Skip to Main Content

Ocean Cruising Travel Guide

Sail across the seas in style, crossing from continent to continent, learning about and immersing yourself in the world’s grandest ports from New York City to Sydney. Ocean cruises have something for everyone and appeal to a diverse array of interests.


By only unpacking once, an ocean cruise is your gateway to discovery. Days sailing and time spent in port complement each other for an exciting educational voyage, with plenty of days to explore on land and relax at sea. Set out on themed voyages, crossing the Atlantic from New York City to London aboard the elegant Queen Mary 2. Navigate among Norway’s legendary fjords and learn about Viking history under the Midnight Sun. Walk among ancient temples and Venetian fortifications in Greece and Croatia. Admire stunning beauty and study Polynesian culture in New Zealand or French Polynesia. If you can’t decide where in the world you want to go, embark on a grand odyssey and sail around the world.


Alternatively, cruise lines offer repositioning sailings each spring and fall as ships make their way to their new destinations. Many ships add in some ports of call to make the sailings more appealing and offer rates that are slightly cheaper than their more itinerary-focused departures.

Why Ocean Cruises?

Ocean liners come in various sizes, offering a range of amenities and styles, from basic to luxury. They offer routes that span the globe and a wide range of onboard activities. Large, modern ships feature all the same amenities that you would find at a deluxe resort, from live entertainment and swimming pools to spas and state-of-the-art fitness centers. Beyond the amenities provided by cruise lines, when you sail with Road Scholar, our top-notch faculty provide educational content through private onboard lectures and immersive shore excursions. 

Crossing the world’s oceans is a great feat and these spectacular ships are up to the challenge. As ships vary in size — carrying from 350 passengers to more than 3,000 passengers in everything from inside cabins to multi-level suites — their onboard offerings have grown. Ocean liners attract a wider range of passengers who come on board to experience the ever-popular destinations or enjoy the amenities offered aboard.

These larger ships feature popular itineraries that are capable of covering tremendous distances over the course of the journey — there is never a dull moment when sailing from New York City to Southampton, England, aboard the Queen Mary 2. World-class performances and five-star restaurants have helped make the journey as exciting as the destinations.



Top Reasons to Travel with Road Scholar on an Educational Ocean Cruise

Learn from Expert Faculty

Here at Road Scholar, learning is intrinsic to who we are and what we do. When you come on board a cruise with us, you’re embarking on an educational adventure with Road Scholar’s expert staff and local instructors who will be with you each step of your journey. While at sea, relax on board and take in a lecture about the next port in your itinerary or a fascinating topic that will wrap your whole adventure together. Then, set out on immersive shore excursions to gain a new appreciation for local life and culture firsthand. 

There’s Something for Everyone

Who would’ve thought that a cruise ship would be able to offer seemingly endless possibilities? Whether you are looking to challenge your mind, your body or enjoy a relaxing stay at sea, the amenities onboard offer something for everyone. Grab a book from well-stocked libraries, enjoy world-class entertainment from live comedy shows to Broadway musicals, stay active during your cruise at fully-equipped gyms or lounge under the sun by the pool for a restorative afternoon. Ships come in all shapes and sizes so regardless of where your interests align, there will always be onboard activities and amenities to ensure you’re having the best adventure yet.

Built for All Types of Passengers

If you or someone you travel with have trouble getting around, then a cruise may be a great option for you. New ships making port or registered in the United States must comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Cruise lines are doing their best to have features for disabled cruisers including accessible cabins, automatic doors, public rooms with ramp entrances and elevators can get you up and down decks. If you have mobility issues, it’s advisable to look for newer ships that can provide the latest features in helping passengers get around.

A Method of Travel Unlike Anything Else

There is something magical about experiencing the boundless expanse of the open ocean as the sun travels across the sky, both rising and setting unobstructed beyond the horizon. While you are conquering the seven seas, it is up to you what type of trip you want to enjoy; you can cater your cruise to whatever style of travel fulfills you most. If you want a more adventurous trip that is non-stop action, a cruise has it. If you’d like a quiet, relaxed journey, then a cruise may be for you. Cruises are a unique method of travel that provide however much structure or flexibility you’d like both on and off the ship.

