Golf Cruises and Excursions in Europe and the Americas
If you love golf, why not get away from your private course or the courses you usually play and and take a golfing cruise. You'll have the opportunity to play some of the most famous, beautiful and challenging courses in Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean. There are two ways to do this. Participate in the golf programs on some of the big cruise lines and play the courses they offer as excursions on specific itineraries or get together with some golf buddies and indulge yourself on a luxurious cruise onboard a mid-size cruise ship, riverboat, barge, sailing ship or spectacular yacht.
Note: We have added an easy way for you to do your own cruise reviews here. Scroll to the form at the bottom of this page or click Review Invitation
First, let's look at some offerings from the big cruise lines.
Norwegian Cruise Line has a golf program with itineraries to Hawaii, Bermuda and the Caribbean. The programs are operated by Elite Golf who set up golf games at top-of-the-line courses near your ports-of-call. Programs include:
One of the advantages is that you and a non-golfing partner still have all the fun, excitement, amenities and dining that the cruise ship provides during the voyage.
Carnival Golf also offers an extensive program on golf cruises aboard many of their ships. This includes an introductory free class for new golfers and instruction classes for golfers who wish to tune up and improve their swing. Elite Golf also looks after Carnival Cruise Line's golf program. The ships have Golf Professionals onboard, a driving cage, electronic swing tracking, a low-cost quick swing check and hour-long full video analysis for purchase. Excursions include transportation to the course, priority tee times, cart and green fees, and guidance by a Golf Professional. Leave your golf equipment at home. Rental of clubs, shoes, apparel and accessories is available. It is best to book ahead or you can do it on the ship. Elite Golf will arrange foursomes if you are travelling alone. It is a great way to spend the day getting to know other golfers.
Many of the Carnival golf cruises are in the Caribbean and include these courses:
There are other itineraries where you can find golf cruises on Carnival.
Live it up in grand style
If you're looking for something really exclusive and are prepared to pay the freight for a fantastic and unforgettable experience on golf cruises, check out the websites for the following companies.
Golf Ahoy Golf Cruises has been in operation since 1988 so they are one of the first companies to develop the concept of exclusive golf cruises. They charter the ships, river boats, barges and luxury yachts to accommodate groups from small to large in size. Groups are made up of singles, pairs, foursomes all the way up to convention groups. Golf Ahoy are American Espress Services Representatives.
Here are a few of their golf cruises to give you a feel for what they are all about.
10-day Golf Ahoy VIP Deluxe Hawaii Golf Cruise: 3 days pre-cruise at the Turtle Bay Golf Resort where you get to play the Arnold Palmer and George Fazio designed courses followed by a week circling the Hawaiian Islands. Along the way you play Wailea Gold or Emerald in Maui. (Kelly and I honeymooned at the International Hotel when it first opened in Wailea. Wailea is gorgeous.) Other courses include Makalei Golf Course on Kona and Puakea Golf Club on Kawai. These cruises depart from Honolulu every Wednesday throughout the year. While certainly not inexpensive the voyqges do include all inclusive savings and no travel agent fees. You will be treated like Hawaiian Royalty and travel in pampered luxury.Golf Ahoy also has golf cruises in Europe. From 2013-15 from Spring to Autumn they can put you on a 10-day VIP Deluxe Danube Riverboat Cruise that travels from Vilshoven, Germany through the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria to Budapest, Hungary. The destinations have some of the most sought-after golf courses in Europe. These riverboats carry about 164 passengers in grand style with stunning staterooms, fine dining and entertainment. There are some restrictions like a minimum of 4-player bookings and two double-occupancy staterooms and a handicap of a minimum of 54-36. The ideal would be to form a mini-group of golf buddies, however, Golf Ahoy can set you up with other golfers. If you are travelling with a non-golfer the ship has lots to offer in the way of guided tours and activities. It would be an unforgettable way to cruise the Danube and play some terrific golf courses in wonderful scenic locations.
