 2022's Broadway on the Mediterranean in September on board Silversea's Silver Dawn, and two sailings in 2023: Broadway Tulips & Chocolate in April, and Broadway in Alaska in July.
A few mainstream cruise lines have brought abridged versions of major Broadway musicals onboard their ships for real theater at sea.
Norwegian Cruise Line currently features "Kinky Boots" on Norwegian Encore, "Six" on Norwegian Bliss and "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" on Norwegian Epic. "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" will debut on the line's newest ship, Norwegian Prima.
Royal Caribbean is also an excellent option when it comes to Broadway shows on the high seas. The line features Tony award-winning shows, such as "Mamma Mia," "We Will Rock You," "Cats," "Grease," "Hairspray," as well as "Saturday Night Fever," depending on ship, sail date and itinerary.