There’s more to cruise ship entertainment than the Merseybeats and even New Kids on the Block. If you know where to look there’s plenty of classical action at sea as well, particularly for opera fans.
P&O will be celebrating the 25 years of its Music Festivals at Sea by providing special concerts on seven cruise holidays on Oriana, Artemis and Aurora between April and November. They feature internationally-renowned artists including pianist John Lill and opera soprano Dame Felicity Lott, as well as music quizzes, and specialist shore excursions.
Fares start at £1,367 for 14 nights to the Baltic on adults-only ship Artemis in June. Details at www.pocruises.co.uk.
The London Festival Opera will be performing on Silver Wind’s July 28 sailing from Monte Carlo to Rome, and continuing the theme, opera expert and author Fred Plotkin will be a guest speaker for the 10-day voyage.
On the August 7 seven-day cruise from Rome to Venice, the star attraction will be baritone Philip Blake-Jones, artistic director of London Festival Opera.
Silver Wind is a boutique luxury ship, fresh from a multi-million pound refit and with totally inclusive fares (including drinks and gratuities). Prices have been reduced from their previous stratospheric levels. See what Jane Archer has to say about her recent cruise round India.
The real classical bonanza comes later in the year on board Hapag-Lloyd’s MS Europa, the 400-passenger vessel rated by Douglas Ward’s authoritative Berlitz Guide as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship.
Singers from seven opera companies – including New York’s Metropolitan, Milan’s La Scala, and from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, tenor Ji-Min Park – will be competing to be crowned the Stella Maris (Star of the Seas).
The winner will receive a cash prize of almost £15,000, a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon, and an appearance at the Vienna Opera House.
The contest takes place on Europa’s 10-day cruise leaving Venice on October 25 and including calls at Dubrovnik, Palermo, Tunis and Palma before arriving in Barcelona on November 4.
Fares start at £3,175. Details at www.hl-cruises.com.