Cruise on a theme

Cruise on a theme

Have the impression that cruises are for retirees and seniors?

Well, think again. New, niche cruises might just change your mindset and have you hopping aboard a ship soon.

Much like the current trend of themed cafes being geared towards specific interests such as cycling, cats and books, cruise operators and event organisers are programming onboard experiences that revolve around certain interests such as cycling, Korean culture and electronic dance music.

This also allows cruise operators to cast the net wider when it comes to wooing customers.

For example, Star Cruises is hoping to ride on the success of "hallyu", or the Korean wave, with its Korean-themed offerings.

It is banking on Broadway hit Nanta (Cookin'), a Korean cooking, music and comedy show, which will be performed onboard the SuperStar Gemini from Nov 14 till Jan 2 next year, to bring in the crowds.

"Nanta" means to strike relentlessly in Korean, which is what the performers will be doing to traditional Korean water drums with cooking utensils to create music.

Besides watching the show, guests can also enjoy activities such as kimchi-making classes and K-pop line dancing lessons on the cruise, which will sail to destinations in Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

"The K-pop wave has gained phenomenal global popularity and we are confident this entertainment will appeal to many holiday-makers," says Star Cruises' senior vice-president of sales Michael Goh.

Event organisers, too, are hoping that people will try out their sea legs.

Malaysian company The LiveScape Group is throwing a five-day, four-night music festival titled It's The Ship, from Nov 21 to 25 onboard Voyager of the Seas by Royal Caribbean International.

The event boasts a line-up of 45 music acts, with headliners such as British electronic dance music duo Basement Jaxx and Dutch DJ group Dash Berlin. The ship will dock at Langkawi for a beach party hosted by American rapper Lil Jon.

LiveScape's public relations head Jason Kong says the idea came about because though the festival scene in South-east Asia is heating up, the festivals were "all starting to look pretty much the same".

"The one key difference between It's The Ship and other music festivals is that it is not just a music festival, it is also a vacation," he says.

He adds that the event will be a yearly affair with different destinations each time.

Though there have been similar cruises in the United States and Europe, such as SS Coachella that will sail to Bahamas and Jamaica in December, the idea of a floating music festival is novel in these parts.

To date, 60 per cent of the 3,800 tickets for It's The Ship have been snapped up.

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