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A cruise and stay package caters to the best of both holiday worlds. You can have all of the benefits of a cruise, including enjoying the ship’s amenities and touring several destinations. In addition, you get to have a fabulous holiday or mini-break trailed onto the beginning or end of the trip.
Cruise and stay holidays are excellent for anyone who desires to spend more than just a single day in a particular destination. To those who want time to encounter the local nightlife, this is the kind of cruise for you. This is also a great opportunity for first-time cruisers, who don’t want to carry luggage with them when exploring.
Several cruise lines offer cruise and stay (or stay and cruise) opportunities. This includes big names like Royal Caribbean International, P&O Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line; as well as small-ship brands like Silversea, Regent Seven Seas, and expedition lines like Hurtigruten.
While lots of cruise lines extend add-on hotel stays, some also grant land programs, which are more like overnight (or several nights) excursions.
The most common pre or post-cruise stay options are bolt-on beach or city breaks that are in or close to the embarkation or disembarkation port for convenience. However, cruise lines and tour companies are becoming more creative in their offerings as the trend for cruise and stay evolves. It’s now very easy to book or set your cruise holiday, from an overnight rail tour to stay in an ice hotel.
Whether you fancy the comfort of an off-the-peg cruise and stay package or crave the ultimate freedom of making your arrangements, choosing such a holiday trip means you’ll experience all the benefits of a cruise and a hotel stay.
Where are the Most Popular Places for Cruise and Stay?
The Catalan capital is the most visited town in Spain, and for a great reason. It does possess it all, including grand architecture, a quaint beach, great shopping, invigorating nightlife, and a climatic Gothic Quarter. All of this makes Barcelona an excellent place for a city or beach break when traveling on a Mediterranean or Canary Island cruise.
You can have this experience through Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Cunard.
Transatlantic cruises to New York usually incorporate a hotel stay in the city. There’s no reason that you’re going to start the seven-day crossing and not stay to traverse the Big Apple when you get there!
Cunard is the queen of Southampton to NYC cruises and will organize a stay in one of their chosen New York hotels… Niagara Falls is a favorite add-on to the famous transatlantic cruise, and Cunard has a 12-night package prepared that includes three nights in New York, the AMTRAK rail journey to New York, and two nights in Niagara Falls.
For those who fancy flying, a New York mini-break matches well with a cruise of the southern Caribbean. Royal Caribbean has prepared a 14-night cruise from Cape Liberty (New York) that carries its passengers to Bermuda, Curacao, Aruba, Cozumel, and more.
A seven-night stay in Orlando is suitable for families and thrill-seekers looking to experience the theme parks and waterparks. The best part? They are an hour away from the port.
Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line are four big lines that operate cruises from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean islands. They also have stops in the Bahamas while some lines have their own private islands here.
Miami is another Florida pick for Caribbean cruises and stays holidays. All the big lines offer Caribbean or Bahamas voyages from Miami. They also have a mini-break in this beachfront cruise capital.
If you are from the U.K., though, keep in mind that flight conditions will require you to factor in a pre-cruise stay somewhere in the Miami area. That’s because you won’t get to your ship on the same day.
Alternatively, some favor spending their extra few days unwinding on the Caribbean islands. Barbados is one of the major departure ports for Caribbean cruises and the perfect place to spend a few days chilling out after an outbound flight.
Virgin is just one tour company with the fly, cruise, and stay Barbados packages, allowing a variety of Caribbean cruise ship alternatives. This includes Carnival family-friendly mega-ships and Star Clipper’s sailboats and luxury Silversea ships.
Those sailing the Middle East are going to be invited for a stay in Dubai. This is where record-breaking sights, attractions, shopping and architecture, and luxurious white sand beaches offer the most excellent of both city and beach vibes.
P&O Cruises offers various Middle Eastern cruise routes, with the opportunity to include hotel stays in Dubai. They also have a pre or post-cruise Arabian Treasures Tour, including a selection of the city’s most beloved experiences.
