4 cruises that nurture your mind


Cruises aren’t just about poolside lounging and partying. More cruises are engaging your mind at sea with enrichment programs. While many cruises offer onboard lectures and classes, some take it a step further by curating a whole itinerary based on a certain theme. Interested in setting sail on one of these cruises? Below are four, each one appealing to different interests, but all ensuring that you’ll return home smarter than when you left.

For wellness advocates
Cruise: Holistic Holiday at Sea

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the benefits of plant‑only eating and a vegan lifestyle, hop aboard the MSC Divina and join other like‑minded wellness warriors. While sailing for 11 nights to Jamaica, Aruba, Colombia, Panama and Mexico, you’ll have access to over 150 lectures and workshops, including holistic health classes like yoga, fitness and meditation, vegan cooking classes, and workshops about animal and environmental advocacy. You’ll dine on vegan cuisine and beverages. Gluten‑free options are also available, and a regular menu is available upon request.

For archaeological adventurers
Cruise: Treasures of the Mediterranean World

Dig archaeology? Then you’ll want to book a spot on this cruise. Hosted by the Archaeological Institute of America, this family‑oriented cruise will whisk you from Rome to Athens. You’ll be accompanied by two guest experts who will lead lectures and discussions about the archaeological sites of Italy, Greece and Turkey along with mythology and life in the ancient world. You’ll be led on guided tours in each port call. Meanwhile, kids will be taken under the wing of the Young Explorers Club, which will offer educational and recreational activities to help them appreciate what they’re seeing.

For wine aficionados
Cruise: Pacific Wine Country

Say wine not when you step aboard this six‑day cruise. The cruise originates in Vancouver and visits three ports — Astoria, Oregon; San Francisco; and Santa Barbara — before ending in Los Angeles. At each of the port calls, you’ll have the opportunity to choose excursions tailored to wine lovers. Depending on the day, you may be doing a wine and olive tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, touring Sonoma Wine Country or enjoying Pacific Coast pairings in Astoria suggested by Bon Appétit. Meanwhile, enjoy wine tastings and flights at the Vines Wine Bar onboard.

For birders
Cruise: Costa Rica and Panama — Canal, Culture, Adventure

Birders, get those binoculars ready. You’ll be sailing through some of the world’s most bird‑friendly areas aboard the 62‑passenger Safari Voyager. You’ll be joined by a biologist and naturalist who’s spent most of his life outside in Costa Rica and will give presentations on the birds you’ll be seeing. (He’ll also be hanging out on the ship so you can further your conversations.) As you travel from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Panama City, Panama, you’ll experience new birding adventures every day. You might be hiking through Curu National Wildlife Refuge at the tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula or trekking the trails at Osa Conservation Area where 16 different species of hummingbirds reside.

Taking a cruise nowadays can be so much more than sun and sea. Use these cruise ideas to get the juices flowing when thinking about what your next adventure might be. Plus, thinking about travel as a part of your overall retirement plan can help make your travel dreams come true when you’re done with the 9 to 5.

These tips are brought to you by Athene — where innovative annuity solutions and unique interest crediting strategies are powered by unconventional thinking.

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