11 Best History Theme Cruises

| Monday, 11 Nov 2013

The 11 Best History/Politics Theme Cruses

The idea of Veteran's Day is that we remember our nation' s military history and those individuals who have contributed to it, whether or not we agree with their political reasons. In that spirit, our theme editor took the time to list the best upcoming history-related theme cruises coming up in 2013 and 2014. There are also two politics-related theme cruises; one for the right and one for the left.

There are several D-day related cruises in our listing and other World War II commoratives which visit the important sites like the Normandy Beaches in France, and the Pacific Theater from Honolulu to Japan. Or you can sail the Mississippi River, pivitol in many Civil War battles, or tour the Adriatic and discuss some of the pivitol naval battles there.


Panama Canal’s 100th Anniversary

Various Dates, Various Holland America Ships

In 2014, The Panama Canal marks its 100th anniversary and, in celebration, Holland America offers a host of full and partial transits, all of which will recognize the milestone and provide historical background and context.  Panama Canal cruise fares range from $899 for the 10-day itinerary to $2,599 for an 18-day voyage. For additional information, visit Panama Canal Cruises or call 1-877-932-4259.


WWII’s Pacific Theater

January 18 – February 10, 2014 Crystal Serenity

Los Angeles, Honolulu, Hilo, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, Yokohama

A World War II-themed cruise will take history buffs to battlegrounds and historical sites of the Pacific Campaign featuring author James Bradley (Flags of Our Fathers), historian Don Farrell and former Four-Star General and Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command, General Anthony Zinni.  Shore excursions will visit sites from WWII including lunch in the Captain’s cabin of the U.S.S. Missouri, the airbase from which B-29s carried the atom bomb, the Japanese Navy's underground headquarters, the Japanese military's WWII HQ and Pearl Harbor.  Fares begin at $8,110 per person, double occupancy.  For additional information, visit WWII's Pacific Theater or call 1-888-722-0021.


Mississippi River Civil War Cruise

March 8-15, 2014 American Cruise Lines Queen of the Mississippi

Round trip New Orleans*

A special group of Civil War experts and guest speakers provide an in-depth discovery of the U.S. Civil War, including the historic battlefields of Vicksburg National Park, known as the turning point of the War in the Western Theater.  Civil War expert John Darnell joins guests for a guided tour of the Helena Museum along with a special visit to the 374-acre Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, LA, the Civil War exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge, LA and more.  Fares begin at $4,195 per person, double occupancy (single cabins available starting at $5,580).  For additional information, visit Civil War Cruise  or call 1-800-460-4518.

*An April 5-12, 2014 Civil War Cruise is also available, sailing from New Orleans to Memphis.


The Weekly Standard (Politics/Conservative)

March 22 – 29th Windstar’s Wind Surf

St. Maarten, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadalupe, St. Kitts, St. Barts

Join Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Steve Hayes, Hugh Hewitt and more for Outlook 2014, a WindSurf charter that will focus on the prospects for Republicans in the mid-term elections. Expect informative seminars and extensive interaction with guest speakers, numerous social events, dining with fellow TWS cruise guests as well as guest speakers.  Fares begin at $2,976 per person, double occupancy.  For additional information, visit The Weekly Standard Cruise or call 800-707-1634.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu

March 28 – April 2, 2014 Holland America Amsterdam

Hong Kong to Cape Town

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will address guests twice, both about his role as the first black African to serve as archbishop of Cape Town and about his work forging racial equality throughout the world. He will also answer questions from passengers.  Part of Amsterdam’s 113-day Grand World Voyage, guests may book one of several segments that range from 20 to 86 days with segments beginning at $3,899 per person, double occupancy.  For more information, visit  Archbishop Desmond Tutu Segment or call 1-877-932-4259


D-Day:  70th Anniversary

April 29 – May 11, 2014 Holland America Eurodam

Civitavecchia, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, Portland, Cherbourg, Zeebrugge, Copenhagen

This special sailing will call at Cherbourg, France visit to the coastal area of France and a visit to the Normandy beaches where the pivotal World War II landings took place on June 6, 1944 is planned.  Fares begin at $1,799 per person, double occupancy.  For additional information, visit D-Day:  70th Anniversary or call 1-877-932-4259.


Mysteries of the Adriatic:  Ancient Warfare and Epic Naval Battles with

Victor Davis Hanson

May 18-29, 2014 Oceania Insignia

Ljubljana, Trieste, Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Zakynthos, Santorini

In this land/sea itinerary, a line up of highly-respected historians and educators take guests through 3,500 years of European history—from the eruption on Minoan Santorini through the rise of the Athenian and Roman Empires, to the wars of Venice against the Ottomans to the bloody fighting in World Wars I and II, culminating with the revolutions and violence that followed the break of the former Yugoslavia.  For more information, visit Mysteries of the Adriatic or call 517-292-2451


National WWII Museum: 70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise

May 30-June 9, 2014 Silversea Silver Cloud

Lisbon, St. Nazaire, Guernsey, Portsmouth, Normandy

Featuring an elite group of renowned historians, including journalist Tom Brokaw and

Pulitzer Prize-winning bestselling author Rick Atkinson, this 10-day sailing includes a visit with Guernsey locals who survived the war under German occupation and visits to D-Day invasion landing beaches.  The group will also take part in the 70th Anniversary ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach and will visit the Utah Beach Museum and the Memorial de Caen for special after-hours receptions.  Fares begin at $8,499 per person, based on double occupancy.  For additional information, visit National WWII Museum   or call 1-877-581-0745.


Memories of WWII

June 3 - 15, 2014 Azamara Journey

Lisbon, Guernsey, Cherbourg, Honfleur, Boulogne Sur Mer, Dover, Amsterdam, Hamburg

From pivotal battlefields to the spy haven of Lisbon and Anne Frank’s house, Azamara journey commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day with an 11-night sailing that includes overnight calls in Honfleur, Amsterdam and Hamburg and optional tours that include the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Pointe du Hoc, St. Mere Eglise and more. Fares begin at $4,349 per person, based on double occupancy.  For more information, visit Memories of WWII or call 1-305-341-0206


European History & Politics Cruise

July 23 – August 6, 2014 Avalon Waterways Avalon Panorama

Budapest to Amsterdam

You'll be joined by a diplomacy expert and government official who will provide a unique perspective about Central Europe and the European Union during onboard lectures. Enjoy included visits to the "Communist Budapest" exhibit and the United Nations offices in Vienna, including the Security & Safety Section, and choose between Nuremberg city sightseeing and a Nuremberg WWII tour. Fares begin at $5,597 per person, double occupancy.  For more information, visit European History & Politics Cruise or call 1-800-326-4971.


The Nation Cruise (Politics/Liberal)

December 14 – 21, 2014 Holland America Eurodam

Fort Lauderdale, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Bahamas

The Nation’s Victor Navasky and Katrina vanden Heuvel have announced the magazine’s 17th annual seminar cruise aboard Holland America’s Eurodam.  While full details have not yet been revealed, guests may expect informative seminars and extensive interaction with guest speakers, numerous social events, dining with like-minded fellow cruisers as well as guest speakers.  Fares begin at $1,807 per person, based on double occupancy.  For additional information, visit The Nation Cruise or call 800-707-1634.

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