Smaller luxury lines like Azamara, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea also have Middle Eastern cruises. All of them offer extended add-on hotel stays and land journeys.
Exploring Sydney will take more than a day. As such, P&O Cruises has a 25-night Sydney to Singapore cruise. It is an excellent choice for those who want to consolidate traveling to Australia and Asia.
This cruise also gives you the chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Vietnam. You can also have hotel stays in Sydney and Singapore.
Another great opportunity for those aspiring to explore Australia is the Princess Cruise Tour program, which highlights holidays that are half cruise and half guided land tour. This is perfect for viewing those key in-land attractions. The 18-day Ultimate Australia course traverses Sydney, Ayers Rock, Darwin, and Port Douglas, before embarking on the ship to sail to Tasmania and New Zealand.
Best Cruise Lines for Cruise and Stay Packages
Package holidays with combinations of accommodation, transfers, flights, and meals have been around for years, and cruise and stay packages are just normal progression.
It involves having a pre or post-cruise hotel stay included in your cruise and flights. Sometimes the primary hotel bed-and-breakfast offering is topped up with a few complimentary services like sightseeing tours.
The number of hotel nights can range from just one night before your cruise to a couple of nights in a port city. Doing so ensures that you won’t miss your ship or that you can explore your port city without a rush.
The stay will be in cruise company’s owned resorts for most of the time, letting you explore its outstanding countryside or just take it easy at a lovely beach.
Royal Caribbean has attractive packages, which include Western Mediterranean, Eastern Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates. You can set your journey on its website or by speaking to one of its agents. Another option is to provide a code that appears when you click to play on the website.
Seven-night Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona cover a three-night half-board stay at PortAventura Hotel Gold River in Salou. This provides limitless access to the Port Aventura theme park.
Before the cruise ends, the ship will make a stop at the gorgeous Spanish island of Majorca, Marseille in the south of France, and Italy’s La Spezia and Civitavecchia — for trips to Florence or Pisa and Rome — plus a day in the beautiful city of Naples.
Or, if you prefer a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, you can add a stay in Orlando, room only, with endless access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.
As your six-night Holiday Inn stay near Universal ends, you’ll finally cruise from Port Canaveral to Philipsburg in St. Maarten and in San Juan in Puerto Rico, where you’ll be spending your whole day at CocoCay in the Bahamas. Then you’ll arrive back in Florida as the cruise ends, flying to the UK from Orlando.
Middle East voyages from Dubai have packages that incorporate seven-night sailings encompassing the United Arab Emirates. This is succeeded by a two-night half-board stop at Atlantis, The Palm, furnishing you extensive access to the Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers Aquarium.
During this cruise, you make a stop at Doha and Bahrain, and then spend the whole day at the Sir Bani Yas beach resort, followed by a stop in Abu Dhabi, before sailing back to Dubai for your hotel stay and flight home.
Princess has sail tour packages in America, Europe, Asia, and South America that you can set on its website, and these serve to be from four to eight nights long, which depends on the destination.
Its 11-night Europe’s Imperial Treasures cruise can lead to an eight-day journey of continental capitals. This includes Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, before departing Copenhagen for a perfect Baltic itinerary.
From there, you can spend a day in Oslo, Norway, and two days in St. Petersburg to discover Russia’s riches. It will have stops at Warnemunde in Germany, Estonia’s fabled town of Tallinn, wonderful Helsinki in Finland, and the Swedish center Stockholm.
There are many other European opportunities, with stays in Italy or Spain, before cruising to the Mediterranean.
In Asia, you can spend five days touring on land while witnessing Cambodia’s temples in Phnom Penh and the majestic Angkor Wat complex at Siem Reap. And then you’ll have a 10-night return trip voyage from Singapore with stops at Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, Phuket in Thailand, and Benoa in Bali, Indonesia.
