Julie Peasgood, a travel expert, TV presenter and Contributing Editor for Cruise International, provides her tips on group cruises, including the best cruise lines for groups and how to book a group cruise.
Q. We are a group of friends wanting to go on holiday together. Are there any cruises that are particularly suitable for group bookings?
Nearly all cruise lines cater for group bookings, but names to look out for are Viking, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Azamara, Saga, Carnival, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and Holland America Line.
These cruise lines stand out as rating particularly well for groups and most offer extra bonuses for groups and large families. Complimentary drinks, onboard credit, free photos, prepaid gratuities and discounts on shore excursions are just some of the possible perks. In some cases there is a free cabin for a group leader if a certain number of cabins are booked.
It’s worth arranging your holiday through a specialist cruise travel agent, as they will be well versed in what discounts or extras you might qualify for and can create a bespoke package. There are also themed cruises for groups if the idea appeals: everything from jazz, comedy and bridge cruises, to arts and crafts, gardening and photography.
Or you can just relish the breathtaking views and fascinating destinations, gourmet dining and onboard entertainment – and the best ever opportunity for your group to enjoy an extended catch-up.
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