Travel is not just about visiting incredible destinations, but immersing yourself in your surroundings. Luxury cruise lines make this easier and more rewarding by bringing ports of call to life through their food, traditions and a few unexpected surprises along the way.

They don’t just hold events, they hold extra-special events – ones that will live on in your fondest memories with just as much prominence as the ports of call themselves. Here are just some of the occasions you can look forward to with a luxury cruise line.

Azamara – AzAmazing Celebrations

Azamara prides itself on delivering a relaxed-yet-luxurious experience, where smaller ports and longer stays come as standard. With many itineraries offering overnight stays, getting to the heart of destinations has never been easier.

The cruise line recently relaunched its trademark AzAmazing Evenings, instead replacing them with AzAmazing Celebrations to commemorate 10 years out on the ocean. These events are designed to enable guests to delve deeper into cultures and traditions worldwide and, with more than 35 new options added to the repertoire, even past guests can prepare to be astounded by what’s on offer.

So, what exactly does an AzAmazing Celebration look like? Think witnessing a performance of La Traviata in the blissful surroundings of Fortezza Vecchia, or listening to traditional music, a glass of sparkling wine in hand, against the backdrop of magnificent Montenegro. These moments will live with you forever, all made possible through AzAmazing Celebrations.

Take a look at the full list of Azamara Cruises 2023 sailings featuring an array of AzAmazing Celebrations. View Here >

Silversea – S.A.L.T Experience in the French Riviera

When Silversea launched its S.A.L.T programme, it promised guests the opportunity to connect with destinations through their food. S.A.L.T – which stands for Sea And Land Taste – is available on Silver Nova, Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, where selected shore excursions benefit from a culinary focus.

There’s no shortage of options to choose from, but one that stands out is the Beauty of the French Riviera with Market and Lunch at Mirazur S.A.L.T. Experience. Available when docked in Monte Carlo and Menton, it includes a visit to the Mitron Bakery of Chef Mauro Colagreco. Guests enjoy a walk through his biodynamic gardens, which is followed by a meal complemented with wine pairings in the chef’s private tasting kitchen.

Not only will you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant that holds three Michelin stars, but it recently earned a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. It’s indulgent, it’s unique and it’s an unmissable shoreside experience you are unlikely to get anywhere else.

Experience the new S.A.L.T excursion with the brand-new Silver Nova seven-night 2023 Mediterranean cruise. View Cruise >

Seabourn – An Evening in Ephesus

There’s something magical about exploring ancient Greek ruins, where you can almost imagine yourself following in the footsteps of notable characters from centuries ago. Not only does Seabourn transport you to the intriguing site at Ephesus, but invites you to experience it in a way that’s beyond your wildest imagination.

An Evening in Ephesus sees Seabourn guests visit after the crowds have dispersed, where, on arrival, you will stroll along the ancient Roman road, marked with centurion guards who will lead the way to your exquisite location.

This extra-special event includes a private cocktail party, complete with wine, cocktails and canapes, as music from a live chamber orchestra floats through the air. All this is with the compliments of the luxury cruise line, which has become renowned for bringing the mystical ruins to life in the most extraordinary manner.

Indulge in An Evening in Ephesus with Seabourn Encore’s seven-night 2024 Greek Isles and Ephesus sailing. View Cruise >

Regent – Free Land Programmes

Whilst cruising is undoubtedly one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to travel the world, there are occasions when delving deeper into a destination may involve extending your time ashore. Regent Seven Seas Cruises provides a host of included Land Programmes on its voyages, allowing you to do just that.

The three-night pre- or post-cruise stays enable you to make the most of your holiday, especially when travelling to those far-flung destinations. Some of the most iconic land programmes can be found in the South African city of Cape Town. Day-by-day itineraries see guests sampling extraordinary wines and exquisite cuisine in nearby winelands, enjoying breathtaking views from atop Table Mountain, observing colonies of African penguins at Boulders Beach, and taking part in a thrilling game drive to be captivated by Africa’s iconic wildlife such as elephants and lions.

What’s more, these land programmes are available on all suite categories, and while they cannot be combined with other special offers, present the perfect chance to start (or continue) your journey in complete luxury.

Choose one of three pre- or post-cruise Cape Town land programmes with this brand-new Seven Seas Splendor® 2024 South Africa voyage. View Cruise >

Cunard – Gala Evenings

A Cunard cruise is steeped in tradition, and one of those traditions is the Gala Evening. Guests receive an invitation delivered directly to their stateroom, in which they are invited to don their finery and soak up the atmosphere as their ship is transformed with beautiful decorations for one night of their cruise.

Gala Evenings fall into one of four categories – Black and White, Red and Gold, Masquerade or Roaring 20s – and are held at least once on voyages of three nights or more. The theme is announced well in advance so guests can plan and pack their outfits appropriately.

The sense of occasion is quite incredible throughout the Cunard ship; musicians entertain long into the night, as signature menus are served in the various dining venues. Extra-special cocktails are expertly mixed in the bars on board, and guests will also receive a complimentary drink with their evening meal.

Experience it for yourself on Cunard’s brand-new Queen Anne 2024 14-night no-fly Mediterranean voyage. View Cruise >