They also include packages for China, where you can spend your five days in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, before cruising to South Korea, Nagasaki in Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.
Furthermore, Highlights of Japan cruises incorporate five days in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Yokohama, before sailing off to Xiamen in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and cruising back to Yokohama.
It’s desirable to choose a land tour to view the temples of Machu Picchu in Peru, or Brazil’s famed Iguazu Falls, with a South American journey. This cruise commences from Santiago, Chile, and sails down to the Antarctic Peninsula for spectacular cruising and stops at the Falkland Islands, before traveling north to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
While in Canada, Maple Explorer journeys can incorporate pre-or post-cruise stops of five days in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. You’ll then depart Quebec City to cruise St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic and visit ports such as Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia’s Sydney and Halifax, and New Brunswick’s Saint John in the Bay of Fundy. Finally, you’ll be carried to America’s Portland, Boston, Rhode Island, and New York. Or, you can even take the reverse course.
You can also acquire more out of a cruise throughout Australia or New Zealand with cruise trips that involve a six-day visit to Sydney, Cairns, and Ayers Rock — and sometimes Darwin, too — before or after cruising. Voyages commence either in Sydney or Auckland in New Zealand’s North Island to harbors that might incorporate Australia’s magnificent island of Tasmania; Dunedin, Akaroa, and Picton on New Zealand’s South Island and its center Wellington; and further northerly Tauranga.
Princess also extends an Alaska cruise trip to Denali National Park, exploring by Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail to its Wilderness Lodges near national parks following a seven-day voyage from Vancouver in Canada, or Anchorage, Alaska. The standard itinerary incorporates stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, with picturesque cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, the largest preserved sea and landmass in the world. There’s also spectacular cruising at College Fjord.
Holland America Line’s stand-out cruise-and-stay package is its Alaska Land + Sea journey, which you can book online through its own website. Other packages like the Mediterranean cruise with a leisure rail journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express or South American cruises with stops at Iguazu Falls in Brazil or Machu Picchu in Peru, have to be set with online travel agencies, such as Imagine Cruising or Iglu Cruise.
If you don’t prefer a lavish holiday extension, you can just add on an EXC City Stay & Overland Package. This includes a pre-cruise hotel night, flights, and transfers after you’ve scheduled a cruise. But you can only append flights and transfers if reserving online, so it might be sufficient to call the phone number on its website.
As the first cruise operator in Alaska, HAL is something of a specialist in the area. And its nine to 14-day Denali Land + Sea Journey includes a visit at its private McKinley Chalet Resort. You can find it at the gateway to Denali National Park.
It’s the only cruise company to allow land stays in the Yukon Territory, with nine to 18-day Yukon and Denali Land + Sea Journey. This covers a trip in McKinley Explorer glass-domed railcars, mining for gold, and a Yukon River cruise.
Meanwhile, a three-night visit in Denali includes a supervised Tundra Wilderness Tour. Standard cruise itineraries depart from Vancouver or Anchorage and cruise the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay.
Mediterranean voyages from Venice stop at Split in Croatia; Greek islands such as Cephalonia, Crete, and Rhodes; Kusadasi in Turkey for tours to the Greek ruins at Ephesus; Malta, Sicily; and the Italian harbors of Naples and Civitavecchia.
South America voyages that can be purchased with a hotel stay in Iguazu Falls proceed to Chile’s Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, and the Chilean fjords down to Glacier Alley and Ushuaia in Argentina. The ship sails past Cape Horn and up to the Falkland Islands, before proceeding on to Montevideo in Uruguay and landing in Buenos Aires. The reverse route is in progress when Machu Picchu tours are on offer.
P&O Cruises no longer grants cruise-and-stay holidays on its website, but there are online travel agencies that still do. Iglu Cruise offers various destination opportunities that include voyages from Dubai in the Middle East and more extended voyages from Hong Kong through Southeast Asia and the Emirates to Southampton, San Francisco to Sydney, Brisbane to Japan, and Hong Kong and Southampton to Sydney.
