For some cruisers, the ideal vacation at sea involves more
driving, chipping and putting than sunbathing, snorkeling and
sightseeing. Cruise lines are listening and offering more land
excursions to some of the world’s most picturesque and challenging
golf courses throughout the Caribbean, South Pacific, Mediterranean
“Cruises offer something for everyone, including golfers. In
addition to personalized, onboard professional instruction and the
chance to meet tour pros, a number of cruise lines offer escorted
trips to unforgettable golf destinations designed to challenger
golfers of all skill levels,” said Bob Levinstein, CEO, Cruise
Silversea Cruises has expanded its Silver Links golf program to
12 cruises in 2008. Golfers can perfect their swing on 35
world-class courses in 16 countries and islands. The golfing
excursions, arranged and escorted by a ship’s golf professional,
range in price by course and include transfers, pull or power-drive
carts and all green and caddy fees.
Here is sampling of the Silver Links voyages on Silver Shadow
and Silver Whisper departing this year.
-Fifteen-day Panama Canal crossing on May 16 from Fort
Lauderdale to Los Angeles, with golf excursions to La Iguana at Los
Suenos (Puntarenas); Tres Vidas Golf Club (Acapulco); and El Tigre
Golf Club (Puerto Vallarta).
- Seven-day Mediterranean voyage on July 19 sailing from Rome to
Monte Carlo; golfers can play at Golf Park Mallorca (Palma de
Mallorca); PGA at Catalunya Golf Club (Barcelona); Servannes Golf
Club (Sete); and Sainte Maxime Golf Club (St. Tropez).
- Seven-day Mediterranean cruise Aug. 16 from Barcelona to Rome,
with golf excursions to Canne Mougins Golf Club (Menton);
Cosmopolitan Golf Club (Livorno); and the Monte Carlo Golf
- Eleven-day Mexican Riviera voyage Sept. 17 from Los Angeles to
Costa Rica, with rounds at Cabo del Sol Desert Course (Cabo San
Lucas); El Tigre Golf Club (Puerto Vallarta); Club de Golf Marina
Ixtapa (Zihuatanejo); and Tres Vidas Golf Club (Acapulco).
- Nine-day Caribbean sailing Dec. 3 from Fort Lauderdale to
Barbados; golfers can play at Antigua’s Cedar Valley Golf Club, the
St. Lucia Golf & Country Club and Sandy Lane Country Club in
- Fifteen-day holiday cruise on Dec. 20 to the South Pacific,
leaving from Sydney to Auckland. Tee times set at the Royal
Melbourne Golf Club, Royal Hobart Golf Club, St. Clair Golf Club
(Dunedin), Clearwater Golf Club (Christchurch), Paraparaumu Golf
Club (Wellington), Cape Kidnappers Golf Club (Napier), Kauri Cliffs
Golf Club (Bay of Islands) and the Tauranga Golf Club.
“Many of the golf courses the cruise lines visit are not open to
the general public,” Levinstein said. “The cruise lines have made
special arrangements with them to allow their guests to play on
these exclusive links. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for
many golfers yet another reason cruise vacations are
Norwegian Cruise Line has also launched a new Golf Bermuda
program, giving its golf-loving guests more opportunities to hit
the links where there are more courses per square mile than
anywhere else in the world. Golf Bermuda has excursions for every
level of golfer at the island’s most popular and scenic courses.
They include the Ocean View course, rated four stars by Golf
Digest; the challenging Belmont Hills Golf Club; Mid Ocean Golf
Club, located in scenic Tucker Town; Port Royal course, operated by
the Bermuda government; Trucker’s Pint Golf Club, one of the top
golf resorts in the Caribbean; St. George’s Golf Course, featuring
ocean views at every hole; and Riddell’s Bay Golf Club, described
by locals as a must play.
Crystal Cruises also expanded its golf-themed cruises for 2008.
Guests can tee off on three 11- and 12-day golf fests, playing in
the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and the maritime coast of
Canada and New England. PGA pros join Crystal guests at several
notable courses, including The Monte Carlo Club, situated high
above the French Riviera, Spain’s El Saler Golf Course and Lisbon’s
Penha Longa Golf Course at the foot of the Sintra Mountain