Cruise lines offer uplifting virtual experiences during coronavirus pandemic
By Ruby Norris | 24 Jun 2020
From Viking.TV to Royal Caribbean’s Virtual of the Seas, discover the cruise lines offering virtual experiences to keep spirits up during the coronavirus pandemic.
While we may be confined to our houses for the time being, these cruise lines are doing their best to bring some of the far corners of the world to the four corners of our living rooms with a range of virtual experiences.
It’s no secret the travel industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and many of us have had to press pause on our dream cruise. While we’ve been consoling ourselves by planning our first adventure for when this is all over (check our pick of the top cruises for 2021), cruise lines have been busy coming up with exciting ways to keep spirits up during this challenging time.
Check out the different virtual experiences from cruise lines hoping to provide a little light relief from the stress of the Covid-19 crisis.
Viking Cruises: Viking.TV
Viking has announced the official launch of Viking.TV, a new digital platform designed to provide enriching cultural content and livestreaming video experiences from around the world. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President Karine Hagen in a video for current and past Viking guests, posted on the homepage of Viking.TV.
“Right now, we are all staying at home instead of travelling together, but that does not have to mean that the only thing we can do is watch the news,” said Karine.
“My father, Torstein Hagen, and I felt that if we cannot for the time being bring our guests to the world, let’s bring the world to our guests.
“Viking.TV is a way for us to continue exploring the world in comfort—from the comfort of our homes. And as soon as actual travel is less complicated again, we are ready to welcome you onboard.”
Each day will follow a different theme and the schedule of the daily participants will be announced every Sunday. Viewers can expect to tune into Museum Mondays, Resident Historian Tuesdays, Wednesdays With Music, Guest Speaker Thursdays, Fridays at Home at Highclere Castle (the real life Downton Abbey) and Wellness Weekends.
Check out what’s on the Viking.TV schedule this week.
Royal Caribbean: Virtual of the Seas
Cruise director Abe Hughes has launched an entirely virtual Royal Caribbean cruise. The Virtual of the Seas, whose second voyage set sail (virtually) on 30th March includes a full program of daily activities. This included trivia quizzes, Facebook Live video streams and a Social Media Sail Away, where guests are encouraged to share pictures of their at-home cocktails using the hashtag #VirtualoftheSeas.
All aboard! We’re craving a change of scenery and are embarking on a virtual cruise. Join Abe Hughes starting tomorrow as he takes over for the week. Because when you can’t actually travel the next best thing is to go virtual from the comfort of your couch. #VirtualoftheSeas pic.twitter.com/t6Q6utGxPY
— Royal Caribbean (@RoyalCaribbean) March 30, 2020
Princess Cruises: Princess at Home
To ensure Princess Cruises’ guests are able to stay regularly connected with their best-loved ships, the cruise line has launched Princess at Home. Guests will have the opportunity to hear from the Princess Cruise crew and officers, both at home and at sea.
During Princess Cruises’ global pause in operations, guests can hear insider tips from destination experts; enjoy virtual tours of world-famous sites such as Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska and the Sydney Opera House; try their hand at making some of their favourite Princess dishes at home, including the best pizza at sea; be entertained by guest magicians and musicians; and learn what Princess Cruises is doing to give guests peace of mind and ensure they cruise with confidence.
You can tune into Princess at Home via the Princes Cruises YouTube channel.
Crystal Cruises: Crystal@Home
From destination immersion to culinary, entertainment and wellbeing engagements, the Crystal@Home weekly virtual voyage uses social media to keep us all connected.
There’s Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton live on the Facebook page, a podcast dedicated to stories from experts, celebrities, authors and others who have traveled aboard Crystal Cruises on Mondays, and on Saturdays guests are invited to share images and short videos from their own Crystal voyages on social media.
Our personal favourite, however, is the Thirsty Thursday feature on the Crystal Insider blog, providing popular and creative cocktail recipes for those much-needed at-home happy hours.
Holland America Line: HAL@Home
Holland America Line are aiming to focus on the best aspects of their premium cruises and are keen to bring elements of the HAL experience into traveller’s own living rooms. From the music you’d usually hear on board to the cuisine and tips from their resident wine experts, the HAL@Home channel covers it all.
The cruise line recently sent out an exclusive performance from one of their Lincoln Center Stage musicians – part of the live ‘Music Walk’ offering – to loyal HAL customers.
The video was accompanied by a message from the team at Holland America Line:
“While we dream of future travels, we would like to bring the Holland America Line experience to you with our HAL@HOME series.
Lincoln Center Stage, part of the Music Walk® venues on many of our ships, offers outstanding chamber music, from classical to contemporary, featuring world-class performers. Today, enjoy this special video from Quiele Guo on his cello, with an innovative arrangement of a piece by British composer Edward Elgar.”
Holland America Line’s Virtual Voyage
As part of the HAL@Home programme, Holland America Line has launched it’s Virtual Voyage across the brand’s social channels.
Join the HAL team from 22 to 27 June on a virtual tour to Alaska following the seven-day itinerary on Koningsdam.
Activities include an introduction to Koningsdam, an Alaska trivia session, Alaska beer tasting, and even a grilled cheese demo with Beecher’s Cheese! Each day HAL will post a “When & Where” for the following day so viewers know what to expect.
You can also head over to our YouTube channel, where you’ll find exclusive content from onboard some of our favourite ships, as well as celebrity interviews and virtual tours.