It’s Easy to Stay Active

Are you worried that at the buffet, your eyes will be bigger than your stomach? Do you not want to get out of your workout routine just because you’re on vacation? Cruises are about more than eating and lounging by the pool. Many ships these days comes with a full jogging track (so you can get in a run with an ocean view) as well as a fully equipped gym — these aren’t the small gyms you’d find in a hotel. They are complete with cardio machines, free weights and classes led by certified trainers, as well as all sorts of accessories to help you stay fit and feeling good on your trip. If you prefer to stay active outside of the gym, opportunities vary by ship but may range from daytime dance classes to basketball/volleyball courts and even rock climbing walls.

You Only Have to Unpack Once

Cruises are the perfect opportunity to experience multiple destinations without having to pack and unpack each step of the way. You’ll never have to search for the perfect article of clothing whether you are sailing for a week or enjoying an extended cruise that may visit more than one climate. You can really settle in and let the cabin become your home away from home for your journey!

A Meal for Every Occasion

Most ocean-going vessels have multiple dining options to choose from while onboard. When you are onboard with Road Scholar, your Group Leader manages the dining reservation for the group at a specified restaurant so you can enjoy your meal stress-free and in the company of your fellow participants. 

The number of restaurants vary between ships and cruise lines but often feature all types of food from local delicacies to traditional dishes half a world away. While these restaurants are generally open to all passengers, some restaurants, usually referred to as specialty restaurants, require reservations, which must be made ahead of time. These specialty restaurants may only be available for an additional charge and offer unique opportunities that range from make-your-own sushi to restaurants run by world-class chefs. If you’re looking for a more casual meal, buffets are always available and serve a wide variety of food at all times of the day. 



Road Scholar Ocean Voyages



Ocean Cruise Tours

Explore the deep blue sea with Road Scholar on one of our cruise ship tours. Whether you want to explore the coastal waters of the United States or the calming waters of the Mediterranean, we have exciting and educational cruise tours across the globe. Our floating campuses can bring you to Iceland, where you can discover natural beauty from a unique perspective, or to Italy, where you can learn about the architectural history that makes the country so famous. Browse our selection of cruises for older adults and seniors to see where in the world you’ll end up next.


Best Cruise Tour Destinations

At Road Scholar, our cruises for elderly travelers blend relaxation with one-of-a-kind learning adventures. With an expansive collection of ocean voyages, you can find an experiential learning program that matches your interests and desired activity level. Whether you want to explore Greece, the United States, Italy, Iceland, or beyond, here are some of our top-rated programs for seniors.



Our cruises for seniors off the coast of Greece are both exciting and relaxing. As you sail the Mediterranean Sea, you can island-hop to destinations like Naxos, Milos, and Syros, where you can indulge in local cuisine and immerse yourself in each island’s culture. Our Greek cruise tours also bring you to UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Ephesus, which houses the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Browse our educational learning programs today to see what other Greek adventures await you!



One of our primary floating campuses is the MV La Belle des Océans, which brings you to several European destinations, including Italy. Explore the ruins of Pompeii, explore the Colosseum, and walk the streets of Rome while marveling at ancient architecture and learning about the country’s historic civilizations and their impact on the world. While at sea, you can enjoy onboard activities such as Q&A sessions, lectures, live performances, and more.



Another of our highly-coveted cruises for older adults takes you along the waters of Iceland. Learn about Norse history as our cruise tours in Iceland make their way to popular destinations like Reykjavik, the Westman Islands, Akureyri, Grimsey Island, and more. As you circumnavigate Iceland, you’ll learn about its natural history, culture, and more while enjoying onboard activities like photography sessions, book clubs, and lectures.


United States

If you want to explore the United States from a different angle, consider our American cruise ship tours. Traverse the waters off Alaska, where you can witness mighty glaciers and stunning fjords teeming with wildlife like bears and elk, or make your way up the Mississippi River, learning about music heritage in the South and its influence on jazz, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.


Explore Cruise Tours With Road Scholar

Hop aboard one of Road Scholar’s cruise tours to explore the world from the sea. Our senior cruise programs are second to none, with exciting onboard activities like lectures and group discussions and offboard adventures exploring seaside towns and cities. Explore our expedition cruise travel guide to find your perfect voyage!  



“This program was perfect in every aspect. It was better than even the high expectations I had previously had. Learning with Road Scholar coupled with the staff of the Aegean Odyssey made this adventure the most enjoyable experience I have ever had.”

— Julien, Road Scholar Class of 2017, from Manchester, N.H. —