Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed May 06 2015

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  • Amber Nolan | May 6, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    7 Cruise Lines Offering Unique Golfing Packages

    7 Cruise Lines Offering Unique Golfing Packages

    Cruises offer a unique opportunity for duffers to visit several exotic golf courses during their vacation and still have the “country club” comforts of the ship upon return. Several travel companies have partnered with cruise lines to offer special golf packages that make getting to and from the courses a breeze. Here are some upcoming golf-themed voyages ranging from Europe to South Africa and cruise ideas for golf enthusiasts.

    Lesser-Known Caribbean with Ponant

    The French cruise line Ponant offers specialty golf packages on select voyages that bundle green fees and transportation to popular courses in ports of call (as well as other perks). The December 15 voyage aboard the luxurious Le Ponant from Martinique to Anguilla, St. Barts, Dominica, and St. Lucia, has a golf option that includes four different 18-hole courses during the seven-night cruise.

    The British Open with Azamara

    Azamara Club Cruises has joined forces with PerryGolf, a company that specializes in luxury golf vacations, to offer golf-themed cruises in the British Isles and ports in the Baltic Sea. This July, the Azamara Quest will set sail from Southampton and will include an excursion to St. Andrews where passengers can attend the 144th British Open Championship at the legendary Old Course. The cruise includes seven rounds of golf with choices in Ireland, Scotland, and England.

    Safari Golf in South Africa with Silversea

    In January 2016, the Silver Cloud will traverse the waters surrounding South Africa and work in conjunction with Kalos Golf for pre-cruise golf and wine excursions in Cape Town and golf trips in various ports of call. In George, cruisers can take in a round at a cliff-side course overlooking the Indian Ocean before sailing on to Mozambique for a safari tour of Kruger National Park. At the nearby Leopard Creek Golf Course, it is not uncommon to spot crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo, and elephants on (or near) the course.

    Golfing in Austria with Avalon Waterways

    River cruise lines are also catching on to the golf cruise craze, and Avalon Waterways has a golf-themed voyage in July 2015 along the Danube River. When the Avalon Affinity sails for eight nights from Vienna to Munich, a local golf enthusiast will be onboard to arrange tee times at select courses. Round-trip transportation to the courses is included, however greens fees, carts, caddies, and equipment are extra.

    Scotland and France on European Waterways’ Hotel Barges

    For a truly unique experience, European Waterways provides several hotel barge cruises, and combines these small-ship journeys with golf packages. During a six-night golf cruise through Scotland (April through October) aboard the Scottish Highlander, passengers can enjoy four rounds of golf at prestigious courses with historical tours and distillery visits mixed into the itinerary. Similar golf voyages are also available on the eight-passenger barge, Enchanté, which plies the waterways of Provence, France.

    NCL’s Golf Academy at Numerous Destinations

    Norwegian Cruise Line has its own golf academy at sea, so cruisers are provided with rental equipment onboard, and can practice their swing with a trained professional using digital technology. Once in ports of call, guided shore excursions to courses are available that include a golf pro escort, early debarkation from the vessel, round-trip transportation, green fees, and caddies.

    Golfing in Italy with Sea Cloud’s Tall Sailing Ships

    In September 2015, passengers can embark on the tall sailing ship, the Sea Cloud II for a cruise along Italy’s stunning coast and have opportunities to golf in the Tuscan countryside, or the shoreline of Sicily. Other cruise tours include a visit to the top of Mount Etna and the Valley of Temples, as well as wine tastings and cooking schools.


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Amber Nolan Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan loves to be on the water, and although she enjoys the fun and excitement of larger cruise ships, she prefers setting sail on smaller vessels to unique destinations. Originally from western New York, this restless traveler has a knack for finding creative ways to travel and befriending interesting characters along the way. On her most recent adventure, she hitchhiked on private aircraft across the United States. She previously served as the cruise editor at Sherman’s Travel but her work can also be found on and USA Today Travel. She current resides in South Florida.
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