Iglu Cruise’s Desert Dunes in Dubai route commences with three nights in Dubai, supported by a voyage to Muscat, Khasab, Abu Dhabi before sailing back to Dubai. Its journey from Hong Kong to Southampton will start with a three-night stay in Hong Kong before it heads for Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Dubai, Malta, and Lisbon.
Its San Francisco to Sydney journey begins with two nights in hotels and ends with visits to Honolulu in Hawaii, the South Sea islands of Pago Pago and Nuku’alofa, New Zealand’s Tauranga, Auckland, and Bay of Island, before coming to Sydney with an overnight on board, with a further hotel stay.
The Brisbane to Hong Kong voyage incorporates two hotel nights in Brisbane before navigating to Queensland’s Airlie Beach, Manila in the Philippines, and an overnight stay in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The six-night Golden Triangle Tour tours in Delhi for the Taj Mahal and Jaipur for its Amber Fort. A flight to Dubai will commence your cruise to Muscat, Aqaba in Jordan for a trip to Petra, Malta, followed by calls at Cadiz in Spain, before arriving in Southampton.
These holidays can be inspected online where there’s a telephone number for information and bookings.
Seabourn Journeys grant pre-and post-cruise extensions for remarkable sites that can’t be viewed properly in a one-day cruise trip. Some of these are overnight stays that are available mid-cruise or multi-day tours during the cruise. All are entirely escorted and can be scheduled by groups of two to 10 cruisers for a personalized experience.
These packages cover the following:
- Cape Town and Kruger Park Safari Lodge packages in South Africa
- South Pole Quest in Antarctica
- Alaska’s Denali Experience
- The Red Centre and Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Seabourn Journeys also highlight Asian routes like the following:
- India’s Golden Triangle and the Taj Mahal
- China’s Beijing, Xi’an and Hong Kong
- Yangon, Bagan’s Temple, and Inle Lake in Myanmar
- Cambodia’s famous city of Phnom Penh and the Grand Temples of Angkor
- South America’s Rio, Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires
- UNESCO Splendors of Lima, Peru
Cusco and Machu Picchu accommodate cruisers with a refinement of Latin America.
Seabourn Journeys has also tallied four distinct European packages, which incorporate a 10-day pre-or post-cruise UNESCO Imperial Heritage of Europe tour for voyages beginning or ending in Copenhagen. On these voyages, cruisers will get to stay in luxury hotels in some of the continent’s superb cities: Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, and Copenhagen.
Voyages from Copenhagen cover a seven-day Baltic trip to Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm. There’s additionally a 14-day Norwegian fjords cruise that cruises up to the North Cape, stopping at Tromso, Alesund, Loen, Vik, Stavanger, and Skagen. And a 14-day Northern Europe voyage includes Oslo, Amsterdam, Scrabster on Scotland’s north coast, Invergordon, Newhaven for Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Great Yarmouth.
Five-day pre-and post-cruise UNESCO Treasures of Tuscany packages — available on cruises starting or ending in Civitavecchia — carry cruisers to medieval villages and antique vineyards. Meanwhile, the six-day Venice Simplon-Orient-Express pre-cruise extension — for cruises starting in Venice — is an overnight trip from London to Venice in an opulent Belle Epoque of the Orient-Express carriage, with a hotel stay.
A fresh six-day Lakeside Gems of the Swiss Alps pre-or post-cruise package is available for journeys starting or ending in Venice. This introduces a current version of the European Grand Tour, carrying cruisers to Alpine lakes and towns.
Departures from Venice add seven-day Adriatic journeys to Vodice in Croatia, Kotor in Montenegro, and the Greek islands of Corfu, Cephalonia, Milos before landing at Athens. There are also more extended voyages with more Greek destinations and Turkish ports such as Cesme and Kusadasi.
