Does the idea of hitting the high seas and hitting the links hit all the right notes with you? Then consider this hole-in-one trip idea: Divide your time between ocean blues and golf course greens with a golf-themed cruise vacation. We've rounded up six golfing cruises that combine stops in world-class courses with the guidance of top-notch golf pros for an above-par getaway.
Crystal Offers Golf Itineraries Led by PGA Pros
Upscale Crystal Cruises is offering two 2012 golf-themed itineraries led by PGA Pro Billy Casper and PGA Teaching Professional John Clark. Set sail from Monte Carlo to Lisbon for 12 nights on the 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity in July, and enjoy access to six courses in Monaco, Spain, and Portugal. Or, cruise the newly refurbished 922-passenger Crystal Symphony for 11 nights in late August; the itinerary from London through the British Isles and Iberian Peninsula will incorporate rounds at to-be-announced courses throughout Western Europe. Guests who book three or more rounds of golf will receive a welcome kit with golf event schedules and course info, golf balls, tees, and a golf cap and shirt, plus invites to special golfers-only events.
Ship Sails: July 13 on the Serenity; August 25 on the Symphony
Book It: Rates from $5,410/person on the Serenity; rates from $5,230 on the Symphony (golf outings for both sailings are additional). Visit www.crystalcruises.com for the Serenity sailing; or www.crystalcruises.com for the Symphony sailing.
Mediterranean Tee Times on Luxury Ponant
French luxury yacht line Ponant is offering its fourth annual series of golf cruises, with 8-night sailings lined up round-trip from Nice aboard the 64-passenger Le Ponant. Cruisers can expect stops at five courses along France's Côte d'Azur (including the Mougins Golf Country Club, host to the Open du Cannes) and Corsica, as well as in Italy (tee off under Tuscan cypress trees on the grounds of a former Medici residence). Plus, an onboard golf coach is designated to organize golf competitions along the way.
Ship Sails: May 6, 17, or 25
Book It: Rates from $3,633/person (add on an additional golf fee of $760/person); en.ponant.com.
SeaDream Caribbean Voyages Offer Palm Trees and Golf Tees
Transition from turquoise Caribbean waters to select islands' lush green courses with this new December golf itinerary designed by SeaDream Yacht Club. The 7-night sailing aboard the 112-passenger SeaDream I embarks from Antigua (arrive a day or two early to play the 18-hole Cedar Valley course), and includes golf-centric port calls like Nevis (play Four Seasons Pinney’s Beach on the slopes of the dormant Mount Nevis volcano); Anguilla (site of a $50 million Greg Norman-designed championship course); before disembarking in San Juan, Puerto Rico (touting some 30 courses on the island). Be sure to keep your game sharp with usage of the onboard golf simulator, featuring 30 different simulated courses.
Ship Sails: December 2
Book It: Rates from $2,999/person; visit www.seadream.com.
Fred. Olsen Offers Flagship Golf Program from England
Fred. Olsen's Flagship Golf program includes four rounds of golf ashore, hosted by a resident PGA pro (regularly on hand to dole out golf tips and advice); a welcome party for golfers and their non-playing partners; free practice facilities onboard the ship; game prizes; and up to five classes with a resident PGA pro. Sail 14 nights on the 929-passenger Braemar from Dover, England, to Portugal, including Madeira, and the Canary Islands in May; or, try a similar 14-night itinerary from Portsmouth, England, on the 856-passenger Boudicca in November.
Ship Sails: May 8 on the Braemar; November 4 on the Boudicca
Book It: Rates from $1,564/person on the Braemar; rates from $2,080/person on the Boudicca (Flagship Golf program fees are an additional $587/person). Visit www.fredolsencruises.com for the Braemar sailing; or www.fredolsencruises.com for the Boudicca sailing.
Azamara Club Golf Cruise Scheduled for 2013
Azamara Club Cruises has partnered with luxe golf tour operator PerryGolf to roll out a 10-night summer 2013 golfing voyage aboard the 694-passenger Azamara Quest, inclusive of admission to the British Open Golf Championship in Muirfield, Scotland. The itinerary embarks from Dublin, taking in four to five premier courses in Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, on outings fully escorted by a PerryGolf tour manager. All programs kick off with a one- to two-night pre-voyage golf-themed land tour. Green fees, golf car rentals, golf bag delivery, and onboard extras like post-game cocktail receptions and dinners are included in the supplementary package rates.
Ship Sails: July 13, 2013 (select 10- to 12-night 2012 Golf Cruises itineraries are additionally available from July through October)
Book It: Cruise rates from $2,899/person (Golf Cruises add-ons available from $4,495/person); www.azamaraclubcruises.com.
Kalos Golf Cruises on Orion, Sea Cloud, Seabourn & Zegrahm
Kalos Golf is the go-to provider for customized luxury golf cruise vacations, offering a variety of golf-inspired itineraries aboard chartered riverboat and ocean vessels in partnership with upscale cruise lines like Sea Cloud Cruises, Orion Expeditions, Seabourn, and Zegrahm Expeditions. Ply European rivers and oceans in search of top tees, or head to exotic locales in New Zealand or Asia with golf-saturated package rates inclusive of cruise fares, gratuities, and all golf and touring.
Ship Sails: Various 2012 and 2013 cruise dates
Book It: Rates from $7,985/person for river cruises, or from $7,435/person for ocean sailings; www.kalosgolf.com.
Photo Credit: courtesy Compagnie du Ponant