With the skyrocketing popularity of craft beers, it was only a matter of time before the cruise industry jumped on to this trend. Whether you crave a hop infused IPA or creamy stout, there's no better place to appreciate your favorite brew than on the open seas.
These cruises have special presentations, onboard tastings and excursions to local breweries. We'll drink to that.
Here are top cruises for beer lovers.
1. Crystal Cruise: Microbrew-themed adventure
After offering cocktail courses and wine pairings, Crystal Cruise is offering a new culinary adventure for craft beer fans. A New York to Miami, 14-day luxury cruise package will feature shore excursions to micro and 'nano-breweries' -- hyper-local establishments-- in the New York and Charleston area. On the ship, guests will be treated to signature beer tastings led by brewing experts. All-inclusive cruise fares for the voyage start at $4,710/person.
2. Avalon Waterways: Beer River Cruise
A visit to Europe is even better when it includes a discovery of their world-famous beers. Avalon offers two distinct beer cruises: an 8-day round trip voyage to Amsterdam, and a Vienna to Munich cruise. Activities include onboard tastings, visits to historic breweries, and lectures on ship about a range of topics including European beer-brewing techniques. Nine day cruises packages start at $2,600.
3. Magic Happens Travel: Alaska Brews Cruise
Now in its 16th year, the Alaska Beer Cruise sets sail Sept 5 to 12 and includes seminars, onboard beer talks, beverage themed activities and tastings led by experts. The tour includes specialty hard-to-find brews distinct to the Northwest region and features a trip to remote breweries in Alaska's capital city Juneau. The cruise departs from and returns to port in Seattle. Interiors rooms start at $1,718 for a seven-night adventure on the high seas.
4. Cunard: A visit to the pub
Sometimes you don't need a special tour to appreciate great beer. British-American Cunard Line invites passengers to enjoy a time-honored English activity- enjoying a pint at the pub. Aboard its three ships -- the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria--you'll find the Golden Lion Pub, a traditional English-style pub that offers wide range of both bottles and draft beers along with a menu of English pub favorites like fish-and-chips, bangers-and-mash, and cottage pie. On tap, guests will find Guinness, Boddingtons, Bass Ale, and several others, while the bottle selection includes the fine Old Speckled Hen and Spitfire Real Ale. Beer lovers won't even have to leave the ship to get a special brew.
5. Celebrity Cruises: New Zealand Cruise
Folks from Down Under love their beer so a New Zealand cruise is perfect for amateur and professional brew enthusiasts. Celebrity offers a New Zealand trip onboard the where guests can take a signature shore excursion-- the Historic Pubs of Port Chalmers tour. Explore the old port and visit several pubs where you can sample New Zealand beers such as Speight's, Lion Red, DB lager, Mac's, and Monteith's. One of these pubs offers a unique "beer-and-food pairing" with a platter of New Zealand cheeses that complement the local brews. Also, debuting on the Celebrity Equinox is the Gastrobar --a bar that will serve up more than 40 handcrafted brews.
6. Norwegian Cruise Line: 5-Day Pacific Coastal Cruise
Beer and wine lovers will love a five day trip through the Pacific Northwest with unique shore excursions catering to those with a refined palate. The Astoria Ale Trail takes guests on a tour of local breweries in Northern California. Whether you like pale ales or full stouts, you'll be treated a great variety on the tour.
7. Un-Cruise Adventures: Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands
Un-Cruise Adventures offers a signature Craft Beer themed cruise with presentations by the guest host, hands-on learning opportunities, and specialty beer tastings that bring a whole new dimension to your adventure. Off ship excursions include kayaking, hiking, or exploring the area by skiff. At the end of the day, relax with a craft beer and you spot an eagle, whale or other exciting marine life passing by.