From time to time, Celebrity has exclusive offers that it marks as either Cruise & Stay, Cruise & Relax, or Cruise & Explore packages. These are bespoke holidays with extra ingredients that are marketed “as is” on an occasional basis.
However, anybody who has booked with Celebrity can purchase a three-day Celebrity City Tour to attach on to the beginning of a cruise in almost all ports the cruise line voyages from, although these add-on packages are all produced by independent companies.
Sydney City Tours begins with a transfer from the airport to the hotel. Tours incorporate Sydney Harbour, where you can view the Opera House and Harbour Bridge; a tour to Bondi Beach, and shopping at The Rocks. You’ll also tour a wildlife park to observe kangaroos, koalas, and more; roam through the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and the Domain; and end with a three-hour farewell dinner cruise through mansions, beaches, and national parks.
You can navigate from Sydney to the South Pacific, stopping at Noumea and the Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia, and the beautiful islands of Noumea and Vanuatu.
You can also cruise from Sydney to New Zealand, checking at Melbourne before passing the Tasman Sea for spectacular cruises in Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds at the foot of South Island. Then, you’ll sail up to Dunedin, Picton, and North Island’s Wellington, Tauranga, and the gorgeous city of Auckland.
Celebrity also arranges a cruise trip to Alaska. It begins with a pre-cruise journey from Fairbanks, which includes sailing the Chena River for a day and touring the Museum of the North. This is prior to visiting the glass-domed Wilderness Express train for an evening at Denali Park Village and a Tundra Wilderness Tour the following day.
Another overnight stay in Denali is followed by a train trip to Talkeetna and an overnight stay at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. This is before you travel to Anchorage in the late afternoon the next day.
A hotel stay in Anchorage means that there’s time to hit the Alaska Native Heritage Center before embarking on the ship in Seward for a seven-night cruise to Vancouver. This includes scenic cruising through Hubbard Glacier and stops at Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, and the Inside Passage.
There are also connected Alaska and Canada cruise tours, highlighting Alaska sailing, a stay in Denali, and another land trip from Vancouver to Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary. The land trip highlights stay at hotels and lodges, conducted tours, and transportation, including rail tours through the Rockies.
Finally, Galapagos Expedition Cruises come with all-inclusive land trips in Ecuador before or after your journey. Decide from either a seven-night Northern Loop or Southern Loop — both return trips are from Baltra Island.
A cruise-and-stay package with Disney Cruise Line is truly a dream come true for children — actually for both young and old. It consolidates a cruise to the Bahamas or the Caribbean with a stop at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The seven-day pre-cruise stay provides you with limitless access to all six Disney Parks: Magic Kingdom Park with six magical lands, Epcot’s 11 distinct cultures, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This brings your Disney fantasies to life, like Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. There’s also Disney Springs, a fusion of boutiques, restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife.
This trip is followed by a three-night cruise to the Bahamas and Caribbean, which also includes a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, for swimming, snorkeling, and chilling.
You can book this on Disney Cruise Line’s own website. Some online travel agents also grant Orlando accommodation and Disney Cruise Line packages. For example, Iglu Cruise offers three-night stays in Orlando with five-night voyages from Port Canaveral to Disney’s Castaway Cay and the Mexican island retreat of Cozumel, with two extensive sea days to experience the ship’s shows and entertainment.
Planet Cruise packages three-night Orlando stays with five-night Disney Cruise Line cruises to Caribbean islands such as the Tortola, St. Thomas, and Disney’s Castaway Cay, plus an extensive sea day for relaxation.
Book a fly-cruise holiday with Norwegian Cruise Line and you’ll capture a night in a hotel before you board, but for more extensive packages, you need to view them at online travel agencies.