Golf Ahoy charters riverboats from Amawaterways. These are cream-of-the-crop well-appointed riverboats. AmaCerto is one of their newest riverboats (2012). One of the golf cruises travels from Passau to Lintz, Melk, Krems, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. You play at layover stops along the way. Courses (subject to change) include:
Green fees, cart rentals and transfers have to be paid in euros as are the golf excursion packages which cost arounbd 1860 euros. AmaCerto cruise fares vary from $2800 USD to $5000 USD depending on stateroom or suite accommodations and itinerary. You need to account for currency fluctuations but if you're going to take golf cruises like these you are probably not the kind of person that concerns themselves with that. How much are your clubs and private golf menbership worth, anyway?
Azamara Cruises works with Perry Golf to plan and run golf cruises. Perry Golf has been organizing golf cruises since 1984 so they have a wealth of experience doing it right. Perry Golf provides unforgettable golf and lifestyle travel experiences under their slogan "Play the game. See the world". They charter ocean liners, luxury yachts, riverboats and barges. How's this for a 2013 golfing extravaganza on the Azamara Quest liner?
Additionally there are welcome and farewell cocktail parties, an onboard golfers' social event after each round, two dinners for golf cruise participants and select special events for non-golfing partners (culinary classes, wine tasting, etc). Here's the rundown of the courses you can play.
This trip concludes in Hamburg. The Axamara Quest is a mid-sized ship that carries 694 passengers. Typically about 80 will be golfers. The ship has a club-like ambiance with a friendly staff who can get to know you. The ship is small enough to encourage mixing and mingling yet large enough to have all the amenities and entertainment you'd expect on a much larger cruise ship. Perry Golf also charters yachts and hotel-like barges. You could take the tall-masted motor/sail yacht Le Ponant from Nice via Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily to Malta (May, 2013). Or take a fully restored wooden luxury yacht between Charleston and Savannah, Georgia with nine of your golfing buddies. Another option is book a hotel barge for the exclusive use of 8-18 guests and play courses in Scotland, around London on the Thames or through Provence to Burgundy in France. For example, the 6-night golf cruise on the Renaissance barge along the upper Loire and into Burgundy blends sightseeing, local cuisine and wines with outstanding golf. The courses that can be played are:
This riverboat cruise is for 8 guests or less. Non-golfers are charged $500USD less than the full fare that is between $6125 qnd $7125. Use my link to Perry Golf for current information and pricing.
Kalos Golf is another company that has been in the business of golf cruises for quite a long time (since 1994). Kalos Golf charts 5-star vessels for the ultimate in luxury in golf cruises, touring and leisure sailing. They operate cruises in South Africa and other European regions such as the Riviera, the Baltic, the Iberian peninsula, the Adriatic, Italy, and along the Danube in addition to the traditional golf cruises in Britain, Scotland and Ireland. The Irish voyage is an 11-day cruise around the British Isles that gives you the opportunity to play the Royal County Downs course in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.
For something really unique and unforgettable, take the Sicily cruise in September, 2013 from Tuscany via Siracusa to Sicily. Siena in Tuscany is one of our favourite Medieval walled cities in the world (although we missed the "Palio" horse races by a week) and Taormina in Sicily is a delightful ancient town on the way to Mt. Etna. if you're lucky Mt. Etna will be blowing its top again. It did so in March, 2013. There's actually a ski lift up by the crater, believe it or not. The golf courses on the list are:
The ship is the Sea Cloud II that carries 94 passengers and a crew of 60. It only has 48 staterooms but they are spacious and have marble bathrooms. This would be an unforgettable golf cruise. Non-golfers can go on daily tours with expert guides. My wife, Kelly, bought some terracotta sun masks for our garden fence and ceramic wine stoppers in Taormina. We still use the wine stoppers. We finished the wine! Again, this is not a cheap cruise with prices starting at $7635 for double-occupancy but you'll certainly have bragging rights, awesome photos, and unforgettable memories.
I haven't covered all the options for golf cruises but this gives you a taste of what to expect. You can do your own research. Start with the links I've provided here. You can check out all the courses, too. Other lines you might like to check are Go Barging that offers golf vacations in Scotland and even the Disney Resort Golf Club for fun with the wife and kids onboard and onshore.
Should you take one of these golf cruises, I invite you to send me a photo and a short review and I'll build a page to share with your golf buddies and other golfers. Simply fill out the invitation below.
What was your favourite golf cruise golf course?
Where did you play? Which golf cruise did you take?