Iglu Cruise has packages that include two nights in destinations like New Orleans, Miami Beach, Rome, or Barcelona. Meanwhile, Planet Cruise boasts fly-stay-cruise deals. It highlights a two-night pre-cruise visit at Niagara Falls, an Amtrak rail trip to New York, two nights in Manhattan, and a seven-night New England voyage on a traditional itinerary. It has stops at Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Jetline Cruise also offers the same package. Its Hawaii voyages on NCL’s Pride of America begin with three nights in a Waikiki Beach hotel in Honolulu and end with a flight to Las Vegas for a three-night stay there before traveling home.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Probably the most significant advantage to arranging a cruise and stay holiday is the chance to spend more time at a destination.
Another big benefit is the opportunity to encounter your choice of destination after dark. Although several cruise ships offer even or overnight (onboard) stays, most will have departed port before sunset.
Exchanging your cruise cabin for a hotel room also has various benefits, having more space is just one of them. A cruise and stay holiday could also enable you to experience some very distinct kinds of accommodation.
For instance, expedition cruise line Hurtigruten allows a list of pre or post-cruise Land Adventures for three or four days. This includes stays in a snow hotel, fabulous wooden cabins, regular Sámi lavvo tents, and Amazon jungle lodges.
One main drawback to preferring a cruise and stay holiday is that your stay destinations are usually confined to those within easy range of your embarkation or disembarkation ports. Of course, nothing is difficult and it very much depends on how much time you have to consume at a destination (and how much of that time you’re pleased to spend traveling). Princess cruise and land tour holidays are a perfect example of a bargain as they merge guided in-land touring with cruising.
Another potential disadvantage is that your preferred hotel will be frustrating compared to your cruise ship. Meals are also not normally covered when staying off the ship, which implies you’ll require more spending money for a two-week cruise and stay than a two-week all-inclusive voyage.
Passengers who fancy packing lots of places into one holiday might also be put off by the event that you’re going to settle fewer pins on the map if you’re employing some of your days in just one destination. Signing up for a supervised land tour or land adventure will expel the fear of missing out for those who prefer to cram maximum sightseeing into every stay.
Tips for a Cruise and Stay
- Booking a hotel day room is a great way to connect the gap between your cruise and checking out of or into a hotel. You might also prefer to inquire about your hotel in the event of early check-in or late check-out.
- Be sure to fully check out your transportation alternatives. If the earliest train is at 8 a.m., and you need to be on the ship and ready to sail first thing, it’s really not going to be practical.
- Do your research. If it’s a pre-cruise holiday then do your research in advance and pull up a list of what you desire to view and do with your limited time. If it’s a post-cruise stay then prefer to know in advance what enrichment lectures your ship offers to help you discover more about your final destination. Azamara, for example, has a destination expert on all cruises.
- Smaller ships have a wider selection of ports (and so a larger choice of destinations), so count these if you like a cruise and stay that goes off the beaten path. Expert lines such as Voyages to Antiquity place extra emphasis on enrichment, enabling their guests to explore the history and culture of their destinations.
Receive the best of both worlds with any of the cruises and stay holidays. You can cruise around the Caribbean from several destinations that include New York, Orlando, and Miami. All cruises include various stops at must-see destinations, from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico, along with world-class extravagance amenities on board.
From ballroom dancing to rock climbing, and fine dining to theatre productions, the range of cruise liners offers something for everyone.
Keep the entire family entertained on your 2021 and 2022 holidays when you book a cruise. Spend your days traversing once-in-a-lifetime destinations, unwinding by the pool, or experiencing any of the multitudes of sports and entertainment facilities. Spend your nights being stimulated by world-class shows, dining in style, or simply relaxing and pondering on your day in any of the elegant bars and lounges onboard.
There are cruise packages for all group sizes and price ranges, from budget holidays to extravagant trips. Relish the view over the ocean from your private balcony, spoil in-room service, or pick from one of many all-inclusive food and drinks packages to guarantee that everyone is fed and watered throughout the trip.